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Cultivating Contentment

According to Swami Sivananda, the cravings will always try to place themselves at the forefront of our minds. We are flooded with marketers, friends, family, our culture, and our own ambitions , to do more, be more, see more, acquire more. So long as we can recognize the bombardment and not fall prey to it, we will open the door to observing how magnificent contentment can be. And the magnificent realization is that contentment can be found in  our every day reality. Thus happiness can be found readily at our fingertips no matter how outstanding, or lack thereof, our lives look to the outside world.

“There is no end to craving. Hence contentment alone is the best way to happiness. Develop contentment.” Swami Sivananda

The next question then, is how do we find this contentment and how do we maintain it?
Below I share 8 live coaching tools for cultivating contentment:

1) Practice gratitude
Being grateful for our lives exactly as they are right now, provides a mindset of knowing that things are not nearly as bad as we sometimes make them out to be. It allows for the realization that, although things could be better, they are manageable for the time being. It is impossible to develop contentment without gratitude—they are inseparable. 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.

Make a commitment to practice gratitude by letting gratitude be the last thought before you fall asleep, and your first thought when you wake up in the morning.

2) Ask yourself what is going well
So much goes well in our lives, each and every day, that is easy to become desensitized and accustomed to how fortunate we are. Recognize the countless details you take for granted. What is working well in your life today?

3) Be content with what you have, while you continue to grow.
Do something that keeps the flames of your dreams and hopes alive. Take pride in your person-hood and the progress that you have made so far, and continue improving. Contentment is not the same as complacency. Contentment invites you to always keep growing. learning and discovering.

4) Shift your perspective
Develop the habit of seeing the positive side of things – specially of all the bad things that happen.
Start by recognizing negative thoughts as you have them. Then, take a step back and ask yourself these key questions:
• Is the situation, really as bad as I think it is?
• Is there another way to look at the situation?
• What can I learn from this challenging experience that can help me evolve as a person?

5) Find your purpose
Are you engaged in something you love? If not, ask yourself these questions to discover how you can find your purpose:
• What excites and energizes me?
• What are my proudest achievements?
• How do I want others to remember me?

6) Take control of your attitude.
A person who lacks contentment in their life will often engage in “when… and… then” thinking – “when I get _______, then I will be happy.” Instead, take control of your attitude. Contentment is finding satisfaction in your life as it is in the present moment, regardless of the circumstances.

7) Stop comparing yourself to others.
Comparing your life with someone else’s will always lead to discontentment. “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”. There will always be people who “appear” to seemingly be living the perfect life. You are unique. You are special. Affirm that your life is awesome in its own way.

8) Live in the moment
Focus on the positives in the present moment, instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Don’t postpone joy waiting for a day when your life is less busy or less stressful.
Instead, look for opportunities to savor the small pleasures of everyday life.

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

5 Ways To Shift Your Perspective

By Veronica Vidal

Shifting Your Perspective

There’s a well-known saying that perception is reality. How we see something becomes our truth, which can be self-limiting and self-defeating.

Perceptions are influenced by a number of factors: experience, personal values, judgments, information (as well as lack of information), and our needs and desires. Yet, it is possible to expand our perception of situations, events, and behaviors by changing our perspective.

Changing perspectives is relatively simple, but not necessarily easy. Every day we face challenges that trigger our stress levels to escalate. The ability to step back and take a different view of a situation provides us the power to change our minds. What if by changing our perspective on situations that upset, or frighten us, we could be happier, more confident, and less stressed?

Here are some coaching tools to shift your perspective

1) Stop Thinking In Terms Of “Should: Thinking in terms of “should,” and how certain things should be, can lead to disappointment. We all tend to see things from our limited perspective, but our view of how things ‘should’ be causes most of the suffering in our lives,” Avoid this perception for greater happiness.

2) Think Of The Bigger Picture. By widening our lens to the bigger picture we begin to see the panoramic view of a situation, which allows us to take into consideration aspects that we did not see before.

3) Ask yourself the question: “What can I learn from this? What’s the opportunity right here?” Sometimes, life isn’t smooth-sailing. You hit a bump and things don’t go according to plan. Train yourself to instead of fixing your mind on how hard things are, to shift your perspective to that of LEARNING from the situation. Shift your mind from disaster and drama to learning, rebounding, and opportunity-seeking. Doing this raises your mood and energy, and trains you to rebound faster and become more resilient. Remind yourself, that amidst the greatest difficulties lie some of life’s greatest opportunities.

4) Stop Complaining: Whatever the issue is, whenever you feel like complaining, fold your thumb, bite your tongue, do something, and make sure it stops you from letting out that complaint. When you listen and try to understand more than you complain, you are beginning to see things from different perspectives.

5) Keep a gratitude journal: With all the chaos going on around us, it can be really easy to slip into a pattern of negative thinking. Sometimes, the only way out of that pattern is to shift our perspective of things. One very effective way to do that is to keep a gratitude journal, which is a scientifically-proven method of improving your health and wellness. This is a simple and powerful way to change your perspective. Over time, you’ll find that your list expands and that finding things to be thankful for becomes easier and easier.

“It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Change Your Perspective, Change 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

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

Finding Your Inner Strength

by Veronica Vidal

Inner strength is a deep, unstoppable belief in yourself. It doesn’t depend on the actions of anyone else, and it doesn’t depend on your circumstances.

Finding inner strength is a must for your well-being. It will give you the ability to overcome obstacles and bounce back from failures – because failures are inevitable. However, it is inspiring to know that you really can do something to make yourself stronger. Since part of survival is accepting that you cannot change outside circumstances or people, it is imperative to accept and feel empowered by the realization that you can transform yourself.   It’s a superpower!

Here are some pointers to help you get there.

1) Don’t let the fear factor into your decision making
Some of us reject opportunities because of the fear that we can’t do it or fear that something might go wrong.  When considering the pros and cons of our decisions, we must be self-aware, too. Are you identifying risks or being just plain fearful? If fear is keeping you from the next step/adventure/challenge, then you are allowing it to defeat you. Fear can make you be your own worst enemy, getting in the way of your growth, development, and potential.

2) Embrace what scares you
This means proving that you can take on immense challenges, which will yield increased confidence and inner strength. Life can be a constant struggle between what you don’t think you can do (and remain in the status quo) and what you absolutely can do (progress). Inner strength comes from doing what you thought you couldn’t do. When you came out of your comfort for a challenge, change happens and the result is a better, stronger you.

3) Clear your mind
Even a few minutes of meditation a day removes the mental clutter that depletes your energy. It restores focus and clarity. People who meditate are one step ahead of others. Their minds move faster, they are mentally more clear and much more decisive.

4) Discover your purpose
Purpose is a component of inner strength. Ask yourself “Why?” Then find your answer. Greater focus on purpose cultivates the strength and motivation to tackle setbacks. When you find your purpose, inner strength naturally follows.

5) Let go of the past
Stop feeding yourself dis-empowering stories of past mistakes and failures. Change the script in your mind and only allow positive thoughts.

6) Look back on your survival instincts
Remind yourself of times when you survived, got through challenges, and even surprised yourself. See strength in your own abilities and fighting power. Don’t underestimate your own resilience. You have roared before and will roar again.

7) Develop and nurture a spiritual connection to a higher power, a purpose greater than this
Ask for spiritual guidance, comfort, and grounding in your journey. Stay open to receiving divine gifts in the most wonderful, surprising ways, and believe that you deserve them when they show up. Meditate. Pray. Be mindful. Trust that you are going to move past this thing and that the universe wants that for you as well.

Yes, it does. And yes, you can.

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

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.

Build Your Mental Muscles by Doing Your Mental Push-Ups

BUILDING MENTAL STRENGTH

By Veronica Vidal

Most of us understand how we can develop physical strength but are not really sure over the steps to take to build mental strength. Building mental strength is similar to building physical strength. Everyone has the ability to build mental strength, and just like building physical strength, it requires dedication and hard work. With practice, anyone can develop the ability to regulate negative thoughts, control destructive emotions, and behave productively despite the circumstances. Learning how to flex your mental muscle is key to reaching your greatest potential in life. Whether your goal is to become an elite athlete, or you strive to be a more patient parent, mental strength will help you reach your goals.

1) PRACTICE MINDFULNESS: It’s impossible to stay strong when you’re going over and over again at something that happened yesterday, or forecasting that horrible things are going to happen tomorrow. Mindfulness is about staying present in the moment. With regular practice, you’ll be less distracted by yesterday’s problems and tomorrow’s worries. and you’ll increase your ability to focus and to enjoy the present moment.

2) BE IN CONTROL OF YOUR EMOTIONS: While there’s nothing wrong with being in a bad mood sometimes, staying stuck in a negative rut can be a slippery slope: Sadness can lead to self-pity, anger can turn to bitterness, and mild anxiety can become paralyzing fear. Decide that you’re going to be in control of your emotions so they don’t control you.

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) LET GO OF SELF-LIMITING BELIEFS: It’s pretty hard to be mentally tough when you’re constantly beating yourself up. Self-limiting beliefs are any beliefs that hold you back in some way. When you recognize a self-limiting belief cropping up in your mind, quickly silence it by telling yourself that it’s not true and then back that up with some positive affirmations:

“I’m not smart enough to…” REPLACE BY SAYING: “I am smart enough; I may just need to do some more research first.”

“I’ve tried that before, and it didn’t go well, so I must just be bad at…” REPLACE BY SAYING “Just because I failed at this last time doesn’t mean I’m going to fail this time. My past does not dictate my future.”

When we allow negative self-talk to flood our minds, we’re effectively working against ourselves.

If you want to keep your mind strong, you have to remember one key truth: self-limiting beliefs are thoughts, NOT facts.

5) TOLERATE DISCOMFORT FOR A GREATER PURPOSE: Mentally strong people tolerate discomfort when it serves a greater purpose. Whether they’re exercising when they feel tired, or they’re delivering a speech when they feel terrified, they use their discomfort to become better.

6) 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.

I hope you can use these tips to assist you in building mental strength. Paying attention to these steps on a regular basis, eventually, it will become second nature to you.

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.