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Posts Tagged ‘positive thinking’

live-in-the-moment

“Remember then:there is only one time that is important – NOW! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power.” – Leo Tolstoy

There are two ways to live life: consciously or unconsciously. Conscious living, or “mindfulness” means being an active participant in your life, choosing the experiences you get involved with, and taking responsibility for the decisions you make. The opposite, living unconsciously, means allowing circumstances to dictate your life, remaining passive, and taking little to no ownership over what life brings. When it comes to living consciously or unconsciously, which one sounds more appealing to you in this one and only life? I thought so 😉

When you live consciously, you become intentional in the things you do. You put yourself in the drivers seat, and instead of waiting for things to happen, you MAKE things happen. You get more done, are more mindful of what you do, and are more focused. All of this gives you the ability to accomplish the things you set our to do and to be more successful in life. The best part is that holding yourself accountable for the life you have has a direct and positive impact on self-esteem, attitude, and belief in yourself.

Studies have shown that conscious living also provides numerous health benefits. It helps reduce and manage stress, chronic pain and blood pressure, and increases immune function and ability to cope with disease. Individuals who live consciously tend to be happier and have a more positive outlook than those who don’t. They tend to take themselves less seriously, are less impulsive or reactive, and accept their own weaknesses without self-judgement. Further, they’re able to take criticism more easily, and suffer less from depression and other emotional and behavioral issues.

Living consciously also means focusing on the present and not dwelling on the past or obsessing about the future. In other words, you live life in the moment. This translates to experiencing more positive thoughts and feelings as most of our anxiety and fears are rooted in past disappointments or regrets and the worry we feel about the future.

Finally living a conscious life helps you develop closer relationships. You’re more in tune with your emotions, thoughts, and reactions which helps you to be more sympathetic and understanding toward others. And you can more easily understand the impact of your choice on you life as well as those around you.

Ready to be an active participant in your life and live in the moment every day? Conscious living encompasses all aspects of life. Everything from what you choose to eat at dinner to the way you treat people can involve intentional thought and action. Living consciously can occur at any moment, on any day, just by actively being present during your experiences and being aware of your feelings and emotions. All it takes to get started is a commitment to be present in your life. Here are my guidelines for living in the moment (and actually enjoying it!)

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Caroline’s Live In the Moment (and ENJOY it!) Suggestions For Success

  • Stop and Smell the roses. Throughout the day, take time to pay attention to what is happening around you. Become mindful of your environment and how you personally fit into it. Observe colors, sounds, light, smells, and textures. Savor moments by allowing all of your senses to fully experience them. Make a habit of noticing new things in every situation, even for those repetitive actions like walking to work and making breakfast.
  • Experiment: Every day find something new to try. Take a class. Attend a seminar. Read a new book. Play a new game. When opportunities present themselves, embrace them openly and look for the potential that they may bring. Say YES instead of no and do one thing a day that scares you. Trying new things keeps you engaged, youthful, and living to the fullest.
  • Stop Thinking: Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder and former executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School tells us, “Ordinary thoughts course through our mind like a deafening waterfall.” Part of our inability to live consciously is that we let our thoughts overtake our minds, precluding us from living in the moment and experiencing life. Instead, allow yourself to “just be”. Focus less on your thoughts and more on whats going on around you at the moment. Actively take part in the present while shutting out negativity of the past or future.
  • Breathe: When you feel the urge to be impulsive of have a knee-jerk reaction to something, stop and take a few deep, cleansing breaths.  When it comes to building a conscious life, deep breathing helps you hit the “restart” button. Instead of reacting hastily or irrationally, you’re able to gain self-control and have more rational and appropriate responses to situations and circumstances. Best part is deep breathing is free, easy, and can be done ANYWHERE! Inhale, Exhale, REPEAT!
  • Accept Challenges, Pain, Worry: When something is uncomfortable, we often feel compelled to avoid it. Instead of pushing these feelings away, simply allow yourself to feel them and accept them for what they are. When we don’t acknowledge negative feelings, our minds deal with them in indirect ways. This can manifest in unhealthy behaviors, or worse cause us to do things we may regret. Accepting negative feelings, however, helps us understand our stressors, anxieties, and reactions, giving us the power to move forward and create new feelings and reactions so we can move past negativity instead of dwelling on it. I always say you have to FEEL in order to heal!
  • Switch from Autopilot to Manual: You know your inner autopilot is at work when you feel like time has passed you by, yet you have no idea what you did or what happened during that time. You are going through the motions instead of actively engaging in your life. Maybe autopilot kicks in during a commute or while running errands. Or maybe its at work for longer periods of time. To get the most out of life, its important to be an active participant. Shut off autopilot by increasing your awareness of your thoughts, actions, decisions, and experiences. Don’t defer to others to make decisions for you or allow circumstances to dictate your life. Doing so will only lead to disappointment and frustration. As pilot of your life, you have ultimate control of where you go and the direction you head. Constantly look for ways to engage in what life has to offer…. you never know what may come your way.

Studies have shown that when individuals take the time to enjoy the moments of their lives, they experience more joy, happiness, and positive emotions, and fewer of those that are negative or depressive. But you don’t need research to tell you that conscious living is worthwhile, being an active participant in your life just FEELS better!

How do you practice mindfulness and “live in the moment” on a daily basis? Heres to living and loving every second 🙂

Caroline

Information for this post provided by 52 Small Changes: One Year to A Happier, Healthier, You by Brett Blumenthal. Great read, check it out!

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“The Sky is falling the Sky is falling!”

You’re having one of those days where nothing is going right — you’re late for work, your computer crashed, you spilled coffee on your brand-new shirt, and its RAINING. By the end of the day, you find yourself collapsed and zombie-like  asking “Where is my life going? Where did I go wrong?”. The events of the day have left you defeated and in need of an attitude adjustment. Indeed, a shift in your perspective at some point during the day could have turned things around. What should you do next time a stormy day messes with your emotions and attitude? Shower yourself with small things that improve your well-being and shift your mindset to a positive one. Sprinkled in throughout even the darkest day, the simple tasks listed below can help bring rainbows out of the rain.

Caroline’s Attitude Adjustment. Easy Ways To Brighten Your Attitude on Rainy Days. 

    • Take a Friend to Lunch/Coffee: Invite a positive, supportive friend out for a quick bite. You’ll get to visit and talking to someone will likely boost your spirits.
    • Listen to Your Favorite Song: Carry your ipod/ iphone with you and listen to your favorite tunes when you feel upset or overwhelmed . A study in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia found that music decreased anxiety experienced by patients before surgery. Have a playlist created and on hand just for stormy days. Pack it full of “feel good” songs that never fail to pick you up and make you smile. Try out my guilty pleasure party playlist for ideas on songs you cant help but smile to.
    • Compliment Others: There is nothing more uplifting than making someone else’s day. Give a genuine compliment to someone to change your focus to things other than your problems. Making someone else feel good will leave you joyful and give you positive feelings that can turn your attitude around.
    • Take Ten: STOP and take 10 minutes. Reconnect with yourself, take a few DEEP breaths, and calm down from the events of the day. We live in a fast-paced culture where we move at warp speed with ridiculous to-do lists. If we take time to be quiet, we can get in touch with our values, priorities, and set positive intentions for ourselves. By taking this time, you’ll be able to bring your mind to a balanced, positive state and make rational decisions to move forward with your day.
    • Count Your Blessings: A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that individuals with a more grateful outlook on life exhibited a heightened state of well being. According to the study, “research has shown that gratitude is linked with positive emotions including contentment, happiness, and hope.” At some point during the day, make a simple list of five or ten things that you are grateful for in your life. We have talked about the power of keeping a gratitude journal in this space before. It’s amazing how simply taking the time to count your blessings goes FAR in helping you with a positive attitude.
    • Shake It Off: Did someone else’s words or actions contribute to your sour attitude? Try not to take things personally.  Instead, develop the habit of looking at other people’s actions as just the way they are and less of a personal statement about you. Keep in mind that you can’t control another person’s actions, but you CAN control your reactions. Dont give others actions a second thought and focus all your energy towards living your best.
    • Just Say Om: Cultivate your spiritual side. This could mean checking out a meditation class (often yoga studios are a good source), exploring the local religious centers in your neighborhood or asking a friend to recommend a good spiritual book.  Studies show that those who develop their own spirituality and their own belief system will live longer and more satisfying lives. Simply practicing the beliefs that you have through meditation or organized worship can be very helpful for developing a positive attitude. After all, trust gives way to a better attitude and mood, whether that trust is in a higher power or yourself! Good places to connect you to your spirit: Intent.com, Hay House Radio, Live FEARLESS and Free by Terri Cole, and the DAILY LOVE .
    • Work It Out. Im positive the endorphins created from exercise can help make any bad day disappear. Nothing cheers you up more than an endorphin rush. Get your gear on and GO out for a run or sweat session. Better yet, go to a class and let a group energy take your mind off the events of the day. The hardest step is the first one out the door, you’ll come back from your workout smiling and brand new.
    • Get Inspired. Is there a teacher, book, song, or photo that moves you at a deeper level? Next time your attitude is feeling funky, connect to the people and things that inspire you most. When Im out of sorts, a class with Stephanie Snyder Yoga, article from Oprah, or talk from TED turns my entire day around for good. Make the effort to connect to the things that make your heart sing and lift your spirits UP from the storm.
    • When All Else Fails…. Dance Like a MANIAC. Shimmy, shake, and FLASHDANCE your attitude to a whole new place. With moves like these,  I guarantee you’ll end up smiling 🙂

 

What is your number ONE tip for funky day attitude adjustment? Leave your suggestion as a comment below – together we can inspire each other to work towards a happier attitude no matter what the weather 🙂

Looks like rain for the next couple days…. will you be smiling?

With Gratitude,

Caroline

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