Connect with us

Articles

Join the Mindfulness Revolution – 10 Awareness-building Moments Every Day

Published

on

Join the Mindfulness Revolution – 10 Awareness-building Moments Every Day

A recent issue of Time Magazine had a feature image on the cover for mindfulness, calling it a revolution. You might be asking; why has it become so popular? You might even wonder; what is mindfulness, really? You may even want to know how you can develop it, or why would you want to.

Here are four definitions of mindfulness, all of them accurate.

1. Mindfulness is awareness.
2. Mindfulness is being more present – More embodied in the moment.
3. Mindfulness is calm, alert, presence with equanimity (Equanimity is being even-minded or non-judgmental).
4. In the book Full Catastrophe Living, the author Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as paying attention on purpose in the present moment without judgment.

To help clarify what mindfulness is, it can be useful to know what it’s not. It is not absent mindedness, mindlessness, or conceptualizing – Unless the latter is intentional and you’re aware of it. An example of non-mindfulness that most of us have experienced is driving down the freeway and suddenly realizing we haven’t noticed anything that we have passed in the last ten minutes. We were caught up in our head; someplace other than where we were.

If we were being mindful in this example we would have noticed the scenery as it went by. This is an example of mindfulness of sight, or seeing what’s there in the present moment without getting caught up in thought.

 

Join the Mindfulness Revolution – 10 Awareness-building Moments Every Day

 

You can be mindful of many things including your body, anything perceived by your senses, and even your feelings and thoughts (when not carried away by them). For example, in the time you’ve been reading this article, have you had any sensory awareness of your body? Have you noticed feeling any pain, temperature, or pressure such as the chair against your back? If you had some awareness of any physical sensations, then you’ve had some mindfulness of the body. Regardless of whether you experienced any of these things before I mentioned them, there’s a good chance you noticed some of them as I pointed them out. At that moment you were mindful.

Take a moment right now and check in with your body; feel the pressure of the floor against your feet, and also the pressure of the chair against your back, if you are seated. Notice your eyes taking in these words, and observe your thinking as you read. There. That’s mindfulness of your body, seeing, and thoughts.

It’s now probably obvious to you that you have some mindfulness some of the time, but maybe you have it less often than would be beneficial to your greater wellbeing. In the busy modern world we are often caught up in our heads un-mindfully. One big reason that practicing being mindful, especially of the body, more of the time is that your nervous system calms down and you feel good – You have a felt-sense of greater wellbeing. Your body enjoys your mindful awareness.

 

Join the Mindfulness Revolution – 10 Awareness-building Moments Every Day

 

You are probably seeing how practicing mindfulness can counter stress and anxiety. When we are anxious our nervous system is highly activated; we’re hyper-aroused. If we are mostly disconnected from the direct experience of our body we feel nervous, jittery, and frazzled, and we have a difficult time concentrating. We may even be numb to how our body feels. This is not uncommon. When we are stressed we may not even notice that our breathing is more shallow and rapid. We may go through most of the day in this state, and by the end of the day our nervous system flips from a frenetic-state to a state of severe exhaustion and fatigue.

 

Join the Mindfulness Revolution – 10 Awareness-building Moments Every Day

 

On the other hand when we are connected to our body it is soothing to the nervous system and we are less likely to become hyper-aroused. When we do experience stress, if we’re mindful of how we’re feeling, we can choose to be present in the body and take a few deeper breaths. This regulates the nervous system to a state of greater calm and we experience wellbeing and greater resilience to additional stressors. By practicing mindfulness of the body in this way we can learn to consciously regulate our nervous system and over time we can settle into a pattern of alertness (high state) and relaxation / recuperation (low state). This is compared to the un-mindful states of high-anxiety and extreme fatigue.

You can now see more clearly the reasoning behind definition number three above. Mindfulness is Calm, Alert, Presence, with Equanimity. Calm and alert can seem contradictory until they are seen in this way – that of a well-regulated nervous system. An easy way to remember this definition is with the acronym C-A-P-E which uses the first letter of each of the key words; Calm, Alert, Presence, and Equanimity. In a sense this state of heightened mindfulness is a type of super-power; an inner one that positively impacts all areas of our life.

 

Join the Mindfulness Revolution – 10 Awareness-building Moments Every Day

 

This is one example of mindfulness; that of the body, which you now see can increase our sense of wellbeing and over time our resilience to the stressors of modern life. Other benefits include acting with greater self-awareness, and non-reactivity.

You may be wondering; how does one go about increasing mindfulness? We do it by practicing. Now; how to practice? There’s formal meditation which is great, but it is not for everyone in the beginning. Another excellent way to get started is informal practice throughout the day.

To begin informal mindfulness practice, choose something as a trigger; as a reminder to practice. Using transitions works well for most people. Transitions are times you make changes throughout your day, such as going through doors, or switching tasks. Use these as a trigger or reminder to take a moment and notice what your body is sensing. For example, you walk out the door of your house; take a second and notice the temperature change on your skin, the brightness on your eyes, the smells – run through all your senses if you like. Practice this way consistently for a week or so and you’ll begin to be more in touch with your body, which will calm your nervous system, which feels great. Keep doing this and you will experience ever greater depths to being present in your body.

You will likely go through ten or more transitions every day that can be used as reminders to be more present. You can begin by setting the intention to use these as triggers to practice mindfulness ten times each day. Congratulations, you now have a mindfulness practice.

 

Join the Mindfulness Revolution – 10 Awareness-building Moments Every Day

 

There are many reasons why this and related practices, like yoga are becoming popular. A big reason that mindfulness is so popular is that it’s greatly needed. As life gets more stressful for more people we are seeking natural ways to counter stress and enhance our wellbeing. By starting your practice you become a part of this really good revolution. Give it a try. All you have to lose is your stress!

Be well.

Brad

 

Brad Maybury teaches mindfulness practices, helping clients connect more deeply with their body and gain greater calm, vitality, and wellness! Those with symptoms of anxiety, stress and trauma go from surviving to thriving.

Visit his site to learn more: http://www.traumarecoveryresources.com/newsletter

Articles

Are You Working For A Tyrant Boss? (And what you can do about it)

Published

on

Are You Working For A Tyrant Boss? (And what you can do about it)

Multiple studies have indicated that a large percentage of people are unhappy with their jobs. Research carried out by Microsoft in 2021, showed that 41% of the workforce are considering leaving their employer. Sometimes, this dissatisfaction comes from working long hours. Other times, it is about not making enough money.

On occasion, however, the source of unhappiness is the person that you work for. Working for a tyrant boss is draining and stressful. It can have a negative impact on nearly every area of your life, because the stress that it causes makes it hard to “let go” of your workday even when you are at home.

So, how do you know if you are working for a tyrant boss? And if you are, what can you do about it?

A Boss That Is Never Wrong

You have heard of the phrase “the customer is always right,” but do you work for someone who never seems to think that you are ever right?

A tyrant in the workplace is often a dictator. This means that they don’t listen to anyone else’s opinion or ideas, and if they do, they are instantly shut down. A tyrant boss can “never be wrong,” and they have the final authority on everything.

Unfortunately, they are often the ones who will suffer in the end. No one is perfect, no matter how much your boss thinks that they are. If they do not take other people’s input into consideration, they are going to burn out and end up making poor choices, which will impact the business in the long run.

Help people reach their full potential, catch them doing something right. Ken Blanchard

They Expect Carbon Copies Of Themselves

Does your boss seem to gravitate toward employees who are just like them?

Narcissistic people tend to be kinder to those who have the same characteristics. The problem with that? It takes a diverse group of people with different skill sets to make a great team.

If your boss favors people just like them and expects everyone to conform to certain unreasonable expectations, you should see this as a huge red flag.

Additionally, pay attention to how your boss’ personality changes around certain people. If they tend to play favorites, it might be another sign that they are running a tyrannical operation. Everyone in a business should be treated equally. Favoritism doesn’t belong in a professional setting.

Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is a success. Henry Ford

They Don’t Respect Your Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance has become an important topic of conversation over the last year. With more people working remotely, it has been harder for some to strike a healthy balance between their work life and their home life.

While, in many cases, you can find ways to manage this balance, some bosses simply won’t allow it.

For example, does your boss frequently call you on your day off? Do they email you or message you after working hours, or first thing in the morning?

If your boss cannot respect that you have a life and that you deserve some free time, they are running their business like a dictatorship. Good employers know how important it is for their employees to have free time, whether it is for self-care or socialization. When a worker constantly feels like they are “on the clock,” they are more likely to get burnt out quickly, and their performance will suffer.

They Are Master Micro-Managers

Does your boss lurk over you more often than not? Do you find it hard to get anything done in a day because they are micromanaging everything that you do?

Micro-managers want a play-by-play of everything that you are doing throughout the day. They will try to take charge of your projects and overlook everything so you can’t be as productive as you could be.

You can work to diffuse a micro-managing boss by giving them more information than they ask for. Beat them at their own game by giving them detailed information about what you are working on. If they feel like they are not able to be “on top” of you anymore, they will likely give up and let you work in peace.

Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people. Steve Jobs

They Want All Of The Credit

Typically, when a business sees any kind of success, it is a good sign of a strong, dynamic team. One person cannot hold up an entire company on their own.

But, if your boss tends to take the credit for everything and loves being in the spotlight, it can often feel like your efforts are unnoticed and unappreciated. There are children’s books about people doing all the work and someone else taking all of the credit. Some adults just never seem to learn the “moral of the story”.

What Can You Do About It?

So, what can you do if you are working for a tyrant boss? Aside from resigning, which is sometimes the only option, there are a few ways that you can manage things on a daily basis.

First, try not to let your boss’ behavior affect you. Yes, they can be frustrating. They will get to you, at times. It is important for you to take the high road and be the bigger person. No matter where you work, everything that you do is a reflection of who you are – your personal brand. Don’t give in to your frustrations, and don’t fuel your boss’ attitude by snapping back at them. If you do, chances are, their behaviors will become even more exaggerated.

Your overall well-being should be your top priority. If you don’t see any signs of a changing environment, you don’t need to stay in a toxic workplace. Understand some of these signs, and trust your gut when it comes to how you should respond. Many of us have had bad experiences with tyrant bosses in the past, I know I have. In my experience, tyrant bosses very rarely change. They have either moved on or I have.

Life is too short to be stressed out by your boss. Thankfully there are plenty of great bosses out there too who will respect and value you and they are a real joy to work with.

Continue Reading

Articles

How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

Published

on

How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

We live in a world where other people’s triumphs, successes, and even their vanity are constantly in our faces. Digital influencers and social media make it seem easy to look perfect and feel amazing all of the time. Even your friends and family members might appear to having more success, happiness and fun.

If you stop to think about it, you can probably list off a handful of people you have compared yourself to in the past last week. Maybe a co-worker got a promotion at work, or maybe your friend has just flown off on vacation. Maybe someone you have not seen in years posted a photo online that made you envious of their lifestyle. When you start comparing yourself to others, it is easy to lose your sense of self-esteem and self-worth. If you let your guard down, you can fall into the trap of chasing after other people’s lives and not appreciating who you are and what you have achieved.

Theodore Roosevelt famously said, “comparison is the thief of joy”. How true those words remain today – perhaps even more so!

How can you stop the endless scrolling, or looking at the lives of people you know and feeling like you’re somehow less important?

Let’s look at a few tips and techniques that can help you to stop comparing yourself to others.

Know Your Triggers

Maybe a co-worker getting a promotion doesn’t affect you, but a friend getting married does. You might be single or recently divorced. Or, maybe you have been in a relationship for a while but your partner doesn’t want to get married. As a result, you start comparing yourself and the things you want to what someone else has. The things that cause you to compare are your “triggers”. Sometimes, you might not care whether someone has more than you, but other times it can really sting and make you feel low.

Understanding your triggers and accepting them will make it easier to stop making those comparisons. First, you can avoid triggers as much as possible until they do not impact you as much. Maybe cut down on your social media usage. Do you pick up your phone out of habit and constantly refresh your Instagram feed? Perhaps get into the habit of keeping your phone out of reach and taking a social media fast from time to time. As you work on that, try to think about why comparing yourself in those specific situations is a waste of time. Once you convince yourself that it is “no big deal,” you are less likely to be triggered.

Remind Yourself That It May Not Be Real

Because of the social media-saturated world that we live in, it is easy for everyone to make their lives seem better than they are. No one is going to post a photo that doesn’t paint them in a positive light. Even in the real world, everything is not always what it seems. Your friend getting married? Maybe they are struggling with something else, like a health condition or money troubles. That co-worker that seems to get all the credit? Maybe they are going through relationship issues at home.

Most of the time, you will only see what people want you to see. You never really know what is going on beneath the surface and behind closed doors. So, when you start comparing yourself to someone else, pause for a moment and remind yourself that no one’s life is perfect. You don’t know what other people are going through, and you may actually be doing better than they are in other areas of life.

Practice Gratitude

When you compare yourself to others, you lose sight of everything you have and everything you can do. Practicing gratitude each day is a great way to stop making comparisons. Think of at least five things you are grateful for every morning to start your day on a positive note.

Alternatively, carry a small notebook around with you and write down something that you are thankful for every time you think of it throughout the day. The best part about this method is being able to look back on your gratitude moments, especially if you are feeling down. It serves as a wonderful reminder of the wonderful things in your life.

Use it as a Motivational Tool

Sometimes, comparison can be a healthy thing. If the thing that you “want” is something that you can work towards, you can let your comparison motivate you to get it. For example, if someone in your life is incredibly kind and charitable, why let their generosity make you feel less important? You do not have to be extremely wealthy to give back. Try volunteering, or donate what you can. If someone at work seems to be getting all the glory, use that as a motivational tool to work harder and get your achievements noticed too.

When you start to work toward the things that make you admire others, it becomes less about comparison and more about who you really want to be. When done “correctly,” comparison can actually push you to be the best possible version of yourself.

So, don’t waste anymore time scrolling through social media and wishing for a different life. Don’t feel sorry for yourself because you think you will never have as much. When you use comparison in a negative way, it will make you feel negative and envious. Instead of comparing yourself to others, let certain people inspire you to do more, be more and achieve more.

Continue Reading

Articles

5 Ways To Know Your Self Worth

Published

on

5 Ways To Know Your Self Worth

Focusing on your sense of “self” is very important in so many different ways. When you think about it, you are probably surrounded by the word “self” each day more than you realize. From self-care, self-esteem and self-belief to self-confidence, self-respect and self-worth, people are constantly trying to find ways to better themselves in different areas of their lives.

If you ask most people if they know their self-worth, they will probably be quick to say yes. But, if you took that question further and asked them how they know it, you will likely be met with some hesitation. The reality is, most people think they know about self-worth, but do not fully understand what it is or how it differs from other areas of “self”.

So, how can you truly know your self-worth? What can you do to increase it? What are your strengths, gifts and abilities? Let’s take a look at a few ways to have a better understanding of what really is your self-worth.

1. Don’t Judge Your Own Emotions

You can boost your sense of self-worth by accepting your thoughts and feelings. You might not always like them, and you might find yourself at odds with them from time to time. But, whatever thoughts and emotions come into your head, let them in. Then, you can work through them effectively. Emotions demand to be felt. It is how you respond to them that matters. Don’t ignore them and limit your true value. Embrace the wonderful unique person who you are.

 

Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.Robert Tew

 

2. Question Your “Shoulds”

When you think about the things you “should” do, it might leave you feeling unmotivated and overwhelmed. For example, if you say to yourself, “I should go for a run this evening,” and then you don’t end up doing it, how do you think you will feel? Chances are, you will struggle with some level of guilt. This can snowball into not feeling good about yourself and questioning how much that you value yourself and your self-worth.

Instead, fill your life with things that you “will” do. The word “will” implies that it is more of a promise and a commitment, rather than a burden. Saying “I will run a mile this evening” is much more motivating and allows you to prove exactly who you are and what you can do.

 

Anything is possible when you have a path, a plan, and a desire to take action. Dean Graziosi

 

3. Don’t Worry About the Acceptance of Others

It seems all too natural to worry about what other people think of us. Social media can make things even worse. If you find yourself constantly “looking for likes” or some kind of validation from friends, family, or even strangers, you are looking at your self-worth in the wrong place by looking through someone else’s lens and standards.

It can be hard to give up this habit. Everyone wants to be accepted. But, you won’t find what you are worth in the opinions of others. You have the power to see yourself for how great you really are. When you are able to internalize this power and recognize your true value and self-worth, you won’t put so much emphasis on what others think of you. You will get to know who you are, what you are really worth, and you can be confident in that.

4. Let Yourself Off The Hook

Many times, people cannot see their true self-worth because they are holding on to past guilt. Almost everyone has regrets. Whether you did something when you were young that you should not have, or perhaps you wronged someone in some way, the past is the past.

You need to learn to forgive yourself and let yourself off the hook. By holding onto that guilt, you will never be able to see what you are really worth. It will feel like a ball and chain holding you back. But, you have the key to break free, if you just give yourself the chance. If you would be willing to show someone else forgiveness and acceptance for their wrongdoings, you owe it to yourself to do the same. Give yourself a break.

5. Look at Your Gifts

If you are still having a hard time understanding your self-worth, take a look at your natural skills. Everyone has certain gifts in life. Your talents are going to be different from someone else’s – that’s what makes the world work!

Think about a few things that you are really good at. Or, something that you really enjoy doing. Go even further by creating a list of your talents and skills. They don’t need to be huge. In fact, writing a list of several “little things” can make you see just how important and valuable that you are. Take a look at that list whenever you are feeling down or devalued, and practice those talents and skills as often as possible.

By keeping these skills and talents of yours in mind, you can start to celebrate your self-worth. When you have a better understanding of your real value, you are more likely to prioritize other things like self-care, self-esteem and self belief. Each of which are different, but they are all connected in some way. But, it starts with knowing your self-worth. And, chances are, it is much more than you might think.

Continue Reading

Trending