Posts Tagged ‘Meditation’
How To Be The Best Version Of You This YearJanuary 9, 2019
“I’m going to do _____ in 2019”, insert any popular resolution (lose weight, exercise more, save money, get a better job) – sound familiar?
As millions of Americans make resolutions to better themselves this year, there’s one big resolution that’s often overlooked and it’s mental wellness. Achieving mental wellness is not about changing who you are. It’s not about losing 40lbs or saving up for an elaborate vacation. Mental wellness is about being the best version of YOU!
The good news is that everyone can achieve mental wellness with the right tools, mindset, and guidance, but it all starts with proper self-care. After all, you can’t always control what life throws your way, but you can control how you take care of yourself. Here’s a quick lesson…
Notice how we didn’t necessarily say “find a hobby?” That’s because self-care is about what’s best for you! Finding the time to do something healthy that you enjoy (even if it’s technically not a hobby) is beneficial for your mind and happiness. If scrapbooking helps you unwind, then stick with it! The point is to relax and destress in your downtime. Find something that takes your mind off of things and encourages mindfulness so you can live in the present moment.
Develop A Positive Mindset
Much of what we experience in life can feel more or less stressful based on our attitude. Sometimes, it’s really all about your point of view. Ever notice how some people handle life’s challenges with ease while others are shaken to their core? It’s all about perception and building resilience. Start by focusing on gratitude so you’ll start to see the glass half full.
Prayer and meditation can nurture your mind and soul. Many people feel a deeper sense of connection and comfort during prayer or meditation. Spirituality and/or religion can provide comfort and joy in your life. It can also help you reconnect with yourself. Being alone with your thoughts brings clarity.
This year, don’t fall victim to failure and burnout trying to keep up with popular resolutions. Do what works for you. Focus on improving yourself and learn to welcome happiness. We can help you create a self-care plan for the near year that works with your lifestyle and beliefs. Give us a call today!
3 Ways To Reflect On The Past Year With PurposeDecember 18, 2018
As we are nearing the end of 2018, many of us find ourselves reflecting on the past year. Self-reflection can be a helpful tool in assessing what went well and what to change in the new year. Unfortunately, it can turn into negative self-talk about what we should have or could have done which hinders our overall growth.
Lets look at how to reflect with purpose instead of pessimism.
Timeline life events
When you think about 2018, what stands out as significant life events during the year? If its helpful, write down each month and a couple key events from each month. Did you change jobs, get married, have a child, or become a grandparent? Document challenging life events too like losing a loved one, divorce, or having to relocate when you didnt want to. Also, write down the smaller but still meaningful events like trying that painting class you always thought about or learning how to ride a motorcycle. Its helpful to visualize these linear events to see the progression of the ups and downs in our life. Notice patterns over the year such as multiple negative events impacting your mood or changing jobs really increased your motivation to try a new hobby. Its easy to get caught up in the day to day routine that we forget to look at the big picture and how it is all connected.
Assess your values
Think about what is important to you and the amount of time that you spent doing that in 2018. Sometimes we have great intentions but then there is a disconnect which causes sadness or confusion. Write down a simple list of values such as: love, wealth, family, success, knowledge, friends, free time, freedom, fun, nature, honesty, independence, spirituality, peace, and achievement. Then, rank them from 1 to 15 with 1 being the most important item. Does your 2018 life reflect those values in that order? Sometimes, when I do this activity in sessions, people find that they say that family is #1 but they are rarely home, or they rank spirituality in their top 3 but they struggle to spend time in scripture. For 2019, think about how can your time align with what you value.
Reflect with gratefulness
I know someone who, throughout the year, writes down her thoughts on small pieces of paper and puts them in a jar. She writes down happy things, sad things, big life events or small events. On New Years Day, she reads her jar and reminisces over the past year. This is such a simple but intentional way to reflect with purpose. Make this a goal for the new year to start in January so that next year, you have these moments of time to reflect on from the past year with a grateful heart.
I hope this was helpful in learning to reflect with purpose. Are you thinking about making changes in the new year but arent sure what steps to take? Connect with one of us at FFT to help! We have convenient offices in Raleigh and Fuquay-Varina.
Renee Pugh, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
3 Ways To Be Present During The Holiday SeasonNovember 29, 2018
As we approach the holiday season, let’s take a quick second and do a self-check.
How do you feel about the holidays? … Excited, stressed, anxious, frustrated?
The holidays emit SO many different feelings! Some based on family situations and others can be chalked up to current life stressors. Sometimes, the reality of the holidays doesn’t quite measure up to what we had envisioned. So, how can we be truly present amid the presents and turkey dinners?
Try these 3 ways this holiday season..
Prioritize and then Say “NO”
Reflect on past holiday seasons and think about what is important to you. It might be attending that one holiday party with your best friend. It could be having a conversation with your grandmother or attending a religious service. It could be reconnecting with a favorite sibling for drinks. Whatever it is, do those things and say no to other things.
It sounds simplistic, but it helps create calmness in this chaotic time of year where we feel that we must do ALL and be ALL which we don’t typically feel other times in the year. If there is an event that you feel that you need to make an appearance, but you aren’t thrilled about going, you can set boundaries. Think about how long you are going to stay. Who you will communicate with and who comes with you?
This relates to all aspects of the holiday season. If our minds are racing about what we need to do while we are trying to engage in another activity, it will leave us feeling rushed and stressed. It’s helpful to use the five senses to really engage with whatever you are doing. It’s about being mindful.
For example, if you are baking cookies: how does the dough feel in your hands? What do you smell and see around you? If someone is helping you, what are they saying to you? What does their face look like?
Focusing on the five senses is especially helpful when related to food and the holidays. Many times, we overeat and then feel regretful afterwards. Take a small bite of what you are eating and really savor the flavors. This will help you acknowledge are you eating just to eat or eating because you are hungry.
Listen to your body
Pay attention to what your body is telling you during the holidays. Sometimes we forget to do basic self-care such as making sure we are drinking enough water, getting enough rest, and exercising. If are traveling for the holidays, make sure you take time to get out of the car and stretch. When you are visiting with family, take a walk with them to enjoy the holiday decorations. Try to maintain as similar of a routine as you can such as when you go to sleep and when you wake up to help when you return to daily life post- holiday season.
Interested in learning more ways to be present this holiday season? Let’s talk more!
How Self-Love Can Change Your LifeJune 21, 2018
Believe it or not, self-love is NOT about being selfish. It’s not about “getting what you want” or over indulging. Self-love is in fact not selfish… it’s actually completely necessary. It’s about taking the time to care and love ourselves for who we are. Self-love is simply about gaining power and control of our happiness. When we act from a place of kindness toward ourselves, the kindness often emulates around us. Here are some ways you can appreciate and take care of yourself each day.
Practice Forgiveness. Give up on the dangerous idea of perfectionism and choose acceptance instead. Embrace your imperfections. Someone else may see beauty in your flaws. Love yourself for who you are and don’t worry about meeting anyone else’s standards. As a general rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t say it to someone else, don’t say it to yourself!
Be Mindful. Live in the moment. Don’t let life pass you by! Sometimes, you have to leave the past in the past. If you develop a positive outlook, you can view your mistakes and obstacles are opportunities to learn and grow.
Express Your Creativity. Self-expression is essential to happiness. Often times, we can unleash our happiness when we tap into our creative side. Once you discover your passion in life, don’t be afraid to express yourself.
Get Outdoors. Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the beauty of the world around you. Get outside and enjoy nature. Even a 5-minute walk each day can refresh your mind and greatly boost your mood. It is scientifically proven that the sun provides Vitamin D which can also elevate your mood…just don’t forget your sunscreen!
Say No. You really can’t practice self-love properly if you are constantly giving to others. Remember that it’s OK to say no sometimes. Learn how to set boundaries and be mindful of your personal space. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you feel anxious or overwhelmed.
Above all, don’t let others define your happiness. Create your own path in life. We can help!