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!!

 

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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.
Hacking Happiness – Stop 6

Hacking Happiness – Stop 6

cultivating happiness

 

The degree to which people experience positive emotions in their lives can predict whether or not they will be languishing or flourishing. (1)

 

Ah, the illusive happiness.  We all want it, and many of us struggle to get it or maintain it when we do.  We say we’re happy, but then think “but I could be happier.” So maybe it’s really the happier that is illusive.  That grass is always greener on the other side idea.

 

I recently heard a great version of that quote though.

 

hacking happiness

 

When you water your patch of happiness it grows. Being happy is as good for your health and longevity as giving up smoking is.  Not only are you less stressed when you are happy, your immune system is also healthier and more robust.

 

When happy, you: (2,3)

  • Are more productive
  • Have WAY more creativity, like 300% more creative  
  • Create a higher sense of well-being
  • Increase life satisfaction
  • Increase physical health
  • Have greater resilience to stress
  • Have better social connection to others
  • And people even have longer lives.  

 

Research even shows that positive emotional experiences cause these various outcomes rather than just being a consequence of them, which is very very cool. (3)

 

This is how I look at it.  When you are happy you aren’t stressed.  When you aren’t stressed you are allowing your body to enter or remain in healthy or healing mode.  Not to say you can’t be stressed and happy, but in that case you are probably in a good stress mode, one that is temporary.  

 

There are many definitions for happiness out there, but it boils down to having more positive than negative thoughts and emotions, and a sense of life satisfaction.

 

Now this doesn’t mean if you experience a lot of negative feelings that you can’t or won’t be happy.  Negative feelings can be quite healthy.  Good or bad feelings/emotions, it really is about how we deal with them.  And dealing with them in a healthy way involves opening up to and working skillfully with the full range of your emotional spectrum.  The best way to do this that I know of is to practice mindfulness and presence which I discuss much more of in the stress section as well as the hot tip I give away in my free webinar: The 5 Keys To Optimal Energy.

 

So how do we let positive emotions light our way and water our little patch of happiness?

 

Cultivating Happiness:

  • Gratitude
  • Cultivate optimism
  • Avoiding overthinking and comparative thinking
  • Practice kindness
  • Build and nurture relationships – happy people have stable relationships
  • Develop coping strategies and increase resilience
  • Practice Forgiveness
  • Increase Flow
  • Savor pleasures in life
  • Commit to your goal
  • Be curious and try new things – take risk (4)

 

I want to expand on the two I personally believe are the most important for cultivating happiness.

                                    

Building social circles

 

Neuroscientist Matthew Lieberman explains how society not understanding the real, literal value of social is our kryptonite.  Being social makes us happier, healthier, smarter,and more productive.  (5)

 

And I couldn’t agree more with Lieberman.  Understanding the power of being social and using it, is a super power.  

 

The following is an excerpt from book I Can. I Am. I Have about related to why relationships and being social is so good for your health and happiness.

 

There have been many scientific studies done that show the importance of relationships. So many that I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that building and maintaining quality relationships may be the most important factor in living a long and healthy life.

Kelly McGonigal [health psychologist] talks about how stress [in her TED talk] makes you social, because the hormone oxytocin is released as part of the stress response, motivating you to seek support. Oxytocin is the hormone released when you hug someone. It’s good for you. It’s an anti-inflammatory. It encourages you to release your stress through relationships. People are nourished by other people.[i]

A recent study by Brigham Young University psychology researchers found that loneliness and isolation boost chances of death by 29%.[ii] It is comparable to obesity. Another study found that the effects of loneliness might be even worse in older people. During a six-year period, isolated people who are 50 and over had twice the mortality rate of their peers who enjoyed more active social and family lives, according to a 2012 paper published in The Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied.[iii]

I also was recently reading about a study of an old community of Italian immigrants in Roseto, PA in the 1960’s. This community was very close-knit and looked after one another. The type of place where doors were always open and you spent evenings socializing, drinking, and playing cards together. Researchers were drawn to Roseto because the community statistics seemed to defy medical logic. Residents seemed almost immune to the most common causes of death, even though they lead lives that would typically be linked to early death such as drinking, smoking, eating lots of pasta, and doing hard labor jobs.

Researchers believed that it was the community and its strong social nature that led to the health statistics. They shared a life, a community, a work ethic, a goal of a better life for their children. Three generations of family would live together and elderly would be elevated socially, instead of diminished. Social clubs and church activities would bring out the whole community. As the community advanced with the times and kids went off to school and stayed away, and everyone turned to their computers and TV’s, it wasn’t shocking to find that their stellar statistics of health began to fall into normal ranges.[iv]

If you think about it, it makes a ton of sense. When you are with friends and family you are releasing stress. You can talk about your problems and get feedback. If you don’t want to talk about your problems, but are still actively engaged, you are living in the moment. Some of the time you might be doing physical activity, another one of the excellent ways to release stress. You are also likely to be feeling loved and giving love, which will release oxytocin, another powerful stress reducer.

Some of you might be seeing this as bad news, because you are lonely, and struggle with social connection. All hope is not lost. A couple of loyal friends can actually be better than many less engaged friends. Meetups.com is a great way to meet new friends that share your interest. There are a surprising number of book clubs still taking place. Church or spiritual groups are fantastic places to find support, friendship, and people to help. Don’t just seek to find people to support you, but also to find people you can support. You can also start online. Perhaps start a pen pal relationship. Expressing yourself through writing is a fantastic stress reducer and relationship builder. Groups on Facebook are numerous, and while not as ideal as in person interactions, they are a great outlet for support if you find the right group, and a great start. For instance, as a solo entrepreneur I belong to a couple of groups of other entrepreneurs that offer me much more support than I could ever get from my family and friends revolving around my business, simply because they are also immersed in the world and know a lot more about it than my friends do. I’m so grateful to have them. One group even led to an in person mastermind meet-up with others who live close to me.

 

When you are being social, and have a strong social life you have a lot of opportunities to cultivate happiness.  Not only are you reducing stress by talking it out, or laughing, or simply being in the moment with friends you have more opportunity to; express gratitude and kindness, practice forgiveness, get help developing coping strategies, try new things, and savor pleasures in life.  These are all things that have been shown to water and grow your patch of happiness.

 

This doesn’t mean you need to have a ton of friends, or even the more friends the better.  Even one or two really good friend you can talk to often will provide strong happiness boosting benefits.

 

The second tip for cultivating happiness that I believe is uber important is to:

 

Practice kindness – but in particular choose love and practice kindness for yourself

 

To me kindness is about love and forgiveness as well giving and receiving.  You know how they say money doesn’t buy happiness, especially once you’ve reached a level of income to provide you with comfort in meeting all of life’s basic needs.  Well this is often followed up with, but money actually can make you happier IF you are spending that money on others.  When you are giving.  Now of course giving doesn’t just mean giving something of monetary value.  Kindness is a form of giving.

 

It’s pretty easy to see how practicing kindness to others can boost your happiness levels.  Just thinking about people being kind to each other is making me smile right now.  It can be the greatest gift you give someone in their day, and in doing so you will also feel better, instantly happier because you helped someone else to be happier.

 

For many however it is a lot easier to be kind to others then it is to be kind to themselves.  It’s so easy and common to barrage yourself with harsh words and thoughts, or beat yourself up for failures, mistakes or not being where you want to be.  Also, for many, like myself, it is far harder to forgive yourself then it is to forgive others.  

 

I believe when you practice kindness for yourself you are not only cultivating happiness but love for yourself as well.  And in doing so, I you will be able to forgive others and yourself more easily.  

 

Forgiveness is the ultimate kindness that can be given.  

 

Not only for someone that may desperately want the forgiveness but every single time forgiving is an act of kindness to yourself, knowing that by forgiving you can let go, move on, and create space for love and happiness to grow.  (with the caveat that you shouldn’t forgive too quickly, not without first grieving, or feeling/expressing the emotions that came along with what needs forgiveness)

cultivating happiness

 

A fantastic way to practice kindness it do practice a meditation called:

 

Loving kindness meditation

 

Loving kindness meditation, sometimes known as metta meditation, is meant to cultivate and learn to self-generate loving emotions and direct them to yourself, others, and eventually everyone, everywhere.  It is a meditation practice taught by buddhist to develop the habit of selfless love.  Practicing it consistently has many benefits: (6,7)

 

  • More socially connected
  • Improvement of self-reported health symptoms
  • Increases positive emotions
  • Increases vagal tone
  • Decreases migraines, chronic pain, and PTSD
  • Increases empathy and compassion
  • May increase telomere length (a marker of aging)
  • Decreases biases towards others
  • Decreases self-criticism

 

During a loving kindness meditation you use visualization, reflecting, or auditory (mantras/phrases) to evoke feeling of love and kindness.  Phrases such as:

 

May I be filled with lovingkindness.

May I/he/she/all be safe from inner and outer dangers.

May I/he/she/all be well in body and mind.

May I/he/she/all be at ease and happy.

May I/he/she/all be free from inner and outer harm and danger. May I be safe and protected.

May I/he/she/all be free of mental suffering or distress.

May I/he/she/all be happy.

May I/he/she/all be free of physical pain and suffering.

May I/he/she/all be healthy and strong.

May I/he/she/all be able to live in this world happily, peacefully, joyfully, with ease.

 

These feelings are directed first to yourself, than to others.  Some meditations go through next a respected, beloved person such a teacher, then a dear friend or family (someone who you have no internal conflicts about such niece or nephew), then to a neutral person (someone like you see occasionally like the barista at your coffee shop), then to someone you have negative feelings for, and some meditations take it all the way out to everyone in world.  

 

And in practicing love for yourself in this way I believe you will be attending more to some of the other things on the list, such as forgiveness, gratitude, resilience, and optimism.

 

These sites have some good written versions of the loving kindness meditation.  

 

Contemplative Mind

Metta Institute

Jack Kornfield

 

Get a free audio version of a loving kindness meditation along with some other powerful mindful meditations you’ll learn about in the Stress chapter of the roadmap by joining the Life Upgrade community HERE.

 

The Energy Takeaway:

 

Water your patch of grass with happiness.  More happiness = less stress, more flow, more presence = more energy.

 

Check out my free webinar:  The 5 Keys to Optimal Energy for my biggest and best tips to shortcut getting back and sustaining optimal energy.

 

The Short of It:  

 

 

BACK TO INTRO   –  GO TO STOP 7

 

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.

 

DISCLOSURE

I am not capable of diagnosing or treating diseases. Nor is that my intention. These statements have not been FDA approved.  I’m a girl that has been studying holistic wellness for over 10 years, working on my own health, and feel compelled to share the information I have learned, that I believe in, and that has changed my vitality, performance, resilience, and health for the better. I of course can not guarantee its accuracy, though most has supporting scientific studies, it is always important to note that scientific studies are fallible and some are completed much more stringently than others. Again I’m only sharing information that I believe has improved my life.  Further this article contains affiliate links (TOS) and I truly appreciate your support.

 

The Inner Side of Healing – Stop 5

The Inner Side of Healing – Stop 5

Inner healing

 

When it comes to doing inner healing work, there is a lot we can talk about,  but in today’s case, I am referring to 2 things.

 

  1. The extraordinary power of belief

 

This is often referred to as the Placebo Effect, though it doesn’t actually require a placebo to work.  Simply truly believing will work just as well.

 

The idea of the placebo effect is that in most clinical trials a placebo is given to one group and the other group is given the real medicine.  The placebo effect occurs when a placebo given patient heals just as well or better than the real medicine group even though they received an inert pill.  Yet they still got better because they believed they would.  They believed they were receiving the real treatment and that the treatment would help, and then they got better.

 

This has been documented countless times over the years, and not just with pills but with all sorts of treatments and procedures.

 

There is actually emerging science as to why the placebo effect works, and if you are interested I encourage you to check out my book – I Can. I Am. End of Story.  Or the works of Gregg Braden, Bruce Lipton, or Lynne McTaggert.  They delve into the quantum theory, epigenetics (how your environment, including your thoughts, control your genes) and the science behind the placebo effect, and in my book I try to take all I’ve learned from them and others and make it nice and short and clear.

 

Regardless of why it works, there is true power in believing something to be so.  And for some of us, it really is pretty simple. For others, like me, believing isn’t so cut and dry.  Because for the placebo to work, you really have to believe without a shred of doubt.  

inner side of healing

 

So how do we believe? Read on.

 

  1. Ridding yourself of all those nasty little limiting beliefs and past traumas you are holding on to.

 

What it all really comes down to is that your environment controls your genes and your cellular health.  You may have heard the term biohacking before.  Biohacking is all about this exactly.  Changing your environment in and around you so that you have control of your biology.  This entire roadmap is about doing just that.  About what needs to be changed in your environment and why.  Your thoughts and beliefs are an environment.  They are a powerful environment that can be working with and for you, or it can be working against you.  

 

It’s more than just about optimistic thinking and happiness (which is important and part of the roadmap).  It’s also more than power of belief.  All too often we have all these hidden and limiting beliefs.  Limiting beliefs that conflict with and keep us from truly believing what we want to and need to believe.  

 

Not only can limiting beliefs keep you from believing in healing, they can be the cause of your disease all together.

 

For example the all too common limiting belief – “I am not good enough” can come from anywhere, from a couple flippant remarks by your parent or teacher as a child, from getting picked on, to a couple friends not showing up to your birthday.  

 

But once that belief settles in, it starts to limit you.  It keeps you from asking cute boys out on dates for fear of rejection.  “I’m not (blank) enough, why would he say yes”.  It can keep you from taking risks, applying to jobs, building strong relationships, standing up for yourself, keep you stuck in a bad relationship, all sorts of things.

 

These limiting beliefs we all have, can also provide a lot of negative feelings and associated emotional and psychological stress that can often manifest in diseases. 

 

You can be doing all the right things, but if you are holding onto a limiting belief especially one keeping you in a bad relationship or job or unhappy place, or you have a past trauma that is stifling you, there is a very real possibility you will not heal.  

 

Examples of limiting beliefs:

 

  • I’m not X enough (pretty, smart, cool, confident, strong, good, etc.)
  • I can’t trust people because I’ve been betrayed before
  • Money is hard to obtain
  • I’m not lovable
  • I can’t pursue my dreams because I don’t know what I’ll do if I fail
  • I have to do everything on my own, because people aren’t helpful (or I don’t want to be needy)
  • I’m not worthy
  • I’m helpless
  • Many fears tend to be tied to limiting beliefs, caused from them or at the root of them. Fears of judgement, rejection, failure, etc.
  • I can’t change

 

The inner side of healing can be difficult, emotional, and a ton of work, and is something that never really ends.  Though once you start doing it, you’ll see how amazing it is, and you’ll want to make it a part of your life.  It gets easier.   Once you really get through the most difficult stuff you’re holding onto, it get much easier.  And fortunately there are some powerful tools out there for getting your inner healing and believing on.

limiting beliefs

 

How to Get Rid of Limiting Beliefs and Believe

 

The first and foremost being:

 

Presence and awareness:

 

There is an incredible power in being present to the moment.  When you are in the present moment you are attuned to your current being.  This builds awareness.  The more aware and observant you can be of yourself in the present moment the more you will notice when your limiting beliefs pop up.  Because it’s a lot easier to get rid of limiting beliefs when you are aware of them.  Sometimes that’s all it takes.  Noticing them, and deciding you don’t need it anymore.

 

Being present and building your inner awareness helps you get to know yourself.

 

Mindful meditation is a great way to begin practicing presence.  You can download some free meditations I recorded for you HERE.  

 

Getting and staying present gets easier and easier with practice.

 

Exercise for releasing limiting beliefs

 

Once you’ve identified a limiting belief, you can begin the work to get rid of it.

 

Work with one belief at a time.  Start with the big ones, and by big ones I mean the ones having the most impact on your current life.  For me it was very much the common – I’m not good enough belief.  Write it down.

Then write down all the things you can think of that may have caused this belief to manifest.  It’s a good idea to do a short meditation and really get present with yourself before starting this.  Think all the way back to your childhood.

Now having acknowledged all these reason, express gratitude for them.  Express gratitude for the belief.  Expressing true gratitude helps release the negative emotion attached to this list, making them easier to release from your body and mind. Thank them for what they have done for you or they believe they have done for you, and then write down all the reasons these reasons the the belief is wrong.  

At this point I like to destroy the paper by burning it (take all the proper safety measures if you choose to do this as well)

Finally write down your new belief that you are replacing the old limiting belief with.  And practice it.

 

Practice:

 

For a long time most scientist, researchers, and doctors believed that at a certain age the brain stops growing and changing.  Many still do believe this.  But it turns out that is pretty much BS and the truth has recently emerged.  Our brains ALWAYS have the ability to change and rewire.   This concept is called brain plasticity, and it’s freaking cool.

 

Essentially it means you can teach an old dog new tricks, so teach on. It also has a profound impact on healing as well.  In this youtube clip, Dr. Norman Doidge, discusses how the concept of brain plasticity and “talking to the brain in its own language” has helped autistic kids have great improvements, and how it has helped patients with parkinsons, and many other brain health patients.

 

Practice and repetition is how the average person rewires their brain.  That’s why you want to practice the right way.  The more you fire the new/different neurons together, eventually that pathway will become dominant.

 

The more you practice mindfulness, the sooner it will become second nature, and you’ll be living a more present life. The more you say your affirmations and feel your affirmations the sooner you’ll start to truly believe them.

 

This isn’t really a new concept.  But for some it can be a needed shift.  This idea that you never are too old to master something new, you can get smarter, you can change things you don’t like about yourself, you can make beneficial changes to your brain.

 

So I invite you to practice believing. Practice the beliefs you want to replace your limiting beliefs with. Practice life as if you have no limiting beliefs.  Practice the shit out of it.

 

Create rituals that you do daily, weekly, monthly, etc. that are about your own personal development.  – Journaling, meditating, affirmations, praying, walking, power gab sessions with your bestfriend about inner healing in particular, etc.

 

Intention:

 

I look at intention as the precursor to belief.  This is an excerpt from my book about Lynne McTaggert’s Intention Experiment, showing the power of intention.  

 

Dr. William A. Tiller, a material science engineer at Stanford University, had scientifically controlled experiments in which he tested intention. He tested the power of the mind through intention to change physical matter. One of his first experiments was to test whether or not intention could change the pH level of water by a full degree. Not just half a degree or less than half a degree, which could be chalked up to chance. He wanted a noticeable, at least one degree, difference in the pH of water. (1)  How they did this was by imprinting devices with intention and then sending those devices to a laboratory 2,000 miles away where it was placed next to water and then turned on. When the device was turned on in the vicinity of the jar of water, the pH level decreased or increased according to the intention that was directed at it as much as one and a half full units.

Lynne McTaggart and The Intention Experiment are expanding on this. They’ve done some really, really cool things as well. They started out doing scientific controlled blind experiments across thousands of miles, some across the ocean, to see if, not only in presence but at a distance, intention can change physical activity. They took a set of leaves and had a group of people, across thousands of miles, set an intention to have one of those leaves glow. It worked. The scientists working with Lynne, who didn’t know which leaf was intended to glow, confirmed that in fact one leaf was glowing. You could see it in pictures, compared to other ones. How cool is that? It’s through intention of thousands of miles away that a leaf was made to glow. They were also able to do the same sort of experiments making plants grow faster. They had several groups of people in several different parts of the country, each working with a different set of plants thousands of miles away. The one plant that they had intended to grow faster, grew faster. (2)

What one of the really interesting, but not surprising, findings was that they did have one group, it was a group of all trained healers and experienced intenders, who were able to make their plant grow even higher, even faster, than the other groups that weren’t as trained and experienced. That is really cool because that means that you can cultivate your power, you can cultivate and improve your ability to intend and to turn that into actual physical results. (3)

 

How do you cultivate your capability to intend and see results?  You practice.   Practice setting intentions, believing they will occur, and see what happens.  If it doesn’t work.  Don’t get down on yourself.  Just try again.

 

My best tip from the science behind the placebo effect is to truly believe you have to feel it.  It’s not the thought that’s powerful, it’s the feeling associated with it.  The feeling of belief.  The feelings associated with visualizing your intention as complete.  Seeing it, tasting it, smelling it, hearing it complete.   Practice getting into the emotions and really feeling your intention manifesting.  

 

One of my favorite books – E Cubed by Pam Grout, as a ton of fun intention setting experiments in it.

 

Talk to yourself

 

Seriously, you’ll be amazed by what you hear in return.

 

Not too too long ago I had started to develop an anxiety disorder.  I experienced my first panic attack, and if you’ve ever had one you know how terrifying they are.  You feel an absolute lack of control over your body, and not in a good way.  They pop up out of nowhere, and can lead to you being terrified of possible triggers you associate with the panic attack.

 

To be honest, I thought it was a one time thing.  How could I in all my new agey power and self-confidence develop a panic disorder.  Was I under that much stress that I was denying?

 

So I began to see a therapist.  I was interested in getting EMDR therapy which I had recently learned about as a way to get rid of limiting beliefs.  While my therapist did do that therapy it wasn’t her primary go to.  She started explaining to me Internal Family Systems.

 

The IFS Model, views a person as containing an ecology of relatively discrete minds, each of which has valuable qualities and each of which is designed to — and wants to — play a valuable role within. These parts are forced out of their valuable roles, however, by life experiences that can reorganize the system in unhealthy ways. A good analogy is an alcoholic family in which the children are forced into protective and stereotypic roles by the extreme dynamics of their family. While one finds similar sibling roles across alcoholic families (e.g., the scapegoat, mascot, lost child), one does not conclude that those roles represent the essence of those children. Instead, each child is unique and, once released from his or her role by intervention, can find interests and talents separate from the demands of the chaotic family. The same process seems to hold true for internal families — parts are forced into extreme roles by external circumstances and, once it seems safe, they gladly transform into valuable family members. (1)

 

Essentially your internal families are various and often undefined parts of your body, that your therapist can help you uncover.  Then you have conversations with these parts with the idea that you can help that part return to its original healthy role or to release all together.

 

I highly recommend the therapy and seeing a professional to help you with it.  However I think it’s also something you can explore a bit on your own.  Talking to your body from individual cells, to organs, to emotional centers while in meditation.  If you only come from a place of love and only give love I don’t think you will do any harm, and only good (this is obviously a non-professional point of view, see my disclosure).

 

Talk to your parts – we have many parts to us.  We have parts that get angry, get sad, we have parts that hold in anger, we have parts that are shy, embarrassed, jealous.  And they are all there for a reason.  An example would be to protect you.  But from what?  Something you don’t need protection from anymore, most likely anyways, especially when you have stirred your soul and awakened to your truth.

 

Go into a meditative state, notice a part of you that’s feeling down or feels off when you think of a limiting belief or of your disease, etc.  Bring it forth in meditation.  Talk to it.  Let it talk it back.  Have a conversation with your part.  Find out why it’s doing what it’s doing.

 

Talk to your body.  You can talk to figurative parts that represent emotions and beliefs, and you can talk to actual physical parts.  You’re parts are listening.  Your cells are listening.  And they’ll talk back, if you are in the right frame and space to hear them.  

 

Work with them in mediation to find and eliminate limiting beliefs and fears.  Ask them what they need to heal.  Ask the parts that aren’t serving your highest interest to start doing so.  

 

3 tips for the conversation. (2,3)

Real Intent – Understand that your body is made of parts and cells that have a consciousness of their own.  They experience emotion.  Always choose love and gratitude and compassion when it comes to your conversation.

Attunement – Go into your conversation knowing that you and your parts are one. You are working together to build a relationship and to heal.  You are allys.

Spontaneity – allow for changes in the conversation.  Don’t go in with an expectation of results or the conversation that will be had.  Sometimes it goes well, other times – crickets.  Sometimes you don’t hear what you want to hear, and sometimes the parts just don’t get what you’re trying to say.  Try different words and thoughts that elicit different emotions. Just go with it, with love and respect and appreciation.

 

So go on, talk to yourself.

 

I go more into this in my book I Can. I Am. End of Story.

 

Take a leap of faith and trust yourself

 

When it comes down to it, to believe something truly you just have to choose to believe it.  Sometimes you just know it, and sometimes you have to make that choice over and over again until it’s locked in.

 

Making this choice though often requires a taking leap of faith and trusting in yourself and, if you believe it, a higher power.

 

Trust in yourself and your power to create, manifest, heal, intend and make happen.  Trust your awesome Jedi like powers to manifest your intentions.  Trust in your knowledge that you are designed to heal.  (I know I did not go into it, so if you don’t have that knowledge yet check out my book or the works of Gregg Braden, Bruce Lipton, Pam Grout, and many more).  Trust in what you are doing to heal, will heal you.

 

Because the real magic of it all, of you, is that we don’t know how we began, we don’t know the truly profound abilities we have hiding in us waiting to be discovered, science can’t explain it all, at least not yet, and it could be wrong.  We are so intricately complex, and our power is limitless.  How did we get that way? Who really knows, but let’s embrace it.  

The more books you read on the subject the more you awaken, the more it gets ingrained, the more it’s like “well I already knew that”.  And that is a good thing.  Have faith in you knowledge.  You know that health is the true state of your being.  You know that you can heal yourself.  You know that your awareness can change the body, your very cells and genes can change from your beliefs.  You know life is abundant and expanding and limitless.  You know you can fix distorted energy.  You know you are energy, you are pure love, and your body is meant to align to that state, and can easily do so.  You know you are not your ego, and that their is another way to live.  You know the answers to your questions are always given.

Have faith in this knowledge.  Let it sink in, let it stew for awhile.  Hold it in, embrace it, claim it, because it’s your truth.  And yes, you’ll go about your day and forget, but that’s ok, because you can remind yourself.  And the more you remind yourself, and have faith in your knowledge, the more it sticks around, the more the subconscious mind says “ok let’s do it this way.  I like it better this way” and starts to release the old programs and conditioning.

(I Can. I Am. End of Story.)

 

Reaffirm this trust as often as possible.  

 

limiting beliefs

 

 

Further, consider working with a professional or coach (like myself).  From professional therapist doing therapies like EMDR to energy work professionals and hypnotherapist that can help you energetically cut cords are release limitations, to EFT practitioners, there are a lot of them out there that can help with inner healing.  Sometimes it takes that outside professional to help you see beliefs you aren’t finding, or really fully cut out the deep ones.  

 

For more on this check out my book I Can. I Am. End of Story.  An Amazon former #1 best-seller in it’s category.

 

The Energy Takeaway:

 

Doing some inner healing work will have a big impact on your stress levels and confidence.  This will be a strong boost to your mental and emotional energy, which will reflect in your physical energy as well, because it’s all connected.

 

Check out my free webinar:  The 5 Keys to Optimal Energy for my biggest and best tips to shortcut getting back and sustaining optimal energy.

 

The Short of It:

 

 

BACK TO INTROGO TO STOP 6

 

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.

 

DISCLOSURE

I am not capable of diagnosing or treating diseases. Nor is that my intention. These statements have not been FDA approved.  I’m a girl that has been studying holistic wellness for over 10 years, working on my own health, and feel compelled to share the information I have learned, that I believe in, and that has changed my vitality, performance, resilience, and health for the better. I of course can not guarantee its accuracy, though most has supporting scientific studies, it is always important to note that scientific studies are fallible and some are completed much more stringently than others. Again I’m only sharing information that I believe has improved my life.  Further this article contains affiliate links (TOS) and I truly appreciate your support.

 

Stress and How to Kick it’s Ass – Stop 2

Stress and How to Kick it’s Ass – Stop 2

stress and how to kick it's ass

 

There is a famous saying, it goes: “Stress, it’s a killer.” Well that’s kind of a terrible saying, and I’ll get to why, but first let’s talk about how it really did come about for a reason. Chronic stress is often seen as the enemy to healing.

 

We all know what stress looks and feels like, because we all know what it feels like when it’s lifted.  That massive weight that has been lifted off your shoulders when you finished a project by a deadline.  The release of finally making a decision.  I’m currently planning my sister’s bachelorette party.  I want it to be a destination since her fiancé is headed off to Scotland for his party, and she wants it to be a surprise.  Fun, right? (hahahaha, nope) Oh, the stress I’ve been putting myself under.  Who can come, who wants to come, and to which destinations would they come, who can afford it?  I’ve had about 5 different plans, all with various stressors.  I was completely aware of the unnecessary stress I was letting myself experience.  As soon as I made the final decision and said this is what we’re doing, come if you like, the stress lifted like a balloon.  You know the feeling.

 

Planning that party was short-term stress, and stress that I was aware of and knew exactly how to handle.  The problem arises when we aren’t aware of, or choose to ignore, the daily stressors of our lives.

 

Stress can be defined as the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change. The term was coined by Hans Selye in1936. [1]

 

When it comes to our health, there is both good stress and bad stress. Good stress would come from a demanding physical situation such as exercise. It is short term, and results in some favorable responses by our body in the healing response from the stress. Not so good stress, however, places our body in what is called “fight or flight,” also known as acute stress response. Our body senses a threat and the sympathetic nervous system automatically responds by putting the body on alert and releasing hormones (namely cortisol) that will help us respond to that threat, either through fighting, fleeing, or freezing. The most common example relates to how in way back days, in the times of hunting and gathering, if a hunter came across an angry bear his body would use the stress response to flee faster. Our hearts beat faster, we breathe faster and receive more oxygen. Our body turns its focus completely on responding to stress, taking energy away from something else it’s automatically set up to do – like heal, or learning. [2]  

 

Nowadays our lives are rarely in a life or death survival situation. Instead we find ourselves dealing with other types of stress, yet our bodies are terrible at telling the difference between threats like bears and “I just got called on to answer a question” and so it still responds to the stress by directing attention to handling the stress, and not to healing.  To your nervous system these are the same level threat.

 

The primary types of stress are:  [3]

  •       Survival Stress – Confronting a bear, getting into a physical fight, etc.
  •       Internal Stress – worry, anger, emotional stress
  •       Environmental Stress – such as noises or crowds or pollution
  •       Fatigue and Overwork – whether from lack of sleep or expending too much energy.

 

Stress, The Adrenals, Energy, and Health

 

Chronic stress can affect your health in a large multitude of ways.  Chronic stress (from any and all sorts of causes, not just emotional) leads to chronically messed up cortisol levels which wreaks havoc on the adrenals and your HPA axis function (basically your hypothalamus, pituitary glands, and adrenals stop communicating correctly) and this can lead to a condition many like to call “adrenal fatigue”.  There are different stages of adrenal fatigue.  You might begin with too high of cortisol, or you might have reached a point where you aren’t making enough cortisol.

 

When you reach the point that you aren’t making enough cortisol, this will significantly impact your energy and you’ll begin to be tired and not tired at all the wrong times.  Optimal cortisol levels are vital to your energy production and thus your health.  The roadmap chapter on energy explains this in much more detail.  The point being that energy is vital to your health and stress is an energy killer.  

 

Other health issues related to chronic stress are, a higher risk of: (4)

 

  • Obesity
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Mental health problems
  • Early memory loss

 

And other “softer” issues like the ability to be present, resilient, concentrate, work hard.  Everyday life things that add up to a big impact on our life.

 

Fortunately their is proven practice that can help us deal with this stress.  

 

Getting Present

Presence has a powerful way to destroy stress, because most often our stress comes from focusing on the concerns of the future or the woes of the past.  When we are fully in the present moment focused only on what we are doing the opportunity for stress dramatically decreases.  When you’re aware of only what you’re working on and the sensations of your body, conscious worry is not possible.  And if you are in a present moment that is stressful, it’s likely a temporary stress, and being present and mindful to the moment can help you move through it more quickly or become aware that it is temporary. If in a moment you can be aware of what you are feeling, clarify it, and describe it.  It creates a little bit of psychological space that allows you to pause and decide what direction you want to go in – with the emotion or changing the emotion. It allows stress and negative emotions that come with it to be less toxic. To take presence even further you can practice a technique called mindfulness.

 

Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.’

 

The real key here being non-judgemental.  We can be in the present moment, but if we are judging that moment it can create stress.  

 

When we are mindfully present we are not judging that moment, and we are allowing that moment to be.

 

When we are mindful in the way we pay attention to sensory input we create a space between the input and our reaction to it. This gives the Prefrontal cortex a chance to choose the best response rather than the amygdala choosing a response for us.

 

Mindfulness is just like any other skill.  The more you practice it the better you get at it.

 

It’s also like other skills in that you can apply it to many areas of your life.  Just like if you play basketball.  Not only are you building your skills to be a better basketball player, you are also learning valuable skills like team building.  You can apply you working in team skills you got from playing basketball to all sorts of areas of your life, from group projects in work or the classroom to building teams and community, to working with and getting along better with your family, friends, and strangers  

 

Mindfulness benefits

  • improves emotional intelligence
  • reduce stress
  • improves working memory
  • improves focus
  • improves health
  • reduces chronic inflammation
  • improves self regulation
  • increases grey matter in zones related to self awareness and compassion

 

Mindfulness is something we are born knowing how to do, and it really is as easy as it sounds, but it does take practice to get good at staying in it.  At first your mind will wonder like crazy taking you out of the moment and into self talk “radio-me” mode (a term taught to me by one of my Bulletproof coaching teachers).  That’s ok.   The key is non-judgemental.  It is awareness.  When you become aware of your wondering, notice it, smile, accept it, and return to your focus.

 

To download some mindful meditations to get your practice going, go HERE.

 

And you can practice mindfulness at all times, it doesn’t have to be in formal meditation, you can practice it with any task you are doing by simply paying full attention and being present with the task,  Anything from cleaning and chores, (doing dishes and being present with the sensations of the water, the smell of the dishes and soap, the rhythm of the action is a great way to practice) to walking, to eating (another really great idea to practice that will help with your long term health) to showering, to your sports and homework (when you are mindfully present while doing activities such as sports – this is when you’re most likely to be in what athletes and high performers like to call the zone or flow state – where everything just seems easy and flows naturally).  And most importantly you’ll significantly reduce your stress.

 

Other Stress Eliminating Techniques and Tools:

 

  • Redefine Stress

Finally getting to why “stress, it’s a killer” is a bad saying.  When you take the view that all stress is bad, then stress will be worse for you.  I encourage you to make an intentional choice about how you will view stress. Redefine stress, so that when you experience it, you don’t view it as a bad thing. It’s a good thing. Our bodies are intricately designed to be awesome and to heal. Stress is an automatic response for a reason. It’s a good thing. It means your body is working and doing its job.

When you are feeling stressed, and you see it as a good thing, you automatically become less stressed, less anxious, and more confident.

You can begin to see every person or situation that creates stress for you as an opportunity for healing.

The beauty of stress is that it is highly subjective. What causes each person to experience stress is different. How people perceive stress is different. As pioneering endocrinologist, Hans Selye said to reporters once “Everyone knows what stress is, but nobody really knows”.[5]

  • Get Social

Check out the happiness chapter for more info on the power of relationships.

Adaptogen herbs are a unique class of healing plants that help balance, restore and protect the body.  They are tonifying, and produce a normalizing influence on the body.  They help the body “adapt”, as they adapt to their function to the body’s needs. This makes them great for reducing stress. Some of my favorites:

Ginseng:  The most well known of the adaptogens.  There are many types of ginseng (asian, american, siberian).  Asian ginseng in particular is amongst the most valued adaptogen herbs and has not only been studied for its ability to help with stress but is also said to help with immune support, longevity, and mental performance

Ashwaganda: Is good for immono-modulating and anxiety.  It improves immune function and is also used by herbalist for patients with chronic-fatigue as it is good for treating exhaustion.

Eleuthero: Is traditionally used for joint pain, muscle spasms, insomnia and fatigue.  It also is used to help improve memory

Holy Basil: Also called “tulsi” is known as an elixir of anti-aging, because it helps with stress and fatigue as well as regulating blood sugar, hormone levels and blood pressure

Astragalus: Is a root that boosts immunity and helps with stress.

Rhodiola: Also known as golden root.  It is great for reducing cortisol, as well as improving brain and heart health.  It can also help in the breakdown of fats.

Maca:  Maca root is an adaptogen well known for its ability to increase energy and stamina as well as enhance the libido.

Some Mushrooms: In particular Reishi, Shiitake, and Maitake mushrooms.  Not actually plants, but they do have adaptogenic properties as well as antioxidant, immune-enhancing, and antitumor abilities.

  • EFT (emotional freedom technique) tapping

I’m a BIG fan of EFT tapping.  It is a psychological accupressure technique that involves tapping with your fingers on certain energy meridian points and following a technique of phrases and visualization.  Tapping provides relief from chronic pain, emotional problems, disorders, addictions, phobias, post traumatic stress disorder, and physical diseases.(6)  The EFT tapping solution is a great place to learn from but you can learn the basics many places on the Internet. Dr. Mercola has a very detailed explanation of the practice on his site as well. It’s a powerful tool for emotional health.  

  • Breathe work

Deep breathing does calm down the nervous system and creates the pause we need to see clearly.  Again, there are a lot of breathe exercises out there, but here is one of my favorites:

  • 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.
  • Heart Rate Variablity (HRV)

Practice with HeartMath emwav 2 training.  There is an app too.  These are cool devices from the Heart Math Institute that let you know your heart rate is variable, which is a very good thing for your overall health.  When you are stressed your HRV will be low.  They have a training that comes with the device, but what it comes down to is, breathe, focusing on your heart, and thinking of something that gives you the warm fuzzies.  I always go back to my niece doing something ridiculously cute (which is all the time).  And when I focus there and breathe slowly and regularly from my diaphragm my heart rate variability consistently goes up and my stress down.  I really encourage you to check out HeartMath, and the incredible amount of information and training they have to practice getting your heart, mind, and emotions in a coherent state where the benefits are incredibly numerous.

I’ve taken the emwave 2 with my to work, and connected the sensor to my ear, to learn what is causing me stress (the light turns red as I’m out of coherence and my HRV goes low).  It was a fantastic tool to practice getting back into coherence throughout the day, and become aware of what made me stressed that I wasn’t even realizing.  

  • Get active, exercise, or a sport you love (if you have adrenal fatigue be moderate with your exercise)
  • Immerse yourself in something you love (which will often bring you to presence)
  • Other forms of meditation
  • Challenging brain games that force you to think rationally
  • Massage, warm bath, a sauna or some other relaxation inducing method
  • Get out and be with nature, garden
  • Music – singing, playing, dancing to it.
  • Help someone else out in need
      • This one is super powerful in my opinion, a guaranteed make you feel better.
  • Journal

 

Again not all stress is emotional.  It’s also a good idea to be working on removing all the non emotional stressors that can impact your health.  Many of which are covered by this roadmap.  

 

 

The Energy Takeaway:

Stress, because there are so many different kinds is the biggest energy zapper there is.  It messes with your cortisol levels which is so important to optimal energy, as well as just being a mental drain.  

 

Check out my free webinar:  The 5 Keys to Optimal Energy for my biggest and best tips to shortcut getting back and sustaining optimal energy.

 

The Short of It:

 

BACK TO INTRO   –  GO TO STOP 3 

 

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.

DISCLOSURE

I am not capable of diagnosing or treating diseases. Nor is that my intention. These statements have not been FDA approved.  I’m a girl that has been studying holistic wellness for over 10 years, working on my own health, and feel compelled to share the information I have learned, that I believe in, and that has changed my vitality, performance, resilience, and health for the better. I of course can not guarantee its accuracy, though most has supporting scientific studies, it is always important to note that scientific studies are fallible and some are completed much more stringently than others. Again I’m only sharing information that I believe has improved my life.  Further this article contains affiliate links (TOS) and I truly appreciate your support.

 

The Wellness and Vitality Roadmap

The Wellness and Vitality Roadmap

 

wellness and vitality roadmap

This is the wellness and vitality roadmap.  It’s gathered from 14 years of my personal health battle, educating myself, and experiencing mostly failures before finding any successes.  My goal – to help you find success in your journey so much faster than I did.  I really want to save you time, money, and hopefully some of the many painful experiences of being let down so many of us experience on our health journeys.  It’s a roadmap to support greater energy, vitality and performance. So much is out of our control, this roadmap is meant to empower you to take control of what you can, optimize your health and get back your energy.  You don’t have to be a victim to your genes, your negative beliefs, or your chronic conditions, etc.  You, my dear, are more powerful then you can ever imagine.

Wellness and vitality roadmap

My Story

 

My story, for those of you you haven’t heard it yet, is not unlike many.  I suffer from an autoimmune arthritis (non-ankylosing spondylitis).  It’s similar to a psoriatic arthritis in that it swells up my joints.  I have a fair number of “sausage toes” and a few sausage like fingers as well. Along with the arthritis came fatigue and brain fog that kept me from working the way I’d like to.  I remember days where I was so tired at work, I wanted to cry (I did cry) not only because well I couldn’t take a nap at the time but more because I had no idea why I was so tired. I’d spend lunch napping out of necessity, not renewal.  Let’s also throw in the embarrassment of what sometimes felt like constant burping for good measure.  

 

And all this bullshitty nonsense, well, It all began at the age of 19.  Then after being told “you are so young to have arthritis” (ummmmm, yes, I completely agree! – ridiculous), I was told what all of us with autoimmune diseases are told.  It’s not curable, and take these (insert any of the countless potential drugs) pills for the rest of your life.  “THAT’S IT!!! That’s what you got for me???”

 

Well I wasn’t really into the idea of pills for the rest of my life, especially pills that may or may not help, that will only last so many years before you need a new one, and also come with a host of potential side effects.  So instead, lacking any substantial and/or helpful knowledge about my disease, or what I was getting myself into, I began my journey of holistic health, determined and knowing I could heal myself.  I simply needed to find the root cause, and fix it.

 

I have spent many of the last years trying to find one root cause to my health problems, because I really wanted it to be just one root cause.  Then I could find it, get rid of it, and be all better, right?  Well, for some, it can be that simple.  I hope it is for you.  Yet for most it is not.  But the more I learned about how the body works on a biochemistry, biophysics, and quantum physics level, the easier it became for me to put all the pieces together.

 

Looking back, of course I got sick at the age 19.  Well diagnosably sick anyways.  Now it’s clear to me, I was set down a path of disease well before 19.  I believe it started when I was a baby, perhaps in the womb even.  My twin sister (High Five all twins!!)  and I had bad ear infections as babies, thus many doses of antibiotics.  Already a bad start, killing the bacteria in our stomachs that didn’t get diligently replaced.  We also each had 6 missing adult teeth so 6 years of braces and dental works including bridges and metals in our mouths.  That’s a lot of dental stress, which can cause a whole lot of health problems (enough so that I wrote my first book all about it)  I ate the standard American diet as a child full of processed carbs and dairy.  I also spent my life in glasses, contacts and sunscreen blocking most to all UV light.  I know many of you think of UV light as “bad”, but as part of the series I explain why I believe it’s not. Sure countless people will tell me I’m wrong, but I invite you to judge for yourself.

To top that all off, I have a worrier personality and growing up did not express my feelings and stresses well, so I had all the stresses of a typical child, plus a personality that held on to my worries and stresses, and honestly many limiting beliefs including those that I wasn’t cool enough, smart enough, funny enough, etc.  And for the cherry on top of it all, I didn’t sleep well, where your body does it’s best recovery, because already as a child I was under constant stress, throwing off my HPA axis and raising my cortisol levels, thus affecting my sleep.  Oh, wait did I just call lack of sleep and stress the cherry? It’s more like the seagull that swoops in steals your sundae and then drops it upside down in the sand.  F-ing seagulls.

 

I mean one root cause, the thought is laughable to me now.  Looking back, knowing what I know now, I’m just grateful my autoimmune disease didn’t express itself even earlier.  And if you are wondering if my twin sister who went through most of this also got sick.  Not in the same way, and not as early as me, but yeah she also has a leaky gut and some auto-immune problems very similar to mine.  We went to different colleges, and had different stresses in our lives.  And if I did have one root cause that put me over the edge I think it may have been the stress of going to a different college than my sister and being all alone struggling to make friends.  She’s always been a little better then me at confidence and releasing stresses.  She’s also always had boyfriends.  I think the fact that she always had those strong love relationships and less stress is a big indicator for the power of reducing stress for health.

 

My mom is going to read this and feel really bad, and think it’s all her fault, but it’s not.  My mom is medically trained former ER nurse.  She did what she was taught, and what she knew, and in my opinion she did a great job.  I had a great childhood and I have a great family for which I’m extremely grateful.  But we only know what we know, and they should be teaching disease prevention in grade school, but they don’t. They teach STD prevention and drug prevention (yay! awesome), but when it comes to chronic disease prevention they pretty much just teach the food pyramid, which is kind of really fricking flawed, and even if it wasn’t, it’s not enough.  

 

Unfortunately from what I can tell, medical and nursing school hasn’t really changed their tune all that much since my mom was in school.  They aren’t teaching how to prevent disease.  And in my non-medical non-professional (based on 14 years of teaching myself, taking further formal education, and trying to heal my “uncurable” auto-immune disease) opinion, when you learn to prevent disease you can learn how to heal disease.  Our bodies are designed to heal themselves.  The way your body heals a cut all on its own, same principal.  We have these insanely cool, insanely complex body systems that when we aren’t constantly getting in it’s way, knows what to do to heal.  While preventing disease is way way easier then reversing disease, unfortunately so many of us aren’t interested in being healthy until we’re sick.  And even then, usually not until the ‘tired of being sick and tired’ phase.

 

So I recently had a drop the mic moment, it was like “holy shit, this all makes sense now.” I came to realize how vital optimal energy is to our health. I explain that moment in the Energy chapter of the roadmap.

 

“Holy shit, this all makes sense now.”

 

And after 14 years of educating myself of all things holistic healing, I’ve boiled it down. And here it is. It all comes down to energy, stress, living in sync with nature, and antibiotics wreaking havoc on your guts diverse ecosystem.  

 

I almost threw in toxins there too, but honestly I think if you have stress (and their are a lot of types of stress) under control and a diverse and healthy gut biome I think your body is a lot more capable of handling toxins.  Also you can look at toxins as a form of stress.

 

For 66,000 generations, humans ate primarily meat, fish, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and some starchy plants. We were physically active. We didn’t sit for long periods. We lived in sync with the natural rhythms of light and dark, in direct contact with nature, and in close-knit tribal social groups. (1)  Essentially we were kick ass, nature-gracious, communal beings that whooped chronic diseases butts.  That is not what we do anymore, and chronic disease is now whooping our butts in today’s society.    

 

So why are these things important to our health and vitality?  How do we hack them when possible? And what else can we do to help prevent disease and help our bodies do what they naturally know how to do, heal?

 

When you remove all the barriers, you allow the dam to burst forth with the abundant energy you are desperately desiring.

 

This is my magic sauce.  This is the wellness and vitality roadmap.

 

GO TO STOP 1   OR Download the ENTIRE ROADMAP (w/ Graphic) for Easier Reading

 

The Short of It:

 

 

 

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.

 

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