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2020 4 Dimensional Wellness Emotional Honesty Energy Boosters Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Reduce Stress Self Care and Self Love

There are TWO types of Busy Person…which are you?

Life is busy. You sure don’t need a life coach to tell you that! However – there are two kinds of busy. Which one is more you?

There is active, focused, conscious busy …and there is frantic, rushing, juggling, largely unconscious busy.

The first feels energising, focused, controlled, productive. Let’s call that Purposeful Busy.

The other feels overwhelming, stressful, and out of control. That would be Stressful Busy.

Life is always going to be busy. It’s the 2020’s. That just how it is, we don’t really get to change that. What we DO get to control though is WHAT KIND of busy we are personally engaged in

BOTH are going to keep you doing stuff all day. Only one is going to not just feel good but move you nearer to where you want to go and the kind of life you want for ourselves.

We can all be busy all day and knackered at the end. That however doesn’t tell us if we have been being busy about the right things.

The defining factor is

WHAT ARE YOU GETTING BUSY ABOUT?

How much has been about obligation?

And how much about positive choice?

How much has required willpower? And how much has been breezy inspired action?

Stop. Take a minute. What ARE you filling your day with – to be so busy?!

Is it purposefully in alignment with the life you want to have for yourself a year, 3 years from now?

How much of your day is a building brick for the future, and how much is going through the motions or obligation driven?

A year from now if you want to be promoted is your busyness a small step in driving that outcome, or is it just busy work that someone else didn’t want to do that you didn’t want to say no to?

A year from now if you want to be strong and fit and in your old jeans is skipping that spin class because you were so busy a step towards that goal or a step away? What were you busy with instead?

A year from now if you want to be credit card debt-free did you take a tiny action towards that goal today? Or were you too busy to make a packed lunch and ate on the run again?

All these things are teeny tiny choices.

But that is how we get ANYWHERE! Lots of teeny tiny choices in a row.

To create anything of meaning in our life.

We have to be busy doing the right things.

Being busy per se is not enough.

The time will pass anyway.

It will get filled with tens of thousands of tiny choices anyway.

The difference between Purposeful Busy and Stressful Busy is a very clearly defined future goal, and the commitment to move towards it each day, in a tiny way – NO MATTER WHAT. Even if its inconvenient. Even if it means we let someone else down.  Even if we say no to some other stuff.

When we don’t do this – it means that our priorities shift weekly, daily, hourly, depending on who needs what. That is where we are Stressful Busy. That’s why we feel like we are rushing, and juggling between everything.

Because we are.

There is a better way.

When we have a purpose and we prioritise it.

When we are Purposefully Busy we are not LESS busy.

We are just busy about the right things.

 

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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.

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Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Reduce Stress Self Care and Self Love

I Will Claim My Power

There are few feelings more dispiriting that feeling trapped. When we feel we are in a situation where we have no choices it feels like the walls are closing in. We can feel paralysed and the third, less common, “f” comes into play: fight, flight and …freeze. When we feel like we have no choice what we will do is freeze.

Because we don’t have a great choice we want to make, we make no choice at all. So we stick. We feel stuck. We have all been there and feeling frozen and trapped is one of the worst feelings in the world.

Drawing on timeless wisdom that sometimes the only way out is through and that things might have to get worse before they get better (hey, things become cliché’s for a reason, no?!), I’d like to draw your attention to a quote that will muster your resolve if you are currently feeling trapped by circumstance:

Taken from the great American author and activist Alice Walker (she wrote The Colour Purple) it is, “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any”, and I have to concur.

The nature of my work is that clients come to me when they feel frozen and stuck. Stuck in a career that’s too much of a gilded cage to leave. Stuck in a relationship that would break too many hearts to depart. Stuck in a country they don’t want to be in by legalities. Stuck in a lifestyle that is ruining their health. That feeling of being trapped is hard. When we feel we are out of choices we feel truly out of joy, momentum and the happiness tank rapidly drains to zero.

Thing is, it is a fundamental truth that the only thing we HAVE to do is breathe, so we actually DO always have a choice.

Hideous and hard choices may be but there are always choices. Choices you may not want to face but choices that will break the inertia that is creating the paralysing stuck-ness. The key is to force movement (however small) and start the process of unsticking. Lift the paralysis by moving from freeze into fight or flight. The movement inherent in both those choices will feel hard but liberating.

When we perceive we have no power in a situation we inevitably feel trapped. I have clients step back and treat it like a creative brainstorming exercise. Take away any expectation of action and just be creative.

If this was someone else’s issue, what possible options could they have? Brainstorm as many as you can. Options A through G, H and so on. Sell the house, make a huge loss. Get a bank loan that takes years to pay off. Hire a private detective. Put Dad in a hospice. Take a 3-month sabbatical. Ask Aunty Carol for a loan. Let them leave the country without you. Take a rental even though you have always owned your own place. Brainstorm the hideous options out. Take your power back by acknowledging that you DO have choices, you are never completely stuck, there are always options. List as many as you possibly can, no matter how hard or crazy or tangential.

Just the action of doing this will make you feel freer and more able to see the way forwards.

Gradually one option will start to feel less onerous than the rest, and a way forward will become clear where you can step back into your power. It was there the whole time, you just needed to step back and let the solution emerge from the knowledge that you do have choices.

We are only ever as trapped as we think we are.

Grab a white board marker, get brave and step back into your power.

Categories
Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Reduce Stress

Worry Ye Not

Our worries often seem so real, it’s as if they have happened already.

The client is going to cancel.

The kid is going to hurt himself on that swing.

The car’s going to break down.

You’ll never get a park.

The money will run out.

The boss is going to shout.

The anxiety we feel about these things as we sit watching the children play, or in a tense boardroom, or on the way to our destination in town; we can feel as anxious as if these things are already real. It feels bad. We feel worried and concerned. And how many times does the thing we have worried about NOT happen in reality? All. The. Time. A huge amount of stress for nothing.

Don't worry about things that probably won't happenHere’s the thing. When you get on a plane to a sunny tropical destination, do you know how the plane stays up in the air? Like, really? Hats off if you have a first in aeronautical engineering, but I am willing to bet 99% of us don’t really know. Could you actually explain it? Nah! You just know the plane stays up, and that’s more than good enough. You trust in the process. You can’t see it, or define it, but you know it’s all happening and the flight is going to make it to Club Tropicana. Or how about when you get home from work and flick the telly on. Do you know how the electricity works? Like, really? Could you actually explain it? Draw me a diagram? No, you just know it does, and that’s more than good enough. You trust in the process. You can’t see it, or define it, but you know it’s all happening. And it does.

All day, every day we are putting our trust in things we can’t see.

We can’t define. We are trusting in intangibles. We have a huge amount of faith in stuff we can’t see, and we can’t explain. It’s an awesome capacity, really helpful. It helps us to glide through life, get things done, stay calm, take stuff for granted. It can be a very positive force for good.

Endless worrying is like using this force in reverse. By worrying about some future event that may or may not happen, we are asking ourselves to once again have faith in something we can’t see, but something that makes us actively anxious guaranteed.

Feeling relaxed or feeling anxious a lot of the time comes down to the ability to believe something unseen. It comes down to faith versus fear, essentially. Faith in the fact something good is going to happen (the plane stays up; the telly makes noise and pictures) or fear that something bad will (the client walks away; there will never be a park in this rain). Either way, you have to believe in something you can’t see: faith or fear. Fear or faith.

We can choose to believe in an unseen outcome that’s good and relaxing or one that’s not so good and anxiety inducing. It’s a choice, not a certainty. Trust and faith require us to believe we are big enough, brave enough, strong enough to handle it, whatever the outcome. Which you ARE. Worry is a fear of events unseen. It robs us of joy in the present and actually makes us less able to handle what comes up.

If we are going to believe in something we can’t see or know for sure, choose faith over fear every time.
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Reduce Stress Uncategorized

Stress Newsflash! Stress that is good for you…

Newsflash: stress has only existed for 80 years. Did you know the term stress was only ever applied to things pre 1930’s? It referred to a load on say a rope or building and was used exclusively in the field of engineering and physics. Huh. Enter stage right an endocrinologist from Vienna called Hans Seyle. Through his experiments with mice he coined the term ‘stress’ and ‘stressor’ within a physiological and biological context. Specifically stress was defined as “the consequence of the failure of an organisim – human or animal – to respond adequately to mental, emotional or physical demands, whether actual or imagined”. And thus, stress as we know it today was born.

Except there is a little more to this story. Hans and his mice also came up with another very interesting distinction…the difference between good stress and bad stress. What is fascinating about this is that the good stress definition seems to have got lost somewhere in the mist of time, and the definition of stress today is almost universally perceived as negative.

Good stress actually has it’s own name: Eustress. (think Euphoria, it’s the greek root for Good). It’s the positive stress that helps you bring your A game to the interview, to rise to the challenge or win that race. It’s a positive stressor and accompanies fulfillment. Distress was Seyle’s term for negative stress, or what we commonly call today just ‘stress’. What is interesting is that physiologically the two things look the same which is perhaps why the two terms have morphed into one.

So what does this tell us? What I take from this is that not all stress is bad. We are built to undertake stress…it’s a mechanism brilliantly developed to allow us to rise to that challenge and to go the extra mile. If we are to grow as people then we need to stretch ourselves and that challenge may be scary but it’s good scary: it’s eustress.

Our distress response is for emergencies only. And yet, semantically at least, it is the most prevalent. Distress is meant to be turned on, and crucially OFF, at the flick of a switch. Distress is our default, we assume that being stressed is a bad thing.  Because ‘being stressed’ has become so normalized in our society we just keep pushing through it which may not be actually serving us.

The body was build with the complex and elegant neurophysiological cascade of the stress response for a reason. The reason being: life is stressful! The aim is not to avoid stress completely (impossible) but to try and choose the right kind of stress. I think it’s a ratio thing. What we can do is change the ratios. If I can live with 80% eustress v’s 20% distress then I am going to be much happier than if the ratio is reversed.

Eustress is what it means to be alive. To feel those butterflies. To be taking on that job that will stretch you, to dip your toe back in the water of dating after many years, to book the space to have your own exhibition, to try the yoga class you have been putting off to buy the motorbike you have always wanted, to launch a new product, have another baby.

Distress is just misery. It’s forcing yourself into a job that you hate each morning, it’s going out to dinner with someone you would much rather not see, it’s being roped onto a committee you don’t really respect and don’t have time for. It’s doing the things you know, deep deep down, don’t really serve you.

The key here is the true want. If you are moving towards what pleases your true self then the stress is positive. It might be scary but it’s moving you in the direction that is right for your best life. If you are moving against that and forcing yourself to do something that does not serve your true self out of guilt or obligation then is negative stress.

I think it boils down into this handy equation:

Something you really want + fear  = eustress (stretches and grows you towards your true self and best life)

 

Something you don’t really want + fear = distress  (diminishes you, leads you away from your true self and best life)

For example:

Getting married to someone you really want to marry  = eustress

Getting married to someone you know deep down is not right = distress

So, change up the ratio’s. Be honest with yourself. Turn down a challenge or task that you know to be distress stress. Pick up one that is eustress. Next time you say you are stressed know that the majority of the time it’s in a good way and your body is designed to help you get the most out of a stressful situation. Choose (eu)stress.

I always love to know what you think…please do share your thoughts below…

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