Are you in touch with your pleasures?

Are you in touch with your pleasures?

Am I happy? Do I follow my bliss? What is my path in life? These are just a few of the many questions that we ask ourselves on a daily basis. Some of us look into the future for our happiness….once I land my perfect job I will be happy. When I move to ____ I will be happy. When I retire I will be happy. When I pay off my debt, then I will truly be happy.

Why not be happy right now?

Happiness is not something that we “find” in the outside world. Happiness is found within ourselves. That may sound strange to you, or something you have heard hundreds of times, but sit and really think about that. Happiness should be found from within. If you think someone else is going to do it for you, you are wasting your precious time. The more you focus on things that are abundant in your life, the more you place focus on things you are grateful for, the more of it you will find. This I promise you.

Stop saying yes!

One of the main sources of unhappiness is the constant over-scheduling of our lives. How many times have you thought to yourself…if only I had more time for me! Why don’t you? Do you over schedule yourself? Say yes when you really want to say no? Spend most of your time doing things for other people? I still fall back into this habit having two boys under 10, but more often than not, I make sure to carve time out just for me, and happiness begins to creep in.

Wouldn’t it be great to say, “I am sorry, but I can’t fit that into my schedule.”
Make a list

One of my first mentor’s Dr. Deb Kern taught me to do things that make me happy. Sounds simple right? For many people it isn’t. Most mom’s are martyr’s and the first thing that may come to mind are things like spending more time with your kids, or doing things for them, seeing them smile, etc. These are NOT the kind of things I am talking about. The things that make you happy have to have NOTHING to do with another person. This is ALL about YOU.

Grab a piece of paper and a pencil. Make sure you are alone so you can have some real time to think. I want you to write a list of pleasures. Don’t leave anything out. What do you like to do? What makes you happy? What are your talents? What is something that you used to love to do only you feel you have no time for it anymore…write that down! Pleasures should include your deepest desires. Ones that may make you blush if someone else read your list. Do not leave anything out. The list may be hard to write at first, but don’t give up!

Now sit back and read what you wrote. How many things on your pleasures list do you do everyday? None? One? Many?

My list

I found when I first made my list that I barely touched any of those things in a weeks time, or even a month! It was truly a shocking realization for me. I stared at my list and thought, where did I go wrong? When did I stop doing these things? I make sure to revisit the list often to check in with myself and make sure that I am staying on track. I know exactly where my list is at all times, because the more I do these things the more I find that I love and have to add to my list! I make sure to do at least 3 of these things every day.

I will give you a few examples of how I make that work.

*I love to write and can sit for hours at a time..but I am always sure to take breaks for a few pleasures. I get up from my desk at least once an hour and dance. Unbridled, do not care who sees me dancing. I have a favorites play list on YouTube and I move my body to songs that stir up real feelings within me. Songs that can easily make me laugh or bring me to happy tears, songs that help to me to truly find release.  I sing…loudly. When I sit back down I feel amazing!

*I take aromatic baths a few times a week. I lock the door so my boys can’t come in and ask me for the million things that kids do the moment mom steps in the bathroom.

*I sit in the sun of a window (since it is winter), or on my deck in the summer and do my yoga and meditation practice.  (Vitamin D is great for you too!)

My list is over 50 pleasures strong. Your first list may only have a dozen things, and that is ok. I guarantee your list will grow the more you practice.

Develop a mindset that is focused on finding and following your bliss. This means allowing time and energy to explore different things. Be willing to step outside of your comfort zone.  At least a little bit. What humbles you? bringing you to your knees? What do you stand gaping, open-mouthed in awe of? Who do you love impossibly and with every inch of possibility? …is it Art? Painting? Singing? Dancing? Writing? Gardening? Cooking? What would you do even if you weren’t getting paid for it? Think about it….then do it. You can’t “find your bliss” by doing the day to day routing with no changes..no excitement. No excuses, do not say I will start tomorrow or I do not have time. Make the time!

Follow Your Bliss

Yes you can!

The first step is to be willing to make a change. When you are constantly worried or “stressed out”, this is not only the energy you are living in, but the energy you attract. You make bad decisions from a stressed state, “I can’t”, “I won’t”, or worse, say yes when you really can’t afford to.

Once you begin to focus on your pleasures list you will find that you can make decisions using your heart and your body, not your brain or your ego. Your heart wants the best for you; your ego operates from an entirely different place.

Get in touch with your heart

You will see once you begin thinking more about yourself, and doing things that make you happy, that you become centered and more peaceful. When working from this quieter place, you can make better decisions for your greater good. You will begin to say yes because you really want to, and no when you need to.

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“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”-Joseph Campbell

It is time!

Most of all if you are unhappy in a situation change it. I realize some things can’t happen overnight, but they can be done. I have had the pleasure of hearing stories of people selling everything they own….down to towels and sheets and moving across country, children in tow to start a new life. People quitting their job because it was not their life calling to start a whole new venture, no promises, no guarantees and been happier than ever before. Going back to school in their 40’s to start a whole new career. Leaving their husband of years without a career of their own, but needed to stand on their own two feet. I have heard story upon story of brave souls who made the change, who took that first scary step into the abyss…..to be happier than ever. You can do it too.

 

“Nothing is more important than reconnecting with your bliss. Nothing is as rich. Nothing is more real.” –Deepak Chopra

 

It is never too late to turn things around. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please note that I am not a medical practitioner. The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. By using this website, you assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions.

10 Ways to Feel More Grounded Every Day

10 Ways to Feel More Grounded Every Day

This blog first appeared on the ACHS health and wellness blog here

Developing a wellness plan sounds overwhelming, but it does not have to be. Like most plans for wellness, the hardest part is staying on course.

Before we get started, I want to emphasize that wherever you are on any given day is exactly where you should be. There is no room in life for self-sabotage or limiting beliefs. Always love yourself! Look for the positive in every situation, and you will be on your way to wellness.

This article will not be about eating or exercise. The “wellness” that most of us struggle with is our thoughts: our emotional and mental wellness. The goal is to master your mind instead of being its slave.

Here are 10 ways to foster mental and emotional wellness and a stress-free life that work for me:

1. Accomplish Your To-Do List

Many of us have incredibly long to-do lists. Sometimes it feels as if the list never gets shorter.

I recommend picking three things from your to-do list every day, and focus on those three things. Narrowing your focus helps you to feel less overwhelmed with all there is to do. At the end of the day, look at the three things you completed and enjoy your accomplishment.

2. Evaluate, Don’t Dwell

When encountering a problem in life or a change of plan, it’s important to take a step back and evaluate. If you step out of a situation and give yourself time to calm down, you may realize it was not much of a “problem” after all.

Once a problem is identified, think about possible ways to solve it. Ignoring the problem is not the answer. Once you have made a decision on how to handle the issue, move on. Don’t dwell on it.

3. Sidestep Drama

You can probably identify things in your life that trigger stress or negative feelings. This could be a person, place, or situation. If there are people or things that throw you off course, I suggest avoiding them altogether.

If it is something that cannot be avoided, try creating a mantra to repeat when needed, such as “I can handle whatever comes my way.” It’s simple, yet can be very effective. Surround yourself with people that lift you up.

4. Remember: You’re Responsible for Your Own
Happiness

If you work with clients everyday this section is especially for you!

So many of us spend our days working hard, doing what needs to be done, and graciously helping others, but not spending much time on ourselves. I have an exercise for you. It’s time to make a list.

Make a list of all the things you can think of that make you happy. Spend 15 minutes on this exercise. Do you like to read, paint, sing, dance, do yoga, spend time in nature, read a book, or take a bath? Make the list as thorough as you can. When you are done, look it over. How many of those things do you do everyday? You are responsible for you own happiness; start doing things every day that make you happy.

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.” – Joseph Campbell

Happy Quote

5. Don’t Forget to Breathe

Let’s face it; there are times when a problem cannot be fixed. When you hold on to things for too long, it can become an energy leak.

One method I use to let things go, stay present, and reset my mind is through my breath.

Try a technique called the 4–7-8 breathing technique. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, “The 4-7-8 Breath (also known as the Relaxing Breath) is the perfect, portable stress antidote, as it puts the practitioner in a relaxed state almost immediately. It takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere.” [1]

Breathe in through your nose slowly to the count of four. Hold that breath to a count of seven, and then slowly exhale through your mouth to a count of eight. Perform this exercise five to ten times for maximum benefits.

“You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.” – Wayne W. Dyer

6. Take Electronic Vacations

By electronic vacations, I don’t mean take all of your electronics and sit on the couch all day. What I mean is put them away. There is plenty to see around you. Turn off your electronics and look around. Do not let the beauty of real life pass you by. Electronics have their purpose, but our society is addicted. Getting back to nature would do all of us a lot of good!

7. Practice Guided Imagery

Guided imagery or guided visualization is a great tool to utilize when you need to take your worried mind to a quiet, blissful sanctuary. Do you have a favorite place that helps all the stresses of life melt away? This may be a place you went on vacation or a place that resides only in your imagination.

To utilize this relaxation tool, get comfortable either sitting or laying down, and begin to focus on your breath. Close or soften your eyes and transport yourself to your favorite place. Take in all of the sights, smells, and sounds. Five to 10 minutes in your happy place will leave you both relaxed and energized.

8. Forgive Yourself

We all make mistakes, but how we recover from them is important. Replaying mistakes over and over again is exhausting. You cannot go back and change it, so you have to move forward. Realize you did the best you could, and move on. Mantras work great as does tapping or the Emotional Freedom Technique. A great website that can teach you just how this works to diffuse negative feelings is: http://www.thetappingsolution.com/ [2]

“Love yourself—accept yourself—forgive yourself—and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things.” – Leo F. Buscaglia

9. Take an Aromatherapy Bath

An aromatic bath is a nice treat at the end of a busy day and can help promote restful sleep.

Recipe:

1 cup quality Epsom salts

1T carrier oil such as jojoba oil OR full fat milk/cream

3-5 drops essential oil (Try lavenderLavandula angustifolia and Roman chamomile Chamaemelum nobile)

Directions: Mix together in a non-reactive container. Fill your bath and add a few drops into the water.

10. Pay it Forward

Contribute to your community or your field. Selfless compassion for others is very rewarding. Helping others lifts you up like nothing else can.

In the words of Helen Keller: Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.

Incorporate some of these ideas into your wellness plan, and I believe you’ll find yourself more grounded and at peace. If you can work to calm your mind from the busyness of life, you will be better equipped to help others and on your way to improved wellness.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a student of American College of Healthcare Sciences, the Institution that publishes this blog. However, all opinions are my own. This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

References

[1] Breathing Exercises, 4-7-8 Breath. Retrieved from:http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/VDR00160/Dr-Weils-Breathing-Exercises-4-7-8-Breath.html

[2] The Tapping Solution. Retrieved from: http://www.thetappingsolution.com/

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