5 ways that meditation help you worry less

It took me a while on my yoga journey before I started doing meditation – and now I can’t go for a day without it. 

I absolutely love meditating. 
And if, you have a tendency to be a bit of a worrier, I can definitely recommend meditation.

It helps calm your thoughts when you are nervous.

Whenever I feel nervous or anxious, my go-to approach now is to take some time to “go inside” and meditate. 

In just a few minutes, meditation takes you away from the stress response. It calms your mind and regulates your emotions so that you can approach whatever it is that has stressed you from a much calmer point of view.

If done in the morning, it sets you up for the day.

During the day, it is easy to be carried away by events and emotions. 

Meditating in the morning gives you a chance to connect with yourself. If done regularly, it creates an anchor from which you live your life, rather than being pushed away by whatever is happening around you. 

It helps calm the “mind chatter”

You know, that little voice at the back of your head. 

It goes on all day long, and what it tells us influences directly our thoughts, decisions and actions. 

Meditating interrupts that constant chattering and puts you back in charge of your life.

It helps you focus

Meditating increases your ability to focus on one thing at the time. 

When you think that stress is caused by projecting ourselves either in the past or in the future, you can see the benefits of doing that less and less!

As you increase your ability to focus through meditation, you are developing your ability to interrupt the worry train when it starts.

It brings a sense of inner security

The best way I can describe it is that it feels like coming home to yourself.

When we meditate, we can get in touch with a part of ourselves that is immovable and that isn’t affected by the stuff of life. 

I know it can sound a bit strange to somebody who is new to meditation. When I first heard about that particular benefit, I thought it sounded almost too good to be true. 

But with practice, I can tell you that it works. It is one of the best feelings ever – and you don’t have to be a master meditator for that.

I actually have a mini meditation that can get you started. This one is only 3 minutes long and it helped me so much. 

It was my go-to meditation for ages. I remember doing it just before an interview to calm my nerves. And it worked, I got the job btw!

This meditation is now part of a 3 days mini course on mastering your thoughts to stress less and live more.

Just click on the link to receive it directly in your inbox.

What is a virtual retreat?

Everything is virtual at the moment isn’t it? 

Virtual meeting, virtual dance classes, virtual yoga classes… and virtual retreats.

Traditionally, retreats are all about taking time away from your daily life to go somewhere lovely, do some yoga, meditation, go for walks and take time for yourself. 

How does that work virtually?

How do you get that feeling of being away without leaving your house?

How do you relax and make the most of it if the dog still needs walking, food still needs to be cooked etc etc?

I attended a 1-day virtual retreat a few months ago. And I thought I’ll share my experience.

First of all, we had an early start. 

7.30am on zoom… That was definitely early for a Saturday morning!

At the beginning of the first session, we were encouraged to stay away from the news, to refrain from checking our social medias and to avoid checking our phones for the day. 

It was also suggested that in between the zoom sessions, we spend some time outside to avoid too much “zoom fatigue”.

We then started with a gentle breathing and meditation class before taking a break for breakfast around 10.00.

Personally, I can’t function without breakfast, so I must admit that I had woken up early enough to eat a little something before the first session!

The second session, around mid-morning, involved some more yoga and another meditation, which was infinitely calming.

By the time, we have our lunch break I was really hungry.

As I came down from my bedroom to make my lunch, I felt so relaxed.

My husband, daughters and dog were about, doing their usual things and not being particularly quiet and mindful of my retreat, but I felt so calm, relaxed and chilled out that none of it bothered me. 

I also noticed that my daughters bickering endlessly, didn’t seem to affect me at all! Result!

The calm of the yoga and meditation was clearly staying with me, even when I was away from the mat and back in my day-to-day environment. 

The afternoon session started with some yoga nidra (relaxation) followed by another meditation and a Q&A session to close the day.

I can honestly say that – by the time I had finished the retreat at 5.00pm that day – I felt as if I had been away!

The calm and relaxed atmosphere of the retreat definitely spread to my entire day and well into the evening. 

So here are my tips to make the most of a virtual retreat:

Make sure that everybody around you knows that you are going to be on a retreat

Make it clear that you are not available for the day (or whatever period of time you require).

One thing that amazed me when I did my retreat was how much my daughters and husband just got on with things, when normally it would have been “Mummy….”, “I need help….”!

So even if you think that they will need you and you can’t possibly take the time for yourself. You can!

And even if things don’t run as smoothly as when you are around, it’s only for a few hours. 

So, don’t let the “I don’t have the time” and “they will need me” get in the way if a virtual retreat is tempting you. 

Have everything you might need in one room

To avoid being distracted during the sessions, make sure that you have everything ready in the room that you will use for your retreat.

Depending on the retreat, you will probably need a yoga mat, a blanket, some cushions, maybe a yoga strap or blocks, some water, a notepad and pen and the charger of whatever you are using to access the sessions.

Stay away from the news and social media

On a real retreat, you wouldn’t have access to your phone as much as you do in your own house. 

So for the time of your virtual retreat, try and stay away from it.

After all, you are taking that time for yourself.

The last thing you want to do is open the door wide to FOMO, jealousy and negativity.

And sadly, social medias and the news tend to carry a lot of that!

Be gentle to yourself

Depending on the length of the retreat, you are likely to have several sessions to attend. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t make all of them. The point of a retreat is for you to relax and feel good about yourself. Keep criticism away.

 There you have! A virtual yoga retreat is definitely worth it!

To find out more about my first ever virtual retreat, check out the link below!

Can I have some more…

It’s cold, you haven’t got much too do, or you have a lot on your mind, and you reach for the biscuits (or the chocolate, or anything else really).

Most of us have done it at some point…

Comfort Eating!

Some people don’t seem to mind, they happily comfort eat confident that they will stop when the weather gets warmer for example.

It is a fact that in winter, when the days are greyer and colder, there is a definite tendency to eat more. 

Biologically, it makes sense. 

Our body uses a lot of energy to keep ourselves warm, so when the temperature drops, we feel the need to eat more, purely because we are using more energy just to maintain our body temperature.

So, let’s cut ourselves some slack here, to a point, eating a bit more in winter is perfectly normal.

And comfort eating, when you eat to make yourself feel better is understandable too.

Personally, I have been raised by lovely women who would make me feel better after I hurt myself by offering me some chocolate or a biscuit.

If you have had the same kind of experience, it’s no wonder that the biscuit cupboard looks like our best friend when we feel down, anxious or worried.

But if the comfort eating is bothering you, the good news is that it is a habit that you got into, and that you can get out of if you want to.

I used to comfort eat quite a bit. McVities dark chocolate digestives to be specific!

Getting out of it happened almost by accident – and I’ll be sharing that story in my live on Wednesday – and I remember being quite intrigued afterwards by how I had stopped and also how I managed to stay away from it (most of the time anyway. There has been occasions when the call has been too strong!). 

I have discovered that comfort eating is very much linked to our energy level. 

It is linked to moments of stress, anxiety or boredom. Moments when our energy isn’t at its peak. 

And I have also found out that by trying to rebalance the energy, the call of comfort eating isn’t quite as strong. 

Here are a few things you can try:

Drink!

Our body needs 2 litres of water a day. And a lot of us aren’t anywhere near that. 

Now, the thing is that our body sends the same signals to the brain if you are hungry or thirsty.

So when you feel a bit nibblish, try and have a drink of water or a hot drink. And see how you feel.

Move!

Our energy gets blocked in our body in times of stress and boredom.

When we are stressed or anxious, we tense up, blocking the normal flow of energy in our body. 

We can feel the physical manifestations: tense shoulders, lower back pain, a sense of the muscles and nerves being as taunt as the strings of a violin for example. 

This tension also affects our brain, telling it that there is something to be scared of. 

The brain wants to make you feel better and reaches back to what has worked in the past… ice cream or chocolate for example. 

Equally, when we are bored, our energy level goes down as we are not moving and we probably aren’t breathing particularly well either. 

The solution to both these issues is to move. 

Do a few stretches, go for a walk if you can, do some yoga. 

It will raise your energy, lift your spirits and the need for comfort eating will lessen. 

During my live on Wednesday, I’ll be sharing a short sequence that can be done really quickly and easily and completely shifts your energy.

Do some yoga

Yoga develops your awareness of your body and your emotions. It puts you in a position to notice what is going on and act accordingly.

Thanks to yoga, you become aware of your comfort eating. By becoming aware of it, you are in a position to do something about it.

And talking about doing something yoga helps you develop your inner strength, your determination and your willpower. Because I won’t lie to you, if you really want to stop the comfort eating, it will take some willpower.

But most of all, be kind to yourself.

As we have seen the root of comfort eating is a feeling of unease. And you don’t want to add to that. 

Quite the contrary, taking the time to relax will help you feel less stressed and anxious and you will be a lot less tempted to reach for the biscuits. 

Don’t forget that comfort eating is your brain trying to look after you the best way it can. 

You can gently train it to find other things that make you feel good and little by little, the temptation of comfort eating will not be as strong. Join me Live on Wednesday at 10.30 in my Facebook group to learn that energy shifting sequence and more tips on understanding and managing comfort eating (if you want to).

What can a home yoga practice do for you – and how to make it work?

It took me years after I started going to yoga to start have a home practice.

I couldn’t find the time or the energy to do it for ages. The idea of a home practice was tempting but I never actually did anything about it.

It is at a particularly stressful time in my life that I felt the need to start doing yoga everyday.

Things were changing around me in a way I didn’t like and I reached for my yoga mat to try and find some peace of mind.

My yoga home practice had begun.

It helped me so much.

These 15 minutes a day were like a mini ocean of peace, when my fears and worries would leave me alone for a bit. 

That was 7 years ago and my home practice is still going strong. 

It didn’t go smoothly though and there were plenty of time during these 7 years when my practice disappeared for days – or even weeks – at a time. 

So what did I notice when I was or wasn’t sticking to my home yoga practice?

The funny thing is that it took me not doing my practice for a while to notice the benefits of it.

When I was doing my practice:

I felt calm

My body was moving easily and comfortably

I slept well

My anxiety was pretty low

When I couldn’t be bothered to do it:

My fuse was a lot shorter and I would get annoyed at the people around me

I was a lot more emotional

My body felt heavy and stiff

My anxiety would slowly start to creep back up

So from first-hand experience, I can tell you that having a home practice will bring you:

            A body that is more comfortable

            A mind that is calmer and quieter

            A more positive outlook to life

            A break from your anxiety 

So now, how do you make it work??

Decide on how long you want to practice

Check your diary or your general daily schedule and decide on how long you can commit to a daily yoga practice. 

Don’t be over ambitious. It is better to start with 10 minutes a day and find out that you can do more than get disheartened because you can’t find the 30 minutes you have committed to. 

Pick a time & commit to it

Again, look at your diary or daily schedule and pick a time when you can commit to your practice. It doesn’t have to be the same time every day.

Whatever time you choose though, mark in your diary or calendar as non-negotiable. If you need to, tell the people around you that you are unavailable at that time.

Listen to your body

Some days you will feel energetic and ready to go through a full sequence of poses. 

Some days you will feel like doing a relaxation and calling that your practice.

And both are absolutely fine!

Whatever you do, make sure it is what you want to do. Make sure it is what feels right for your body.

End with a relaxation

The benefits of the yoga poses and sequences really sink in your body during the relaxation. So, no matter how long or short your practice, make sure that you always allow at least 2-3 minutes at the end to rest in the crocodile pose or to do a mini relaxation.

Look at it as a time for yourself

Doing the practice is one thing, but the way you approach it is equally important.

Consider this time as a time off that you are taking for yourself.

You definitely don’t want to approach this time as another thing on your to-do list. 

Be gentle with yourself

Once you’ve picked the amount of time you are dedicating to your practice and when you are doing it, do try and stick to it. But equally, cut yourself some slack! 

If you miss a day, you miss a day. Don’t make it a big deal and get back to it the following day.

If you want to start a home practice and need a little extra help, join my 5 days yoga challenge starting on the 18th January.

yoga challenge anxiety confidence

The secret to fighting stress, anxiety and overwhelm

Is feeling stressed and overwhelmed almost “normal” for you?

Are you fed up with your anxiety influencing the decisions that you make?

Would you like to feel calmer and more relaxed?

I can hear you say yes from here!

And if I were to tell you that confidence is the key to managing your anxiety and feeling calmer, how does that sound??

I remember not seeing the link at the beginning.

For me there was the anxiety on one side, which I had to try and manage somehow, and the lack of confidence in myself to another side. 

And I wasn’t paying the confidence part of things much attention since I was so busy trying to manage my anxiety… 

It took me a long time to realise that both are very closely linked. And developing confidence definitely lowers anxiety.

Look at it this way, why do we feel anxious?

Usually, because we project ourselves in a situation and are scared of it because we don’t think we’ll be able to handle it.

We make up nightmare scenarios and we don’t give ourselves any credit to do anything. 

I remember years ago feeling increasingly anxious as we were getting closer to going on holiday. I worried that either me or my family might get sick before we had to leave and  that we would then miss on the holiday, have to get a refund….

For weeks I tortured myself – and my family – with that. 

And then, it happened. 

A bug. 

My daughter and my husband were all unwell and I was the only one left standing.

There I was in my nightmare scenario. 

Did I panic? 

No, I cancelled the booking and got a refund. 

I looked after everybody else marvelling at how relatively relaxed and efficient I was now that I was in that nightmare scenario.

Why was that?

Well, when my anxiety was talking, I was just focusing on the possibility of the problem, never did my actual ability to cope got a look in.

Faced with what had been scaring me for weeks, I coped.

I have come across several people who had the same experience. 

We just didn’t believe in our ability to cope. 

We didn’t have confidence in ourselves. 

Now, if we were to change that. If we were to build that confidence in ourselves, we would be a lot less scared, a lot less anxious. 

And how do you do that I hear you say?

Over the years, I have discovered the perfect combination of yoga, meditation and journaling to build confidence and overcome anxiety.

With specific yoga movements, you release the physical manifestations of stress and free up trapped energy.

With meditation, you learn to calm your mind and make it into your ally rather than your enemy.

As for journaling, it is a great tool to unpick the limiting beliefs and reveal to you the blind spots that might be holding you back from feeling truly calm and confident.

All the techniques can be done as a whole or when needed. Even now, if my anxiety crops up, I dip into these tools to quickly move myself to a more positive state of mind.

On the 11th January, I am running a 5 day FREE confidence yoga challenge during which I will teach you some of the techniques that I have seen work both for me and for some of my clients. 

Click on the link below to sign up.

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Yoga as a tool to build your self-confidence

How many times have you wanted to do something but then you freeze? And you start doubting yourself.

Or you keep trying to control everything so that you seem to have everything just as it should be all the time.

I used to do both. 

The avoiding, the procrastinating and the “I’m fine, really” no matter how I was feeling!

Root cause of all of that: a lack of confidence.

More obvious consequence I was aware of: anxiety!

And that’s when I started to look for solutions and I found yoga.

Yoga has a way of releasing stress and restoring confidence at a very deep level. 

And I do say restoring because we all have confidence in us. Most very young children burst with confidence. We have just unlearnt it.

4 aspects of yoga really help with restoring confidence:

Affirmations.

The power of affirmations is absolutely huge. Used enough, a positive affirmation will reprogramme your brain so that you see life from a very different perpective. And something that you were so scared of, isn’t that worrying anymore.

I find that starting my day with an affirmation always helps. 

And whenever you feel yourself giving more weight than you’d like to your stress and worries, go back to that affirmation and repeat it. Again and again and again… 

It will make a difference. 

Visualisations

My favourite!

Basically, daydreaming for grown ups

Your brain doesn’t know the difference between something that has actually happened and something that hasn’t happened but that you are thinking. 

So, see yourself doing whatever it is that is scary. See yourself not only doing it, but doing it amazingly well, with ease, with confidence, with joy in your heart.

And really give yourself the time to experience the feelings that come with your visualisation.

You will feel that joy, that confidence, that ease inside you as if you had already accomplished what you want to do. 

A minute or two are enough to make a difference and put you in a better place to do whatever it is that you want to do.

If you are working towards something more long term, build on that visualisation every day. 

Spend a few minutes every day, daydreaming about your perfect life, or whatever other goal you are working towards. And really give in to the feelings that the visualisation causes.

It is fun, easy and really powerful.

Breathing

The whole important breath!

There is a reason that when you feel nervous or scared, everybody will tell you to “take a deep breath”. 

When we are scared, stressed or worried, our breathing is shallow and just reinforces the stress response in the body.

You can break that circuit but changing the way you breathe.

Go for slower and deeper breaths. Allow your abdomen to rise as you breathe in and relax as you breathe out.

If you need to relax, try and make the outbreath slightly longer than the inbreath. 

Mudras

Mudras are hand gestures that can change the way feel and with regular practise can improve your overall wellbeing.

There is one particular mudra which I used quite a lot called the Gesture of courage and that is designed to remove fear and restore confidence and courage. 

Click on the link below to what how to do this

I often these techniques in my yoga classes to empower my students to feel courageous and confident.

What I love about them is that they can all easily be used off the mat, in your daily life.

You can make a habit of practising affirmations as you brush your teeth in the morning or visualising your perfect life just before going to sleep at night. 

When you feel stressed and anxious, pay attention to your breath. Make it deeper and try and lengthen the exhalation.

And use the mudra of courage whenever you need an extra boost.

If you’d like to know more about the power of yoga to build your confidence and release your stress and worries, join me on the 11th January for a 5 days Self-Confidence challenge

Click on the button below for more details:

I’m so excited by this, it’s going to be such a great way to start the year!

You are Enough. Yes, you are!

“I’m not good at this.”

“I could never do that.”

“Wow, better put some serious make up on before going out!”

How many times a week, or a day, do you tell yourself something like that?

And how does that make you feel?

I know it used to make me feel rubbish. And not surprising either, how are you going to be happy with yourself and your life if you keep pulling yourself down?

Now, have you ever seen a very young child lacking in self-confidence?? 

Most young children I have been around have no fear, no limitations, no shame. They are just themselves, and that is enough!

Some of them grow up keeping that inner self-confidence. And they are easy to recognise as adults, they:

            Value themselves and their opinions

            Make choices based on the knowledge that they can do pretty much anything they put their mind to

            Have relationships built on mutual trust and love rather than a sense of needing another person

            Treat mistakes and “failures” as stepping stones

            Enjoy life for all it has to offer

Some of you might have unlearned that inner self-confidence that is your birth right and you find yourself full of fear, doubt, stress and anxiety.

As a recovered “I am not good enough for this” girl, I can tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way.

You can rewire your brain to uproot the limiting beliefs and fill yourself with a new confidence so that, you too, can live your life from a place of strength and not a place of fear anymore.

How do you go about doing that I can hear you ask??

Well, there are no magical “click your fingers and it’s done” remedies but more of a journey of self-discovery to 

Release the fear and the stress both at the physical and emotional levels

            No surprises here, yoga is amazing at easing physical tension. It also goes much deeper than that. Every yoga move or sequence is an opportunity to release negative emotions.

Replace the limiting beliefs with supportive, empowering ones

            Again, yoga and meditation are amazing tools for that. So is journaling and talking to a supportive friend or working with a coach.

Rebuild your trust in yourself 

            This can be done through yoga, meditation and learning the value of self-care

By combining yoga, meditation, breathing techniques and introspection, you can change your mind so that it supports you rather than takes you down. 

In my new Facebook group, You are enough, I will be helping you along the way. 

And it all starts tomorrow, 1st December with a 12 days video series in the Facebook group. Every day, you will learn a new, short (5 minutes max.) technique that will help you in your journey to knowing that You Are Good Enough!!

Join me in the group today.

5 ways to cope with SAD

Shorter days, longer nights… Are you a fan?

I know some of you might really love this time of year, but most of the people I talk to aren’t great fans.

Neither am I.

And we are in great company! About 2 millions people in the UK suffer from various degrees of Seasonal Affective Disorder (the aptly name SAD). 

The good news is that you can do lots of little things to make you feel happier.

Make the most of whatever daylight there is. 

As I write this, it is getting increasingly dark around me but the sun was shining a couple of hours ago. 

I stepped outside for a minute (a bit too chilly for any longer) and turned my face to the sun (eyes closed of course).

It made me feel so good to see the light and to feel the – relative – warmth of the sun on my skin. 

So, if you can, try and step out for a bit when you see that the sun is shining. 

And even on darker days, it is a good idea to get outside on the daylight rather than stay indoors with only artificial light.

Exercise 

Movement is a great healer when you feel a little bit down or anxious. 

Not only can it snap you out of the low mood you are in, but keeping your body moving is the best way to keep it healthy. And your mental health is closely linked to your physical health.

Yoga is particulary good as it helps you release the physical stress and tension and calm your mind at the same time.

Another great, low impact thing you can do is go for a walk, especially if the weather is beautifully sunny!

Mindset

It can be really hard to feel happy when it is dark when you wake up and dark when you finish working. 

I have noticed that during the winter season, I can sometimes feel low or anxious as I wake up. 

My way out of that is to start repeating positive affirmations to replace whatever negative chatter is going on at the back of my mind.

Anything positive will work. It doesn’t have to be highly creative! A simple “I am happy. I am healthy. I am calm” will do. 

Light up your house

Make your home bright inside to compensate for the darkness outside.

Personally, I like lighting candles and placing fairy lights around the house. It gives my home a warm, cosy yet bright look which really cheers me up.

So, why not spend some time redecorating your house a little by adding some touches of light here and there. 

Always be careful with candles though…

Gratitude

When you open your heart to feeling grateful about the little things in your life, it makes it a lot harder to feel down. 

Every day, make it a habit of ending the day by listing (or writing) 5-10 things that you feel grateful for. 

It is easy during the winter to focus on what you don’t like. Unfortunately, focusing on what you don’t like has probably never achieved very much, except for making you more miserable.

So, try and turn your attention to what is good in your life, to what you enjoy. It will fill your heart with you and make you realise that, even at your least favourite time of year, there are still plenty of things to be grateful for.

And as I write these words, the sun has come out again. That’s going to be on my gratitude list for today!

5 hobbies to release stress

England is in the middle of its second lockdown. The weather isn’t particularly inviting – and you have more time on your hands.

Working from home can be much more comfortable and easier than going to the office. But it has its downsides: it can feel more isolating; it can create stress when you wait for people to get back to you and you don’t have the chance to vent at the coffee machine as you normally would!

Result: you build up stress and you don’t have many opportunities to release it. And if your significant other is also working from home, that can be a recipe for disaster!

The first thing to do is to take time to yourself so that you can unwind. 

And here are some suggestions that are great at releasing stress:

Reading

There are so many great books and ebooks. And if you are not an avid reader, you can opt for an audio book.

Books are great at changing your state of mind by taking you far, far away from your daily activities.

Yoga

Yoga is another great tool to change your state of mind and release the stress. Opt for a gentle class that will help your body let go of the stress and that will bring your mind to a peaceful, quiet place. 

For a relaxing yoga experience, join me from the 25th to the 29th November for the 5 days to a Calmer You challenge.

You’ll find more details by clicking on the following link: https://www.subscribepage.com/a7p8g6

Dancing

Dancing can be invigorating, relaxing, uplifting! And you don’t have to be worthy of Strictly to start!

One of my teachers was telling me that the best music to cheer us up is whichever music we used to listen to as teenagers. It takes us back to a time when, for most of us, things were much simpler and carefree.

As an 80s child, I have experimented with an 80s playlist and I can tell you that it works! 

So have a go, find a playlist, make some space in the living room or the bedroom and let your body move. 

Walking

Even if the weather isn’t great, walking is one of the best physical exercise you can do both for your body and your mind.

As you walk, observe what is around you, notice what makes you feel good. If you are feeling upset by something, taking your attention to your surroundings will help you snap out of it. 

If your mind is relatively peaceful, let it wander. Don’t underestimate the positive benefits of a little bit of daydreaming. 

Do something creative 

Bake, try your hand at painting by number or at mindful colouring.

Anything creative and a little bit challenging will bring your mind fully to what you are doing. And there is something really therapeutic at creating something with your hands, plus if you have opted for the baking, you’ll have yummy treats to enjoy!

The lockdown can be an opportunity for you to discover something new that you enjoy doing and that helps you cope with stress and anxiety.

For me, yoga has been one of the keys to my journey from stress and anxiety to feeling happy, calm and – almost – carefree.

In my FREE 5 Days to a Calmer You online challenge, I’ll be taking you on a similar journey. You will release the stress, connect to a place of calm and peace inside you so that you can embrace life fully. When you learn to let go of your stress, you can handle life’s challenges so much better. And there are quite a few of them at the moment!

So if you’d like to stop feeling worried and tense, and you’d love to feel light, happy and calm, join me on the 25th.

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5 ways to train your mind to be more positive

I’ve been having a bit of a rough time these past few days. 

November for me is rarely a happy month. It starts with All Saints’ Day and memories of loved ones who are not with me anymore. And with every passing day, it gets a little bit darker. The joy of it all! 😉

I know some people love it.

One of my friends this morning was telling me how much she enjoys this time of year. Personally, I would happily move to Australia and come back to the Northern hemisphere in March! 

That solution isn’t quite practical, so I’ve had to figure out different ways of coping with this time of year. And not just coping, but actually trying to enjoy what this season has to offer.

Thankfully my yoga and meditation are full of inspiration and techniques for that, so here are some that work for me, and that I hope will work for you too!

Start the day with an affirmation

It is hard to wake up happy and full of energy at the moment, isn’t it! It is dark and cold in the mornings and it is easy to start the day feeling down.

What I have been doing is, as soon as I wake up, even before I get out of bed, I affirm to myself something positive. 

This morning was: “I am happy, I am healthy, I am supported.

You can choose whatever affirmation works for you.

Starting the day with a positive affirmation will help you shake a bit of that darkness and low mood and help you lift your energy to somewhere more positive.

At any time during the day, when you feel that your mood is shifing again, feel free to come back to the affirmation to give you a little boost.

Movement

When the mind gets in a negative, low mood space, movement is the best way out. Do some yoga, go for a walk, have a boogie in the living room…

Any movement that feels good and comfortable for you is great! It will lift your mood, get some good mood hormones flowing through your body and shift your mindset instantly.

Journaling

Sometimes you might find that the negative voice in your head doesn’t want to leave you alone

If that’s the case, take a few moments to journal.

Grab a pen and paper and start writing for 3-5 minutes, without stopping. Just let the words flow on the sheet of paper without paying any attention to spellings, punctuation or grammar. 

Use this exercise to empty your mind of what is weighing you down. This exercise can lead to some tears being shed and if that’s the case, go with it. It is just your body releasing the negative emotion.

This exercise can also give you some insight in what is troubling you and what you could do to help yourself. 

Show yourself some love

Self-care is key to navigate the winter months if you are not a winter person.  

Show yourself some love every day by making the time to do something that you love, that lights you up and makes you feel good. 

Read a book, have a hot chocolate, treat yourself to a mini spa… The possibilities are really endless.

Take the time every day to treat yourself. You deserve it. And showing yourself some love and care is good for the mood!

Hygge

The Scandinavian countries have the concept of hygge, which is all to do about creating a feeling of cosiness and comfort in your home. And that cosy feeling around you creates a sense of contentment and well-being. 

I mean, what is better than snuggling on the sofa with a blanket while holding a warm cup of tea in your hands? 

So, get your candles out, have a blanket and a cushion or two on the sofa, get the fairy lights out to light up your house and create cosy, inviting, nurturing atmosphere. 

You want your house to feel like a cocoon that surrounds you and your family. 

So there we are, affirmations, movements, journaling, self-care and hygge…

These are my keys to lifting my mood when the grey skies and the shorter days get to me.

 And if you find that you could do with more to lift your mood and release the negative anxious thoughts, join me on my 5 days FREE online challenge on the 30th November: https://www.subscribepage.com/a7p8g6