Updated: Nov 25, 2019
When was the last time you just stopped?
Stopped doing what you were doing, took 5 mins for yourself, not looking at your phone, not talking to others, not busying yourself doing domestic chores....really STOPPED?
Our lives are so hectic and busy but do we make our lives busy to avoid dealing with things, issues, events?
Maybe we find ourselves losing time because we've been scrolling through social media for the upteenth time gaining nothing in knowledge but then suddenly realising we've missed out on what's going on around us?
Perhaps you are genuinely busy from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed ...?
I know I probably fall into the first 2 camps if I'm honest. Yes I am busy with work and family life, but I also know I make myself busy (in part because I want to make the most of my time) but a lot of it is so that I don't have to stop and actually deal with problems that arise (because that involves dealing with emotions and then that all gets messy right?!)
And the other is, I know that, yes, whilst I do use social media inherently for my business, I, like so many, get caught up scrolling through a news feed when I could have been pro-active or taken actual time out for myself or my kids.
However, whichever camp you fall in to, it becomes easy to slowly feel more and more overwhelmed, by life, your own and others expectations as well as what you feel are your obligations to others.
I see this more and more with clients and have been trying to find ways to help them work through this by applying myself to some soul searching and recognising areas that I need to try and control as well as other areas where I have to accept I have no control over.
These are some of the tools I have used with both myself and clients to help them open up and reconnect with themselves to feel more positive. Like exercise it's not a quick fix but something you have to do daily. Some days are hard, other days are easier. But even if its only a couple of these things that you do on a daily basis, the more it becomes a habit the more positive you will feel doing something for YOU!
- Crying / Letting Go
- Walking (or any exercise for that matter that gets you outdoors)
- Finding a hobby
Yoga became something I started doing for 10 mins every morning, initially to stretch myself out. If you'd asked me about Yoga even a few years ago i would have poo-poohed it as a bit airy fairy. But the more I practiced it, the more I recognised the other benefits such as improved balance, strength, coordination, flexibility and breathing.
The focus needed within Yoga meant I really had to use the mind - body connection which I have always used within weight training. I have used Yoga to assist my clients in post workout stretching and to help release tension whether physically or mentally. This has since led me to complete my training as a teacher within Ashtanga Vinyasa practice.
For more information on private 121 Yoga sessions from January 2020 click on the link https://www.energisept.co.uk/training-services
The simple art of breathing. We take it for granted, but when did you stop, breathe in deeply and breathe out slowly, concentrating only on your breath?
Whether in Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi or similar the use and control of breath can
really help you to calm your mind and place your emotional / mental health in a better more logical state.
There are also some great apps out there such as Headspace, Prana Breath and even options on your smart watches and phones these days. It's a great way to refocus your mind. Also, the simple art of breathing deeply has so many other major benefits, including;
- Lowers the hormone cortisol / stress levels (particularly anxiety or depression)
- Lowers your heart rate and blood pressure
- Improves core muscle stability
- Cope with symptons of post traumatic stress
- Improves your body's ability to tolerate intense exercise
Try it now.... BREATHE
Concentrate on just your breathing
Breathe in and out with the ball
As you slow your breath can you feel your heart rate slow down, tension in your body release, anxieties diminish?
A great way to calm our mind but also to focus on the positives in our life rather than purely the negatives is to have a notebook to reflect on things that have made you grateful for the day. It is said that if you do this regularly for just 30 days you can change your anxious or negative mindset into a positive focussed one.
I have attached a journal keeper for you to try out covering these three main things:
- 3 things you were grateful for yesterday
- 5 things that bring you happiness
- 2 things you want to achieve today
Of course there are many apps and journals you can get these days, although I do think the art of writing with pen and paper is a pleasure in itself rather than using technology
Let's be honest here, it's the buzzword of the moment and I think people still think somehow they have to be monk like or frankly a bit out there to be doing this. But if you can nail a bit of breathing, then meditation is a great add on tool that you can do last thing before bed or anytime of the day when you just need to refocus your mind, remove the brain chatter and understand your pain.
There are numerous types of meditation including mindfulness, transcendental and kundalini among the more popular or well known ones...for more information on how to get started;
CRYING / LETTING GO / SAYING WHAT YOU THINK
It is becoming a more accepted part of our society that if you feel sad then feel sad, don't bottle it up. But many people still do exactly that, bottle things up, never talking, allowing their emotions to build up more and more increasingly overwhelmed until one day something as simple as dropping a phone or breaking a cup seems like the worst disaster and then you break down. Now, that may be that you cry or simply collapse to the floor.
But the release of all that pent up emotion may have been lessened had you recognised the problem face on and just let it out there rather than allow things to build up.
Angry, frustrated, confused, upset, whatever it may be, talk about it, write it down, cry about it but whatever the problem find a way to vent it. No one can read your mind but they may be able to help you if you discuss it. Equally though, if you have decided to work through things alone, then journal your feelings, write it all out, no one can comment or criticize but you may be able to re read over this and recognise where you can change your mindset or change a situation that you have created for yourself.
"crying helps our body physically calm down after a stressful or emotional ordeal by regulating things like body temperature and blood pressure." Part of a study on the effects of crying conducted at Tilburg University in the Netherlands.
WALKING (GETTING OUTDOORS)
It's free, it gets you outdoors and more importantly its great for your health in so many ways!
Fresh air has been shown to help digest food more effectively, improve blood pressure and heart rate, and strengthen the immune system, leading to a healthier you. “Time spent in outdoor recreation leads to a range of benefits, from reduced obesity rates to strengthened family ties,” according to Robert Manning, professor of recreation management at the University of Vermont.
And, quite frankly, it’s more enjoyable.
It makes you happier. “We found that positive emotions are associated with a range of long-term health habits,” writes researcher Nancy L Sin, “which are important for reducing the risk of future heart problems and death. Higher levels of positive emotions were associated with less smoking, greater physical activity, better sleep quality and more adherence to medications at baseline.”
GET A HOBBY
Has there always been something you have fancied doing but never really been sure how to get started? Maybe you loved dancing, climbing, sewing, building models etc when you were younger and wish you could do that now.....well, why not?
Stop limiting your own beliefs of what you can and can't do and start doing for your own personal growth and more importantly, happiness. If you do something you love, it's not a chore, it is something you actively look forward to, whether developing your emotional, intellectual or physical abilities. It's great to be able to switch off your mind to the everyday stresses of life and focus, even if it is for just one hour, on something that brings you genuine joy!
Business Owners Take Note!
Better Work Performance
A study of 400 employees published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology finds marked differences between those who engage in creative hobbies and those who do not.
Having a creative hobby is associated with positive work-related traits, like creativity on projects and a better attitude on the job.
Other research shows that employees with hobbies are more satisfied with their jobs and have a lower likelihood of burning out.
Improved Physical Health
A study conducted by several psychologists of about 1,400 people found that people who said they engaged in enjoyable leisure activities had lower blood pressure, total cortisol, waist circumference and body mass index.
In other words, even low-movement hobbies like knitting, crafting and guitar are connected to better health
Engaging in a mentally stimulating hobby reduces stress, according to research by Matthew Zawadzki, a health psychologist at the University of California, Merced.
Zawadzki’s study shows that leisure activity can provide immediate stress relief, which has been shown to have numerous health and psychological benefits, like improved focus, happiness and a longer life
REMEMBER. IF NOTHING ELSE.
THIS IS YOUR LIFE, NO ONE ELSE'S.
MAKE THIS YOUR VERY BEST LIFE.
BE EVERYTHING YOU EVER DREAMED YOU COULD BE.
In the meantime, check out my website www.energisept.co.uk and subscribe to my newsletter if you haven't already, for all the latest news updates, special offers and class information.
Have a fantastic day!