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How to Find Joy During Challenging Times

Tara Christie

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How to Find Joy During Challenging Times

Finding joy in the darkest of times is not just possible, it’s essential. In your heart, your innate joy is just waiting to be uncovered and celebrated. Here’s how to find joy in these trying times…

Would you believe me if I told you there is an endless wellspring of joy that lives within you, and tapping into it doesn’t have to be complicated? Even amid a pandemic, it’s there in your heart, just waiting for you!

You might be experiencing feelings like hopelessness, despair, fear, anxiety, anger, grief, loneliness, and more right now. And you’re not alone. We are all in a moment of trauma right now. Those feelings are real. There’s no denying that.

But here’s the good news: the troubles plaguing the world do not have to infect your mind or bring sickness to your heart. Joy is the antidote! Each moment of joy you experience is like a spark, bringing light to your darkness and illuminating the way to transformation.

 

How to Find Joy During Challenging Times

 

Get Out of Your Head

You may have unintentionally built walls between your mind and your Buddha nature—the part of you that is always at ease, the awakened heart. You may stay locked up in your conditioned mind and keep your heart out of the equation as a means of self-protection. But newsflash honey, you are not protecting anything!

Whether you like it or not, your heart isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s the thing that’s going to save you. So, to access your joy, first, you must pave a path from your mind to your heart.

It can be so easy to waste so much time distracting yourself from your emotions with television, alcohol, drugs, gossip, social media, and more. It mires you in mental clutter that distorts your ability to discern between your transient feelings and your essential nature. You can get consumed with the emotion of the moment because you’ve lost your perspective. You can get caught up in your head.

But the good news is you can take control and shift your mindset, allowing you the clarity to be with your feelings and without being consumed by them. Once you shift your perspective, you can move into your heart with ease.

Move Into Your Heart to Find Joy

The historical Buddha observed that your essence, your awakened heart, is the compass that guides you to the four essential directions of love, compassion, wisdom, and joy. By connecting to your heart, you can access these qualities and let them guide you, even in moments of incredible challenge.

When you access your heart, your perspective shifts to see challenges as an opportunity to learn, grow, and expand. You stop being the victim of your circumstances and, instead, find ways to allow your circumstances to contribute to your spiritual awakening. Tapping into your heart helps you rise above your circumstances, bring joy into everyday moments, and share your awakening with the world!

You can get connected to your heart through spiritual practices that challenge you to release limiting beliefs, break negative thought patterns and unhealthy habits, and start engaging with your vulnerability, compassion, forgiveness, and potential.

Here are five simple activities that support joy in daily life.

1. Dance

Dancing allows you to let the music flow through you, move your body intuitively, feel your pulse race and your breath coursing through you. It can be such a tremendous release and can help you drop into your heart and uncover joy.

2. Meditation

Whether you spend 5 or 50 minutes in meditation, it’s an act of self-love that pays off in dividends. You’ll declutter your mind, connect to your heart, and enjoy tremendous benefits that enhance your resilience during hard times—tapping into your wellspring of joy.

 

3. Journal

Journaling is another efficient, elegant way to change your relationship to the noise in your mind and become more self-aware of the harmful thought patterns that may be holding you back. Journaling about what you are grateful for can help you engage with joy.

4. Service

Whenever you feel really disconnected, try doing something for someone else to get back in touch with your heart. Acts of service can be tiny or huge, free or expensive. Try to offer them without expectation of anything in return except for the feelings it generates within you.

 

How to Find Joy During Challenging Times

 

5. Connection

The human experience is incredibly powerful. You can find joy in even the smallest interactions with others. When you give people your full attention, actively listen to them, and provide support and inspiration, you are connecting to your heart (and theirs too!).

This pandemic experience is most likely challenging you to transform your life, and by extension, the world around you. Use your endless well of joy to create the world you want. How do you want your life and the world around you to look a week from now, next month, next year?

The Benefits of Joy in Action

Once you begin living in your heart, you’ll enjoy immediate shifts in the way you feel and relate to yourself and the world.

  • You’ll notice the noise in your mind has quieted a little, and your relationship with the mental chatter has changed, making it easier to focus and remain present in the moment.
  • You’ll find yourself longing for your meditation practice as a true expression of joy in action and cherish the sense of belonging you find in your heart.
  • You’ll start to trust in the transient nature of emotions, experiencing them like a cloud or storm passing overhead, while your heart stays as vast as the sky and as bright as the sun.
  • When you feel called to move your body during your favorite song, you won’t worry about what anyone is thinking because your heart will be overflowing with joy.
  • You’ll find yourself turning toward healthier ways to spend your time, and leaving unwholesome habits in the past because making healthier choices fills you with joy.
  • You’ll notice little ways to be of service to others because it spreads joy, which is just as contagious as COVID-19.
  • You’ll become an example for others, inspiring them to live from their hearts as well. The more you share your joy, the more joy you’ll experience because sharing joy is its own reward and creates a virtuous cycle inside you.
  • You’ll find innovative ways to stay tapped into your joy so that it will become second nature—helping you continue growing as a person and expanding your heart.

With so much uncertainty in the world, and a new choice every day, why not choose joy?

While you wait for things to fall into place, try to refuse to be a victim of your circumstances. Shift your perspective and change the way you see these challenging times, and open your heart to recognize the opportunity in front of you. The opportunity to live in, and spread joy, every day.

Make the radical choice to change your mind, live in your heart, and be a beacon of joy, and your world will become a more beautiful place than you can imagine!

Find joy and experience peace of mind during these challenging times. These ways here are helpful for you to find joy especially this time. Make it a habit to find joy every day. When you learn to find joy, you’ll find it easy to navigate through life. Your everyday things become light. Find joy and the rest will follow.

Original article by Sah D’Simone. A spiritual guide, meditation teacher, international transformational speaker, and best-selling author who has dedicated his life to helping others to live in alignment and achieve their highest potential. He is pioneering a Spiritually Sassy, heart-based healing movement rooted in science-backed, tried-and-true techniques, in which joy and authenticity illuminate the path to enlightenment. His infectious enthusiasm for healing is grounded in a masterful and revolutionary synthesis of ancient Tantric Buddhism, modern contemplative psychotherapy, meditation, breathwork, and integrative nutrition… all delivered in his own radiant, approachable, and playful style.

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Mind

6 Powerful Tips to Think Like A Wise Person & Act Accordingly

Tara Christie

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6 Powerful Tips to Think Like A Wise Person & Act Accordingly

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” –Socrates

If I asked you to judge how smart someone is, you’d know where to start. But if you were going to assess how wise that person is, what qualities would you consider a wise person?

Wisdom is the ability to make sound judgments and choices based on experience. It’s a virtue according to every great philosophical and religious tradition, from Aristotle to Confucius and Christianity to Judaism, Islam to Buddhism, and Taoism to Hinduism. According to the book From Smart to Wisewisdom distinguishes great leaders from the rest of the pack. So what does it take to cultivate wisdom?

In an enlightening study led by psychologists Paul Baltes and Ursula Staudinger, a group of leading journalists nominated public figures who stood out as wise. The researchers narrowed the original list down to a core set of people who were widely viewed as possessing wisdom—an accomplished group of civic leaders, theologians, scientists, and cultural icons.

They compared these wise people with a control group of professionals who were successful but not nominated as wise (including lawyers, doctors, teachers, scientists, and managers).

Both groups answered questions that gave them a chance to demonstrate their wisdom. For example, what advice would they give to a widowed mother facing a choice between shutting down her business and supporting her son and grandchildren? How would they respond to a call from a severely depressed friend?

A panel of experts evaluated their answers, and the results—along with several follow-up studies—reveal six insights about what differentiates wise people from the rest of us.

 

6 Powerful Tips to Think Like A Wise Person & Act Accordingly

 

1. Don’t wait until you’re older and smarter. Be a wise person now.

The people with the highest wisdom scores are just as likely to be 30 as 60. It turns out that the number of life experiences has little to do with the quality of those experiences. According to the data, between ages 25 to 75, the correlation between age and wisdom is zero.

Wisdom emerges not from experience itself, but rather from reflecting thoughtfully on the lessons gained from experience. Further research shows that intelligence only accounts for about 2% of the variance in wisdom.

It’s possible to be quick on your feet and skilled in processing complex information without reaching sensible solutions to problems. Cultivating wisdom is a deliberate choice that people can make regardless of age and intelligence. Here’s how they do it.

2. See the world in shades of grey, not black and white. 

Imagine meeting a 15-year-old girl who plans to get married next week. What would you tell her?

Here’s a response that scored low in wisdom:

“A 15-year-old girl wants to get married? No, no way, marrying at age 15 would be utterly wrong. One has to tell the girl that marriage is not possible. (After further probing) It would be irresponsible to support such an idea. No, this is just a crazy idea.”

In contrast, wise people embraced nuance and multiple perspectives. Consider one answer that received high marks for wisdom:

“Well, on the surface, this seems like an easy problem. On average, marriage for 15-yearold girls is not a good thing. But there are situations where the average case does not fit. Perhaps in this instance, special life circumstances are involved, such that the girl has a terminal illness. Or the girl has just lost her parents.

And also, this girl may live in another culture or historical period. Perhaps she was raised with a value system different from ours. In addition, one has to think about adequate ways of talking with the girl and to consider her emotional state.”

Wise people specialize in what strategy expert Roger Martin calls integrative thinking—”the capacity to hold two diametrically opposing ideas in their heads”—and reconcile them for the situation at hand. In the words of the philosopher Bertrand Russell, “fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.”

3. Balance self-interest and the common good. 

A second defining quality of wisdom is the ability to look beyond our personal desires. As psychologist Robert Sternberg puts it: “wisdom and egocentricity are incompatible… people who have gotten where they are by not taking other people’s interests into account or even by actively thwarting the interests of others… would not be viewed as wise.”

This doesn’t mean that wise people are self-sacrificing. In Give and TakeI report evidence that well-being and success both suffer if we’re too focused on others or on ourselves. It’s neither healthy nor productive to be extremely altruistic or extremely selfish.

People who fail to secure their oxygen masks before assisting others end up running out of air, and those who pursue personal gains as the expense of others end up destroying their relationships and reputations. Wise people reject the assumption that the world is a win-lose, zero-sum place. They find ways to benefit others that also advance their own objectives.

4. Challenge the status quo. 

Wise people are willing to question rules. Instead of accepting things as they have always been, wisdom involves asking whether there’s a better path. In Practical Wisdom, psychologist Barry Schwartz and political scientist Kenneth Sharpe describe a Philadelphia man who was convicted of holding up a taxi driver with a gun.

The sentencing guidelines called for two to five years in jail, but the facts of case didn’t fit: the man used a toy gun, it was his first offense, he had just lost his job, and he stole $50 to support his family. A wise judge gave him a shorter sentence and permission to hold a job outside of jail during the day so that he could take care of his family—and required him to repay the $50.

5. Aim to understand, rather than judge. 

By default, many of us operate like jurors, passing judgment on the actions of others so that we can sort them into categories of good and bad. Wise people resist this impulse, operating more like detectives whose goal is to explain other people’s behaviors.

As psychologist Ellen Langer is fond of saying, “Behavior makes sense from the actors’ perspective, or else they wouldn’t do it.” Over time, this emphasis on understanding rather than evaluating yields an advantage in predicting others’ actions, enabling wise people to offer better advice to others and make better choices themselves.

 

6 Powerful Tips to Think Like A Wise Person & Act Accordingly

 

6. Focus on purpose over pleasure. 

In one surprising study, Baltes’ team discovered that wise people weren’t any happier than their peers. They didn’t experience more positive emotions, perhaps because wisdom requires critical self-reflection and a long-term view.

They recognized that just as today’s cloud can have a silver lining tomorrow, tomorrow’s silver lining can become next month’s suffering. However, there was a clear psychological benefit of wisdom: a stronger sense of purpose in life. From time to time, wisdom may involve putting what makes us happy on the back burner in our quest for meaning and significance.

On the way to success, many people pursue money and power over wisdom. As Benjamin Franklin once wrote:

“Who is wise? He that learns from everyone.

Who is powerful? He that governs his passions.

Who is rich? He that is content.

Who is that? Nobody.

But a truly wise person would refuse to accept that conclusion.

 

When you learn to be a wise person, the world is a better place. These ways listed here are some of the best ways to be a wise person. You can ponder on these words and listen to yourself. Assess yourself if you are a wise person. Be a wise person now. Do not wait for a long time to do so.

Original article by Adam Grant.

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9 Everyday Things To Do To Help Kids In Managing Emotions At All Times

How to Find Joy During Challenging Times

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9 Everyday Things To Do To Help Kids In Managing Emotions At All Times

Tara Christie

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9 Everyday Things To Do To Help Kids In Managing Emotions At All Times

It’s natural for parents to be concerned about their children’s academic prowess and “IQ,” but these days, more are seeing the importance of developing emotional intelligence, or “EQ.” Parents are getting more and more concern about how kids learn in managing emotions.

“Being emotionally intelligent helps kids manage their feelings in constructive ways, resolve conflict, and solve problems,” said Donna Housman, a clinical psychologist with 30 years of experience in early childhood development. “The ability to manage one’s own emotions, and cope with the emotions of others, along with an increased sensitivity to how others feel, is key to developing empathy, compassion, understanding and acceptance of differences between and among us.”

Research also suggests that emotional intelligence is linked to greater success in school, stronger communication skills, better relationships, self-awareness, resilience, improved mental health, and other positive outcomes. The good news is parents can help lay the foundation for this success early in their children’s lives.

“A parent’s role is integral to the development of children’s emotional intelligence,” Housman noted. “Given that children develop within the context of relationships, parents’ responsiveness, support and reassurance is vital in helping children learn to effectively manage and cope with the vast array of emotions they experience on a daily basis.”

To that end, HuffPost asked Housman and other experts to share some simple, everyday ways caregivers can foster emotional intelligence in their children. Read on for nine suggestions.

 

9 Everyday Things To Do To Help Kids In Managing Emotions At All Times

 

“To help build a child’s emotional intelligence, parents can and should help their kids identify their emotions daily, and give them permission to have and experience those emotions,” advised Housman.

The more kids practice identifying and discussing their emotions, the more comfortable they will be managing them. Parents can make this part of their family’s everyday ritual.

“A simple tool is to ask the question, ‘What emotion or emotions are you feeling today?‘” said Ravi Rao, a pediatric neurosurgeon turned children’s show host. “We’ve been too conditioned to respond to ‘How are you?’ with an automatic ‘fine’ even when we’re not fine. A more specific question eliciting the child to talk about their emotional state builds self-awareness and confidence.”

“Model the skills that you want your child to learn. Kids are paying attention to what we’re doing, and we’re role models, whether we’re being intentional about it or not.”

– KATHY KINSNER, SENIOR MANAGER OF PARENTING RESOURCES AT ZERO TO THREE

Parents can help kids practice identifying emotions in the characters they observe in books, movies or TV shows by asking questions like “Do you think that lady looks happy or sad?” Housman also suggested creating or printing out “emotions charts” to help kids recognize different emotions in themselves and others ― and understand that feelings are natural and constantly changing.

Set Aside Drawing Or Journaling Time

“Activities like journaling together can also help,” said Jean Paul Paulynice, creator of an 11-part social-emotional learning curriculum called Empowering Confident Youth. “At the end of every day, parents should sit down with their children and have them write down what happened to them, how they felt and how they dealt with their emotions.”

He suggested that parents periodically ask their kids to look back over their journal entries, note any behavioral trends and reflect on times when they might have overreacted to a situation or acted in a manner that they came to regret later. Younger kids can do this with art by drawing pictures of how they’re feeling and explaining the art to their parents.

Talk About Your Own Feelings

As with other fundamental lessons, kids often learn more from what their parents do when it comes to emotions than from what their parents tell them to do.

“Model the skills that you want your child to learn,” said Kathy Kinsner, senior manager of parenting resources at the infant-toddler development nonprofit Zero To Three. “Kids are paying attention to what we’re doing, and we’re role models, whether we’re being intentional about it or not. For example, if you’re having trouble placing an online order, you can say aloud, ‘I’m so frustrated. I’m going to get up and take a break and then start fresh.’”

If parents want their children to feel comfortable talking about their feelings, they should openly discuss their own emotions with their kids as well. On any given day, parents can describe how they’re feeling, label that emotion and demonstrate how to express it in a healthy way or use problem-solving to cope with it. For parents who struggle with their feelings, this may take some extra work, but it’s worth the effort.

 

“The more parents authentically and effectively deal with their own emotions and those of others, the more successful the children will be in developing healthier relationships, and achieving greater success at school, work, and in their personal relationships,” Housman explained. “When parents are more aware of their own emotions, sensitive and empathic to the emotions of others, both children and parents will feel better, relate better, and live better!”

Normalize Negative Emotions

Although it’s natural for parents to want to shelter their children from negative experiences or emotions, this actually does a disservice to their emotional development. Instead, parents should help their kids understand that all feelings are natural and normal, and it’s how we deal with them that matters most.

“You can make emotional intelligence a priority in your children’s development by doing what I call ‘Don’t Save Your Kids,’” said clinical psychologist John Mayer. “That means don’t overprotect your kids from life’s stressors. Don’t run interference between kids and life ― school, activities, teachers ― instead of letting them learn how to handle the emotional state this brings and the responsibility of it.”

Additionally, parents shouldn’t avoid talking about negative emotions, sweep them under the rug or let them bubble up, which can lead to unhealthy outbursts. Sometimes the fear of a negative emotion is worse than the actual experience of the emotion. When you’re having a tough day, you don’t have to go into detail if it’s not age-appropriate, but you should still be honest about what you’re feeling.

“The crucial steps to fully developing emotional intelligence include noticing the emotion, labeling it, and asking what to do about it.”

– KERRY GOYETTE, AUTHOR OF “THE NON-OBVIOUS GUIDE TO EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE”

“We want to teach our kids how to honor uncomfortable feelings such as anxiety and frustration in a healthy way, so they don’t feel they have to suppress these powerful feelings,” said Maggie Craddock, a family therapist and executive coach.

Discuss Appropriate Ways To Expressing And Managing Emotions

“One crucial element of emotional intelligence is problem solving,” said Kerry Goyette, author of “The Non-Obvious Guide to Emotional Intelligence.” “Often, when we think about developing a child’s EQ, we think only about empathy. If a child is sad, we believe all we have to do is notice their feeling and commiserate.

But we can’t stop there. The crucial steps to fully developing emotional intelligence include noticing the emotion, labeling it, and asking what to do about it.”

Once parents have created a positive feedback loop by helping their kids to recognize, label and discuss their feelings, they can move onto the next step of coaching them through how to deal with their emotions, if negative. The key is to do a lot of listening and question-asking to guide them toward ways of constructively expressing and managing the intensity of their feelings.

“If they’re angry, ask what are you going to do,” Goyette suggested. “Is there something they can change? Many parents step in and solve the child’s problem themselves, but that signals to the child that they aren’t capable of doing it themself. Instead, try coaching. You might ask pointed questions, and they might not figure it out all by themselves at first, but it helps them develop their sense of self-reliance.”

Parents can include kids in the healthy things they do to process intense emotions, like taking a walk or playing games in the backyard to blow off steam at the end of a stressful day. Let kids learn the art of managing emotions.

Own Up To Your Mistakes

As imperfect humans, we all inevitably make mistakes, even if we’re trying our best. When it comes to  managing emotions, parents should own up to the moments when they unintentionally blow up in front of their kids or otherwise fail to cope with stress in healthy ways.

“We want to consistently practice admitting our mistakes and taking action to correct behavior that may inadvertently hurt others feelings,” Craddock noted. “For example, when our spouse brings up a topic that triggers us in front of the kids, we may want to defuse the situation as kindly as possible and avoid power struggles when possible. Remember, you are always modeling relational skills in front of your kids, and you want them to internalize ways to deal with conflict that fortify their personal integrity rather than diminishing it.”

Admitting when you messed up and taking action to correct it shows kids that emotional intelligence is a lifelong skill that everyone can continue to cultivate over time. This also encourages kids to own up when they make mistakes as well, though sometimes you have to wait until the heat of the moment has passed.

“Revisit other ways to behave once everybody has had a chance to calm down,” advised Kinsner. “Say, ‘You were upset because you wanted to play with the truck. But hitting is not OK. What could you do next time? You can ask mom for help. You can ask for a turn. You can find something else to play with.’”

On the flip side, parents should also offer positive reinforcement when their kids do display emotional intelligence by recognizing their good behavior and maybe even offering a reward in some instances.

Expose Them To New Experiences And People

“Parents should seek to involve their children in new activities and experiences whenever possible, including daily opportunities for new learning experiences,” said Paulynice.

“This can include something as simple as reading a book or watching a documentary together or trying a new hobby. The idea is to expose the child to new experiences that will expand their horizons,” he continued. “Volunteering in the community, such as at a homeless shelter or a senior living center, will also help to build empathy and compassion, which is a critical aspect of emotional intelligence.”

As kids experience new places, people and activities, their minds broaden to understand other experiences and perspectives.

“Encourage your kids to be able to put themselves in someone else’s shoes,” suggested psychotherapist Noel McDermott. “Encourage conversations that allow each other to express feelings in a nonjudgmental way.”

While the COVID-19 pandemic may limit certain kinds of opportunities right now, parents can also make plans for future activities, turn to digital options, and get creative at home. It’s important to show kids that people can make a difference in others’ lives through their own efforts and displays of support.

“Make empathy a verb in your family,” advised Craig A. Knippenberg, a therapist and author of “Wired and Connected: Brain-Based Solutions To Ensure Your Child’s Social and Emotional Success.

“What’s the point of having emotional intelligence without putting it to use to help others?” he added. “When parents demonstrate kindness to those in their world, that kindness becomes contagious to their children. Teach empathy.”

 

9 Everyday Things To Do To Help Kids In Managing Emotions At All Times

 

Have Fun With Emotions

Knippenberg also recommended making emotional learning experiences fun for kids throughout their development.

“Feeling charades is a great time for your preschool child,” he said. “Watch a Disney movie with the sound off and analyze what is occurring. Include a study of your animal companions and the many ways animals demonstrate emotional and social intelligence.”

“Reading stories together and talking about the emotions the characters are experiencing not only normalizes emotion by acknowledging others have the same kinds of feelings as us, but also helps children better understand cause and effect, and helps build empathy.”

– DONNA HOUSMAN, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST

“For middle and elementary school students, watch ‘The Princess Diaries’ to see how the main character develops her emotional intelligence,” he added. “For young teens, when in a restaurant, try figuring out what other diners are feeling or talking about.”

He noted that unsupervised, unguided play also gives kids the chance to practice emotional and social skills, like how to support a friend in need or creative negotiate a conflict, on their own without adult guidance.

Read Books About Feelings

There are many excellent children’s books that specifically deal with feelings and emotional intelligence, but parents can use pretty much any story to teach these lessons as well.

“Reading stories together and talking about the emotions the characters are experiencing not only normalizes emotion by acknowledging others have the same kinds of feelings as us, but also helps children better understand cause and effect, and helps build empathy,” Housman explained.

Scotty Iseri, who created an emotional learning-focused podcast called “The Imagine Neighborhood,” recommended that parents ask kids to discuss the emotions they observe in the media they consume.

“When reading a book, or listening to a podcast, asking questions like, ‘Why do you think she is crying right now?’ or ‘Why do you think he felt that way?’, are ways to show children that you’re interested in and concerned with the emotions of other people,” he said.

Parents should also consider sharing personal stories that illustrate lessons about emotional intelligence, said author Siamak Taghaddos, whose children’s book, “The Mountain and The Goat,” focuses on cultivating a resourceful mindset.

“Share stories of how the little things matter,” he suggested. “Talk to kids not about EQ itself, but about how they, as parents, used examples of it that kids can learn from.

Whether it’s how they dealt with a tough situation they faced, or how they helped someone with a problem by putting themselves in their shoes, or why they chose a certain color for a design to help improve a product, anything that shows kids how the little things matter. Stories that show caring about others are fundamental.”

Kids must learn that managing emotions are important. it is as important as learning to read and write. Managing emotions must be taught at home. Parents should know how to teach managing emotions to their kids. As early as the kids are young, They must know that managing emotions are key to long term relationships. Managing emotions are key to understanding better in life.

As an example, parents must also be experts in managing emotions. When teaching kids, parents must live by example. Managing emotions should be a priority. It helps a lot in the kid’s development.  Teach empathy as a way of managing emotions. Let children enjoy the good things in life as means off managing emotions.

Original article by Caroline Bologna.

 

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7 Ways to Ease Your Mind When You Feel Anxious

Tara Christie

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Keep calm and keep pace. You need to ease your mind in these trying times. Here are ways to ease your mind when you feel so anxious. Let us find our purpose and meaning. Follow these ways and you’ll find peace of mind.

 Ways to Ease Your  Mind:

1. Slow down

When you slow your physical movements, you are also allowing your mind to slow down. You can do this by taking your time with everyday tasks like walking, washing the dishes, or showering.

2. Take the news and social media with a grain of salt

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by anxious thoughts when reading the headlines of the day. We can limit the spread of unnecessary fear and panic by looking past the headline and reading the entire article. Once that’s done, pause and notice whether it’s worth sharing a sensational headline on social media.

 

7 Ways to Ease Your Mind When You Feel Anxious

 

3. Build certainty into your day

Often mindfulness practices teach us to be okay with uncertainty, but it’s also okay to build in elements of certainty that your mind can count on. Try creating a new routine that fits the reality of your life right now. Use exercise, sleep, or meditation to ground yourself with healthy habits.

4. Come to your senses throughout the day

To ease your worried mind, try the three-by-three practice. Notice three things that you can see, three things that you can hear, and three things that you can feel. Or, experiment with what works for you: Expand the practice to all five senses, or bring your attention to one sense at a time.

5. Release the critic

See if you can become aware of when you’re comparing yourself to other people. Gently remind yourself that you don’t need to compare how you’re handling the crisis to how others are coping. Instead, notice when thoughts of judgment arise and label the thoughts as “comparing.”

 

7 Ways to Ease Your Mind When You Feel Anxious

 

6. Do a reality check

Oftentimes anxiety confuses possibility with probability. Similar to Byron Katie’s four questions, ask yourself: “Is this thought true?” “How does this thought make me feel?” “What does it make me want to do?” and “What would I do if this thought wasn’t here?” With the answers to these questions in mind, you should be able to judge possibility and probability with a clearer distinction between the two.

7. Look up and listen

If you can, go outside, lie down, look up at the sky, and listen. Allow yourself to get comfortable and take in all of the sounds and visuals that surround you.

Explore and experiment with each of these seven practices and see what you notice. And know that whatever you’re experiencing right now, you’re not alone.

Thoughts:

Ease your mind and find peace every day. Always remember to be grateful for the little things that come your way. The ways listed here are perfect to ease your mind. You can follow these and be a better person each day. Work to be a better person. Not for others but for yourself. Ease your mind and your body will follow.

When life’s hard, it can be challenging to ease your mind. But keep this list and be reminded when times are tough. Be reminded to slow down a bit. Ease your mind and make your life worry-free. Do not overthink a lot of things. you need to ease your mind all the time. Find the list here as a reminder that at some point in life, you need to ease your mind.

Original article by Elisha Goldstein.

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6 Ways To Nurture A Healthy Mind Body and Spirit You Need Right Now

Tara Christie

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6 Ways To Nurture A Healthy Mind Body and Spirit You Need Right Now

Numerous lifestyle and mindset choices determine the health of your spirit. By becoming aware of what drains your spirit and incorporating self-care, you will cultivate a more fluid and harmonious flow of energy. It is time to know the ways to nurture a healthy mind body and spirit…

Once you’re aware of how you have been draining your lifeforce, you can begin to make choices that support your health. You can boost the health of the energetic field, (which includes chakras, nadis, koshas, and more) by practicing presence, faithful surrender, and forgiveness.

Additionally, you will renew your spirit by living into your purpose, connecting with your inner guidance system, and building a network of support. These mindset and lifestyle shifts can help you take charge of your energetic hygiene. Here’s how:

 

6 Ways To Nurture A Healthy Mind Body and Spirit You Need Right Now

 

1. Presence for A Healthy Mind Body and Spirit

By choosing to be fully immersed in the present moment, you call back your life force–that you may have given away to circumstances of the past and future. Worrying about what’s yet to come, and holding emotions from the past, are the easiest ways to give your power away.

While emotional healing can take time, you do have the opportunity to be present in every moment. By paying attention to what’s right in front of you, you give your mind and body the ability to process energy and cultivate acceptance.

2. Surrender

Your aura is most expansive and protected when you are open to connecting with the universal consciousness in all. Aim to give yourself a few moments each day to welcome the wisdom that plants, animals, elements, and guides have to share.

Allow the light to support you. You may simply sit in solitude and affirm, “I welcome the love and guidance of universal consciousness. I am open to the energy of trust.”

3. Connect with Intuition

Lifeforce can easily be drained when you refuse to listen to your intuition. Perhaps you’re being guided to leave your job or travel abroad. When you continually ignore the gut feelings, dreams, and inspiration, you block your Third Eye (Sixth) Chakra. The Third Eye Chakra is one of the seven main energetic vortexes that stores your thoughts, emotions, and experiences.

From those chakras, you project information and manifest your present-moment experiences. You may open the sixth chakra by practicing automatic writing, working with amethyst, or welcoming in your spirit guides.

4. Join a Tribe

Ancient cultures recognized that humanity thrives in groups and communities. Having a network that you can relate to can offer a sacred space for you to be vulnerable, courage, and grounded energy. You may be isolated due to numerous factors such as location, disability, financial issues, or simply feeling rejected.

You may wish to consider how the right tribe of people can be medicinal in your life. From there, reflect on the values that matter to you. What qualities must be present in the community that you join?

5. Practice Forgiveness

Your soul is incredibly depleted when you hold onto anger, judgment, resentment, and shame. Your body and mind’s frequency is lowered, and you may find that you will manifest more of the same from that vibration. While forgiveness is challenging, it does not mean that you have to acquit someone who has wronged you or to continue having a relationship without boundaries.

On the contrary, it is an opportunity to free yourself–and your past. The desire to forgive is all you need. Being open to the idea that you might one day easily and effortlessly transmute all pain is a great first step.

 

6 Ways To Nurture A Healthy Mind Body and Spirit You Need Right Now

 

6. Create a Meaningful Existence

Your vitality is not only dependent on the food you consume and the movement that you give your body but also the sense of satisfaction and fulfillment that you find in your daily life. The more clarity that you have around the meaning of your existence, and the more you pursue your purpose, the more liveliness you bring into each day.

In order to start living into your purpose, you may want to contemplate, “What am I passionate about? What brings me joy? What did I once do that I miss doing more of?” Remember, your purpose is not necessarily a career choice. It can also include a hobby that brings you delight, a relationship that you tend, or how you go about your life.

If you’ve been doing all the “right” things for your body, practicing mental hygiene, but still feeling a little low, anxious, or lost, it may be time to tend to your spirit. The lifeforce in you, when strengthened, supports you in feeling connected, free, guided, and faithful. By becoming aware of what drains your spirit, and choosing lifestyle measures that nurture it, you can complement the health of the mind and body.

The world can be a noisy place that is why it is important for us to have a healthy mind body and spirit. These ways here will help us nurture a healthy mind body and spirit. Having a healthy mind body and spirit also means having a healthy life. We can move on with life without hesitations. Let us all learn how to nurture a healthy mind body and spirit now.

Original article by Parita Shah, Reiki Practitioner and Energy Healer.

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5 Simple Daily Habits For A Mindful Life

Tara Christie

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5 Simple Daily Habits For A Mindful Life

Make mindfulness be part of your daily habits. Let us learn how to be mindful in our daily lives with these mindful practices…

Your day-to-day activities offer ample opportunities to call up mindfulness in any moment. These simple practices will breathe space into your daily routines.

How often have you rushed out the door and into your day without even thinking about how you’d like things to go? Before you know it, something or someone has rubbed you the wrong way, and you’ve reacted automatically with frustration, impatience, or rage—in other words, you’ve found yourself acting in a way you never intended.

You don’t have to be stuck in these patterns. Pausing to practice mindfulness for just a few minutes at different times during the day can help your days be better, more in line with how you’d like them to be.

Explore these five daily habits for bringing more mindfulness into your life:

 

5 Simple Daily Habits For A Mindful Life

 

Intention refers to the underlying motivation for everything we think, say, or do. From the brain’s perspective, when we act in unintended ways, there’s a disconnect between the faster, unconscious impulses of the lower brain centers and the slower, conscious, wiser abilities of the higher centers like the pre-frontal cortex.

Given that the unconscious brain is in charge of most of our decision-making and behaviors, this practice can help you align your conscious thinking with a primal emotional drive that the lower centers care about. Beyond safety, these include motivations like reward, connection, purpose, self-identity and core values.

Setting an intention—keeping those primal motivations in mind—helps strengthen this connection between the lower and higher centers. Doing so can change your day, making it more likely that your words, actions and responses— especially during moments of difficulty—will be more mindful and compassionate.

This practice is best done first thing in the morning, before checking phones or email.

1. On waking, sit in your bed or a chair in a relaxed posture. Close your eyes and connect with the sensations of your seated body. Make sure your spine is straight, but not rigid.

2. Take three long, deep, nourishing breaths—breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Then let your breath settle into its own rhythm, as you simply follow it in and out, noticing the rise and fall of your chest and belly as you breathe.

3. Ask yourself: “What is my intention for today?” Use these prompts to help answer that question, as you think about the people and activities you will face. Ask yourself:

How might I show up today to have the best impact?

What quality of mind do I want to strengthen and develop?

What do I need to take better care of myself?

During difficult moments, how might I be more compassionate to others and myself?

How might I feel more connected and fulfilled?

4. Set your intention for the day. For example, “Today, I will be kind to myself; be patient with others; give generously; stay grounded; persevere; have fun; eat well,” or anything else you feel is important.

5. Throughout the day, check in with yourself. Pause, take a breath, and revisit your intention. Notice, as you become more and more conscious of your intentions for each day, how the quality of your communications, relationships, and mood shifts.

 

5 Simple Daily Habits For A Mindful Life

 

2) Enjoy Every Mouthful

It’s easy enough to reduce eating to a sensation of bite, chew, and swallow. Who hasn’t eaten a plateful of food without noticing what they’re doing? Yet eating is one of the most pleasurable experiences we engage in as human beings, and doing it mindfully can turn eating into a far richer experience, satisfying not just the need for nutrition, but more subtle senses and needs.

When we bring our full attention to our bodies and what we are truly hungry for, we can nourish all our hungers. Try this:

1. Breathe before eating. We often move from one task right to the other without pausing or taking a breath.  By pausing, we slow down and allow for a more calm transition to our meals. Bring your attention inward by closing your eyes, and begin to breathe slowly in and out of your belly for eight to 10 deep breaths before you start your meal.

2. Listen to your body. After breathing, bring your awareness to the physical sensations in your belly. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being that you don’t feel any physical sensation of hunger and 10 being that you feel very hungry, ask yourself “How hungry am I?”

What physical sensations tell you that you are hungry or not hungry (emptiness in stomach, shakiness, no desire to eat, stomach growling, etc.)? Try not to think about when you last ate or what time it is, and really listen to your body, not your thoughts.

3. Eat according to your hunger. Now that you are more in touch with how hungry you are, you can more mindfully choose what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat. This simple practice can help you tune in to your real needs.

4. Practice peaceful eating. At your next meal, slow down and continue to breathe deeply as you eat. It’s not easy to digest or savor your food if you aren’t relaxed.

5. If you don’t love it, don’t eat it. Take your first three bites mindfully, experience the taste, flavors, textures, and how much enjoyment you are receiving from a certain food. Make a mindful choice about what to eat based on what you really enjoy.

3) Rewire Your Brain As Part Of Your Daily Habits

It’s estimated that 95% of our behavior runs on autopilot—something I call “fast brain.” That’s because neural networks underlie all of our habits, reducing our millions of sensory inputs per second into manageable shortcuts so we can function in this crazy world. These default brain signals are like signaling superhighways, so efficient that they often cause us to relapse into old behaviors before we remember what we meant to do instead.

Mindfulness is the exact opposite of these processes; it’s slow brain. It’s executive control rather than autopilot, and enables intentional actions, willpower, and decisions. But that takes some practice.

The more we activate the slow brain, the stronger it gets. Every time we do something deliberate and new, we stimulate neuroplasticity, activating our grey matter, which is full of newly sprouted neurons that have not yet been groomed for the fast brain.

But here’s the problem. While my slow brain knows what is best for me, my fast brain is causing me to shortcut my way through life. So how can we trigger ourselves to be mindful when we need it most? This is where the notion of “behavior design” comes in. It’s a way to put your slow brain in the driver’s seat.

There are two ways to do that—first, slowing down the fast brain by putting obstacles in its way, and second, removing obstacles in the path of the slow brain, so it can gain control.

Shifting the balance to give your slow brain more power takes some work, though. Here are some ways to get started in making the daily habits count.

1. Trip over what you want to do. If you intend to do some yoga or to meditate, put your yoga mat or your meditation cushion in the middle of your floor so you can’t miss it as you walk by.

2. Refresh your triggers regularly. Say you decide to use sticky notes to remind yourself of a new intention. That might work for about a week, but then your fast brain and old habits take over again. Try writing new notes to yourself; add variety or make them funny so they stick with you longer.

3. Create new patterns and make daily habits worthwhile. You could try a series of “If this, then that” messages to create easy reminders to shift into slow brain. For instance, you might come up with, “If office door, then deep breath,” as a way to shift into mindfulness as you are about to start your workday. Or, “If phone rings, take a breath before answering.” Each intentional action to shift into mindfulness will strengthen your slow brain.

4)  Activate Your Mind and Your Muscles

Riding a bike, lifting weights, sweating it out on a treadmill—what do such exercises have in common? For one thing, each can be a mindfulness practice. Whatever the physical activity—dancing the Tango, taking a swim—instead of simply working out to burn calories, master a skill, or improve condition, you can move and breathe in a way that not only gets your blood pumping and invigorates every cell in your body, but also shifts you from feeling busy and distracted to feeling strong and capable.

Ready? The following steps, good for any activity, will help you synchronize body, mind, and nervous system. As you do, you will strengthen your capacity to bring all of your energy to the task at hand.

1. Be clear about your aim and make a plan for your daily habits. As you tie your laces or pull on your gardening gloves, bring purpose to your activity by consciously envisioning how you want your guide your session. As you climb on your bike you might say, “I am going to breathe deeply and notice the sensation of the breeze and the sun and the passing scenery.” As you enter the pool, you might say, “I’m going to pay attention to each stroke, and the sound and feel of the water surrounding me.”

2. Warm up (5 minutes). Try any simple moves— jumping jacks, stretching— and concentrate on matching the rhythm of your breath to your movement. By moving rhythmically, your brain activity, heart rate, and nervous system begin to align and stabilize.

3. Settle into a rhythm (10 to 15 minutes). Pick up the intensity, but continue to coordinate your breath and movement. If you have trouble doing this, then simply focus on your breathing for a few minutes. Eventually you’ll find your groove.

4. Challenge yourself (10 to 15 minutes). Try faster speed, more repetitions, or heavier weights, depending on what you are doing. Notice how alert and alive you feel when pushing yourself.

5. Cool down (5 minutes). Steadily slow down your pace until you come to a standstill. Notice the way your body feels. Drink in your surroundings.

6. Rest (5 minutes). Quietly recognize the symphony of sensations flowing in and around you. Practice naming what you feel and sense. Chances are you’ll feel awake and alive from head to toe.

 

5 Simple Daily Habits For A Mindful Life

 

5) Drive Yourself Calm, Not Crazy

There’s nothing like heavy traffic and impatient drivers to trigger the “fight or flight” response. That’s why road rage erupts and stress levels soar, while reason is overrun. The worse the traffic, the worse the stress. Los Angeles, where I live, has some of the worst traffic around, and some of the most unserene drivers. Emotions run high, tempers flare, tires squeal.

But it doesn’t have to be like that. In fact, the snarliest traffic jam can provide an excellent opportunity to build your mindfulness muscle, increase your sense of connection to others, and restore some balance and perspective.

Here are the steps to a simple behind-the-wheel practice I’ve been doing for a while. I’ve found it can work wonders.

1. First, take a deep breath as part of your daily habits. This simple, yet profound advice helps bring more oxygen into your body and widens the space between the stimulus of the traffic and your heightened stress reaction. In this space lies perspective and choice.

2. Ask yourself what you need. It may be in that moment that you need to feel safe, at ease or you just need some relief. Understanding what you need will bring balance.

3. Give yourself what you need. If ease is what you need, you can scan your body for any tension (not a bad thing to do while driving in any case) and soften any tension or adjust your body as needed. You can sprinkle in some phrases of self-compassion, such as, “May I be at ease, may I feel safe, may I be happy.”

4. Look around and recognize that all the other drivers are just like you. Everyone on the road wants the same thing you do—to feel safe, have a sense of ease, and to be happy. Chances are you’ll see a number of fellow drivers who look a bit agitated, but you might also catch that one who is singing or actually smiling, and this will dissipate some of your own stress immediately.

You can apply to all of them what you just offered to yourself, saying, “May you be at ease, may you feel safe, may you be happy.”

5. Take another deep breath. In 15 seconds or less, you can turn around your mood by applying these simple tips. When you feel the frustration of traffic rising, choose whatever you need to work on, and offer that condition to others. If you need to feel safe, say, “May I be safe, may you be safe, may we all be safe.” Breathe in, breathe out, you’ve sowed a seed of happiness.

Make your daily habits be filled with mindfulness. These simple daily habits are easy to follow. You can do these things everyday to live a meaningful and mindful life. Make your daily habits count. Make life worthwhile with positive daily habits. Relax and breathe while you can. Having a routine from these simple daily habits will make each morning worth waking up to.

 

Original article by PARNEET PAL, CARLEY HAUCK, ELISHA GOLDSTEIN, KYRA BOBINET, AND CARA BRADLEY.

 

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4 Easy Ways to Connect With Nature With Mindfulness

Tara Christie

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4 Easy Ways to Connect With Nature With Mindfulness

We are all connected in this universe. That includes the nature that surrounds us. In order to stay grounded, we need to learn to connect with nature. Let’s learn here easy ways to connect with nature with mindfulness…

Trail-bound or office-bound, here are a few ways to mindfully celebrate the nature around us.

There’s a considerable amount of pessimism surrounding our relationship to the planet and what we’ll have to do going forward to keep things on even keel. And new research suggests we tend to think we’re all doomed, even as we hope for a better personal future. So how can we put that personal optimism to work in addressing environmental problems?

We think having a few mindfulness practices that foster a positive connection to nature—from leafy forests to office ferns—could help bring that personal optimism to a more public arena.

Here are four ways you can mindfully appreciate nature, with examples offered by scientists and researchers:

 

4 Easy Ways to Connect With Nature With Mindfulness

 

1) Consider your own connection to nature.

“Every time we breathe in, we’re breathing in other organisms,” says David Haskell, author of The Forest Unseen. “Our bodies are covered in bacteria that has come from all over the place. Our bodies are communities of bacteria.”

If you’re thinking that being indoors in front of a computer screen doesn’t lend itself to this kind of inventory, Haskell says we can think of the web as a smaller version of a much larger web of biological connections.

“These days we’re very attuned, thinking about networks like Facebook and Twitter and all that,” says Haskell, “but in nature it’s more than Facebook. It’s whole Bodybook. In some ways the Internet is a rediscovery of what biology has been doing for billions of years.”

Appreciating our connection to nature is an essential practice that can even be taught to young children.

2) Foster greater awareness of your natural surroundings and connect with nature.

Consider how your senses help you relate to your environment, in both dramatic and small ways.

“I was in Alaska with my son, going up a stream, being taught by a guide how to smell for bears,” says Richard Louv, author of The Nature Principle“The Alaskan Brown Bears are the ones who’d like to have you over for dinner to eat you. Once you’ve smelled that smell, you never forget it. That’s an example of using a sense for a very important purpose.”

And while not all of us are going to be in Alaska, we can tune into the environment that’s around us every day by taking a mindful garden walk to appreciate the nature in our own backyards.

3) Actively appreciate the good and growing things that surround us.

As difficult as it may feel, we can acknowledge the destruction of our natural world while continuing to open our hearts to the nature we deeply cherish.

The feeling of awe that we get when we’re surrounded by nature can even contribute to making us happier and healthier.

“Mindfulness teachings point us to meet the present moment as it is: We behold both the beauty of nature and the devastation that is occurring,” author Mark Coleman explains.

The feeling of awe that we get when we’re surrounded by nature can even contribute to making us happier and healthier.

 

4 Easy Ways to Connect With Nature With Mindfulness

 

4) Accept that better understanding can lead to a better change.

“Over human, history nature has become ‘other,’ something separate,” says Lauren Oakes, a researcher at Stanford University, who measures the evidence of climate change on the environment. “I actually physically feel something when I stand in a forest that’s alive and healthy, than one that’s dead. As a person, I naturally feel responsible for things. How does that knowledge affect us? What role does hope play in a connection to that resource?”

Understanding the role we play in protecting our natural environment is an essential step towards ensuring it not only survives but thrives.

“That word, sustainable, sounds to most people like survival,” says Louv. “The bare minimum. That doesn’t get most people excited. Obviously, survival is important but we weren’t put here just to survive, we were put here to create. What if we could begin to imagine a nature-rich future with new kinds of cities, homes and neighborhoods? New kinds of workplaces? If we don’t aim much higher than sustainability, we’ll never reach it.”

When we connect with nature we begin to understand how all things can be connected. Mindfulness is important when we connect with nature. It makes us live in the present. It makes us understand the beauty of the NOW. As we move on with life, we must continue to connect with nature in our own little ways.

Original article by  CARSTEN KNOX.

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4 Ways to Teach Your Brain To Be Grateful All The Background

 

4 Simple Ways to Be Confident After a Downfall

 

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