How to Tune into Your Intuition - 7 Benefits to Following Your Intuition

Although it might seem like a foreign concept, following your intuition is listening to the deep wisdom of your body and soul.  The idea that we don’t always need to make deep analytical decisions, can seem scary at first. There is a lot of trust needed to just listen to your gut.  

Intuition is something that can be almost impossible to study.  Which makes the practice of following your intuition all the more interesting.  Intuitive thinking opens you up to new ideas and can help you to learn about yourself.  

What is Intuition

Intuition is the gut feeling you get that seemingly comes out of nowhere.  It is a subconscious action that happens because of environmental cues.

Your intuition is a quick response that requires no conscious effort.  Your initial reaction of something might be your intuition at work. Intuition has no evidence or conscious reasoning involved. 

Acting on intuition might leave you dumbfounded or unable to explain your reasoning.

The gut feeling you get, when you just know something, is your intuition at work.  You have a wisdom that resides inside your body and you can tune into it when you learn to listen to your intuition.  When you listen to your intuition and trust your intuition, you are connecting with yourself on a deeper level. You quiet your brain and allow for a message to rise from your gut.  Because developing intuition is an act of listening, you need to be open to receive the message.  

What Intuition is Not

The opposite of intuition is analytical and conscious.  This kind of decision making is a long process, it involves collecting information, organizing thoughts, and analysis.  Making decisions this way is slower and more methodical.  

Because intuition and instinct are similar, it might appear that decisions made by your intuition and based around fear and keeping you safe.  This is actually the opposite of true.

Intuition is not based on fear, instead, following your intuition will make you feel inspired and excited.  To listen to your intuition is not to listen to the fear and ego. If you feel uncertain, you are most likely not listening to your true intuition.  

Things Intuitive People Do

Practice mindfulness

Don’t hold onto negative thoughts and feelings

Have awareness

Have a creative practice

Practice empathy

Try to be alone

Benefits to Intuitive Thinking

Intuition leads to more creative thinking - When you follow your gut feeling you are not attached to following a certain way of doing something.  You can more easily think outside of the box because you are not worried about what you know.  

New perspective - By turning off the part of your brain that is rational, you can shift your perspective.  It can also be easier to look at something from a different or new perspective.  

Easier to make tough decisions - Listening to your intuition takes some trust.  When you relinquish the need to overthink and analyze something, it gets easier to feel sure about your decision.  

Improved mental well being - Less rumination and thinking keeps you out of your own head and helps you to trust in your initial idea.  Intuition teaches you to trust in yourself and in turn you feel less worried.  

More mindful - Listen to your gut is a skill and you have to be mindful to notice when it's giving you a message.  Because of this, your overall mindfulness and self awareness increases.  

More confident - “Trust your gut.” When you believe that your intuition will be right, you are trusting in yourself.  Trusting in yourself is the best thing you can do for your confidence.  

How to Develop Intuition - Intuition Exercises

Practice - Listening to your intuition is a skill and that means that to get better at it you have to practice it.  When something comes up in your intuition, act on it right away and when the next thing comes up, act on it too.  It stops feeling like you are deciding and get easier to follow your intuition every time.

Get out of your own way - When you talk yourself out of something, you are effectively letting yourself and your thoughts get in the way.  Just take a leap and do something before your mind can kick in and stop you.  

Mindfulness - Mindfulness and meditation are perfect for listening to your body and noticing the small things.  When you cultivate a mindfulness practice, you open yourself up to having more awareness so that when you have a gut feeling you can recognize it and act on it.  

Trust - Learn to trust in the unknown.  Trust that your intuition will steer you in the direction you need to go.  You have a natural intelligence that will guide you where you need to go if you listen to it.  

Listen to your dreams - When you dream your subconscious takes control it can sometimes give you insights. You can also guide your dreams by keeping a thought in your mind until you fall asleep and letting your subconscious do the rest.  You could record your dreams right after you wake up to notice if there are any reoccurring themes.  

Follow what excites you - If there is something that you have wanted to do or try, don’t be afraid, just do it.  Keep following things that light you up and make you excited. Your intuition can feel like excitement and wonder.  

Don’t think about it - When you have something that you want an answer for, instead of thinking about it, just stop.  Find something new to focus on and let the question hang out in your subconscious. Don’t think about a solution, let it come to you.  

The practice of intuitive thinking is almost that of an art form.  It requires a level of self awareness and introspection. When cultivated, your intuition can change the way you approach certain situations and can give you a new way of thinking.  Following your intuition can be a really rewarding experience that leads to excitement and new experiences. Strengthen your intuition to connect with the deep seeded wisdom inside yourself.  

Benefits to Going Barefoot - How to get Grounded with Earthing

Throughout history, humans had direct contact with the earth.  If they were not walking barefoot, they were wearing or sleeping on animal skins.  We were almost always in constant contact with the earth.

Until now, in present time, we spend almost all of our time wearing shoes or inside buildings.  We have almost completely disconnected ourselves from the earth. Can you recall the last time that you went outside barefoot and just enjoyed nature?

I'm guessing you either don’t remember a time when you did that or it was sooo long ago that you hardly remember it.  

Just going barefoot to the earth could be a lifestyle shift that helps protect your body from stress and could even keep you healthy for longer.  

How it Works

The human body produces free radicals as a response to stress, injury, or disease.  These free radicals are positively charged and can be eliminated by anti-oxidants or free electrons.  Our immune system produces free radicals to bind to negative electrons from damaged tissues or others pathogens that enter our body but because of the constant stresses from everyday life, these free radicals build up and can cause inflammation.  

Because human bodies are electrical and conductive in nature, we can connect to already existing currents.  The Earth has a negative potential and an abundance of free electrons. It is believed that by connecting the body to the Earth, it allows for free electrons to move into the body and bind with the free radicals.  When the free radicals attach to the electrons they are neutralized and can no longer cause inflammation and damage to your tissues.

On a more light note(and a little less scientific) connecting with the earth allows you to synchronize with its energy.  The earth is one of the best sources of life and energy(other than the sun which we also need to survive). Everything on this planet exists because of the earth and is reliant of it.  Every single animal has direct contact with the ground and humans are the only ones to be disconnected from it.

So what happens when we make purposeful contact with the earth?

Benefits

Feelings of Well Being: Many people report that spending some time in their day to ground themselves, makes them feel healthier and happier.  This could be the gratification of taking time to disconnect from stress and going out into nature. This could also be the result of the free radicals binding and no longer being active in the body.  Nature has a natural calming effect and grounding is one way to take advantage of that.

Improved Sleep: Earthing has been found to improve sleep in cases where the study participant sleeps grounded throughout the night.  However, just connecting with the earth can help to normalize the body’s biological rhythms. By resetting the day-night cortisol levels, grounding can help you to fall asleep quicker and stay asleep the whole night.  This can be especially useful for reducing jetlag.

Lower Stress: Earthing helps to regulate cortisol which is responsible for the fight or flight network. By earthing on a regular basis, you can help keep your cortisol levels regulated, and in turn, feel calmer.  As well, just getting outside is a natural stress relieving activity.

Pain Management: In individuals with chronic pain, earthing can be a great tool to reduce inflammation.  Because of grounding’s effect on blood viscosity, muscle tension and headaches can also be reduced.  

Muscle Recovery: It has been found that earthing reduces blood viscosity(thins blood) and in turn increases circulation.  This can have an effect on the body’s ability to recover after an intense workout and can reduce DOMS(delayed onset muscle soreness).  As well earthing reduces inflammation which can lead to faster healing in muscles.

Menstrual Symptoms: Women have been found to get even more benefits from earthing than men.  Earthing can provide relief from both PMS symptoms(food cravings, irritability, emotional irregularities, etc) and menopausal symptoms(hot flashes, weight gain, chills, etc.).  There is a lack of evidence showing why women have better success with earthing.

Weight Loss: Because of the connection between high cortisol levels and increased weight gain, earthing could have the ability to help you lose weight.  Not only do you feel more relaxed and calm when earthing but it helps to mitigate stress and in turn help with weight loss.

Some afflictions earthing could have the potential to help: cardiovascular disease, allergies, arthritis, anemia, asthma, psoriasis, eczema, Alzheimers, diabetes, hypothyroidism, and many more.  

How to

The best and safest way to practice earthing is by connecting with the actual ground.  Find a park or an area that is relatively untouched by human electrical current and just go barefoot.  Doing this for 20-40 minutes every day would be optimal. If all you could do was going out in your backyard daily, this would act to ground you as well.  

Grass, sand, dirt, or concrete are all conductors, meaning that all you really need to do is touch these surfaces(assuming that they are connected to the earth) to ground yourself.  Water is also a great way to practice earthing. Salt water is more conductive than fresh water so it could hold potentially greater power for its ability to ground you. Both fresh and salt water are good ways to ground yourself if you have access to them.

Avoid grounding mats of other technologies meant to ground you, as they may not be a reliable way in which to receive the benefits of grounding.  In some cases, grounding mats can actually cause more issues than fix. Keeping it natural and simple is often the best way to go.

Issues with the Science of Earthing

Most studies are only performed on small sample sizes.  This means that we don’t know for sure if earthing really has any benefits to the majority of society.  Many of the studies that have been conducted have only been done on people with ongoing sleep or other issues.  Because of this, it can be hard to say whether or not a person who does not experience any of these issues would receive the same kind of benefit.  

Many of the studies regarding grounding use different methods.  Some employ grounding mats, copper plates, or other technologies believed to ground you.  Because there is such a wide variety of techniques used to ground, it is hard to say if each method has the same effect.

Most studies that exist today, are funded or completed by individuals or groups that have a preset view of grounding.  Some of the conclusions made from these studies, are purely speculation and cannot prove definitively where the benefits come from.

Because of that, it is not taken into account that just being outside may have the ability to give the benefits we see from grounding.  Just the act of being outside with no other things to focus on could be the reason some of these studies find benefits.

A lot of the evidence behind earthing can be touted as anecdotal or biased.  Until more studies are completed, it is hard to say that grounding can really be a cure-all.  It is important not to take everything you read as fact, but to try it and see the difference(or lack of) in your own life.

Earthing is a relatively new idea and although we do not have all the science to back it up, some people have found some great benefits.  Whether you just try earthing for 20 minutes of quiet or just to see if you feel healthier, it is worth experimenting with to see how it can fit into your life.  

Beat the Loneliness Epidemic and Make Friends for Your Well Being and Overall Health

Humans are inherently social creatures.  We evolved through the sharing of resources and information.  Tribes and communities were the norm. As time progressed, we moved farther away from tight-knit communities and although with the invention of the internet, we can connect with people all over the world instantly, we are also very disconnected.  

Moving back to our roots of being close with the people around us, helps to grow strong connections and could be the key to happiness and health.  

Making and having friends helps you to better cope, be healthier, and can force you to level up in life.  You grow your social skills and get to feel apart of something when you do activities to make friends. You can meet lifelong friends and beat the loneliness epidemic when you embrace and welcome people into your life.  

Dangers of No Support

From this study, lonely adults were more likely to have poorer sleep and elevated heart rates.  On top of that, loneliness and depression have strong associations.  Being lonely for long periods of time, seem to contribute to immune stress and lower cognition in older people.  Lower cognition can also signal dementia and cognitive decline in later life.

Social isolation, such as in spouse-less or those with longstanding illnesses(arthritis, impaired mobility, etc), are at a higher risk of all-cause mortality.  This could be because they have no one to tell them when they need medical attention, or they overall have a lower quality of health.  

It appears as though, having a strong sense of community, leads you to live a healthier and longer life.  

Types of Support

Emotional - Emotional support helps you feel heard, deal with stress and worries, and feel like you have someone who will listen and back you up.  

Physical - Physical support is real tangible support, typically in the form of financial support, or goods and services.  

Companionship - Having a companion, not just in a relationship sense, makes you feel a sense of belonging as if someone is going through it with you.  This could be someone who goes to the gym with you or something as simple as someone sharing the same experience with you.  

Informational - Informational support is just what it sounds like.  It can be in the form of guidance or teaching or even decision making.  

Benefits of Having Friends - Importance of a Support System

Improved well being

Better coping with stress

Motivate you to make healthy choices

Feel cared about 

Feel apart of something bigger than yourself

Many types of needs can be met

Better sleep

Healthier 

Make it Not about You

Reaching out to people can be hard.  Sometimes, it can be easier to reframe it.  Think about the other person. They need a community as much as you do.  It might be scary to be the first one to reach out but having the idea in your head that it's not always about you, can help.  You can feel more empowered and excited to reach out when you know that they will feel good after talking to you.  

You never know how much someone else needs support until you reach out.  They might be suffering and just the smallest gesture can mean the world to them.  Not only can you use connections to enrich your life, but you can help other people do that too. Everyone needs a support system.  When you call/text/see this other person they benefit too.  

How to Make Friends(even as an adult)

Call your mom: Or your dad, or someone in your family.  Reaching out to family is a great way to have a support system.  

Join a Club: Have something that you are interested in? Chances are that there are other people in your area that are interested in it too.  If you like yoga, go to a class and talk to someone else in the class. Check internet forums for local people interested in the same thing you are.

Reach out to your friends: Everyone can get caught up in everyday life and seeing your friends can get put on the back burner.  Even just texting your friends or meeting for coffee for a short time can boost yours(and their!) mood.  

Go Somewhere: Even just walking down the street and smiling at the people you pass, helps to make you feel more connected.  When you radiate happiness it rubs off, even to strangers. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you could strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know.  

Do Community Service: Volunteer at a soup kitchen.  Clean up trash in your city. Hang out at a retirement community.  There are so many opportunities to help make a difference. Doing something good for your community feels good and makes you feel like you are a part of something bigger than yourself.  Plus these activities line you up to make friends with good people.  

An Extra Note

Sometimes, in your life, you might not feel worthy of love or support.  It is important to know that wherever you are and no matter your circumstance, you are worthy.  To overcome loneliness and potentially social isolation, you might have to forgive yourself and let go of past pain.  You are better off talking to friends and family and building a support system, rather than suffering alone.  

There are clear benefits to having people you can talk to and, suffering or not, you deserve to feel supported.  

It is important, not only for you, but the people around you too to feel apart of something.  By building a community and reaching out to people in your life, you can improve your overall well being and the well being of others.  The key to mastering community, in this day and age, is to know when to embrace technology and when to put the screen down. Allow yourself to be fully connected with the person in front of you and to call or text people when you can’t see them.  

Everyone needs a sense of support, you can foster that in other people and nourish yourself at the same time. 

21 Powerful Mindfulness Affirmations for Inner Calm and Relief from Anxiety

Just like, how you can use good habits to beat bad ones, positive affirmations can be used to challenge and redirect negative thoughts.  An affirmation is a phrase or set of phrases that you repeat to yourself to affirm a belief or thought. By working with daily affirmations or morning affirmations, you can set intention into your day.  

With this list of positive affirmations, you can tap into your mind power to reduce stress and learn to live in the moment.  Not only can these affirmations help you be mindful but they can work as relaxation exercises and relaxation techniques for anxiety.  Mindfulness based stress reduction paired with positive sayings, like these personal affirmations, are sure to bring more calm positive thoughts.

Words of affirmation can be used like positive mantra’s, meaning the weight you put into them is up to you.  If you can believe these positive phrases then you can make them a reality.

Daily positive affirmations, because of the repetition, begin to feel true the more you say them.  This creates a habit of positive thinking.

I know how sucky it is to feel like you’re always worried about something on the horizon.  It feels like your mind is working against you and it starts to affect your health. I could never sleep, I always felt lethargic and tired, and something was always working against me.  

Being able to have positive affirmations for anxiety helps me to chill out.  Once I start feeling the overthinking sneak up, I can feel confident knowing that I have positive affirmation after positive affirmation to distract and bring my mind back.  By using these affirmations to create mindfulness for anxiety, you can begin to eliminate the stress caused by being too much in your head.

These do not need to be just positive affirmations for anxiety relief though.  You can use these to create more mindfulness and calm for any day.


I only exist right now.

I am calm.

I will not worry about things out of my control.

I have nothing to worry about.  

I am free from constraints.

I choose to exist right now.

I am here in the present moment.

I have the power to change what does not serve me.

I will focus on what makes me happy.

Challenges only bring me closer to my goals.  

I will be mindful and aware of my body and space.

I attract positive energy.

I am prioritizing my happiness.

My mind is calm.

I am free to let go of fear.

I will not be held back by the past.

I create the world I am in.

I surrender my fear and doubts, as they do not serve me.

All is well in this moment.

My thoughts are not me.

I choose to replace worry with love and acceptance.  

Feel free to save these affirmations for coming back to.  

Mindfulness opens the door to a calmer life where living in the moment is second nature.  Positive affirmation words like these can help to remind you to be more mindful. You can be a self fulfilling prophecy by using positive self affirmations to be the calmest, least stressed person ever!

 

How to F*cking Relax - 8 Tips for Overcoming Anxiety and Overthinking

Overthinking sucks!  I get it, I was a chronic overthinker.  I know the cycle of worry that picks up speed and builds until it is all consuming. I might even be the queen of overthinking.  

I would overthink and overanalyze every possible thing.  Random memory from my past that floods me with horrible anxiety.  Thoughts of defeat towards something that hadn’t even happened yet.  Wondering how to stop overthinking… wait am I overthinking this.  You name it, I’ve thought about it all too much.  

I’ve wanted to scream, “How do I stop thinking!?”  Scratch that. I have screamed that.  Maybe not out loud but definitely in my anxious brain.  I just wanted to relax.  I wanted to stop being kept up at night and I wanted to be able to focus.  

You see the worst part about overthinking is that, not only do you fall further down the rabbit hole the more you think, but the more you think the worse you feel.  

And suddenly you're worried about the earth falling out of the sky.  It feels like it is teetering on your shoulders and you’re just not strong enough to hold the whole damn thing up anymore.  

What if I told you that you don’t have to carry that weight anymore?  You don’t have to feel like your mind imprisons you. You are free to let it all go.  

But you have to really want it.  You have to be ready to call yourself out and get really honest.  You need to choose to live now, not yesterday or tomorrow, but right now.  Nothing else exists but the moment you are in right here.  

Are you ready to choose that?

Do you want to harness the present moment even more?  Stay on track and crush your goals using this Daily Success Driver and Habit Tracker.  No more guessing what you need to do.  Just get shit done!

 
 


1. Set yourself up for success

When you are living an unhealthy lifestyle, you are even more prone to anxiety and intrusive thoughts.  By developing good habits and routines you set yourself up to feel better and have overall lower levels of stress.  Get a good night’s sleep to start the day off well, find a way to incorporate physical activity into your day, and try to eat healthy foods.  A healthy you is a happy you.  

2. Be Aware + Observation

Learn to catch yourself in moments where you are overthinking.  Acknowledging the habit of overthinking is the first real act to limiting the amount you overthink.  By learning to recognize overthinking and other anxious behaviors, you can also begin to find the causes.  Try to find the root of the problem to further your awareness.  

3. Accept it

To challenge your anxious mind, when you feel yourself overthinking, tell yourself that you cannot change the past and that worrying about the future will not get you there any faster.  Allow yourself to accept that some things are not in your control.  If you can’t change it, don’t worry about it.  This can be tough as you mind wants to worry but you have to remind yourself that things are not always in your control.  

4. Pull yourself out

This one is going to take some strength.  Once you are aware that you are overthinking, you have to bring yourself out of your head.  Accept that your mind wants to wander and then bring it back and tune into the present moment.  

5. Take Action

There’s no point worrying about something that you can’t control.  If you can change the situation or there’s something to fix or do, then do that.  Quell the worry by dealing with the problem.  

6. Find Distractions

When you start feeling anxious, the easiest way to immediately take action is to find something different to think about and focus on.  Any activity that works to get you out of your head is helpful.  

7. Schedule “Worry Time”

Give yourself time to overthink and worry as much as you want.  When “worry time” is over though, so is your overthinking.  

Feeling some overthinking come up?  Sorry, can you hold? Book yourself an appointment to let your brain go wild with thoughts.  Instead of engaging with your mind, put it off for a later date.  Not only does this stop you from overthinking in the moment but by the time you get to “later” you might have no need to overthink.  

8. Learn Forgiveness

Angry is a stew-y emotion.  It likes to hang out for too long and can build up easily if you let yourself overthink it.  Instead of finding all the reasons to be upset, learn to forgive.  This includes yourself.  Forgiveness helps you to let go of the emotions you might have towards a situation or person.  

9. Put it into perspective

Rationalize it!  In your head, explain to yourself all the reasons you have not to worry about whatever is bothering you.  Instead of worrying about what you did wrong or what might go wrong, realize that you’re probably worrying for no reason.  If it hasn’t happened yet then there’s no point putting yourself through it beforehand.  If it has already happened, know that nobody else is thinking about what you said or did, they are way more worried about themselves.  

10. Affirmations

This is a variation of distracting yourself where, when you feel intrusive thoughts you repeat a mantra or affirmations to counter your other thoughts.  Affirmations for anxiety or a line you can repeat to yourself forces your mind to break up your pattern of thinking.  Once you have recognized your overthinking, let it go and begin to repeat your affirmations.  Keep doing so until the anxious thoughts pass.

11. Embrace the present moment

This is a mindset shift.  You have to actively choose to not let yourself exist in anything but right now.  Know that thinking too much is not good for you and instead, try to embrace the present moment.  

When you can relax your over active mind and stop overthinking, you can begin to manage stress and anxiety better.  By pulling yourself out and consistently coming back to the present moment, you develop a mindset that keeps overthinking away.  Beating overthinking is really hard because like any pattern you have, it’s comfortable and easy to slip back into. Some days, all you might need is to push off your anxious thoughts and others you might try everything on this list.  Keep coming back to a place of observation and awareness and try to move back into the present moment.




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How to Beat your Bad Habits and be Happy - 7 Steps to Kill Bad Habits

Bad habits are controlling, hard to manage and can seem impossible to get rid of.  Breaking a bad habit is a process and can take patience.  The biggest part is that you are able to be aware of your habit and form processes to curb it.  Beating your bad habits can be a lot of work but you are left happier and healthier when you do.  

Breaking the habit or habits that control your life can put you on the path to be your best self.  Changing your habits and overcoming the fear of change helps you to have a happy life and a positive attitude.


I am a chronic phone user.  I love to scroll through the endless sea of posts and stories.  Problem is, it’s endless.  I can scroll through post after post and never realize just how consumed I can get.  

I’m not going to share how long each day I’m on my phone because it is a little excessive and my “Daily Screen Time” already shames me enough.  

I don’t want to keep up this pattern though, my phone is not a way of life.  I want to stop reaching for my phone whenever I have a hand free. By trying to catch myself during my scroll, I can start to break the habit.  Acknowledging I have an issue and catching myself in the act, help to begin to change my habits.  Instead of reaching for my phone, I try to grab a book instead. When my hands itch for the fix on my feed, I find something else to do with my hands. Crocheting, drawing, or cleaning are quick ways for me to distract myself.  

I’m not over my scrolling addiction and I can still find comfort in my old ways but I have to keep coming back to the real world.  Pulling myself out of the trace that bad habits bring can be really tough and change will not happen overnight but with repetition and replacement with good habits is helping to break my bad habit cycle.  

You are a wannabe go-getter and you want to live your most fulfilled life but you don’t know where to start? When you subscribe to my newsletter you get access to my Daily Success Driver and Habit Tracker! Both of these work together help you choose the right kind of habits and stick to them!

 
 

Tips for success

These really don’t fit into my 7 step bad habit breaking system but I think they are important to note, as they may help you get an extra edge over your bad habits.

Buddy System - This works really well when you need help to keep yourself accountable.  By finding someone who is trying to quit the same bad habit you are, you can work together to keep each other on track.  Having someone who is going through the same thing you are, gives you someone to relate to and can make you more likely to stay on track.

Talk about it - Maybe you don’t have anyone who can be your partner in breaking your bad habits but you can use social pressure to keep you accountable.  By talking about and telling your friends, family, or coworkers about your goal, you seeming leave yourself with no option but to succeed.  

Reward Yourself - When you find yourself meeting your goals, make a point to acknowledge it.  Make reaching your goals something exciting and something you look forward to.  


Step 1 - Acknowledge your Habit

Chances are if you are reading this then you already know what your bad habit is(or habits are).  Acknowledging your bad habit is a little more than knowing what your habit is.  Acknowledging your bad habit is also about accepting that your bad habit does not serve you.  You have to believe that your bad habit is worth getting rid of.  

Step 2 - Determine Causes

To fully understand your bad habit you have to find the trigger or cause of it.  Most commonly stress and boredom are the cause of bad habits.  You can try to narrow it down even farther to help with the next step.

When you get stressed at work you might feel like lighting up a cigarette or you might start drinking every weekend.  Maybe when you’re bored you pick up your phone.  What drives you to your bad habit?

Step 3 - Change your Environment

When you have triggers all around you it can be hard to make sure you don’t slip back into your bad habit.  By removing any potential triggers you can limit the frequency that you will have to fight your mind not to resort to the bad habit.

If you are trying to quit sugar, you should get rid you the snack foods in your pantry and make sure not to buy any more.  If your bad habit is using your cellphone too much, you could try leaving your phone in another room or even set a time in your household that you make cell phone free.  

Step 4 - Set Goals

You don’t have to eliminate your bad habits cold turkey.  Instead, work on setting reasonable goals for yourself to meet.  Use goals as daily motivation to keep your bad habits at bay.

If you want to quit smoking, try to limit the number of cigarettes you have.  Start by having one less than normal, then two and so on until you reach one cigarette per day.  Try to stop entirely for one day then two. Quitting your bad habits does not have to happen all at once; start small and work your way up.

Step 5 - Create Healthy Habits

When you can rely on good habits instead of your past bad ones, you can channel your energy into something healthy.  Instead of smoking when you get stressed, try meditating or add daily physical activity into your routine.  Take the energy you once had for your bad habit and use it for something to benefit you.

Making good habits is also a process but it can be the turning point for leaving your bad habits behind.  Develop happy habits and become happy yourself.  

Step 6 - Learn Awareness

If you find yourself feeling stressed or reaching for the bad habit, take a moment to acknowledge it.  Check in with yourself.  Are you feeling any certain way? Bored? Stressed?

If you can catch yourself before you begin to engage with your bad habit you can reroute and pick a healthier way to deal with how your feeling.

You can also use this strategy to catch yourself during the act as well.  Your response may be more of, what can I do right now to stop myself from continuing my bad habit?  How can I pull myself out of the act that I'm partaking in?

Step 7 - Keep Showing Up

Breaking a habit is hard and there is a good chance that will power alone will not be enough to keep you from your bad habit.  Learn to accept when you relapse but also learn to get back up.  You have to actively want to break your bad habit and when you can keep coming back to good habits and healthy ways of dealing with stress, you increase your ability to not let your old ways control you.  

Breaking bad habits is hard because they are something that you have become comfortable with.  The key to successfully freeing yourself from them is to put in the effort and not be afraid of change.  When you are willing to work for the things you want, you will see results. You already know what your bad habits are, now it’s up to you to do the work and free yourself from them.

Get your bad habits off your chest by leaving them in a comment!  Let’s work on this together!

 




How to Release Stress with this Self Massage for your Neck

A massage sounds like a nice idea in essence but unfortunately, the cost and time can make them hard to access.  Self massages are an easy way to achieve the benefits of a massage without having to spend any money or go anywhere.  Self massages can be a targeted way to reduce stress and relieve tension.

When you give yourself a massage you can tailor your technique to what you are feeling in that specific moment.  If you come across any spots that are tighter than the rest, take a few extra moments to massage and work the area.  Take your time and feel free to follow the steps as you read them. This massage should be 6-8 minutes but could made to be shorter or longer depending on your needs.  

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Nobody has time to visit a massage parlor and although this is technically a “self massage,” you can absolutely recruit your significant other or someone else to help you.  Or if you are a significant other, you could give this massage.

My neck and shoulders are almost always carrying stress.  Which can be exhausting. When stress is really getting to me I can feel it creeping into my body and making itself home.  Unpleasant to say the least. A large part of this is controlling how I deal with stress but how do I deal with it once it's already there?

Pushing it out.  For some extra stress relieving properties, I imagine myself pulling and pushing all the built up stress out.  With every drag of my fingers, I feel the tension beginning to leave.

Not only do I use self massages for self care but they are also great for when I’m feeling overwhelmed.  I get a chance to tune into my body to find and relieve stress. As well I can dial up the intensity for a more deep massage, to really get the stress out.  

By combining awareness with this massage you can start to get to the root of your stress and begin to protect your physical body from it.  Stress is as much about the physical sensations you deal with as the emotional ones.

Massages can be helpful in reducing stress and can have relaxing aspects.  Massage oil or cream can be used to amplify these properties. As well neck massages can help to reduce headache pain, high blood pressure, and improve brain function by increasing circulation.  By massaging your neck regularly you may also see improvements in your posture, flexibility, and can reduce the chance of pulling a muscle. By giving yourself a massage you are able to get in on these benefits and start managing your stress.  

 
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Start by reaching both your hands to the base of your neck.  Use your whole hand to massage or palm the muscles there. Move down on to your upper shoulder/back and keep palming your muscles.  You should feel your muscles begin warming. Keeping with the same action, move upwards on your neck, about to the base of your skull.  Do this a couple more times until the whole area of your upper back and neck feel warm.

Move your hands farther down your back, next to your spine.  With an upwards motion push with a little more pressure on your traps.  Imagine yourself pulling the tension out as you repeat this movement 3 or 4 more times.  

Palm over your entire neck area again, keeping heat there.  Start massaging in a circular motion the top of your neck and continue to the base of your neck.  Then pull your fingers away from your spine. Keep with the circular motions if that feels good for 7-10 more repetitions or while moving your fingers down and away from your spine apply mild pressure.  Some mild discomfort may be noticed. You can keep palming the area if pushing is too painful. Make sure never to do anything painful or too uncomfortable. As well it is important to not push directly on your spine with too much pressure as you may cause unintended injury.  

Move again farther down your neck and begin to pull your fingers over the muscles at the tops of your shoulder blades.  Find a rhythm and begin to apply a little more pressure. Keep massaging your muscles out and away from your spine. Do this for 7-10 repetitions.  You can vary the speed or alternate the side you are doing this on.

Lightly tip your head to one side, make sure to find a stable point or support your head.  With your head tipped, again begin to make circles down the extended side of your neck and a short ways down.  Go for 5-7 repetitions. Repeat the same on the other side of your neck.

From a tipped point slowly roll your head forwards, to the side, and then backward until you’re in the starting point again.  Do this on each side 2-3 times.

Starting at the top of your neck, using your preferred method gently massage down your neck a few more times before returning to palming your neck.  Continue gently squeezing and palming up and down your neck, bring that heat once more.

Begin to focus in on where it feels tight.  This may be at the base of your skull, behind your ears, between your shoulder blade or elsewhere.  Pay extra attention here. Begin to massage the tight area with your fingers or thumbs. Make circles if that is what feels good or just simply push with your fingers.  

Give yourself one or two more large palming squeezes before letting go.  

Feeling relaxed yet?

After pushing all the stress out of your body, imagine yourself as a blank slate.  Allow yourself to release any extra stress you might be feeling. Know that keeping stress inside your muscles does not serve you and you are free to let it go.

Self massages are a nice way to help your relieve tension and relax.  You can give yourself a light massage anytime without needing to go anywhere or spend anything.  Massages can help to alleviate a number of ailments and get you on the path to being your best and most relaxed self.


 
 

Stop Dieting and Start Mindful Eating - A Guide to Eating with Intention

When you practice mindful eating and learn to eat with intention, you can heal your relationship with food and slow down to really enjoy your meals.  Mindful eating is a powerful practice that can transform the way you look at food.

The act of being mindful helps to bring your awareness into play.  Mindful eating can be incorporating all or only some of the ideas below. Take for example…

I used to rush to get my food down, eat all the less exciting parts like veggies first, then scarf down all the carbs and protein.  All this left me with was an overly full stomach and no more food. I used to justify this behavior in that I’m just making sure to eat my food before it gets cold.  

What a silly reason to make myself uncomfortable.  

Eating, for me, used to all about getting the food on my plate, in me.  I used to believe that eating was such an inconvenience and that if I could just take a pill to get all my nutrients I would.   Even if I had spent the time to make sure that the spices were just right or after carefully peeling my veggies.

But I wasn’t ready to commit to eating my meals in silence.  So mindful eating didn’t feel like it was in the books for me.  Meditating while eating my food… no thanks!

Mindful eating is not meditating though.  Mindful eating is an all encompassment of the act of using awareness to pay attention to the ingredients, the preparation, and the impact your meals have.  That part I can get behind. I already pay attention to the ingredients in my food, I try to be aware of the sugar I’m consuming, and I follow a vegan diet.  So paying more attention to my food shouldn’t be hard, right?

So I tried mindful eating a few times and you know what I found?

Paying attention works but only if you can keep coming back to it.  It’s not sustainable to try to eat every meal in silence or even chew every bite 40 times.  

But… mindful eating works.  I didn’t lose any weight and I never had any wild epiphanies about the way I eat.  Instead, I still eat in front of the TV or with my phone in hand but sometimes I catch myself.  I notice that I am starting to eat too fast so I take a couple of bites to count the number of times I need to chew my food.  I stop myself at the grocery store from picking up food that I know contributes to environmental or health issues. I take time to smell all my food while it cooks.  

I let cooking and consuming food be more than just the act of getting nutrients.  I pay attention to the food I’m eating and enjoy eating.

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What is Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is the act of eating without distractions and slowing down to enjoy your food.  Mindful eating is a practice similar to mindfulness meditation in that you are taking time to observe an experience.  While encompassing yourself and the food that you are eating, mindful eating can actually include what impact your food has in the world.  Like where the ingredients came from, how the ingredients got to you, or who grew the food. While mindful eating can be rather complex and have many different layers, learning how to apply it for every meal doesn’t have to be.

Instead, it can be paying attention to how the food tastes, the textures, and the way it smells.  Paying attention to how you feel along the way is also important. Your body and mind connect through food when practicing mindful eating.  

How to

Mindful eating can actually start when you are preparing and cooking food.  You should pay attention to how everything feels as you are cutting and preparing your ingredients.  Does anything have an immediate smell?

What about once you start cooking it?  What do you smell?

Once you have finished cooking your meal and you are ready to eat, portion yourself off a smaller portion than you would normally have.  Before you sit down, make sure that there are no immediate distractions. Along with not sitting in front of the television, you should also ditch your phone.  

Take a moment or two before digging in to express gratitude for your meal, the attention it took to prepare it, and the journey that the food took before it got to you.  

Take your first bite and chew thoroughly.  Chewing your food 30-40 times would be best.  While chewing take time to note any flavors and textures that you notice.  Is it sweet? Is it spicy? Is it crunchy or soft?

Take your time to finish the remainder of your food, all the while noting what aspects you come across.  

If you are eating with others it might seem a little weird to sit in complete silence while you eat, in this case, dedicate a few minutes or a few bites to a more aware eating approach before talking with your table mates.  Remember to check in with yourself periodically, in this case, to not get too sucked into your old eating habits.

As you begin to near the end of your meal, it is important to check in with yourself and your body.  How did the food make you feel? Was it food that made you happy? Why or why not? How does the food make you feel physically?  Do you feel energized? Was it food that made your body happy but not your mind? Or vice versa? Are you satisfied or looking for more?  

Mindful eating does not have to be a complex project to complete for every meal.  It can be adopted into your normal food practices to help you strengthen your relationship to food.  

By practicing the whole act of mindful eating you can learn through awareness where your relationship with food suffers.  From this, you can then adopt small pieces of mindful eating into your everyday practice.

By taking the time to acknowledge where your relationship with food is you can begin to heal it.  If you find yourself rushing through meals, mindful eating can teach you to make healthier food choices and make eating more of a ritual than a chore.  

You have the ability to rework your relationship with food by paying more attention to the food you eat, where it comes from, and how it makes you feel.  Your mind is your most powerful tool in making the right choices for your body and the world. Mindful eating gives you the awareness needed to see the changes you need to make.  

When you take time to slow down and connect with yourself and your food, you can create a connection that fosters a healthy relationship.  Mindful eating can transform how you look at and enjoy your food. When you eat with intention you not only feel better but are more aware and more likely to make good food choices.  

 

15 Empowering Self Love Affirmations

Self love is important to your overall happiness and affirmations can be a helpful way to take some time for you.  These affirmations are specifically designed for self love and care. Take a few minutes to read these over to yourself out loud or in your head.  You can read through them as many times as you need, or as often as you need. Read each line with intention and allow yourself to believe the words as you say them.  

Benefits to Affirmations

Affirmations work to encourage positive thoughts and feelings.  When you say positive things to and about yourself you invite more positive energy around you.  Using affirmations is just one way to reframe your mindset and make you happier.

Whenever you think, say, or do something you are creating a form of an affirmation.  Using these affirmations you can create and affirm a feeling of self love. By coming back to these affirmations daily or whenever you need a dose of positive feelings you can help to combat negative thoughts and cultivate a happy relationship with yourself.

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I am whole.

I am worthy.

I am secure.

I am all that I need to be.

 

I deserve love and care.

I deserve to feel happy.

I am open to receive love.

My body is a place of love and I treat it as such.

 

My body is my home and I’m comfortable.

I treat myself with respect.

I can accomplish great challenges.

I am something to be proud of.

 

I am going to be okay.

I am enough.


I hope you’re feeling refreshed and a little more positive.  Feel free to save these affirmations and come back to them when you’re needing a little more self love.

Using affirmations can be a hugely positive factor for change.  Practicing self love and self care helps to cultivate a healthy relationship with yourself.  Affirmations reaffirm these feelings and help to connect your mind and body.

Why You'll Never be Happy - 10 Things to Change your Attitude

It seems like the whole world has learned to put on a happy face on for the perfect Instagram photo, but how many actually are happy?

Happiness can sometimes seem hard to achieve but once you find what is making you unhappy you can act to change it.

What’s Holding You Back

When you’re constantly worrying about something that has happened or has yet to happen, your mind is not in the current moment.  Instead, your mind has drifted off in the sea of worry and it can’t swim back.

You wait for the weekend only to lazily sit around worrying about the week ahead.  What problems am I going to have to deal with? Is Linda going to be a bitch again?  I’m so tired out from the last week, do I have to do it again? I hope my mom’s not going to call.  I have to take my car in and I forgot, I also have to get groceries too. And pay rent. And go to the bank. And so on.  

Or maybe you’re a dreamer, I’ll be happy when…

I’ll be happy when I get a better job. I’ll be happy when I make more money.  I’ll be happy when it is no longer winter. I’ll be happy when…

Did I lose you yet?  I bet you spend a lot of time in your head. It’s really easy to get caught up in thinking and thinking too much.   When you live too much in your head, it is really hard to come back and enjoy the present moment. So how are you supposed to be happy?

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Tips for a Happy Life

1. Start a Grounding Practice

Grounding practices help to bring you back to the present moment and connect with the world in a meaningful way.  Practices you could try might include meditation, 5-4-3-2-1 technique, or other mindfulness activities. Grounding can help to make you feel centered and reduce your stress.  

2. Define your Values

Decide what you believe makes a good person.  Focus on traits that are something you can adopt and commit to.  Think in terms of kindness, compassion, confidence, etc.

Who do you want to be?  Or who do you want to be remembered as?  What traits does someone need to have to be who you want to be?  Do you want to be smart? Do you want to be a risk taker? Do you want to give back?

3. Move your Body

When you get your heart rate up, endorphins are released in your brain.  These endorphins help to combat stress and make you feel happier. Not only is exercise good for your body but your mind as well.  Taking even 10 minutes to go for a walk or stretch your body can be hugely impactful to your mood.

4. Sleep Enough

Sleep is a major part in being a functioning human being and when you don't get enough you are almost inviting stress and discomfort.  When you get a good night’s rest you wake up feeling refreshed and a lot more ready to tackle challenges.

5. Get Outside

Fresh air can do wonders for your mood.  Along with reducing cortisol, spending a short amount of your day outside can also help to improve anxiety and depression.  Even taking a walk through your city’s park can help to improve creativity and lower blood pressure.

6. Make Strong Connections

Having a support system or people who will lift you up, can help to reduce stress and give you better coping skills.  Having friends and family that you can turn to when the going gets tough or when you just need a healthy distraction is hugely beneficial to your happiness and success.  

7. Go after your Goals

When you are actively working towards a goal or outcome you can feel great satisfaction for accomplishments.  When you are working towards a goal, it is important not to get too caught up in the big picture but instead enjoy the small victories.  

8. Have New Experiences

Trying new things and getting out of your comfort zone, not only inspires growth but can also give you a break from your daily routine.  Even though trying new things can be intimidating they can also be rewarding. You can meet new people, find new talents, and grow your happiness.  Being stagnant doesn’t promote feeling good so challenge yourself and expand your comfort zone.

9. Practice Self Care

Life’s hard when you aren’t taking care of yourself.  You might be surprised how much better you feel after taking some time to take care of you.  Sit down with a book, maybe even a hot drink, and start filling your cup because you need it!

10. Learn Gratitude

The single easiest thing to help make you happy is gratitude.  When you express gratitude for things in your life, you start to shift and look for more things to be happy about.  Getting grateful, whether by yourself in your head, in a journal, or to the people around you, will create positive change to your mindset and help you refocus on the things that are important to you.  

Practicing gratitude, even for the smallest of things, can recenter your life and drive you to find the positive in every situation.  


Getting happy is not a 10 step process and there are no guidelines that will work for everyone but these tips can act as an inspiration to get out there and start trying things to find what works for you.  All of these tips can help to get you out of your negative thought patterns and back into the present moment. Finding happiness is a journey and I hope to provide you with the tools you need to get there!

What makes you happy? Have you tried any of these tips before?

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How to Feel Better through Forgiveness - 3 Ways Forgiveness Heals

To forgive is to free yourself from anger and hurt.  Without forgiveness, it is too easy to get caught up and stuck in negative emotions.  By allowing yourself to acknowledge and release pain, you give yourself the gift of a blank slate.  When we can extend that feeling to others, we can help to heal the other person and our relationship with them.  Forgiveness can open up many opportunities, you just have to be ready to let go.


Power of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a fundamental piece of learning to let go and of growth.  When you dwell on the past, it can be nearly impossible to feel at peace.   By acknowledging and then releasing negative emotions, in the form of apologies, you can help to create an environment where past mistakes don’t control the narrative.  

When you offer forgiveness to yourself and others you are clearing an emotional block.  By having a space free of emotional blocks, you can be more open to experiences and your relationships can flourish.  It can feel hard to allow yourself to forgive but your world becomes happier when you do.


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Healing for Others

Forgiving others can have large impact on others and your relationship with them.  Sometimes when you are holding onto a lot of resentment for someone, you can find it hard to be around them. They probably can tell that there’s some kinds of issue.  Maybe they have even tried apologizing. You don’t need to go around forgiving everyone for everything that they have ever done that affected you but you can start to forgive the small things in private.  Forgiveness doesn’t always need to come in the form of an apology, sometimes is can be just the acknowledgement and act of letting something go.

When you become a forgiving person people feel more comfortable around you and your relationships can be strengthened.  People might feel like you’re easier to be around or even that you make them excited to see you. When you stop holding the past against someone, you can begin to look past their mistakes and shortcomings.  



Healing for Yourself


When you allow yourself to let go of negative feelings and guilt you can become infinitely more happy.  Forgiving yourself can be hard but it can be harder to be miserable. By holding onto feeling and memories that cause you to feel bad, you encourage those feelings to stick around.  By acknowledging and accepting negative thoughts and feelings you can begin to understand and free yourself from them.

When you face a difficult situation accepting that you can and will make mistakes can leave you open to more growth.  Having the confidence to make a decision, whether right or wrong can be easier when you are not held back by the “bad” choices of the past.  Learn to see every situation as neither positive or negative, instead look for how every situation can be a learning experience. Look for opportunities to grow and be aware that they can be presented in many different ways.  

Your negative feeling towards others can especially have an effect on your well being.  It can be all to easy to feel angry or upset with others when you perceive them to have made a mistake.  When you let that anger fester and build it starts to seep into you and you start to feel consumed. By separating yourself from others and not getting caught up in something that they have done or done to you, you can become untouchable and not phased.  

By acting with an intention of forgiveness, you are able to shape your relationships and in turn the world around you.  Forgiveness gives you freedom and the ability to live in the moment. When used from a place of love and care, you can heal your relationship with yourself. Forgiveness opens your heart to the act of being free; free from hurt, negative emotions, and the past.  


Release yourself from the negative emotions and patterns by allowing yourself to forgive.

Healing Yourself with Forgiveness - 5 Tips You Need to Know

To feel free of worry and upset you must learn how to offer yourself forgiveness.  Learning forgiveness can feel confusing, even more so when you don’t feel able to let go.  The power of forgiveness can be huge in releasing worries and help you to find inner calm. Live more in the moment with these 5 tips for forgiveness.

Power of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is an often overlooked tool for healing.  When you normally think forgiveness you probably don’t think about offering it to yourself.  Surprisingly enough you and the most important person in your own life and to spend time on your shortcomings would be a waste of your time.  When you allow yourself to let go of your past mistakes, you can really start getting to a healthy place with yourself.

Forgiveness is the first step to growth, as you cannot expect to become a better person while still dwelling on your past.  Learning to let go can help you get the most out of the relationship you have with yourself.

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1. Learn to forgive others

Sometimes it's hard to imagine being nice to ourselves when we feel unworthy of forgiveness.  When we practice forgiving others it is kind of like training a muscle, and it can become easier to imagine a world where we don’t carry guilt.  

Practicing forgiveness is something you can do in many ways.  You can send a message, meet face to face, or even just in your own mind.  Forgiveness can be as much about you as it is about others.

2. Focus on the small stuff

Instead of jumping to your worst memory or thought, try looking for a small mistake you may have made instead.  It can be a lot easier to learn forgiveness when you aren’t trying to heal a major source of hurt. Pick something that you feel that you can easily separate from yourself and let it go.

Apologize to yourself for not washing the dishes or forgetting to pick up groceries.  Starting with something small can help open the gate for deeper emotional healing.

3. Be aware

A major part in forgiving yourself is the awareness that you are feeling guilty or stuck in a negative thought loop.  When you feel yourself getting sucked into a moment that is not the present one, take a second to reconnect by checking in with yourself.  This could be done in a multitude of ways; body scan, focus on your breath, mindful meditation, etc.

By breaking the vortex that your negative thoughts can become you are breaking a pattern of thinking.  Awareness is the first step to finding your source of hurt.

4. Let go

Once you are aware of what is causing you to hurt, it’s time to free yourself from it.  Holding onto negative emotions will not help you get happy. Let yourself feel any emotions that come up but also be ready to let them go when they no longer serve you.

If just letting an emotion go seems difficult you can try this shower meditation.  Using visualization you can learn to let your emotions wash away.

5. Be grateful

Sometimes even after letting go of a mistake, it can still seem to hang around.  When you take a moment to reframe the memory you can change the feeling around it.  Learn to look for the things you learned from the experience. Becoming grateful for what an experience has given you is the ultimate goal in learning to forgive yourself.  

What do you need to do to get it right next time? What lesson has this experience taught you? How can you improve despite maybe screwing up?

Learn to stop feeling bad about your choices and instead start looking for the good.  

When you break the cycle of anger and negativity towards yourself, you can really begin to start healing.  Offering yourself forgiveness allows you to find peace with yourself and in that ultimately, happiness. The power of forgiveness allows you to live in the moment and can reframe negative experiences.

Free yourself from worries and stress by learning to forgive yourself.