Mindfulness is a word we’re hearing increasingly often, because of its value for managing a variety of physical and mental health problems. However, what does being mindful mean and how can mindfulness help us attain greater wellness? Understanding Mindfulness The principle of mindfulness comes from Buddhism and was designed to help followers understand themselves, train their minds for the better, and free themselves of unhelpful thoughts that hold them back. It is possible to do this by focusing on our thoughts, feelings, and environment in the present moment, without distraction to the past or future, and not judging the way we think or feel. There are four main aspects of mindfulness:
I’ve never shared publicly about my own struggle with having a sensitive stomach before, but more and more I’m noticing that many of my highly sensitive female friends and clients are dealing with the same experience. Since I’ve been researching this area extensively for years now, and constantly looking for ways to soothe my own sensitive stomach, it seems like a good time to share what I’ve been learning. Here are my Top 3 Tips…
Why Sensitivity Matters Many people who are interested in the things I talk about here on my blog (finding your purpose, making money following your passion, following your intuition, living magically, etc) are highly sensitive people– like me. If you think you might be a highly sensitive person too, this article will help you discover and honor this trait–whether it’s in yourself or someone else. So why is this trait so important? Well sensitives are different—not just any job is right for us, and we are uniquely wired to serve the world in a way that is different from the rest of the population.
Do you find yourself reacting easily to the moods of others around you? If so, you may be an emotional empath. Some highly sensitive people are also emotional empaths–they feel their own emotions and physical sensations more intensely than most, and also absorb those of the people around them. If you’re wondering if you could be an emotional empath, here is a quiz to find out. It was created by Dr. Judith Orloff, an Intuitive Psychiatrist who is also an emotional empath. This quiz is from her book “Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life.”
It’s that time of the year–everyone is doing their end-of-the-year reviews and planning visions for 2014! I’ve sifted through so many exercises and suggestions for starting the year off right, and I’m starting to get a feel for what works best for me. I’d love to share with you what resonates…
Do you have a fear that's holding you back? I want to share with you some tools I've used to overcome my own fears. First, take a moment to think of one of your own, so you can immediately see how these tools can be applied. If you need some help, here are some juicy ones: fear of rejection, fear of getting hurt in a relationship, fear of public speaking, fear of flying, etc. For me, a big one is my To Do list--basically not being able to do everything I expect of myself as well as I expect myself to
I completely believe processing emotions can improve physical health. In our culture, we tend to view physical ailments as problems to be solved with medication. It's becoming more popular to look at diet, but even then we're not always getting to the root cause. I recently read an article about how diet can affect migraines, but only when somebody is under stress. Meaning that certain foods are more likely to cause a migraine when someone is stressed, but if you remove the stress, they can eat anything and not get a migraine. I've always suspected that I'm particularly sensitive to emotions affecting me physically. Everyone seems to have a certain physical weakness, a way that your body tells you it's not happy. It could be digestive, psoriasis, migraines/headaches, acne, too much/too little appetite, being susceptible to the flu, etc. For me, it's my stomach. If I'm too lost in my thoughts or ignoring my emotions and instincts, my stomach will find a way to tell me. I can even give you a personal example that drives this point home.
Have you ever had an experience, emotion, or altered state of being that you just couldn't explain? Maybe you enjoyed it in the moment and then brushed it off later, trying to rationalize it... I want to create a space here to acknowledge and honor experiences that are difficult to explain. I know I've definitely had experiences that I can't completely explain that have caused profound shifts in my life. And I've also had some that just feel mystical even if they don't seem to have any meaning
Perfectionism is a sneaky little devil that can wreak havoc on your life if you're not aware of it! Last week I shared how perfectionism has been an issue for me, and why it's important to get it under control. This week I'm sharing with you my favorite tools to keep perfectionism from getting in the way. Step 1) Assess Your Perfectionism If you're a perfectionist, you probably already know it. But what you may not be aware of is the degree to which your standards are unrealistic or how this could be getting in your way. One reason this is true, is because perfectionists tend to pay attention to experiences that confirm their beliefs and ignore information that does not support them. We tend to remember mistakes rather than successes, and are more likely to interpret ambiguous/neutral information in a way that supports our beliefs. So to get started, we really want to take a look at our perfectionistic thoughts and behaviors and explore them--really get to know them.
The first step is knowing the difference between healthy guilt (which motivates us to improve ourselves) and toxic guilt (which harms us by keeping us feeling crappy and stuck). Just knowing the difference between the two and being able to untangle them is already empowering! If you missed last week's blog post about this, you can check it out here. In this post I want to share with you some tools for processing toxic guilt. I found this amazing 5 step approach in a book by Susan Carrell called "Escaping Toxic Guilt" which I've adapted for my blog here.