Posts

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

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

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.

The Power of “GENTLE” Yoga

ALL YOGA should be GENTLE”. 

Gentle does not necessarily mean “EASY”

In the path of yoga, giving proper training and discipline, one progresses with time. With continuous practice, not only the body but also the mind as well as the nervous system become stronger.

Once we strengthen the “tangible” aspects of our bodies, then, and only then, the practice of yoga can become more intense, however, ALWAYS GENTLE. Gentle means that one listens to one’s body and approaches the asanas gradually, as if “asking the body for permission” and never imposing. Being gentle is powerful and is the sure way to ongoing progress. One can achieve a very difficult and advanced pose in a “gentle” way.

The fact is that the word “asana”, literally from the Sanskrit, translates as “comfortable pose”, which means that ALL yoga poses, no matter how hard they may initially seem, eventually with practice, they become comfortable. (If you’ve practiced yoga long enough, you know exactly what I mean.)

It is important to know that more than 5000 years ago, the complexity of yoga poses was intended to be transformative, restorative, and healing as preparation to deeper practices – some of which are stillness, and meditation.

However, nowadays, yoga has become a “trend”, a “sport”, and a competition. Who can do the hardest pose? Who can do the most complex inversions? How can I create the most sweat possible?

Therefore, people approach it at as a physical challenge exerting and pushing themselves in order to “get it right”, entering into it with the “no pain -no gain” state of mind – many times hurting their bodies in the process.

On the other hand, many individuals find the so-called beginning practices of yoga too advanced for them so they don’t find the courage to ever begin, and if they do, they get discouraged, scared off, and pretty soon they quit.

Also, our lifestyles demand that we spend a lot of time in a sitting position (in front of a screen) –weakening the skeleton and muscular systems.

Conversely, from a sedentary sitting position, we stand up directly into walking and running (in the case of those who practice sports) –causing a strong high impact to the cold and weak back muscles and its nerve endings.   These are the main reasons why people suffer from back muscle spasms, herniated disks, lower back pain, and other sorts of injuries.

Further, demands related to finances, work, relationships, and other situations, constantly challenge our sense of well-being. Our lives are loaded with stressors. Over time, continued strain on your body from routine stress may contribute to serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other illnesses, as well as mental disorders like depression or anxiety.

In response, VeroYoga is now offering a “gentle” program that is all inclusive and accessible to everyone.  Gentle yoga classes attempt to meet yoga students “where they are”.

This is a style of yoga for people who don’t have the flexibility, coordination, and strength which photos of yoga poses typically portray.

This is a program that I’ve opened by popular demand as an essential complement to a rigorous athletic training, as a great antidote to stress, as well as for those who are looking to restore physical health,  to achieve emotional stability, and to regain energetic balance.

In Gentle VeroYoga classes, we move the spinal column to its four different directions to re-align the spine and to develop strength and flexibility to the back muscles structure.

We hold poses; we breathe deeply, and transition slowly through the sequence, to achieve a state of freedom from muscle stiffness and mental burdens.

The sequence is designed to reach deep into the finest fibers of the body, promoting blood circulation, oxygenation, and motion to areas that are otherwise, stagnant and dormant. All the organs of the body receive a soft and yet firm compression which stimulates their function and activates the secretion of healthy body fluids. Moreover, because the movements are non-repetitive and involve the whole body, the different centers in the brain and its glands also receive oxygenation and stimulation. I could go on and on because the list of benefits of GENTLE yoga is endless.

These classes are safe, effective, compassionate, in a non-competitive environment that is welcoming to all.

Gentle VeroYoga is intended to be restorative and to support those who need to address muscle tension, stress, injuries, anxiety, insomnia, as well as any other condition. These classes will provide healing and a profound sense of relaxation, benefiting your whole well-being.

CLASS SCHEDULE: Tuesday and Thursday

CLASS TIME: 8:30 – 10:00am

LOCATION: Community Center Village of Key Biscayne
10 Village Green Way
Key Biscayne, FL 33149

MORE INFORMATION305-365-5483

 Stretch and tone the body, improve agility and balance, and draw the focus inward to calm the mind. You will leave these VeroYoga classes feeling renovated, alert and relaxed.