Month: August 2015

Patterns                       #health #emotions

Patterns #health #emotions

“Pay attention to the intricate patterns of your existence that you take for granted.”
Doug Dillon

Do you find yourself following the same patterns over and over again?  We find comfort in patterns, good patterns and bad patterns.

Patterns can be anything from smoking, drinking, attracting negative friends, and arguing to eating healthy and exercising.

Good patterns are great, but what about negative patterns?

Look closely at negative experiences in your life.  Do you see a particular pattern you take each time you get into a negative situation?

Our actions often have an effect on the reactions we get from situations.

For example, do you always find yourself arguing with every store clerk when you walk into a store… take a close look at yourself.  How do you feel when you walk into the store?  If you always feel angry as you walk into the store, there is a good chance others around you are picking up this emotion.  Your angry emotion transfer to others around you and a conflict opens.

You are not a bad person and you are not alone! Patterns are learned.  Someone may have been angry at you once inside that store.  Now each time you enter the store, you put up your guard, ready for a fight.  But… most likely the initial conflict was a one time situation.  So drop your guard, smile to yourself, take a few deep breathes and try walking into the store with your head held high and your emotions at peace.  See how differently people react to you.  It’s hard at first and will take time.  That is ok. You are worth the effort it takes.

Each situation is different, but it’s important to understand negative patterns can be broken.  Start by identifying a negative situation in your life and look for a pattern that is involved each time. Where did this pattern start from? How can you remove this pattern? You may need help from a close friend or therapist to see patterns. Be open to change.

You are important. Your emotional and physical health is important. You are worth it.

Increase Your Willpower! #willpower

Increase Your Willpower! #willpower

Do you lack willpower? Ever wonder why some people seem to have so much more willpower than others?

Let’s start with the continued debate:

-Can willpower be depleted as it’s used, like a muscle? Can glucose intake increase willpower as it begins to deplete?

-Or is willpower self generated, hinging on your beliefs?

The concept that willpower can be depleted greatly concerned me and drew my attention to the subject.

If willpower can be depleted what happens to the poverty stricken person that has to use willpower throughout each day just to fight through hunger, to push on until a safe place is found for the night? How will this person continue the fight with such a high level of daily willpower depletion? Some individuals do however fight through this, How?

Are there other factors in willpower? You finally have enough willpower to push yourself outside to exercise. You return home to indulge in your favorite cheesecake? Why?? Was your willpower depleted during your push to exercise or did you simply feel you worked off enough calories to “deserve” the cheesecake. Many of us realize the workout did not truly offset the cheesecake input, but we still do it. Then we often feel horrible about it afterwards. Where was our self control??

If willpower is not depleted due to use, is it due to a lack of self worth? Do people believe willpower cannot be self generated? For example, I exercised, but I know I will not keep up with it, so who cares I’m eating my favorite cheesecake! I have no energy left to believe otherwise. What if this person trained themselves to believe willpower can be self generated? Would they have more power to overcome the cheesecake craving?

Thoughts??

willpower 2

Both sides of the debate agree that achieving better self control can help you to achieve more success in life, more peace, and better health.

So, How can Willpower be Increased?

1- Incentives definitely play a role in many cases of willpower. You may not be able to will your empty glass to become full of water, but you may be able to push through a race if someone promised you money for simply finishing it.  Pick a small reward for yourself each time you show willpower.

2- Willpower is a positive attribute. Some people describe willpower/self-control as constricting. Allowing binge drinking may feel rewarding at the time, but keep in mind the following day will be restricted due to your physical and mental health, and could possibly keep you in bed all day! By having the willpower not to binge drink you kept yourself from constricting your health and well-being the entire next day.

3- Being told to do something can lower some individual’s willpower. This is one reason some people may be seen to have better willpower than others. Some of us like to follow rules and others of us feel trapped by rules. So think of having the willpower to do these positive things for yourself, not necessary for others.

4-Use One Mindfulness to focus your willpower on one task at a time. This focus can help distract you from the negative powers outside your current task.

5-Use meditation and breathing exercises to increase willpower.

6-Take small steps to increase your willpower. Use willpower to complete a task. Prove to yourself it was possible and feel the empowerment, then move to the next task.

7- Keep temptations far away. It’s easier to deny the temptation the further you are from it. So if you have a deep love for potato chips, keep them out of your house. Having to drive to the store can often times stray you from the temptation. Plus you will not have to watch others in your household eat them in front of you.

8- Practice resisting your negative temptations. Many theorize that you can build the portion of your brain that supplies willpower by resisting temptations. The more you resist, the stronger your willpower will become. Exercise your willpower.

9- I would say, at this point, don’t run to sugar to increase your willpower. We already have a society facing high levels of obesity and diabetes.

10- Don’t give up.  If you succumb to low willpower, pick yourself up and try it again.  You are worth it!

How have you increased your willpower?

Reference Professor Roy Baumeister for information with regard to willpower depletion.

Reference V, Job, Walton, G., Bernecker, K., and Dweck, C.S., “Beliefs about Willpower determine the impact of glucose on self-control”.

Relieve Stress             #stress

Relieve Stress #stress

Grab a paintbrush, some paints, and a canvas from your local art or hobby store and paint!

Painting is a great way to reduce stress.  Turn on your favorite music and start painting.  Use colors and patterns that reflect how you feel.  Your painting may be cheery and bright or more dark and reflective.

Painting is a great distraction to the current stress in your life.

You don’t have to be an artist!  Relax and let the ideas flow.

You can even re-use your canvas.  Next time you get the feeling to paint, paint right over your previous work … if you desire 😀

If you would like a little more direction look for a local “wine and paint” studio.  You can take several of your friends to the studio, have a glass of wine, and an instructor guides you along in your painting.  No experience needed!  Some pretty cool paintings come out of these “classes”.

Grab a Brush and get Started!

Peace!

How to Overcome Fear #fear #motivation

How to Overcome Fear #fear #motivation

Don’t let fear rule your life. Don’t wait until it’s too late to understand how fear can hold you back and keep you from truly enjoying the world you live in.

“Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.” –Judy Blume

You can take small steps to overcome fears. For example, if you are frightened of going to a new class (it may be at school, a new college, or even a knitting class or aerobic class) and interacting with all the new faces work to overcome this.

1-Choose a class you really like and sign up for it. Actively signing up for the class is a very important step to take.

2-Have a friend sign up with you until you are confident enough to attend on your own.

3-Each day, for several days before the class begins, visualize going into the class. Picture yourself as confident, holding your head high. Picture yourself feeling calm. Take time in these visualizations and really feel what you are picturing. If the classmate next to you says hello, visualize what you will say back. Practice your responses so they will fall freely from your mouth when the nervousness sets in. “Hi, have you ever had this teacher before?”, “Hi, have you ever tried kick boxing (if you are in a kickboxing class :D) before?”.

4-Have a good nights rest before the class.

5-Be a little early to the class.

6-Just before you enter the room find an alone place, in your car or on a bench near the building. Perform some breathing exercises.

7-Step into class.

8-Understand that others around you are also nervous. You are not alone!  That’s usually hard to understand, but trust in the fact that many people are more nervous than they appear.

9-Repeat the process again. Keep working at it until your fear resides. Remember this will take time. Continue to pick yourself up and try again.

You can do this same practice for walking through a dark parking lot, walking/running a 5K, whatever your fear may be.

If you fears are too large to overcome by yourself, see a professional that can help you walk through the steps to release your fears. Don’t hold back due to fear.

You cannot wait for the fear to go away on it’s own. Waiting will often create more fear. Visualize, breathe, and take action.

What has helped you overcome fears in the past?