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Take Mental Health Day

6 Reasons Why You Should Take A Mental Health Day

by Adam Durnham

What Is a Mental Health Day?

Although there is a formal Mental Health Day celebrated every October 10 to bring awareness to the spectrum of mental health conditions, you can have your own special day devoted to healing your mental state.

Just as sleep refreshes the physical body, our minds need to take a rest, too. A mental health day could simply mean a regular day of rest, freeing yourself from stressors, and refocusing on or seeking your purpose in life. By taking your own mental health day, you can rejuvenate your mind and care for it like you would any other part of your body.

Why Should You Take a Mental Health Day?

1. It helps improve your thinking.

Anything you think about—responsibilities at work, home, or school—can take a toll on your mind. Like small blocks, they can that pile up in a haphazard fashion and tumble down when not managed. Studies show that people under acute stress tend to make “risk-taking decisions even with disadvantageous outcomes”. This is why taking a mental health day can be so important.

A mental rest can help improve your thoughts and mood. From being pessimistic and paranoid, you may become calm and intentional. Thoughts that promote anxiety also tend to prevent you from making rational decisions on a daily basis. A peaceful setting can revive your mind from a chaotic state to one where you think better and make better choices.

2. It gives you a clear picture of what truly matters.

You can get so caught up with the nonstop demands of your everyday life that you lose sight of the big picture, of what truly matters to you. When everything else is stripped away, what are the things you cannot live without? Perhaps it’s your loved ones, a hobby, or even spirituality.

Taking a mental health day helps clear your mind and ruminate about the true priorities in your life. You may realize that the things you spend most of your time on aren’t what you love, but what society has pressured you to do. Through having regular days of mental rest, you can discover your true life’s purpose and dedicate your remaining days to the things and people that truly matter.

3. It can restore your health.

We live in a society where being busy is glorified, and suffering is a virtue. Although being busy and sacrificing for others is sometimes admirable, too much of it can be damaging not only to your mental state but also to your physical health.

Constant stress is a risk factor for degenerative diseases such as stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. Stress causes many biological reactions to the body such as high blood pressure, increased blood sugar levels, tensed muscles, and sleep deprivation. When we don’t take time to restore our mental health, we also run the risk of harming the other parts of our body.

4. It lessens symptoms of mental health disorders.

By taking the time to restore your mental health, you are avoiding triggers that can harm you and, by extension, your loved ones. For example, some common depression triggers include being overwhelmed, losing your job, money problems, the death of a loved one or your relationship. These triggers can be minimized or avoided when you take steps to improve your mental health. Try a change of environment, a new hobby, journaling or meditating. Taking a mental health day can help you make time for these activities.

5. It can help you find support.

Among the most common obstacles to people seeking help for their recurrent mental health issues is that they’re afraid of the stigma or that they don’t have time to seek help. A mental health day allows you the time to reach out to others and find a community that can help you deal with your problems in a healthy manner.

Whether from a therapist, counselor, a spiritual leader, or a peer support group, there are different ways to get emotional help for the things that you’re going through. You are never alone, and there is always someone who walks through a similar journey as you do.

6. It can aid in better performance.

It may sound counterintuitive but resting now can give you the top performance that you need later.

 Some scientists suggest that without proper mental rest, the brain shrinks, affecting your speech, your memory, and even the way you interact with others.

 If you have to accomplish a big task, deal with a tough client, or finish a complicated project, studies show that taking your mind off these things for a bit can improve your mind’s performance.

Start Your Own Mental Health Day–Now!

The key to looking great, feeling great, and living your life well is through caring for your body holistically, including your brain. Start by setting up your own mental health day. Your mind will thank you for it.

4 Positive, Simple Ways to Improve Your Health and Well-Being

4 Positive, Simple Ways to Improve Your Health and Well-Being

Brad Krause

Practicing positivity can take some effort. But one of the best ways to spark positivity in your life is to take more control of your health. Thankfully, there are many simple head-to-toe habits you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. Here are some great health tips that can help you make the most of your health and this gift we call life.

 

Use the Right Filters to Clean Your Home’s Air

 

The simple act of breathing can bring you peace, but only if the air you breathe is actually clean. While there’s not a lot you can do to prevent pollution outside, you do have the power to reduce irritants inside your own home. Change out the filters in your furnace or HVAC system and opt for MERV 8-rated filters when doing so. These highly rated filters have been shown to reduce up to 90 percent of toxins and pollutants, including mold, dust mites and even pollen. To add even more air purity to your home, and a touch of natural beauty, consider adding some air-cleaning plants to your home as well. Snake plants, ferns, and peace lilies are lovely options.

 

Use Wholesome Food Habits to Nourish Your Body

 

We don’t often stop to appreciate the simple act of eating. However, more than any other health step, the foods we eat can do so much to preserve our minds, bodies and overall well-being. In fact, whole, natural foods like oatmeal, leafy vegetables, and even healthy sources of fat can be more effective in combating disease than most prescriptions. What you eat matter, as well as how you eat, can have an major impact as well. Being grateful for food can help you appreciate the small miracles that make your meals possible and help you be more thankful for what you do have in your life. So often, we tend to get so wrapped up in what we don’t have that we forget this important step. Having access to necessities, such as food, is something we should all stop taking for granted, especially when so many are going without.

 

Practice Gratitude in Other Areas of Your Life Too

 

Being thankful for your food can be such a powerful step toward positivity. But gratitude, when practiced on a regular basis, can have even more power of your quality of life. Getting into the habit of being thankful, however, can be much harder than it seems. You can get off to a positive start by making gratitude a daily habit. There are many tiny little steps that can help you feel happier, but try taking a few moments each morning to be thankful for someone or something in your life. Maybe you can appreciate the health of your children or the blessing of your home. Nothing is too trivial to be thankful for in your everyday life. For an even bigger impact, write these notes of gratitude in a journal to really drive the positivity home.

 

Chase Daily Stress Away With Some Simple Self-Care

 

We all have stress in our lives, but not all stress is bad. Activities that may stress you out can actually have a positive payout in the end. However, when even good stress becomes overwhelming, you become more vulnerable to chronic stress reactions. When you experience stress, your brain and body responds in a natural way designed to help you react and escape potentially dangerous situations. When this response is constantly triggered, however, it begins to take a toll on your mental and physical health. This is why it is essential to include plenty of balancing self-care, like journaling and deep breathing, in your  health and wellness routine.

 

When you stop to think about it, you will find that there’s so much to already be thankful for in your life. By taking steps to manage your physical and emotional health, you can can boost your well-being even more. Because at the end of the day, your health and wellness really is something to be treasured. So, start taking better steps to take better care of yourself.

 

Photo Credit: Pixabay

 

 

Alternative Treatment Therapies for Stress and Depression

Alternative Treatment Therapies for Stress and Depression

It is projected that 40 million American adults suffer from some form of anxiety problem — that’s just under 20 percent of the population. It’s an alarming statistic, but perhaps more concerning is the fact that many who have an anxiety disorder do not seek treatment out of fear, shame, or because they’ve had a negative treatment experience in the past. Traditional therapeutic approaches sometimes do not meet the needs of patients who require treatment, leaving many to look for alternative methods. Some of these may seem offbeat or even radical, but the essential goal remains the same: to get better with few or no side effects.

Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation therapy teaches patients with anxiety or depression to focus their thoughts and feelings away from negative concerns using a variety of techniques. Meditation therapy relaxes the body and the mind by focusing on breathing, which lowers the blood pressure, reduces stressful feelings, and helps eliminate panic attacks. Breathing therapy pulls more oxygen into the body, which relieves tension and improves your sense of well-being.

Supplement Therapy

The ability of herbal supplements to alleviate anxiety and depression is also under study by scientists, though researchers have discovered positive links between the use of specific herbs and the reduction of some anxiety symptoms. Some of the more common supplement remedies involve vitamin B-12, which can affect the central nervous system, and chamomile, which has a soothing effect on people suffering from symptoms of anxiety. Supplements such as inositol and valerian can also reduce feelings of anxiety. CBD (cannabidiol) is a chemical found in hemp that has a number of medical benefits, including pain relief and the ability to reduce inflammation in the brain. Keep in mind that you should always consult with a physician before taking herbal supplements.

Yoga

Yoga is a meditative discipline that seeks to develop a healthy connection between mind and body through a series of poses. In addition to reducing depression and anxiety, yoga improves flexibility and alleviates joint pain. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, yoga is one of the top 10 alternatives for treating a range of mental disorders. It’s an especially popular alternative to more commonplace methods because learning to relax through yoga can help in other aspects of daily life.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is another possible treatment, but it can be a hard sell for people who have a problem with needles, even though it is a centuries-old Chinese discipline known to be effective at treating depression and anxiety as well as many physical ailments. Thin, sharp needles are inserted into the patient’s upper skin layers at points of the body associated with specific organs. Acupuncture’s effectiveness continues to be a source of scientific study, including its ability to engage the body’s natural painkilling chemicals.

Art Therapy

Creative pursuits such as dance, drama, music, and the visual arts help patients become mindful of their feelings through self-expression. The art you create provides a means of creating art that helps you better understand yourself and your responses to external stimuli.

Ecotherapy

People struggling with anxiety or depression sometimes respond positively to spending time in nature on a regular basis. This method may include taking long walks in the woods, growing your own food in the backyard, or spending time around animals.

With 40 million Americans suffering from anxiety or depression, there’s currently a great need for successful treatment therapies, whether they’re considered traditional or alternative. It’s worth considering that more people might seek help if so-called “alternative” therapeutic approaches were more readily available to them.

 

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

How to Turn Your Hobby into a Profitable Business

 

How to Turn a Hobby into a Legitimate Business

Maria Cannon

For many, the idea of starting a small business holds a certain appeal, but the hurdles to actually doing it seem too much to overcome. One of the main hurdles is the question what would I even do? Well, it is possible to do something you enjoy and make money. Turning a hobby into a legitimate business could be just what you need. Here’s how to get yourself set up to succeed.

 

Decide if it’s feasible to even try

Yes, the first step may sound discouraging. But it’s not – it’s just smart. Do the math. Take a deep dive into your finances and see if it is feasible to start a new business from the ground up. If you need some help, then get some help. Do not forget to include your partner/significant other in these discussions. It’s not just you that will be affected by the work that comes with starting a new business.

 

Know what your business truly does for people

If you don’t know what your business does, nobody else will either. The first thing you have to do if you are serious about turning a hobby into a business is find its main focus. If you make something and sell it, what is that product exactly? Why should people want to buy it? If you are offering your services in some other way, then what are those services – specifically? Why are you more qualified to dole them out than someone else? I’m just going to sell stuff on the Internet isn’t focused. I’m going to be a life coach sounds nice, but what services are you really offering?

If you are unsure and lack focus, some tried-and-true business ideas include selling hot items such as wireless earphones, phone cases and backpacks for men and women.

 

Plan before action

Do you have a strategy for one week out? One month out? How about next year? Without a clear plan for business growth, you’re not really starting a business – you’re just charging people for something you do as a hobby. Ask yourself what you want to do, how you’re going to do it, and when you’re going to do it. Time is important. As a post on Forbes suggests, “to ensure your strategies are brought to life, there needs to be specific action plans … and the necessary steps to get you there in an agreed time frame.”

Write out a business plan. Really – write it out.

 

Think positively

While you can’t simply will success into being you can certainly increase its chances of occurring by harnessing the power of positive thinking. Research has shown that those with a positive outlook in business tend to have more energy, better problem solve, and better bounce back from hardships (resiliency). The good news is that positive thinking can be learned and trained. That positivity will show through to your future clients and customers.

Most importantly, treat your hobby like a real job. If you treat it like a side project, that is all it will ever be. Consult experts in your field. Grow an online presence. Set work hours each day and grind. You really can make money doing what you love, but it won’t come easy.

 

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Pay it Forward – Teaching your Children Kindness and Compassion

Awesome guest post from Erin at Gravity Life Coaching

 

 

Try out this free workbook!  Create AWESOME behavior in Children in 4 Steps!

 

I’ve always enjoyed giving to others, but I never understood the significance of it.  If there was one quality I wanted my children to have, it was kindness and compassion.  It’s difficult to truly know if you’re teaching it, when your so caught up in the chaos of daily life. Chores, work, chores, kids fighting, chores…it seems that there’s not a lot of time to embrace the simple things, teach them values and be pro-active as a parent.  Sometimes we are doing these things, but just don’t realize it until we see evidence of it, which I recently did.

 

I’ve been making more of an effort to give and donate.  I have always donated my time and energy, but rarely have I donated money.  I’ve always found excuses, that I just don’t have enough or that I have too many things to provide for my own children.  What I’ve recently discovered is that when you feel restricted in your giving, the money is restricted in coming to you.  If you make an effort to live in abundance and try to donate a portion of your earnings, then you will see it come to you in various ways.

 

Try out this free workbook!  Create AWESOME behavior in Children in 4 Steps!

 

I was discussing this with my step-daughter and talking about how I try to pay for the person behind me in line at Dunkin Donuts once in a while.  She took this and ran with it, later she told me that she never went through the Dunkin Donuts line if she could not also pay for the person behind her.  I was so impressed with her selfless attitude, but it gets better.  She had been trying to raise money to attend a training in Nashville with a group she was involved in through her school.  As a part of the process, she had to write letters and make phone calls to businesses to ask for checks.  She came home a few times after work, reporting to us that she hadn’t had any luck and had very few responses.  Shortly after this, she began her magic at Dunkin Donuts and the checks started rolling in.  She made enough money to attend her trip and then some.   Not only did she see the benefits of her efforts, but she inspired me to be less stingy!

 

It didn’t stop there.  I now make an effort to do what she does and pay for people in line behind me – consistently.  Little did I know, my boys were paying attention.  We went on a field trip last week through their day camp.  My 9-year-old asked me how much he could have to spend in the gift shop.  I told him that he could have $10, he said “okay, that’s $5 for me and $5 for my friend who didn’t bring any money”.  Later that day  I complimented him on his kindness.  He told me that he wanted to make millions…on his Youtube channel…so that he could donate to people who didn’t have a lot of money.  Even when we think we’re not doing what we’re supposed to be doing as parents, we might just be.  

 

Try out this free workbook!  Create AWESOME behavior in Children in 4 Steps!

 

We’ve now taken it further – Dunkin Donuts just wasn’t enough!  I decided that I wanted to contribute to a bigger cause, make regular donations.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to donate to.  After thinking about it for a while, I remembered growing up, when I didn’t make my own money, I always wanted to sponsor a child from a poor country.  I was cautious about this because you always hear stories about where the money actually goes.  I did a lot of research and decided on an agency to donate my money to.  My son and I went through the website and chose a one-year old boy from Zambia. My son decided on him because he was so young and he might have a better chance later in his life.  We began our regular donations and about a month later, received two letters from Jonathan’s mother.  She thanked us for our kindness and shared things about Jonathan and about their way of life.  

 

Sometimes I think I learn more from my own children than they learn from me.  Now I’m always looking for ways to reach out to others in acts of kindness, with no expectations.  I know that my children are paying attention and hopefully paying it forward…  

 

Challenge yourself to reach out to someone, with no expectation of return and see what happens.  

 

Struggling to figure out how to create the character traits and behaviors you’d like to see in your children?  Try out this free workbook!  Create AWESOME behavior in Children in 4 Steps!

 

Fun Ways to ROCK Your Sober Halloween Party

Hey everyone – we have another awesome guest post from Constance at Recoverywell.org

Fun Ways to Rock Your Sober Halloween Party

 

Photo via Pixabay

 

Halloween is right around the corner, marking the first end-of-the-year holiday that millions of people across the country celebrate, with jack-o-lanterns, loads of candy, and an astonishing variety of spooky events to host and attend. However, for people in addiction recovery, particularly those who are freshly sober, it can be hard to figure out how to spend the holiday without succumbing to temptation.

 

The truth is, as many long-time sober addicts who still love to throw a festive party will tell you, celebrating without alcohol or drugs can significantly enhance your experience of Halloween, rather than make you feel like you don’t fit into the costumed holiday scene. Yes, alcohol doesn’t have to be part of the picture. And you really can throw a sober and fun Halloween bash of your own.

 

Here are five games to consider when hosting a sober Halloween party, for a howlingly good time:

 

  1. Pumpkin Carving Contest

 

Pumpkin-carving is one of the ultimate Halloween traditions. For your alcohol-free party, buy a load of small-sized pumpkins that guests can comfortably take home with them, and set out carving knives and small festive candles on a large table ready with bowls at the ready for pumpkin guts. Have your guests carve their own Halloween-themed designs, and at the end of the evening, give out prizes for the most impressive creation. Like decorating the Christmas tree or dyeing Easter eggs, no Halloween party is complete without a nod to traditional pumpkin carving.

 

  1. Costume Contest

 

It’s the time of year when you can dress up as anyone or anything you want, and some people take the task seriously. Why not invite your friends who are dedicated costume dressers and everyone else who “dabbles” in the art to come all dressed up to the party? Sponsor a costume contest to motivate the shy and bashful to go for the ultimate prize. You can have guests nominate the best costume, collect the votes, and give out prizes to the winners. To vary up the awarding segment of your party, give out prizes for most creative costume, scariest costume, best couples costume, and so on.

 

  1. Host A Murder Mystery Dinner

 

This one is for those who want a small, more intimate kind of party. The idea here, which will require a lot of planning – be forewarned – is to conduct a murder mystery dinner. Basically, each new guest that arrives is assigned a role, and throughout the dinner, players must guess who is the killer and who is secretly the victim. Variations include a Clue kind of theme to a Pretty Little Liars set up.

 

  1. Have Everyone Tell Scary Stories

 

A familiar pastime during Halloween of years past when you were a kid, was to swap scary stories while passing around the flashlight in your friend’s basement. Such stories probably scared the daylights out of you then, which can be fun to do to others. A tradition that spans centuries, swapping ghost stories is a terrific way to generate laughs and spine-tingling reactions, while entertaining guests all around.

 

The Takeaway

 

Putting yourself out there to throw an alcohol-free Halloween bash at your home takes a bit of courage when recovery leaves you feeling sensitive to the connection in your mind between partying and consuming alcohol. However, by inviting supportive friends and people who live a 100% healthy lifestyle and don’t imbibe at all, you’re giving yourself permission to try out a new kind of festive form of celebrating without dangerous substances present.

Though different, and only if the party is organized right, you should find it comparatively fun to the alcohol-laden parties of your past. If anything, congratulate yourself on trying something new and exercising that festive side of yourself.

 

The Power of Positivity: Amy’s Story

Today’s guest post is by Constance Ray of RecoveryWell.org

“I’m so grateful to be set free from living a fear-driven life and carrying the burdens of that fear and worry. I am so thankful that I am happy the majority of the time today.” – Annette, Sobriety Advocate

Depression and addiction are serious illnesses that affect millions of people — and sometimes, they work together to make someone’s life completely

Photo credit: Pixabay

unbearable. And while it’s important to receive treatment for these conditions, whether on their own or as co-occurring disorders, the power of positive thinking can go a long way in helping people find their way back from despair. Amy, a brave addiction warrior, is proof that dancing in the rain is an effective first step in making a positive and permanent life change.

 

***

 

Amy started struggling with mental health issues when she was just a little girl.

 

“From a young age, I started having panic attacks,” she said. “I was in and out of the doctors’ offices, and eventually diagnosed with depression and panic disorder.”

 

Though her parents worked hard to get her the help she needed, she still suffered some dark times during her adolescence.

 

“I experienced quite a bit of childhood trauma growing up. My parents divorced when I was about 12 or 13 years old, and that’s around the time I started drinking. It was also around that time I started having suicidal thoughts.”

 

She continued, “By the time I was 16, I was experiencing constant panic attacks and was unable to breathe and unable to cope. I was drinking, but hadn’t started using drugs yet. I was kicked out of my mom’s house, and instead of going to live with my dad, I moved in with drug dealers.”

 

When she was 18, she underwent open-heart surgery to treat a life-threatening medical condition.

 

“I was so excited to have the surgery because I thought it was really going to help me — so I could breathe normally, be better at sports, and have less anxiety,” she remembered.

 

Sadly, things didn’t turn out the way she hoped.

 

“What no one had told me was that surgery can significantly worsen depression,” she explained. “I couldn’t do the things I normally did to cope with it, like sports or driving. By the time I left the hospital, I was severely addicted to morphine. Everything went quickly downhill after my open-heart surgery, and I turned to pain medication.”

 

Amy continued to try to live a normal life — at that point, she didn’t yet realize that she was addicted. She moved from Chicago to New Orleans for college and completed her freshman year. Unfortunately, she couldn’t keep the momentum going, and soon found herself homeless on the streets of New Orleans.

 

“During that time, I experienced more trauma. I was diagnosed with PTSD. Things got really bad. I was down to about 80 pounds, and I crossed just about every line I had ever established in my life,” she said.

 

She was in and out of counseling, but it wasn’t until a friend connected her with a man who worked in an outpatient treatment program that she got the help she really needed — including the power of positive thinking.

 

She said, “That man, his wife and his family came to meet me on a 12-step call, and I went to a meeting with them. Immediately afterwards, I went out drinking; but the next day, [which was] Mardi Gras when I was 21 years old, I got a sponsor.

 

“Before I went to to that meeting, for the first time in my life, I actually wanted to live,” she continued. “While I was there, I saw people who were truly happy. The family that took me to that meeting — they saved my life. I felt a sense of community I had never experienced.”

 

Now, with over three and a half years of sobriety under her belt, Amy works tirelessly to ensure that others who are struggling the way she once did practice positivity and other body- and mind-healthy habits in their everyday lives.

 

“I am now the regional coordinator for the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network … I bring public education to topics like suicide, substance abuse and mental illness,” she beamed.

 

She shares her story whenever she can in order to help others.

 

She noted, “I realized I couldn’t do what I was doing for a living without expressing myself and my story. Part of my self-care today involves having people around me who are aware of my past and what I’m doing. When I speak with groups, I start up conversations about mental illness, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts.”

 

Although Amy worked for years to achieve everything she has accomplished today, she couldn’t truly battle her demons until she committed to having a changed perspective — one that allowed her to view things in a positive way.

 

“The first step is to want it — to really want it. I wish that wasn’t always the case, but it is.”

 

If you are struggling with a mental health condition like addiction, depression or anxiety, know that there is always help available for you. You can overcome any obstacle life throws at you — but as Amy proves, you have to want it, and embrace your strength with hope and positivity.

 

As she said, “It’s so important to have … a willingness to keep walking. No matter how small the step, keep moving forward. It’s all about daily action.”

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Give it Time

Time heals almost everything. Give time time. – Regina Brett

I posted this in my personal blog, but I felt like it worked well here as well.  I was out in the kitchen thinking about something I’m trying to forget, when the phrase give time time popped into my head.  A few second of googling gave me the whole quote, and I love it.  Some things just take time.  If you’re searching for a new job, you send out your resume and apply and then you wait.  If you’re trying to create a new habit, or get rid of an old habit, it takes time.  If you are struggling to move past an unpleasant event, or get over a failed relationship, all you can do is wait it out.  It’s not easy, in fact, it’s pretty darn hard.  But there are some things that are just a matter of time.  How do you move past a failed relationship when you have such strong feelings for someone?  What do you do when they keep popping into your head at the the most inopportune time, or all the time, or they’ve never left your heart?  How do you not fixate on that perfect job that you saw advertised, and get your hopes up too much?  Sometimes, it’s a matter of acknowledging the event.  “Yes, this relationship is over, and yes, I will always have feelings, but I’m letting go of the negative ones.”  Don’t harbor hate or anger in your heart because that’s not any good for anybody.  Acknowledge the fact that the job you applied for would be perfect – visualize yourself doing that job, and then get back to work applying for other job.  And this is going to sound super weird but if you have a big goal you’re working toward – for instance getting more healthy, don’t focus on the end goal of that certain magic number on the scale. It’s going to take time to get there, so give time time and just focus on today.  Today, I am going to not have soda, or today, I am going to go for a walk.  Give time time to do it’s magic. All things pass, and change can and does happen, it’s just a matter of time.

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Gratitude

Today’s guest post is by Luke Goodwin

 

GRATITUDE

 

For me, this is one of the most powerful things that can influence every single area of your life and something that has completely transformed my way of thinking and also the way I conduct myself.

 

Each day, I utilise something called ‘The Miracle Morning’ and within this I have added in an exercise called ‘priming’ by the one and only Tony Robbins. Priming is something that has completely opened my mind, allows me to channel my thoughts, create energy and positivity. While I am doing this priming exercise, which lasts for 14 minutes, there is a part of it that focuses on gratitude, and I cannot put a measurement on how much this has affected me. I didn’t drastically notice immediate changes, but they were happening daily, just really small minor changes in my thinking, but over time, when I look back at my journal entries and how I used to conduct myself, I have realised how much, just spending a small amount of time being grateful, has impacted my life. It allows you to see yourself, other people and the world in a completely different light. It allows you to see solutions and not problems, it allows you to see obstacles as a way of improving not failing and it allows you to enjoy life, complain less, and be positive.

 

I used to be one of those people that would moan about 5 minutes of traffic, moan that someone didn’t arrive on time, moan about a lot of things, and I wondered why my life wasn’t going in the direction I wanted it to go in, and that was due to my thought process and way of thinking. I was very negative, thought I was unlucky, and made bad decisions. Now all of those have completely flipped. I now think positively, generate amazing results, think clearly, work efficiently and have so much more energy.

 

I urge everyone, to practice being grateful, because then it will become an automatic process in your mind. Imagine this, if you are genuinely grateful to have a family, kids, partner, job, LIFE, do you think you would complain about half of the things you currently complain about? Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect, I still huff and puff now and again, but this has dramatically reduced since taking the time out to be grateful. I used to allow myself to get wound up when my kids misbehaved, which occasionally I still do, after all, we are human. But when I spent every single day being grateful that I am able to be a father, getting wound up over silly things reduced. I used to allow myself to let setbacks and obstacles completely swallow and drown me, and change my thinking into negativity, but when I spent every day being grateful that I have a life, and being grateful that I can even experience these challenges because they are developing my attributes and personality, I now see setbacks and obstacles as strengthening by character and giving me room for improvement. I used to moan that I had a bad day in business, and that I didn’t earn enough money, but when I spent each day feeling grateful for the fact that I am self employed and don’t have to commute, answer to a boss or line someone else’s pockets, it made me see those bad days as development. I am not criticising anyone that is employed here, I am merely stating the fact that for me, those were fundamental reasons why I made the decision to be an entrepreneur.

 

Each day, I would recommend taking time out to practice being grateful, it WILL transform your life. You could try the Tony Robbins priming exercise like I do, if not, simply take 5 minutes out of your day, go somewhere quiet with no distractions and completely zone in on what you are grateful for. This does take practice, and it takes commitment and consistency, it doesn’t happen overnight. For me, at first, I allowed other thoughts to enter my head whilst I was thinking about what I am grateful for, and my mind wondered, but over time, I became better and better and now I can completely zone in and be focus 100% on being grateful. When you do spend time being grateful, don’t worry about what you are thinking about, it could be something huge or it could be something really small, what matters is, how does it make you feel? Sometimes, I think about holding my little boy’s hand when I drop him off at nursery, or cuddling my daughter when I get back from the gym, but for me, it makes me smile when I think about these things. Now, I have spent so much time being grateful for things, I can think about broader things such as being grateful for having a life, and that the possibility for me even existing is so small, I am very very fortunate to even be here, living on this earth today. I sometimes imagine myself hovering above the earth, looking down on it and being blown away at how stunning it looks, and that underneath the atmosphere, are so many amazing miracles to be cherished. That somewhere on that earth is me, living an life. I am extremely grateful for that.

 

I wanted to keep this fairly short, because I think sometimes, things can be over complicated when it doesn’t need to be, and ultimately being grateful is a very simple thing in essence, but it does need to be done consistently in order for it to influence your life. I would love for people to read this, take my advice and get in touch with me and let me know how it has influenced you, no matter how big or small. I take great joy in providing content and value to people, and if it only affects one person, it genuinely makes me happy.

 

Feel free to link up with me on Facebook, I would love to hear your feedback.

 

https://www.facebook.com/luke.goodwin.142

7 Steps to INCREASE Your Money Flow

Today we have another awesome guest post from Erin Dickson of Gravity Life Coaching

 

 

Do you feel frustrated with your current financial situation and are looking to change it, but just don’t know how? 

 

When you grow up with certain ideas about money, you tend to internalize them and this actually blocks your flow of money, without even realizing it.  These ideas could be that there is a ceiling on how much money you can make, “money doesn’t grow on trees”, you have to work very hard just to get by or that money makes you happy or sad. 

 

When you hold onto that mindset about money, you are blocking the flow of the money coming to you.  So how do you change it?

 

1.  Identify what your beliefs about money are. What ideas did you inherit about money from your parents?  Are you still holding onto these ideas?  How are they stopping you from meeting your full potential?

 

Listen to your own inner statements about money.  Give yourself 2 days to really listen to how you think about and talk about money.  What things do you find yourself saying?

 

Action Step:  Determine what you currently believe about money.

 

2.  Change your negative money thoughts.  Now that you’ve identified those thoughts – you get to change them!  Next time you hear yourself say “we can’t afford that” replace it with “we could have that if we wanted to, but lets invest our money in something else for now” – now that “something else” might be bills, but let’s change bills to investments – because truthfully that’s what they are and that’s what you’ve done to acquire those “bills”.  Either you’ve invested in things with your credit cards or you’ve invested in a vehicle, a home, a monthly cable service, etc.  If you focus on debt, debt will be received – if you focus on wealth and investments, wealth and investments will be received.

 

Creating affirmations sounds cliche – but do it anyways – what do you have to lose?  You don’t have to do the traditional lipstick on the mirror thing if it’s too much for you (or the people you live with). I actually put reminders in my phone that say things like:  “Money is ABUNDANT and on it’s way to me!”  I set the reminder to occur weekly and I create a different one for each day of the week.  There are days when I’m down or feel like I might not make it financially and then that damn affirmation pops up on my phone and I’m like “okay, I got this”.  

 

CHANGE YOUR THINKING, EVIDENCE APPEARS.

 

Action Step: Replace your negative money thoughts with positive ones.

 

3.  Set your intentions. How much money do you need or want and how much time can you give yourself to receive it?  

 

The first time that I tried this activity, I wasn’t sure of it.  I needed $800 to get my brakes fixed.  I only had a month to do it, before my car needed to be inspected.  I had just learned this strategy and decided I had nothing to lose by trying it.  So I repeated affirmations (quietly) like “checks are in the mail” “the money will come if I allow it” “I have nothing to worry about it”.  There was one day left and I decided that even if the money didn’t come, it was okay, I would just put it on my credit card – ugghhhh.  I scheduled my appointment with the garage and went to the post office – not truly expecting anything, but just because I had to get my mail. That very day there was a check in my mailbox for $2000.  The check was actually the retainer from my divorce lawyer – BUT I did not expect the check until my divorce was final and it wasn’t final until about 6 months from the day I received it.  Coincidence?  Who the hell cares.

 

Action Step:  Decide how much you want and when you want it by.

 

4.  Create a partner or partners in believing.  You do need to believe, at least a little bit for now, that this is possible – but if you can’t, find someone who can believe for you – and eventually with you.  

 

When I decided to become a life coach, I had signed up for a weekend long life coach institute.  This training was offered all over the country and I chose to sign up for the closest one to me, in Boston.  The cost of this…coincidentally again, was $800.  I signed up for it in the winter and used my credit card, knowing it wouldn’t be charged until the spring (the time of the training).  I decided that would give me enough time to budget and save for it, before my credit card was actually charged.

 

Well, Spring came and surprise, surprise, I “forgot” to budget for it. I was sitting at the table, paying bills with Jeff and said “hmmm, not sure how I’m gonna pay for this”.  He says “I can help you with it” and I said “Nope, I’m gonna attract the money from outside the household.”  He says, “OKKKKAAAAYYY, Erin”, a bit sarcastically, I might add.  

 

That week, I told my Life Coach friend, “I’m expecting a check for $800, but I’m not quite sure where it will come from”.  She says “of course it will come” – with no sarcasm – and I think she believed that it would.   That very night, I received a phone call from the life coach institute and the woman on the phone says “I”m very sorry – but we have to cancel the workshop you signed up for in Boston, because not enough people signed up for it…” my heart sunk because although I wanted to save the $800, I really wanted to attend the workshop.  In the next instant she said “but we’re willing to refund your credit card and offer you attend in any other city for free”. 

 

Tell me it doesn’t work…I have evidence that it does.  You will too. But don’t share your intentions with non-believers.  Share your intentions with believers.  More positive thoughts lead to an increase in positive energy.  

 

Just a few weeks ago, I began talking about these stories with a teacher I work with.  She had never heard of the law of attraction and she was intrigued with my stories.  The next week she sees me and says “Erin!  You are a miracle worker!”, I was like “Sweet, I didn’t even do anything…do tell!”.  She explains to me that she was talking with her husband about perhaps picking up a dreaded second job because they needed $10,000 to keep their house.  The next week, her husband received an increase in his salary of – guess how much – EXACTLY $10,000.

 

Action Step:  Seek out someone else who believes and tell them your intentions.

 Join my Empowering Women through Change Facebook group here – for a bit of inspiration and encouragement!

 

5.  Write yourself a check.  Choose an amount that you’d like to have and write yourself a check for that amount.  Jim Carrey did this when he and his family were broke and living in a van.  He wrote himself a check for $10,000,000 and set a date for 5 years ahead.  In the memo he wrote “for acting services rendored”.  Five years later in the month he had indicated, he was offered a $10,000,000 contract for “Dumb and Dumber”.  Check out his story https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPU5bjzLZX0.

 

I shared this story with a co-worker last year, who was not sold on the idea, but certainly open to it.  We decided we would write each other checks for $100,000.  I followed through…he did not.  I went online and actually created a realistic looking check for $100,000 and got it framed for him.  He had accepted a new job a few months later and told me that with his salary and insurance, the total equaled $100,000.  

 

This is also the plan that Jack Canfield used to attract $100,000 and then later $1,000,000 with his Chicken Soup for the Soul books.  

 

Write yourself a check, put it in your wallet or purse, and carry it around with you.  Start small and work your way up.  You don’t have to start small, but to increase your sense of believing, you might need to.  Once you grow a bigger believing you can dream bigger.  It’s sometimes hard to break our long-standing patterns of belief.

 

Action Step:  Write yourself a check.

 

6.  Visualize.  Imagine what would be different in your life if you had the money you wanted.  How would you feel different?  What would you be doing differently?

 

Visualizing and feeling are important parts of the process.  Create a vision board – put it in writing and pictures.  If you can see it in your mind, you can hold it in your hand.  Remember – everything has to be a thought before it can be a thing.  Put the thought out there and see it daily.  Experience the feelings as if it’s already yours.  If the money would bring you a vacation to Bora Bora, then get pictures of Bora Bora and put them on your vision board.  Then imagine yourself in that picture.  What does the sun feel like?  The sand?  The water?  What do you see, how are you experiencing it?

 

Action Step:  Create a Vision Board.

 

7.  Give to Others.  It’s easy to be stingy when you feel like you don’t have enough for yourself.  BUT you cannot receive if you do not give.  Giving balances the flow of money.  

 

When I first learned about this I wasn’t sure who to give to or how much.  Then the first opportunity presented itself to me.  I had scheduled a night out with a couple of friends – one that I hadn’t seen in a while.  That day, she called me to tell me that her cat had an emergency vet appointment and she couldn’t afford to go out to dinner – seriously, can’t make this shit up.  I decided that would be my first conscious gift and that I would pay for her dinner.  The bill came and my other friend also decided to chip in – not only that, but she had a gift card.  The bill for all three of us ended up being only $10.  That was quick evidence that when you choose to give, the money comes back.

 

Now I engage in random acts like this more frequently and have scheduled donations come out of my account monthly.  If you budget for it and schedule it, you don’t miss it.

 

Action Step:  Determine who you will give to consistently and how much you will spend.

 

Begin with these 7 steps and you will see evidence of an increase of money flow within the next couple of months.

 

Live “As If” – Try this FREE workbook to Live Your Life FEARLESS now!

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