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Living in Gratitude

Gratitude is easy when we are in love, or we receive a big check, or a special gift, or the baby is sleeping through the night. It’s all good and easy to give thanks when the food is on the table, we feel healthy and pain-free.  However, it can be challenging to see the goodness when we are living in the shadows of life. But that is exactly when we need gratitude the most. That’s when we must go looking for it.

In the words of Melodie Beattie: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…. It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today,  and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Below Find 5 Action Steps To Start Living in Gratitude:

1)  The Mental Gratitude List.  You can go over a mental list as you do the things that relax you, such as working in the garden, walking in the park, or whatever relaxation activities that you do. You’ll find that doing your mental gratitude list work is much more effective if you can do it while you are in a more relaxed state of mind. The key is to get into the habit of reminding yourself what was good about today so to help you create a better tomorrow.

2) The Written Out Gratitude List (AKA  “Gratitude Journal”). This is the most basic and powerful practice in all of Positive Psychology. There has not been a single text on happiness published in the past decade that does not mention this exercise. Every day, write down 3 to 10 blessings from the past 24 hours. Think deeply about each area of your life that you are grateful for, and begin to write in detail the good things that come to your mind as you write. Make sure that you are finding and writing things that you are sincerely grateful for.

3) Offer a Prayer of Thanks. Robert Emmons, in his 2007 book, “Thanks!” says that 70% of people surveyed pray daily (all religions combined). Those who say ‘thank you’ more often than ‘please give me….’ experience higher life satisfaction.

4) Include others into your expression of gratitude. By focusing our gratitude on individuals that we are thankful for, we enhance the benefits of our gratitude. Give a detailed description of what this person did for you, and what impact they have created in your life.

5) Find Gratitude Within Every Problem. No matter how bad things might seem, the problems we face can be of tremendous value; our problems are there to help us make progress in life. However, if we resist these problems by blaming, complaining, making excuses, or feeling victims, then we are doing ourselves no favors. The most wholesome way to embrace all the problems we face is through gratitude. To do this, ask yourself:

  • What are the true benefits of this problem?
  • What can this problem help me learn?
  • How will it allow me to grow as a person?
  • What insights can I gather from this problem that can help me?
  • How could it change me as a person?
  • What value is there in all this?
  • How will these benefits help me right here, right now?
  • How could I benefit from working through this problem in the future?
  • How does all this make me feel?

Our problems are only what we make them out to be. And it is only through an attitude of gratitude that we will successfully unmask the true value of what they have to offer.

Have faith that you will learn the lessons that must be learned; you will grow from the experience, and that progress will eventually be made.

“Everything that happens to us has a blessing built into it.” ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer

May Your Gratitude Practice Increase the Abundance and the Joy in Your Life.

In GRATITUDE,

Veronica

How to Live “One Day At A Time”

By Veronica Vidal

What does it mean to live one day at a time?

One-day-at-a-time-thinking reminds us that, by limiting our horizons to tonight, we will do, feel, say, or think ONLY what we are able to manage for the next few hours.

This principle of living in the moment is very much embedded in yoga philosophy, and it is the absolute best, most rewarding, most effective piece and quickest way of relieving stress, depression, and anxiety. This way of thinking allows us to live with more creativity, more ease, and less worry less stress, and less self-inflicted pressure.

Taking it day by day means reducing the degree of control we expect to be able to bring to bear on the uncertain future.

Start from today living one day at a time, even if you are not particularly enjoying it, even if you are living through difficulties. Facing your reality just one-day-at-a-time will enable you to cope with it much more easily, thus moving into the future with strength, dignity, and hope.

Resolve to do this each day. Remember this is a new beginning. Start now. The time is now.

This is your present!

Here are 6 practical steps for living “One Step at a Time”

1) Stop the thoughts that don’t belong in the present. The past has gone and the future is not here yet, so prepare responsibly and positively for the future by living positively in the here and now. Focus on everything that you do, no matter how mundane. Attempt to concentrate on each moment as it presents itself to you. Be mindful of checking frequently that your thoughts are not dwelling on the past or racing ahead to the future. If you find that they are, STOP – and gently bring your attention back to the present, focusing on where you are, what you are doing, and what is happening in the here and now.

2) Do your best to remain positive, especially if your reality “here and now” feels unpleasant. Remind yourself that nothing lasts forever, nothing ever stays the same; life is constantly changing programs. Stay open to the fact that every day is different, every day something new happens. Affirm that things can get better.

3) If you failed today, try again tomorrow. If you didn’t fail, give yourself a high five and do it all again. So, if you’re taking it one day at a time, is there room for mistakes? There will have to be, you’re a human. Maybe you’re taking things ten minutes at a time, and you failed. Try again for the next ten minutes. If you failed to get things done today and instead watched a full day of TV and wallowed, then forgive yourself and move on tomorrow to your task list. It’s all about a fresh start every day.

4) Instead of focusing on the end result, focus on the next step. There are times in life where we have to really break things down to simple increments. When we are trying to change our lives completely, we may need to do just that. It’s much easier to focus on a piece of the puzzle than looking at all the pieces at once and having them put together in one fell swoop. We put together puzzles piece by piece, such is the way of life as well.

5) Make a list of Things That Aren’t Worth Worrying About. To help live one day at a time you can make a list of things that are not worth worrying about, and then do your best to avoid those thoughts during your day. If you do feel that you need to think about a worry then write it down and let yourself consider it for 5 minutes at the end of the day. After those 5 minutes, discipline to put it out of your mind. Remind yourself that worrying about what might or could happen will do precisely nothing to change the future, it will only make you miserable now and divert your attention from being able to be present on what you need to do today.

6) Block Out “What Ifs”. Along with worry come to a lot of “what ifs.” To avoid all these “what ifs” avoid having a “tomorrow focused” mindset. If you focus on the day you’re in then most what-ifs become obsolete.

Learn to live one day at a time and it will bring more productivity, joy, and calm, into your life.

Continue to stay safe, strong, and serene as we transition to our new normal.
Your loving support, referrals, and loyalty fill me with immense gratitude.

With Infinite Love

Vero Vidal
www.VeroVidal.com

Practicing Self-Compassion

By Veronica Vidal

“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” – Jack Kornfield

Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail or feel inadequate, rather than punishing ourselves with self-criticism (Neff, 2003a). We cannot always achieve exactly what we want. When this reality is denied or fought against, suffering increases in the form of stress, frustration, and self-criticism.

Self-compassionate individuals are those who recognize that imperfection and failure are inevitable, and thus tend to be more gentle with themselves when confronted with distressing or unpleasant experiences rather than getting angry when life falls short of self-imposed ideals (Neff, 2015).

With self-compassion we mindfully accept that the moment is painful, and embrace ourselves with kindness and care in response, remembering that imperfection is part of the shared human experience. This allows us to hold ourselves in love and connection, giving ourselves the support and comfort needed to bear the pain, while providing the optimal conditions for growth and transformation.

5 Ways to Practice Self-Compassion

1: Practice Forgiveness ~ Stop punishing yourself for your mistakes. Accept that you are not perfect and be gentle with yourself when you are confronted with your shortcomings. There is no sense in punishing your future for the mistakes of your past. Forgive yourself, grow from it, and then let it go.

2: Employ a Growth Mindset ~ Self-compassionate individuals understand that there is potential for learning and growth in every mistake they make (Neff, 2003). Do you view challenges as impossible obstacles or as opportunities to grow? Employ a growth mindset, and embrace rather than avoid challenges, persist in finding meaning in them, and don’t give up on yourself.

3: Express Gratitude ~ Feeling gratitude is very powerful (Emmons & McCullough, 2003). Rather than wishing for what we do not have, there is strength in appreciating what we do have, right now. You can choose to write a gratitude journal. By focusing on our blessings we employ a gentler inner voice and move the focus away from our shortcomings and outward to the world, with all its beauty.

4: Be Mindful ~ Mindfulness has been found to have a positive impact on self-compassion, as it has a tendency to lessen self-judgment (Kabat-Zinn, 2014). Strive to always be in the moment and to be aware of what is happening right now, without judgment and labeling. Allow what you think or feel to have its moment. Don’t give it the microphone or hide it in the corner. Allow it to come, and then, without attachment, let it go.

5: Make Peace with Your Inner Critic ~ Self-criticism is a common problem, and not one to be overlooked. The way you talk to yourself plays a vital role in well-being. Luckily, the problem of the harsh self-critic is fixable. So, next time you do not rise to the expectations you have for yourself, take a moment to pause and reassess.

Be mindful of the difficult emotions that arise. Forgive yourself and recognize that you are only human. See if you can identify how to do it differently next time. Be grateful for the opportunity you had in the first place and for your persistence to try again.

Finally, accept yourself. You are not perfect. And yes, you likely could have done better. But chances are, you did just fine. And often, that’s more than enough.

Continue to stay safe, strong, and serene as we transition to our new normal.

Your loving support, referrals, and loyalty fill me with immense gratitude.

With Infinite Love

Vero Vidal
www.VeroVidal.com

Finding Balance In This New Normal

By Veronica Vidal

Finding balance is a lifetime project. It is an ongoing process. It is not a fixed goal at the end of which you will have a calm, relaxed, and meaningful life. It is ongoing. Looking for balance is a mindset that leads to wellness. When we feel out of balance, our emotions get out of whack. Feeling out of balance can be both a sign and a result of stress. Research shows that it can lead to many other emotional and physical symptoms, ranging from general feelings of irritability to feeling overwhelmed, depressed, anxious, to stomach problems, headaches, sleeping disorders, and other physical/mental symptoms.

So, what can you do to find some balance in your life?

1) First, take a deep breath. Most of us are holding our breath far more often than we realize. Anxiety, depression, and stress all cause us to constrict our breathing, making us feel even more out of balance. Stress releases cortisol into the body, which can have a negative effect on both our mental and physical well-being. Clinical studies have shown that learning to breathe deeply stimulates our relaxation response; and through relaxation techniques, we can help to undo some of the harm caused by stress. Taking a deep breath is the beginning of finding balance in our lives.

2) Time Yourself. Author and time-management coach Jamie Novak points out that few people assign a time limit to a task. “Sure, to-do lists make us more productive; so, does grouping the tasks into batches and prioritizing them,” she said. But that does not mean you’ll get them done in the time you allotted, or that whatever you are batching won’t end up taking over your day. The more you time yourself and become aware of how long a task takes you, the more time you’ll be able to identify and re-purpose in your schedule.

3) Adopt Time Theming. To help ensure work-life balance, Mike Vardy, founder of the Productivity’s consultancy, says this technique -Time theming – assigning a main theme to a given afternoon, or perhaps a full day of the week – is a great way to avoid decision fatigue. Mike explained: “Theming your months, weeks and days gives you less to think about when you’re trying to decide what to do because that time has already been given some thematic value.” For instance, every Friday could be themed ‘friends day,’ and every Saturday could be themed ‘family day.’ By theming different priorities into your calendar, you can gain more freedom and flexibility to start creating a work-life balance that fulfills them finally.

4) Be specific. It’s more useful to say, “I’m going to spend an hour alone with each child sometime this week,” than to say, “I’m going to have quality time with each of my children.” Quality time is a great concept, but it’s also a vague one. And since it’s so vague, it’s hard to know whether or not you’ve accomplished that goal, which makes it hard to feel in balance. The same is true if you say that you’re going to eat healthily or exercise more. Set something specific—for example, this week you’ll add kale to three meals, or you’ll have fruit with your breakfast every morning; or decide that you’ll run for thirty minutes on Wednesday and Friday mornings.

5) Get enough rest and sleep. We think if we just meditated enough, or jogged enough, ate perfect food, or did this or that, everything would be perfect. But not only is that not possible, that actually adds more pressure to your already loaded list. To fell a sense of balance, it is not just about what you do, but also what you stop doing. Stopping everything to allow 7 to 9 hours of sleep and recover is an essential component to finding balance in your life.

6) Practice Yoga. Relaxation and Meditation Yoga practice, relaxation techniques and mindfulness meditation can clear your mind and regulate your mood, which will make you feel more balance in all aspects of your life.

And finally, remember that finding balance is not a one-time achievement.

Just like “practicing yoga”—the goal is not to become a master at it, but to keep practicing it. The same is true in life. As long as we keep practicing finding balance, we will find one. Of course, we will lose it. But we will find it again.

“If you don’t want to burn out, stop living like you’re on fire.” – Brené Brown

Continue to stay safe, strong, and serene as we transition to our new normal. Your loving support, referrals, and loyalty fill me with immense gratitude.

With Infinite Love

Vero Vidal

9 Tips For Living Stress-Free

By Veronica Vidal

We all deal with stress in some form in our lives. Our job, a family illness, money troubles, kids issues, and so much more.

These are common triggers. However, stress is different for everyone. What stresses you out may not even bother someone else, and vice versa. Still, our bodies react the same to stressors. That’s because the stress response is our body’s way of dealing with tough or demanding situations. It causes hormonal, respiratory, cardiovascular, and nervous system changes. This is known as the body’s “fight-or-flight response.” It’s this chemical reaction that prepares our body for a physical reaction because it thinks it’s under attack. Because stress will always be part of our lives in one way or another, we need to know how to manage it day-to-day.

The good news is that we can all learn how to handle stress and lead a happier healthier life. Here are some reminders to help you experience less stress and more calmness in your life:

1) Am I Stressed? ~ Recognize Stress
The first step to reducing your stress is recognizing you are stressed. Since we are always dealing with stress in many forms it can sometimes be hard to recognize. Sometimes you might be able to tell right away when you’re feeling under stress. Many people need a health care professional to tell them their back pain or chronic headaches are a result of stress, not another issue. The important thing is to start by asking yourself or to begin to look for signs or symptoms of stress.

2) Set priorities for your life
Focus on what’s important. Let the other stuff go. Also, identify tasks that you can share or delegate, then ask for help. Set limits appropriately and learn to say no to requests that would create excessive stress in your life.

3) Avoid Perfectionism
Remember, things don’t have to be perfect. Sometimes “good enough” is just fine.

4) Accept that there are events that you cannot control.
Practice acceptance of things you cannot change, Keep a positive attitude.

5) Get enough rest and sleep.
Your body needs time to recover from stressful events. Further, the lack of sleep itself is a stress trigger factor. 7 to 9 hours of sleep, and if needed, try to squeeze in a nap in. Get your “z”s

6) Don’t rely on alcohol, drugs, or compulsive behaviors to reduce stress
One of the biggest problems people face is they rely on poor coping mechanisms. While stress eating or binge drinking alcohol may temporarily provide some stress relief, they do not solve the underlying issue. Likewise, they end up causing more stress in the long term. Find a reliable and healthy way to relieve the stress in your life.

7) Practice Yoga, Relaxation and Meditation
Yoga practice, relaxation techniques, and mindfulness meditation can improve your concentration and regulate your mood, which will make you better able to cope with stress. Focusing on your breathing during yoga can do wonders for both your body and your mind.

8) Reframe your view of the situation:
Not necessarily changing the facts, but reframing how you think about the facts.

9) Make time for hobbies, interests, and relaxation.
Laugh! Look for the humor in your everyday life, or watch a funny video. Listen to music. Choose tunes that relax or revive you. Dance at home, sing alone, connect within, and be lighthearted!

Continue to stay safe, strong, and serene as we transition to our new normal.
Your loving support, referrals, and loyalty fill me with immense gratitude.

With Infinite Love

Vero Vidal
www.VeroVidal.com

4 Tips For Working On Acceptance

By Veronica Vidal

Acceptance is a very active process, there is nothing passive about it, it’s not passive resignation but an act of recognition that things are the way they are.

Acceptance doesn’t mean we can’t work to change the world or circumstances, but it means that unless we accept things as they are, we will try to force things to be as they are not, and that can create an enormous amount of difficulty AND pain.

Acceptance is about the courage to look at a situation right in the eye and say:” Yes, I have this problem”.

Acceptance is coming to terms with things as they are. Acceptance is facing reality as it is, which allows the possibility of moving in the direction of change or to be at peace with what is.

1) Avoid judging yourself, others and/or your circumstances.

Emotions are natural and everyone has them—acknowledging them can help you understand yourself better and move forward. Choose not to judge what happens to you. Instead, believe that everything happens for a reason and that better things will always follow. That’s the beginning of true acceptance. Develop awareness of your judgmental inner voice and cultivate a non-judgmental attitude.

2) Stop pushing away unpleasant thoughts and feelings.

Stop resisting. So much of our anguish is created when we are in a resistance state. Repressing our thoughts and feelings will not make them disappear. Resisting the reality makes us depressed, and eventually depressed.

Resistance and denial will not move us forward, nor will eliminate the undesirable. We don’t achieve acceptance in a moment. We often have to work through a mirage of thoughts and feelings – sometimes frustration, anger, outrage, shame, self-pity, fear, or sadness. Think about what you have to think; feel what you need to feel. Be mindful of what crosses your mind and heart, then, release it. A thought or feeling is not forever. The more quickly we can accept a feeling the more quickly we can move on to the next. Acceptance is the magic that makes change possible. Acceptance opens the door to growth, change, and moving forward.

3) Practice letting go.

How can you accept a devastating loss or change? We have two choices:

One is to hold on to the way things were. But if we can’t accept life the way it is, we have a big problem, because we cannot change what already has happened. Resisting the flow of life will only make us even more unhappy.
The other choice is to have the courage to accept life the way it is, which even though challenging, this process will empower us enormously.

4) Let beauty in.

When you’re focused on everything that’s lacking, it’s hard to fully notice, appreciate, and enjoy what’s present in abundance. Choose to appreciate what you have as opposed to giving too much attention to what you’ve lost.

Practice mindfulness, look around you; there’s beauty all around. Beaches and mountains, birds flying across the sky, music, and culture, blueberry ice cream, kissing in the sunset, and lifelong friendships. There is so much to live for; open up to what is truly beautiful and important in life.

Most of us keep the blinds shut, closing off to life. Take on the curiosity of a child. Open up and explore life as if it were your first day here, regardless of what you’ve had or lost. You can choose to focus on either. What’s your choice?

Yes, acceptance is a choice—a hard one most definitely, but a choice nonetheless. I know it’s hard to practice acceptance when you deeply wish things were different. But the truth is, sometimes we can’t change our reality, even if we try.

So instead of staring at the closed door in front of us, or getting tired and bruised while we try to break it down, let’s turn around and see how many other windows we have open.

WHAT ARE SOME ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE THAT NEED ACCEPTANCE?

Practicing Self-Care

By Veronica Vidal

Sometimes it seems like we spend so much of our energy taking care of life’s endless details that there’s no time left to focus on our health and well-being. If we really want to make self-care a priority, we simply have to develop certain habits–and let go of habits that sabotage us.

The first step in knowing how to take care of yourself is to learn to identify when you start going off track. The body will tell you this information if you listen. But it’s like learning a new language for many of us who have spent years ignoring the messages our bodies are telling us.

Basically, self-care is taking the time to care for yourself in whichever ways work best for you. What are some of the ways you can take care of your self?

Let me remind you of some ways you can use to take care of yourself:

1) Speak kindly–especially to yourself ~ Speak kind, truthful words, and notice how your mindset changes. Most of us spend a lot of time criticizing or judging ourselves, our bodies, our past, and our experience. Even the smallest incident can bring on a wave of negativity. The way we use speech creates energy patterns that infuse the body and send out signals into the environment. If you are constantly lashing out in criticism–even if it is only in your mind–you are germinating a toxic inner environment. Develop awareness of your critical inner voice and cultivate a non-judgmental attitude.

2) Practice Yoga ~ Yoga postures, breathing techniques, relaxation, and meditation practices keep us centered during times of uncertainty. When we are relaxed, our organs function optimally, which boosts our body’s capacity to fight invaders and heal faster. Yoga can truly help during these times. This isn’t just speculation; countless research shows yoga can lessen anxiety and depression symptoms, lower stress hormones, relieve pain, and improve emotional regulation.

3) Prioritize sleep ~This is such an easy and quick way to introduce self-care on a profound level. It’s amazing more of us don’t do this. Notice I didn’t say: get enough sleep. Most of us can function on less-than-optimal sleep, and convince ourselves that we are getting enough shut-eye. But to prioritize sleep, we start looking at all the ways we sabotage our rest cycle through stimulants, computer screens late at night, unresolved emotional issues, taking on too much, and generally not being aware of our natural rhythms. Try a phase of making sleep your #1 priority and see how your attitude shifts. Rest; Rest is key to keep distressed down and immunity up. SLEEP. SLEEP. SLEEP. 7-8 hours a night – if suffering from insomnia practice Yoga Nidra meditation.

4) Gratitude ~ Start a gratitude journal and write 5 things you are GRATEFUL for each and every day.

5) Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables: PLANTS, PLANTS, PLANTS. 8 to 10 servings – combining vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and legumes is recommended as a minimum.

6) Manage Stressors ~ We pick up habits from the people we spend time with, and without notice, many times, we tend to please others at our expense. To take care of your self learn to say “no.” This benign little word can be very empowering. Get clear on what supports your well-being and what stresses you out. You might want to add “thank you.”. This is key to developing nourishing relationships + setting boundaries with unhealthy ones.

7) Repeat Positive Affirmations  Out Loud or Silently ~ May I be well, May I be happy, May I let go of the past, May I let go of the uncertain future, May I be healthy, May I be protected, May I be at peace.

Continue to stay safe, strong, and serene as we transition to our new normal. Your loving support, referrals, and loyalty fill me with immense gratitude.

Bringing Positive Energy Into Your Life

By Veronica Vidal

All over the world, there has been a serious energy shift these past few weeks. The pandemic, the senseless violence, and the riots touched many of us at a more profound level than we even realize. It is so easy to look around and notice what is wrong. It takes practice to see what is right. We’ve become skilled at labeling what’s wrong with ourselves, our life, our work, our day, our relationships, our conduct, other people, our world.

We want to be realistic, and our goal is to identify and accept reality. However, this is often not our intent when we practice negativity. The purpose of negativity is usually destruction.

Negative thinking empowers the problem, it takes us out of harmony, sabotages, and destroys. It has a powerful life of its own. So does Positive Energy.

Positive Energy is the acknowledgment of the negative but then choosing to focus on the positive. At its root, it is simply the belief that despite the current circumstances, things will work out favorable in the end.

A positive mind comes from a heart full of faith.
Positive Energy heals, conducts love, and transforms. Choose Positive Energy.

To stay positive when facing challenges and negative situations, here are 9 things you can do to help revive your positive energy:

1) CHOOSE TO FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE: Each day, ask yourself what’s right, what’s good- about other people, your life, your work, your day, your relationships, yourself, your conduct, our world.

2) STAY PRESENT: “Don’t worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will take care of itself” – Jesus Christ

3) PRACTICE GRATITUDE: Focus on the good things in your life, not the things you lack. The simple discipline of engaging in gratitude will undoubtedly shift your focus back to the many good things you already have.

4) HELP OTHERS: When you begin helping others, sharing your talents, time, and money, you will find yourself shifting into positive energy right away. The practice will give you a finer appreciation for what you own, who you are, and what you have to offer.

5) LAUGH EVERY DAY: Purposefully find something to laugh about. When you laugh, you release a happy hormone called oxytocin. It’s the hormone that uplifts us as we share experiences with others. Even just making yourself smile will put you in a better place.

6) GO ON NATURE WALKS: Getting enough sunlight fuels the brain, and boosts the production of serotonin. Make a habit of doing nature walks, listen to your footsteps, breathe in the fresh air, marvel at the wildlife. and focus on sounds outside – hearing nature sounds promotes positive thinking. Focus on all of your senses. This will instantly bring calmness and ease your mind.

7) PRACTICE MINDFUL BREATHING: Follow the sensation of your soft breath as it goes in and out your nose. Don’t judge yourself nor obsess over the content of the thoughts. Just keep coming back to observing the sensation of your slow breath.

8) STOP ALL- OR – NOTHING THINKING: There is always room for improvement, but be careful not to start thinking you’re a complete failure just because you’re not a complete success in all the ways you hoped to be. You win some, you lose some. That’s life.

9) PRACTICE COMPASSION: Clinical studies show that compassionate feelings, activities, and tasks perpetuate gains in overall well-being, higher levels of happiness, and self-esteem, as well as a marked decrease in depression.

I hope you can use these reminders to help you stay connected with your Positive Energy, and commit to greater awareness and management of your own emotional state. You won’t regret it, it is such an important task for living a healthy and happy life.

Cultivating Mindfulness ~ Staying in the Present

By Veronica Vidal

Why Focus on Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment—and accepting it without judgment.

Mindfulness is now being examined scientifically and has been found to be a key element in stress reduction and overall happiness.

Mindfulness can help relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties, treat depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Mindfulness improves overall well-being!

Here are 6 simple steps to practice mindfulness anytime, anywhere.

1)    FIND A PLACE that feels calm and quiet to you
2)    SET A TIME LIMIT. Use an alarm or your smartphone to set between 2 and 10 minutes. (beginners do just 2 minutes)
3)    REMAIN STILL. Commit to a comfortable and stable position during your meditation.
4)    FEEL YOUR BREATH. Follow the sensation of your breath as it goes in and out your nose.
5)    NOTICE WHEN YOUR MIND IS WANDERING. When you notice your mind is wandering, simply return your attention to the breath.
6)    BE KIND. Don’t judge yourself nor obsess over the content of the thoughts. Just keep coming back to observing the sensation of your breath.

Note:  In addition to formal meditation, you can also cultivate mindfulness informally by focusing your attention on your moment-to-moment sensations during everyday activities. This is done by single-tasking—doing one thing at a time and giving it your full attention. As you floss your teeth, pet the dog, or eat an apple, slow down the process and be fully present as it unfolds and involves all of your senses.

Inner Peace: 6 Easy Tips

True inner peace is independent of external conditions and circumstances.

Inner peace is available only through looking inward, and can only and ever occur in the present moment.

Here are 6 simple tools to tap into your INNER PEACE

1. Meditate Every Day
Even if its for 5 minutes. Take out the time to breathe and just Be. Stop the inner noise, and find inner silence.

“I discovered the secret of the sea in meditation upon a dewdrop.” Kahlil Gibran

2. Develop Your Spiritual Practice 

Since you are unique, your practice needs to be unique to you. A spiritual practice can come in a thousand shapes and colors. There are no boundaries, no rule-books, and no right or wrong way to do it. Spirituality is simply a connection with your highest self, with your true purpose in life, with finding the path that brings you peace.

3. Read Uplifting Literature

Before going to bed, read something motivational or inspirational. It calms your mind, uplifts your spirit, and will even help you to get a good night’s sleep.

4. Engage In Daily Prayers

Make time to connect to your understanding of a loving Higher Power, and release your worries. Trust you’re not alone. Trust there’s a Higher Power with a Higher Purpose. Be like a child in the hands of a loving parent, where you can relax your mind, emotions, and soul.

5. Commune With Mother Nature

Get out for a 5-minute walk every day. Set the intention to notice the green trees, the flowers, the birds, the sky. You will come back recharged, and calm.

6.  Practice Affirmations
a) Repeat or create your own affirmations. “May I be filled with serenity. May I be safe from inner and outer dangers. May I be well in body and mind. May I be at ease and peace.”

b) “I am Divinely protected. I am Divinely guided”

In the words of Eckhart Tolle: You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.”