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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.

Self-Discipline

“THROUGH SELF-DISCIPLINE COMES FREEDOM” – Aristotle

Self-discipline is a super inner power to achieve freedom. In fact, one of the goals of yoga is to attain self-discipline – the commitment to the practice on the mat. According to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, self-discipline is known as ‘Tapas’, without which, one cannot see the positive results of yoga.

The training of self-discipline we get on the mat, is to be applied off the mat, to  reach both freedom as well as excellence in all aspects of our lives – being more productive at work, learning to be frugal with our finances, following a healthy diet, improving our interpersonal relationships, controlling our anger and emotions, paying attention to what we say, or keeping a positive attitude.

Self-discipline is the fundamental action, mindset, and philosophy which, when aimed and applied at a goal, is quite literally a magic power.
However, we aren’t born with self-discipline — it’s a learned behavior. Being self-disciplined isn’t something we have — it is something we do. Self-discipline is a skill ,and as such, it needs to be mastered, with continuous practice and repetition. The rewards of the efforts of self-discipline go beyond words…just to name a few : ACHIEVEMENT, SELF-CONFIDENCE, STRENGTH OF CHARACTER, FREEDOM AND PEACE. 

HOW TO BUILD SELF-DISCIPLINE FOR FREEDOM and not DEPEND on MOTIVATION to keep going?

Below find 7 Life Coach powerful tools to master self-discipline. Empower yourself and live the best version of your life.

1) Know your “why”
Have a clear understanding of why you wish to accomplish the particular goal, as well as of what success looks like to you. Knowing your “why”, makes it easy to avoid getting sidetracked.

2) Have an execution plan.
Set up specific action, steps and establish a clear finish line.

3) Have a backup plan.
Setting your mind to your backup plan would provide you the necessary self-control to deal with a potentially difficult situation you will likely face.

4) Don’t depend on motivation.
Motivation is great to get the ball rolling, but motivation comes and goes on its own. Let motivation inspire you, use it while it last, but don’t expect it to stick around. The initial excitement will wear off, and this is where self-discipline comes in to help you stay on track.

5) Just do it.
To stay disciplined, you must adopt the mindset of “Just do it.” Be cautious of your mind which may give you countless reasons to excuse you from what you need to do. Do not second-guess your decision. Do not allow your mind to talk you out of your commitment. The decision is made — so follow through with it.

6) Forgive yourself and move forward.
Self- discipline is for life. Therefore, naturally, there will be ups and downs, great successes and gloomy disappointments. When you stumble, acknowledge what caused it, learn from it, forgive yourself, and move on. Do not let yourself get wrapped up in guilt, anger or frustration. The key is to keep moving forward.

7) Reward yourself.
Anticipation is powerful. The main reward of your efforts will be your success. Also, give yourself something to be excited about by planning a reward when you accomplish your goals. Having something to look forward to, helps you stay on track, and moving toward your objective.
Self-discipline in and off the mat enables us to enjoy a life where we are less stressed, more successful, and happier.
What aspects of your life need self-discipline to help you to improve a sense of well-being?

Accepting Change

Why must things change? Why can’t everything stay the same? Sometimes we wonder…

Do you find yourself continuing to fight against change and resisting situations that lead you to a different path?

We constantly face all kinds of changes; some good, some challenging, and some hard that are forced upon us….

So, we all know that change is inevitable and necessary … but nevertheless, we resist. Do you know why? Fear is the main reason we cannot accept change, fear of the unknown, fear of the uncertainty.

Accepting change, therefore, is not sudden thing we do; it takes many stages of personal transition to find the courage and face our fears. As we allow ourselves to turn through the changing curve different stages, we enable ourselves to move positively forward, where acceptance is the ultimate outcome.

Why is it important to accept change?

Accepting change allows us to adapt better to the situations and become more flexible. Accepting change opens the door to countless blessing and possibilities. And the better able we are to accept change in what is happening in our world, the easier it will be for us to live our best life.

How to start accepting change?

1) Surrender to the words: “I don’t know.”

When you surrender to “I don’t know what’s next.” you open yourself to the endless possibilities that will come. If you allow the space and patiently sit in the “I don’t know” area—which Buddhists call “nothingness”—then, something beautiful will be born.

2) Ask yourself: “What is the opportunity here?”

If you look, you will find it, and change will become something to appreciate and embrace rather than to fear and resist. Remind yourself that , you always have control over how you choose to respond to things. When you respond with an attitude of curiosity, and optimism, you’ll find it so much easier to deal with and thrive during the change.

3) Stay moving.

When things in our life change, it is easy to freeze and stop everything. Take some time to mourn, but then keep moving. Even if you don’t know what’s next, be it in work, health, or love, explore and stay curious. It’s easy to want to just hide under the covers, so do that a little, then take a hike, sign up for a new experience, do something, stay in motion.

4) Lean on your practice.

Consult with your higher-ups (your faith, your guides, your meditation, your breathing techniques, your yoga practice, and your prayers, …whatever you turn to when things get difficult.)

5) Externalize the change.

This one will help you embrace change at a deeper level. Something as simple as getting a haircut, change the arrangements of the furniture around your room, or painting the wall with a different color will reinforce your changes to translate to your surroundings.

6) Allow yourself to feel the fear – and don’t let it stop you.

Give yourself permission to acknowledge and experience whatever fears show up along the way, and then take action anyway. Take one small baby step after another into the unknown – and you will be surprised at how quickly the path forward will become clear to you. Approach the change with both fear and courage – and consider that this may be the best thing that’s ever happened to you.

Embracing Uncertainty

By Veronica Vidal

Uncertainty can keep us up at night, obsessing over ways to protect ourselves from anything that might go wrong…. Or it can motivate us to practice acceptance, live in the moment, and embrace the adventure of living.

We don’t know … what’s coming tomorrow might not be easy—or it might fulfill us in ways we didn’t even imagine. What’s certain is that it will come and when it gets here, we will respond to it, learn from it, and move into another tomorrow full of endless possibilities.

If you ever think you’ve created a controllable, predictable life for yourself, you can rest assured that’s an illusion. Nothing stays the same forever. Life is full of uncertainty.

To our rational mind, when an existing pattern of expectations is not met it can be unsettling and cause fear, anxiety, and frustration. To relieve our worries and disappointments we must re-frame our assumptions so that we can adapt to new conditions. It’s no good fooling ourselves that everything is under control. Accepting uncertainty is a challenge, but it can stop us from living in a limbo state of confusion. The thing about uncertainty is that despite our plans we seldom end up where we expected. Embracing uncertainty is an essential component of well-being because it provides a foundation for mental calmness. One day at a time, let us focus on our possibilities, not our fears, and suddenly, we will feel a lot better.

Embracing Uncertainty is to accept paradox and ambiguity with humility and curiosity. Maybe it’s better to accept what cannot be changed, and adapt to what is emerging than to resent the inevitable.” ~ Steve Trivett

The following 8 steps will help you to embrace uncertainty

1) Replace expectations with plans. When you form expectations, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. You can guide your tomorrow, but you can’t control the exact outcome. If you expect the worst, you’ll probably feel too negative and closed-minded to notice and seize opportunities. If you expect the best, you’ll create a vision that’s hard to live up to.

What is in my hands is what I plan—what I will actively do to find balance, and live the life I want.

2. Prepare for different possibilities. The most difficult part of uncertainty is the inability to feel in control. However, one can plan for the possibilities. One can make a list for what one would do if “A” happens versus “B” or “C”.. All we really need is a basic plan and the flexibility to embrace change if necessary.

3. Become a feeling observer. It isn’t the uncertainty that really bothers us; it’s our tendency to get lost in our feelings about it. The second we start indulging fear, we get lost in a cycle of reactionary thoughts. “What if …” leads to “How I am going to manage to…?” Before you know it, we have somehow traveled all the way to a complete tragedy in our minds.

The point is that speculation leads to feelings, which can lead to more speculation and then more feelings. It helps to stop the cycle by recognizing the feeling—in that case, fear—and then remembering that we can’t possibly predict the future, but we can help create it, by fostering positive feelings about the possibilities.

4. Get confident about your coping and adapting skills. It’s more about assuring yourself that you can handle any difficulty that might come. To help you manage anxiety, ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” and answer your self how could you deal with that worst-case scenario, which makes the uncertainty a little less scary.

In her book, The Positive Power of Negative Thinking, Julie K. Norem discusses the concept of defensive pessimism—when you consider the worst so you can plan how you’d handle it. This has actually shown to help people manage anxiety.

5. Utilize stress reduction techniques preemptively. If you’re dealing with uncertainty, you probably have stress in your body, even if it’s not at the forefront of your thoughts at this exact moment. Over time, that body stress affects blood pressure, blood sugar, muscle tension, cholesterol level, breathing rate, and every organ in your body.

Incorporate stress reduction techniques into your day, such as yoga, breathing techniques, relaxation, and meditation, even if just five to ten minutes daily. Finding your center will help you feel better prepared to tackle whatever comes your way.

6. Focus on what you can control. Oftentimes, we overlook the little things we can do to make life easier while obsessing about the big things we can’t do. Focus on a short-term solution, stop complaining, and start some motion now, so that you can make this situation more bearable.

7. Practice mindfulness. Observe when your thoughts go into the uncertain future and bring them back to the present moment. When you obsess about a tomorrow you can’t control, you’re too busy judging what hasn’t happened yet to fully experience what’s happening right now. Instead of noticing and appreciating the beauty in the moment, you get trapped in a fear-driven thought cycle about the potential for discomfort down the line.

8. Reconnect with the blessings in your life. Focus on the gifts that you are enjoying at this moment, Even thinking about gratitude offers a profound sense of strength and tranquility.

“Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.” ~John Allen Paulos

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

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

Change Our Habits ~ Change Our Lives

By Veronica Vidal

James Clear, author of “Atomic Habits”, a New York Times bestselling book, says:

“Your life today is essentially the sum of your habits.

  1. How in shape or out of shape you are? …A result of your habits.
  2. How happy or unhappy you are? …A result of your habits.
  3. How successful or unsuccessful you are? …A result of your habits.
  4. What you repeatedly do (i.e. what you spend time thinking about, and doing each day) ultimately forms the person you are, the things you believe, and the personality that you portray.”

The question is, what if you want to improve? What if you want to form new habits? How would you go about it?”

Every habit is based on a simple loop: cueresponsereward.

The cue is the craving, the urge that triggers your brain to initiate a behavior. Based on the cue (craving or urge), your brain shifts, into autopilot and initiates and creates the routine (habit). The routine is the habit, that has been created by repetition, to get to a reward.

1) Determine the CUE: It is a bit of information that predicts a reward. Your mind is continuously analyzing your internal and external environment for hints of where rewards are located. Because the cue is the first indication that we’re close to a reward, it naturally leads to a craving. To determine the cue just observe yourself anytime you feel an urge or a craving that leads to a habit.

2) Determine the RESPONSE: The response is about obtaining the reward, which can take the form of a thought or an action. The response delivers the reward. When we respond repeatedly to the same cue, in the same way, we develop the actual habit.

3) Determine the REWARD: The first purpose of rewards is to satisfy your craving. Yes, rewards provide benefits on their own. Rewards teach us which actions are worth remembering in the future. Your brain is a reward detector. Feelings of pleasure and disappointment are part of the feedback mechanism that helps your brain distinguish useful actions from useless ones. Rewards close the feedback loop and complete the habit cycle. At least for a moment, rewards deliver contentment and relief from craving. Rewards are the end goal of every habit. The reward isn’t always so easy to determine. Maybe the reward you get from your habit is a feeling of control.

TAKE ACTION BY TRYING THIS:

Please think which self-limiting/harmful/self-defeating habits you want to eradicate from your life, AND which new ones you would like to implement.

According to Charles Duhigg, the author of the bestselling book “The Power of Habit“, studies show that the easiest way to implement a new habit is to write a plan.

The format to build a new habit is simply writing the following statement for each different habit:

When (cue), I will (respond, because it provides me with (reward)

Do that enough times, and eventually, your new good habit will be automatic.

FURTHER, according to James Clear, in order to create a new habit you must:

3 LAWS TO MAKE A NEW HABIT:

  1. NEW CUE: Make it obvious and attractive
  2. NEW RESPONSE: Make it easy
  3. NEW REWARD: Make it satisfying

3 LAWS TO BRAKE A BAD HABIT:

  1. OLD CUE: Make it invisible or unattractive
  2. OLD RESPONSE: Make it difficult
  3. OLD REWARD: Make it unsatisfying

The key to creating good habits and breaking bad ones is to understand these fundamental laws and how to alter them to your specifications. Every goal is doomed to fail if it goes against the grain of human nature.

Which habits you are going to change?

Once you conquer one new good habit, move on to another one!
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

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