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How To Thrive During Huge Life Changes

BY WYNDHAM WOOD         MARCH 22, 2015 

Change is hard, we’re told. But it’s also a constant, they say. Inevitable, they add. These are all words of advice we’ve heard countless times — beliefs we’ve learned to swallow whole and pass on with little forethought.

But when we listen more closely, we may discover a decidedly bleak outlook on life. If change is hard, as well as inevitable and constant, we’re essentially asserting that life is always, and inevitably, full of challenges. And sure, no one will deny that life isn’t characterized by some degree of challenge at most times.

But the bigger question here becomes this: are these beliefs about change helping us, or conditioning us to resist a part of life we can’t avoid?

While not all change is created equal — some seems like an obvious blessing, other may take time to become so — it seems to me that these conventional ways of talking about change gives it a bad rap from the get go. And after all, without change, there would be no new love, no seasons and no “best ever” experiences.

So how can we turn change, especially big change, into something that we initially look at as an enriching aspect of life?

It’s a question that’s been on my mind a lot recently, mostly because in the early days of 2015, my family and I moved from the West coast to the East coast. With so much changing so quickly, I’ve been taking a deep, long look at my own relationship with change.

Here are some simple reminders and practices that have helped me to thrive during this period of widespread change:

1. Like oil and water, change and control don’t mix.

Having been taught that change is “hard,” we resist it by creating elaborate roadmaps of the future, whether out loud or in the silent comfort of our own minds. Unfortunately, these mental roadmaps lead to suffering when our expectations don’t mirror our experience.

Whenever you catch yourself trying to predict the future, stop what you’re doing, take a deep breath and visualize or do something simple that gives you comfort, whether it’s your daily walk or cuddling up with your coziest blanket. Bring all of your senses into the experience and let yourself get carried away in the feelings of safety and enjoyment it brings.

Over time, this simple practice will help to train your brain to feel safe, instead of fearful, in times of uncertainty.

change-is-the-essence-of-life-be-willing-to-surrender-what-you-are

2. Unknown ≠ Bad. (NEVER forget this).

By now, most of us are old pros at surviving. Since it’s a habit that’s most easily accomplished by maintaining the status quo, we tend to view the unknown as bad, if not downright threatening. The actual truth, however, is that the unknown has delivered every one of us immeasurable amounts of delight, love, light, laughter, joy, abundance and fulfillment over the years.

When you find yourself spiraling down the rabbit hole of future doom, stop and force yourself to focus on times when your negative expectations were disrupted in wonderful ways. Remember the interview that went better than expected, that call you got out of the blue from a dear old friend, the fact that you woke up to sunshine this morning. Each of those gifts came from the exact same unknown that you’re now facing.

3. Yes, you CAN freak out now.

We’re often told that the emotions we experience during times of change — emotions like fear, anxiety, frustration, sadness and anger — are “bad” or “negative.” The problem with these emotions, however, isn’t that they exist; it’s that we were never taught how to release them.

Since it’s only by experiencing the full force of your emotions that you’ll be able to let them go, at those moments when they’re swelling up inside you, it’s crucial that you let yourself feel them fully. Whether you do this through journaling, yoga, meditation, running, hiking, howling at the moon, or a mix of these and more — figure out what works for you and use it. Constantly.

Turning big change into big progress isn’t about doing any of these things perfectly, or all of the time. It is, however, about making a conscious point of moving forward — in ways big and small, seen and unseen — each and every day. When you do that, you eventually have the moment I had when I sat down to work this morning — in our new office, in our new town, finally without a box in sight. Ahh.


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Overcoming Resistance to Change: The Secret to Lasting Health

By Deane Alban      Contributing Writer for Wake Up World    October 2014

What do you want to do when you retire? The most common answers to this question are to spend time with friends and family, travel, volunteer, exercise (finally!), learn new things, live abroad, and write a book.  But you won’t be able to do these things later if you don’t take care of your body and your brain now.

If you’re like most people, you’ve tried to change, but you find it really, really hard (as in “impossible”). You’ve made the resolutions and set the goals. When you’ve failed, you’ve tried even harder, but making change stick has still eluded you.

Let’s take a look at why the usual ways of making lifestyle changes often fail. Then I’ll give you some super-easy but counter-intuitive tips to create new, healthy habits.

Change the Usual Way Is Hard

Most people rely exclusively on motivation and willpower to make a change. There are some surprising reasons this doesn’t work.

Motivation

When you decide to start a new diet, exercise program, or any self-improvement venture, you are usually psyched! You just know this time you’re going to stick with it. You’re excited about the new gym you joined or a new diet book you’ve read, and your motivation is high.

Initially you are motivated by the pleasure of what you want (getting into your skinny jeans, wearing a bathing suit this summer) and the pain of what you don’t want (hating the way you look, having a heart attack). But motivation naturally diminishes with time.

Willpower

When motivation starts to wane, you switch to relying on willpower. But no one has an endless supply of willpower — it is a resource that gets used up. When your day is filled with things you really don’t want to do, by the end of the day you no longer have any willpower reserve left.

So you spend the evening plopped down in front of the TV munching on unhealthy snacks, vowing to do better tomorrow. It’s not your fault — you simply have no willpower left to make the healthier, harder choices.

If motivation and willpower let you down, don’t despair! There is another answer that relies on using the power of your subconscious brain.

Make Change Easy by Working With Your Brain

According to neuroscientist Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of The Biology of Belief, 95% of your life is dictated by the subconscious mind. This is the part of your brain that runs a large portion of your life on autopilot enabling you to do many tasks without thinking about them, everything from tying your shoes to driving a car.

When you do something often enough, it becomes a habit.  Habits are activities you do effortlessly with minimal thought on your part. You can appreciate the power of a habit when you try to stop a bad one. It’s tough!

Next, I’ll tell you how to harness the power of your brain to stop struggling with a healthy lifestyle change by turning it into a habit!

I’m going to use an example of starting a walking program, but these concepts can be used for creating any new healthy habit.

Take Baby Steps

Setting big goals is exciting! Telling your friends (and yourself) that you are going to start walking 5 miles a day sounds impressive, but you are probably setting yourself up for failure.

But starting with small boring goals, “baby steps”, will greatly increase your chance for success. There will be many days you won’t walk at all if 5 miles is your goal. But if you make walking around the block your goal, you can certainly accomplish that!

You will feel good that you’ve honored your commitment to yourself. But even more important, you’ve created a new neural pathway that turns your daily walk into a habit.

Using small goals tricks your brain. Your subconscious likes to be in control and doesn’t like change. A huge change often sets up subconscious resistance, but a small change will be accepted. You can learn more about using this “small is better” concept at TinyHabits.com.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
– Lao-tzu

change



Use Triggers

Ask anyone who smokes and they can tell you about triggers. Most smokers have triggers to smoke after a meal, with a cup of coffee, or after sex. You can use triggers to your advantage. When you regularly take a walk after another event (such as eating dinner), your brain will create an association so you’ll automatically be inclined to take a walk after dinner.

You can help yourself with visual triggers, too. Leave your walking shoes by the front door, keep your pedometer by your keys, or lay your walking attire on your bed to create triggers you can’t miss.

Be Prepared

If you are going to start a new habit, you need to be prepared. A successful walking habit means more than putting one foot in front of the other.

Initially, you have a few decisions to make. Where are you going to walk? What time do you want to leave? Are you going to walk alone or solo? Will you bring your dog? Should you bring water?

Next, get the right equipment to ensure your success. Get a good pair of comfortable walking shoes and socks to match. Get a water bottle that’s comfortable to carry.

People who use a pedometer walk 27% more than those who don’t, so consider getting one to encourage your success.  The Fitbit One is an incredible, tiny device that track your steps, distance, calories burned, and even your sleep cycle. Pretty amazing!

Make It Convenient

Put everything you need to take a walk in one convenient place so you can grab it and go. If your shoes are in the linen closet, your socks are in the bedroom, your house key in your desk drawer, and your left your water bottle in the car, you’ll give up before you get out the door! icon cry Overcoming Resistance to Change: The Secret to Lasting Health

Make It Fun

Make your walk something you look forward to. If you like companionship, find a walking partner. If you enjoy music, podcasts, or audiobooks, listen while you walk. You’ll find the time spent walking flies by!

The Big Red X

When Jerry Seinfeld was an upcoming comedian, he created the habit of writing new material every day using a wall calendar and a red marker. You can do the same.

Put up a wall calendar (there are free ones you can print online) in a highly-visible place, like on the fridge. Every day you take your walk, cross out that day with a BIG RED X. You won’t want to see any blank days which will, as Jerry says, “break the chain”. I’d listen to Jerry. He’s been pretty successful. icon wink Overcoming Resistance to Change: The Secret to Lasting Health

It’s widely accepted that it takes 30 days to create a new habit, so after one month, your new habit will largely be formed. Then you can ramp it up to the next level. Eventually you can turn your walk around the block into a five-mile-a-day habit, if that’s your ultimate goal.

Small Habits Create Gateways

These techniques can be used for any lifestyle change you want to make – diet, exercise, meditation, stress reduction techniques, and more.

Not sure where to begin? Here are some examples of healthy “baby steps” you could take:

  • Replace one soda with a glass of water.
  • Replace one cup of coffee with a cup of green tea.
  • Eat a small baggie of raw vegetables as one of your snacks.
  • Have a piece of fruit instead of dessert after dinner.
  • Do 5 minutes of yoga stretches in the morning and in the evening.
  • Listen to a 10 minute meditation.
  • Pick one healthy change (or create your own) and commit to doing it daily for 30 days to create a new healthy habit.

Small changes aren’t very exciting, but many people have found using this technique really works to bring lasting change. Your new habit can serve as a gateway to bigger changes that can significantly improve your life.

Article References
 http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/planning-to-retire/2013/03/01/10-things-to-do-in-retirement
 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703478704574612052322122442
 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2094159

Article Source
Surprisingly…Unstuck: Rewire Your Brain to Exercise More, Eat Right, and Truly Enjoy Doing So by Maria Brilaki


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The Best Day to Start a New Healthy Habit

October 30, 2014          By Catherine DiBenedetto

When the clock “falls back” this weekend, we’ll get an extra, precious hour on Sunday—and that morning is the perfect time to begin a feel-good habit, says happiness guru Gretchen Rubin.

“For most people, mornings are great for habits,” Rubin explains. And she would know. The bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Happier at Home is finishing up a new book all about habit formation. (Better Than Before comes out next March.)

“Our self-control tends to be strongest in the early hours,” she says. “As the day goes on, it gets depleted by all the temptations and choices we face.” Plus, the morning tends to unfold in a predictable way. “Later on, complications arise and you may end up pushing off the activity.”

But resetting your alarm clock—and your body’s natural rhythm—to start a new habit, whether it’s meditating or jogging, can be painful. (For me, it has become a daily habit of hitting snooze, with the hope that any day now, I really will hit the gym before work!) That’s why Rubin suggests seizing the end of Daylight Savings Time, when getting up early doesn’t actually feel like getting up early.

If you’ve been thinking about joining a yoga studio, instituting a regular walk with a friend, blocking out time to read for pleasure, or picking up any other healthy habit, try starting this Sunday. Just make sure it’s an activity you enjoy, says Rubin. “If it’s something you want to do, you’ll be more motivated to get out of bed every day going forward.”

One caveat for night owls: This trick probably isn’t for you. “There are some people who prefer to stay up late, but struggle in the morning,” Rubin says. “For them, a morning habit won’t make sense.” Heed your true nature, she says, and schedule your healthy habits at times that work best for you.


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Overcoming Resistance to Change: The Secret to Lasting Health

27th August 2014      By Deane Alban  Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

What do you want to do when you retire? The most common answers to this question are to spend time with friends and family, travel, volunteer, exercise (finally!), learn new things, live abroad, and write a book. [1] But you won’t be able to do these things later if you don’t take care of your body and your brain now.

If you’re like most people, you’ve tried to change, but you find it really, really hard (as in “impossible”). You’ve made the resolutions and set the goals. When you’ve failed, you’ve tried even harder, but making change stick has still eluded you.

Let’s take a look at why the usual ways of making lifestyle changes often fail. Then I’ll give you some super-easy but counter-intuitive tips to create new, healthy habits.

Change the Usual Way Is Hard

Most people rely exclusively on motivation and willpower to make a change. There are some surprising reasons this doesn’t work.

Motivation

When you decide to start a new diet, exercise program, or any self-improvement venture, you are usually psyched! You just know this time you’re going to stick with it. You’re excited about the new gym you joined or a new diet book you’ve read, and your motivation is high.

Initially you are motivated by the pleasure of what you want (getting into your skinny jeans, wearing a bathing suit this summer) and the pain of what you don’t want (hating the way you look, having a heart attack). But motivation naturally diminishes with time.

Willpower

When motivation starts to wane, you switch to relying on willpower. But no one has an endless supply of willpower — it is a resource that gets used up. When your day is filled with things you really don’t want to do, by the end of the day you no longer have any willpower reserve left.

So you spend the evening plopped down in front of the TV munching on unhealthy snacks, vowing to do better tomorrow. It’s not your fault — you simply have no willpower left to make the healthier, harder choices. [2]

If motivation and willpower let you down, don’t despair! There is another answer that relies on using the power of your subconscious brain.

Make Change Easy by Working With Your Brain

According to neuroscientist Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of The Biology of Belief, 95% of your life is dictated by the subconscious mind. This is the part of your brain that runs a large portion of your life on autopilot enabling you to do many tasks without thinking about them, everything from tying your shoes to driving a car.

When you do something often enough, it becomes a habit.  Habits are activities you do effortlessly with minimal thought on your part. You can appreciate the power of a habit when you try to stop a bad one. It’s tough!

Next, I’ll tell you how to harness the power of your brain to stop struggling with a healthy lifestyle change by turning it into a habit!

I’m going to use an example of starting a walking program, but these concepts can be used for creating any new healthy habit.

Take Baby Steps

Setting big goals is exciting! Telling your friends (and yourself) that you are going to start walking 5 miles a day sounds impressive, but you are probably setting yourself up for failure.

But starting with small boring goals, “baby steps”, will greatly increase your chance for success. There will be many days you won’t walk at all if 5 miles is your goal. But if you make walking around the block your goal, you can certainly accomplish that!

You will feel good that you’ve honored your commitment to yourself. But even more important, you’ve created a new neural pathway that turns your daily walk into a habit.

Using small goals tricks your brain. Your subconscious likes to be in control and doesn’t like change. A huge change often sets up subconscious resistance, but a small change will be accepted. You can learn more about using this “small is better” concept at TinyHabits.com.

e9df0-walk
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
– Lao-tzu

Use Triggers

Ask anyone who smokes and they can tell you about triggers. Most smokers have triggers to smoke after a meal, with a cup of coffee, or after sex. You can use triggers to your advantage. When you regularly take a walk after another event (such as eating dinner), your brain will create an association so you’ll automatically be inclined to take a walk after dinner.

You can help yourself with visual triggers, too. Leave your walking shoes by the front door, keep your pedometer by your keys, or lay your walking attire on your bed to create triggers you can’t miss.

Be Prepared

If you are going to start a new habit, you need to be prepared. A successful walking habit means more than putting one foot in front of the other.

Initially, you have a few decisions to make. Where are you going to walk? What time do you want to leave? Are you going to walk alone or solo? Will you bring your dog? Should you bring water?

Next, get the right equipment to ensure your success. Get a good pair of comfortable walking shoes and socks to match. Get a water bottle that’s comfortable to carry.

People who use a pedometer walk 27% more than those who don’t, so consider getting one to encourage your success. [3] The Fitbit One is an incredible, tiny device that track your steps, distance, calories burned, and even your sleep cycle. Pretty amazing!

Make It Convenient

Put everything you need to take a walk in one convenient place so you can grab it and go. If your shoes are in the linen closet, your socks are in the bedroom, your house key in your desk drawer, and your left your water bottle in the car, you’ll give up before you get out the door! 😥

Make It Fun

Make your walk something you look forward to. If you like companionship, find a walking partner. If you enjoy music, podcasts, or audiobooks, listen while you walk. You’ll find the time spent walking flies by!

The Big Red X

When Jerry Seinfeld was an upcoming comedian, he created the habit of writing new material every day using a wall calendar and a red marker. You can do the same.

Put up a wall calendar (there are free ones you can print online) in a highly-visible place, like on the fridge. Every day you take your walk, cross out that day with a BIG RED X. You won’t want to see any blank days which will, as Jerry says, “break the chain”. I’d listen to Jerry. He’s been pretty successful. 😉

It’s widely accepted that it takes 30 days to create a new habit, so after one month, your new habit will largely be formed. Then you can ramp it up to the next level. Eventually you can turn your walk around the block into a five-mile-a-day habit, if that’s your ultimate goal.

Small Habits Create Gateways

These techniques can be used for any lifestyle change you want to make – diet, exercise, meditation, stress reduction techniques, and more.

Not sure where to begin? Here are some examples of healthy “baby steps” you could take:

  • Replace one soda with a glass of water.
  • Replace one cup of coffee with a cup of green tea.
  • Eat a small baggie of raw vegetables as one of your snacks.
  • Have a piece of fruit instead of dessert after dinner.
  • Do 5 minutes of yoga stretches in the morning and in the evening.
  • Listen to a 10 minute meditation.

Pick one healthy change (or create your own) and commit to doing it daily for 30 days to create a new healthy habit.

Small changes aren’t very exciting, but many people have found using this technique really works to bring lasting change. Your new habit can serve as a gateway to bigger changes that can significantly improve your life.

Article References
[1] http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/planning-to-retire/2013/03/01/10-things-to-do-in-retirement
[2] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703478704574612052322122442
[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2094159

Article Source
Surprisingly…Unstuck: Rewire Your Brain to Exercise More, Eat Right, and Truly Enjoy Doing So by Maria Brilaki


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The #1 Reason Why People Don’t Change

The #1 Reason Why People Don’t Change

BY SHERYL PAUL    JULY 28, 2014 

One of the most extraordinary aspects of the technological age is the access we have to every healing modality under the sun. Where in the past you might have had to travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to sit at the feet of a great master, today you only need to press a few keys and the wisdom of spiritual and psychological masters comes streaming into your living room.

Want to learn yoga? Press a button. Want to watch Thich Nhat Hanh or the Dalai Lama talk to you about meditation? Free on YouTube. Want to learn an essential road map that will help you manifest your dream life? Here you go. The information is immediate, accessible, and often free.

So with all of these gems waiting to be received — gems that can transform a life of depression and anxiety to flow and freedom — what stops people from changing?

There’s one reason: resistance.

Resistance is part of the human condition. If it were easy to change, we would all be enlightened masters at this point, for we would be able to follow through on practicing the actions we know are good for us: meditation, yoga, journaling and healthy eating, to name a few.

A common statement I hear from my clients who are stuck is, “I want to want to change,” meaning that they want to feel better but they don’t want to do what it takes to get there — but they want to want to do what it takes to get there!

How do you get from wanting to want to change to actually wanting to change? You must first deal with the resistance.

I can sense within the first two sessions when I’m working with a client who’s stuck behind a wall of resistance. There’s a particular quality to the work, especially when we talk about the loving actions that need to happen in order for sustainable change to occur. For we can talk about their story until the cows come home, and while this is certainly an essential piece of the work, insight alone won’t create change.

A blue button with the word Change on it

Insight + Action = Change

When it comes time to implement the necessary actions that will result in change, the resistance juts up like a block of ice. At that point, all talk about exercise, yoga, journaling, breathing, meditation, or healthy eating must cease and we must deal directly with the resistance. And that’s not easy.

Why do we resist? We resist because change is scary. We resist because the small-minded, fear-based ego knows that change of any kind will result in its own death, and no one wants to die, not even aspects of our own mind.

How do I work with resistance?

The most effective approach is to meet the resistance with tremendous compassion. I hold the mindset that perhaps there’s some wisdom in the resistance. Perhaps, alongside the ego’s fear, there’s also a self-protective mechanism that rises up in a healthy way, as if to say, “I’m not ready. I’m not ready to change. I don’t have the ego structure or the support or it’s not the right time.”

As much misery as my client may be in, I trust that there may be other work that needs to occur first before the big changes can take place. Most often that work involves developing a strong, trusting relationship with me, perhaps the first relationship in their life with someone who sees and loves their essential nature. For the inner self knows that to jump off the cliff of change without someone holding a safe container is not only terrifying, but unbearably terrifying.

One thing we know in the field of psychotherapy is that we change in a climate of acceptance and love. It’s an interesting paradox: you must accept yourself exactly as you are before you can change who you are. Love heals, and when someone feels loved and accepted by another and seen as the kind, loving person that they are, they can begin to see themselves through the same lens. And then, as if by some invisible mystery, the block of resistance may slowly start to thaw and lasting change can begin to occur.


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Baby Steps

By Deanna Schober

Change is best made in baby steps. As you have probably already learned at some point in your life, change that involves a complete overhaul is really tough to stick to and a pretty sure recipe for failure.

Habits are best changed one at a time. Try mastering one new habit every 2-3 weeks, then when it becomes a routine, you can start on the next one. Here are ten suggestions on where to start:

1. Avoid Fast Food

I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know -”Fast food is bad for you”. But that’s an abstract concept, “bad for you” – do you know why it is? You may hear all about how high in calories fast food is, but what you may not know is how it is also full of MSG, horrible cancer-causing chemicals, and trans fats.

Many fast food places even use the same chemicals to preserve their food that you can find in your COSMETICS and TOILETRIES, like shampoo and mascara [4]. Just get rid of this stuff, it is killing you slowly. If you need to, you can make a goal to reduce your fast food meals by one per week and work up to eliminating it forever.

Here are 10 dangerous food additives you should avoid.

2. Replace Other Drinks With Water

Sodas and diet sodas are also full of chemicals that are known to cause cancer and increase the risk of lifestyle related illness like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Fruit juices and other sugary drinks are just empty calories. You can improve your health greatly by slowly decreasing the amount of these drinks each week and replacing them with water and teas (unsweetened).

Not only will you be lowering your calorie intake, but you’ll be limiting your body’s exposure to toxins and chemicals. Water will flush toxins from your body, decrease your appetite, give you better skin, and aid your body in just about all of its necessary functions.

3. Start Moving

Even if it’s just a walk around the block, find a physical activity that you enjoy and start by making a goal to do it three times a week. The key here is that you enjoy it and can see yourself doing it more often.

If you have trouble coming up with a physical activity that you might like, try thinking back to your childhood – did you love riding your bike? Did you play soccer or baseball? Did you just enjoy roaming the neighborhood?

Give it another shot, chances are that your childhood attachments to the activity will make you feel good while you’re doing it, and you’ll want to do it again. Add more activity until you work up to being active in some form at least 5 day per week.

Find out how to make exercise your playtime.

4. Eat Veggies

Ask my mom – I didn’t eat veggies until I was a grown woman. I still have to force myself to eat a few of them, like broccoli. But nothing is more important to your overall health than the vitamins and nutrients found in vegetables. They help your body function in endless ways, and can even reduce your risk of cancer by activating cancer-fighting enzymes.

With the right cooking method, herbs and spices, or even in a smoothie, you can make veggies taste really delicious. To transition into eating more vegetables, try replacing an unhealthy side dish that you normally eat with veggies at one meal per day, and slowly increase until you’re getting 4-5 servings per day.

Here are 20 magical ways to sneak in more veggies.




5. Start Becoming Accountable

A mental shift needs to happen when you start to take control of your health, and part of that is becoming accountable to yourself. This can be through keeping a food journal, wearing a calorie-tracking armband, using a calorie counting and exercise application on your phone or computer, or even wearing a pedometer to count your steps.

Keeping track of what you eat and how much you move will be a very eye-opening experience. Studies show that most adults overestimate the amount of healthy food they are eating and underestimate the rest of it…not because they are trying to be dishonest necessarily, they just don’t have an accurate idea of what they are eating unless they actually record it and measure it out [7].

6. Cut Out the White Stuff

One of the best and easiest things you can do for your health is to cut out the white stuff – white flours, pastas, cereals, and sugars. These items are highly processed and fill you up with a large amount of calories for almost zero nutritional value. They also cause an insulin surge, which over time can reduce your insulin sensitivity and increase your risk for diabetes. Try replacing these items with whole grain, nutrient dense foods instead.

7. Read Nutrition Labels

Another eye-opener is to start taking a look at the nutrition labels of the foods you are eating. Pay careful attention to serving size, as many labels can get tricky in that area – you might actually be eating two or more servings instead of one.

Read the ingredients list too, and beware of trans fats (also called hydrogenated oils), artificial sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame, saccharin to name a few), artificial colors and flavors, high fructose corn syrup, bleached flours, and anything else that you don’t instantly recognize as food.

8. Do a Little Research

You might try watching documentaries about food and nutrition (I recommend Food, Inc. and Forks Over Knives). You can also read books, ask a fitness expert or trainer, or just start here at Coach Calorie by downloading the free e-book and read just about everything you need to know.

9. Eat Fruit Instead of Sugar

When the craving for something sweet strikes, try replacing your normal sugary snacks with a piece of fruit instead. Fruit has natural sugars in it, but it also has vitamins and nutrients that are important to our health, and way less calories than a snack. I successfully kicked my own nighttime sugar addiction by replacing it slowly with apples and a tablespoon of peanut butter.

10. Have an Open Mind

Another mental shift that needs to take place is to open your mind to new possibilities. Don’t tell yourself you can’t do this or you won’t try that or you’re not capable of something. When I think back to all the things I thought I couldn’t eat or exercises I would never be able to do, I laugh because I have smashed through all of those self-invented barriers I set up for myself.

Try some new foods. You are bound to find something that is good for you that you enjoy. Try a new exercise, work each week to get better at it, and before you know it you’ll be doing things you never dreamt you could do.

Again, it is important to not rush out and try changing all of these things at once! Remember, long term success is best achieved through small changes, a little at a time. 


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Maintain A Willingness to Embrace Change in Life

Sara, from Institute of HeartMath       September 22, 2013

An undeniable truth about the physical universe is that change is constant. From the tiniest known particles on Earth to an estimated 500 billion galaxies in our universe, everything is in motion. All that is will change, momentarily.

The same principle does not automatically apply when it comes to the way we do things in life and how we feel. You can resist changing your ways quite successfully – even at the risk of your own happiness and health – or you can change. It’s your choice.

When you spend time at the beach or swimming pool on a hot day without having taken precautions and end up with a sunburn, chances are it will occur to you to be better prepared next time. Following through on the thought sets in motion a response pattern in your brain – in this case, a positive one.

The human brain is very efficient at remembering everything you learn and how you respond to events in your life. It is also very accommodating when it comes to offering up suggestions for the many decisions you make every day. When you consistently respond a certain way to similar events, your helpful brain remembers, and each time a similar event comes up, it automatically suggests approaching it the same way you always have – according to stored patterns. That’s great when the suggestion is helpful, as in the case of taking precautions on a hot day. It’s not so great when the suggestion is a negative or harmful one, for instance, a stored pattern of unwillingness to forego even a few minutes to take precautions.

“When a stressful situation occurs, the brain scans its memory banks looking for previous stressful experiences until it perceives a match,” explain the authors of the HeartMath book, Transforming Depression. “Then it triggers the same emotional reactions you had the previous time – like anxiety, hurt, resignation, or depression.”

Remember, however, your brain is at your service. You can change a pattern anytime you want. Replacing negative response patterns stored in your brain with positive ones from your heart begins with a willingness to embrace change.


Have a Prior Willingness to Embrace Change

The human heart is remarkably intelligent in its own right, possessing what researchers call a heart brain. When the brain in your head suggests anger or other negative responses to certain events, your heart can intervene.

Research at the Institute of HeartMath has shown that the heart is intricately involved in the emotional responses you choose. Think of an instance in which you “blew your top”: Do you recall, in the instant before that, having a flashing thought that you could respond differently? That’s normal. No doubt there have been many occasions when you have elected to pause before responding angrily, judgmentally, fearfully, etc., to events in your life.

People describe it as, “I had a feeling in my heart” or “my heart told me to” or “my conscience said … .”

In that moment, you can choose with your head or your heart. If you already have a prior willingness to embrace change, you will be better able to choose wisely.

Having a commitment to embrace change simply means being open to the possibility of making a change. It also serves as a prompter for you to engage your heart qualities – love, compassion, appreciation and caring among others – to be the first to take action to whatever comes up in your life.

Benefits of Embracing Change

  • Flexibility – You are always prepared to respond to events in any of a number of prudent ways, not necessarily the way you’ve always done it.
  • Opportunity – Viewing things from new perspectives is like opening a door for the first time. You get to see the expanding possibilities.
  • Conserve energy, experience less stress – Resisting change consumes energy, sometimes a lot, and the pressure to change – from life or self-imposed – can be very stressful.
  • Moral compass – Knowing in advance you are prepared to engage your heart in everything you do will help you navigate through uncertainty, complexity, sadness and challenging times.


Change: What to Do

– In the Moment: When you have committed to embracing change, you’ve given your heart a lead role in your decision-making. So, if you must make a split-second decision about something, your heart already is engaged and primed to suggest a wise response, perhaps more than one. If you know it’s time to move from your comfort zone – embrace the change.

source: care2.com


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11 Tips to Help You Think More Positively

JUNE 12    BY PAUL SLOANE

In a study at the Mayo clinic in Rochester, Minnesota patients were given a personality test that assessed their levels of optimism and pessimism. The progress of the patients was measured over 30 years, and it was found that the optimists lived longer than average for their age and gender while the pessimists had a shorter than average life. Researchers found that optimism strengthens the immune system and helps people to adopt healthier lifestyles. Optimists feel better about themselves and take better care of themselves, while pessimists confirm their fears by having higher blood pressure, more anxiety and depression.

You can choose to have depressing, negative thoughts or inspirational, positive thoughts; your attitude determines your mindset, which in turn determines your behaviours and the outcomes in your life. Many studies show that you will achieve more, feel happier and live longer if you chose the positive option. Here are some tips to boost your positive thinking.

Believe in Yourself
Successful people start with a deep inner self-belief. It has been shown that self-belief is more important than intelligence, education or connections in terms of life-long achievement. The important starting point is your conviction that you are capable of significant achievement or that you have something special to contribute.

Set Clear Goals
If you have no destination then your journey is haphazard. If you write down ambitious but achievable goals, then you are already on the road to accomplishing them.

Form a Mental Picture of Your Success
Imagine yourself achieving your goals. Savour the experience of your book being published, of making the sale, of giving the speech to rapturous applause, of winning the race, of living your dream. As your mind comes to terms with this picture it will help you to put the steps in place in order to achieve it.

Take Ownership and Responsibility for Your Life
Don’t be a victim. Don’t blame others or circumstances. You are the captain of the boat and you decide where it goes and what happens. If you are unhappy with an aspect of your life, then form a plan to change it and take action.

Talk to Yourself
Become your own motivator by telling yourself positive things. For example: at the start of the day you might say to yourself, “I am going to do really well today.” Or, “I am going to make real progress towards my goals.” When things go wrong or you falter, don’t make excuses—say something like, “That was my fault, but I can learn from that setback.”

 

yayEliminate the Negative
Use positive self-talk to overcome the doubts and negative thoughts that creep into your mind. Deliberately eliminate worries about difficulties and obstacles by taking a positive attitude, “I can overcome this challenge.” You do not ignore problems—you face up to them with a constructive and optimistic attitude.

Associate with Positive People
Among your friends, relatives, and associates there are probably some upbeat, positive, optimistic, dynamic people and some downbeat, negative, pessimistic or cynical people. Think about them for a moment and select examples of each. You should spend more time with the positive people and less time with the negative people. The optimists will inspire and encourage you, while the pessimists will feed your doubts and make you depressed.

Count Your Blessings
Draw up an assets and liabilities sheet for yourself. If you are educated, employed, healthy, in a loving relationship, financially solvent etc., then put these on the assets list. If you are unemployed, ill, in a toxic relationship, bankrupt, etc., then put these items into your liabilities list. The chances are that your assets will far outweigh your liabilities. We tend to take all the good things in our lives for granted and focus on our failings and needs instead.

Find the Silver Lining
Learn to look for the opportunities in every situation that comes along. Many self-employed consultants will tell you that being made redundant was the best thing that ever happened to them. At the time it may have seemed a terrible blow but now they have found greater fulfilment and satisfaction in what they do. Every change brings good as well as bad, opportunities as well as threats. The people who do well in life are the ones who use setbacks as springboards for new successes.

Relax and Enjoy Life More
Lighten up a little. If you can laugh at things then you can cope with them more easily. Don’t try to do everything at once. Don’t become overburdened with work. Deliberately give yourself little treats and do things that make you smile. Laughter is the best medicine—and the cheapest—so try to keep a balance between work, exercise, relationships and play.

Fake It.
If all else fails then fake it. If you are really worried, nervous, or doubtful, then pretend that you are confident and self-assured. Stride to the lectern, smile at the audience and act as though you are positive, professional and successful. Acting the role helps you develop the attitudes and behaviours that go with the part. You can fool the audience, and more importantly, you can fool your brain—you will start to be the confident, positive person that you are acting.

If positive thinkers achieve more, live longer, and are happier than negative thinkers then why would anyone choose to be a negative thinker? The answer is that many people find negative thinking to be an easy option that is more comfortable and offers less challenge. Do not fall into that trap. Think positively!

source: www.lifehack.org


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5 Risks That Are Always Worth Taking

By  Jo Beth Richards

Life is short and brilliant. Don’t let fear of the unknown hold you back, tap into your courage and walk into the unknown with an open heart.

Here are five risks that are always worth taking…

1. Love.

Love makes you vulnerable & can hurt, but it is always worth taking. Without love we are nothing. With love we become who we are meant to be.

2. Follow your DREAMS. 

We only live once — ONCE! So why would you waste your time doing something that didn’t cultivate your passion? Follow your dream; it may be a bumpier path, but that path will lead to sunshine.


3. Forgive.

Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to do but, it can be the biggest release. When we hold onto grudges, we’re only hurting ourselves. Even if you can’t actually tell a person you forgive them, forgive her in your own heart, and your spirit will be lighter as a result.

4. Move to a new city. 

Moving is scary, and packing up all your stuff is a pain. But it is worth it if you feel your heart being called to a new place for a new opportunity, for a fresh start.

5. Say what you feel.

Holding everything in is overrated. Yes, we should try our best to always speak with compassion, but use that compassion to help you say what your heart is crying out. Believe in your own voice!

Risks are scary, but they often lead us to great things. Breathe in courage and breathe out a new adventure!


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10 Life Changing Tips Inspired By Deepak Chopra

published June 1, 2012

1. Let Go

“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.”

2. Nothing Is Impossible

“You must find the place inside yourself where nothing is impossible.”

3. Embrace the Unknown.

“Even when you think you have your life all mapped out, things happen that shape your destiny in ways you might never have imagined.” 

4. Go with the Flow

“Don’t try to steer the river.” 

5. Embrace Stillness

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.”


6. Live a Conscious Life

“The way you think, the way you behave, the way you eat, can influence your life by 30 to 50 years.” 

7. Find Your Purpose

“There are no extra pieces in the universe. Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill, and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle.”

8. Let Go of Your Ego

“If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time. ”

9. Embrace Your Current Relationships

“Whatever relationships you have attracted in your life at this moment, are precisely the ones you need in your life at this moment. There is a hidden meaning behind all events, and this hidden meaning is serving your own evolution.” 

10. Be Open To All Possibilities

“Even when you think you have your life all mapped out, things happen that shape your destiny in ways you might never have imagined.”