Categories
2020 Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Reduce Stress Resilience

Anxiety Creeping In? 6 Quick Ways To Deal With It

When life gets frantic and we feel anxiety creeping in, it can paralyse us and make even the simplest decisions really hard.

We can procrastinate like crazy and that actually makes us feel more anxious!

We can feel this anxiety throughout our body, our shoulders get tense, our breathing shallow and we just want to get this thing SORTED RIGHT NOW GODDAMMIT!

Here are my top strategies for instant anxiety reduction for when you are feeling stressed out about making a decision:

 

  • Know you always have a choice. There is nothing you HAVE to do other than breathe, everything after that is a choice. They may be hard choices granted but you have choice nevertheless. I try to be grateful that I am living somewhere in the world where as a woman I have complete control and choice in my life, not everyone is so lucky.
  • Hit pause. Breathe. Stop and Breathe. Breath through your nose only, breathe right down to your belly for a count of 4, then out through the nose for a count of 4. Repeat for 6 full breaths and then refocus on the task at hand from a calmer place.
  • Is it a problem or a fact that’s making you anxious? If it’s a problem then there IS a solution, take your time, step back and Figure. It Out. If there is no solution, well, then it’s not a problem that you have, honey, it is a fact. So accept it, however tough it make be, and move on. Focus where you can make a difference not where you can’t.
  • Walk away.  If a solution isn’t readily presenting itself then walk away and engage in a right brain activity. Painting, exercise, baking.  Your subconcious will then have the space it needs to help you come up with an anxiety reducing solution. The time I need yoga or a run most is EXACTLY when I think I don’t have time for it. So be brave and go for the counterintuitive option and create the space you need to decompress and gain perspective back. When you reengage your left brain you will often find the solution has presented itself.
  • When anxiety strikes repeat the following mantra to yourself, as you breath in, and again as you breathe out. Nice and slow. 6 full breaths. “ I have everything I need, and all is well”. Now doesn’t that feel better?
  • Ask yourself “Will this thing matter 10 years from now?” The answer 99% of the time is “Hell No”, so choose not to sweat the small stuff.

 

Ahhhhhh….now doesn’t that feel better?

 

Categories
2020 4 Dimensional Wellness Live Happy Inspiration Resilience Self belief

Self Belief – Inca Trail Learnings

Trekking to Machu Picchu is a once in a lifetime experience, and I am so glad to have been able to do it. Once in a lifetime that is unless you are a Guide or a Porter on the Inca Trail. Our guide had done the Inca Trail 750 times! If you think that’s remarkable listen to this:

Each year they have a race, just local porters and guides, across the whole Inca Trail. End to end in one go. This trail is at serious altitude and takes us mere mortals 4 days of hard slog, and it is HARD. Really, really hard.

So in what time do you think the locals can do this 4-day strenuous trek? 3 days? 2 days? A day? Nope. The record-holder is a porter who completed the entire Inca Trail in UNDER 4 HOURS. A sub-4-hour time for a 4-day trek. How incredible is that?

Yes, they are used to the altitude and yes, they are madly fit, but nevertheless I think the most incredible thing here is the mindset. And the belief of what is possible for the human body to accomplish. The mind has such a powerful influence on the body, more so I think than the hours spent in a gym preparing. If you believe you can accomplish something, that knowledge is far more powerful than the actual prep.

What you believe is possible has the greatest influence of all.

Consider this, when Roger Bannister broke what was widely considered to be an impossible barrier – the 4-minute mile  – back on 6th May 1954, beliefs were challenged and changed overnight. It must be possible because Bannister had done it. That change in belief led to 53 people (fifty three!) also breaking the 4-minute mile in the next 12 months. What had changed? Certainly not training regimes or kit in that short time period: it was entirely due to the change in belief of what was possible.

Have a think about anything that might be holding you back right now…the belief that you can’t lose weight; that you are just too busy to have a healthy work/life balance; that you are too old to take up surfing; that you can’t make money doing something you love; and see how that belief is holding you back far more than your body or circumstance is.

Commit to trying and challenging the impossible: you just never know what you might achieve, or what you might inspire others to do.

Categories
2020 4 Dimensional Wellness Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy

Why worrying makes bad stuff happen!

Worrying is a pointless activity. Fact!

Worrying is focusing on a fear that is not currently present.

It’s worrying about a thing that may or may not happen later.

Most of the time it doesn’t even happen, but all that mental energy, emotional energy and headspace is gone, you can’t get that back.

And here’s another thing. Worrying actually makes the thing you are worrying about more likely to happen.

Yep, that’s right.

Worrying actually makes the thing you are worrying about more likely to happen.

How?

Well, firstly, worry makes you filter. Filtering is selective awareness of what’s going on around you. Our brains are built to filter because otherwise we couldn’t cope with the sheer volume of information around us.

Here’s an example of filtering. I got a new car a couple of years ago. I wasn’t that fussed about what I got as long as it was small enough so I could park it  (ie. v small) and that it wasn’t another unreliable money eating machine.  I settled on a blue Mazda 3 , never really seen one before but it ticked all the boxes and we got a good deal. Then, when driving about in the shiny new reliable blue Mazda 3 a funny thing happened. They are EVERYWHERE! Blue Mazda 3’s? Every third car is a blue Mazda 3. So many in fact that twice I tried to get into the wrong parked car (der…that’s why we now have a sticker on the back window to stop me doing that).  Blue Mazda 3’s are super common but I honestly had never noticed one before I bought one, then I see them everywhere. Why? Filtering. My brain is filtering for the thing I put my attention on so I see it everywhere.

It’s how the brain works. So, if you are worrying about a thing, you are actually far more likely to find evidence for it as you have primed your brain to search for it. That makes worries far more likely to become real.

Reason number 2 that worrying makes the thing you don’t want more likely to happen is the basic Law Of Attraction. The more thoughts you put out there by continually worrying about a scenario you don’t want, the more likely The Universe is to energetically bring that back to you. That might be too woo-woo for you but I can assure you that it’s the truth. The Universe is programmed to bring you what you want. And it assumes that what you want is what you think about all the time. Worrying is a repetitive thought pattern. Hence, that’s what you are far more likely to get.

So, whether you like the brain science filtering explanation or the more woo-woo Law Of Attraction one, you can see that worrying is bad. And pointless.

Worrying is meditating on the thing you don’t want to happen.

So, stop it!

Decide what you DO want to happen, however unlikely that may seem, and focus your thoughts and energy on that.

It will make a HUGE difference to how enjoyable your day is and the outcome of the thing.

Have a great worry-free day.

Categories
2020 4 Dimensional Wellness Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Love Your Work

How to know you are living your purpose

I was ill a while back, in bed feeling sorry for myself surrounded by a sea of tissues. It was the day the cleaners come but nevertheless I just couldn’t drag myself out of bed. They will just have to clean around me I sniffed.

Jilly, my sweet and spritely South African cleaner, chatted away as she dusted. She had some holidays coming up over the next few weeks and she had to take her leave as she couldn’t carry it over any more.

“Are you going somewhere nice?” I mumbled, thinking a bit of Fijian sun was exactly what I needed to get rid of my cold.

“Oh no” she said brightly “I shall be at home. My husband is away on business so I am going to have a GOOD SPRING CLEAN without him in the way!”

She said it with such utter relish I would have been floored had I not already been lying down.

“But Jilly, you’re a cleaner. You clean all day! Every week! You are going to spend your holiday cleaning? Voluntarily?” I was incredulous.

“Oh yes” she said with utter conviction and glee, no doubt thinking of the sparkling clutter free cupboards in her spring clean “I love it!”

And there you have it. Someone who is living their purpose in the most joyful way.

It just goes to show that there is a perfect role out there for us all. And that our perfect role might be someone else’s worst nightmare but there is a place where we can all find our perfect fit. Where we are contributing to the world in a way that is far more than going through the motions or doing it for a paycheck. Where we are bringing joy to others and joy to ourselves.

In my job I see many people who are most definitely not living their purpose and helping them figure out what it actually is, is a whole heap of fun. But it is a rarity that someone walks into my office declaring “I love my job I do!” so I treasure Jilly for being one of those rare people who have naturally found their purpose and is living it with such surety and joy.

How do you know you are living your purpose?

Here are a few questions to ponder:

  • If you had all your monetary needs taken care of would you still want to do what you do for free?
  • If you unexpectedly have to do some work at the weekend are you resentful about it or does it not really bother you?
  • Do you lose yourself in your work and find the hours fly by as you are immersed in what you are doing, or do you find you are clock watching the minutes creep by?
  • Would you read books about your day job on the beach for pleasure?
  • Is checking emails on holiday a resentful chore or does it not really bother you at all.

I believe there that we all have a place where our unique skills, aptitudes, interests personality and passions meet where we feel truly engaged with our work. Finding it can be tricky but it is so worth the effort. It doesn’t mean there are not still bad days, or that we don’t enjoy the money, but life comes from a very different place when we connect our unique gifts with our profession.

Action Step:

Ask yourself those exploration questions. If the answer is a no to more than 2 then you may not be living your passion. If you need extra help to figure out what might be a fulfilling way to earn a living, check out my Life Coaching Academy Wellbeing Warriors.

 

Categories
2020 4 Dimensional Wellness Emotional Honesty Energy Boosters Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Sick & Tired of feeling Sick & Tired

Why being “over it” is actually a good thing…

Call me crazy but I love hearing when clients or friends are “totally over it”. When they can’t look at another “fat picture” or drag themselves into the office for another soul-destroying day. I know that may seem mean because it means they are miserable, but I think of being over it, really, really over it, as a special kind of breakthrough.

There are two stages.

The early-stage where we just like to just talk about being “over it”. We actually secretly enjoy talking about our awful boss, or our nightmare mother. When people are really, truly over it however, they don’t want to talk about it. They have talked about it to death but that hasn’t made them thinner or their relationship happier or their career more lucrative.

When people are truly over it they can actually hear themselves repeating those same old lines and they are sick of hearing themselves. Moaning no longer cuts the mustard. We are actually boring ourselves.

Being “over it” feels awful. It can feel like despair, it can feel like we have no real options or choices, it can feel like nothing we might do will make a difference. It can feel lonely. It can feel isolating. But in actual fact when you strip this away rock bottom can be fundamentally liberating.

When we are so sick of a situation in our lives the choice has to be change.

Changing either how we choose to think about the situation or changing the situation itself. When we start to open the mind to the fact that there has to be another way then hey presto some solutions will start to present themselves. “Over it” becomes the first step on the pathway to something far better. When we reach rock bottom and are sick to death of a situation it can be just the springboard we need to move to a far brighter future.

Here’s the funny thing about being “over it”. You can’t really get over it, skip it, miss out the pain or the hassle or the scariness of sorting out whatever situation it is you are over. You can’t actually get over it without going through it. The way out is through whatever change is required not over. We are creatures of comfort as a rule so we tend to avoid the tough stuff, the convo with the boss about the payrise or the missed promotion, the meeting with the neighbor about their continually barking dog. But this is the way over to the other side of our pain, to front up and deal with whatever it is. To go through to come out the other side.

Good stuff starts to happen when the pain of being “over it” becomes greater than the perceived fear of changing the situation or our thoughts about it.

Learning not to be afraid of, or to resist “over it”, but to welcome it, can transform how quickly we move forward in life.

As the great Harry Potter author JK Rowling (and let’s face it she’s done okay latest novel notwithstanding!) famously said “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I built my life”.

Action Step: in what area of your life are you ”over it”? An energy-sucking friendship? A tired and outdated kitchen? Being unfit? Identify it and then choose to either change the way you feel about it or change the situation.

Remember the way out isn’t over it is through.

Categories
2020 4 Dimensional Wellness Happy People Don't Do Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Reduce Stress Resilience

Your Bedtime Story

What goes on between our ears has the biggest determination over what goes on in our hearts and in our lives.

One of the biggest areas where we can trip up is when we get facts confused with stories, or “the truth” confused with fairytales.

Have a think about a time when you had yourself absolutely convinced something utterly catastrophic was about to happen.

Lying awake turning over the prospect of imminent doom played out in excruciating and panic-inducing detail.  We have all done it. And then…and then…well, nothing happening. NOTHING! The sky totally did not fall in. The fan did not get hit with anything. All that worry, stress, drama and excess cortisol production for nothing.

It can be weirdly tempting to play out a worst-case scenario story as a bizarre sort of double-think mental insurance to ward off against disappointment or rejection. If we have already considered the worst then maybe…maybe… it won’t happen.

However, it’s a far easier way to live to know that whatever comes up –  if it comes up –  you are smart and capable and you will react and handle it. And so, therefore, you choose to wait until such time that might be necessary and divert your attention to happier thoughts in the meantime.

The stories we tell ourselves in our heads have the very real capacity to destroy our peace of mind with far more regularity than any outside event.

Look at it this way. What bedtime story do you read your 7-year-old son/daughter/grandson/granddaughter/nephew/niece? Is it a) Charlie And The Chocolate Factory or b) Nightmare On Elm Street?  Right. You wouldn’t dream of divulging the tales of Freddie Kruger’s bloody mayhem whilst you tuck them up as you want that child to sleep soundly, yes? (preferably right through the night uninterrupted, of course). You want to create the best conditions to do that; you know the content you fill their heads with at that pivotal moment is key – so you choose with discernment.

It’s the same at the cinema.  We know the emotional impact of a good story and so there are standard content rating systems for movies. We know how powerful those stories in the screen are so we want to choose age-appropriately and with discernment for the audience. This is obvious in the movie cinema.

We want the right story playing for whoever is watching it.

And yet, and yet. We are nowhere near as careful stewards of our own bedtime story routine. Replaying the tricky conversation with the boss whilst we clean our teeth: bad bedtime story. Thinking about whether that client is going to be furious or not as we turn down the covers: bad bedtime story. Turning over the backhanded compliment our mother in law paid and worrying about how that may play out at the weekend family barbeque: bad bedtime story. Figuring out if that friend deliberately blanked us at the school gate as we have upset them for reasons we know not: bad bedtime story. No wonder we don’t sleep well, or our days are filled with worry.

Our peace of mind is determined by the tone and content of the stories we tell ourselves through our waking hours.

And as for the stories we believe and repeat in the dead of night? They are the most powerful of all.

Make sure you choose appropriate bedtime reading for yourself.

Sweet dreams.

 

Categories
2020 4 Dimensional Wellness Emotional Honesty Love the Skin You're In Love your body Love Your Work Positive Thought Strategy

Past Perfect

If you never feel quite good enough it’s likely that you are a bit of a perfectionist. Perfectionism is the ultimate double-edged sword: yes, it might propel us forward towards our goals BUT it is also the cause of a huge amount of stress, pressure, sleepless nights, procrastination, quitting, and generally diminished wellbeing.

Perfectionism sounds like it’s a good thing…but…on closer inspection… there is a big difference between being a balanced and happy high achiever, and a perfectionist. Your body, health, and happiness will really thank you for getting super clear on the difference.

Here’s the thing: Perfection is a mirage. It’s a standard you can never reach consistently.

It feels like…

  • Life will be PERFECT when you get that promotion…and then you get it…but then…it’s not perfect YET, because you could do it better, or faster, or more efficiently. So…the goalposts move.
  • Or Life will be PERFECT when you lose those 5kgs. And you lose them! BUT…you still don’t feel perfect YET because your bum is not perky enough / arms not toned enough / just another few kilos before you are “there”. The goalposts of perfect move…MIRAGE.
  • Or Life will be PERFECT and easy when the kids are old enough to go to school…but then…they are and they do…but it won’t be perfect UNTIL they are really settled…and then they settle but it won’t be perfect til they…etc etc. The goalposts of perfect move…MIRAGE.

If we could see life just as a series of moves that EXPAND US, IMPERFECTLY, in a forwards motion…rather than trying to reach perfection but never getting there either at all (or for more than 25 seconds) it would be a MUCH more realistic and relaxed way to live.

Where in your life is perfect a mirage you can never really reach?

The quest for Inbox Zero?
The nirvana of an empty washing basket and a tidy house?

List a mirage today.

Then let yourself off the hook.

You will never reach it, consistently, and that’s okay!

You can give yourself permission to know life is unfolding just fine as it is:  a work in progress in a state of imperfect but constant expansion.

 

Categories
2020 4 Dimensional Wellness Energy Boosters Live Happy Inspiration

From My Heart To Yours …

If you could only see what I see…

Life can be brutal.  It can batter us so much that we lose sight of who we are at our core. Disconnect us from our soul and our souls calling. Make us feel trapped. Or stuck. Or not good enough. Or like things work out for everyone but us.

Part of my job is helping people reconnect with their essential brilliance.  To learn to trust it again and move forward with confidence and purpose. To encourage them towards the light when they have been temporarily stumbling in the dark.

That first session when all seems lost, and they have lost faith in themselves – I have a secret: I know it’s all going to be okay, and I so wish they could see what I can see. See in themselves and for themselves.

If you need it I hope that you can see a bit of it today in yourself too:

  • If only you could see what I see you would see that you are good enough.
  • If only you could see what I see you would ever doubt yourself again.
  • If only you could see what I see you would recognise yourself when you shine.
  • If only you could see what I see you would know the path ahead for you is becoming clear and strewn with dazzling opportunities you are yet to glimpse.
  • If only you could see what I see you would walk into a room with so much confidence you would light it up.
  • If only you could see what I see you would tell them you would never let anyone speak to you that way again.
  • If only you could see what I see you would speak your truth unapologetically and out loud.
  • If only you could see what I see you would look in the mirror and know your beauty.
  • If only you could see what I see you would know you do way more than enough.
  • If only you could see what I see you would know that you are more than enough.
  • If only you could see what I see you would embrace your glorious imperfection and release the grip on perfect.
  • If only you could see what I see you would find the courage you need to make the changes you fear.
  • If only you could see what I see you would know there are diamond bright days ahead.
  • If only you could see what I see you would be sure their opinion of you mattered not.
  • If only you could see what I see you would trust that everything was somehow falling into place for you even though you feel they are falling apart.
  • If only you could see what I see you would worry less and play way, way more.
  • If only you could see what I see you would know it will somehow all work out just fine.
  • If only you could see what I see you would know right down to the depths of your soul how blessed and brilliant you are.
  • If only you could see what I see you would grab that chance with both hands and not look back.
  • If only you could see what I see you would look in the mirror and smile at your reflection with a wink.
  • If only you could see what I see you would know how much you are loved.
  • If only you could see what I see you would test your wings and fly.

Look harder today.

You might just surprise yourself with what you can see.

Categories
2020 Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Relationships Summer

5 ways to know a TRUE friend…

A good friend will not just tell you that it’s all going to be fine. Because sometimes it’s just not.

A good friend will turn up with cold wine and her best snacks and say that it’s not going to be fine, that it will be hard, but you will get through it.

A good friend will cancel her plans, cajole you to put your trainers on and get you running or walking that trail.

She knows it won’t fix or mend it, but that fresh air and movement will help in a subtle way.

A good friend will know that sometimes there are no words that will fix it, or make it better, but a gentle presence is reassuring in the darkness.

A good friend will check in and see how you are doing, even when there is nothing new to say.

Sometimes it’s not all going to be fine. And having someone say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” makes you want to kill them as they inadvertently invalidate your loss.

Sometimes a platitude won’t cut it.

But words of wisdom won’t either.

Sometimes it’s just hard. The only way out is through. And a good friend will walk it with you.

That the greatest thing they can do for you is to know they cannot heal it for you, but that you will not face it alone.

I hope you have not just one, but a good strong handful of these people in your life.

Hold onto and treasure those people like gold.

 

Categories
2020 4 Dimensional Wellness Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy

The Smile Jar

As we kick start 2020 I would love to set you up for your best, most brilliant year with a simple tool.

I’d like to think you have a year of grace and goodness in store!

In my experience of coaching thousands of people to health and happiness I have found that that much as we seek magic silver bullet solutions that change the wellbeing game (eg. starting a fantastic new job; leaving a hideous old relationship) the fabric of health and happiness really is woven from micro-moments of happy, than elusive silver-bullet game-changers.

By consciously putting more micro-moments of happy and well into life…life becomes elevated one tiny bite at a time.

There is a lovely technique called The Smile Jar, and you are in perfect time to get yourself set up for it right now for 2020.

All you need to do is buy/find/repurpose/beg/borrow or steal a pleasing-looking jar, and a bunch of post-it notes.

Each day you add one post-it note or scrap of paper that contained a moment that was pleasing, happy or successful.

It might be the compliment from the boss on that presentation you sweated over, the fact that your teen picked up their own towels off the bathroom floor without nagging, the unexpected message from a friend overseas, or finding that super cute dress you wanted 75% off in the sales. Maybe it was picking lemons off your own tree in the sunshine and making the most perfect gin and tonic, or getting a personal best on your morning run. The smile your granddaughter gave you after her ballet class or running into an old friend at the beach.

It can be anything.

The only criteria is that it made you smile!

Pick a happy moment, scribble it down, pop it in the jar.

You are filing a jar full of smiles.

This is a lovely one to do for the whole family.

I have had clients get a jar for each member of the family and it’s become part of the bedtime ritual for each child to add a moment of positivity or happiness to their jar at the end of each day as a gorgeous, positive family ritual that has endured for years.

At the end of the year, perhaps the day after Boxing Day each year when things have gone a little quiet you can sit and pull out each memory one by one.

Reconnect with what made you happy and all the moments that you have forgotten from your jar of smiles.

If you are having a bad day it’s also great to be able to dip into anytime, and remind you that life ain’t all bad.

Get yourself a Smile Jar for 2020, because, y’know, the small things in life…in the end, they ARE the big things.

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