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worry

Reiki and Worry…

720 520 Dawn Waterhouse

do-not-worry

“Do not worry!” Worry is something that is more often there. It is a thought (or multiple thoughts) that go over and over in the mind. It is a form of mind chatter that eats away at confidence and draining energy. When you worry constantly, you are drawing attention to a negative aspect of your life, and when you worry aloud to others, you are effectively seeking attention, potentially draining their energy. This leaves every-one depleted and more open to ill health.

As worry is a focus on past events that have happened, or future events that are yet to come, worry is never about the present – so worrying stops you being in the present moment, it stops you connecting to yourself and identifying opportunities as they arise.

Worry is your body messaging you that there is a problem that you do not know how to deal with. I am going to take you through a simple exercise to help you start creating more positive outcomes from your worry:

1. When you are aware of worry, slowly and deeply breathe in… and out several times giving you time to regain your control and also help oxygenate your brain to help stay focused on the moment in hand.

2. Pause for a moment – place any worries or negative thoughts onto fluffy clouds – and let them float away. What is your desired outcome? What do you want to happen? Do you want to continue with these emotions and feelings? … Breathe slowly and deeply again. How do you want to feel? Think of something happy, a positive focus in your life. Re-educate your body’s cellular memories, take back your control. You should now be feeling calm enough to make rational decisions.

3. Listen to your inner feeling – What is not right in your life? Turn your worry into a challenge. What can you do to support a positive outcome? What outcome would you like to attract in life? In your mind, put out to the universe the positive outcome you desire. Remember to keep breathing slowly and deeply to stay positively focused and in control.

4. Feel better? Do you need to seek council from someone you trust? It is okay to talk about problems – sharing a problem wisely helps to find solutions. Sometimes, just stilling your mind can give you space to see the answer for yourself. Be the person you want to be. Worry is just a message to let you know something needs to change – and it starts with you; you are the catalyst to make the positive changes you need in your life. Practise them; life is just continued practise of different challenges.

I know some things are not quick to resolve, they can seem to take an age to bring right, but choosing to hold on to your worries and forgetting to focus on the positive outcome you desire is detrimental to your health and to those around you and will stop you from reaching your goal.

Reiki

When challenges are successfully identified along with successful desired outcomes, you connect to your inner self and see the positive coincidences that are attracted in life, making the journey easier. Well thought positive intention for good attracts good into your life – have faith.

Of course, that is not the only secret to Reiki and seeking our inner health and power. The next is to be humble. That is next time’s story.

StressFree

De-Stress Tips

1024 683 Rachel Le Feuvre, Reset Button

de-stress

Stress itself is a naturally occurring state and it has good reason to exist. It pumps adrenalin around the body when we need it most: it helps us to be quick thinking and have fast reactions. Many of us report to work better when we are under stress. Stress isn’t something we should be too worried about, but we are. And this is the problem: we’re forgetting to allow the state of stress to come, do its job, but then to leave the body.

By getting stressed about being stressed, we’re holding on to it so tight that it’s building up and leaving behind all sorts of horrible toxins that we do not want or need in our body.

It’s fine to allow ourselves to be stressed occasionally, but we must remember to let it pass.

Give yourself the stress test right now:

How are your shoulders? Up or down? Could the muscles be a bit more comfy?

What about your tongue? Pushing against the top of your mouth or is it relaxed?

 

The best first stop to relieving stress is by becoming aware of it. Then learning ways to notice it but let it pass.

Associating new habits with old routines is an easy way to successfully integrate them into your life. So here are a few ideas for you:

Relax

1) Make your bed. Give yourself a few minutes in the morning and decide your intentions for the day as you straighten out the sheets. Shake the stress out of your shoulders as you shake the duvet out. Picture the blank canvas that is today. A new day. A day with great potential. Set out your plans to not allow stress to take over.
2) Have a mindful moment over your hot drink (or cold!). It’s an easy regular reminder to have a moment of self-awareness. Every hot drink, try to take in the following: the heat of the cup on your lips, the texture of the material, your breath as it passes your lips and hits the top of the liquid. Try and notice the connection between your hand and the cup, the heat that’s passing between them and then take a slow inhalation. Appreciate the scent, try and notice something in it that you haven’t noticed before. And as you breathe back out, relax, then take a sip.
3) Press ‘pause’ before you react. Most of us will think we don’t have time to pause. But you do. If you notice a strong emotion coming over you – bad news in the office, perhaps something hasn’t turned out how you hoped, you should try and stop yourself before you react. Be aware of what you are feeling as it passes over your body. Let it happen, it’s your body naturally reacting, but then let it leave before you finally make your response. Watching your feelings come and go allows them to actually go and helps you make less compulsive responses.
4) Walk to a meeting mindfully. Pay attention to where the soles of your feet are touching the ground and how that feels. Try and notice the air, the temperature, the weight and feel of your clothes. Connect with the ground as you go from A to B. It will clear your head and straighten your thoughts prior to the important presentation or session you are going to.
5) Smile more. Make a point of smiling every time you look in the mirror. Often when you least feel like smiling, it’s the most beneficial time to do it. Smiling triggers the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which makes us feel good. So just smile. Make a habit of it.

One of the reasons it’s good to regularly meditate is so that in moments when you need to de-stress you can turn to a five minute meditation and it will calm you greatly. However, if you do not have a regular practice, this is a very hard thing to do and could prove stressful in itself.

Instead, start by doing a small amount of meditation every day – preferably when you are relaxed. Over time you will be able to then turn to it in negative moments when you need to control your responses.

perfectionist

How To Live As A Happy Perfectionist In 6 Steps

1024 576 Deborah Newton, life-coach for Clear Skies Coaching Limited

perfect

Perfectionism can lead us to achieve great things. A certain level can be healthy and can be motivating. But at its worst, it can be a contributor to anxiety, depression, eating disorders, relationship break-downs, obsessive compulsive disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome. It can mean we are caught in a cycle of self-blame and criticism if our ambitions are not met. We feel worthless because we are failing to reach (often unattainable) goals.

So how can we deal with the perfectionist self? Awareness of our perfectionism and accompanying self-criticism is the first step.

What Do We Mean By Perfectionism?
Perfectionism has been defined in psychology (Stoeber & Childs 2010) as “a personality disposition characterised by an individual striving for flawlessness and setting excessively high performance standards, accompanied by overly critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others’ evaluations.”

Perfection

The Infectiousness of Perfectionism
Perfectionism may be present in many areas of your life: relationships, fitness and diet, hobbies and interests. Even personal development can turn into a self-flagellation exercise with a focus on attaining perfection or indeed ‘enlightenment’.

Being a perfectionist may have served you very well as a lawyer. Accuracy, a keen attention to detail, doing a ‘good job’, or simply striving for excellence, are all attributes which spring to mind. You may find that your clients are happy, as your work is of a high standard. Friends and acquaintances may well admire you for your perceived success. But how do you feel on the inside?

Beware The Uphill Battle
Perfectionism can feel like running on a treadmill. And it can come in any of the following guises:

• You generally think you could do better. Extreme perfectionism comes from a source of feeling deeply flawed; not being good enough.

• You often compare yourself to others.

• You believe you will feel happier or better about yourself when you’ve reached the bar you’ve set for yourself.
• You categorise things in a black or white fashion: good or bad, success or failure, right or wrong. There is no in-between.
• When things don’t go as you had hoped, you blame yourself. It’s your fault. You’re a failure.
• If you do achieve what you set out to achieve, you assume you got lucky; people felt sorry for you; the bar was too low.
• You focus on results, and dismiss effort and intention as irrelevant.
• Hobbies are less about enjoyment but more about achieving or reaching perfection.
• You focus on self-improvement. You rarely acknowledge your achievements. Any feelings of satisfaction at achieving certain things are only temporary.
• You take criticism as negative and personal.
• You spend a long time on tasks, pouring over details. Ultimately making you less efficient.
• You avoid certain situations for fear of not being good enough in front of people. The irony with being a perfectionist is that it can sometimes stop us from achieving what we are trying to do well!

How To Be A Happy Perfectionist
1. Be conscious of your perfectionist traits and the impact they may be having on your daily life.
2. Notice any thoughts you have of self-judgment. Recognise them for what they are – thoughts. See if you can catch your thoughts before you become embroiled in a destructive cycle of self-criticism.
3. Be mindful of high bars you’re setting for yourself. See if you can accept a lower, more attainable bar. Perhaps you could aim for 80% instead of 100%? A perfectionist’s ‘80%’ often equates to someone else’s 100%…
4. Accept your mistakes! OK, I know it’s easy for me to write that – none of us want to make mistakes. But mistakes in life are inevitable. It’s how we react to them that’s important. We can actively choose to learn from mistakes and move on from them.
5. Don’t define yourself by a list of achievements or external factors. Acknowledge your positive traits and qualities.
6. Treat yourself with the same loving kindness you would treat someone dear to you. You deserve it, even when you do make a mistake…

And remember, what we perceive as a ‘mistake’ may well turn out to be the best thing that could have happened to us.

 

OfficeSmilerHeader

Confessions of a Mindful Lawyer

1024 576 Richard Russeth

happy working

“You can observe a lot just by watching” – Yogi Berra

Mindfulness For All You Skeptical Lawyers – Apparently, there are a lot of you. You mindfulness skeptics.

 

Probably not surprising that there would be skeptics about a technique called mindfulness meditation that pretty much involves doing “nothing” for 20 or so minutes each and every day. America as a culture is an overachiever’s dream. Doing nothing is really not widely accepted as…well…acceptable. According to the International Labor Organization (part of the UN): “Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers, and 499 more hours per year than French workers.”

You might not be surprised to discover that working longer hours means more stress. And no one works longer hours than lawyers, am I right? 80% of stress is work related in the average person’s life. Employers worth their salt are pretty much always trying to find ways to reduce stress, understanding the stress contributes to a host of physical ailments from cardiovascular disease to depression.

Currently, mindfulness meditation is gaining a lot of attention at present as the “flavor” of the month in business circles and as such it’s garnering its share of skeptics as well.

But mindfulness meditation is more than a flavor of the month! Since 1978 it has been on a slow but steady growth rate of acceptance and understanding of its benefits as a result of the hard work of Jon Kabat- Zinn, who, in 1978, founded the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and developed Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program.

Kabat-Zinn stripped the religious trappings from the meditation process and kept what he needed to assist people in dealing with stress. Mindfulness is not a pursuit of some esoteric enlightenment; rather, mindfulness seeks to help find a meaningful life right here and right now. Mindfulness meditation reduces stress and helps us have a more meaningful life by slowing our thoughts down, seeing the stories we tell ourselves over and over as just that – stories and finding a way to be present in our lives right now rather than living in the past or ruminating about the future.

The benefits of mindfulness are being recognized by leading universities and research facilities. Even the Harvard Business Review is publishing articles explaining the benefits to individuals and organizations: “…by paying attention to what’s going on around us, instead of operating on auto-pilot, we can reduce stress, unlock creativity, and boost performance.”

What business or professional wouldn’t want those benefits from something as simple as practicing a technique that takes all of ten to twenty minutes a day?

To learn more about mindfulness meditation or MBSR these resources are a useful start:

Thanks for reading.

Danny

How’s Your Work Life Balance?

1024 651 Clare Evans, Personal and Business Coach

Worklife balance

Do you ever feel that your work life balance is slightly out of kilter? Are you spending more time at work than you’d like? Perhaps you’ve realised that your working day has become extended longer and longer and you often find you’re working late into the evening or at weekends.

If you think parts of your life might need a little attention, take a look at each of the following areas. Give each one a score out of 10. If one or more areas are out of balance or lower than the rest – you’ll no doubt be feeling tired, stressed and unhappy.
Health – being fit and healthy.
Are you with the optimum weight range for your height? Do you exercise regularly or are you generally active? How’s your diet – do you rely on sweet snacks, caffeine and alcohol to keep you going? When was the last time you had a health check – visited the dentist, got your eyes tested, checked your blood pressure?
Money – having enough to meet your needs.
How often do you balance your personal finances? Do you know what you need each month? What debts do you have – credit card bills or loans? How well do you manage your expenses, investments and savings? Are you financially secure?

Personal Growth – improve your knowledge and skills.
Are you able to work on your own personal development? What can you do this year to improve your own situation or to learn a new skill. Are there any habits you’d like to change?
Partner/Relationship – being happy.
There’s nothing wrong with being single as long as you’re happy with where you are? If you’re in a relationship do you understand your partner’s needs and are they a priority? How much time do you spend together and apart? Are effectively do you communicate?
Social Life – time to relax and enjoy yourself.
How regularly do you take time out for yourself doing something you enjoy? When was the last time you went to the cinema, theatre, restaurant or treated yourself? When we’re busy this is an area that often gets neglected.
Career/Business – enjoy your work.
How enjoyable and fulfilling is your work? Are you able to improve your career prospects, gain promotion or plan for your retirement? How is your relationship with your boss, colleagues and others around you?
Friends/Family – spend time with them.
Do you see your family regularly? Is there someone you haven’t spoken to for a while? Pick up the phone and talk to them today. What could you do to spend more time with your friends and family?
Physical Environment – enjoy your surroundings.
Where you live and work has an important effect on how you feel day to day. Is your office organised and a great place to work? If you’re not happy and comfortable, think about what you can do to improve it – inside and out.
If you score less that 5 in any area, focus on that area first. What action could you take to make a change? What would it take to score a 9-10 in every area?

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