Inspiring Wellness Tips and Strategies
Try this quick breathing tip to calm your mind . . .
Calming my mind is not easy. Here’s how I have started to calm my mind. So I’ve dabbled in yoga since 2014. I’ve always known the endless benefits of yoga however the core foundation, which I had never mastered, is the breathing. Breathwork equips us to handle stress, anxiety and lingering trauma. Six years later I have won gold and finally know how to do Ujjayi breathing.
Ujjayi translates as victorious. When done correctly Ujjayi breathing is both energising and relaxing. Ujjayi is an active form of meditation that allows us to disconnect from the mind and be guided by our body and heart. It works because when I’m ujjayi breathing, I’m concentrating on my breath and I am not in my head. Meaning I’m present and my non-stop thinking mind is calm.
To practise Ujjayi breathing first the mouth is always closed as you breathe in and out of your nose. Next the sound of Ujjayi breathing is created by gently constricting the opening of your throat, this causes your in breath to be heard. Once this is done slowly breathe in, like sipping through a straw. What I do is think about breathing into my mouth. Then slowly breathe out. Repeat and keep going. Focus on creating a soothing sound that is unhurried and unforced. The sound is similar to when I am scuba diving with the oxygen mask on, it’s also like the sound of the ocean waves rolling in and out.
Would you like to be more present in the moment?
Would you like to be more present in the moment and truly enjoy the friends, family, scenery or activity around you? Everyone talks about practising Mindfulness, which I definitely have not mastered. Something that has greatly helped me is breathing. Yes, it sounds so simple and it is.
Breathing is actually the foundation of Mindfulness. Breathing helps slow everything down, calms your mind and body and bring you into the present moment. There are numerous ways you can practise mindful breathing, you can start by first being aware of your breath, be aware as your breaths come and go, like the ocean waves. Each time you breathe out, you can let go and release your thoughts about the past & future. A few breathing practises to try are:
Feel your breathing. Place one hand on your chest and feel your breath moving into and out of your body.
Breathe slowly and deeply. Inhale through your nose slowly to a count of five. Pause and hold your breath for a count of three then breathe out slowly, then repeat.
Use your imagination. Breathe in like you’re smelling the scent of a flower. Breathe out like you’re blowing bubbles.
Just focus on breathing in and then breathing out, that’s mindful breathing. Remember to take time to simple “be”, and “be present” by taking one to two breaths you will “be”.
Are you feeling weighed down about 2020?
Are you feeling weighed down, or anxious or already behind the eight ball, about how you are going to achieve your goals for 2020? First were you present when you set your goals? In today’s world most people are so stressed, overwhelmed or rushing non-stop they set unrealistic goals. An example; if in the past you have failed to take action towards a goal, chances are that you have not set a goal that is inspirational enough to part of yourself or to your whole self.
By being present there are oodles of wellbeing benefits, not just for goal setting either. Living in the moment, is each meeting you have, everything you experience is a unique treasure that will never be repeated again. So, if you let it slip away without enjoying it, the moment will be lost forever. The Japanese call this ichigo ichie and by becoming aware and practicing it, will help you to take your foot off the accelerator and remember each morning you spend in the world, every moment you spend with your loved ones is infinitely valuable and deserves your full attention.
Goethe quotes “Nothing is worth more than this day”, I quote “Nothing is worth more than this moment”. Try living more in the moment, it will allow you to lead a happier and more fulfilled life. You’ll learn to live fully in the present, acknowledging and appreciating the gift of life and every moment.
Life is precious, your are precious, we are all . . .
Life is precious, you are precious, we are all precious and ultimately, we all want to be happy, healthy and loved. One sure thing to achieving this, is to know your core values.
Making decisions that are based on your core values will always lead to increased fulfilment because there’s no greater feeling of wellbeing than living the full expression of who you are. When you honour your values, you are in harmony with yourself. The process of identifying your core values is one of the most important actions you will ever take.
When you don’t know why you do what you do, more often than not you end up doing things you don’t really want to do. This is why a lot of people feel unhappy, annoyed, unappreciated or burnt out.
Would you get on a boat, bus or plane if you didn’t know where it was going? Generally, in life we are lost without a map, plan or a goal. Do you have a plan or goals for 2020?
What’s your biggest concern right now? Remember it’s one precious life, so take time out and identify you core values. Make a plan for 2020, put small steps in place to start the transformation to be happier, healthier and more loveable. Invest in you and your wellbeing, you are absolutely and unquestionably worth it. Start exploring, evolving and thriving, today.
Contact me for a template on setting your goals for 2020
Four simple ideas to have a stress-free festive season . . .
Chances are this time of the year is not so jolly for you. Full of extra stressors like requests of loved ones, family awkwardness, financial pressures, ongoing social events, time constraints and the constant balance of your wellbeing. Try these four impactful ideas to enjoy “the season to be jolly”.
– Put you first
Getting pulled in multiple directions with all the social and family obligations are inevitable and can get overwhelming. Prioritising your selfcare is hands-down the best thing you can do for a calmer, stress-free holiday season.
– Savour the moments
Neuroscience research confirms that people who take in the good things and focus on the positive tend to be happier, have lower feelings of depression, and greater satisfaction with life. Moments with loved ones can be fleeting so savour them.
– Slow down
It’s so nourishing to find a few wellbeing moments amid the chaos around you, instead of adding to it. Carve out some you time in your schedule to do whatever it is you love doing to revitalise and centre you.
– Invest in you
Give yourself the gift of wellness. Life is precious. You are precious. Attached are wellness gift ideas for you or loved ones. Being stress-free is contagious and a wise investment.
What’s your highest priority in your one precious life? . . .
Daily in both our professional and personal life, everything is a priority. Employees, employers, senior managers, business owners, mums, dads ……everyone comes to think of it, often become stressed out, overwhelmed, suffer with anxiety because they have competing priorities and don’t know what to attend to first.
I know, and research confirms, your number one priority for your wellbeing is to take care of you. When we are taking care of ourselves, yes that means making ourselves our top priority, we get more out of life. We are healthier, happier and thriving.
If you have no time set aside for taking care of you because it’s not a priority in your life, it’s saying that you don’t prioritise your own wellbeing. In my opinion this is self-abuse.
Write down three wellbeing actions/habits/activities that you would like to do. Think about if you were to take that action or make that change, what difference or impact it would it have on your life and the achievement of these wellbeing goals.
Schedule these goals in. It doesn’t just help in remembering them, it makes your mind more efficient by helping you focus on the truly important stuff, and you are 42% more likely to achieve them. Wellbeing needs to be everyone’s number one priority and implemented in their life, especially professionally.
Water is the most important substance we will ever . . .
Water is the most important substance we will ever put into our bodies, next to oxygen. With water shortages gripping the country, and urgently needed for the bush fires, it’s also essential for human survival.
A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy, short term memory loss, constipation, aches, pains, fatigue, yawning, moody behaviour and cravings for sugar.
Our blood is mostly water, this water supports our body functioning at an optimum, every moment of every day. Water carries toxins out of cells and transports nutrients in. Water is found in every cell in our body: bones, eyes, lymph nodes, heart, lungs, liver, muscles, joints, your brain is 92% water. We adults are 75% water, children are even higher. Adults lose up to 12 cups of water per day and children lose 8 cups. If you don’t replenish what you lose daily, you become dehydrated and over time this can lead to illness and disease. It’s recommended that we drink a litre per 25 kilograms of body weight per day. If you are struggling to achieve this, type “water challenge needed” below.
A few of the benefits of water are it helps you live a longer, healthier life, it boosts skin wellness and it reduces the chance of a hangover. Salute, Good Health people, with a glass of vino rosso followed by a glass of water ….. of course!
Grounding it sounds a bit woo woo, out there but . . .
Here I am facilitating a wellness workshop, one easy to do method to be more relaxed and present is grounding to Mother Earth. Apparently, it sounds woo woo, out there, a bit like tree hugging. It kinda is, it’s standing or sitting, with the soles of your bare feet, or the palms of your hands, connecting directly to the surface of the planet.
When the skin comes into contact with the ground, the human body becomes a sponge that soaks up negatively charged electrons from the earth. Research in 2017, that summarised 12 international peer reviewed reports, confirmed these electrons are a kind of electric nutrition, with potent and rapid anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. The evidence confirms that grounding is simple, natural, healing and an accessible strategy to reduce non-communicable diseases.
I do this for a minimum of twenty minutes each day, it’s a deal breaker for me. If you are wanting to be less stressed, sleep better, feel healthier and not so overwhelmed with life, challenge yourself to really change the way you spend time, and your team members, and the environment you are in. Set aside a certain amount of time each week for outdoor events and being in nature. For your next staff meeting or workshop, hold it outside amongst nature and get grounded to the earth. You will be amazed at how relaxed you and everyone else becomes. Take time out for you, get into nature today.
Rocking and rolling in mother nature, she works . . .
Mother Nature she rocks and works. I have found that by getting people outdoors, in mother nature, grounding to the surface of the earth, syncing to the energies of the flora and fauna, especially the trees, leads to a healthier and happier person. Consequently, my workplace wellness “Mother Nature Works” workshops have been truly rocking.
Research confirms this, in July 2018, the University of East Anglia gathered evidence from 140 reports, over 20 countries involving 290 million people to see if Mother Nature really does provide a health boost. The report revealed that having exposure to nature reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, preterm birth, stress, depression and high blood pressure.
Strategies are simple and straightforward. Get into nature as much as possible. Go outside, bring friends or go alone, breathe, take it all in, be present as much as possible. Ways to get started are, eating lunch outside, change your walk to work, the more greenery the environment the better. At home or when you are dinning out have dinner outside, have a picnic, when you are at a café sit outdoors, exercise outdoors, take up hiking, read a book at the beach or under a tree, join a walking group, play outside with your children or firkids, keep dancing – rocking and rolling in mother nature, she works.
What type of relationships do you have . . .
Do you maintain supportive and diverse relationships? Relationships are the central part of life and also the hardest part of life. Yet our schools teach us a minimum of 13 years of English and Math but nothing about relationships and how to make them work.
If your parents educated you about how to have healthy, honest, and authentic personal and professional relationships with people from all walks of life, then you are indeed blessed. Actually, no person can give you all the recipes there, even parents can only set you up with basics. Because much depends on your character and your individual circumstances. Relationships are a necessary part of healthy and successful living. Healthy relationships enrich your live and add to your enjoyment of being alive. Do you:
-Take the time to reply to personal correspondence? e.g. schedule quality time every week to follow up with friends/family.
– Schedule regular time with treasured people in your life? e.g. date night with a special person/friend.
– Ask for help when you need it? e.g. phone a friend or have a working bee.
– Have healthy working hours? e.g. arriving and leaving work at reasonable times?
– End relationships that no longer serve you? e.g. reduce your Facebook friends.
– Attend functions where you can meet new people? e.g. party or ‘meet up’ event.
And don’t forget, the relationship you can always boost up is the one you have with yourself.
There is a decent chance that you are lonely . . .
Alarmingly, the latest Australian Loneliness Report 2018 revealed one in four Australians confirmed feeling lonely each week. The report highlighted that one in two Australians sometimes or always feel alone.
When we are not being connected to others it can take a tremendous toll on our relationships, health, wellbeing, and our survival. The issue is so prevalent, and its effects are so damaging, that experts warn of a loneliness epidemic that could be our next public health crisis.
Tips to overcome loneliness:
– Understand and acknowledge your loneliness.
– Don’t be afraid of showing the authentic you.
– Deal with the stress of putting yourself out there.
– Don’t be afraid of small talk.
– Build relationships through listening.
– Seek treatment for underlying mental health issues.
– Harness the power of technology for good.
– Join a special interest group.
– Look out for the people in your community and workplace.
Are you ok day? Needs to be everyday . . .
In Australia, the 12th September is “Are you ok?” day It’s all about having a conversation with people where you could change their life. It is creating awareness to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with the people around them and start a conversation with anyone who may be struggling with life.
I enthusiastically believe in this day, and even more so that, it needs to be every day that we check in on those around us. I ask this question daily, personally and professionally. I do this verbal, via emails and texting. I usually ask the question “I hope you and your world are all good?” then I listen mindfully to the response.
You don’t need to be an expert to reach out – just a caring friend and a great listener. A tip to being a great listener, is to put yourself in the other persons shoes – try and image what they are going through. Show empathy and compassion. The R U OK? organisation recommends using these four steps:
1. Ask are you ok?
3. Encourage action.
4. Check in.
If your intuition is telling you that someone you know or care about isn’t behaving as they normally would? Perhaps they seem out of sorts, or moody, or withdrawn. Trust your gut instinct and ask the question. Are you ok? You may not be able to solve their concerns, what you can do is support them to find someone that can help.
Letting the unimportant things go, you create . . .
Was there a time in your life when you wanted to do it all? When you wanted to fit everything in? Yet for years you resisted the idea that you would have to let some things go. There was a time when I was determined to be the perfectionist in everything that I did. Which I finally realised was a total recipe for stress, exhaustion, not being present, not “smelling the roses” and fundamental self-abuse.
So, I decided that by making choices, by letting some things go, I would make space for new things to grow. Instead of being the perfectionist, I now think of myself as the high achiever. I proudly set healthy boundaries for my life. Daily I integrate and maintain selfcare time into my busy schedule. To do this I had to change my existing lifestyle behaviours by letting certain things go.
Try it today. Letting the unimportant things go, you create space in your life for new things to root & grow.
But first, you need to go through the painful process of letting some things go and the swirl of emotions that come along such as; guilt, failure, not-good-enough, regret, frustration, sadness, disappointment.
Once you do this, then you have the space (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) to create the type of life that you truly want. Plus, it feels so good! Uplifting, Empowering, Spacious, Grounded, Present, Creative, Powerful, Supported, Freedom.
Authentic friends, especially in your workplace, can . . .
Few things have such a huge impact on happiness and the enjoyment, depth and plain fun of life as the friendships we have. It could be the friendships with our partners, family members, work colleagues and the people we have known for a few years now or since we were kids. Or even with people we have never even met at the other side of the world or the pets we love.
Authentic friends, especially in your workplace, can enrich your life and improve your health. Friends can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times. Friends prevent loneliness and gives you a chance to offer needed companionship, too. Friendship helps increase your sense of belonging and purpose, boost your happiness reducing stress, improve your self-confidence and self-worth, help you cope with traumas and encourage you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits. I live by the following quotes on friendship:
“What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others” Confucius
“When you judge someone, it says more about you, unless you really have walked a mile in their shoes” Edward Mills
“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out” Walter Winchell
“Be yourself: everyone else is already taken” Oscar Wilde
“If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you” Winnie the Pooh
Reduce multitasking, it will change your life . . .
How often do you multitask? In particular, how often do you mix family/friend time with other time? You know, the way you’re kind of hanging out with your loved ones and still doing something else. It may be reading a text, checking emails, scrolling on Instagram, liking on Facebook, watching a show, reading a book, talking on your mobile while driving and whatever else.
It usually doesn’t satisfy either well because multitasking is distracting. When a person is focused on multiple tasks, they are distracted from everything else. Sure, multitasking in some cases you can be more efficient however in most cases it leads to a compromise in quality, and in this instance quality time.
If you’re in a situation where you can be totally present with your loved ones and for example talk together or play a game together and be in the moment together that’s golden. You’ve got it good. Generally, the rest of the world, especially in the western world – developed countries, struggles with the quality time balance here.
By changing one lifestyle habit of reducing multitasking you will be able to cherish – your family and loved ones more. Show them. Connect with them. Life is precious, priceless and quality time together with loved ones you’ll never get it back. Savour it and appreciate it.
We usually only take time out when we become ill !
Our need for time in which to do what we choose is increasingly urgent in our overconnected, overwhelmed and overstimulated world. We usually only take time out when we become ill or when we are so overtired, we can’t function. For some reason having “me time” is complicated by negative thoughts, of guilt, regret, escapism as well as being associated with being too overwhelmed, fatigue or stressed to truly benefit from it. My suggestion is to stop feeling guilty for having “me time”, change your mindset to having guilt free “me time”. Everyone needs to view “me time” as an important preventative health care activity, as it is vital for your health and wellbeing. Here are some examples of “me time”, and for best practice, all are to be done without having your mobile phone with you.
– having a bath
– playing a music instrument
– going for a walk
– sitting in a cafe having a coffee
– cooking with your favourite music
– relaxing on a park bench
– flicking through a magazine
– reading a book
– fifteen minutes of tai chi or yoga
– listening to music
– playing with animals – a puppy/kitten
– admiring a magnificent view
– a practice of stillness
– lie with your legs up the wall
– making a sandcastle!
Living with a kind heart is mind-blowingly . . .
From Tibetan Buddhism – Taming the Wild Horse (or some say Monkey) of the Mind. The practise of cultivating lovingness, kindness and compassion – living with a kind heart – is mind-blowingly and profoundly transformative. When we are focusing on it – a kind heart – it decreases our selfishness, therefore so does our other mental thoughts and emotions i.e.: anger, stress, depression, annoyance, unhappiness, as these emotions decrease, positivity within ourselves increases.
It sounds so easy, change your thoughts to lovingness, kindness and compassion and you change your life. It really is simple; you can start today. Ask yourself “How can I have a kind heart?” A few suggestions: smile more often, help a friend/colleague at work, share food or items that you have, have small talk – sincerely ask someone at work how they are & be present to their response, pick up some litter, don’t rush to be first in the queue, write a thank you letter/text to someone.
Remember small changes can bring about big emotional, spiritual, physical and mental change, these are also connected to your relationships, profession and core values, and they all enable you to be living a better life.
Sending lovingness, kindness and compassion to all living beings on magnificent mother earth puts a smile on my dial. Try it!
Some people say that worrying can be useful . . .
Some people say that worrying can be useful. It can be good to think about possible problems so that you can work out how to address them. It can be beneficial and at times we all need to be prepared. However, far too many people only think about what could go wrong and all the doom and gloom it will bring. Not only do people think about what could go wrong, they end up going over and over possible problems again and again, consuming their thoughts, so they are stuck in their mind. Simultaneously, this takes people away from being present in their day to day life. The majority of people are extremely conditioned, or some people generally do forget, to think about what could go right!
The more positive thoughts and solutions you think about, the more you are going to find, and the more positive solutions you find, the more you will search for more. By activating positive thoughts to avoid your worrying, you will start to feel better. Even more beneficial is the more practiced you become at thinking positive thoughts and finding positive solutions, rather than worrying or stressing or being optimistic, it will become your dominant habit.
Rather than worrying, let positive emotions flood through you in response to your thoughts and focus on them. I can assure you; you will wish to ride the positive, “I feel good dan-nan-nan-nar” feeling, wave longer.
Are you wanting more time for you?
Do you wish you had more time for yourself? The amount of times, I have heard people say this to me. I have found that when I live by one of my core values which I have turned into a quote “You can’t pour from an empty coffee pot you need to take care of yourself first”, that I have time for me. I feel calmer, happier, healthier and have energy throughout the day. I love having the time and energy for horizontal exercising in the evenings too!
When we always prioritise the needs of others, putting our needs last, we can only operate with what is left, what energy, love and attention we have left to give, leaving little for our own needs. Our energy is depleted until we have nothing left to give, and then no one benefits, least of all ourselves. When this happens, it is of greatest importance and time to refill your coffee pot. We can’t control others and how they fill or don’t fill their coffee pot, but we can certainly control ourselves and how to refill our coffee pot.
When you take care of yourself, studies prove within the workplace, there are a myriad of benefits such as; you have reduced stress, increased job satisfaction, improved sense of wellbeing, positive staff relationships and an overall greater capacity to enjoy all aspects of life, at work and at home.
p.s. Yes, I am an absolute coffee nutter and coffee lover,
The many benefits of Appreciation!
Appreciation. Do you appreciate your life? and do you appreciate all that you have in your life? When was the last time you looked around your immediate surroundings and noticed something that pleases you? When did you look at something and think how beautiful, amazing, useful, practical, well-made, artistic or exquisite it is?
When we appreciated things, we have positive feelings and consequently our overall mindset and feelings improve. Appreciating those good feelings is absolutely to be appreciated too.
Right now, take a few moments look at something that makes you smile – even if you’re smiling on the inside. Appreciate it. See the beauty in it. Think of why it makes you smile? This automatically puts your mind into a feel good place. Then with that same feel good feeling look at something else that makes you smile and do it all again. If you keep this act of appreciation going it will change your whole day. Once you start to see the beauty in what is all around you, you change your thoughts, which changes your feelings and therefore changes your behaviour. Appreciation, it is such a small act and can easily change your life.
I’m appreciating; my view of pine trees, sunlight, blue skies, nature, birds, tranquillity . . . bliss!
When did you last switch off?
Do what makes your soul shine?
Already the number of people taking wellness trips to revitalise is on the rise from 1 in 10 (2018) to 1 in 5 (2019). Maintaining your individual wellness has never been in greater demand. Not everyone can afford to have a wellness retreat or a weekend away. So here is 90 words of Positive Psychology. Read it and practice one of the behaviours each day. Or print it out so that it can remind you to be more positive. When we are positive it enables us to be happier. When we have positive awareness it can create a ripple effect that can change the lives of countless individuals, in particular those surrounding you.
Live courageously, through creation and adversity. Take maximum responsibility. Belong. Share a purpose. Fulfilment over instant gratification. Resilience over happiness. Gratitude over habituation. Savour the good. Work from strengths, in flow, autonomously. Less comfort, more growth. Realise meaning by helping others. Kindness as religion. Give, give, give, receive. Passion over profit. Laugh and play while you can. Explore your ego, check the narrative. Reflect don’t ruminate. Just be, mindfully present. Forgive. Accept yourself, unconditionally. Love what’s broken. Embrace the uncontrollable. Hug one second longer. Do what makes your soul shine!
When you are happy, you do more!
Happiness inspires productivity. When we are happy, we do more. Employee wellness is a significant concern for organisations today. With increasing high rates of depression, poor work-life balance, and stress disorders among professionals promoting happiness at work is a sheer necessity. One method is positive psychology.
Positive psychology is uniquely solution-focused. It is not merely a remedy for problems. It is a visionary change to look into the same things with a different perspective. By making us more aware of our inner strength and capabilities, it helps us to see the positive around us and make our life more worthy and fulfilling.
Positive psychology helps us look at life with optimism, allow us to appreciate the present, lets us accept and make peace with the past, helps us to be more grateful and forgiving, and helps us to look beyond momentary pleasures and pains of life.
One positive psychology technique that you can do is the “What went well” Exercise. For one week, including your days when you are not at work. Set aside some time each day for writing about three good things, big or small, that happened on that day. Each day when you have completed the exercise, reflect back on it, and absolutely celebrate your achievements and successes.
A big bravo to Jacinda Ahern!
BRAVO!! Jacinda Ardern (New Zealand’s Prime Minister) is creating the world’s first “wellbeing’ budget, to help with mental health, domestic violence and child poverty. The budget will factor explicit measures of public welfare alongside economic growth. A monumental step forward in recognising the future of one’s wellness and wellbeing is absolutely essential. So what is the meaning of wellness and why it does it matter?
Wellness is an active process that considers a person’s emotional, physical, mental and spiritual state to achieve a balanced – happy and healthy – life. The National Wellness Institute of Australia defines wellness as “our physical, social, emotional, work, spiritual values, and intellectual lives, along with our cultural values, environment and finances all impact upon each other and our overall balance – our wellness.” Wellness is an evolving process of change and growth that enables optimal living, relative to an individual. Wholistic wellness matters, because it is fundamental to living a healthy, happy life. Our wellness directly affects our emotions, actions and the ability to manage and be resilient to the challenges of contemporary society.
What is one small change that you can do today, to invest in your wellness to improve your wellbeing?