mindfulness

The Many Benefits of Slowing Down

It’s easy to get caught up in the constant motion and demands that surround us. However, taking the time to slow down and create space for stillness can have a profound impact on our personal growth and well-being. 

Create Space For Stillness: Finding moments of stillness can be incredibly powerful. Whether it’s through meditation, mindfulness practices, or simply taking a walk in nature, creating space for stillness allows you to quiet the mind and reconnect with yourself. 

Prioritize Self-Care: Self-care is often the first thing to go when life gets busy, but it’s also one of the most important aspects of personal growth. Taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally is essential for overall well-being. 

Set Boundaries: Learning to set boundaries is crucial for personal growth. It’s okay to say no to things that don’t align with your values or priorities. Setting boundaries allows you to protect your time and energy, ensuring that you’re focusing on the things that truly matter to you.

Simplify Your Schedule: Our lives are often filled with endless commitments and obligations, leaving little time for rest and reflection. Simplifying your schedule by cutting back on non-essential activities can help you create more space for the things that truly matter to you. By prioritizing your time and energy, you can focus on what’s most important and avoid burnout.

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A Guide to Finding Presence in Everyday Moments

Being present and mindful can significantly improve our overall well-being. Here are five ways to step out of autopilot and into your life:

Finding presence in the mundane:

Even the most mundane tasks, like washing dishes or folding laundry, can be an opportunity to practice mindfulness. Instead of rushing through these tasks, try to focus on the sensations and movements involved. Notice the warmth of the water, the texture of the fabric, or the rhythm of your breath. By bringing your attention to the present moment, you can turn these everyday activities into mindful practices.

Finding presence in stillness/waiting:

Waiting in line or sitting in traffic can be frustrating, but it can also be an opportunity to practice mindfulness. Instead of reaching for your phone or letting your mind wander, try to focus on your breath. Notice the sensation of each inhale and exhale. You can also use this time to observe your surroundings, noticing the sights, sounds, and smells around you. By bringing your attention to the present moment, you can turn waiting into a peaceful and grounding experience.

Finding presence in busyness:

When our schedules are packed, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. However, even in the midst of busyness, it’s possible to find moments of mindfulness. Try to focus on one task at a time, giving it your full attention. Notice the sensations involved in each activity, whether it’s typing on a keyboard or chopping vegetables. By approaching each task with mindfulness, you can cultivate a sense of calm and focus amidst the chaos.

Finding presence in interaction:

In our digital age, face-to-face interactions are becoming increasingly rare. When you’re engaging with others, whether it’s a friend, family member, or colleague, try to be fully present. Put away your phone and focus on the conversation at hand. Notice the other person’s body language and facial expressions. By giving your full attention to the interaction, you can deepen your connections and cultivate meaningful relationships.

Finding presence in the senses:

Our senses can be powerful anchors to the present moment. Take a moment to tune into each of your senses, noticing what you can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. You can do this anywhere, whether you’re outside in nature or inside your own home. By bringing your attention to your senses, you can connect more deeply with the world around you and experience each moment more fully.

By incorporating these five strategies into your daily routine, you can cultivate mindfulness and presence, leading to a more meaningful and fulfilling life.



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4 Tips for Mastering the Art of Lasting Resolutions

Embarking on New Year’s resolutions is a time-honored tradition.

But the reality is that most resolutions tend to fizzle out by the time January ends. However, with a strategic approach, especially focusing on the crucial element of self-confidence, resolutions can transform into lasting lifestyle changes. 

Whether it’s breaking free from procrastination, adopting healthier habits, or conquering personal challenges, the keys to lasting change are within reach.  

Let’s explore the importance of managing expectations, embracing inevitable lapses, and respecting the power of temptations to ensure your resolutions stand the test of time.

Acknowledge Imperfections

Willpower alone often falls short.  Recognize that seeking help and adopting proven techniques significantly enhance the chances of resolution success. Accepting your limitations is the first step towards a more realistic and achievable journey.

Find the Confidence Balance

While believing in ultimate success is essential, avoiding overconfidence ensures preparedness for occasional setbacks. 

Uncover the art of creating a disaster recovery plan, ensuring that a stumble doesn’t lead to abandoning your resolutions but rather becomes a stepping stone to success. Make resolutions more forgiving, focusing on progress rather than an all-or-nothing approach.

Respect the Power of Temptations

Temptations are potent adversaries to resolutions. 

Acknowledge their strength and strategize to avoid triggering situations. Recognizing when and where willpower tends to wane helps make conscious choices and build lasting habits.

Own Up to Being Fallible

Embracing the inevitability of occasional setbacks and having a predefined plan for recovery lays the foundation for a successful resolution journey.

When your resolutions fail, see how you can get back on track. This acceptance becomes the cornerstone for a successful year of growth and positive change.

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Climate Change And Our Health

By: Betsy Pownall

Climate change is hazardous to our health, both mentally and physically. In the article, “How does Climate Change affect Mental Health?” the American Psychological Association reports that long-term mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, suicide, aggression, and gender-based violence are impacted by rising temperatures and extreme weather events. 

Studies have shown that even some people who have not been directly affected by a climate disaster are experiencing “climate anxiety,” which is defined as an overwhelming sense of fear, sadness, and dread in the face of global warming. A 2020 APA survey found that 56% of U.S. adults said climate change is the most important issue facing the world today. 

Nearly half of young adults ages 18 to 34 year-olds reported feeling anxiety over climate change on a daily basis. 

While the problem can feel unwieldy, many people find an increased sense of hope and security by taking action to understand, adapt to, or to mitigate the effects of climate change at an individual and community level. 

On an individual level, people can learn about what is happening, what could happen and prepare for climate-related events. Helpful individual actions can include:

  • Making and practicing household emergency plans
  • Engaging in self-care and healthy habits
  • Build and maintain social networks with family, friends, neighbors, and climate advocates
  • Participate in policy and advocacy efforts to combat climate change

Distress about climate change can be reduced by:

  • Spending time in nature
  • Engaging in mindfulness practices like grounding, body scans, meditation, 
  • Identify core values that guide your work, simplify and focus on one’s choices
  • Working with others
  • Engaging in activism

(APA “Resilience and individual actions around climate distress”)

And then there are the ‘Recession Resilient’ climate-change start-ups. 

In her New York Times article “‘Recession Resilient’ Climate Start-ups Shine in Tech Downturn”, Erin Griffity reports that tech workers and investors are “flocking to start-ups that aim to combat climate change”. 

As tech companies downsize and cut jobs, a ‘wake up call’ has spurred many workers to question whether or not what they are doing is “making the world a better place”. 

Many workers are joining climate-change start-ups, as investors “pour money into the field”. While start-ups once had to work at convincing investors that their focus was important, climate change and extreme weather events have become impossible to ignore. 

“We’re actually doing work that matters”, Arebeth Pease said of her move from a tech start-up to a climate-change start-up focusing on smart home electrical panels.

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3 Steps to Self-Love: Embrace the Joy of Self-Dating

Are you ready to embark on an empowering journey of self-love? 

Taking the time to date yourself is a beautiful way to get to know your true self and unlock your highest potential. And as you start this journey of self-love, you’ll find yourself becoming more and more confident.

So, forget society’s stigma around being single – take time for yourself and experience the amazing things that come with it.

Remember, for anyone else to love you, you’ve got to love yourself first. 

If you are still thinking about taking the plunge and starting to date yourself, here are 3 ways to embrace self-dating and find the confidence you deserve. 

Indulge in Some Self-Care 

Taking the time to indulge in self-care can help you stay healthy, reduce stress, and feel more connected to yourself. 

So, take some time out to show yourself some love.

 Plan a Date Night With Yourself 

Treat yourself to a solo date night every now and then! 

Taking yourself out on a date is a great way to practice self-love and self-care. It allows you to reconnect with yourself and your needs and desires without any distractions. 

So set aside a specific day and time for your date, just like you would with someone else. Put it in the calendar and make sure to follow through. 

Let yourself indulge in whatever activity you feel like, whether it’s going to the movies, indulging in a spa day, trying a new restaurant, or just staying in and watching your favorite show.   

This will also help to bring a stronger and more confident version of yourself into the dating scene.

Treat Yourself With Love And Kindness

Being kind to yourself is often easier said than done, but it’s one of the most important things you can do for your mental health. 

Instead of beating yourself up for your missteps, try to focus on the positive and be compassionate with yourself. 

Talk to yourself in the same way you would talk to a best friend, and don’t be afraid to give yourself a break. Self-compassion and love can help you stay motivated, reduce feelings of helplessness, and ultimately lead to better mental health. 

Remember that every day is Valentine’s day if you love yourself. So instead of feeling valued on just this one day, let’s make every day a day to celebrate love.

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Celebrating Self Compassion This Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating love, friendship, and admiration. 

But love can come in many forms. It is not just about romance, but about showing care to those around you. 

Love can be shared between family, friends, peers, and within ourselves. 

With that being said, we encourage you to make room for self-compassion this month (and every month).

Here’s how…

Self Care

Having a spa day and pampering ourselves can be a great way to relax. You can eliminate distractions and refocus your attention on how you feel by treating yourself. 

You can light some scented candles, draw a bath, or read a book you love. 

Reach Out to Loved Ones

Connecting with the people who love us can be a way to give love back to ourselves.

Reminding ourselves of the people who are there for us can reinforce our self-love.

You can take a moment to call an old friend or video chat with a family member who makes you smile. 

Do What You Love

Doing more of the things you love can give you a healthy outfit to explore your interests. You can either participate in activities you know you love or take the opportunity to try something new. 

“To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness.” – Robert Morley.

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Here’s Why Trees Make Us Happy

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to de-stress, try spending more time in nature surrounded by trees. It can be very therapeutic.

Trees Improve Your Health

It’s about time to add trees to your gratitude list.

Not only do they release oxygen, but they also have the power to improve your health.

Studies show that spending time in forests can improve our immune system and heart health.

An apple (and a tree) a day keeps the doctor away.

Trees Make Us More Generous and Trusting

Think this sounds too good to be true? Well, just listen to this experiment.

One group of university students were instructed to look at a building for one minute.

While the other group of students were asked to look at a group of eucalyptus trees for one minute.

The group who studied the trees felt awe and a sense of wonder.

I think we can all agree, that was a minute well spent.

No Act Is Too Small

Being around trees isn’t an all or nothing activity.

So, camping or hiking may not be for you – and that’s okay!

Visit the park over lunch. Look out the window throughout the day. Plant a tree in your yard.

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The Secrets to Successfully Developing Your Child's Confidence

The Secrets to Successfully Developing Your Child’s Confidence

As a parent, of course, you want your kids to be confident.

The thing is, getting started can be a little tricky. There’s no set in stone rule book. However, there are quite a few techniques that can work wonders on your child’s self-esteem and confidence.

Help Them Say Goodbye to Self Judgment

Sometimes once a negative thought enters our mind, we just can’t seem to part ways with it.

Sound familiar? No need to worry.

This is where mindfulness comes into the picture.

Mindfulness is all about focusing on the present moment.

Think your child is too young to practice mindfulness?

Think again…

Studies show that preschool aged children who practice mindfulness have decreased stress levels.

Compassion

Did you know kids as young as 3 years old can feel compassion?

Yup, it’s true.

The world is their classroom.

Your kids look up to you. Your everyday words and actions impact them more than you may think. One of the best ways to teach them compassion it to show it to them regularly.

It’s officially time to say goodbye to the question “Am I good enough?”

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