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Being Mindful

A lot of people have this idea that meditation means sitting down and doing nothing, but that could not be further from the truth.

Mindfulness is an active form of brain training.

In fact,  mindfulness is a state of active, open attention to the present moment that increases the power of awareness. This state is described as observing one’s thoughts and feelings, in an objective manner, without judging them as good or bad. Mindfulness, therefore, can be a tool to stop self-criticism, while identifying and managing difficult emotions.

To live mindfully is to live in the present moment, rather than dwelling on the past or anticipating the future.

In order to be mindful one has to take into account two key components: awareness and acceptance.

Cultivating the habit to be mindful is a discipline that helps one to become more focused and efficient at work, as well as to be able to cope with difficult feelings such as anger, sadness and fear. Furthermore, the practice of this powerful discipline has the power to deepen your connection with your love ones, feel more rested, and curb unhealthy habits. Countless clinical studies show  that being mindful provides relief from anxiety, depression, and other stress related disorders.

“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little”. – Jon Kabat-Zinn

Even though mindfulness may sound exotic, implementing the simple following 5 steps, anyone can learn how to cultivate it starting today :

MINDFULNESS PRACTICE – step by step

1) PAY ATTENTION TO THE BREATH AT THE ABDOMEN
2) ACTIVILY AIM YOUR ATTENTION TOWARD THE MOVEMENT OF THE BREATH, LABELING “RAISING” AND “FALLING”
3) RECOGNIZE YOUR MIND BEING GRABBED BY THOUGHTS, FEELINGS, SENSATIONS, IMAGES, MEMORIES, PLANNING, ACHES, PAINS, CRAVIGNS, FEARS
4) LABEL THOUGHTS, FEELINGS, IMAGES THAT COME UP IN THE MIND
5) RE-DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION TO THE NEXT BREATH

Just paying attention to what is going on in our minds and in our bodies provides almost immediate improvement in how we’re feeling, WE ALWAYS HAVE THIS AVAILABLE TO US, THAT’S A KEY TAKE AWAY…
…Because it is the simplest thing that we can do, and we can almost immediately start to feel better… the more you do this, the easier it becomes, and the better you feel.

This is something that you can do, for just a few minutes, in the middle of the day.
Before a meeting, or before you talk to a client, just sit down, and take care of your own mind first , because you’ll be able to serve better. And you’ll be able to serve better for two reasons: FIRST, your own personal business, the issues you’re facing will be minimized, and SECOND, you’ll be in a position to listen, understand, and respond more skillfully.

It’s only logical, that if we are sitting here feeling upset, if we’re overwhelmed with strong personal feelings and emotions, that, in itself, grabs our attention. At that moment it is really hard to be present, to focus and to be fully attentive… mindfully available for another human being.

But if we can moderate ourselves, so that, at least, our emotions are down at non-distractive level, then we can connect mentally and emotionally, be present for another person, or be able to focus on the task at hand, in a way we couldn’t otherwise.

Therefore, this fosters our ability to connect with others, and we know, that one of the biggest drivers of moving forward both, in our personal lives, as well as in the business world, is our ability to connect with people and for them to trust in us.

So, this boils down to the notion that our ability to be successful in our personal lives as well as in our careers, is based upon our ability to take care of ourselves, reset our minds, and moderate our emotions.

This is valuable time that you must invest on yourself because it is directly beneficial for the work that you do, and the roles that you play in corners of your personal life.

Start practicing today, for only 5 minutes,  at any time of the day, – gradually you can increment the time you spend on mindfulness meditation. Please, remember to let me know how this works for you.

I wish you a life full of awareness, serenity, and clarity.

Much Love,

Veronica

Healthy Mindset

Scientists estimate humans have about 70,000 thoughts per day. That means we have 70,000 opportunities either to make ourselves stronger or to tear ourselves down. Our thoughts greatly influence how we feel and behave. In fact, our inner monologue has a tendency to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Thinking things like, “I will never get hired for this job,” or “Nobody ever listens to me,” can alter our behavior in a way that makes those predictions come true. Simply paying attention to the way we think and taking charge of what occupies our mind, establishes a healthy mindset –  the key component to a healthy body, healthy relationships, and a healthy life.

Read on 8  Life Coaching tools proven  to promote a healthy mindset starting right now:

1) BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.  A healthy mindset starts by believing and supporting yourself.  Refuse to succumb to the downward spiral caused by unhealthy self-judgment and self-doubt. Push out negative self-talk,  and replace it with positive thoughts about who you are and what you deserve. Talk to yourself like a trusted friend.  Ask yourself, “What would I say to a friend who is going through what I am going through ?” And then, offer those kind and gentle words to yourself. Commit to fully accept yourself and embrace who you are, with loving-kindness and compassion.  Then, make choices that reflect that self-love.

2) QUESTION YOUR THOUGHTS and don’t believe everything you think. Pay attention to the tape loop of chatter within your mind and notice how that sort of thinking fuels mood imbalances like anxiety, fear, and lack of confidence. You can’t shut down your mind, but you can detach, and not believe every thought you have. “A thought is just that — a thought,” says Thomas A. Richards, Ph.D. and psychologist, “It has no emotional content attached to it. Observe and then dismiss the thought.”

3) FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE. Negativity will not help you overcome challenges or achieve personal growth. While you want to stay realistic about situations,  look for ways to focus on the positive aspects, and explore healthy solutions. Find the silver lining, even in the most difficult circumstances.

4) FACE UNCOMFORTABLE FEELINGS HEAD ON. Avoiding emotional discomfort is usually a short-term solution that leads to long-term problems. Anger can turn to bitterness, and mild anxiety can become paralyzing fear. For example, people who fear failure often avoid new challenges in an effort to keep anxiety at bay.  In order to heal and gain more confidence, practice tolerating discomfort, one baby step at a time.

5) PRACTICE GRATITUDE. Research shows gratitude cultivates well-being while decreasing emotional fluctuations such as anxiety and depression. Gratitude can even help you sleep better and wake up more refreshed. Expressing gratitude can take many forms. You can reflect on the positive aspects of your life, keep a gratitude journal, give someone a meaningful “thank you,” and even find lessons to feel grateful about from challenging situations.

6) PRACTICE MINDFULNESS.  Follow the sensation of your 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 breath. For a healthy mindset, live in the present, and slow down to enjoy each moment.

7) PRACTICE YOGA. Regular practice of yoga is proven to release muscle tension, improve blood circulation, increase oxygenation, and help implement relaxation techniques that balance mood,  reduce anxiety, and manage depression.

8) LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES.  Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Instead, see mistakes as opportunities to learn so you can do better next time. Once you’ve absorbed the lesson from the mistake, don’t dwell on it, just move on and say, “What’s next!”  Don’t hold back or hold things in to avoid mistakes. Accept challenges and failures as part of developing better skills.

Only you can cultivate your healthy mindset. You won’t regret it, it is such an important task for living a healthy and happy life. Take it slow, be consistent, and always lean toward self-love and forgiveness. Before you know it, you’ll read through this list and realize you’re doing it.  Believe in yourself and know you’re worth it!

My Love to YOU,

Veronica

Finding Inner Peace

Inner peace is an internalized state of spiritual and mental calm, and it is not something we can just turn on, nor decide to do, and then do it. Inner peace is a lifelong journey that requires a lifetime commitment.

The search for inner peace must be an active part of our lives, because when the noise in your head quietens, then, the tangles of threads start coming apart, allowing us to see the space between our thoughts for the first time.  With so many distractions and interruptions posing to intrude in our lives, inner peace is the reliable inner temple, we can go to, to re-set our minds, and our spirits,  and actually reconnect with our true essence.

Inner peace is a process that provides us the silence we need to accept everything — our life, our career, our body, our everything — so we can truly and actionably continue growing better, and moving forward.

Below Find 9  VeroLifeCoaching Tools To Pave The Way For Inner Peace: (Join our daily online yoga session click here)

1. Accept what cannot be changed. This saves a lot of time, energy, and worries.  Work hard to change what must be changed, and if this is not possible, work hard to find acceptance, strength, and gratitude.

2. Cultivate patience and healthy tolerance with family, friends, co-workers, employees, and everyone else. Expressing patience and tolerance toward others is as good for others as it is for ourselves, because it enables us a peaceful state of mind and heart, even in stressful situations.

3. Don’t take everything too personally. A certain degree of emotional and mental detachment and non-involvement is a sure way to bring into our life more tranquility, lightness, and common sense.

4. Avoid overthinking,  and too much analyzing of every situation. Be aware of running from one thought to another, constantly ruminating about some past incident,  and what people said or did.

5. Keep a focused mind.  Focusing the mind makes it easier to reject worries and anxieties, and to reduce the constant chatter of the mind.

6. Commune with Mother Nature-Get out for a 5 minute walk every day. Set the intention to be mindful of the green trees, the flowers, the birds, the sky, the breeze kissing your skin. You will come back recharged, and calm.

7. 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.

8. Practice meditation, even just a few minutes a day will make a difference in your life. You will become more peaceful, relaxed, and happier.

9.  Develop your spiritual practice.  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.

Finding inner peace is a process that requires dedication, awareness, and patience. A process well worth the investment to achieve that state of tranquility and quiet in spite of the circumstances.

Give these coaching tools a fair try and let me know how they work.

With Love and Gratitude,

Veronica

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

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

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.