Mindfulness Archives

How to look after yourself this Valentine’s Day

 

Are you busy planning what to buy your loved one for Valentine’s Day or are you avoiding it completely because it’s a bit of a stark reminder that you are currently single?

Regardless of your relationship status, tomorrow is an opportunity for you to nurture the most important relationship in your life right now.

The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself :).
It’s the relationship most of us neglect and forget about!

When you nurture this relationship first, all your other relationships will start to flourish. It’s a win-win!

Don’t worry; this isn’t about being selfish and unforgiving.
This is more about looking after yourself so you can share even more with others.

Notice I said share, not give! Most of us are busy giving to everyone else and then wonder why we have nothing left for ourselves.

Putting yourself first isn’t easy for many of us. We are (mostly) taught to put the needs of others before our own and putting ourselves first is considered selfish.

But, always putting others first rarely works.
We’re left running on empty, feeling resentful or completely exhausted.

Sound familiar?

So, what do you do instead? There are a few things you can do right now to put yourself first and nurture yourself. I know it might not be easy and for some of you and it might feel completely alien, but it’s worth giving it a go and see what changes.

  1. Self compassion and kindness – stop giving yourself such a hard time. Go easy on yourself for a bit and know that you’re trying your best. You can’t always get it right. Treat yourself to something you’ve been putting off for a while. It might be something small like an evening in, a hot bath with your book. Or it might be that holiday you deserve.
  2. Self trust and belief – this builds you confidence to know that you have everything you need to work through things right. Believe in yourself and that things are working out. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Often we look back at previous challenges and recognise how, without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today. If you’re experiencing a challenge right now, ask yourself “How might this actually turn out for the best?” Re-write the script.
  3. Self awareness – this allows you to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. We can often see what others need to do but it’s difficult to see it for ourselves. When you look at things from a different perspective new information is revealed to you. Ask yourself “what else might be going on here that will help me to see things differently?”

This is how you start to take responsibility for yourself.
Your well-being and happiness are your responsibility, no one else’s.
That’s how you take back control of your life and what’s important to you.

You feel empowered to create the changes you want and find new ways of doing things that feel easier, more in flow and more fun.

Not only do you benefit but everyone around you benefits as well.

Happy Valentine’s Day lovely people
Enjoy nurturing the relationship with yourself

Remember: Start small and build from there. 

Much love,

Natasha x

P.S. What one thing can you do for yourself right now to nurture your relationship with yourself? By doing something different you will start to find a solution that works for you. Give it a go, what have you got to lose?

P.P.S Reply by email – I’d love to hear how you are getting on, or let me know if you’re struggling and need a little inspiration to make a start!? natasha@mindbodysoulenergy.co.uk

mindfulness

How often do you get somewhere and wonder, ‘How on earth did I get here?’ Do you remember anything at all about the journey? Were you distracted by what you had to do later, or something that happened earlier? Are you going through life in this way, and wondering how you got to where you are today?
 
When we stop our minds from wondering off to the past or future, even just for a moment, we create a little bit of space and stillness.

Things appear to slow down a little, and we have successfully created a moment of mindfulness. We have become aware of what’s going on in that very moment.  It is my belief that with this awareness we create a little more control over our situations and can therefore change the outcome. We show up in our own lives, fully engaged.
 
Here are a few easy exercises that I regularly practice in order to slow things down for just a few minutes. In fact I’m still practicing, but they’ve truly changed my life for the better!! A few minutes is all you need to start with. 

  1. Deep breathing. How deeply do you breathe? My guess is not very deeply at all. Mostly we breathe using only the top part of our lungs, which means that we rarely exchange the air in the bottom parts of our lungs. Taking deeper breaths improves our health, it reduces stress and ensures that all our organs (including the skin) can function optimally.
    We can do this in moments where we are waiting in a queue, for someone to answer the phone, for the kettle to boil or perhaps washing our hands.This really is a simple way to feel better very quickly!
      – Focus on your breathing for one minute.
      – Take 10 breaths in and 10 breaths out without forcing it
      – As you inhale, repeat the word ‘inhale’ to yourself
      – As you exhale, repeat the word ‘exhale’ to yourself
      – This gives the mind something else to focus on
      – And allow your breathing to find its own natural rhythm.You will find that your breathing naturally starts to slow down and you begin to breathe a little more deeply. You will feel calmer and more relaxed .
     
  2. Mindful walking. On your next walk become aware of what you are doing, how you are feeling and what your surroundings look like. As you spend more time right in the moment, your mind can let go of anything that you might have to do in the future, or things that you are still holding on to from the past.As you walk to your next destination, start to notice a few different things. Does the weight fall evenly through your left and right feet? How do your feet touch the ground? Begin to notice how your body works and feels. Then slowly expand your awareness outwards to your surroundings.  What do you see? What have you walked passed daily and failed to notice? How are you feeling?
     
  3. Gratitude lists. What are you grateful for? Often it’s the really small things we are most grateful for – a kind word, the smell of coffee, birds singing. In becoming aware of the small things we realise how many great things that happen every single day.At the end of each day, write down 3 things that you are grateful for today. What brought a smile to your face? Perhaps it was the sunshine, the smell of summer rain or spending an evening with a friend who really listened. Perhaps someone said a kind word? Mostly, it’s the really simple things we are the most grateful for. Could you perhaps find 5, 10 or 20 things you are grateful for each day?

    It’s amazing what we can take for granted.

    Start to recognise what you are grateful for as these things are happening too, rather than only at the end of the day…

    A recent study on gratitude 
    by Psychologist Robert Emmons found people who kept a gratitude journal were 25% happier than those who just kept a journal of routine daily.

Remember Start small. Just start with one moment at a time. When you recognise that your mind has wondered then bring your attention back to the moment. Even if that’s just 10 seconds. Giving your mind a rest for 10 seconds is better than nothing.

Start with just a few minutes for each exercise. When you realise your mind has wandered off and become distracted then start again, by bringing your awareness back to this very moment. A few minutes is all you need to start with. As you practice these exercises you will find the one that works best for you, and you will begin to get better at creating more of those spaces.

Something amazing starts to change about the quality of your days and weeks. And then your life. You are less stressed, less anxious, less tired. Instead you find yourself calmer, quieter, directing your life where you choose it to go and becoming more alert with more energy.

If you are interested in working one-on-one with me, then I offer 5 FREE mindfulness coaching sessions every month.  
To reserve a place before they book up, CLICK HERE.

mindfulness
 
Mindfulness is a hot topic at the moment. But are you still wondering what it’s all about, and how it can benefit you?
 
Life is busy, and it seems to be getting busier. We seem to be doing things faster than ever before to keep up. And that causes us to get stressed or to feel like we can’t stop, even for a second, to catch our breath. We get carried away with what might be. We can get stressed about all the things we need to get done. We can get stuck in the past and wish it had been different. Perhaps we hope that someone else might change so our life will get a bit easier. Or maybe we get caught in the fantasy about something we cannot control. Sound familiar?
 
But does it really have to be this way? What about right now, this very moment that we are experiencing? Is that not more important? After all it’s the only thing we have complete control over.
 
So, what is mindfulness? Mindfulness is bringing our attention to what we are doing right now in this very moment, rather than letting our minds wander off to the past or the future. When we are not mindful we get swept along, not fully engaged in what’s going on, so things just happen to us, and often not in the way we want.
But when we bring our full focus and attention to the present moment we give ourselves choices in the moment, and have an opportunity to powerfully change the way things play out. 
 
How do I become more mindful? We can make a start by being fully engaged in this moment. The next time you are having a conversation with someone, notice where your attention goes. Does your mind wander off? Are you thinking about what you want to say, or are you focusing on everything the other person is saying? Are you really listening? Are you aware of what’s going on around you? The people, the noises, the smells? How are you feeling?
 
Every passing moment provides an opportunity for us to be mindful. You can start right now, reading this blog post.
 
And how will mindfulness make a difference to me? There are so many great benefits to mindfulness. We feel like we are going slower, but we still get things done! We start to let go of the stress and anxiety that so many of us feel on a day to day basis. Our focus becomes sharper. Our relationships with others, and of course ourselves, naturally starts to change for the better too. We experience fewer conflicts and we start to experience more balance. And of course we give our minds a well earned rest!
 
Who doesn’t want more of that?!
 
Mindfulness is not something we ‘do’ but it is more a state of ‘being’. As we practice we become more aware of our actions and our reactions to certain people and situations, so that we can change them for the better…..
 
What happens when I forget and get caught up again in the busyness of everyday life? Sometimes we do fall off the band wagon. But don’t worry, it’s part of the process and it takes some practice.
 
As soon as you realise that your mind has become distracted, you are being mindful. Simply remind yourself to come back to the present moment. It’s a bit of a cycle. We are mindful. We get distracted. We realise we are distracted. We become mindful again…. and so it continues.
 
This is how it is for me. And over time I have become quicker and quicker at noticing when I’m mindful and when I’m not.  I’m certainly not perfect at it, but I have definitely got better! I am less stressed and anxious about what I can’t control, I approach things with a calmer attitude and I have better relationships than I have ever had before. I no longer take hours to fall asleep because I can’t switch off. The benefits are endless! Remember Start small. Just start with one moment at a time. When you recognise that your mind has wondered then bring your attention back to the moment. Even if that’s just 10 seconds. Giving your mind a rest for 10 seconds is better than nothing.
 
If you are interested in working one-on-one with me, then I offer 5 FREE mindfulness coaching sessions every month.  
To reserve a place before they book up, CLICK HERE.

 

Feel More Motivated to Start Your Day!

Do you struggle to get up in the morning and get motivated to start your day? Are you dreading the day ahead and would you rather wake up feeling more energised and raring to go?

I never used to like getting up in the mornings and I liked them even less over the winter months. Now that the days are getting a bit longer and the mornings are brighter it certainly helps me get motivated in the morning.

This winter I found that I didn’t dread getting up quite as much as I used to, even with the dark mornings.

I found that these 3 things I am going to share with you have really helped me to feel more positive and also to feel more motivated about my day. I practice these 3 things before I even get out of bed.

This is how I feel more ready to start my day:

1. Express Appreciation. I wake up each morning and express appreciation for something in my life… no matter how bleak the day ahead seems there’s always something to be grateful for. Perhaps it’s waking up in a warm bed, or your health, your partner or your work.

2. Feel Excited. You have no idea how the day will unfold. Repeat to yourself 3 times that you are excited about the day ahead. Something unexpected might happen that might make you smile. Be prepared to be surprised during your day.

3. Think Positive. Have one positive thought about something you will be doing today. Perhaps you’ll be speaking to or seeing someone later that you know will lift your mood.

Remember: Have some fun with …… Try out variations of things so that they feel easy for you. Make it your own!

 

How to Slow Down and Get More Done!

get more done

Do you sometimes arrive somewhere, and wonder ‘How on earth did I get here?’
I know I do and hardly remember anything at all about the journey. I was either distracted by what I had to do later, or I was lost in something I was doing earlier. We can sometimes go through life in this way: a little bit distracted or lost and wondering how we got to where we are today.

But when we stop, even just for a moment to notice our surroundings we create a little bit of space. In that space, things appear to slow down a little and we can see a little bit clearer. We start to recognise what might actually be going on in that very moment. We show up engaged and ready.

But how do I slow down, you ask? You are busy. You are really busy. You’re juggling many things: work, family, children and life in general. Surely there’s no time to slow down!?

What if I said that slowing down doesn’t mean you get less done, it can actually mean you get MORE done!

By introducing one (or more) of these 3 easy and simple tips to your daily routine, you will start to feel calmer and more relaxed in a matter of minutes. You will feel more in control and on top of things. You can spend as little as 2-3 minutes on each.

1. Take a few deep breaths
How deeply do you breathe? My guess is not very deeply at all. Mostly we breathe using only the top part of our lungs, which means that we rarely exchange the stale, older air in the bottom parts. Breathing properly improves our health, reduces stress and helps our organs to function optimally. This really is a simple way to feel better very quickly!

Take a few deep breaths. Is it easier to breathe in or out? Can you feel your body relaxing with each cycle? What else do you notice?

2. Write a daily gratitude list
What are you grateful for? Often it’s the really small things we are most grateful for – a kind word, the smell of coffee, birds singing. In becoming aware of the small things we realise how many great things that happen every single day!

Write down 3 things that you are grateful for each day for the next 7 days. What especially brought a smile to your face?

3. Listen and give your full attention
How often do you actually feel heard? In conversations with friends and colleagues, we sometimes only listen partly. We can quickly become distracted by our own thoughts, and we quickly claim we know exactly what they mean.  Sound familiar?

Next time you are having a chat with someone, notice how much you actually hear. Give them your full attention and be curious. Ask questions, rather than sharing your own thoughts and feelings about the situation. How differently does that person respond when you really hear them?

Remember: start small, and build from there. There’s no rush!
You only need to spend 2-3 minutes on each.

Do you sometimes arrive somewhere, and wonder ‘How on earth did I get here?’ I know I do and hardly remember anything at all about the journey. I was either distracted by what I had to do later, or I was lost in something I was doing earlier. We can sometimes go through life in this way: a little bit distracted or lost and wondering how we got to where we are today.

But when we stop, even just for a moment to notice our surroundings we create a little bit of space. In that space things appear to slow down a little and we can see a little bit clearer. We start to recognise what might actually be going on in that very moment. We show up engaged and ready.

But how do I slow down, you ask? You are busy. You are really busy. You’re juggling many things: work, family, children and life in general. Surely there’s no time to slow down!?

What if I said that slowing down doesn’t mean you get less done, it can actually means you can get MORE done!

Watch the Video here:

By introducing one (or more) of these 3 easy and simple tips to your daily routine, you will start to feel calmer and more relaxed in a matter of minutes. You will feel more in control and on top of things. You can spend as little 2-3 minutes on each.

1. Take a few deep breaths
How deeply do you breathe? My guess is not very deeply at all. Mostly we breathe using only the top part of our lungs, which means that we rarely exchange the stale, older air in the bottom parts. Breathing properly improves our health, reduces stress and helps our organs to function optimally. This really is a simple way to feel better very quickly!

Take a few deep breaths. Is it easier to breathe in or out? Can you feel your body relaxing with each cycle? What else do you notice?

2. Write a daily gratitude list
What are you grateful for? Often it’s the really small things we are most grateful for – a kind word, the smell of coffee, birds singing. In becoming aware of the small things we realise how many great things that happen every single day!

Write down 3 things that you are grateful for each day for the next 7 days. What especially brought a smile to your face?

3. Listen and give your full attention
How often do you actually feel heard? In conversations with friends and colleagues we sometimes only listen partly. We can quickly become distracted by our own thoughts, and we quickly claim we know exactly what they mean.  Sound familiar?

Next time you are having a chat with someone, notice how much you actually hear. Give them your full attention and be curious. Ask questions, rather than sharing your own thoughts and feelings about the situation. How differently does that person respond when you really hear them?

Remember: start small, and build from there. There’s no rush!
You only need to spend 2-3 minutes on each.

P.S Each day this week give one of these a try. Next week try a different one, or add one. Which one is easier than the others? Drop me an email if you’re struggling and need a little inspiration to get going, or what to let me know how you’re getting on! Natasha@mindbodysoulenergy.co.uk

Slow DownandBreathe