zone-coaching

Archive for Positive thinking

So busy working on your “dream” career that you aren’t taking time for your most important asset – your health?  You know what they say – if you don’t have your health you don’t have anything!  So why not create a business plan to do just that. Here are 9 foolproof steps to guide you on the journey.

BIG DREAM Process

  1. Collect your own data.

Start paying attention to what other business leaders are doing to stay healthy.  Schedule a coffee date and ask them these questions:

  • How did you decide to integrate health practices into your business?
  • What was the biggest challenge you faced?
  • How did you overcome this challenge?
  • What was the biggest surprise you found?
  • What is your life like now vs before?
  1. What do you love to do that is healthy for you?

Pay attention to all the things YOU love to do. Which ones would benefit your health? This could be a relaxation strategy, or a physical activity, or a modification in your work schedule – you decide! If this becomes pleasurable rather than a chore, you are more apt to continue doing it for the long haul.

  1. Visualize doing it on a regular basis

Make it real for yourself by thinking about what it would “feel” like to actually integrate this into your day.  Are you feeling better? Do you have an overwhelming feeling that this really fits into your day?  If you get positive feedback then how willing are you to give more time and attention to taking action on it?

  1. Identify Barriers

Create a document with two columns.  Label one column “Barriers that stop me from doing what I love”.  Now list all the barriers that stand in your way of doing this for the rest of your life. Be honest and list at least 10 reasons.  Now reflect on how you feel when you read this list.

  1. Identify Possibilities

On the same sheet with two columns, label the second column with “Possibilities that could happen if there were no barriers”.   Now re-word each statement in the left column from what you can’t have to what you can have.

Ex:  Barrier = I don’t have the time to do what I want.

Possibility = I have more than enough time to make happen whatever I want.

  1. Focus on Possibilities not Barriers

Now reflect on the list of possibilities and how does reading it make you feel?  Which list gives you a good feeling?  Throw the list of barriers away and post the list of possibilities in a prominent location where you see it every day and remind you of how good it would feel.

  1. Set Your Intention

Once you have done the prep work, you are ready to set your intention on manifesting what you want to happen in your life.  Write it down and include an “end date” when you will have launched yourself into your new direction toward optimal health.

  1. Practice Visualizing

It is fine to set an intention and determine when that will happen, but sometimes we give up on our dreams because we don’t keep the fire alive.  Schedule a regular time to practice visualizing your big dream daily or weekly.  Back it up by creating a DREAM BOARD that hangs prominently where you see it every day to keep that picture alive in your head.

  1. Keep an Evidence Journal

If you do all these things how will you know if it is paying off?  In a journal, record all the baby steps and progress you have made moving forward toward your goal.  Some things may seem insignificant, but when you add them all up a bigger picture emerges.  Reflect on this regularly to provide evidence that your Big Dream is actually starting to manifest.

And that is how you bring BIG Health DREAMS into REALITY.

 

Enjoy the process and be well on your Journey!

 

Self Care BIZ Tips for BIZ-Y People: A = Awareness

Are you WELL  AWARE about what is going on with your health?  Sure I know you are ultra busy doing your daily to-do list, running from meeting to meeting, dealing with interruptions, putting out fires, eating out alot at lunch meetings, not always able to make healthy food choices, managing all your emails and social media, working longer hours than is humanly possible, missing out on family time, exhausted, never getting enough sleep, super stressed out – WHEW!  How do you keep it all in perspective so you don’t overdo?  Or have you already overdone?  And yes – your health and your career could be in jeopardy!

It’s time for some perspective on how you are living your life.  It’s time for some AWARENESS so you don’t crash and burn.  Here are some tips:

A – Allow time for yourself

Put ME TIME on your calendar every day.  If it’s not on the calendar it won’t happen. Before I fill up my week I schedule time for Jazzercise 3-4 times per week and that makes it more likely it will happen.  You may have to block out time for breaks and a “lunch hour” – yes, we used to give ourselves an hour for lunch, not 10 minutes to gulp down some fast food! You can also schedule an appointment on your calendar with yourself to do whatever helps you regroup and relax for a bit.

W –Weigh your priorities

What exactly is your goal for the day and how much time do you actually need to accomplish it?  Write it down and block out your calendar at the beginning of the day so when all the other distractions occur, you can better manage them by saying NO or delegating or making time on your calendar.  There is nothing more stressful than not getting something done you need to do before you go home, and then you either go home late to get it done, or you take it home and work on it in the evening during your family time. Not a great idea.

A – Act “AS IF” your life is manageable

The great thing about your brain is it responds to what you are thinking.  That can be bad if you are thinking everything is out of control, you’re frustrated all the time, you constantly use negative language –  your body then decides to open the flood gates to release stress hormones into your system and set you up for headaches, gut aches, all kinds of aches.  On the other hand if you think life is good, business is manageable, work is joyful, and only positive words come out of your mouth all day,  your brain can also be tricked into opening the flood gates to release “feel good” hormones and then you feel good and don’t have stress-related ailments.  So if you act “AS IF” all is well, then you will be well.

R – Reconnect with your true self

Who are you really, and are you fully expressing your true self in your work and home life?  If you are not being true to yourself, your body isn’t happy and you are setting  yourself up for stress once more.  If you are managing your own business, you must have started out believing that this is what you were meant to be doing – it was your destiny.  If it hasn’t worked out that way, then either it wasn’t your destiny, or you need to do some tweeking so the business reflects positively on you and your efforts and you don’t collapse and burn in the process. Take a day off to do some reflective work on whether this business is right – and HEALTHY – for you.

E – Engage with relaxation

When you are relaxed, there is no room in your body for a busy mind, stress, anxiety or sleeplessness.  Your body is calm and at peace and in a free and healthy state.  It is what your body wants and your mind can help you achieve this.  Do 10 slow deep breaths whenever you feel the stress building to activate your parasympathetic nervous system which is designed to calm you down. You can do this anywhere! Schedule relaxation breaks throughout the day and use techniques like tapping, progressive muscle relaxation, visualization of a calming place, or get some fresh air while taking a relaxing walk outside. Relaxation helps you create true awareness of how you are doing at any given time.  And it feels great too!

N – Notice how you feel in the present moment

The present moment is all we have and yet we often don’t stop and do a quick check on how you are doing.  You can set the timer on your computer, phone or watch to ping you as a reminder that it’s time to check in with YOURSELF.  Then do a quick body scan from head to toe to see if you are experiencing any stress, muscle tension, or pain and do some slow deep breathing to release the angst.   Also note your mental state.  Are you feeling negative or positive?  If you are feeling negative, say positive things like – today is a great day, I love being here, my colleagues are so fun to be with – or write positive words like, joy, peace, happiness, love.  These techniques will shift your mental state from negativity to positivity, and once again, your body will respond with less stress hormones and more relaxation.

E – Enjoy your life

Life – Balance should be your mantra.  If stress is the order of the day at work, then relaxation should be the balancing factor when you go home at night.    We don’t always make a transition from work to home and often carry the stress home with us.  Instead, use the drive-time going home to play enjoyable music or no radio at all. Look for great sights to appreciate like nature, a cool car you admire, kids playing – notice things that bring you joy.  Get out of your work clothes when you get home and put on comfy stuff that helps you complete the process of letting go of work.  Try not to bring work home if at all possible.

S – Sleep more

Most of us are exhausted!  Too much work and not enough rest will do that every time.  Getting enough sleep is crucial for what you need the most in your business –  cognitive functioning, good decision making, managing stress hormones, preventing weight gain and gut health problems and preventing mistakes.  Placing a value on 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is a challenge, but can be life-threatening if it doesn’t happen.  Add sleep to your priority list and schedule your bedtime and wake time so it has a place on your calendar.  After all, if it isn’t on the calendar it won’t happen.

S – Stay focused

A major challenge for any executive with multiple responsibilities and interruptions is to stay focused to accomplish what needs to be done. Keep as much structure in your day to stay on track.  When distractions occur, use triage thinking to minimize the impact.  Is it life threatening? Deal with it.  Can it wait? Schedule it into your calendar at your convenience.  Is it not appropriate for your attention?  Delegate it.

Hope these tips will create more awareness about how you can take back your life at work and at home.

Be Well on Your Journey

Carol

5 Ways to Feel More Self Love

Let’s face it—feeling self-love is much easier said than done. Especially when we live in a society obsessed with Snapchat-filter perfection. We constantly see others obtaining status, owning the latest and greatest technologies, going on dream vacations, and living in a big house on a hill with the perfect family.

It’s no wonder we often feel like we don’t measure up.

Even worse, we begin to tell ourselves lies. We start to think that we’re weird, poor, ugly, awkward, not smart enough, or even too smart. In short, we feel like we’re never enough.

But what if we’re wrong?

What if you were good enough, just the way you are? In this very moment?

When it comes to love, it’s often easier to give it to others. But showing yourself love is just as important, maybe even more so. Here are five ways you can start showing yourself some much-needed love today.

1–Make a List of Your Positive Attributes

How often do we take the time to praise ourselves? If the answer is “rarely” or “I don’t even know what self-praise is,” let’s fix that, pronto. Try writing out a list of your positive attributes and take time to reflect on it every day.

When putting together your list, instead of being super generic in your attributes, try to be specific and have a little fun with this. (And then get really wild and add one or two new attributes to the list every week.)

For example: “I always give genuine compliments to others.” Or: “I’m non-judgmental and I always try to see things from another person’s point of view.” Or: “I have a nice singing voice and my husband/wife/next-door neighbor/puppy (woof!) loves it when I sing loudly when doing the dishes.”

Another tip? Along with the positive attributes list, try making a list of the things you are grateful for. Showing gratitude can go a long way into helping you out of self-defeating and negative thinking patterns.

2–Take Time for Yourself

Maybe you’re a super busy mom with adorable but rambunctious children. Or maybe you’re a hard-working sales rep putting in 60 hours+ of work each week. Your time can start to feel like it doesn’t belong to you anymore, and far too often you may feel like stretched taffy pulled too thin.

But how can you fully give to your children or to your job if you haven’t given anything to yourself?

This may mean taking extra time for yourself to meditate. It could mean curling up with a good murder mystery for a half hour before bed or indulging in the latest episode of your favorite guilty pleasure.  It could mean making it to your daily Jazzercise class or going to a weekly yoga class. It could even mean making a delicious snack for yourself and not sharing it with anyone.

The bottom line: fill your own cup first before you share with others. And don’t feel guilty about it. Just do it.

3–No More Negative Self-Talk

Another way to show love for yourself is to quit with the negative self-talk.

Seriously, stop. When you call yourself a name or criticize yourself, you are shrinking yourself from a human being of value down to a single element of yourself that you don’t like.

This can be a hard habit to quell, but it’s one that can have truly astonishing results. Think about it. You wouldn’t tell a 5-year-old that their crayon drawings look terrible. You wouldn’t tell your best friend that they’re hopeless for not knowing how to do their taxes online. And you certainly wouldn’t tell your loveable Grandma that she’s a basket case every time she smears pink lipstick on her teeth. (At least let’s hope you’d never do this.)

Yet how often do we berate ourselves and think negative thoughts like “I’m so stupid” or “I never get anything right”?

Instead of thinking of yourself as a total dumb-bat, rephrase the way you think about things. Try this instead: “Okay, so I don’t know how to relight the pilot light on my furnace. But there are YouTube videos that can probably teach me how to do this.”

4–Don’t Compare Apples to Oranges

Everybody is different. You don’t look the same, act the same, speak the same, or have exactly the same mind and heart and experiences as anybody else. You are a unique individual. Embrace it.

To make my point, let’s look at fruit. Say you are an orange. You are tangy-sweet, smell like a citrus-flavored candle, and are round with a thick skin. As an orange, why would you compare yourself to an apple? Or if you’re a strawberry, why look at a kiwi and think you’re somehow less? Every fruit has a little something to bring to the fruit salad. Likewise, we all have something unique to bring to the table.

5–Leave the Past in the Past

If we’re being real, life isn’t always hunky-dory and chances are you might have some old emotional wounds or negative memories lingering on the surface in the present moment. If you find yourself dwelling on an old memory you’re not too fond of, catch yourself and say, “I’m not that person anymore.” Because truthfully, you aren’t. You don’t have to be defined by mistakes or incidents from the past.

Another thought—try accepting where you are right now, in the moment. Sometimes we give ourselves a hard time simply because we are feeling emotional. We feel like we need to be stronger. But it’s okay if you might be feeling a little down about something. Instead of beating yourself up for feeling down or emotional, give yourself permission to feel the feels for a bit. And then let it go and move on to greener pastures.

Allow Self-Love into Your Life

Self-love isn’t something you arrive at overnight. But by taking small, daily steps, you can begin to truly appreciate your uniqueness. You absolutely can love yourself just the way you are (and I sincerely hope you will).

After all, you’re pretty flaw-some.

How do you show yourself self-love?

How to Create a Positive Mindset for a Positively Positive Year

What happens to you when negativity takes over and you can’t see anything good in your life, your work, your day?  Does it mean you are losing your mind, or are you just losing your perspective? Is there anyway to turn around “stinking thinking”?

I know what it is like to get caught up in negative thinking and it never ends well.  The more you focus on negative thoughts, the bigger and badder they get and the bigger the toll it takes on your body, mind and spirit.  Being in a state of chronic negative thinking can make you sick!

“Many negative emotions such as anger, fear, and frustration become problematic when those emotions turn into a more permanent disposition or a habitual outlook on the world,” explains Emiliana Simon-Thomas, PhD, science director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. And then you are at risk for ailments such as depression, heart disease, type 2 Diabetes, stroke, decreased immunity, inflammation.  http://www.health.com/heart-disease/can-negative-thinking-make-you-sick

So this is serious and no one wants to go down this path if they don’t have to.  But what strategies are available to break out of this cycle? Here are some ideas.

Awareness

Did you know you have control over your thoughts, and if you are always thinking negatively you can change that right on the spot?

Try this activity.  On a sheet of paper draw 2 columns side by side

In the left column, list all the negative words you can think of.

Once you complete the list, how do you feel?

In the right column list all the positive words you can think of.

Once you complete the list, how do you feel?

Notice that you feel better after writing the positive words and feel worse after writing the negative words.  So words matter!  Try to notice when you are using negative language and try to reframe it toward positive words when you catch it. This means paying attention to what you are thinking and correcting the thought before you speak it.

Practice

Now, identify what is leading to all the negative thoughts you are focused on and practice changing from negative to positive. Draw another 2 columns side by side.

List negative statements you make in the left column.  Ex: I get stressed out when I am at work.

Now rewrite each statement in the right column using positive words. Ex: I am grateful that I have the ability to provide support for people who need my services.

After you complete both lists, focus on the right column only and see if it changes your thinking from negative to positive.  Don’t give any attention to the left column because it will drag you down again.  Remember you have control over your thinking and you can only hold one thought in your mind at a time.  So choose which one you want to hold – negative or positive.

Tools

Positivity Self Test takes 2 minutes to complete. Your score provides a snapshot of how your emotions of the past day combine to create your positivity ratio. Do this as often as you want since it changes each time.  http://www.positivityratio.com/single.php

Loving Kindness Meditation.   This is a tool to improve compassion and resilience.  Practice it regularly to change your perspective. Access the recording from this link. https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/loving_kindness_meditation#

There are many ways to “refresh” your attitude and these are just a few.  As a wellness professional, I believe the answers lie within us. We just need to seek resources that will help us uncover our truths.  Bottom line is if you are stuck in negative thinking, make the decision to take a first step forward.  There are many resources available including wellness coaching to move forward with your goals.

If you would like a complimentary 20 minute laser coaching session with me just click here to contact me.

Connect with Carol

Be well on your wellness journey.

Carol