I was Tired of Being Tired.  The 3 best Things I Did to Get My Energy Back.

I was Tired of Being Tired. The 3 best Things I Did to Get My Energy Back.

 

vibrating vitality energy

Because, it all starts with energy.  

 

We all have these goals, these dreams, these big ol Effing responsibilities.   But seriously, SERIOUSLY, aren’t you just sick of being tired?

 

You sit down to work on your to do list, whether that is a to do list of responsibilities or the to do list to make your dreams happen, be it building a business, or a creative endeavor that will fill you up with joy, or a toy you want to build for you kids.  

 

Well you sit, and then you go  – “Damn it, I don’t fucking feel like doing this.”  

 

OR “Damn it, I’m way too effing tired for this.”  

 

OR you just go blank, because you don’t know how to start and you give up in frustration.  

 

But really, you know, that “I’m drawing a blank” sort of frustration, is just a solid excuse to give up because you’re too freakin’ tired.  Whether you’re physically tired, mentally tired, or both, it doesn’t matter.  The point is, you need energy.

 

Energy is life’s fuel.  Energy is everything and everything is energy.  It’s not only life’s fuel, it’s what we are made of on a quantum level.  We’re just energy vibrating at different wavelengths.

 

For me, the beginnings of my obsession with having unlimited, and always tappable energy started when I learned about the importance of physical energy at a mitochondrial level (mitochondria being the part of our cells that produce our energy).  

 

It was like wait, WHAT?  you mean if I focus on fixing my energy levels vs. fixing my autoimmunity I might be able to “fix” both.  Well holy moly, that’s freaking awesome, and definitely worth trying.  

I was tired of being tired.  Tired of coming home exhausted.  Tired needing a 2pm nap at work, but not being able to take it.  Tired of being too tired and unmotivated to work on leaving that job.

 

I learned about this on my journey to become a Bulletproof Coach.  Dave Asprey, the founder is dare I say obsessed with mitochondrial energy.  He even wrote a whole book about why.  Head Strong, which I highly recommend.

 

Essentially though, the healthier and more efficient our mitochondria, the healthier we are all around.  Think about it, our bodies are always healing the themselves.  They are designed to.  They are freaking cool in that way.  

 

Get a cut, it heals.  Get a cold, your body heals.  But it doesn’t stop their.  It’s always repairing and healing.

 

But, it uses energy to heal.  That’s why you tend to be tired when you are sick.  Your body is using more of it’s cellular energy production to heal.  But so much of modern life is detrimental to efficient cellular energy production! Lowering it, making us more tired, and sicker.

 

And for me, and my autoimmunity, that was a huge revelation, and profoundly helpful in shifting my health.

 

“What one can do when they’ve learned how to and have created a wellspring of tappable energy, feels extraordinary, but is actually innate to everyone.”

 

But that’s just physical energy.  There is also just straight up mental fatigue.  You can be an insanely fit person, but still find yourself mentally fatigued on a daily basis from all of life’s stress.  

 

All that B.S. we deal with on a daily basis.  

 

It can be quite the buzz kill.

 

When you are mentally fatigued, you are so much more susceptible to the B.S.  To that downward spiral of negativity, giving up, depression, frustration, anger.  

 

Nothing good.

 

Essentially you just can’t create.  

 

And the 2 play off each other, feed into each other.  If you are physically tired, you’re bummed that you are too tired to be working on what you really want to be, which creates stress and leads to mental fatigue.  

 

And when you’re mentally fatigued, you just feel physically fatigued because the mind body connection is so strong.  Or you really aren’t all the physically tired but the motivation is so low from the mental fatigue that you just sit on your bum and eat junk, which leads to physical fatigue down the road.

 

So what do you do? How do you create a wellspring of energy that’s always tapped, and always ready to be turned up when necessary.

 

My 3 biggest tips for having unlimited energy.

 

For Everything

  1. Banish Stress

For Mental Energy Mastery

  1.  Crush Your Limiting Beliefs

For Upping Physical Energy 10 fold

  1.  Significantly Reduce Sugar and Processed Foods.

 

Yes, I know you’re probably thinking “Bahahahaha, Laura, SUUUURE, if only any of those things was even in the slightest bit easy.”  Cuz, yes of course MUCH easier said than done.

 

But I’m not here to leave you hanging.  

 

Why these 3 thing & how exactly do you even begin to do them.

 

busting stress

Busting Stress

 

Why

 

The funny thing.  I really don’t like saying stress is a bad thing.  Because it’s not always.  It’s a bodily response for a reason. However, it’s meant to be used.  

 

You’ve probably heard the classic example of running away from lions.  You see a lion.  Stress response activates.  You fight, flight, or freeze.  And once you’re safe, you shake it off, and you’re relaxed again.

 

But that’s not so real world for most of us.

 

Now a days that might look like.  You see a gorgeous man you want to talk to, but your scared out of your mind he’s going to reject you, BUT you really want to try anyways.  So stress response activated.   Your heart start racing.  Cortisol is released and pumps you full of energy.  And then you use that what probably feel like “I’m going to throw up” energy. You use the fact that you are now flush with nerves (hey, it’s bringing a pretty color to your cheeks) and you go talk to the guy.

 

You did it!! Fuck yeah!

 

And regardless of the outcome.  You can now relax.  You shake it off.

 

The problem with stress arises is when we don’t shake it off.  Which tends to happen, when

      1. We don’t know we have it because the stressor is hidden

OR

      2. The stress is chronic.  i.e. you freaking hate going to your job everyday.

 

When that happens, our stress response (sympathetic nervous system) stays on.  When our stress response is on, our body focuses on that. It puts all these awesome, but not absolutely necessary for keeping you alive systems on low power mode, until the stress is dealt with and relax mode (the parasympathetic nervous system) gets kicked back to normal mode.

 

When we stay in stress, our hormones get all out of whack.  Some too high, some too low. Your cortisol (the stress hormone) definitely gets all whacky.  You are just definitely running inefficiently.  For instance chronic adrenal stress (the adrenals being what pumps out the stress hormones) down regulates HPA axis function, reduces conversion of T4 to T3 (your thyroid hormones), and reduces the livers ability to clear excess estrogen.  

 

In case you’re saying “whoseawhat” to the HPA axis.  Your HPA axis is a complex network of interactions between the hypothalamus, the pituitary and the adrenal glands that regulates things such as temperature, digestion, immune system, mood, sexuality and energy usage – in addition to controlling the body’s reaction to stress and trauma. 

 

In short, chronic stress leads to hormone imbalance.

 

The thing being, your hormones including your cortisol levels, insulin levels, and your thyroid hormones play huge roles in the efficient running your mitochondrial energy cycle.  

 

So when they are all whacky, you end up physically fatigued.  And before that, because stress is the double whammy of causing both physical and mental fatigue, you probably were already emotionally drained and mentally tired before becoming physically tired.

 

And while stress is certainly not the only factor in healthy hormone levels and efficiently running mitochondria, it is a huge factor in that as long as your stress response is on, your relax mode, the mode in which you are healing, and repairing, and your systems are all working and communicating their most efficiently, isn’t.  

 

So chronic stress isn’t just a mental fatigue thing, it has a huge impact on our physical energy capabilities, and our ability to heal.

 

How

 

Oh so, oh so, oh so, easier said than done.  And their are a multitude of solid proven ways to reduce stress.

 

But I prefer to look at it as turning on relax mode, vs. turning off stress mode.

 

My favorite way to turn on relax mode is:

 

Gratitude.  Because, and I’ll scream this from the rooftops, there is such an AMAZING POWER in gratitude.

 

Unfortunately, we’re kind of hard wired to be in “life sucks” or “of life is so gosh damn hard” mode.  That mode definitely lends itself to chronic stress.  There is a great episode of the Freakonomics podcast, in which they talk about this.  This, being why so many of us are in “life sucks” mode and why gratitude isn’t the easiest, but also why it’s so great.

 

I love it, because they are so real about it.  Gratitude isn’t always easy, but when you make it a practice it’s freaking awesome.

 

Gratitude has been shown to do all of the following:

And my favorite

 

But how can it specifically help you with stress:

 

Well besides the fact that all of the above are generally associated with lower stress, the exercise I love to offer is based on the practices taught by HearthMath. The HeartMath Institute sells a tool called the emWave2, (they also have a new fancier tool called the Inner Balance) which allows you to see if your heart beats are in coherence or non-coherence.  This has to do with the variability of your heart beats.  When you’re stressed the spaces between heart beats are more regularly (yes regular, it does seem counter-intuitive).  These tools allows you to train your body to return quickly to relaxation mode during stressful times, or never go there at all.  

 

Now while I definitely recommend checking out HearthMath and it’s tools.  I want to share with you one of the ways to help you get back into relaxation mode that I base on what I learned from HeartMath, and found most useful for me when I practice with my emwav2.  But it can be done with or without the tool

 

It is to think of something or someone that gives you the warm fuzzies.  Ideally someone or something that doesn’t also provide you stress regularly, like your significant other or parents might.

 

I personally think of my 2 year old niece, and all the hilarious things she does like pretend she’s one of her puppy brothers, and try to drink out their dog bowl.  

 

So when you are feeling stressed, take a 3 minute break (which will also help with the stress), and think of that person or thing that gives you the warm fuzzies.  Now fill up your body with that love.  Express true gratitude for that person, that thing, and for the feelings of love and joy that they provide.  Wrap yourself in that gratitude and love.

 

And while you’re doing this take nice long slow breaths in and out of your belly.

 

Practice this 2 to 3 times a day, beyond just when you are feeling the stressed.  Because like I said, often we are in stress mode without even knowing it.

The nice long slow breaths out of your belly are an important part to this.

 

I love love love, breathing exercises for quickly turning on relax mode.  In the FREE Energizing Your Body & Empowering Your Mind PDF I share the how and why’s of some of my favorites (the 6/8 breath and the calming breath) along with other quick tips, such as the shaky bounce.

 
limiting beliefs energy

 

Crush Your Limiting Beliefs & Mastering Your Mindset

 

Why 

Ok, so this for that mental fatigue, where you are just demotivated, drained, and brain foggy.

 

Now some people will tell you motivation is crap, and you just have to work through it.  Do “it” (whatever it is you’re struggling to do) anyways.  Well, that’s ok, and can work to a certain extent.

 

But when you are motivated, and excited, and happy you will perform so much higher, so much more efficiently.

 

There are scientific studies that say happy brains perform better. 

 

So sure you can push and force your way through mental fatigue OR you can work turning on the relaxation response AND crushing the limiting beliefs that are major contributors to the stress and negativity in the first place.

 

In doing so you are significantly upping your ability to be happy in the present moment, which is where a lot of powerful creative jedi juju happens.

 

To get rid of OR shift your limiting beliefs, because sometimes you just need to move them out of the way, you first have to identify them.

 

To identify them you have to build your awareness muscle.  This involves turning off the blinders you’ve been walking around with and taking off the headphones you’ve been listening too, and instead begin asking questions and reflecting.

 

So awareness is Step 1 in empowering your mindset.

 

Step 2 is clearing/shifting the limiting beliefs.

 

2 of the biggest limiting beliefs that can be keeping you on the mental fatigue, woe is me train, are “I am not enough” and “my happiness is tied to some person or some goal, something outside of me”

 

This is BTW, a way to build awareness of your limiting beliefs.  Just hearing about others, and recognizing them in you.

 

I am not enough is tied to all sorts of fear, lack of confidence, and lack of self love.  Anger as well.

 

And tying your happiness to reaching a goal, or to a relationship removes your power to control your present happiness.  And let’s face it, life is too short to not to find joy in the everyday.  

 

That lack of joy, that lack of self-love is a 1-way train to stress and mental fatigue.

 

So the technique for clearing/shifting these B.S. beliefs I’ll teach you here is a combination of techniques of learned from my Bulletproof coaching certification via the head of the program Dr. Mark Atkinson, as well as Joe Vitale and Christian Mickelsen

 

The Exercise:

You will need 2 pieces of paper and a pen.

o   On the 1st piece of paper describe the limiting belief you feel you are experiencing.

In describing it, don’t only write down the belief, write along with it, all the negative life patterns and events associated it.  Write down what your life looks like because of that belief.  The things you are doing because of that belief that you don’t like.

(For instance, maybe you have a belief that you can’t be your loud outgoing self in order for people to like you.  So write down all the ways this shows up in your life.  You hold yourself back.  You don’t know if people like you for you.  You don’t get to express yourself the way you like.  Your holding in things you want to/need to say for fear of rejection, etc. Get specific to your life)

o   Close your eyes and feel the emotions associated with it. Find when they are sitting in your body. Where it is the strongest. Even though this will not likely feel very good, the more you are in the feeling of the situation, the more likely you are to release it.

o Sit with those emotions in the body, focusing on the feeling, just breathing into it, until it begins to move.  It’ll eventually want to escape your body, likely through your hands or feet.  Follow along with it, as it exits your body.

o   Now visualize all those feelings being transferred out of your body into the paper. Releasing them from you. You can visualize it anyway you like.  Light, dust or vapor like, even globs and goopiness.  Whatever you see.  Transfer it into the paper.  

o   Next, on the 2nd sheet paper describe the ideal belief or situation you would like to have. Imagine that fully.  What will life look like, be like with that belief.  Fully participate in the vision, really feeling the joy and other feelings associated with it. Immerse yourself in the feel good.

o   Now destroy the first sheet.

o   Destroy it however you see fit – using safety precautions of course.

o    Finally return to the second sheet daily for at least a week. Look at it, and re-feel those good feelings, re-visualize life with that belief, and every time you do you are stepping into the vibration of your new belief.

 

I’m also a ridiculously large fan of EFT.  That is the Emotional Freedom Technique a.k.a Tapping.  It is a powerful way to turn on relaxation mode.  It’s similar to HeartMath in that it can help train your body not to have a stress response to certain situations/beliefs/feelings/thoughts, but it focuses more on making those shifts while feeling the negative feelings and is thus a powerful tool for shifting limiting beliefs.

 

It’s truly freaking brilliant.  

 

Learn more about EFT and more techniques for all 3 steps to greater energy in The FREE Energizing Your Body & Empowering Your Mind PDF .

 

And Step 3 in empowering your mindset to be a powerful and energized creator, otherwise known as Mindset Mastery, is stepping into the new vibration. Stepping into the vibration of vitality, the vibration you want to be sending out to the world so that it can reflect back to you.

 

This oddly enough begins with my favorite stress busting technique – Gratitude.  But more expansive gratitude.  Gratitude for the truth of the vibration you want to AND ARE sending out to the Quantum Physics Field/Force/Universe.  

 

Practicing gratitude regularly can truly be a mindset and thus whole game changer.  I suggest more than the nightly gratitude journal.  I suggest morning, noon, evening.  Anytime you can remember to, find something you are grateful for.  Ideally something new and present, and really feel that gratitude vs just saying thanks.

 

And Finally.

 

no sugar for energy

 

Significantly Reduce Sugar and Processed Foods.

 

Bum, bum, bum.

 

Why

 

I know, I know, I know.  It’s so freaking awful.  But here’s the thing, our bodies energy makers are the mitochondria in our cells.  They run on either glucose (from sugar and carbs) OR fat (from fat).  

 

Things to know about this:

  • Glucose is the primary source because it is quick and easy and doesn’t require as much in the process
  • However fat makes much more energy per molecule than glucose does.
  • The whole process of breaking down glucose or fat, ushering them into the krebs cycle, and then going through the krebs cycle requires A LOT (just to start B vitamins, CoQ10, T3 (yes your thyroid hormone), epinephrine, enzymes, cortisol, and insulin, seriously just to name a few)  – remember how stress messes with some of those hormones.
  • Insulin is the hormone that ushers glucose into the energy making cycle.
  • Eating lots of sugar, like stress, messes with the cycle by messing with the balance of your insulin and glucose levels.
  • Being fat adapted – meaning you use fat for energy more than the average person –
    • A – requires you eat a lot less sugar
    • B – equals much greater energy
    • C – also is much healthier when the fat is healthy undamaged (oxidized from cooking mainly) fat such as coconut oil, avocado, grass-fed butter, ghee
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction is essentially also known as aging.  Your energy production slows.  While this is normal as one ages for lots of factors, 48% of people have early-onset (before the age of 40) mitochondrial dysfunction.  And even post 40 when nearly everyone has it, you can still slow the dysfunctioning/slowing/aging. 
    • This is why we’re all so Effing tired!

 

Ok so now that you understand that, what else about sugar:

  • When you eat carbs, the pancreas secretes insulin to usher the glucose into the energy making cycle.  But when you eat excess carbs (which is so easy to do in the standard American Diet) you have to make more and more insulin, or you can’t make enough insulin fast enough.
  • Too much insulin – leads to high blood pressure and inflammation.
  • Can’t make enough insulin – this leads to high blood sugar which damages nerves, blood vessels, eyes, and gets stored as fat.
  • So your insulin and blood sugar levels are getting all out of whack, and overtime your cells just stop responding as well to the constant onslaught of insulin and you develop insulin resistance.
  • When your insulin resistant (which something like 86 million Americans are) you’re going to be tired because insulin is so important to the energy production cycle, especially if you aren’t fat adapted.  And if you are fat adapted, you are likely on your way to fixing your insulin resistance.  And if you’re insulin resistant you’re probably going to start gaining weight, because now there is excess sugar, which gets stored as fat.
  • When you’re eating too much sugar you are also likely having blood sugar swings, and low blood sugar isn’t good either, because it causes the stress response to turn on releasing coritsol, because cortisol tells the liver to produce more glucose in order to raise blood sugar back to a normal level, this also kicks insulin back on.
    • This happens with stress of any kind.  Releasing cortisol means your body wants more energy, so stress affects your insulin/blood sugar balance.  It’s all coming full circle here.

So yes, I’m saying eat far far less to no sugar and those shitty processed carbs and get yourself fat adapted, or at least insulin balanced. Your mitochondria, energy levels, and overall health will thank you for it!

 

 

How

 

Yes this still deserves a how, because this one can be the hardest of all and actually create that stress that we are working so diligently to get rid of.


Because sugar is freaking addictive.

 

Well, for me knowing why really helped.  Other steps include the obvious.  

  • Don’t keep it in your house.

But also.

  • Fill up on healthy fats like avocado and coconut oil.
  • Don’t try to be fancy, especially while you’re adjusting.  Eat the same 2 or 3 dishes for each meal.  Have the same snacks everyday.
  • Try EFT to help stimmey the “give me, give me, give me” response to cookies.

 

Also consider getting a blood glucose meter to really determine that amount of carbs you should be having, and which carbs your body processes well….

 

  • The suggested by functional medicine doctors level you want your fasting blood sugar (when you wake in the morning) to be is between 75-85.  Then when you eat something with glucose in it, your blood sugar levels will go up right away and then if your body is doing it’s job well, should start dropping in 10-20 minutes.  However, if you eat something and test 30-60 minutes later and the levels still up, especially if it’s still up over 25 points thats a sign that your body is not processing that food well. It’s also a sign of insulin resistance.  

 

86 millions Americans are Insulin resistant.  It’s drastically affecting your energy and leading to major health challenges down the road.
Ah, but these 3 tips, while HUGE, are just beginning.  Download The FREE Energizing Your Body & Empowering Your Mind PDF for over 30 tips and tools to boost your energy –  more stress busting techniques, mindset mastery tools, and help breaking your sugar habits. Plus food ideas!!

 

                       Click here to subscribe

 

Laura Boysen provides Wellness and Vitality Coaching for Women who are sick and tired of being sick and too tired to do (insert countless number of things, ie.; playing with their kids, getting intimate with their partner, meditating before bed, following their dreams). Laura’s mission is to help you learn how to support your innate ability to heal so that you can take back your energy and own your power to create a healthy and incredibly vital life. Schedule a free 45 minute “Get Lasting Energy” coaching session with Laura here.
The 7 Lessons I Wish I Learned When I Was In School

The 7 Lessons I Wish I Learned When I Was In School

 

I wish I learned

We all look back on our lives, and think “if only I had known xyz when I was younger.”  That xyz, it tends to add up, and can be depressing if you let it be. Not long ago I was taking stock of those lesson I wish I learned on a “woe is me morning” that I was having, and I decided instead of focusing on the past and what I could not change I would move back into the present (one of the lessons).  But I also decided that I would share these lessons, because maybe someone hasn’t learned them yet, and would find them as valuable as I have.  

 

So here we go.  

The 7 lessons I wish I learned when I was in school. 

 

  1. Presence and the Power of Mindfulness

Remember that “woe is me morning” I was having. I mean it was just a paragraph ago, so of course you do.  You know what took me out of it – presence.  Coming back to the present.  Now feeling the feels of that woe wasn’t a bad thing.  I’m a fan of not suppressing bad feelings and expressing them, however that woe, it was rooted in the past.  It was also worry about the future. It wasn’t with me as soon as I returned to the present moment.

 

When we live in the present moment, are stress levels dramatically decrease.  I’m sure that you can be stressed while living in the present.  Some present moments are stressful.  You know those I’m running away from a tiger trying to eat me moments.  BUT most stress is rooted in lamenting the past or fear/worry about something in the future.  Whether that something is coming a minute from now or 20 years from now.  

 

We all walk around stressed out of our minds because we don’t live in the present moment.  The present moment just is.  It’s the action of what you are doing.  It’s me typing these very words.  As I’m typing these words, I’m not stressed because I literally can’t be (you know unless I’m trying to type these words as my house in fire, but even then if I’m fully focused on the writing/typing then I’m not focused on the fire, so I’m not worried about the fire).  Get it?

 

Stress is not a bad thing, it’s quite often a good thing. However chronic low grade stress, the type of stress that you don’t really ever turn off because it comes from being overworked and constantly worrying/fearing/hating/ one thing after the next isn’t good.  It’s the cause of a lot of disease.  Stress turns on our fight/flight/freeze response in the amygdala of our brain. When that happens our bodies natural healing and hormonal systems (everything good we got going on in the pre-frontal cortex, the part of our brain that runs those) are “temporarily” put aside and instead our body systems are turned to dealing with the stress.  So essentially when you don’t turn off your stress you don’t allow your body to heal itself, which it is absolutely designed to do, in case you didn’t know that.

 

So how do we turn off our chronic stress? Through being present.  How do we be present as often as possible?  We practice.  How do we practice?  We practice mindfulness.  Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.  That comes from John Kabat-zinn, the king of mindfulness.  I learned a lot from him in my Bulletproof  Coach Training course (shameless plug – I do vitality coaching, if you are looking for help getting healthy and/or kicking ass at life).  You can check that out on my coaching page here  We spent 8 weeks on mindfulness, and I learned the true power of it.  

 

Because even more then being present, being mindfully present has an even greater power to turn off stress.  I believe the real key is non-judgemental.  

 

Sure you can say I’ll just practice being present, but if you don’t have tools or a method it’s so easy to fall out of it.  There’s nothing to bring you back in.   Sure you can practice the guitar, but if you haven’t learned any chords yet, how good are you going to get?  Mindfulness is the teacher and the method to make you great at presence.  

 

The best way I’ve found to practice mindfulness is through mindful meditation (which I best describe as paying attention (pick a focus, any focus really) in the present moment, and don’t judge).  There are some great apps out there for teaching you mindful meditation.  My favorites are Headspace (which you if subscription if you want more then the basics) and Insight Timer.  Then once you understand the feeling of mindfulness, you can incorporate it into everything.  Mindful eating, cleaning, walking and my favorite – listening.  

 

So lesson #1.  The more mindful and present you are the happier and healthier you’ll be.  Why do I wish I learned this in school.  Well, just think about how stressful school is/was.  Homework, sports, clubs, the social media pressures (thank God I didn’t have that in high school), creating and maintaining relationships, ridiculously early start times thus lack of sleep.  Any tool to combat that stress, would have done me wonders.  

 

Not to mention mindfulness also makes you more self-aware, and that is just about the most powerful gift you can give yourself.  It helps you learn who are, who you want to be, how you feels you know when you feel off.  It’s just awesome.

 

  1. Breathing is powerful and amazing.

 

Ok, so #1 was pretty lengthy.  #2 is pretty simple.  Did you know how freaking cool breathing techniques are.  They are so powerful and useful!!  Your breathe is a tool, and you should use it.

 

For starters, learn to breathe correctly.  A shocking number of us don’t do it correctly.  I didn’t, guess when? yup, back in high school. Hence the why I wish I learned this one back then.  

 

So first and foremost, check your breathe.  

 

Where are you breathing from?

Is it:

  • Slow, fast?
  • Long, short?
  • Shallow, deep?
  • Chest, belly?

Are you holding your breath unknowingly?

 

Put your hand on your belly.  Does it move up and down as you breathe? Proper breathing will expand your belly, not your chest.  You should also breathe through your nose, and your breathing should be relaxed. Selfication has a wonderful article on how to breathe and why it’s important.  Essentially proper breathing is good for your health. Our bodies run on oxygen, and proper oxygen flow is essential to optimal health.  Proper breathing optimizes oxygen flow.

 

So while proper breathing is an important lesson if you don’t do it right, the really cool thing is how you can use breathing techniques to help you do incredible things – like turn off your stress mode, help you sleep, wake you up and energize you.  And this is what I had learned.  I get so nervous sometimes, meeting new people, networking, anything like that.  Giving a speech.  If I had learned some breathing techniques I could use before giving a speech in class or going into an interview.   I would have saved a lot of nervous tummy trouble.

 

There are a ton of different breathing techniques out there.  My favorite, that I use to help me get into present mode and calm down is this:

 

Exercise – Calm breathing, also works great as a short presence exercise

  • Take a slow breath in through the nose (for about 4 seconds) while closing your left nostril with your thumb (breathing in through right nostril)
  • Hold your breath for 1 or 2 seconds
  • switch nostrils, close your right nostril with your index finger
  • Exhale slowly through the now open left nostril
  • pause a second before taking another breath, breathing in through the open left nostril.
  • now switch again, and breath out through the right nostril, then back in the right nostril, switch fingers and breathe out the left
  • repeat for 2-3 minutes.

 

  1. The Power of Positivity

 

This is where we start getting into that new age stuff.   I wish I watched “The Secret” documentary back in High School (You know what, scratch that, I don’t think it was out yet, but still).  The truth is, new age thought, it’s freaking awesome, because what it really all boils down to is optimism.  The power of being positive.  Thinking optimistically, talking positively, making choices that make you feel good and not angry or depressed like negative thoughts so often do.

 

Our brains are built to pay more attention to the negative input.  This is a survival mechanism that helped humans to survive as they evolved (i.e it was more important to be aware of poisonous snakes than to stop and smell the beautiful flowers). Our brains are thus 3 to 5 times more sensitive to negative information than to positive.

 

When we intentionally pay attention to the positive things in our life we strengthen the neural pathways associated with those positive memories. The more frequently the pathways are used, the more our brain likes to use those pathways, increasing positive thoughts and lessening our focus on negative experiences.

 

Positive thinking is a mental attitude that perceives situations in a constructive way. It doesn’t mean ignore the negative. It means, a positive thinker acknowledges a situation and looks at it productively.

 

In the great words of Elle Wood (Legally Blonde)

“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.”  

Ok not exactly relevant, it just felt like it fit.  People that practice positivity are just happier, more resilient. Happy people are less stressed and healthier.

 

And back to that new agey stuff.  Are thoughts are a broadcast out into the world.  They attract like thoughts.  Our thoughts are not contained inside our head. When we have a negative thought, it’s not just a negative thought bouncing around in our head. It’s a broadcast. In the world of quantum physics, it’s an impulse that will return a similar response (The A string of my guitar activates the A string in yours, right?). What’s the relevance? There could be ten people out there – nine in a positive state of mind, one in a negative. If we send out a negative broadcast, who is going to pick it up? Not the nine positive people – they aren’t tuned to that frequency. Who is going to pick it up is the negative person. What happens if we activate a negative person with our negative broadcast? We bring them into our life!

 

I’ve always been a pretty positive person, but I still wish I learned the power of positivity and how our thoughts attract and create earlier, because I could have started using that power earlier.  

 

This directly relates to a background quote on my phone.

lesson i wish i learned quote

 

Helping me to be positive is why I love quotes!! and why I put together a free book of quotes to help pick you up and put you back in a positive mindset when your feeling down.  I read this Little Book of Great Inspiration almost every morning.

 

  1. Have a gratitude practice

 

Gratitude is awesome, and learning you should practice it is a gift, and actually practicing it is one of the most powerful things you can do.  (I’m beginning to realize how often I’m using the word power, but I probably won’t stop.  There’s a reason I chose these as the top 7 lessons I learned).

 

Why?  Because gratitude is one of the fastest, easiest ways to practice positive thinking. You can literally “thank you” your way into something being happier.

 

When you practice gratitude you are learning to reframe negative thoughts.  You begin to look for the good, and when you look for the good you find the good.  And as I mentioned earlier, in case passed it, good thoughts attract good.

 

But here’s the big super reason having a gratitude practice is awesome.  Gratitude is the first step in forgiveness.  So many of us struggle with forgiveness, especially of ourselves I find.  But if you can find one small thing to be grateful in a situation or a person that is causing you pain, you begin to make room for healing and forgiveness.

 

I struggle with forgiving myself, so this is why it’s a key lesson for me.  I forgive others really easily.  I’m lucky that way.  I see the good in others.  Sometimes though, it’s really hard for me to see the good in me.  It’s hard for me to get past how I wish I had done certain things differently.  One time I was on a date with a friend at a wedding.  I thought we were just going as friends, but it was kind of actual date, and I totally ignored him in favor of this other guy I met and actually did start dating.  But still it took me a long time to not feel bad about myself for that.  Some people might not struggle with that sort of thing at all, but have trouble forgiving others. But letting go and forgiveness are so important to health and gratitude is so valuable to that process.

 

The best way I know how to practice gratitude is to write a gratitude journal everyday.  It makes it a practice to think of things you are grateful for every single day, and then you begin to see it more often throughout your day.

 

  1. Our beliefs are super powerful (there’s that word again) and super changeable (YAY!)

 

Positive thinking goes a really long way.  But really it’s the positive beliefs underneath them that do the attracting of good things and creating of good things in our lives. But positive thinking and positive beliefs don’t go all the way.  Because frankly it’s not always that easy.   So often our fears and limiting beliefs get in the way.  Limiting beliefs are just what they sound like, beliefs that limit us, stop us in our tracks, keep us from getting or doing what we want.  An extremely common one, being I am not good enough.  Often as young children we pick up that belief from any number of places, friends, families, teachers, coaches.  Anyone that probably didn’t mean to but said something that made us feel like we weren’t good enough.  And it sticks.  

 

This is a lesson I wish I learned earlier, because the earlier you start recognizing your limiting beliefs the sooner you can change or get rid of them, and walking around believing “I’m not good enough, smart enough, funny enough, etc.”, well it sucks.  We all know this first hand, because we all have limiting belief.  I definitely struggle with the “I am not good enough” belief.  And while I’ve done a lot of inner work, and believe I have successfully eradicated this belief from my core it still comes up in the woe is me hard times in which I’m unconsciously surface level living.  No one is perfect.  I’m certainly not perfect, but the earlier you start recognizing and eradicating these negative limiting beliefs the better off you’ll be.  Because guess what, you are enough.  I promise you.

 

The first lesson comes into play here as well.  Remember how I said mindfulness can give you better self-awareness.  This is one of the reasons self-awareness is so good for you.  You will be able to see your limiting beliefs so much more easily.  Simply recognizing your limiting beliefs allows you to pause, and choose a new belief.  At least for that moment.  The more you choose the new belief you want the more likely it is to stick.

 

Our beliefs are changeable, and also part of this lesson is the concept of brain plasticity.  It’s long been believed that our brains become fixed at a certain age.  The old you can’t teach an old dog new tricks adage.  Well it turns out that’s not so true.  We always have the ability to learn a new trick, to learn a new belief pattern.

 

The term self-directed neuroplasticity is used to describe the process of intentionally harnessing your brain’s malleability to get the results you want. Some have called this sculpting the brain. By giving your brain the right input, you can train it to be smarter and happier.

 

Studies within past 10 years have proven you can grown a larger brain (literally the size of your hippocampus through studying and memorizing – proven by London cabbies who memorized all the streets in London) as well as increase your IQ.  Human intelligence is fluid, and teaching our kids this can improve their intelligence and happiness.  Teaching yourself this can increase your intelligence and happiness.  It’s never too late.

 

So yeah, this is a lesson I wished I learned when I was younger.  I may be a dolphin trainer today (or maybe not, now I struggle to even go to zoos without being a little bit sad – I know, I know some do serve great purposes).  Point being though that I didn’t think I could learn to swim well enough.  If I had learned this lesson, I would of have known I could have.  Hard work sure, but definitely possible.

 

  1.  Learn memory tricks.

 

So the first 5 lessons were all pretty related.  These last 2 are a little different, but they are in the top 7 lessons I wish I learned earlier.  And I picked 7, because I couldn’t eliminate any more from the list.  

 

In school, we are always taught what to learn, but rarely are we taught how to learn.  Repeat til you have it memorized, sure it works, but it’s long and tedious.  

 

Turns out there are lots of great tricks for committing what you need or want to know to memory, and I had no freaking clue until I rather recently.  My mind was blown by these tricks.  How is this not a lesson or whole freaking class taught in grade school.  

 

Want to talk about reducing stress levels.  If I knew just some memory tricks, I could have halved the time it took to study for some memorization heavy tests, and gone into them with a lot more confidence.  Not to mention I probably would have stuck with learning French, and be fluent by now.  I can’t wait until I have the time to apply vocabulary memory tricks to learning Spanish now.

 

There are memory tricks for learning names.  Great for networking and making a lasting  impression at a party/event.  Tricks for memorizing numbers.  Hey now, that’s a concept. Memorizing phone numbers.  But more than just phone numbers.  Knowing random stuff can really impress people.  Tricks for vocabulary, lists, facts.  I truly believe this needs to be a thing taught in school.

 

It’s a little complicated to teach these tricks in this already long post, but I’m telling you seeking out this information and learning just a couple techniques.  They aren’t hard, you won’t regret it.  My favorite use for a technique called the loci (location) method is for when I think of something in bed at night that would keep me up or get me out of bed to write it down, instead I use this technique and it’s right there for me in the morning on the foyer table of my memory bank.

 

I teach this and my favorite techniques in my udemy course, The Resilience, Joy and Power Mindset.

 

  1.  Passion, Purpose and asking Why?

 

We made it to the final lesson I wish I learned as a student!!  I hope you are seeing why these lessons are valuable.

 

All these lead me up to something that is a big stressor for most of us, for really most of our lives, and it begins towards the end of high school.  What do I want to be when I grow up?

 

How many of you can’t answer that question?

 

Not many of us decide at 17 that we want to be astronaut, and then inform the rest of our lives to making that happen, and find themselves on Mars on the age 40.   

 

That’s rare. Most of us spend our lives especially our 20s having no clue what we want to do with our lives.  I know I did.  Yet we’re stuck with this idea that we should know, that oh I’m just supposed to follow my passion, that will lead me to my life purpose, and then I’ll be happy.

 

But that is part of the problem itself – this idea of “life purpose”  This idea that a career is the purpose, but that’s not always the case.  Yes we need to have money and/or income to survive but how we get it doesn’t necessarily need to be our life’s purpose.  It doesn’t necessarily need to be based on our passions.  And that is a valuable lesson to learn.  We get caught up with this idea of “live your passion” thinking so often that means our careers, but it doesn’t need to be that way.  Or at least not exactly.

 

If you know what you are passionate about, and can make a career out of it.  AWESOME!! Do it! Do it now.  But if your passions don’t so much make a career, that’s totally ok.  You can still make a happy career by making sure you have a career that allows time for your passions, but also because it’s not necessarily including your greatest passions, make sure it matches what you value.  Do you value teamwork?  Do you value alone time? Continued learning? Expressing your creativity? etc.  Make sure it includes your strengths and skills (the ones you enjoy expressing and giving of).  Make sure it includes the opportunity to solve problems you want to solve or learn skills you want to learn.  If you can create a career that includes these and gives times for your passions you can still really enjoy your work.

 

Though the greatest lesson I learned is trying to figure out what I wanted to do is to ask the question why? Think you know what you want to do? Ask why? Why am I passionate about xyz?  Why do I want to study….?  Why do I want to work for…?  Why do I want to be a …?

 

I studied Radio-TV in undergrad because I was obsessed with TV when I was in high school.  So it seemed like a good idea, making TV.  But I never asked myself why I enjoyed TV so much, what was it about it that I loved?  If I had I would have realized it wasn’t the story telling and thus making that I loved so much, it was listening to and sharing the stories.  When I finally did, that lead me to my grad degree.  Librarianship.  Something that makes me much happier.

 

That’s just a quick example of the power of why?  Dig deep, keep asking why and get to the core of your passions.  It’ll help guide you in the future, because as part of this lesson I learned to when in doubt, choose your passion or what will bring you closer to it.

 

So yes, I wish I learned these all when I was a student, but hey, I’m still young.  I’m grateful to have learned these lessons already, so I can start putting them to use.

 

Check out my course on udemy.com if you are interested in getting a bit more info + actual exercises to help implement all these lessons into your life.  Mindful meditations, more breathing exercises, how to upgrade your gratitude journal, how to get rid of your limiting beliefs, I teach you my favorite memory techniques, as well as questions to ask yourself to help find your passions and guide you on your path to creating a passion-doing filled future.  It’s already pretty cheap, but I discounted it even further with this link to make it even more affordable for you.

 

The Short Of It: 

 

 

 

 

The Resilience, Joy and Power Mindset

The Resilience, Joy and Power Mindset

Resilience Joy and Power

Imagine your future. Are you happy? Healthy? Are you doing work you enjoy? Do you ooze resilience? Do you have great relationships? Do you know yourself? Love yourself? 

That’s the future we all want. That’s the future we all head for. But how do we get there? How do we plan for that future and actually create it? How do we have all those things not only in the future but right now as well.

For most of us it’s not that easy of a path.  Many many twists, and many many turns.  And all too often, the result isn’t what we were looking for, and also not the even more ideal situation of even better then we were looking for.  We aren’t taught school how to create that life.  We aren’t taught many of the tools we need to create that life.  Instead we’re left to learn them on our own. Which often we do if we are looking for it.  Which if you are here, I’m guessing you are ;D

Just imagine if you had learned when you were a student, the kind of power you have inside you to create that future.  That unstoppable light of magic within.  What if you were taught tools to help you start creating that future while you were in school?  Tools to help you create the unstoppable mindset that would help you be resilient and joyful all the time (ok, most the time – know one is perfect).  Tools that would help you learn quicker, freeing up you time to learn even more.  Tools that would help you figure out what you want to create, because oh so often we learn that we can do and be anything, but we get stuck at “well I don’t know what I want.”

 

Now wouldn’t that be something.

resilience joy power

 

So I created a course, to help you get started on down that path to a resilient, joyful, powerful future (and present).  I did design it with the intention of students taking it.  Because, I’m telling you – wouldn’t that be something – if we started to learn when we were in school all the amazing tools out there to help us be resilient, joyful, powerful – UNSTOPPABLE people.  Wouldn’t that be something if we went into college or were in college having a much better idea of what we wanted to do and create with our lives, instead of waiting til were in our 30s or 40s or even later to figure it out (all too often).  

But truthfully this course is for students of life in general of all ages, anyone struggling with happiness and life direction that is looking to make some positive changes.  

If you are interested I invite you to check out more about the course The Resilience, Joy and Power Mindset.” on udemy where it is hosted.  And if you take it, I’d love to get your feedback.  This class covers the basics with some fantastic exercises and tools, but there is so much more.  I’d love to here if you’re interested.

 

The Short of It:

 

 

 

 

Healthy Chocolate Almond Butter Fudge

Healthy Chocolate Almond Butter Fudge

chocolate almond butter fudge

This chocolate almond butter fudge recipe was inspired by Chocolate Covered Katie clean eating almond butter fudge.  My friend had pinned it, and I offered to make it for a gathering we had.  I got to say it quite delicious, but it also got melty really quickly once out of the freezer, so not necessarily great for parties.   If you think about it, of course it would get pretty soft and melty because most almond butters are pretty oily and not thick like peanut butter.  

 

So I got to thinking, how could I make this less soft, and able to stay out of the freezer for a little bit longer before eating.  

 

This is the recipe I came up with.  I made chocolate, because I love chocolate, and yup I’m in the camp that says chocolate is good for you.  Especially the type I use, high quality dark chocolate produced to be low in molds and toxins.  Also all these Bulletproof products were perfect for thickening up these lovely little fudge bites at room temp in a healthy and delicious way.  Cocoa butter is really solid at room temperature, and gelatin not only provides protein and is good for your skin it helps keep the fudge nice and chewy but also solid.

 

They came out pretty good, because I can’t stop going into the freezer for another one.

Chocolat Almond Butter Fudge

 

Chocolate Almond Butter Fudge Recipe

½ cup almond butter

1 ½ Tbsp coconut oil

1 Tbsp cacoa butter

½ Tbsp collagelatin (or regular gelatin)

2 Tbsp chocolate powder

2 tsp xylitol (or whatever sweetener you like – to taste)

 

Melt the cacoa butter and coconut oil over medium heat in a sauce pan.  Add collagaletin as oil and butter begins to melt.  Add the almond butter, and melt until easily stir-able.  Stir in the chocolate powder and xylitol

Spoon into cupcake liners, candy molds, or just a plastic tray and freeze for a few hours.  I like to use mini cupcake liners which I arrange in a 8×8 baking sheet. Store leftovers in the freezer.

Chocolate Almond Butter Fudge
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. ½ cup almond butter
  2. 1 ½ Tbsp coconut oil
  3. 1 Tbsp cacoa butter
  4. ½ Tbsp collagelatin (or regular gelatin)
  5. 2 Tbsp chocolate powder
  6. 2 tsp xylitol (or whatever sweetener you like - to taste)
Instructions
  1. Melt the cacoa butter and coconut oil over medium heat in a sauce pan. Add collagaletin as oil and butter begins to melt. Add the almond butter, and melt until easily stir-able. Stir in the chocolate powder and xylitol
  2. Spoon into cupcake liners, candy molds, or just a plastic tray and freeze for a few hours. I like to use mini cupcake liners which I arrange in a 8x8 baking sheet. Store leftovers in the freezer.
Life Upgrade Movement http://lifeupgrademovement.com/
Short of It:

 

 

The 2 Daily Journals You Should Be Keeping

The 2 Daily Journals You Should Be Keeping

gratitude journal

Truth, I’ve never considered myself much of a writer. It doesn’t come naturally to me, and takes a bit more time and effort than I’d like. Proper grammar and technique, forget about that. So anytime the suggestion of journaling has come up I’ve kind of balked at the idea. Writing, everyday, I can’t imagine what that would accomplish for me.

But then I gave it a try for likely the 10th time in my life, and this time was different. This time it wasn’t about writing about my day or even my goals and dreams, this time it was about self-awareness.

Self-awareness is perhaps one of the most powerful traits we can build in our lifetimes. Having strong self-awareness helps us to find who we are, who we want to be, and to become that person. Mindful meditation is a great way to practice being present, and in presence is where we find self-awareness. There are also two types of journals, that in just a few minutes a day will also help build this valuable trait.

A Gratitude Journal

Gratitude is a powerful way to develop a positive outlook on life, and you’ll find it quite common to have keeping a gratitude journal recommended. Keeping a daily journal will help foster a habit of finding and seeing things to be grateful for. Gratitude is also the first step in truly forgiving yourself or someone else, and forgiveness is a very powerful tool for personal growth, happiness, and health.

Gratitude:

Improves self-awareness
Promotes optimism and happiness (1)
Provides greater calmness and better sleep (especially if you write it at night (1)
Improves relationships by enhancing empathy and reducing aggression (2)
Improves both physical and psychological health (2)
And my favorite
Increases resilience (1)

So I encourage you to keep a journal where every night or morning you write down 3-5 things you are grateful for. Here’s the twist though:

Try not to repeat anything for at least one whole month. This forces you to get creative. It expands your thinking and will help all those benefits come about sooner.
ADD A WHY. Why are you grateful for whatever it is you are grateful for?
Adding this to your practice, gets you out of your head. It’s really easy to say I’m grateful for my children or my parents or my house. To truly get benefit from the gratitude journal you need to feel the gratitude as you write it. Too often we stay in our heads through the process. Adding a why to the process drops you down into your heart where you will be in the present moment feeling the gratitude. This will add extra oompf to your journaling.
Also, if you can’t come up with three, because sometimes that’s hard, just do one. Can’t come up with one, that’s ok too, try again tomorrow. Look for what makes you smile. The tiniest little things count, and they add up.

A What I Learned Today Journal

Remember when you were a kid sitting at the dinner table with your parents and they asked you “so what did you learn today?” Why did we ever stop that as adults? It’s such a valuable question to be asking yourself every night.

Ask yourself that question every night, and write down the answers. It could be anything from actual facts or information you learned and want to remember, now you have a helpful reference, to things you learned about yourself. For instance you might write, “today I learned I like working with my coworker Jan because she’s always very optimistic” or “today I learned I express my needs poorly when I’m at work.” This is where I see this type of journal’s greatest value. As we begin to do personal inner work, such as gratitude journals, you’ll start noticing things about yourself more. Perhaps you listen to a podcast or hear a conversation that rings true to you, and you think “hey, that’s me, I get really angry when people interrupt me, I should really work on that.” But how often do you forget about that, and never work on it, never release or change it. Keeping a what I learned today journal will help you reflect on your day and remember the valuable lessons you learned each day. It will also help you learn who you are, what you want, and what you want to change – and then actually change it.

I’ve found this type of journal so useful for writing down limiting beliefs as I discover them. It’s a lot easier to get rid of them when you remember what they are.

 

The Short of It: 

 

 

  1. http://www.newsweek.com/5-scientifically-proven-benefits-gratitude-398582
  2. http://www.forbes.com/sites/amymorin/2014/11/23/7-scientifically-proven-benefits-of-gratitude-that-will-motivate-you-to-give-thanks-year-round/#2d854c706800