Let’s face it, everywhere you turn these days, you are exposed to difficulties that people are facing across the nation; financial crisis has shaken many people’s ideas about security and have sent many into a mild or severe state of panic. The news reports (if you dare watch them) spend most of their time exposing everyone to the uncertainty that most people are experiencing which only either plants seeds of uncertainty in otherwise certain and peaceful minds or validates the fears that people are already trying to cope with. Businesses are trying to stay out of the red and are cutting corners to try to conserve a dollar and consumers are out looking for deals and being extra cautious about getting value for their money. The cycle started a while ago, but if you are one of the people who are determined to stay sane in these seemingly uncertain times, keep reading!
There are some minor, yet effective things that you can do to help you stay centered and focused on peace and abundance, and you can utilize all of them or just some, but each suggestion has the ability to help shift your emotions and thoughts to help keep you moving forward instead of focusing on trying to avoid going backwards. Remember that what you focus on you create…
- Do something everyday to work towards your goals, even if that action seems small. You don’t have to conquer the world by tomorrow, and in that mentality often creates so much pressure that you can become paralyzed by it and move into a state of not taking action at all.
- Avoid or minimize your exposure to people who are focused on fear, lack and negativity. If you have people in your life who can’t focus on anything but the negative going on either in their own lives or in the lives of people who are struggling in society, consider cutting back on your interaction with them. You don’t have to be mean about it, and you may not even have to do anything outwardly at all, just back off, change the subject or don’t answer the phone every time it rings.
- Make yourself a priority. This does not mean to spit on other people or ignore them, but be diligent about putting yourself first. This is not the dog-eat-dog approach, but a self-loving one. Most people have focused either on helping others more than themselves or the extreme opposite and have been disregarding people, so coming into a balance of self-love and focusing on yourself will help. If you are self-loving, you will naturally consider how your actions will effect those in your life with compassion. (For more information about self-love, click here).
- Do something that brings you joy everyday; even if only means spending five minutes listening to a meditation audio, taking a bath or journaling. It could also include watching a favorite show, playing with a pet or being creative in some fashion. Doing something for yourself that you enjoy will help keep you revitalized as well as focused on positive things.
- Make time to laugh! I am sure that you have heard that “laughter is the best medicine” and this saying came about for a reason…some thing happens within the brain when a person engages in laughter that helps release negative energy (emotions & thoughts), so if there is something that makes you laugh, as long as it is not at someone else’s expense that is, go for it!
- Check in with yourself every single day and see where you are at emotionally. People have a natural tendency to disengage from emotions even when conditions are calm and stable, so at times of stress, they are more likely do ignore the emotions that are in their system. Your emotions exist for a reason: not only do they help guide you away from potentially dangerous and/or unproductive situations, but they also are a gauge for you to recognize when something is happening that is not in accordance to your beliefs and standards. In addition, emotions are the way people have actual experiences (we usually remember the experience we had emotionally during something more than the circumstance or situation itself). If you disengage from your emotions not only are you potentially shutting down your inner guidance system but you potentially go from experiencing all emotions (even the positive) to focusing on the negative ones which you are trying to avoid.
- Be with your emotions, take time to feel them. If you feel that your emotions are uncomfortable or distracting, that’s okay but take a few minutes to give yourself permission to be with them. You can even give yourself a window-say, 30 minutes, to be emotional. Cry if you need to cry, punch a pillow to vent frustration and/or anger, listen to music that suits the emotion you feel. And if you notice resistance to feeling the emotions, try looking in the mirror and saying out loud to yourself, “It’s okay to feel ____ <insert emotion>. It’s okay to feel ____.” If you do this for a few times, the resistance will dissipate and the emotion can be expressed. Checking in with your emotions often helps prevent unexpected outbursts too!
- Time may be scarce, but if you can, take up something creative as a hobby. Try to not make everything you do about money, security or change. Make it a habit to use whatever creativity you have so that you can open up to Source (inspiration) and let that higher, calmer, loving energy come through you to be expressed. Write, paint, doodle, draw, sing, dance…
- Take care of your body: This is important to do everyday, by eating the foods that your body needs, cutting back on caffeine, getting enough sleep. But you may want to consider incorporating some physical release or exercise to help bring your body into balance and give it more of an opportunity to cleanse itself. Yoga, dance, aerobics, stretching, and so forth are activities that not only help your body but can also hep stimulate chemicals in your brain that make you feel good emotionally as well as have more energy. If you notice that you feel stressed(rapid breathing, shallow breaths, increased heart-rate) be sure to see a physician to make sure that your body is functioning as it should. You want to get treatment for things that can come up at stressful times but may be hard to detect, like high blood pressure, so that you don’t run the risk of damaging effects of something like that. In addition to seeking medical attention (even getting a check-up), make it a point to slow your body down everyday, spending 10-20 minutes in a relaxed, calm and still state physical and if you can, mentally. Listen to slow, relaxing music while sitting or laying still, meditation, or hypnosis can help bring your body to a calm state instead of the “fight or flight” mode that can sneak up on people. You can purchase audio cds that will help guide you to a relaxed state of mind at local stores, or online.
- Express yourself! Remember that if you are coming from a self-loving place, you will be able to express yourself to others in a compassionate manner without sacrificing your expression! Expressing yourself can minimize stress because a lot of stress can be perpetuated by communication problems and not being clear. Holding back your expression altogether usually benefits no one, but you might think you are sparing someone grief by holding things in. This usually leads to resentment, anger, guilt or other negative experiences. Be true to yourself as you express and remember that you are not responsible for other people. You ARE responsible for being kind in your expressions, and it is usually a good idea to listen to the other person as well. So if someone is engaging in things that take away from your experiences or causing you problems, honor yourself and express it. But consider giving that person the opportunity to express themselves as well. Enhancing your communication abilities will likely enhance your relationships which will ultimately enhance your life!
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