DAILY HEALTHY HABITS

Having just returned from a wonderful 6 week holiday hiking through the Swiss Alps and Rocky Mountains in Canada, I was reminded how easily our stress can sneak up on us with the constant demands of our busy life, and how rewarding it is to take time out to relax and rejuvenate and recharge the batteries and do something you really love to do. For us that is getting out into the great outdoors and exploring beautiful places as we travel.

It is wonderful to reward ourselves with a special holiday however what’s more important is what we do on a daily and weekly basis to ensure we schedule time out to relax and unwind.

We all experience stress from time to time.  However, when stress gets to be too much, it can take its toll on our health and happiness. Having effective strategies to reduce stress levels is essential in restoring our inner peace, health and well-being.

Start today to create daily healthy habits and notice how more relaxed you feel.  Here are some guidelines to start you on your way….

  • Exercise – is a powerful way to reduce stress and can provide an effective release of negative emotions and also decrease ‘stress hormones’ like cortisol and increase endorphins, your body’s ‘feel-good’ chemicals, giving your mood a natural boost.
  • Eat to stay on top – stress also wears down the immune system, which is why we get sick during challenging times.  To counteract this, eat a healthy balanced diet to boost your immune system.
  • Time for you – everyone needs time to relax and recover from the stresses of the day, so schedule time to do the things you love to do and that make you feel relaxed and rejuvenated.
  • Simplify your life – simplifying life is a great way to reduce stress, cut out extra commitments that don’t serve you, change relationships that stress you, and change activities that you don’t enjoy.  Take stock of what you do in your life that is creating pressure and things that you don’t enjoy and make the necessary changes.
  • Get organised – being organised is the best way of creating extra time in your life and cutting down stress.  Prioritise activities and responsibilities, ensuring you schedule in time for the most important things in your life i.e. family time, you time, exercise, etc.

What will you do today to ensure you take time out for you to create more peace, health and happiness?

JUGGLING OUR PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL PRIORITIES

I constantly hear people around me saying, “I’m just too busy”, “I don’t have time to do it all”, “there’s not enough hours in a day”. Does that sound familiar to you?

To live a fulfilling, balanced life we need to be more in conscious control of our habits and lifestyle.  Effective personal management creates freedom.

Having spent 15 years of the first part of my career in professional health care and nursing, I spent a good deal of time with people who were faced with a terminal illness or potentially fatal diagnosis.

The common thread with these people was the realisation that so much of their life had been caught up with doing the urgent things that showed up in life every day, and that they neglected the most important things, which was usually their family, relationships and their health and time out for themselves.

You see, it’s the easiest thing in the world to neglect the important things in your life and give in to the urgent ones.  One of the greatest skills you can ever develop in your life is, not only to tell the two apart, but also to be able to prioritise your time between the two.

Here are a few tips to help you stay focused on the important things in life:

  • Determine what your values in life are – Our values drive our behaviour and our decisions, so being clear about what you value in life will help you to stay on track and make decisions regarding what’s most important to you.
  • Have a clear vision of your future – Having clarity around your long and short-term vision will also allow you to prioritise things that are most important to you.
  • Set goals for all areas of your life. – Keep life balanced by setting goals in all areas of life e.g. family and relationships, health and fitness, finances, business, personal time out and hobbies etc.
  • Spend 15 minutes each day planning – When we plan and prioritise, we control events instead of falling prey to events that control us.  When we plan our most important tasks and events, we reduce the amount of time they take, improve the quality of the results they produce and reduce the stress in our lives.

I want to share with you a thought-provoking excerpt from the famous psychologist and author, Denis Waitley.

You may have heard the story about the analogy of the “circus juggler” to each of us as we try to balance our personal and professional priorities.  I have heard the story repeated by many keynote speakers and have used it in previous books, but have never been able to trace the identity of the original author.

When the circus juggler drops a ball, he lets it bounce and picks it up on the next bounce without losing his rhythm or concentrations.  He keeps right on juggling.  Many times we do the same thing.  We lose our jobs, but get another one on the first or second bounce.  We may drop the ball on a sale, an opportunity to move ahead, or in a relationship, and we either pick it up on the rebound or get a new one thrown in to replace what we just dropped.

However, some of the balls or priorities we juggle don’t bounce.  The more urgent priorities associated with self-imposed deadlines and workloads have more elasticity than the precious, delicate relationships which are as fragile as fine crystal.  Balance involves distinguishing between the priorities we juggle that bounce from the ones labelled “loved ones”, “health” and “moral character” that may shatter if we drop them.

The reason I always ask my seminar attendees to list the benefits of reaching their goals is so they can arrange them in the true order of importance to them, and give them sufficient amount of attention as they juggle them within their time constraints.

Handle your priorities with care.  Some of them just don’t bounce!

Imagine having less stress and more peace and happiness

Have you ever noticed when two people in identical, high-stress situations, that one of them gets stressed out and the other one handles the situation with ease and grace?

It’s because of the different ways they internalize what’s going on.  Stress doesn’t exist in the outside world; it just exists inside your head.  It’s up to you which way you choose to perceive it.

Stress is an internal phenomenon.

And remember – stress is not good or bad.  It just IS.  We need a certain amount of stress to motivate us but we need to understand ourselves to know when “too much” is having an adverse effect on our mind and body.

Your reaction to stress can become a habit.  So, as the famous quote by Socrates, “Know thyself”, it is important to become aware of how you respond and react to situations and people so you can make positive changes.

The good news is you can change your habits.

So take charge and be your own boss – make a conscious choice to be happy, relaxed and stay positive by using these five strategies:(I guarantee that if you use them every day, they will make a massive positive difference in your life).

  1. Use the power of your choice – you have the ability to make choices.  Once you realize that you have a choice between being stressed or staying calm and relaxed, you can then create healthy new habits and alternatives to stress.
  2. Choose to create a new meaning about the person or event – your mind labels everything that happens to you, to reduce worry or stress, choose to make up a more positive meaning about the event or person.
  3. Understand what you can and cannot control. Once you accept the fact that you can’t control an event or person, you can take action to change yourself and your thoughts about the situation.
  4. See other viewpoints – imagine the situation if you were standing in the other persons’ shoes, how might you feel?
  5. Learn to let go. Perhaps the hardest of all skills.  One easy way to let go is to take a look around, observe someone else experiencing distress, step out of your world and step into theirs, and then help them.  It is amazing how much better you will feel.

Have a positive and productive week.

Less Stress, More Success

Having just returned from our Bali Women’s Retreat, I was reminded how easily our stress can sneak up on us with the constant demands of our busy life, and how rewarding it is to take time out to relax and rejuvenate and recharge the batteries.

We all experience stress from time to time. However when stress gets to be too much, it can take its toll on our and health and happiness, so having effective strategies to reduce stress levels are essential in restoring our inner peace, health and wellbeing.

Start today to create daily healthy habits and notice how more relaxed you feel. Here’s a few tips to start you on your way…

  1. Exercise –is a powerful way to reduce stress and can provide an effective release of negative emotions and also decrease ‘stress hormones’ like cortisol and increase endorphins, your body’s ‘feel-good’ chemicals, giving your mood a natural boost.
  2. Eat to stay on top – stress also wears down the immune system, which is why we get sick during challenging times. To counteract this, eat a healthy balanced diet to boost your immune system.
  3. Time for you – everyone needs time to relax and recover from the stresses of the day, so schedule time to do the things you love to do and that make you feel relaxed and rejuvenated.
  4. Simplify your life – simplifying life is a great way to reduce stress, cut out extra commitments that don’t serve you, change relationships that stress you, and change activities that you don’t enjoy. Take stock of what you do in your life that is creating pressure and things that you don’t enjoy and make the necessary changes.
  5. Get organized – being organized is the best way of creating extra time in your life and cutting down stress. Prioritise activities and responsibilities, ensuring you schedule in time for the most important things in your life i.e. family time, you time, exercise etc.

Enjoy creating a stress free week…