Mindfulness meditation: My top 5 techniques for 2017!

Don’t you just love mindfulness meditation.

Its one of the few things I actually do enjoy doing, not only because it had great mental (and physical) health benefits, but it actually feels…you know, damn good!

It’s also good because once you get used to it, by doing it daily, it quickly dawns on you that you are not your mind. The mind is a tool, not something that is fully you. You are the awareness behind this tool. Pretty cool, huh?

It is peace on demand.

Literally.

All you have to do is to find a quiet place…take a seat…and off you go.

And best of all, it is completely free.

There is no subscription or monthly fees to pay. There is no waiting around, 7-10 days, hoping that the weather is not going to affect your service.

It is the one thing that, come rain or shine, that is available to you, 24/7.

There could be a big power cut, no matter.

You could be broken and be on the street…you could do it still then.

You could even be in the middle of an argument, and still find a quick way at trying to be mindful, which can even help diffuse the situation.

Being mindful is the tool that helps things work in your favour. It has helped me in my life, and if you are reading this post, chances are that it has helped you.

The weird thing about mindfulness, is that it quickly teaches you to use your conscious as it was intended, as that of a tool to help create the experience of your life, not as something that you identify yourself with.

Essentially, you use it as a gateway (which is what most spiritualists would readily admit).

So, without further ado, let me bring to you the best ways one can be mindful, heading into 2017.

Listening to your heartbeat

This is a great one to start out with, if you have difficulty in focusing on yourself.

Just take a few deep breaths, lie down, and focus on your heart beat. You will find that after a short while, there will be about 3 surges of pulses, going around the various areas of your body.

By noticing your blood pulses, you will become more present and will feel a peace in your body.

Of course, if you want to take this even further, I do recommend that you use this an an intro towards mindfulness.

Once you feel enough peace, and before your mind starts to wander, quickly go onto…

Listening to the ambient noise

I have found that, listening to the outside noise is a great way to becoming mindful.

Trouble is, listening to the ambient noise can be hard to do straight away, hence I recommend that you listen to your heart-beat first.

Use it as a platform to begin with, then try listening to the ambient noise once you get slightly mindful. This does take practice.

Of course, all this is a distraction to your conscious, which is precisely what we are trying to achieve so you can become mindful. If, however, you are unable to listen to the ambient noise that easily, you can always try…

Listening to your breathing

Ah, the good ol’ classic gem of mindfulness. Listening to your breathing has always been a bit of a classic, and it is easy to see why.

When you focus your attention to your breathing, you will become slowly present, with an additional bonus in knowing how easy it is to get stressed out (Put it this way, I’ve noticed that when I listen to my breathing, and a few negative images pop up in my mind, my breathing patter increases speed and becomes more quicker, so it is useful as a stress monitoring tool).

Listening to your breath is a good approach towards becoming mindful, and helps reduce your mind chatter.

However, sometimes, whatever you do, your mind just doesn’t want to calm down, so you can try…

Using your peripheral vision

Being serious, this does work. In a really weird way, it can be great for those folk who simply cannot turn off their imagination no matter what they do.

The trick is to gaze at the outside edges of your eyesight, that is, to use your peripheral vision.

Initially, this will feel weird (we are so trained to look at the centre of our vision). But with enough practice, you will be able to do this fairly effortlessly, enough to be able to mindfully meditate.

Using your peripheral vision is a great way to reducing your inner thoughts (you could say that you are being too distracted to think about anything else;-)

However, if you do find that this is very difficult, you can try one last trick up the sleeve, which is,

Verbalising it to taming it.

Ok, I have to give Dr. Dan Siegel credit for this one, as this is an absolute brilliant technique in helping one to become mindful.

It’s so simple, yet ridiculously effective.

All you have to do, is to verbalise to yourself (or out loud), what you are thinking about.

That’s it.

By doing this you will be, in a sense, logicalising your feeling; sort of like bringing the two hemispheres of your brain in balance.

The net result: Becoming mindful. And it can be as quick as within 60 seconds.

I tend to say the stuff that is in my mind to myself if I do find it difficult to meditate, and it works wonders.

Not only that, but if you can get yourself into a habit of doing this on a regular basis, you may find that you will develop a small habit of becoming slightly mindful throughout parts of your day as well.

It may even become fun;-)

So there you go, my top 5 ways to becoming mindful. Please feel free to give any of them a go, and let me know in the comments section what your personal favourites are.

Till next time,

Julian

 

The one exercise that could change your life, and 5 steps to achieve it.

I’m going to show you something that few people know…

This one exercise helped me start my spiritual journey.

The problem is, when we talk about, ‘life changing’ stuff, people automatically shut down.

It’s not our fault. We’re trained to do it.

However, I’m going to ask you to suspend your disbelief for just a few moments, and read this article in its entirety.

Because you never know, this article could be that, ‘gem in the rough’.

This could actually be life-changing!

You see, just like you, I was very sceptical.

No… actually I was a lot worse…

I was very cynical.

Being bought up in a cynical household, I had every reason to be.

That, and the very fact that I was also brought up as Roman Catholic.

So a church-goer, who is cynical, who had almost zilch passion for life.

Great combination

On top of that, I even thought that life was a waste of time.

After all, if we are all just skin and bones, being born just to pay tax and die into nothingness, then what was the point of it all? (as you can tell, I had a lot of friends;-).

Surely there is more to life that this?

And yet, as I went to church, there was a nagging feeling that there was something I was missing, the knowing of it would change everything.

Don’t you just love statements like that as well…

I will never forget the old story of the teenagers that are driving an old banger.

As they turn down a particularly nice, tidy street, they look around.

They see all of these nice clean posh houses, with lovely sports cars in their garages…

One guy looks at the other guy and says (the now infamous line), ‘There is something that we don’t know, the knowing of which will change everything‘.

I was like that 10 years ago.

Since then, I have asked a lot of deep questions, received very surprising answers and now meditate on a regular basis due to mental clarity as well as understanding some of the health benefits.

And it all began with a simple exercise,

that took less than 5 minutes

Actually, that’s a lie…

It all, truth be told, began with listening to a voice that told me to buy a certain book (which is still available online), which THEN led me to another book which talked about this exercise.

Before I forget, let me quickly tell you a few things…

This isn’t like any other exercises that you know (only a few of you will know this one).

This isn’t about opening your chakras, you even meditating deeply (that may come later…)

Or about EFT… although that’s very useful.

And it certainly isn’t about mindfulness either (although that could be a by-product of this).

Or about a visualization type of meditation exercise…not that there is anything wrong with those (of course;-).

This is something that for a few of you, will radically change how you perceive the world!

It did for me…

…and this is coming from a former cynic!

This is how good it can be

But before I carry on, just a few words of caution…

This exercise requires just two things: open mindedness and a mirror.

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Here’s why…

Opened mindedness is always crucial when trying a new exercise.

We’re so bombarded with crap info left, right and centre when it comes to online stuff, we have no idea who or what to trust.

That’s understandable and fair…

After all, whose fault is it that we are so sceptical? (and trust me, the answer isn’t yours;-)

So we are taught early on to not only develop our inner BS indicator, but also to fine tune it and listen to it as often as we can.

If we don’t we get burned.

Simple.

Yet, every now and again, a little bit of open mindedness can go along way. This is one of those times (again, don’t believe me, but try it and see for yourself;-)

and number 2, the mirror…

Well, lets just say that you’ll find out in a few moments;-)

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Enough waffling, here’s the exercise:

1 – Find a mirror that its around head height, or one which you can hold up to your face.

We are aiming to gaze into our own eyes, as the eyes are the windows to your soul. Of course, you have probably heard that loads of times, so this time, we are going to actually experience it, for experience creates wisdom (as you are about to discover, hopefully).

2 – Look at your eyes, and gaze at the black bits in the centre, that is called the pupil.

3 – Don’t strain hard, but gaze gently for a few minutes.

4 – What you should find is a deep peace which doesn’t emanate from your Heart area (this isn’t the Heart Chakra opening up, for once) but even more deeply from your centre of being.

5 – Keep gazing softly at your pupils until you have enough peace for the day;-)

That’s it.

Easy, wasn’t it

You may find that by doing this exercise, you might feel slightly light headed and feel you are going to faint and pass out.

Don’t worry abut this, as you’ll find that you should be able to stand up to the light headedness, enough to grow strong enough to handle the peace.

I remember when I first did this.

I was sceptical that it wasn’t going to work, and was so close to not even attempt this exercise (I still remember that moment to this very day.

Thank god I didn’t talk myself out of it! I remember walking to my bathroom, and looking into my eyes and felt like I was going to pass out.

But I didn’t, and survived long enough to tell the tale;-)

The whole experience lasted just a few minutes.

That was all I needed, and I began realising that I have been told a bunch of lies.

From that moment on, my BS indicator began getting better, as I could tell what information resonated with my being, and which stuff was just manipulation.

I also invite you to do the same, and begin seeing this as another simple meditation exercise (which it is!).

Of course, if you can combine this with meditating deeply, then that is even better.

Whilst I haven’t got the expertise to teach you, I know of someone who can.

His name is Gerald O’Donnell, and he has produced 2 courses which allow you to meditate deeply than ever before.

And when I mean deep, we’re talking about brainwaves that are into the Theta and even Delta range.

Now that’s deep!

Not only that, but these ARVARI courses can also help you increase you intuition, which can help you not only in your personal life but also reduce (and in some cases, avoid) dangerous situations before you find yourself involved in them.

To find out more about the ARVARI courses and to read my review, please click here.

Till next time

Julian

P.S. Looking into your eyes is a great way to connecting to your higher consciousness, or soul.

To do this requires that you use a mirror, and gaze gently at your pupils. By doing this, you will find a deep peace emanating deep within your centre of being.

Combining this with meditating deeply can bring some profound results. To find out more information about meditating deeply, please click here.

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Have a lot of nervous energy? Here’s 6 steps to get your peace back!

I’ll never forget the time I had read about ADD…

This is going back several years, and I already began the process of deconstructing the original stories that I was told when I was a kid.

Put simply, I was told a few things when I was very young, only half were remotely true.

So you can imagine my surprise that, when I began delving deeper into my mental issues, I came across ADD and began recognising a lot of the symptoms.

Just over 9 yeas ago, I moved out and into a whole new world of living on my own and the internet. Interestingly, my journey of self-discovery also began there.

The Journey had begun!

When I wasn’t gaming or watching porn (I am a former porn addict…I know, but I’m being honest here), I would read countless articles online.

I would also read many stories on people similar to myself, who had been almost duped by some of their peers.

Put it this way, I as told when I was younger that I had Aspergers syndrome, a particular type of autism. It turned out after studying my condition, that it was more similar to the symptoms of ADD (albeit a mild form) with symptom of mercury poisoning splashed in for good measure (thanks, Thimerosal!).

This is where it gets interesting…

All of this meant that my head was always in the clouds and that I couldn’t concentrate very easily.

Not necessarily a big deal in college (although you won’t be passing that many exams), but when you go to work and you get stressed, its a whole different ball game.

You see, when you are day-dreaming, you are essentially in the alpha state, which is the state to be in for hypnosis.

To sum this up, you essentially hypnotise yourself during stressful conditions, meaning that you take on a lot of bad beliefs without even realising it.

And don’t forget, your beliefs dictate you behaviours, so you are essentially in a funny, sick system, where you can buy all the self-improvement stuff that you want, (and even understand it all) but unable to implement barely 10% of it!

And that’s not fair

To my cost, I only truly realised this nearly 10 years later, and can now recognise the point when my mind feels slushy, and I know I’m heading for a hypnotic state.

I can pretty much snap out of this alpha state, although it sometimes takes a bit of effort.

And it isn’t always when I am sitting at a desk that I can slip into the alpha state, but can be when I am sometimes out and about, talking to people (this seems to happen quite a lot when I am talking to psychologically strong minded people…it’s as if their strong minds somehow renders my weak one useless…).

The thing is, ADD affects around 4% off the population for the US alone, and looks set to increase.

It can be really difficult to do tasks, especially if you are very sensitive as there is a lot of mental chaos in you brain. Even doing something that you partially enjoy can seem like a chore.

Boredom isn’t too far away!

And I can vouch for this.

For years, I have been in an office, where intense boredom mixed with intense stress taunted my mind for over 10 years.

When I finally moved department, it was like a big thick fog had lifted. I still had some thick mist mind you (thanks to insomnia) but it wasn’t nearly so bad.

So, what was the hack that I discovered, that not only helps you emotionally calm down and re-focus but is also a great way of calming the inner chatter in your mind, so that you can mindfully meditate a lot more easily.

Quite simply, all I do is tap.

That’s it.

This isn’t EFT in case you are wondering (well the last part is, but not the main steps).

I suspected that all of my fantasying came from one thing… an over-stimulated right-hemisphered brain.

I kinda realised that if I was getting a lot of nervous energy (I have always figited, and couldn’t sit still), I realised that I had a lot of energy inside me that I couldn’t use.

I also understood that I had to simply, ‘logicalise’ this energy, to calm my inner mind down and bring the balance of energy in my brain back.

This helped me get back my mind back to focus and peace.

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Or to put it another way, I was able to reduce the amount of imagery in my mind, by consciously moving my body, instead of subconsciously moving my body (and don’t forget, nervous energy is also an indication of an over-stimulated sympathetic nervous system).

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So what you do is this:

1– Notice the next time you are fantasying or are using a lot of nervous energy.

2– You may also notice the hidden anxiety (there will be some) and realise that your breathing is probably shallow.

3– When you notice that you are using nervous energy, you are unable to sit still, figiting around, daydreaming etc, start consciously tapping.

4– This can be done anywhere, on your body, at your desk…anywhere where you can tap without making a loud noise (best not to disturb people;-).

5– You will find that within 2 minutes, you will become more calm, more mindful, your breathing will be coming from you belly (not always, but sometimes) and you may even find that some Oxytocin will be released (feeling warm around your heart).

6– As a bonus second tip, you can use the EFT quick version, which is to try tapping your wrist with 2 fingers, as this can help the meridians disperse the nervous energy.

Tapping when you get nervous is an excellent simple and free way to reduce the brain chaos and to help steer the ship around, so to speak.

By doing this when you get nervous, you will reduce your anxiety so you can feel more at peace and be more productive with your goals, so you can lead a more happier and abundant lifestyle.

You can also combine this with your meditation practice.

Find a place to sit or lie down, and tap your fingers consciously to help reduce your inner mind imagery if you have difficulty in calming your mind down.

You will find that by doing this for a short while will allow you to achieve mindfulness that little bit more quicker, and you will be able to achieve peace more easier and effortlessly than ever before.

If you do want to find an equally easier way to meditate deeper, you can try the ARVARI courses by Gerald O’Donnell. They are a CD course which, when listened to, allow you to enter very deep states of meditation from Alpha to Delta.

If you wish to find out more details and to read my review, click here.

Till next time

Julian.

P.S. Day-dreaming most of the time can mean that you may have a symptom of ADD, especially if you have a lot of nervous energy, or that you cannot sit still. This can be disruptive in school or work, and can cause issues with your mental health and your family.

Tapping consciously can be a great way to bring mental clarity back and can help you remain calm in nervous situations. By tapping your fingers, you can help calm yourself down emotionally, bringing peace, being able to re-focus as well as making mindfulness more easier for you.

Practising meditation is another great way to help keep you focused. If you want to find out how to achieve very deep states of meditation and to find out more details on the ARVARI course, please click here.

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Ho’oponopono, What it is and why you should use it!

Just imagine going to work and being angry about someone that you care for.

Imagine how you try to be nice to this person, yet you get it thrown into your face almost all the time.

You try to connect to this person, even emotionally, but you get little or almost no result.

When the person is happy, you want to share in their happiness. When the person is sad, you want to help them, give them a hug…do something, but feel you are repelled from doing so.

This would drive anyone crazy

Now imagine that you stumble upon a simple yet powerful technique that could help you not only help the other persons personal demons, but also help you connect with them at a deeper level.

Just imagine how relaxed you would be to see someone piss around, yet instead of being distraught with their behaviour, you were more in content, comforted in the knowledge that you could help them without even saying a word to their mouth.

In fact, you wouldn’t need to say anything at all.

You would need to use a tool that is so simple to implement, yet very powerful.

A tool that has helped people brake from bad habits at a deep subconscious level.

A tool so powerful, in fact, that it has helped a certain ward at the Hawaii State Hospital for the criminals who were mentally ill to almost heal itself within 4 years.

You cannot ignore this

Welcome to the Ho’oponopono technique, that consists in just a sentence that could, potentially, change your life.

And not only can it change your life, but it can also change the lives of other people.

And not only that, but all of this could take about 5-10 minutes, per person (approx.)

I know what you are thinking…pretty big claim!

Are you ready?

The words are as follows:

I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.

This is Ho’oponopono in a nutshell, and even though it is simple in its design, it is powerful in its execution.

I first came across the Ho’oponopono technique a few years back via a guy called Dr. Joe Vitale.

I was watching some of his stuff and heard him mention a guy called Dr. Hew Len, who had helped heal a Hospital ward.

He’s secret: Using the Ho’oponopono technique.

But what exactly is Ho’oponopono?

Ho’oponopono came from Hawaii and is a prayer to help clean yourself up mentally.

I think about it as a way about helping the hologram subconsciously to help a person or a group of people.

While it may seem strange that the specific words may actually be of help, there is a logic to this.

meditation-review

The key, is to essentially ponder on the problem, and notice any initial feelings that come up inside (shouldn’t be hard to do, if you care passionately about the issue at hand). This is critical, because we want to work with the feeling, or aspect of consciousness for this to work.

Once you have been given a feeling, you can get to work.

I’m sorry

Just for clarity, you are not saying sorry to the multiverse. The multiverse is unconditional love, there is nothing to be sorry about (in most cases).

You’re saying sorry to yourself, because though your own ignorance, lack of awareness, or something or other, this person has been brought to your awareness and you are seeing them in a negative light due to their poor behaviour.

You are saying sorry because at some deep level of consciousness, you somehow put them there, therefore it is your responsibility.

I like to see it that, because you had no idea that the images in your mind and the resulting emotion that you are feeling are affecting them at a deep level, you wish to make amends.

Please forgive me

Be honest, if you knew for sure that the images and the emotions that you saw and felt when you think of the person was putting them though crap, you would be ever so slightly apologetic, wouldn’t you?

Not only would you realise that the imagery was having an affect on the people that you care for, but you would also be very diligent on what imagery and emotions you felt. Not that this would be easy (as I can testify;-)

So of course, it is only logical that if the person has gone through hell partly (and I’m saying that carefully) due to you, then you need to ask for forgiveness again for your own ignorance of the effect your subconscious was having on them. And lets not forget that your subconscious controls 99.9% of your behaviour.

Just saying.

Thank you

Simple one this, you’re saying thank you to the multiverse/unconditional love as you are using your superconscious to help, essentially, re-write the hologram in such a way that benefits the other person. Gratitude has always been a powerful state of consciousness/being.

Also bear in mind, that gratitude allows you to let go; very crucial in the manifestation process and can also act like you are thanking an event or circumstance that as been taken in advance!

I love you

The multiverse is unconditional love. What you give to the multiverse (emotion/feeling wise) you get back ten-fold.

So lets try get into the habit of wishing love to everybody that we meet that we care passionately for, or people that have hurt us.

And of course, don’t forget the obvious; consciousness creates form, not the opposite way round.

And everything is an aspect of consciousness.

We are in a feeling based multiverse.

The trick (in my opinion) is not to rush this, but to feel the individual feelings as if you are working on yourself. Bear another thing in mind, that if you accept the holographic principal (which is almost scientifically proven), this means that whatever work you do on yourself, you do for another person.

Ho’oponopono is a great simple exercise to help you help other people, without even saying a word. You can also use this to help break bad addictions, and help ease of anxiety.

You can combine this with your meditation practice to help make yourself a more peaceful and happier person.

Meditation itself has numerous benefits, and can help make you a more clearer, forgiving person. If you find that meditating is difficult, or would like help with your meditation practice, I have reviewed 2 courses by Gerald O’Donnell, who is an expert on Remote Viewing and Remote Influencing.

These courses allow you to reach very deep states of meditation and allows you to integrate it into your daily life, all in the comfort of your own home.

To find out more information on the ARVARI system, please click here.

Till next time.

Julian.

P.S. Using Ho’oponopono on a regular basis can not only help ease of negative feelings for another person, it can also help you help them at a deep subconscious level.

By trying to heal yourself, you are also trying to heal them. Combine this with your current meditation practice, to enhance you peaceful and happier emotional well-being.

If you do find meditating difficult, you can try using the ARVARI system. To find out more information, please read my review by clicking here.

 

Why Self-esteem without Self-compassion is useless, and 5 steps to improve it!

Imagine that you are driving to work in your car, talking out loud to your self that you are going to have a great day.

You keep reciting positive thinking affirmations to yourself.

Your desperate to try to raise your energy, at your attempt at getting into the perfect state of mind to really take on the world.

You’ve learn’t hours of self-esteem literature, from articles to listening to podcasts.

You know the importance of self-esteem and its benefits, and know that you have a confidence problem that only low self-esteem can produce.

You know that by saying affirmations out loud and by remaining upbeat, you hope that somehow, you turn on a magic switch inside your head to make you more confident again…

As you walk into your office, you get yourself a coffee.

You try to get rid of that brain fog you have had since you have woken up.

The last few weeks have been super stressful.

Your sleep is feeling the brunt of it.

But this coffee tastes good, and you’re starting to feel more confident as you start with the work.

As the first hour goes by, you begin to feel good about yourself.

You have turned a corner.

That life doesn’t feel bleak after all…

Suddenly, your boss stands next to you, gives you an email, and asks you to explain why you sent this email to the wrong department, and crash…

The confidence has gone again.

You feel stupid and look sheepishly at the email…

You fumble in your mind a good excuse as how you can make a simple dumbass mistake.

But that brain fog hasn’t lifted yet and you still feel a bit hazy…

You mumble your sorrys, and your boss walks away.

You feel like crap!

Your confidence has gone and you wonder if this self-esteem is all a load of BS…

This is the current situation for many people who read their fair share of self-esteem stuff, and who know that increasing their self-esteem will help their lives significantly.

However, trying to increase your self-esteem for some people, can not only be a fruitless task, but can also be very unhealthy for you!

I know what you’re thinking…

‘Seriously?!?’

Yeah, I know.

This is a funny old pill to swallow.

And its a funny old pill to swallow because it smacks the complete opposite of what you have been taught since a kid.

You see the thing is…

This self-esteem stuff can be kinda overrated

Despite a huge self-esteem movement that was started in the late 1970’s.

The whole purpose of increasing self esteem was to help ones correct perspective of ones own abilities and talents.

You see, self-esteem is as we all know, is a bit of a big deal.

Without it, you’re screwed

But here’s the real pincher…with too much of it, your kinda screwed as well.

Yes.

Really!

You wanna know why?

Because self esteem once you have it, has a notorious tendency of being knocked off if you make even by a small mistake.

And this is especially true for those really sensitive souls

(myself included)

I’ll always remember the moment when I was playing Badminton a couple of years ago.

I wasn’t great, but I wasn’t too bad either.

I won most of my games.

I would loose a few games, but they were fairly close ones, so I didn’t mind loosing, and I always learn’t something new.

That was until I played a few games where I lost dramatically.

It completely shattered my confidence levels.

I began to work almost too hard, trying to make up for that fact that I thought I was a terrible player.

I ignored the fact that I was winning most games before this setback, but it was to no avail.

Week after week, I would try to really focus playing my game. Trying to really get the shots accurate.

But after a while, I got really super stressed out and even frustrated that things didn’t seem to go my way.

I even began to loose interest in Badminton, because winning breeds motivation, and that was practically gone.

What I hadn’t realised, was that my self-esteem had taken a battering, and I didn’t even now it!

And this is the thing about self-esteem.. .

Great when the going is good, but when the going gets bad, it goes ugly!

Talking about making it tough for yourself.

And don’t get me started on bullies who, studies say, have ample self-esteem.

Do you really want to be known as a bully.

Didn’t think so.

So self esteem is bad…Yes?

No!

Not quite.

It’s actually a bit tricky…(I know what you’re thinking, ‘here we go…’)

Increase your self esteem.

Sure, that will help your life like wonders!

The trick is to do it indirectly.

‘Ahhh’, you say, ‘the plot thickens‘…

It sure does!

meditation-review

Let me be absolutely clear before I carry on. Self-esteem is not a bad thing, without it, you’re in trouble.

The problem is that most people don’t know how to increase it to a healthy level, and it gets to dangerous proportions that can cause you to loose your head at the most inappropriate moments (think of some celebrities).

The thing about self-esteem is that, no one person has a self-esteem gauge, that guides them when it gets too low or too high.

So we have a mini dilemma…

How to increase the self-esteem naturally, but without danger of basically acting like a dick towards people when it is too high (and we all know people who are assholes due to thinking they are special).

Enter a new weapon for our EGO, and that is self-compassion (and thanks to Kristin Neff for this insight)

Compassion basically means to have sympathetic concern for the sufferings of other people, therefore self-compassion means to do this but to yourself…

i.e being kind to yourself!

Seems kinda strange to think that having compassion helps with your self-esteem, doesn’t it?

Well, not really.

Remember what I said about one of the dangers of increasing self-esteem, that you can get knocked down very easily due to making a dumbass mistake?

You feel like shit right?

Well, you may do for a tiny bit, but it won’t be for long.

When you initiate self-compassion, the bad feelings will subside.

‘So what?’

Well, it means that you’ll begin to recover easier and more effortlessly than ever before, allowing you to feel better again.

And feeling better means less stress.

Less stress means more relaxation, which means more focus and productivity, which means your mission in whatever you are doing gets accomplished (without you tearing your hair out at the slightest mistake).

You get the idea

Not only does it helps self-esteem increase to healthy levels (and no more…very important) it can also lead to optimistic thinking. Not to be confused for positive thinking.

Quick explanation needed here…

Positive thinking is what is currently being taught at the moment. I should know because I buy stuff myself that helps with positive thinking.

Nothing wrong with positive thinking, but all it does in most cases, is to help you feel good over a bad situation.

What’s wrong with that, you may ask?

Nothing really…

But feeling good isn’t going to really help you achieve your goal.

It just makes you come to peace with your past bad experience (if you’re lucky).

Which is ok in and of itself, but wouldn’t you want to be at peace as well as still be on your path to attain your goal?

Let me give you an example.

You go to a job interview. You try your best, but the interview doesn’t go very well. You don’t get the job.

Positive thinking says, ‘Well, I wouldn’t want to work with them anyway, they were so unprofessional, I’ll apply for a company that is more better!’

READ: you don’t learn much, but you make peace with your past… that’s it.

But lets now add a twist to this thought process

Lets try optimistic thinking.

‘Well, the interview was poor… where was I at fault, because for them to interview me must mean that they liked my CV, so my EGO got in the way. What do I need to do to make the next one better and get the job?’

Do you see the difference here?

Both very similar, and both bring peace to your bad experience. But which one is most likely going to get that job you need?

The 2nd one.

And that’s my point.

Using optimistic thinking allows you to make peace with you past, as well as a more realistic practical chance to still go for the goal that you are looking to attain.

Self-compassion helps do this

When you help heal the past, the imagery in your mind isn’t so rampant, which allows a more natural mindfulness to take place…

Which means that you can become more relaxed and focused.

Or to put simply, combining self-compassion and optimistic thinking allows you to lead a better life, because you will be more healthier, which means you can have more fun with yourself, your family and ultimately, your loved one.

Pretty good huh;-)

So, how do you increase your compassion?

Well, I’ve discovered 5 ways.

Here goes;-)

Mindfulness Meditation

This is abut paying attention to the, ‘here and now’, or the present moment.

Quite simply, being alert to your current state of being. There are many ways to being present, but the best I have found is to listen to the ambient noise outside. There are others… peripheral vision, focusing on your breath etc…

Loving kindness meditation

Another type of meditation, but this time, you do a series of steps which helps you come to terms with someone that has aggrieved you.

You will need to visualize this, but can be amazingly effective at helping you come to terms with the past which can make it easier for you to feel compassion.

meditation-review

Changing your inner story

Often, it is our inner story and beliefs that can caused us to loose our head, by a poor belief or a missasumption.

To change you inner story, one needs to change the images in your head.

You need to make this a daily ritual.

This won’t be easy, as your subconscious will humour you at first…

Keep practising

For example, keep saying to yourself that you are human and will make some mistakes, and you will learn from them.

Try to quickly imagine yourself learning from a common mistake you make, and feeling good about it.

Then try to imagine that somebody has made a mistake against you, but you quickly forgive them.

Oneness

Sometimes, we just need a good ol hug from someone, like a shoulder to cry on.

But getting a hug when you need one happens at the most inappropriate times.

So we have to do the next best thing.

See the oneness in everything to help open up our Heart Chakra instead (those vortices that you have with your body)

Still with me…

Good!

Put simply, you are consciousness (duh…) but what you may not know is how to feel it.

To do this, simply imagine yourself as part of everything else…your arms and legs extend to not just your arms and legs, but everything around you (of course, for all those out of body explorers out there, this will seem like obvious info).

This does sound wacky, but believe it or not this simple exercise can work wonders for your heart.

This allows you to even help heal a bad situation, and increase your compassion.

Golden Shield of Protection

If you are particularly sensitive, and feel the negative energy of other people easily, this can be a great tool to help yourself and increase your levels of compassion.

Just imagine a golden shield swirling around you.

You don’t have to make a strong visual out of it (just a few golden specks acting like a shield will suffice) but this may prove pivotal in helping you feel more at peace, which can lead to an increase in self-compassion.

By increase your ability to feel compassion for your self, you will indirectly increase your self-esteem to more healthy levels, whilst giving other people slack.

By doing this, you can feel more healthier, happier, and become more focused in your day-to-day running of things, enabling you to get things done, so you can have a more productive, healthier and happier lifestyle.

But I’ve got more…

How would you like to find an easy way to meditate, so you can feel more healthier?

What would you say if I told you that you can do this with a CD player and some good headphones.

Basically, there are 2 courses that will help you meditate deeper than every before.

This stuff is pretty powerful

So powerful, that you can go into very deep states of meditation, so you can increase your intuition as well as some other cool stuff.

By increasing your intuition, you can get a better chance of noticing your gut feelings, as well as better ways to get creative which can help with your life style.

I’ve even written a review for you, so you can get my honest opinion on the courses.

Simply click here to read the review.

Hopefully you won’t regret it;-)

Yours

Julian

P.S. Self-esteem, although is required to help you achieve success in most areas of your life, can only be increased indirectly. If you try to increase it directly, you may be guilty of over doing it.

This can lead to other problems.

The trick is to do it indirectly, via self-compassion.

By practising self-compassion, you achieve a more healthier level of self-esteem, but you also acknowledge your weaknesses, and instead of feeling bad about them, simply accept them as part of your learning curve.

This allows you to let them go and can help you become a more happier and fun person.

Mindfulness meditation is a great way to improve compassion. If you wish to learn to meditate very deeply, please read my review of the ARVARI course by clicking here.

 

Past Hurt and Forgiveness- Are You Doing One Of These 6 Things?

past-hurt11I was almost tempted not to write this article…

Forgiveness and the past is not my strongest suit. I’ve been told that, due to who I am, I will always bear grudges…

not exactly the most healthiest way to live!

On top of that, I can’t even mention some of the past stuff stuff that has held me back in life, for legal reasons..

so that doesn’t help either!

And just to put the icing on the cake, (don’t you just love that phrase), I constantly suffer from anger and rage due to images in my mind, and being (at times) unable to control them.

So believe me when I say, certainly over an important topic, that I was very tempted not to write anything on the past and forgiveness of it.

So why bother then. Why bother wasting internet space on something that has little practical value in ones life.

3 reasons!

Firstly , because this topic is relevant and current now, more than ever. I’m seeing a lot of hurt people out there, with a good degree of what is known in some circles as, ‘learned helplessness’.

‘Learned helplessness’ is a term given when it feels like you are stuck with someone or somewhere, career or otherwise, without any way out.

Its kinda a big deal, and promotes depression, anger, as well as lack of confidence.

I’m seeing a lot of, ‘learned helplessness’ wherever I go, and it kinda bothers me.

Why?

Because we are creative beings, able to mold, or (at the very least), influence our future.

So why don’t we do it?

As I said, we believe that we can’t.

And one of the reasons that we can’t is due to the past and its grip on us.

That’s number 1.

Number 2 is that, despite not fully healing my past (being honest here), I have learnt many ways to come to terms with it.

Yes, I still suffer from anger and rage. Yes, my blood sometimes boils over similar events, But as each day goes on, I’m getting better (sleep dependant, of course;-).

This allows me to focus more on my goals. This extra mental space that I have earned has allowed extra creative thoughts to flash into my mind for inspiration.

Or put simply, I have more, ‘hard drive space’ and as a result, perceived extra, ‘processing power’ to do the stuff that I want.

That is the power of letting go of the past!

It frees up mental space so you can focus on other stuff.

When you let go of the past, your beliefs that are rooted there are changed. You start doing new stuff, new momentum kicks in. You feel like a new you.

Pretty good!

But letting go of the past feels like you are justifying what has happened. You say to yourself, ‘If I forgive this person, I feel like I have authorised what they have done. It is justified’.

I can appreciate that.

Here’s what you don’t know. You are not justifying their actions, merely reclaiming your inner peace over them.

That’s different!

Number 3

For some people, not forgiving the past allows then to keep the resentment it has to offer, which allows them to be righteous in front of other people…

which makes them feels good (only temporarily).

I know, because I have had this feeling myself. I’ve been righteous, and felt great…

…for a short while. Then I felt crap afterwards.

This is going to sound kinda mad, but I know some people who carry bitterness in themselves, yet love being righteous to get that dopamine kick when they need it.

Of course, this is a temporary high, and it soon wears off.

Be careful of these people, because they will burden you in one way shape or form, and may even suck your energy. Some, ‘energy vampires’ may fit this category.

But what happens when you do start to forgive the past?

What you will find is a funny kind of acceptance that promotes peace and eventually cultivates mindfulness (By the way, that is why some people are unable to practice mindfulness, images of the past come up…).

Yet I don’t know about you, but whenever I get into the state of mindfulness, I feel empowered not dis-empowered. My peace increases (not cosmetic, like a mini-dopamine high that righteousness sometimes brings, but a deeper, more fulfilling feeling), as well as increased mental clarity, and my inner will-power returning.

Of course, if you do practice mindfulness on a regular basis, the chances are that you are slowly letting go of the past anyway.

In which case, keep going.

But what if you can’t become mindful. Then what?

Try the below to see if these work.

EFT

EFT is all about tapping certain parts of your body, and reciting a few simple affirmations. By doing this ritual, you will increase your energy and feel more better about the situation. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this. I’ve used this myself with a job interview, and going back to my former college (I wasn’t the biggest fan due to some stuff that happened). To read more about EFT, click here.

Stopping Comparisons

I was an expert at this over a decade ago, and thanks to social media, it is easy to see why!

But comparing your journey to somebody else’s journey, without even knowing all the facts, is like trying to see inside their brain without an operation. It’s just not going to work.

Stop comparing your life with somebody else’s! They have had their fair share of ups and downs, I can assure you. Someone very wise once said, that if we all bung our negatives into a pile, and study other peoples, were would gladly take ours back…

Don’t forget, social media is nothing short of a highlights reel. Nothing more!

Practising Gratitude

Depending on your situation, this can be a tricky one, and is not the easiest thing to pull off if you are really stuck in your emotional glue.

But basically you try to be as neutral about the person/event as you can, and see the positive over it. Not that this is easy. By seeing the positive, or the, ‘blessing in disguise’, you are able to slowly heal that aspect of yourself.

This may take numerous attempts, so don’t be surprised if the bad feelings come back after a while. Keep going. If you can do this on a regular basis, you may be ready for…

Loving Kindness Meditation

This is a form of compassion meditation, and is useful in helping you get over people.

The exercise is quite simple… you simply sit/lie down, close you eyes, take a few deep breaths, think about someone who has pissed you off (should be quite a few people by now;-) and say to yourself that you wish this person success and happiness and try your best to feel love/compassion for them.

This sounds quite mad I know, yet it is surprisingly effective, and there is even evidence to suggest that this type of meditation may actually reduce the signs of ageing (click here for details).

Seeing The Funny Side

Of course, if you really want to mess with your psyche (just kidding;-), you can even look back at the person and event with humour (if you can…again this is very dependant on what your situation is).

I was hesitant to put this in, as it is very difficult initially, to find the funny side without feeling that you are loosing the plot (and some peoples histories are more serious than others, so no offence intended if you have been a victim of abuse, for example). However, like the above, it can be very effective at dissolving fear, anger/rage and promoting peace.

I’ve sometimes allowed my anger to flood my body, be with the anger for a while (where there was nobody around) and then when the episode passed, laughed at myself while saying, ‘there you go, had to get it out of my system’. I wasn’t repressing the anger, just merely controlling the, ‘hose’.

Very important.

Writing In A Journal

I was also hesitant in writing this one, because I don’t do it, but I’ve read that it is effective in helping you come to grips with your past, so thought it would be worthy of a mention.

Essentially, it will be like writing a diary, and can be helpful in putting what is in your mind out into the open. I’ve read that this can be an effective way in promoting peace, and promoting self-healing. Give it a try.

Let me know how the above works for you, as I do like reading inspiring stories on peoples triumphs. If you would like more information on meditation, and how to increase the chances of intuition and self-healing, please click here.

 

What ‘Oneness’ is and 3 steps to achieve it

We hear this term splashed everywhere especially in the new age community. It is said that, ‘oneness’ helps with the law of attraction, but what exactly is it?

I came across this term years ago. Having been bought up as a Roman Catholic, I viewed God as someone who demanded respect, and to be also slightly feared. I was also apparently to treat this guy like he was my friend. Needless to say, the concept of, ‘oneness’ was not only a completely new outlook on life, but was also complete blasphemy. I mean, to think yourself as, ‘one’ with the big guy was disillusionment of the highest order!

So I was stunned when I came across my first spiritual book, after having a low point in my life, and realised that God (or whatever name you would like to call it) wasn’t what people were saying he was.

All it took was one small meditation session, and I realised that I couldn’t go back to my old ways again. ‘Oneness’, it seemed, was the ability to feel complete; to feel, ‘whole’, to feel unconditional love…that is, to feel love with no strings attached. It was a pretty neat idea, considering that some peoples definitions of love was more of a, ‘give and take’ variety.

To feel, ‘oneness’ or being, ‘complete’, means ultimate to transcend your EGO, that is, the thoughts you are having. It means that you go from a thinking state to a more, ‘being’ state; that is, you turn yourself into a Human, ‘Being’. There a 3 steps to achieve this:

1 – To start with, imagine your ego extends to the screen that you are watching. This may sound strange, but try to pretend that the screen in front of you is also, ‘you’. If you need to close your eyes to try to imagine seeing from that view point, go ahead. Try to act like the screen that you are watching is also a part of your personality, or if that is difficult to imagine, try to think that you could, ‘float’ there, as it you were in a first person shooter game, and you could float out of your body.

When done correctly, you should feel a chunk of feeling starting to move in your Heart area. Depending on what feeling you have, some people would call this unconditional love, or compassion. It may be very subtle at first, so don’t be too put off if you are unable to feel it straight away.

2 – In my opinion, the first step is always the most difficulty, because you are having to extend your mind, which most people cannot do. You’ll be glad to know that from now on this will get easer.

So now you have got your perception to the screen in front of you (maybe the corner of the screen, but that’s fine), we are going to extend it even further! Try to imagine that, ‘you’ are now not only including your screen, but also the wall behind it.

Again, if you want to loosely visualise being able to, ‘see’ on a speck of the wall to the left or your right, with your eyes open or closed, that’s absolutely fine. And try not to include just the wall in front of you, but also the contents in front of the wall, like the stationary, any papers you have lying around, that cup of coffee, etc. Really try and get into seeing yourself as also part of the wall and the enclosed surrounding area.

You should now feel that lump of energy around your heart area increasing in intensity, and you should also be slightly, ‘present’ or mindful (this is a great way to becoming, ‘present’). If you can, try to let the feelings spread across your body, so it not only encompasses your heart, but also you lungs, back, legs and hands. Try to feel your body getting more energised by this feeling.

3 – Not we have expanded our ego to not only include the screen that we are using to read this, as well as the wall behind, we are now going to take the final step, and move our ego or perception beyond into the wild.

Again, like before, slowly move your perception to a nearby tree, or if that is too difficult for you to imagine, act as if that tree is also another arm that you possess, that you can move it with your heart, as if it was your real arm. This may sound really silly, but it is brilliantly effective and can help you really get in tune with your surroundings. Try to act like every object you see can be moved by the power of your heart, as if it is an extension to your heart.

You should now feel that energy in your heart getting stronger and more intense. You could also describe this feeling as very healing and very, ‘complete’…feels good, doesn’t it;-)

What you have experienced, is what I believe many people and masters over the millennia have described. You were, at, ‘one’ with your multi-verse, and in doing so, have transcended you ego in the process. You didn’t, ‘need’ anything, as you used the power of only your perception (and maybe a tiny bit of visualization;-).

Try to get into a small habit of doing this every day, even if it is only for about 60 seconds, and you’ll find that not only will it become easier for you, you’ll start to see life in a different and more accurate way.

 

Intuition and My New Beginning

A few days ago, I begun to start using my intuition on a more deliberate basis. I’ve had feelings of love before (for many years) but after a recent insomniac episode, decided to make a conscious attempt at trying to use it.

The results have been quite surprising.

You see, we all know that Intuition has many benefits, and yet it is an art to try to master. I say this with a sigh as intuition has sadly been knocked out of many adults. And yet, we have all had a gut feeling of something, or have witnessed Déjà vu, so to say that there is no sixth sense, or that psychic ability is a load of New-Age BS, is quite simply inaccurate.

Applied intuition is using this feeling on a more deliberate basis, so you can have a more better life, make better decisions and ultimately, make life work for you rather than against you.

You essentially learn to not only embrace your super-conscious (or your soul) but also learn to not only live with it, but also use it.

And that’s fine, there is nothing wrong in using your soul (in fact, you soul would have it no other way, due to the, ‘oneness principal’). So how do you become intuitive deliberately, so that you can use it to make life better?

I can only describe what has worked for me. As I’m just consciously starting out, I’m still relatively new, but am convinced that I’m on the right track. If you wish to join me, that’s great. If you wish to just keep track, I’ll try to keep updating these posts so that you know of my progress.

Now, I’m going to be honest up here, and say straight away that I’m a highly sensitive person, who meditates frequently.

This means that feelings by default are always multiplied, so having a feeling isn’t something I’m going to miss that easily. Secondly, I have bought and meditated using The ARVARI CD’s, as well as the power-nap MP3 of Unexplainablestore.com.

I want to be honest with you, in the sense that I have achieved essentially the Theta brainwave state while feeling love (If you wish to find a way to open up your Heart chakra so you know how to feel unconditional love, click here).

This has allowed me to receive intuition more easily, all by simply asking myself a question (when my mind chatter is pretty much reduced, this post on mindfulness will help you do that) and waiting for a loving feeling to come to my heart.

If it is a dull loving feeling, I should probably not take the action that I asked myself. If it is a very strong loving feeling, I should really take the action I asked myself as soon as possible.

I say this, because I believe that for you to be intuitive, and then to use your intuition on a deliberate basis, you have to meditate to a degree when your brain is at the Theta brainwave state, and that you are used to feeling love at these deep moments of your meditation practice, and then learn to trust that feeling.

I know some of you who can easily say that you get intuitive insights in the Alpha range, and that deep meditation is simply not required. If that works for you, then fair enough. But for me, I believe Theta meditation with love works best (maybe it’s due to an over-active EGO, I’m not sure).

I’ve began to use deliberate intuition in the last few days, in different situations and have noticed the following outcomes:

Intuition in the workplace

I’m beginning to use intuition in the workplace (taken me a long time to reach this point). Its funny, but when I use my hidden feelings to sort out work and tasks to do, I find that the tasks that I feel good about are pretty simple to accomplish. It’s almost like my soul is trying deliberately to make life easy for me.

Not only that, but I can also sense when the task could be a tough task, taking over 10 minutes to complete, or when it may be a short simple task, taking just a few minutes. Tapping into my intuition has opened up a whole new world of possibilities, making life, even in the dull workplace, slightly more fun.

On top of that, it also helps keep the stress and the nerves at bay, and helps me re-connect (at times) to the present moment. This of course helps me focus and concentrate better. And all of the while, I feel at peace within myself, so when a inevitable stressful situation arises, it doesn’t take me out so much.

The only thing I would say, is that I still fantasize when something that bores me comes up, so of course the stress (if it does kick in) can be slightly overwhelming.

Intuition outside

I regularly go outside and do sprints up a hill.

It’s not only great fun, but extremely healthy as well. Sprinting is a form of H.I.I.T (High-Intensity Interval Training). HIIT is great for stress reduction, and as a result, can be a good tool to help reduce panic attacks and anxiety.

Not only that, but sprinting helps release Testosterone and Human Growth Hormone when you sleep. These are valuable hormones which help promote muscle and repair body cells and helps you feeling refreshed.

The thing with my sprinting, is that I have to use the road. It’s not a major one, but I can still get some traffic on it. I use my intuition to help warn me if there are any cars or vehicles come (especially when I do the initial training drills, which is a must for any sprinter). By relying on my intuition, I am able to do my drills, pretty safe in the knowledge that a car isn’t going to suddenly run me over.

Intuition in the home

I recently tried to apply my deliberate intuition while I was at home. It wasn’t much, but by asking a simple question and waiting for a strong feeling, I ended up doing a little bit of housework (and I’m not even housework fan).

The thing was, even though it took about 30 minutes, my house looked a little bit tidier, and when I rewarded myself by playing a game (I try to live by the motto, ‘work hard, play hard’ routine 😉 I found that I was winning more simply, and it was more fun. Again, it could be an indication of my soul in rewarding me in using my intuition on a more deliberate basis.

Since using my intuition, my EGO fear, which can sometimes make my OCD go into hyper-drive, has significantly been reduced, and I feel more love and peace on a daily basis. Not only that, but small events are working towards my favor, than against me.

And it must be said, using deliberate intuition can be very spontaneous, which allows life to be lived in the present moment and can be more fun. Try using intuition yourself, and learn to trust the feelings of love when they come to you. You should find that being present becomes more fun, as you seek to listen to the soul within, and life will begin to work in your favor.

 

The Top 7 Mistakes People Make About Meditation

Meditation is fast becoming popular, and more and more people are seeing the benefits of meditating. It is certainly a great tool to not only reduce an onset of a panic attack and long term anxiety, but also help you reconnect to your soul.

Here, we look at the top 7 mistakes people make when it comes to meditation. Be sure that you don’t fall for these;-)

Thinking it is boring

The idea that we have to sit or lay still to quieten the mind, for the most parts, may seem like a boring thing to do. And that’s the issue right there. You are not doing anything at all, but being. Meditation is about stilling the mind (as much as possible) and to achieve a being’ness state of pure awareness.

And the reason is not only due to the numerous health benefits to the mind (and as a result, your body due to the mind-body connection) but also due to the lovely rush of relaxing, energizing feeling you get when you do meditate.

Have to be in the lotus position

This is a classic fear. I sometimes come across people who will not meditate, because they don’t want to put their legs in that crossed position.

I don’t blame them as it’s not the easiest posture to maintain if you are not used to it. (I mean, great if you are into Yoga, but not so great if you are just starting out).

But here’s the thing…meditation can be done anywhere, in any (reasonable) position.

I frequently meditate laying in my bed, first thing in the morning, and even sitting in a cramped car. You don’t need to sit up straight, if that is too uncomfortable for you.Whatever position works best for you, that is the position that you need to be in.

Not aloud to think

Another classic error in thinking about meditation, is the ability not to think. I hate to break this too you, but forcing yourself not too think is not only stress inducing, but that is also not how our mind works. Whatever you focus on expands, so by trying hard not too think, you are essentially fueling your mind to do just that…think.

Or to put it another way; if I said to you to never, ever, ever think of an apple, the chances are you are going to think of an apple. And that’s fine by the way, this is how our mind works, good or bad.

The thing is to not care about it, which is why one of the best meditations out there is open ended meditation, which is the ability to simply observe your thoughts without judgment. This is a great way to becoming present.

Sounds too complicated

Another thing can be off putting is the idea of not knowing where to start. There are some many different types of meditations out there, and of course, people have an image of a certain Yoga position. All of this can seem very overwhelming and complicated.

The truth is anything but. Meditation can be as simple as just observing your breath while you are walking.

How easy is that?

Just this alone is a great way to becoming mindful, connect you to nature, and maintain peace. If you would prefer, you can lie down and watch your thoughts instead, like watching a TV program. Both would work great.

Have no interest in it

I was once speaking to my sister when she was driving me somewhere, and I was trying to explain the benefits of grounding yourself when you are around negative people. The subject of meditation, naturally, came up. To which she responded, ‘Why should I care?’.

It’s a good question.

Why should we care about meditation…I mean, why actually bother at all?

Well, let’s put it this way, there is a whole body of reasons that promotes meditation to be good for your mind and body, from increased cognitive function and improved memory, to improved cardiovascular health and a slowing down of aging.

Quite simply, we bother because meditation is not only good for you, but once you get good at it, it’s free. You can use paid guided meditations, but ultimately, just walking somewhere is a great opportunity to meditate. That is why you should care;-)

Relying on guided meditation

Guided meditations can be great, don’t get me wrong, and especially useful for someone who cannot control their imagination and their mind. But don’t rely exclusively for it, just like you can’t rely exclusively on your driving instructor after you passed the test of driving a car. You will need to experience meditating on your own, with no help what-soever.

And that is fine, by the way, as the one biggest drawback of guided meditation is that you are limited to the length of the practice.

When you do it solo, you can decide to stop when you want, and how you want. You have flexibility on your side.

On top of that, if you are not careful you may turn guided meditation into a sort of crutch which will obviously backfire, so it is useful to alternate being guided and solo meditation. Food for thought.

Don’t have time

Some people lead the most busiest of lifes, because we are trained to be like that, yet all you need is a minimum of 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night. Doing this on a regular basis will allow you to feel the effect of meditation, enough (hopefully) to lengthen the practice.

Of course, if you don’t even have 5 minutes to spare, one needs to really have a look at their life, and to re-prioritize their daily tasks. Your mind and body depends on this (and you won’t complain if you look younger;-)

 

Fighting for your life: My turn!

I was going to write an article about why bad things happen, from a spiritual perspective to someone.

I was going to write why it is important not to develop too much of a thick shield, where you start to avoid things at all cost to keep your self from getting hurt, and to instead learn the process of de-attachment.

I was going to write about what happens if you don’t have the correct perspective on a negative event, how it can conditionalize you further and how it can make you loose your friends and cause fear of abandonment issues.

I tried to research heavily into this.

I was reading articles from de-personalisation, to how to help yourself if you were a highly sensitive person (which I am).

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind reading articles. In fact, I rather enjoy them (in most cases) purely because I get some much great content.

I love reading on how to understand myself more, and therefore how to improve my life for the better.

And yet, I’ve been reading about improving myself for almost 10 years, yet nothing much has changed.

I still live in pretty much the same place as before, with still the same neighbors, and still the same fears. Yes, my panic attacks and high anxiety have gone (hence this blog) but apart from that, everything is pretty much the same…

Which frustrates the hell out of me…where am I going wrong?

I know the answer…it’s dead obvious!

Action!

So, if I know the answer, why am I still feeling, ‘stuck’ in my life?

I know the answer to that one as well…

Motivation!

I recently tried to study a motivational NLP course (NLP is about understanding the language of your mind).

It had a lot of great info, and some cool NLP tricks which I tried somewhat successfully.

Has it completely worked?

Well, sort of

I can get some of the annoying small things done, but nothing major…I’m still in a rut there.

Then what is it then?

As I was reading some great articles yesterday, I came across a fantastic article on the power of being underestimated

It talked about some of the troubles Steve Jobs went through, from being sacked from his own company, to having cancer.

Yet he never gave up!

On top of that, I watched the 2011 film, ‘Bridesmaids’. It turned out to be a film that completely changed my perception on life.

It featured one of the main characters, Annie, going through a lot of hell with friendships and her job, before hitting rock bottom.

With the help of her spunky friend, Megan, she gets herself out of it.

But the scene that made all of the difference, was when Megan had a playful fight with Annie, who was wallowing in self-pity.

Megan was clearly annoyed that Annie was feeling sorry for herself, and wanted to snap her out of it.

Don’t get me wrong, I sympathized with Annie. Life can be tough, and feeling sorry for yourself is understandable. But there comes a time, when action needs to be taken.

Megan, on the other hand, was not about feeling sorry for herself…

She had been bullied when she was in high school, so understood how fighting for your life was valuable.

This scene hit me hard, and I knew where I had been going wrong with my life…

I hadn’t been fighting for it!

This is one of the few problems with spirituality. We teach you to keep your emotions in check, to be at peace with any piece of shit that comes in your direction.

We teach you to meditate, and we teach you not to judge on appearance. We also teach you how to be , ‘at one’ with the world…

Which is all very well and good (don’t get me wrong), but if you’re not careful, you end up being too passive for any action.

Sometimes, the very emotion that you can suffer a lot from can be very similar to the emotion of getting you out of a rut.

And that’s the problem there!

We teach you (accidentally, in most cases) to essentially numb your emotions.

You emotions is a powerful tool. I should know this all too well.

I used to suffer from rage (getting better now, as I know what’s going on). Yet, the dumbed down version of that is anger.

Anger, lashed out at someone (we all know), is a bad thing.

Fair enough!

But you can use that anger for great effect. You can use it to, ‘fuel your way to the top’.

Essentially, if you can control it, it is a great source of creative energy.

When you finally start fighting for every moment of your life, and you take control, obstacles will come and go.

Yes, keep finding peace in between the madness and don’t loose yourself completely. But if you can control your inner anger, not only will you tap into a source of great creative energy, you will also make changes with your life very quickly.

I’m supposed to write an article about mothers on mothering Sunday, but I thought as a tribute, I’ll write this:

If you can finally direct your life in the way you want it, and make your mum proud, wouldn’t that be the ultimate mothers day present?

I’ll leave you to answer that one;-)

 

Mindfulness While Doing Your Job: My Experiment-Part 2

Last week, I decided to do an experiment.

I wanted to find out if by practicing focusing on my breath, could I still maintain a mindfulness, ‘presence’ while doing my job. I figured that, out of all the techniques out there, half-focusing on my breath and half-thinking about the task at hand would be the best balance at being mindful while being at the workplace.

I wanted to give it just 7 days to see how it planned out.

Well, needless to say, I’ve learned a lot in those 7 days…I’ve learned more about how my mind worked, and I’ve also learned a lot about breathing while trying to focus on doing the task at hand.

I was able to stay somewhat present, although in the end I had to use a different technique altogether to achieve this.

The first thing I noticed was that I had to actually remember to be present to begin with. While this may not sound much, our EGO-based culture has ensured that mindfulness is more of a novelty than a minimum required way of living.

As such, I had to constantly remind my-self that I had to be, ‘present’ for this week due to this experiment.

This wasn’t easy.

As noted in my first article, I do tend to fantasize a lot, so actually remembering to be, ‘present’, when my imagination had far more fun and important things to think about was initially very difficult.

However, with reminders, I found myself actually enjoying the moment of remembering and being, ‘present’. Of course, that meant that I had to spend less time in my fantasy world, and more time here in physicality…which meant that I had to actually solve current problems that I was facing.

The weird thing was, while I was fantasying, my problems were automatically amplified. When I was, ‘present’, most of them seemed to just work themselves out. Food for thought;-)

Secondly, I had to actually implement a new technique to being mindful while doing tasks.

I couldn’t keep focusing on my breath and concentrating at the task at hand. I had to use more mental processing power than I originally thought.

True, focusing on your breath while thinking is doable, but the mental power is actually very small. Or to put it another way, if it is a very mundane task, like cleaning your house, focusing on your breath would probably keep you relatively, ‘present’.

However, for more complicated tasks, where more mental thought was needed for more complex problem solving, focusing on your breath just wasn’t going to work.

I needed a new technique to help me in being, ‘present’, yet being able to focus using more thoughts.

I came across a great blog, by Morty Lefkoe. He talks about how events do not have any  ingrained meaning, but only the meaning that you give it. Basically, everything you see in life, including your own life experiences, are just outcomes. If you want to attach meaning to them, that’s up to you.

When I began seeing everything in my life as just outcomes, my EGO seemed to just stop.

I was also able to properly focus at the task at hand, and as I was nearly, ‘present’ (in some cases, quite, ‘present’) I felt more inner peace.

In the end, I began seeing life as nothing more than outcomes to natural consciousness manifestations.

That is, whatever my consciousness, either conscious, sub-conscious, or super-conscious manifested, that would be the outcome I would experience.

If I wanted to label it, I could do. But that was my choice…it was ultimately nothing more but an outcome (similar to a mathematical equation, just giving out an answer…it’s up to you to give the answer a meaning).

I’m not trying to de-value life, merely trying to keep the EGO in it’s place.

As this is a blog about anxiety, you could say that the real question could be this: from a fear point of view, could this actually help you overcome any anxiety disorder?

I would answer that if remembered and practiced daily, I can’t see how this couldn’t dramatically help you reduce the effects, but I cannot say for sure.

Quite simply, there were some parts of my anxiety disorder still remaining (I do suffer from OCD, especially at night).

I found that your Amygdala is still very strong, going to bed. But I cannot see, providing you go to bed on time, why not?

Overall, I learn’t that I fantasized more than I realized, and that I have probably created neurons in my mind to make fantasying very easy. However, any scientist could tell you that with practice, new habits can be formed, which means new neurons would be wired in your brain.

With more practice, comes new behavior.

And with new behaviors comes a new way of life.

I will certainly see more of life as outcomes based, which should help dramatically reduce the fear that I sometimes experience at night, and therefore create new beliefs. I invite you to do the same;-)

 

How To Reduce The Effect Of A Negative Person In 3 Simple Ways!

Watch out for people who suck out your energy!

They may come in various disguises and in various forms. You may find them in high authoritative positions, or it could be even as close as members of your own family or friends.

Watch out for these people, because when it comes to recovering from a panic disorder, and ultimately going on to the spiritual path, these people will block you from success.

They may not even be consciously aware that they are doing it!

So engrossed in their own behaviors and programmes, that they will justify their actions saying that they are only, ‘looking out for you’, or that you may be, ‘weird’.

But if you really want to keep your stress levels low, and as a result, recover from your panic condition, these people need to be recognized and weeded out of you life.

Why?

Quite simply, they will stall your recovery!

So you suffer from panic attacks, or you have anxiety related depression, and you want to recover and lead a happier lifestyle…

Do you seriously think this is going to happen if you are under the roof of somebody who continuously drains you of negative energy, by listening to their negative thinking?

Of course not!

In some circles, these people would be called energy vampires. I don’t necessarily call them that, but I mention that term here for your reference.

So, how do you stop them?

You firstly need to recognize their main characteristics. They often display the following:

-Slightly-to-severe narcissism

-Cynical

-Aggressive

-Slightly-to-severe in-approachability

-No consideration for your feelings (obviously)

-You feel their negative energy, even if they are not outwardly aggressive

-Slightly-to-severe form of righteous

-A form of arrogance

The trick, ultimately, is to feel sorry for them.

Feeling sorry for them stops any anger buried deep inside of you from springing up and stopping you from being, ‘present’ and allows compassion to flow from your being.

They act like this due to social conditioning. Their life has been far from perfect, but instead of admitting that they have made a few mistakes (like we all do), they develop an arrogance and try to consciously (or subconsciously) bring you down.

Don’t forget, their life wasn’t great, so yours shouldn’t be either!

So how do you overcome these people?

I have personally found 3 main ways which work:

1 – Mindfulness in the moment

This is one of my favorite ones, as it really helps, ‘ground’ yourself and allows you to keep your inner peace.

Sometimes you feel that much negative energy, that the only way you can stop your personal energy being, ‘sucked out’ is to keep yourself being, ‘present’ which helps your subconscious thoughts not get too influenced by their thinking.

The easiest technique I have found for being mindful with these people around is to simply keep my attention on my breath. This alone, whilst it may sound simple, is a great way to keep yourself being focused in the present moment which will naturally help increase your inner personal power and will also keep your inner peace so you don’t feel drained.

2 – The Ball of love.

Sometimes you have no choice but to engage in a conversational activity with these people.

You have to actually think, which of course will loose your presence and could open yourself to be subconsciously influenced (actually think and say thoughts which are not necessarily your own).

The easiest way to deal with this situation is to imagine a big ball of love envelop and, ‘cocooning’ your body, so that any negative consciousness heading in your direction is, ‘repelled’. Again, sounds simple and works an absolute treat.

3 – Sending compassion their way

If you can, (and you are psychologically strong enough) open up your Heart Chakra and mentally, ‘throw’ love in their way. This alone will help diffuse any negative energy and will also help reduce your current stress levels, leaving your chances of recovering from a panic disorder a lot easier.

Sending love or compassion is always a great way of distant healing anyway, so you will (at a deep subconscious level) be helping them overcome their own negative imagery that they will be having.

By loving them as best you can, not only will you be stopping yourself at getting angry and stressed, but you will also be helping them get to their inner peace as well.

Recovering from a panic disorder is a tough nut to crack, but being with people who suck your positive energy out of you isn’t any better either, and you’ll have a hard time trying to recover.

Don’t be one of those people wanting to recover, but who surround themselves with negativity.

Be positive, be spiritually smart and be spiritually strong. You’ll be glad you did.

 

3 Ways To Reduce Panic Using Heart Energy

Ho’oponopono-15

Heart energy is vastly underrated!

Did you know, that you can use heart energy to not only reduce anxiety but also influence the super-consious to bring about your desired outcome?

Did you also know, that repetitive use of heart energy can also allow you to slowly help heal yourself and even overcome some psychological issues as well?

I’m not just talking about being negative, but using heart energy to overcome depression, general anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks and much more.

It’s all very well using EFT, PS-TEC, mindfulness meditation, and even NLP, but if you don’t add heart energy into the mix, you are essentially driving a Ferrari in 3rd gear with flat (ish) tires…

Yes, that is how good heart energy is! It it essentially the added lubricant which will not only help the rest of your other tactics to work, but work extremely well.

“But what is heart energy?”

It is essentially opening up your Heart Chakra (or balancing it out if you prefer), so that you feel a deep love and compassion flow from it.

This may not sound much, but considering that love always trumps over fear, you will be essentially calming yourself and your Amygdala down (the very thing that is causing the issue to begin with).

Using heart energy, you are able to be more relaxed (reducing stress and even OCD) which in turn will help you be more focused, so that you can think more clearly and have a more healthier and happier lifestyle.

So what has all this got to do with panic attacks, then?

Well, put it like this…

Heart energy will make recovery from panic attacks that little bit more quicker.

When you consciously start using heart energy on the deliberate basis, more love comes into your life (due to the fact that consciousness creates form, law of attraction, etc…).

This also means that you become more calmer and reduce your panic, which ultimately mean that you start to re-program your mind to think differently in stress-inducing situations.

So, what are the best ways of doing this then?

Well, there are 3 main ways which I use, which should yield the best result for you.

1 – ‘Touching your lover’ technique.

Ok, the first one we will look at is the one which I first started with.

The technique is actually pretty simple.

All you do is to close your eyes, take a few deep breaths so you go within, and then to visualize hugging somebody that you absolutely adore. Somebody who will really love and admire.

When you do this, notice the feelings of warmth and compassion feel your heart area and how it slow floods your very being.

This is your heart energy!

Feels good, doesn’t it;-)

Try to be in this loving state for about 5-10 mins, so you get used to the feeling of unconditional love. If you want to be really clever, try to tap with a finger of your choice (such as your wedding finger) a few times to create an association.

When you open your eyes to come out of this altered state, tapping with the finger before should be able to, ‘activate’ the feeling of love.

But if you want to, just simply pretend and fantasize you are hugging that same person as you go about your day.

2 – ‘The Naughty One’ technique

I’ve called it the, ‘naughty one’ for a reason, as it involved self pleasure and sexual imagery.

But it’s not to be dismissed either, as when you get into a habit of it (especially you people with a high sex drive), it can be a great way of activating your Heart Chakra and can even help you prolong an orgasm.

Again, pretty simple: Begin to massage your pleasure area, and as you become increasingly aroused, using just the power of your mind, let the sexual imagery rise up your spine.

As you keep doing this, two things will happen: you’ll prolong the sexual feelings without ejaculation (semen control for guys is an absolute must!) and you’ll also open up your Heart Chakra.

Two for the price of one!

If you can get really good at it (and if you’ve got a really good imagination), next time you see a pretty picture (over 18 years old, of course!), try to move the lustful feelings without even touching your-self, into your Heart area.

After a while, you should feel more calmer and more relaxed.

3 – ‘The people’ technique.

I’ve saved the best one ’till last, as not only does it help reduce a panic attack (especially if you suffer from a form of social anxiety), but it also helps promote the oneness with the multi-verse as well. Bear with me as I try to explain…

Basically, what you are going to do is to use other people and objects to open your Heart Chakra without actually fantasying.

Sounds mad, but stay with me here…

Next time you are in a social situation or standing in a queue, try to see the people as extensions of your EGO.

You might need to pretend first (that’s fine), but try to see your EGO extending beyond your body, and involving other people as well.

Try to include other objects for better results, and you’ll find that love will start to poor from your heart.

These three techniques I personally use, and have yielded great results.

Adding heart energy to your array of weaponry against ongoing panic is a surefire way to success in recovering from a panic disorder.

And you may never know, you may even have a great life as well;-)

 

Suffer from anger? Here are 10 ways to reclaim your inner peace!

Anger is an interesting emotion…

One can talk about how unhealthy it is to be angry all the time, or how it can help create illness in your body, or how it can even disrupt friendships and damage them to the point of no return.

But the thing is, if you don’t know how to control your anger or your rage, you will lead a very poor lifetime.

It’s as simple as that.

I used to get angry myself living at home. My parents used to come out with irrational reasons why something had to be done…

That in itself isn’t a bad thing, and can be easily overlooked and ignored.

But when the same parents display traits such as narcissism, and lack of consideration towards your feelings about a subject (until much later), and then to go as far as to be talked over and ignored, soon anger and rage become a very obvious side effect to this one-dimentional family relationship.

The thing is, by the time I realized that my parents were at one level, causing me to feel angry, it was too late. The damage had been done.

Having suffered from sleep deprivation over the years, the anger was also fueling my anxiety and even had a helping hand in my panic attacks. Anger is also responsible in making me loose the present moment, and stop enjoying life.

Again, that isn’t necessarily too much of an evil thing, one could argue. Some people could get really cold and say that you have to simply, ‘get over it’ and move on. Fair enough!

But anger and rage have another trick up their sleeve…a trick that few people are aware off…

They are emotions, which means that for you to, ‘feel’ them, certain chemicals in your body have to be released. The chemicals that are released to form anger and rage causes damage to your body, and can even shut down important aspects of your self.

It has been said that 1x 5 minutes of anger can reduce your immune system for up to 6 hours!

Suddenly, not fair enough…this has to be stopped, or you could cause some significant harm to yourself.

We all know the physical symptoms of anger, from Headaches to Fatigue, from increased blood pressure to even Heart palpitations. And yet, despite the harmful effects of anger, around 25% of men have uncontrolled anger!

Now don’t get me wrong, a tiny bit of anger isn’t necessarily a bad thing. One could correctly say that it can be a great energy to deal with, to help you make better plans for your self and you family. But the question ultimately becomes this…can you discipline yourself to feel anger only for a short period of time, so you don’t cause too much injury because of it?

Its a good question!

So lets look at the 10 best ways of controlling and reducing your anger, so you don’t let the burning feeling consume and mentally eat you alive.

1 – Watch you thoughts

Sounds kinda obvious, but just the act of watching your thoughts can be a great way to reduce and eliminate your anger. If you know that a certain word or image is going to set you off, don’t think of it. Try to distract yourself, and actually put the mental effort into changing the thought, so you think more inspiring ones then negative ones. If you can, try…

2 – Practicing mindfulness throughout the day

Just by randomly choosing times to be right here, right now will be great at diffusing any anger/rage inducing imagery which may set you off and cause you stress. Just using your peripheral vision alone is a great way of reducing the mental chit-chatter and will allow you to lift the fogginess of your mind, think more clearly, and actually restore your inner peace.

3 – Use NLP to eliminate the image

You can use a form of NLP, where you actually get into a quick habit of taken a mental snapshot of the picture of your mind that is causing you to be angry, and then shrinking it and making it disappear within a second to the corner of your vision. It does sound too simple for it to be true, but this method actually works. And if you can get your-self into a habit of doing this, you’ll find your general anger will be substantially reduced.

4 – Learn to forgive

Sounds weird, but forgiveness is still very under-utilized by some folk, despite it’s obvious benefits. To forgive, see the blessing in disguise, and then let go. This will be the toughest part, as we are taught to not let go. But letting go doesn’t mean that you are justifying what the person/ group have done that is causing you to be angry, but accepting what has happened. And when you learn to accept life, it can be remarkably peaceful. Not that it’s easy mind you…

5 – Count backwards from 10 and learning emotional discipline

Can be a great little trick to delay any negative response, as well as anger/rage. Just by quickly counting backwards from 10 can delay an angry image to flash up, and can stop you from loosing your inner peace.

5 – Become creative

Sometimes being creative can be a great way to reduce and eliminate anger, such as writing down your angry thoughts, and making a scorching letter. This can be a very peaceful way of letting the energy of anger leave you, and can help relax your soul.

7 – Use exercise to relax

Of course, if you are not the static person, try something kinetic instead, like jogging, or hitting the punch bag…something that can allow you to release steam. By burning some of the excess energy you get from anger, you will feel slightly exhausted, but on the plus side you will also be partially recovered.

8 – Breath deeply and slowly during the heat of moment

And by this, I mean belly breath deeply and smoothly, which will not only allow you to keep yourself from loosing your cool, but allows you to become slightly present as well as give mental clarity. Deep breathing has many health benefits, and it is easy to see why, as we have trained ourselves to shallow breath as part of normal everyday life.

9 – Learn to meditate

Naturally, prevention is always better than cure, so to reduce any future anger and rage attacks from harming your psyche, try to take up meditation. No, it doesn’t mean that you have to sit with your back straight, legs cross for hours upon hours (although fair play to you if you do;-) but it can mean just 10-15 mins of lying down on your bed, or sitting in your chair, just watching your breath and paying attention to any thoughts that you think off.

10 – Have a good laugh.

Of course, sometimes a good old fashioned laugh is in order to save the day! And when I mean laugh, I mean to genuinely find the funny side of what has happened. Admittedly, this will not always be easy, but if you can somehow get into a habit of seeing the funny side, not only will you stop yourself from getting angry, you’ll also have a blast while doing it.

Practicing the above steps will sure fire your way to success in reducing anger and rage. Don’t harm your body by suffering from these emotions Instead, be emotionally smart, re-gain clarity of thoughts, and keep your inner peace.

You life depends on it;-)

 

Panic attacks in the workplace and 6 ways to cope with it

I’ll never forget the time when I had panic attacks in work.

It wasn’t sudden, but a build up of over a few years. One minute I would be fine talking to customers on the phone, the next minute I would be getting very hot under the collar, very clammy, and really panicky at saying the wrong word that could trigger a customer to start getting irate.

I hated it.

It’s funny that you can look back at these things years ago and sort off smile…but back then, it wasn’t funny. It was deadly serious. But I didn’t know what it was.

I sort of knew about panic attacks and extreme stress, but I had no idea of what a burnout was. I was in my mid twenties for crying out loud. Life wasn’t meant to be like this. But it was, especially for me. This was my life, and I was supposed to just accept it, not complain about it, deal with it and move on!

So that was it…for a period of about 2 1/2 years, I was constantly clammy, constantly rubbing my hands, constantly sipping water to trying to comfort myself; wandering whether the next customer was going to be nice or mean and wandering why I was panicky, feeling light headed and felt like I was going to pass out. I had know idea that I was able to use little techniques to eliminate a panic, and I certainly had no idea that I could use mindfulness to overcome those feelings of dread. For me, panic attacks at work was a way of life.

I even tried some Bach’s flower remedies to try to relax myself, but even that didn’t always work (although sometimes it did). I will say, looking back at it now, that I made the situation 10 times harder than it needed to be.

I should’ve gotten my sleep, yet at the time, 5 1/2 hours was luxury

I should’ve used mindfulness meditation, but at the time, I was more into Qi meditation than mindfulness…not a bad meditation to be fair, but it’s not going to do much to reduce the effects of an over-stimulated Amygdala.

Panic attacks and anxiety in the workplace is responsible for over $37 billion of the mental health bill, which pretty much means (that at the risk of sounding harsh), if you are not able to cope with and eventually eliminate your condition, not only is it sucking the life and soul out of you, it is also part of the problem that is costing billions.

Yet most of us understand the symptoms of excessive anxiety in the workplace: they range from being unable to focus, to sleep deprivation (including insomnia), from panic attacks to worrying excessively to the point of paranoia, plus much more.

So how do we improve our coping skills so we don’t feel our soul being sucked away from our life, and are therefore able to at least enjoy the aspects of the job that we find simple to do?

1 – Practice mindfulness throughout the day

Doing this alone will help reduce your anxiety in a very short space of time and will reduce the onset of a panic attack. Just taking a few minutes when the going gets tough is all that is required to restore a mental clarity and resume focus, so your main work doesn’t suffer.

You can achieve being present in various ways, but one of the easiest I have found is to widen your peripheral vision. This alone will help you reduce the mental chit-chatter and will restore a peaceful mind.

2 – Take exercise during break times

Maybe a short walk or even walking your car, whatever it takes to get you outside. This will help, ‘walk off’ the anxiety and will allow you to slowly relax, and take your mind of the anxiety or panic attack. Practicing mindfulness while doing this is a great way of getting better at being mindful.

3 -Meditate during your lunchtime

If you can do it, meditating in the privacy of your own car during the lunch break is a good way of reducing the anxiety and help reduce the onset of a future panic attack. I used to do a form of Chakra meditation, where I would visualize a spinning colored flower, the color dependent upon the Chakra that I would like to open and balance, but any kind of meditation should work for you, as long as you can get into a relaxed sitting position in your car.

4 – Practice deep breathing

Doing this will help calm yourself down and will also help reduce a current panic attack. It will also give you a clarity of mind that will help reduce the onset of any future intense anxiety.

Just by taking a minute to breath gently but deeply should allow the current anxiety to slowly subside. If you wish, take a deep belly breath via you nose, hold for 4 seconds, and then slowly release through your mouth. Doing this for a minute will help calm your nerves down.

5 – Get your sleep/power-nap

Getting your sleep is vital for reducing future panic attacks, but admittedly it can be a viscous circle. You can be that stressed at work, that getting your required 7-8 hours can be a huge task. If you find that you cannot switch off when going to bed, and end up getting a poor nights sleep, trying looking into supplements to help you relax, or try Bach Flower remedies.

For the immediate short term, trying getting a power-nap during your break times. Just 10-15 minutes of a nap is enough to keep your energy levels up, and will allow you to have some mental focus back.

6 – Open up your Heart Chakra

I put this one last, because of its spiritualistic nature, but what you can do if you feel panic coming on is to see people as extensions of yourself. I know this may sound weird, but it does strangely open up your Heart Chakra, so you can feel a deep compassion swell and fill your heart.

This has a nice soothing effect, and will even help reduce a future panic episode. Using the combination of opening up your Heart Chakra while being present can be a very powerful duo in combating anxiety attacks and restoring peace of mind.

Try the above and let me know how it goes on. Suffering from panic attacks in the workplace, when you’re trying to enjoy life and do work, is not only a terrible thing for a sufferer to go through, it’s also a waste of a precious life. By doing the above exercises, you can be sure that a recovery isn’t too far away.

 

Panic attacks, mindfulness, and 3 ways to achieve it!

If you suffer from anxiety or panic attacks, chances are that you would have heard about incorporate mindfulness mediation into your coping strategies tool set. But why is that, since mindfulness is about the direction of your attention, and feelings of anxiety and intense panic is emotional?

To answer this question, lets look at the general design of a panic attack.

Panic attacks are caused by your amygdala, the part of your brain which regulates emotions, going haywire causing you to release a huge rush of adrenaline causing the infamous, ‘fight-or-flight’ response. Simply put, having a panic attack is basically being scared that you want to run away.

When you are having a panic attack, your heart rate increases, you can get clammy/sweaty, you feel weak at the knees, feel light headed, and so on (arguably, similar to that when you’re a running away!).

Your amygdala responds to threats, real or imaginary, and is the key in reducing and eliminating the panic attacks. In order for us to reduce and eliminate an anxiety attack, we need to do something that effectively stops (or at least, nullify) the amygdala, enough for our adrenaline to stop rushing around in our bloodstream.

The easiest, free, quickest way of nullifying your amygdala is to use a tactic which has been scientifically proven to reduce the amygdala, and that is using mindfulness meditation.

Being mindful is all about being fully present, hear and now

It is about stopping the seemingly endless amount of inner self talk and chit chatter, and being attentive to the present moment. Many philosophers and spiritualists have often regarded the present moment as the doorway to your intuition, and also living a greater, healthier and happier lifestyle and it’s easy to see why.

If you consider the fact that being attentive to the present moment helps reduce the effects of your amygdala, you become less fearful, which not only insinuates a greater range of possibilities in living the best life you can, but due to the mind-body connection, should help you become more empowered and more healthier by default.

And not only that but mindfulness also helps the memory and cognition of your brain as well, so not only do you reduce your anxiety but also increases your connection to your soul, as well as getting more smarter and more focused…

Three for the price of one!

So, how do you get mindful to begin with, and what are the inevitable pitfuls that will come your way when using this technique?

There are 3 ways that I tend to use. One involves your peripheral vision, one involves breathing, and one involves being attentive to your body.

1 – Peripheral vision is using the outside wider form your vision, which allows you to make use of the rods in your eyes, the ones responsible for movement, large objects and organization of the spatial scene.

By gazing and trying to fit the whole of your vision into one big huge picture of focus, you will be able to quieten to the mind chatter down and become more present. Just 5 minutes of doing this while walking is enough for you to feel the benefits within a week.

2 – Breathing involves watching your breath, and focusing your attention to your breathing entering and exiting your lungs. By watching your breath, you are re-directing focus and attention away from your panic attack. By focusing on your breath, this will help quieten your inner chatter and will help you become more present.

3 – Being attentive to your body, and by this I mean being able to focus and even feel your body. If you are attentive and great at sensing things, and if you can get good at it, you can even begin to sense your inner energy body and feel (slightly) the life energy or Qi in your body. This takes a bit of practice, so don’t be put off if you don’t feel the Qi straight away.

Again, by focusing on your body and being attentive to your muscles, your organs and your legs, you will reduce your mind chatter. This will reduce your Amygdalas response, and you will become more mindful. This is a great exercise to do if you know you will be walking for about a few minutes, and have no-one to talk to in the meantime.

But what are the pitfuls of using these techniques?

It’s one thing to be present, but it’s another thing to stay there. One thing that I continuously find is that once you become mindful, it is much more difficult to stay being mindful when people are present. You start judging, daydreaming, thoughts about the rest of your day come into your head…all of this stops you from being present.

The easiest way to overcome this, is to try to see people as extensions of your self. I know this may sound silly, but this not only helps keep as much, ‘presence’ as possible, but it also does another thing: helps open up your heart chakra so you feel compassion and, ‘oneness’.

Try it and let me know how you get on. Ask any panic attack recover about mindfulness, and they will tell you that they use it as one of their tools for recovery. They can’t be wrong;-)

 

Stressed at work? Here are 5 ways to make the impossible, possible!

Do you suffer from stress at work? Do you feel panicky when you see deadlines coming up that you haven’t met? Workplace stress affects over 1 in 4 people, and if not treated, can lead to long term anxiety and panic attacks.

If you really want to help yourself recover from stress, you firstly need to find coping mechanisms so when the going gets tough, you can get going.

But why we do we stressed to begin with?

Stress can be caused by many things, but the majority is usually a lack of support (emotional or otherwise) work related bullying or violence, and of course, work pressure. The thing is, work pressure takes place on a daily basis, but if you are unable to cope with the pressure, stress will be the response, and cortisol will be released (the stress hormone).

You’ll find yourself having a headache, having a few pains here and there, maybe having palpation’s of a pounding heart, and a dry mouth…these are all symptoms of a stressed body, so it is vitally important to have coping mechanisms in place, so when you do get the expected daily work pressure, you don’t let it bombard you…you simply go along with the ride.

Having been in a very pressurized environment myself, I knew about the daily pressures in trying to meet targets, and helping the company out. The only problems was that I had no coping mechanism, so I got stressed way too easily. And of course, if you get stressed, you are unable to focus so my targets suffered.

This meant that I couldn’t switch off, ended up going home, and wasting hours trying to entertain myself in an attempt to relax. The only problem was then I went to bed late, had a bad nights sleep, and had to go through the whole saga again.

It was a vicious circle, and all because I didn’t have a few coping mechanisms in place to help with the pressure.

What most people don’t realize, is that if you don’t have your particular coping mechanisms, you won’t be able to build up confidence, which naturally helps increase your resilience to stress. This means that if you don’t get the help to overcome a stressful moment (and some people don’t), it will lead to adrenaline kicking in (the fight-or-flight response).

If you still don’t get help even then, then it leads to subconscious behavior, so you will start to exhibit anxiety related psychological disorders, such as panic attacks, OCD, depression and so on.

So how do you break this cycle, and lead a more mentally healthier lifestyle at work, when those targets just keep on coming?

1- Try to act, rather than re-act.

Usually there is 50% of the workload which you have direct control over, and the other 50% can either take a long time, or could be challenging. The trick is to make the 50% which you control the best and quickest you can, so when you do come up against the inevitable 50% which you know is going to drag your day down, you won’t be too stressed by it.

2 – Learn to focus better by eliminating distractions.

When it comes to a distraction/interruption, you can either accept the distraction, get rid of it, or try to find its importance, accept it and plan around it. Obviously you would need to think quick about this, but by doing this, you will be able to return to your busy work schedule and keep on being focused in meeting your targets.

3 – Saying the, ‘No’ word!

Not every job will allow you to do this, but I included it here because it is a viable solution. By keeping your work manageable, your stress levels will be lowered. If you find you are being given way too much to do in the allocated time, learn to say the dreaded, ‘no’ word, but include a viable, practical solution.

4 – Belly breathing.

If you find that the work has gotten too much in such a short space of time, and you are unable to catch your breath, try belly breathing to help retain your focus and composure. Inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, hold, then breath out for 4 seconds through your belly. This will enable you to keep focus and keep that stress feeling down.

5 – Sleep and Diet

Of course, getting your sleep and making your diet good are critical aspects of handling your stress. Don’t forget to get your 8 hours of good sleep and make sure you have a good diet. Without a good nights sleep, you are pretty much playing catch up on the word go.

If you do find yourself having a bad night sleep, take time out to meditate or have a short 15 minute nap during a break-time, so you have some energy to go through the day.

Hopefully the above will inspire you to take action and will hopefully reduce not only your stress levels, but also reduce and prevent any long term anxiety as well.

 

The Top 6 Benefits Of Getting Your Sleep

Copyright: choreograph / 123RF Stock Photo

Everybody knows that sleep is important to you, but do you know just how important? They say it’s always quality over quantity, but are you sure you are getting your hours worth each night? For some adults, if it isn’t insomnia keeping them awake, it could be the pressure of job stress or even family obligations that’s doing the job.

I must confess, even though I’ve written an article on sleep before (last year I believe), even to this day, getting a great night sleep isn’t as easy as it sounds. Why? Well, for starters, bad habits die hard. When I was in my teens growing up, I would end up going to bed later and later, which ultimately caused my studying to suffer, and then my exams results. Secondly, stress in my adult life took it’s toll. And before I knew it, my twenties had come and gone.

You see, that’s the problem with a poor sleep schedule. Not only does it disrupt your body clock, but it makes the day wizz by without you appreciating it. And before you know, 6 months have already gone. By getting your sleep (somehow) you can make the most of your days and really appreciate being here in the moment. Here, I look at the top 6 benefits of getting your sleep.

1- Increases your immune system

Getting a good night sleep automatically boosts your bodies immune system, regardless if you eat plenty of fruit or not. If course, if you do eat your fruit, a good nights rest will naturally keep your body in good condition (from an illness view anyway). But even if you don’t eat that much fruit (I must confess, I don’t…) getting your sleep is a must for improved body immunity and a higher chance of fighting of illnesses.

Of course, if you do get ill, trying to get your sleep itself won’t be easy, and if you’re not careful, you may find yourself trapped in a viscous cycle, where you go to bed late and not dream much, followed by more illness, followed by more late sleep time etc. The trick is to find a way to relax, even attempt meditation (yes, I’ve done it, but not easy) so you can drift off and help your immune system. You can try listening to some Delta/Theta CD’s to help you drift off, if that helps, or drink some soothing Chamomile tea.

2- Reduces depression

Getting your hours of sleep will certainly help elevate your mood, and help reduce mood swings. From a spiritual standpoint, it could be said that the more sleep you have, the more you feel the higher vibrations of your soul, as well as your Chakras having a good proportion of Qi energy, which trickles through when you are dreaming (It’s been also said that dreaming is simply an unconscious out-of-body experience, as you are floating slightly above your body, so the Qi energy can trickle through and nourish your Chakras).

From a non-spiritual standpoint, getting you sleep does help with your mood, and also helps you to see the positive in a situation, when you would normally see the negative giving you a balanced and fair viewpoint at the situation at hand. And of course, it means that you don’t get stressed and anxious that easily, which means that you can better cope with tough tasks when they head in your direction.

3- Reduces the risk of death

Believe it or not, having your required amount of sleep will actually reduce the risk of death at an early age. Found in the, ‘Whitehall II Study’, Researchers from Britain looked at around 10’000 British Civil Servants over 2 decades, for sleep loss, and found out that the servants who had reduced their sleep from 7 hours to around 5 hours (or fewer) almost doubled their risk of death from different sources. Coupled with the fact, that sleep deprivation means that certain famous hormones are not being able to nourish certain parts of the body, and it’s not difficult to find out why.

4- Releases more Human Growth Hormone into the body

Probably one of the most famous of the hormones that are released when you are sleeping. True, you can buy supplements to compensate, but for a better, natural way of doing it, sleep will always be number 1. And why? Because The Human Growth Hormone is responsible for so many good things that our body needs, from promoting growth, to increasing thickened skin to improving muscle mass and bone structure.

That is why bodybuilding take HGH so seriously, they know how it can help increase muscle mass for building more muscle. Supplements can also help, but if you do want to give your body (and brain) a good head start, getting your required dosage of sleep is a must.

5- Increases your mental skills

This may seem a bit obvious, yet it amazes me how some people really work their brains hard, when a good night sleep will not only make them a slightly happier person, but they also don’t have to fight hard to get their minds working!. Essentially a good sleep (especially in the long run) will help with your cognitive functioning, your alertness and will help you visualizing (yeah, don’t try focused visualizing when you are tired, it doesn’t work very easily!). Essentially, you are helping your brain so you can makes better judgment calls, improve memory, and be more attentive to what you are doing…always valuable in the workplace.

Of course, this is easier said than done if you are stressed, or suffer from an anxiety disorder of some sort. Getting to bed itself is tricky, especially if you suffer from OCD, and actually being relaxed to fall asleep can be trickier still. Somehow, you have to find a way to relax, so this is where meditation can come into play, or a nice relaxing warm bath. If you do feel particularly anxious over a certain thing, try your hand at EFT (no pun intended;-). You’ll might find that you get the relaxed mindset that your body needs after all.

6. Reduces the risk of gaining weight

According to a study conducted in 2004, the people who slept for less than 6 hours a day were 30% more likely to suffer from obesity than those who slept between 7-9 hours. Not only that, but there is a link between sleep and the peptides that regulate the appetite. Shortened sleep is strongly associated with a decrease in Leptin and an increase in Ghrelin, Leptin being a protein hormone that has a key role in regulating appetite and Ghrelin being a hunger-stimulating peptide.

Put simply, getting your required hours means that you are less likely to go for that chocolate bar (probably due to the sugars that your brain and body needs to stay awake). You’ll also less likely to have a need for coffee, so you won’t need to worry about the stimulation of caffeine in your blood. This should make mental clarity much more easier to obtain. Food for thought;-)

 

Top 4 Ways To Reduce Stress And Anxiety Fast!

rapport

Do you want to combat and manage stress and anxiety for good? Are you really sick to death of the suffering? I don’t want to appear funny, but there are people who claim to want to heal themselves, but don’t actually do anything. It’s hard to believe, but the amount of people that I’ve come across who moan and winge about life, yet don’t get inspired to take any action baffles me. Then it dawned on me why this could happen…hard to believe, but some people actually feel great by feeling bad.

I couldn’t believe this when I heard it, at least on a conscious level. Yet, (and I know I shouldn’t really admit this) I’ve been guilty of doing this myself. Certainly waking up in the early hours of the night, being angry and depressed at not having something, or having a bad time with my life didn’t helps things, and of course only re-conditions the subconscious (due to the fact that when you wake up, your brainwaves exhibit mostly Theta waves, which is used in some peoples cases to re-programme the subconscious). I woke up once and tried to study the depression that I was feeling, to try to get a grasp of the feeling that I was having while being in a nice comfy bed.

To the best of my knowledge, despite it feeling bad and dis-empowering, there was like an addiction to the depression I was feeling. Even when I realized what was going on, and tried to loosely fantasize a happier outcome, my subconscious would come roaring back with ‘oh that’s impossible, stop being delusional’ etc. It took quite the effort to somehow break this spell, by sheer mental willpower (which is never nice early in the morning).

So believe me when I say, while I sympathize that people have stress/anxiety and many other mental health problems, there are some people who subconsciously like this. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but learning to see if you a secretly sabotaging your success will go a long way to enable your recovery.

That is part of the reason why I started this blog, to try to help people with what I’ve experienced. Now, I’m not going to list all of my ills here, but I thought I would summarize what I believe to be the top 4 ways to reducing stress and anxiety. Here we go;-)

1- Meditation

Summary – can be used to great effect at reducing (and some people would say, eliminating) long term anxiety and stress. Has been around and used for thousands of years, and baring some ridiculous miracle posture that cures all ills, will be around for the next 50 thousands years (as far as I’m concerned, providing that we don’t destroy our planet due to spiritual ignorance, of course!!!). Has the ability to help reduce your ego mind chatter, and increase intuition.

Pros – Numerous benefits to list them all here, but the main basis is certainly an increase in spiritual, mental and emotional well-being. Ability to heal past emotional wounds, and also helps create mental clarity so that you can think more clearly on the task at hand, allowing you to finish your goals, hopefully to better your life. Can be said to help with out-of-body experiences as well, especially being in the, ‘now’.

Cons – Not many, really, but it can be an absolute bugger to get started, especially if you simply don’t know what to do, or you have severe stomach gut issues which prevent you from relaxing completely. All it really takes is for you to move your attention from your thought process, to either your body, your breathing, or even the sounds outside Do this for a few minutes, and you should start to feel a deep peace. The issues is that some people find this, in itself, difficult. We have been trained to use our minds all the time, and the invention of the Gregorian calendar didn’t really help things when it came to the invention of time (but that’s for another day;-). Still, you know what they say, practice makes perfect!!!

2- Diet

Summary – Well established fact, that if you want to change your lifestyle, what you put into your body also has a significant effect on how you think. Think of eating sweets, and feeling really restless and energetic, for example. So it goes without thinking, that if you want to have a goods nights sleep, drinking coffee at 9 pm (and it is said that caffeine has a half life of 6 hours!) isn’t really going to help matters. Get your diet right, and your head should follow (not sure if I read that somewhere, but thought I’ll put it in anyway:-)

Pros – It’s diet, what do you think? Nutritional food, with nutritional drink, will help keep the body healthy, and your thoughts calmer. Don’t forget, the mind and body are interrelated, so what you think will manifest (to some degree) with your body, and vice versa! (Think of stress related illnesses as one example). It has also been documented, that loving thoughts helps almost single handedly to help the molecules of the water (think of Dr. Emoto, and that famous water experiment). And as our bodies is made up of around 70% water, it’s not hard to imagine the power of feelings on the body.

Cons – Of course, if your busy, this is that last thing you will care about. Busy people eat whatever they can (they have do, they don’t have time to prepare a nutritional snack) and of course if they are busy, the chances are that they need as much energy as they possible can get their hands on.

So we’re talking chocolates, energy drinks, and so on. And don’t forget, you have your emotional eaters (of course) who will always eat something specific to keep their stress levels away (called a coping mechanism). The thing is, emotional eating and eating in a rush does no one any favors, and one needs to create a more healthier coping mechanism, and of course, manage your time better (always helps).

3- Sleep!

Summary – Getting your sleep is absolutely vital to keeping your stress levels to an all time low, as well as being able to focus on your goals, and having a clearer mind. I know I probably shouldn’t admit this, but the article I researched for stress and sleep here was one of the biggest eye-openers for me.

Quite simply, sleep does more than you think! Alright, you already knew that, but they say that it is always quality sleep rather than quantity that always counts. I’m going to go one step further and say that it is the amount of non-rem sleep that you have (don’t forget, your sleep in 90 min cycles, with REM, the eye-twitching one, being the last stage of this cycle. It is also the type of sleep that allows you to dream…whether you remember it or not is another matter;-).

But we need as much non-rem sleep as possible, due mainly (but not exclusively) to the good ol’ Human Growth Hormone being released, probably given us that, ‘freshness’ that we feel when we wake up after a good night.

The thing is, we cannot plan how much non-rem sleep we’re going to have, that is why it is recommended that we have between 7 to 8 hours. Of course, there are those people who use delta CD’s and meditation to help…

Pros – Getting a good, refreshing sleep as numerous benefits, from improved memory, to reducing the risk of some physical ailments, to improved cognitive functioning, and of course, feeling great for the day. It allows you to keep your focus, and helps reduce your stress and anxiety levels (or at the very least, allows you to manage them more effectively).

Cons – For those insomniacs, or people with other sleep disorders, and of course, people who work nights, sleep is a luxury they simply cannot have. Meditation will help, but ultimately, a change in lifestyle may be required (especially those people who are too stressed, or even on a burnout to get any hours of sleep at all). I hate to say this, but medication, or sleeping pills may be the only way. But only if you are able to take the side effects…

4- EFT

Summary – I had heard of EFT before I started my blog, and to be honest with you, when I did my research for my post, EFT and Stress, I didn’t learn anything too new…

Having said that, I did learn a few more things. Firstly, the Chinese used a version of acupuncture (which later inspired EFT) to help treat physical illnesses, not emotional ones. And secondly, EFT can be used to treat nearly everything emotionally bound.

It’s free, it’s quick and best of all, it’s fun. And there’s nothing better than feeling better and like a huge weight has been lifted off of you shoulders. I’ve used it myself to help reduce my OCD to around 60%, have used it for a job interview, to get better focus, and even (and this even surprised me…) get more energy.

That’s right, using EFT in a certain way can get you more energy and help you feel more refreshed (although truth be told, I used it after a decent nights sleep and after meditation, so perhaps the two can work hand in hand…food for thought).

EFT is fast becoming huge popular, due to it’s widespread, and natural benefits.

Pros– Too many to list here, but mainly nearly all psychological conditions and some physical ones (as it is said that many illness are stress induced illnesses). EFT has been said to help reduce autism symptoms, and can also vastly help with PTSD, depression, and many other ailments. It can take as little as a few minutes each day, and the results can be long lasting.

Cons– Not too many, but I did notice in my research that the people who really benefit with EFT are the ones who do it longer than 5 minutes, so perhaps EFT isn’t the shortest treatment of them all (depends I suppose, on the problem at hand). Also, EFT isn’t perfect, and can’t cure all conditions physical or otherwise, under the sun. There are of course, limitations, as to what you can use EFT for. And don’t forget, it has it’s own competition in the likes of PSTEC and IST (which I will be doing future articles about, so watch this space.)

Like meditation, you have to dedicate a certain amount of time to get the maximum benefit from EFT, and some stressful people simply do not have that time. But if you do have 5 minutes to spare, it’s not a bad place to start, even if it does look silly…

What’s your favorite coping mechanism for stress, anxiety or depression? Let me know in the box below;-)

 

How To Rid Yourself Of Depression In 4 Stupidly Easy Ways!

Depression is a condition that many of us will suffer from in some form or another. It is estimated that over 120 million people suffer from some form of depression worldwide, with 80% of people not receiving any treatment. The number of patients who are diagnosed with depression increases by around 20% each year in America, with the people who are unemployed and recently divorced being the type of people most likely to suffer from it. I myself have suffered a form of depression, (even suicidal thoughts back in 2012 when I was at my most lowest point). It got me thinking about my lifestyle and what I wanted to achieve, and since that terrible day, have tried to make amends to amend my ways and lead a more healthier life.

But it hasn’t been easy. I would love to write an article saying that I had this one epiphany and everything in my life changed, but in all honesty it’s all been about small and regular changes. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with people or gurus who say that they did one particular action or was involved in one event, but I guess I’m not that type of guy. For me, my depression was on and off for over 10 years, and included anxiety attacks, mild insomnia and OCD.

To completely recover from depression, in my opinion, does take time. People can talk about being in medication and taking drugs, as there is evidence to say that depression is nothing more than just a simple chemical imbalance. Resolve the chemical imbalance, and the troubles just fade away! But in my opinion, this just tells half the story…while I don’t dispute these findings, I believe that the chemical imbalance is the outcome, not the cause of depression. The cause of the depression can be job/career related, relationship/family related, or financially related (or a combination of all three) and while taking medication can help relieve the symptoms, unless lifestyle changes are made, you will soon be back on it.

Now, I want to be really brutally honest here…I’m not an advocate in taking medication for most depression cases. Barring the odd severe case, I believe medication does more harm than good. Maybe I’m lucky that my depression hasn’t been that long, or hasn’t been that intense. I don’t know that many people who are severely depressed, but from memory, taking a pill was the last thing on my mind during my last episode. I’ve actually taken more pills for anxiety attacks, then for depression (only to realize what a waste that was!). While I will appreciate the poor person that has a severe case my argue this (and understandably so), from my experience there are more healthier ways of reducing it. Of course, medication does give you mental breathing space (which, again I can appreciate), but from all of the forums, discussions and articles I’ve read, medication is a solution most people are against.

This was even validated during a (fairly) recent episode. Whilst not that bad, I did observe my body during the depressing wave. I quickly realized a few things I noticed which I hadn’t noticed during my 10 year wave (things I wished I knew back then). It seems that my self-help curious ego had actually served a purpose, and I was able to avoid much of the misery that I had suffered a few years back. What I present isn’t new, isn’t exclusive, and I’m under no illusion that you’ll either hate it (or see it as pointless) or you’ll agree but can add some more. Either way is fine. I don’t believe there is a one-size-fits-all approach to recovering from depression (well, apart from obvious lifestyle changes, but that is also arguable). So see these points as reminders, on how to get yourself out of a tricky situation.

 

Thinking of your ideal scenario all day

You’re depressed because you feel helpless, like nothing you can do is going to work, and you are low of energy. What I have found is that if you can somehow have an image of your ideal career/partner in your mind (whatever image is causing you to be depressed, think of the ideal version of that image) you will gain, after a short amount of time new energy, and will carry on the day with vigor. When I have the image in my mind, a new sense of inner personal power took over, and I was able to be more focused and more attentive to the job in hand…which was quite surprising, as I had no idea that this would have any side benefit at all. Of course, the image wasn’t a static image, but an image that was constantly evolving; from a snapshot of the ideal career, to being practical and actually finding ways to turn the image into reality (nothing to do with the Law of Attraction…at least, not yet;-). In the space of a few hours, the image had changed from static, to the actual dynamics on how to create it. This bizarrely increased my inner will power, my concentration, and my energy levels (as I had a bad night sleep, so I was feeling really down). This nicely leads me to my next topic…

 

Sleep

Get your sleep, period! While I can appreciate mums and dads can say that they don’t get any sleep due to their kids, feeling super tired and fatigued during the day does more harm to you then you realize (please see this article on sleep and stress). Find a way to get early nights, or find a routine and stick to it.

When I’ve been depressed in the past, I always remember that my sleep had been a contributing factor. Fatigue and depression, in my experience, go hand in hand (or to put it another way, I very rarely see someone who has had ample sleep, complaining about being depressed…). Having your 7-8 hours of sleep my be tricky to begin with, but your routine will eventually allow your subconscious to feel sleepy, allowing you to drift off once bed time takes place. To quickly get some energy during the day, you can do one of two things: Either meditate in Theta (I’ve found that the Theta level releases short bursts of healing and energizing energy. You can buy some Theta CD’s here) or do a quick session on EFT, which can also leave you feeling energized.

 

Gratitude

One thing I always try to do is to feel grateful for at least 5 things. Why? It helps you feel more alive with more energy due to it uplifting your soul, and it also helps you change your negative self-talk into positive self talk, which has numerous physical and mental benefits. The easiest thing to feel grateful for is having a nice home, or wearing some nice clothes, and then go from there. You can try being grateful for the crap in your life, because you now know what you don’t want (i.e. see the blessings in disguise). This allows you to make and act on a new choice, bringing more opportunity in your direction, which could also ultimately help remove the very thing that is causing you to be depressed to begin with.

 

Breathing/Mindfulness Meditation

By keeping positive imagery in your mind, and controlled belly breathing, you are able to retain your focus and keep yourself mildly energized. Being in the, ‘Now’ helps (or being present). Controlled belly breathing actually helps you feel more present and this by default helps reduce any stressful feelings your depression can sometimes spring (yes, one can lead to another…it does happen!). I’ve found a particularly useful way of keeping energized during the worst moments, when the negative, depressing induced imagery starts to take hold in your imagination, and you need to concentrate at the task in hand. Staccato Breathing is a great way on increasing energy levels (at least for the immediate short term) and helps with your cognitive abilities. Simply breath though your nose inwards, increasing the size of your belly initially, but moving upward so you feel your chest increasing as well (kind a’ like pouring water into a jug) and then reverse it breathing outwards (so chest first then belly second).

Do this 3 times, always inhaling and exhaling though your nose. When it comes to the forth attempt, inhale again, but when you exhale, use your mouth this time, and blow out short bursts of air (as if you are blowing out imaginary bubbles). This helps increase your energy and allows you to think more clearly. And the good thing about this technique, is that not only is it quick to do, you can also do it throughout the day.

Try the above things to help you throughout the day. Exercise and diet of course helps, but maintaining presence, or keeping positive mental imagery are also viable and powerful ways in keeping your inner personal power, and as a result your mood intact. You can also try Bach remedies, and if you are into a bit of NLP, try using mental anchors The trick is to keep yourself feeling powerful, and that change can and will take place. Over the years, I’ve been at my depressing worst when I feel that change will never take place, yet over time, (and the help of a good nights sleep;-) I have increased my personal willpower tenfold. Creative visualization can be a great way in helping re-programme your subconscious so that not only you believe in change, but you are inspired to take certain actions to make sure that changes takes place. Don’t forget to visualize effectively, try to use all 5 senses as much as possible, and feel the feelings of joy or love. As your subconscious uses emotions, this will help re-programme it more effectively. Give it a go and find out. You’ll be pleasantly surprised;-)

 

How To Reduce Stress With Meditation In 5 Easy Ways!

It is the one thing that can help you reduce stress and anxiety in the moment, without the need to take medication or do exercise.

Yet despite this, meditation is still not fully understood as to the benefits of reducing stress, anxiety and depression, despite science proving that meditation helps the brain to reduce Cortisol, which is the stress hormone

So why is that we still don’t meditate when we know we should?

 

1. Time– The main reason is that we simply don’t have the time to meditate. We lead such busy schedules, that time really is the essence. We have work commitments, family commitments, and don’t forget, we have our social life. For some people, medication and counseling is the best way to resolve any stress and depression issues. We would rather take pills, than take the healthy option and help still the mind

 

2. We don’t know how to– And this is yet another main reason why we don’t meditate. Simply put, we have per-concieved notions in what meditation looks like. I remember talking a bout is at work once, and I got looks and jokes about doing a certain famous yoga pose. But that is a posture, not the actual meditative act itself. Meditation is about the mind, or the ego, not about doing a certain difficult position.

Don’t get me wrong, if you can do a position, that’s great (and thank goodness we have yoga to teach us that) but if it is a choice between fighting to stay in position for a beginner, or just doing anything that makes you comfortable, I choose the latter any day of the week!

 

3. There is a fear factor– Strange but true, some people are actually turned off by the idea. Maybe it is the time element, or that doing a certain yoga pose, but mention the word meditation to some people, and the idea fills their mind with dread

Which is ironic, when you consider what meditation actually is. It is ultimately the act of connecting yourself to your source (I won’t mention the word god or soul, as some people reading this will emphatically deny that god or soul has nothing to do with meditation, but as I always say, ‘each to their own’)

And why do we need to re-establish the connection to source? So we remember who we really are. We are not the, ‘identification with a thought’ or what some people call, ‘the ego’. We are the pure consciousness behind, ‘the ego’. The realm of the all that is, omnipotent, omnipresence and omniscience. Now that’s a mouthful;-)

 

4. How long should it be?– Some people are not sure how long they should meditate. This is understandable, as there is no concrete fact that says that to be at optimum meditation standard (if there is any such a label) one has to meditate for 2 hours flat in the morning, and 2 hours late.

For me, I’ve known myself to have a quick 5 minute dose in the morning (when I’m in bed) and do 5 minutes in the evening (also in bed) before going to sleep. Or you can do 1 hour at the beginning of the day, and 1 hour at the end of the day.

You see, there is no set standard for how long you need to meditate All you need is to still the mind, and do that for at least a couple of minutes if you are busy, or if you have time on your hands, an hour before and an hour later. It’s completely your call, and you are in control.

Of course, it does go without saying, that the more you do, the more you will benefit. With more and more practice, you get better, have more peace, and get better at concentrating at doing things.

And don’t forget, you can always set the stopwatch, so that if you are wanting to do just 10 minutes in the morning, your buzzer will go off giving you the cue that your meditation session is over. Again, it’s up to you!

 

5. Boredom– Meditation, if you don’t know what you are doing, is not the most riveting and mind stimulating exercise in the world, isn’t it.

I mean, let’s get real here! The job of meditation is to essentially reduce (and in some cases, switch off) your conscious thoughts.

This, of course, goes against everything we have been taught as a kid as well as what society dictates. We are bombarded with hundreds of data from all sources, advertisements, opinions and imagery. In the 21st century, we have been subconsciously trained that it is not ok to, ‘still’ the mind. If anything, we need to have an opinion, and a big one!

But the funny thing is, once you know what to do, (or in some cases, ‘be’) meditation is a brilliant way to reduce the internal chatter, regain focus, and on top of all that, be at peace and love. We will talk about the easiest (in my opinion) ways to meditate, but for know, just know this. I would rather feel a deep peace than watch a melodramatic soap, any day of the week!

 

6. Unable to switch the ego off– This is another famous reason why some people won’t meditate. Although similar to point 2, for some people, they can get into a pose, but have no idea on the actual act of slowing (and stopping) the mind. But don’t worry, switching your attention (and I’ve just given half of the secret away there;-) is what this article is all about!

It’s not the difficult, has multiple benefits, and after even a tiny bit of practice, you begin to notice an obvious mental difference. And once you know the knack of switching your attention, you can begin to meditate virtually anywhere The choices are practically unlimited!

So, if you can find a way to make time for just 15 minutes a day to still the mind, you will be automatically ahead of most people, who still firmly believe that materialism and happiness is outside of yourself, rather that within.

But what exactly are the benefits apart from the obvious relaxational mental state, thereby reducing stress and anxiety in the moment, of practicing meditation?

Before we describe the benefits, as we are on the topic of stress and anxiety reductions, lets look a the very thing we are trying to control, and that is the brain.

stress6

Your brain is made up of 4 parts: The Lateral Prefontal Cortex, The Medial Prefrontal Cortex, The Amygdala and The Insula.

Let’s look at each one…

 

  • The Lateral Prefrontal Cortex: The logical you!

 

It’s the part of you that views things in a more rational, balanced and ultimately logical way. It involves process that are to do with over-riding the automatic behaviors/habits, modulating your emotional responses which could take place from the, ‘fear’ aspect of the brain (which we will talk about in moment) and reduces your ability to take things personal. Essentially, this aspect of your brain, ‘assesses’ and analyzes stuff.

 

  • The Medial Prefrontal Cortex: The, ‘Ego’ you!

 

This is the part that individuates things in your favor, as in, see’s the you (or the, ‘I’ if you will) in the experiences. This part of the brain is involved with things like day-dreaming, being self-reflective, feeling empathy with other people or the public, and engaging in social conventions or situations.

This part also has two further sections: The first is The Ventromedial Medial Prefrontal Cortex, including the processing of things that are similar to you, including other people, and is the part that can take things too personally, and can, as a result, cause negativity, such as anxiety, depression, stuff that causes you to worry, etc.

The second is The Dorsomedial Prefrontal Cortex, which is involved in the stuff that is dissimilar to you, including (more importantly) showing empathy towards people that are not like us!

 

  • The Amygdala: The, ‘Fearful’ you!

 

This is basically the part of the brain that creates the alarm and is responsible for the good old fashioned fight-or-flight response, and other initial emotional responses.

 

  • The Insula: The, ‘I Have Bodily Sensations’ you!

 

Ok, not a great title, I know, but it does sum up pretty much what this aspect of your brain is all about. Essentially the part of your brain involved with bodily sensations, such as your gut feelings, and your experiences.

When you meditate, the connection between the Dorsomedial Prefrontal Cortex (the processing of stuff that is not familiar to you, including showing empathy towards other people) and the Insula aspect of your brain (The Sensations part of you, including your gut feelings) is increased, so you feel more compassion and empathy/understanding towards the situation at hand, as well as the people you meet.

This allows us to tolerate and forgive more or the situations that would otherwise cause us anxiety and stress, and allows us to self-heal.

You also break down the strong connections between the The Medial Prefrontal Cortex (and more importantly, the Ventromedial Medial Prefrontal Cortex which can take things too personally).

This helps reduce your anxiety and your stress levels, and as a results, gives you greater clarity of mind, thanks to the default increased connection of your Lateral Prefrontal Cortex, or the logical you, as well as increasing the connections with your Insula and your Amygdala (but because of the breakdown of your Ventromedial Medial Prefrontal Cortex, you have a more logical, rational approach towards a, ‘fearful’ situation, so your, ‘fight-or-flight’ automatic response is reduced greatly).

So, know we know why meditation is not only helpful to the brain, but also crucial to its processing ability.

But what are the other aspects towards meditation, as well as the obvious reduction of short term and long term stress and anxiety?

 

  • It can make you get better grades, due to an increase in cognitive functioning, including better attentions skills, reduction of exam anxiety and a reduction of ADHD

 

  • It helps protect the brain and reduce mental illness, by helping to increase Myelin (protective tissue) and axonal density (signaling connections).

 

  • Helps reduce loneliness, especially between the elderly.

 

  • Increases the enjoyment of music, due to increased concentration.

 

  • Helps reduce the catching of the cold, by reducing the risk of catching respiratory infections and allows the reduction of the length of time and severity of experiencing the symptoms .

 

  • Helps increase the brain matter density, especially for meditators who meditate for long periods of time.

 

  • Mindfulness meditating reduces the stress hormone cortisol, which leads us to…

 

  • Having a better night sleep.

 

So how do you practice (and get good at) mindfulness meditation?

 

Below are techniques I sometimes use. They do look simple, but trust me…they work!

 

1stexercise

 

This can be done, sitting down or standing up, and will literally take about 10 seconds to do (once you get good at it) and is amazingly effective in allowing a peaceful state of mind to return to you.

All you do is this.

Next time you get stressed, think of the thoughts analytically.

Now focus on the gaps between the words in your thoughts.

Focus on the gaps.

If another thought comes, let it come, and focus on any gap in that thought instead!

After a few moments, you will feel, ‘present’.

Now, you could be asking, what does feeling, ‘present’, feel like?

 

The best way I can describe it (and I’m sure people will describe different sensations) is that a wonderful calm feeling of relaxing, healing peace takes over!

Your negativity goes, and you are, (temporarily at least) in a state of peace and sometimes bliss (again, I’ve done this exercise myself, so I know it works!).

You are able to have a clear head, and you can refocus much more easily on the task at hand.

 

2nd exercise

 

What if you find it difficult to analyze your own thoughts?

Simple.

We’ll listen to the ambient noise instead!

Just listen to the background noise, whether it is in the office, or outside.

Focus (again, for a short while) on the ambient noise, and you will feel a deep peace flood into your stomach area (what you are actually doing, is opening up your solar plexus vortex, commonly known as a, ‘chakra).

Again, this technique will force you into the, ‘now’, and will force you to have a relaxing, healing peace envelop your body and mind, reducing stress in an (almost) instant!

 

3rd exercise

 

This is another great exercise, which not only helps you be in the present moment, but also increases your levels of observation.

Look out in front of you, and gaze (so you don’t stare too hard and hurt your eyes, or give yourself a headache).

Try, without directly looking at it, to observe the space above the stare, and then the space below the stare.

Then, after a few minutes, try to observe the space to the left of the stare, and then to the right.

After a few moments, you should feel yourself being, ‘present’ and you will have entered the, ‘now’.

This particular technique is great when you are walking, and are too busy to listen to the ambient noise to notice being in the, ‘now’.

You will also feel like you are more mentally clear and sharp!

 

4th exercise

 

This is a technique which you can do while sitting down or laying down.

It’s particularly useful if you are talking with someone, or you are actively engaging your mind to a slightly monotonous task.

What we are going to do here, is to notice the bodily sensations.

Start of by noticing your bones, and your muscles.

Try and feel them inside of your body.

Then try and feel your organs, and finally, your breathing.

Feel the breath of air going in and out of your lungs.

After a few moments, you should start to feel a peace, and will begin to get more, ‘present’.

I’ve been able to feel ecstasy doing this, while listening to a client, and having a small cold.

I’ve literally, ‘felt’ my inner body into bliss (although it didn’t last for long, to be honest).

This will help you if you have to listen to something fairly important, but you know doesn’t require complete mental concentration.

 

5th exercise

 

Another great way of being present, is by using a simple breathing technique.

All you have to do, is to simply lay down and watch your breaths.

Don’t try and control your breathing, just sit down (or lay down) and observe your breathing.

Just observe how you breath in, and how you breath out, and feel the breath going into your lungs.

After a few moments of observing your breathing and feeling it go into your body, you will begin to feel very present and your ego chatter will be vastly reduced.

Why?

Similar to the above exercises, by simply focusing on your breathing, you are essentially moving your attention from your mind to a physical sensation on your body.

It is the attention being directed away from your thoughts, to your body which is causing you to be in the, ‘now’.

Put simply, it is your attention that we are trying to control.

Your attention is quicker than your thought process (that is why you can think of new things very quickly).

Control your attention, and you control your thinking.

Control your thinking, and you control your stress levels, and your life!

 

Why does this work?

When you are in the, ‘now’, or the present moment, you temporarily shut off the main part of your, ‘ego’ (the one responsible for the problem) and you connect to the highest part of your consciousness.

The part that is full of creativity, exists outside the space-time continuum and the part that is unconditionally loving and healing.

This allows the negativity and the stress to dissolve away (quite literally) and allows you to re-gain clarity of mind!

So, is meditation the ultimate cure for stress? It’s really hard to prove otherwise, isn’t it!

But what do you think? Let me know in the box below