meditate

How to start meditating at work

By Mirjam Helder

We have all heard it many times before - the benefits of meditating. It releases stress, calms the mind and the body, connects you to yourself, you are happier and you have a good vibrancy surrounding you. The list of mental and health benefits goes on and on.

But then why is it so hard to stick to it, when there are only good things that come with a meditation?

Here are a few facts before you start so that you don´t stress about actually doing a meditation:

  • You don’t have to meditate 60 Minutes right away - start simple and small. Do 10 minutes every day - and then increase.
  • Find guided meditations. It is so much easier to meditate with guidance in the beginning. It takes practice to sit still and control your thoughts or even still your thoughts eventually.
  • Find a spot in your house, at work or outside where you can meditate in peace.
  • Don’t do anything while meditating. Just sit or lay somewhere comfortable. Combining taking a bath and meditating is not meditating. It will save you time, but that is not what we are striving for.
  • Find a group or a course for meditating. Teachers can help you with questions you have or give you good advice.
  • Have a smile on your face while meditating. Meditation and life is easier with a smile on your face.

Whether you’re self-employed or work at an office, bring your meditation to work. You spend so many hours at work, why not do a meditation at work?

Work is most likely stressing you out anyway and who doesn’t wish for a more calm and happy work environment. When you are your own boss it is easier to pick a time throughout the day to meditate. But as an employee you have to stick to the hours where you have to work or when you have a lunch break.

So, if you have a 60-minute lunch break, take 10 minutes to meditate. Take your phone, download a guided meditation, plug your earphones in and start. I recommend music, mantras or a guided meditation as the office or outside sounds can be distracting. I guarantee you, you will go back to your office relaxed, motivated and with a high positive vibrancy.

Meditation is also about mindfulness. A simple but yet effective tool is to go around your office and in your mind say something very nice and kind about your co-worker. For example: “Susan, I wish you a good result on the report you’re doing for our boss. Phil, you have helped me in so many ways this year here at the office - thank you.” Not only will you feel great, but you will send out amazing vibes at the office. Being mindful about your thoughts will have an amazing effect not only on others when you think something nice about them, but also on your own life. As you might know, what you think, you attract. So be more mindful about your thoughts and if your thoughts seem out of control, try to quiet your mind with a meditation every now and then.

Don’t forget to take a good deep breath every now and then. We tend to be short of breath all the time. When you get stressed, overwhelmed or feel confused, breathe. Notice how a good breath relaxes you and makes tensions go away. As important as your breathing is in a meditation, it is also important throughout the day. Set a timer on your phone to remind you every hour to take a deep breath.

If for whatever reason you did not get the chance to meditate at work, plug your earphones in while commuting. It might be too difficult meditating on a train or a bus, but you could look for a visualisation. Maybe you have had some issues with money, self-love or health. Look online for a specific visualisation where you mentally repeat affirmations to shift your focus and remove the blocks you had so far. As you focus on repeating those affirmations, you won’t necessarily notice the surrounding sounds. And you might find it useful to have a visualisation that has the same time frame as your commute, so you don’t miss getting off at your exit.

Here is a wishful thought: Maybe your colleagues will notice your positive change because of the meditation and want to join. Try not to convince them before starting your routine. Let them notice the change on their own. And if they like what they see, you have people joining your meditation and you mindful behaviour.

Go for it now – it’s never too late to make life just a bit more beautiful.

Mirjam Helder is the founder of Living Your Best Life Today, a website for women in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It is a website with articles, podcasts and meditations as well as visualisations that help you live a life beyond your wildest dreams. She believes we can create a life, a business and relationships we love. What we need are inspirations, tools and courage to go for it. It does not matter where you are in life right now or what has happened to you. You can make a commitment to change today, deal with the ups and downs better and ask for more in life. Start living your authentic truth today and become the unique woman you want to be. We need your voice, your love and your compassion. There is a reason why you are here - show us that reason. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

8 Ways to bring self care into your business

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By Samantha Sutherland

I read yesterday that intentionally bringing pleasure into your life is just as important as decreasing stress as it turns on our parasympathetic system, which is all about rest, restoration, connection and calmness. In fact, pleasure has been scientifically proven to strengthen our immune systems and lengthen our lives!

As all business-builders know, the stress of launches, juggling all the balls, caring for a family and burning the candle at both ends while we try to get it all done can weaken our immune systems (who here has ever got a cold while launching? Nah, me neither ;)) make us tired and miserable, and can sometimes make us question why we’re even doing all this.

So now science is telling you what your body already knew – it’s time to introduce some self care into your life.

If you look after yourself – physically, emotionally and spiritually – then you’ll have more energy to bring to your blog, your business and your clients. Your business is limited by the energy you have to give to it, and your energy is limited by the way in which you fill your cup. 

But in today’s world, where we spend so much time stressed and caught up in being busy, many of us have forgotten how to even bring self care into our lives. So how do we do it? Here are some ideas. 

1. Listen to some music

If you can add dancing around the living room to that, do it!

One of my favourite teenage memories is driving the eight hours from Eden on the NSW south coast to Sydney, with my sister, singing a Greece medley for most of the way. I have the kind of voice that makes people ask me to stop singing, but I still get so much joy from it! 

How can you create music? What do you love to listen to?

2. Laughter

I love to laugh. One of my favourites is this video of Jimmy Fallon and Emma Stone having a lip sync battle. But be careful here; this isn’t a green light to spend the next hour watching random YouTube clips. 

Try playing a game with friends, drawing some eyebrows on your baby or dog, a laughter yoga exercise (it’s basically fake laughing until it turns real, and it always does!) or watch an hilarious movie (Coming to America, anyone??).

3. Touch

Go and get a massage or facial, give out some free hugs or hold hands with someone you love. 

Many women find it difficult to allow ourselves this kind of indulgence. If you’re looking for permission, here it is! It will be good for your business if you go and get a massage.

4. Spend time in nature

Mountains or ocean, forest or stream. Nature has a completely calming effect on us and for me, creates conversations that don’t arise in any other place. Take off your shoes, dig your toes into the dirt and just ‘be’ in nature. 

Take a picnic to the woods with you. Swim at sunrise in the ocean. Turn your face to the sun, close your eyes and smile. How can you get nature to touch you, wherever you are?

5. Meditation

I’m a fairly recent convert to meditation, but am finding that it’s bringing me a level of calmness and peace that I didn’t use to have. 

The simplest way is to take 5 minutes (trust me, if you’ve never done it before then 5 minutes will feel like a long time!), sit up straight, and just focus on your breathing. 

In breath. Out breath. When your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your breath. Simple! 

Oh so hard. But through the difficulty, you will create space in your life, focus in your mind and peace in your heart. 

6. Gratitude

Do you recognise what’s already wonderful in your life? Try taking the time each evening to write down three things for which you are grateful. It could be a morning cuddle with your kidlet, a beautiful sunset, a friend who always makes you happy. 

Simple things are what make up our lives, so it’s important to recognise those simple things and be grateful for them. To paraphrase Brene Brown, many of us ignore the ordinary moments in search of the extraordinary, but the ordinary moments are what makes up our life.

So notice the ordinary and appreciate it.

7. Connection

This is always the biggest one for me. I love afternoons spent lazing and chatting with friends, nights drinking wine and laughing, and 80’s movie-and-pizza marathons in someone’s living room. 

Even so, I sometimes find a month has gone by and I haven’t seen my bestie. Do you get the connection you need? Or are you too busy being busy to fit in what is most important?

8. Choose your own adventure!

What brings you happiness and joy? What are the things that you love spending time doing? Write them down and commit to making time for them in your life.

If you’re like me and you love a good list then feel free to print this off and use it like a checklist.

Are you doing these things regularly? Are you prioritising self care in your life?

And maybe the biggest questions of all;

Are your business, family or friendships suffering because you’re depleted from a lack of self-care?

Can you afford to not look after yourself?

And if you feel too busy for self-care and pleasure, then what are you building this business and this life for?

Samantha Sutherland is the excitable founder of The Everyday Adventure where she encourages women to live through play in their everyday spaces. It's possible to live your life joyfully, full of freedom, connection and adventure! She runs in person retreats and events, a Fun-Life Overhaul Challenge and blogs regularly. She's a corporate refugee who is a certified Health Coach, a mother of one as well as being chief fun-maker of The Everyday Adventure. Come join us and be happy! Connect with her on Instagram, on Facebook and via email: info@theeverydayadventure.com

Photo Credit: The Everyday Adventure

 

Are you listening to your inner voice?

By Cheryl Paige

It was a few years ago when I was hit smack in the side of the head with the realisation that I couldn't hear myself. I didn't know what I thought, what I wanted, or what I needed. I had let other's thoughts and opinion, desires and needs outweigh my own. It was sad, but true; I had completely lost touch with and silenced my inner voice. 

In order to start to hear and then to listen to my inner voice I had to make some changes. It was a process and it's now something I do every day so I never find myself without access to this invaluable guidance. Here it is for you to try.

1) Recognize The Need for Silence and Stillness in Your Life

"The answers to all my questions lie within me."

The fact is that you, and only you, know what is best for you. We often lose sight of this and turn to others to tell us what is best for us, what they think we should do, if what we believe is ok, and if they agree with what we want.

 If you are in a state, like I was, of depending on other people to guide you, you may start to feel resentful and controlled. It's ok to ask for advice, but ensure that you are giving yourself the room and the time to get clear about what you think and need. 

You can do this by getting still and quiet. 

Stop. 

Find a quiet place where you can just be still. Give yourself time to quiet your mind. It's essential to get out of your head and move into your body. 

Breathe. 

Take a breath in and allow it to move through your body. As you continue to breathe pay attention to what is going on in your body. What feelings are coming up? What sensations are you having? 

Ask. 

Once you have relaxed and your mind has slowed down, ask yourself the question that you are contemplating. 

Listen. 

Now listen for the answers. They will come. 

2) Pay Attention to Your Instincts

Instincts are your inner voice speaking to you. They sound like "humm."  They feel like the hair that stands up on the back of your neck, or the gut feeling you get when you just know. They are the red flags you see, but too often ignore. 

You don't need to intellectually understand. You need to get out of your head, start listening to your instincts, and start to trust them. Stop silencing them. They are how you speak to yourself and often you can't explain why. You don't need to explain why.

Begin to pay attention to your instincts and take time to contemplate what the message may be. Ask yourself, "what is whispering to you right now?" "What is the message I am meant to receive?"

3) Be Authentic & Speak Your Truth 

Now that you can hear your inner voice again, it is time to start to take those masks off and to show up authentically as you. Let everything that you are whole heartedly shine brightly: all of your strengths, quirks, uniqueness, beliefs, and fears. It is now time to show up as you and speak your truth- even if your voice shakes. It is a lot less exhausting then pretending to be someone you aren't while silencing your inner voice. 

This will push you out of your comfort zone, but in the end you will feel amazing because you are being true to yourself. I invite you to begin to implement this process into your life and watch as your inner voice begins to show you exactly what you need. 

Beaming you light, love & happiness!

Cheryl Paige is an empowerment coach, teacher, and healer. At heart she's a gatherer of information from reading, inquiring and always learning and loves to share all of the knowledge that she has learned along this journey of life! In order to do so, she develops step-by-step processes for woman to follow so they can unleash their magnificence.

Cheryl offers a one-one-on Renovate Your Life Program and an online course Create The Life You Dream Of. Both programs are designed to help you become empowered, feel less overwhelmed, have more confidence and feel in control of your life again. 

How to slow it all down

By Katie Tymms

Slowing down sounds so simple doesn't it? But it doesn't always sound possible with us all leading such busy lives – business, blogging, family, kids, jobs, study, friends, Facebook! - it can be really challenging to even find moments to ourselves amongst it all! 

But sometimes, despite our busy and full lives - slowing down is necessary. Sustaining a busy lifestyle and managing so many things at once can really affect our health and well-being. From feelings of overwhelm, to feeling stressed, anxious, trouble sleeping, headaches, constant fatigue. And even "burn out" or adrenal fatigue. We just can't keep up the busy pace forever. And if we’re a creative person – feeling stressed doesn’t help us at all with our writing ‘flow’.  

We all need some ‘switch off’ and "me" time.

I've felt a little this way recently - feeling that I'm doing too much and placing too much pressure on myself to keep myself accountable and to achieve so many things. And I've realised that over the last 3 months, I really haven't had a lot of ‘switch off’ time. The last time was probably over Christmas in the holiday break. And I remember that feeling of relaxation, freedom and peace. I think it's time for a little more of that now.  

Self care and taking time to slow down is sometimes truly needed. And there are a few things we can do to encourage our bodies and minds to switch off and rest. To allow time to nurture and nourish ourselves and allow our bodies and minds to unwind.  

There are a few things I love to do to slow down, switch off and nurture myself - and a weekend is often the best time to do so. To create a weekend with no plans (or no ‘extra' plans than needed), to find time for "you", for rest and relaxation. 

Sleep – too often we underestimate the health benefits and importance of sleep.  A huge part of self care is getting 7 to 8 hours sleep a night and this is something I'm truly mindful of doing. There are a few things we can do to relax our bodies for sleep - switching of the computer and other devices (mobile phones, iPads) by 8:30pm, turning off the television an hour before bed time, dimming the lights in the house, having a warm bath, writing thoughts down before bed or journaling, reading a favourite book to unwind, and being mindful of going to bed by 10pm. And allowing yourself to sleep in if you can on a weekend, or have a lazy afternoon, allowing yourself to rest and catch up on extra sleep if you need to. When we feel tired and exhausted, sleep is rejuvenating and so necessary.  

Meditation - I was never someone who felt I could meditate. I was always someone who would sit there, get bored and because it wasn't working - I'd get up and get on with the rest of my day. Since doing a meditation course and finding the perfect meditation techniques which are right for me, I loved it and I feel the benefits, in many ways. It helps reduce stress, anxiety, tension, pain, and really does help to ‘switch off’ and aid relaxation. A daily practice of meditation has been well known to improve well-being and I feel such benefits from doing so. 

Booking in for a massage, Reiki or a spa treatment - it sounds indulgent, but it's something to embrace with self care and slowing down. Just allowing yourself time for "you" and to enjoy a therapeutic treatment that helps you to unwind, feel calm, grounded and more balanced.  

Eating healthy foods - this is a huge part of self care - nurturing ourselves with warming, grounding, healthy and nutritious foods. Cooking a big pot of soup, roasted vegetables, casseroles and stews.  Adding more vegetables and plant based foods and being mindful of clean eating - organic foods and/or foods free from preservatives and additives. These foods will nurture and nourish our bodies and give us all the nutrients we need to re-energise for our health and wellness. 

Reading for pleasure - it seems such a simple thing, but often forgotten when we're so busy and focused in our lives. We might read many things, but when's the last time you picked up a book or a magazine, just for pleasure and to ‘switch off?  To find myself immersed in a great book, with no other focus but for pleasure - this can be such simple relaxation, rest and enjoyment time.

Surrounding ourselves in nature - there’s nothing like nature to lift our spirits, but also to create grounding, balance and peace. Whether it’s the beach, a forest or the park – sand or grass between our toes – and wind on our face – it’s rejuvenating, refreshing and re-energising. 

Self care sometimes means simply slowing down...

Nurturing and nourishing ourselves with time to ‘switch off’, and devote time for "you".  It's never a selfish thing to do - it's always beneficial. For us and those around us - as the more peaceful and calm we feel within ourselves, the more we have to give to others and the more quality time we have to share.

If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, more tired than usual - it might be time to mindfully create some self -care and 'slowing down' time. Time for “you”. These things I’ve mentioned might help, along with your own self care and relaxation practices.

Katie is a coach and heart-felt mentor to those who are ready and want to make empowering and exciting changes to their life. As a Wellness & Life Coach, Nutritionist and Naturopath, she loves connecting with her clients at whatever stage they are at, and truly adore what she does. With a wealth of life experience and an enormous sense of pride at how far she’s personally come in her own life, sometimes those “light bulb” moments come from asking the tough questions, ‘digging deep’, and looking at ideas and situations from another perspective. You can find her at katietymms.com