Archives

4 Ways You Can Start Beating Burnout Today

 daydream_1759929c

I usually start feeling it in my arms first. Then it spreads to my neck. Pretty soon, a headache begins to form. A lack of energy sits on my chest.

I’d rather be doing anything than what I happen to be doing at that moment.

So I do something else. Pretty soon, that feeling goes away. But then, right when I feel ambitious and creative enough to get to work, those feelings hit me again like a Hot Wheels car thrown into a brick wall.

It is burnout.

And it’s a very real problem for many of us. Burnout doesn’t happen because of being overworked. It happens because we have allowed ourselves to become overwhelmed with a lack of focus.

When you can find your focus once again, the issues of burnout will start to fade away.

Here’s how I work to find that focus.

#1. Add time for personal enjoyment.

Burnout tends to occur most often when I’m not having fun at what I do. The “daily grind” hits all of us at some point. Even things that used to be fun become mundane and boring.

When I make time to enjoy certain activities or moments that are personally gratifying, I find that it gives me more energy to get through the grind of a routine day. I can look forward to something that will be fun as soon as I can get the job done. This helps push me forward when I’d rather stop.

#2. Shift the priorities.

Why do you do what you do?

For myself, I take personal pride in the ability to help introduce core business concepts, personal management strategies, and self-care ideas to everyone. Although my experiences are hardly unique, they are my own experiences and they have a story to tell.

And I love telling a good story.

When burnout strikes, it tends to be because we’ve lost that initial vision. You got started doing what you do with a specific purpose in mind. Get back to that. Instead of focusing on the daily stress, return your focus to the outcomes you’ve always hoped or wanted to achieve.

#3. Avoid your burnout triggers whenever possible.

For me, my burnout trigger is email. I really don’t like responding to messages. It takes a lot of time and energy away from what I feel like I do best.

To avoid this trigger, I set a specific time every morning to review my messages. Then I have alerts setup in case an emergency message comes in that needs my direct and immediate attention. If no emergency messages come in, then my email goes down for the rest of the day.

If you’re constantly being triggered, then you’re constantly feeling burnout. So get away from those triggers and you may just be able to get away from those difficult feelings too.

#4. Don’t be your own island.

It’s easy for me to stay home and avoid people. Home is a safe place. I can do whatever I want when I’m at home – within reason, anyway. There are no extra demands on my time or energy.

But isolationism creates an island where you end up having no connections. Without connections, you’re forced to take on everything that comes your way. There is no support available to you.

This is why networking and connecting to people with similar interests is so important. Not only can this group of people help you decompress after a difficult day, but they can also help take some of that daily load from your shoulders so you don’t feel like you must do everything.

We were not meant to deal with burnout all alone, but there will always be time that burnout strikes when no one else is around. How do you cope with these moments? I’d love to hear your story.

5 Ways to Reduce Stress in 2016

Enjoying the sun

Around the first of the year, most of us begin turning our attention to ways we can improve our lives. That is why January is considered one of the most stressful months of the year. Just trying to set and keep our New Year’s resolutions can be quite stressful. However, stress can happen at any time. Maybe it’s the meeting you’ve got with your boss at work tomorrow. It might be the roast that you just burned that has you dealing with stress. Whatever the cause of your stress might be, these 5 methods are proven to help you reduce the amount of stress you have in your life on a daily basis.

#1. Follow Your Passion

When your career path follows something you’re passionate about, it is a lot easier to combat the stress which comes with any type of work we do for a living. The love you have for what you do makes you mentally more resilient than if you’re just working to earn a paycheck. It’s also important to include habits you’re passionate about outside of work as well so you don’t feel like you’re 100% on call for professional demands.

#2. Avoid Toxic People

Toxic people are around you every day. Unfortunately we can’t always avoid these people because they might be our family or friends. What you can do, however, is take a vacation from that toxicity. Take a break and allow yourself to decompress. Don’t let them talk to you, comment on your Facebook posts, or interact with you in some other way. Once you’ve had a chance to get away from that negativity, you can make a better decision about how often you wish to interact with these folks in the future.

#3. Simplify

Having clutter is a guarantee that stress will be lurking around the corner. Clutter comes in many forms. You might have far too many clothes in your closet to maintain. You might have dozens of emails that are cluttering up your account. There might be a handful of voicemails you’ve been putting off hearing. Simplify your life, take out the clutter, and there won’t be as many worries that can cause you stress in the future.

#4. Embrace Your Creativity

We often judge our own efforts at creativity against those who are better than us. Maybe you won’t be the next James Patterson or the next Picasso, but your creative efforts are just as important as theirs are. The goal isn’t to stress yourself out over the fact that you’re not making millions of dollars from your creative endeavors. You should be having a creative outlet simply because it is an easy way to deal with difficult emotions that can be the foundation for stress to build upon.

#5. Learn To Say No

It’s hard sometimes to tell people “No” when they need a favor, but you’ve got to think of yourself first and them second. You can’t really help someone if you aren’t at your best. You’ve got enough stress to handle without trying to bear the stressful burdens of others at the same time.

These methods are proven to help you remove stress from your life. It takes time to develop these habits, so get started today and you’ll begin building a wall of resiliency that helps you refuse to have more stress in your life from now on.

Stressed At Work? Here’s 7 Ways Meditation Can Help

meditation at work

It’s easy enough to get stressed out at work. Tight deadlines, micromanaging bosses, or the pressures of middle management are just some of the ways that stress can come about. Many people feel like they’re over-worked and under-paid. Meditation can’t help with your paycheck this week, but it could help you handle the stress that might be headed your way. Here’s why it can help.

#1. It improves clarity. If you have a difficult decision to make, a clear mind is necessary to lead yourself in the right direction. Meditation eliminates the distractions of body language and co-worker influence so the clear choice can be made.

#2. It balances emotions. There are two basic ways to make a decision: the rational way or the emotional way. It doesn’t take much for our emotions to become unbalanced. An insensitive comment or email can do a surprising amount of damage! Regular meditation at work helps to keep the mind balanced so it can be more rational and less emotional.

#3. It keeps you present in the moment. Ever have one of those moments when you’re at work at you “space out?” That lack of focus can be problematic if work needs to get completed or decisions made. Meditating helps to keep you in the moment more often throughout the day, letting you make the most out of every moment.

#4. It improves memory. Do you feel like you’ve got to write everything down at work or you’ll forget it? Meditation won’t fix this issue, but it will improve it. In return, you’ll be able to access information from your mind to make better instant decisions when consultation with your notes just isn’t possible.

#5. It creates a desire to actively listen. Meditation requires people to listen to the rhythms and patterns of their body. One must actively listen to their inner being to understand their outer being. This point of emphasis translates into the professional environment by encouraging the development of an active listening skill. Instead of being anxious to comment, those who meditate often at work find themselves listening and providing feedback more than trying to offer an opinion.

#6. It provides a certain sense of purpose. Why do you go to work every day? Why do you deal with all of that stress? Meditation can help to show you the meaningful answers to this question. It’s not just about the money. There is something you get from doing what you do. If it’s been lost, meditation will help you find that passion once again.

#7. It creates the foundations of leadership. Meditation ultimately helps people be able to take control over their own destinies. Instead of always being reactionary to the problems at hand, a more proactive approach can be developed. This is what makes people better leaders. They anticipate issues, have strategies developed to deal with those issues, and encourage others to build themselves up along the way.

The benefits of meditation can be quite profound, especially when they are regularly practiced at work. Find a quiet place for a few minutes, even if that just means kicking your shoes off at your desk. In return, you’ll begin shifting from a reactive to a proactive approach for that work-related stress.

5 Ways You Can Get Rid of Negative Energy Right Now

get rid of negative energy

A good life is a positive life. Negative thoughts will always come your way, but the energy that comes with that negativity doesn’t have to weigh you down. Here are 5 ways that you can get rid of that negative energy right now.

#1. Forgive First… and Forgive Often

Forgiveness must always be a top priority. It isn’t always other people that must be forgiven either. Sometimes the most difficult choice is to choose self-forgiveness. We are often are own harshest critic and the bonds of anger and bitterness often stay wrapped around us not because of what others have done, but because of our desire to “serve penance” for mistakes made. Let love come into your heart for others and for yourself.

#2. Let Go of Things That Hold You Back

Sometimes we don’t want to let go of things because there are precious memories involved. At other times, good friends may become negative influences and there seems to be no change in sight. If something isn’t nourishing your heart right now, then it is time to let it go. Negative energy will drag you down. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hope that your friends can do the same thing, but sometimes you need to put some space between you and those providing negative energy.

#3. Stop Being Negatively Self-Critical

There’s a heavy sigh. “How could I have been so stupid?” We say these words out loud in frustration. It is fine to be self-critical because that’s how we improve as individuals. Our self-criticism can be constructive or it can be negative. We often choose to abuse ourselves because there seems to be a sort of righteousness in the act, but there is not. When a person berates themselves, it leaves the same negative marks as if they were verbally abusing another person.

Try this instead: “What could I do to change things so this doesn’t happen again?” Some criticism, yet constructive because it encourages different outcomes.

#4. Make Time For Yourself

You deserve at least 5 minutes to do something that you love to do every day. If you can give yourself more time, then do so. Don’t let this be time where you’re watching TV, playing video games, or reading a book. Take time to enjoy the quiet, breathe deeply, and release the negative energies that you feel are pent up inside of you. This is a conscious choice.

#5. Learn to Be Content

Much of the news today is filled with sad stories of people who have made choices because of an overwhelming amount of negative energy that is around them. At the core of negative energy is one piece of common ground: a lack of contentment. Good things and bad things happen every day. If we’re content in our circumstances, then come what may we can find positive lights in some of the darkest corners of life.

Negative energy can release its grip. You can make it let go.

5 Steps to Defeat Stress

stress-at-work

Stress can get to everyone at some point in their life. We experience little moments of stress every day when something doesn’t go right. It could be that guy who just cut you off in traffic or it could be your boss going back on their word about a promotion. Either way, the more proactive we all are about the stress that surrounds us, the less that stress can be in control. We can be in control!

Here are 5 ways that you can be more proactive against life’s stresses beginning today:

Learn to say “No.” One of the biggest causes of stress in life is the feeling of obligation that we all have to certain people. We say we can get something done even though we know it’ll take a miracle of supernatural proportions to make that happen! The instant we say “Yes I can do that for you,” the stress begins. That means there is no greater way to be proactive against the stress of life than to learn to say “No!” when something just can’t get done.

Take some time with nature. There is no greater force that controls stress better than Mother Nature. Sure, a hurricane here or a tornado there will send people into anxiety and sometimes a tsunami will destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, yet even in the greatest disasters there are places where peace, serenity, and gentleness are the order of the day. Be proactive and find this places that nature provides and you’ll be able to gather up the strength you need to tackle a difficult situation.

Take care of yourself. When your body is worn down, you’ll experience more stress simply because you won’t have the willpower to be proactive against it. The worst decisions that people make are when they’re scared, they’re stressed, or they’ve been hurt in some way and that’s when trouble starts. If you focus on wellness, both physically and mentally, then you’ll also be naturally focusing on proactive ways to defeat stress on a daily basis. Let good stuff go in so great stuff can come out!

Make sure you get enough rest. When your body is in a constant state of being tired, it begins to crave certain things to make it stay awake. That means unhealthy snacks, fatty foods, and undoubtedly lots of caffeine. Your body also tends to store these extra calories as fat when you don’t get enough rest, ultimately giving you less energy on a long-term basis! Know how much sleep you need every night and, worst case scenario, schedule it into your calendar to make sure you get it so you can have more clarity against the stress.

Celebrate every victory. With stress constantly around, it can seem like there aren’t any victories to be had because stress is never defeated. That’s a dangerous trap! Any time you are proactive against stress and remove it from your life, even if it’s just for a moment, that is a small victory. Begin celebrating each small victory you receive and you’ll begin to notice a pattern of you being great against the storm of craziness that always seems to be around you!

We can’t necessarily control the chaos that surrounds us, but we can be proactive and do something about how it affects us each day. Use these tips as you see fit in your life and you’ll be taking a step toward a calmer, happier life that is keeping the stress out every single day!

5 Tips To Help Combat Anxiety Attacks

anxiety

Anxiety attacks can be devastating, immediate, and come on without warning. Even those who have consistent panic attacks can be caught off-guard by the immediate ferocity that they can provide. The good news is that you can do something about these anxiety attacks through the use of mindfulness meditation.

These 5 tips can help you stay in better control, defeat anxiety, and ultimately win the day:

Tip #1: Identify the Source of Your Anxiety

A good question to ask yourself when you feel anxious is “What has triggered my anxiety?” Pause when you feel that anxiety and examine your environment, your thought patterns, and the stressors that are in your life. Anxiety triggers can be internal, external, or a combination of both. Without recognizing the trigger, you’ll never be able to stay in control!

Let’s say you have a dear friend who has the on-going problem of falling asleep at night. You spend the day hanging out with this friend. The focus of your conversation throughout the day with this friend is about how he cannot fall asleep at night. You might even discuss the various methods he has used to get to sleep without success. By the end of the day, you find yourself having trouble falling asleep and feel anxious. In this case, the anxiety you are feeling was triggered by the memory of the conversation.

Tip #2: Get Out of Your Environment

When an anxiety attack appears, the tendency that many have is to sit and dwell on this panic. When this happens, the anxiety attack deepens because dwelling on this emotion creates a negative spiral that can lead to the breakdown of any installed mental barriers. Get up, go grab some water, or just go outside and take a deep breath. By changing your environment, you’ll be able to potentially break the cycle of the anxiety attack.

Focus on your senses. What are you seeing? What are you smelling? What are you hearing? By focusing on your senses, it takes you away from focusing on the anxiety at hand. By focusing on your senses, it will help you bring your awareness to the present moment.

Tip #3: Use Meditation Techniques To Gain Control

Breathing is one of the most critical components of meditation and it can also help you be able to lessen the ferocity of a panic attack. Pause for a few minutes and focus attention on your breathing patterns. Count 1, 2, 3, 4 in your mind when inhaling. Count 1, 2, 3, 4 when exhaling. Do this as many times as needed. As you do so, you will find your racing thoughts will begin to slow down and eventually. You may even find  a moment of clarity during this exercise!

Tip #4: Remember a Recent Calming Experience

Anxiety attacks tend to become more frequent and more ferocious over time because the mind and the body are training themselves to expect them. Because they are expected, the uncontrolled emotion must become greater to have an impact! If you can, remember a place where you were able to calm yourself down and stay in control. The more recent the memory you have of this calming experience, the more effective it will be. Why? Because just as an anxiety attack can train the mind, so can calming experiences.

Tip #5: Seek Out a Conversation

Just being able to talk about bad things with a trusted loved one who won’t judge you is often enough to break the cycle of a panic attack. Don’t dwell on the bad things because that could initiate another trigger, which would then simply prolong the anxiety you’re experience. Talking helps the mind process information and by processing information, the focus won’t be on the anxiety, but what to do with that anxiety!

Do you have strategies that help you cope with an anxiety attack? Please let a comment with us to share what has helped you so that together we can navigate through anxiety attacks and hopefully eliminate them one day!

Stay Calm and Just Meditate

watching tv

It’s been a long, hard day and the only thing you want to do at home is crash. Forget dinner, forget any chores that need to be done at home… it’s time to restore the relationship you have with your couch, your television, some take-out, and maybe a favorite movie. This investment usually lasts two or three hours, right? What if you could invest just 30 minutes and not only release the stress of a bad day, but find more energy, calmness, and relaxation?

That’s what meditation can do. Here’s the good news: you don’t have to be perfect at the practice of meditation to achieve these benefits!

There Are Four Basic Ways To Meditate

When you’re just getting started with meditation, it is tough to know how to begin. We often see people sitting on the ground, their legs crossed, with their arms on their knees and so that’s where we start. If you haven’t meditated before, find a place to sit that’s comfortable, then pick one of these four basic meditative methods:

Awareness cultivation. This form of meditation takes a look at the issues and problems that are causing you stress. Instead of slogging through the mires of stress, you’re placing yourself outside of the situation to look at these issues and problems from an outside observational perspective. You’re working on becoming mindful of the moments around you in a non-judgmental way.

Focus cultivation. Sometimes what your mind may need is clarity and focus instead of actual awareness. In this form of meditation, you’re focusing on something specific to bring out new details that can help you resolve issues. It is similar to a trance-like state because you’re looking to find something new and exciting about something you’re already familiar with seeing or doing.

Ego transcendence. What would happen if you could remove your ego, your pride, from a situation and actually look at yourself impartially? That’s the question you’re working on answering in this form of meditation. Rather than use descriptors to talk about who you are, you just look at who you are with an outside perspective.

Energy cultivation. This is the most commonly practiced form of meditation, though many people don’t know it is what they were doing. Any time you take a few deep breaths to calm down, you’re controlling your breath and beginning a fast meditation session! Imagine what you could do if you spent 30 minutes taking deep breaths or controlled your breathing in some other way! This helps to stimulate your nervous system and allows you to feel the multiple levels of energy you have flowing through your body.

Which Form of Meditation Is Right For You?

All forms of meditation are good to practice! Depending on your day, you can pick and choose which form of meditation will be right for you at any given moment. With this flexibility, you can always have a successful way to recover from a bad day with just a small investment. Why not try one of these forms of meditation the next time you’re feeling stressed out? There’s a good chance you’ll be impressed with the results!

5 Benfits of Yoga and Meditation

benefits of yoga and meditation

The practices of yoga and meditation are infiltrating every layer of society in some way, making it difficult to get through a day without reading about them or hearing someone talk about them. If you’re someone who hasn’t yet started these practices, you might be wondering what is so great about them.

Yoga and meditation have been practiced for millennia and that is because many people experience 5 key benefits when doing them. You don’t have to be an expert practitioner to experience these benefits either! So what’s in it for you if you decide to pick up yoga and meditation?

#1 – Improvements In Health

Yoga and meditation bring about a harmony within your body that exercise alone simply cannot provide. These practices require you to learn posture techniques, stretching techniques, and the combination has the ability to release hidden stresses. Stress can do amazing things to a human body, from nerve disorders to digestion issues and everything in-between! With regular yoga and mediation, these issues can resolve naturally, without medication.

#2 – Overcome Bad Habits

The reason why people tend to eat high caloric content foods, like processed sweets, candy bars, and other sugary foods, is because they need a coping skill. People can only take so much stress and when they reach their breaking point, they need to find immediate relief. Smoking, drinking, and even drug use occur often because of stress too. Yoga and mediation help to relieve stress in the same ways as these other coping mechanisms do, but in a healthy way.

#3 – Encourage Weight Loss

Let’s be clear for a second, however – yoga and meditation alone won’t help you lose weight if you’re eating 1,000 more calories per day than you should be. Practicing them regularly, however, can help to eliminate cravings that you may have, stop boredom temptations, and improve your overall willpower so that you can defeat those negative decisions once and for all.

#4 – Increase Inner Peace

How many times have you thought something like this: If only I could make another couple thousand dollars at my job, I’d be happy because I’d finally be able to pay all my bills? We define happiness in today’s world by looking at our possessions, the size of our home, or the quality of our vehicles that we drive. Yoga and meditation help to open up another level of contentment in our lives where we can work toward redefining happiness away from the material items and toward things like family, friends, or even good health.

#5 – Increase Wisdom

A common problem that people have is negative self-talk. This negative viewpoint muddles the mind and prevents people from being able to effectively problem-solve a situation. Yoga and mediation help to clear your mind so that when you’ve completed a session, you’ll have a greater focus on any problem that may be at hand.

The Key to Fighting Stress: Peace Through Meditation

lake-meditation-460

Meditation has been practiced by humanity for thousands of years. Mentioned in the Bible, its roots go back as far as the first foundations of organized Eastern religion and perhaps even further than that. Though there are many different kinds of meditation, each form has some common ground that can help the person practicing meditation to find a certain level of peace. Even the busiest of minds can benefit from a few minutes of meditation, where the internal chatter of the mind can be reduced, even if just for a moment.

Stress Brings With It Pain and Suffering

The problem that this busy modern life brings to people is the stress cycle. When a stressful event occurs, instead of processing that stress in a natural way in order to release it and find peace, people instead choose to internalize the stress and keep moving forward. This internalization brings about tension, pain, and suffering that causes that person to eventually visit the doctor.

The doctor may take a look at the patient and recommend some sort of therapy, either through medicine, supplements, and other artificial means of intervention. This causes a period of relief, so the person goes back to their stressful life and gets into the same place of pain and suffering again. With each visit to the doctor, the medication levels rise until they too are at an unhealthy level. Then there’s nothing left for that person to do, right?

Wrong. Meditation has the ability to break the cycle of pain and suffering. It gives everyone the opportunity to get their lives back under control.

Regular Meditation Can Reduce Serious Health Risks

Stress that is left uncontrolled can have a dynamic effect on the human body, ranging from headaches and heightened anxiety to serious cardiovascular issues. Meditation reduces the health risks that people may face because the practice of meditation can help people better analyze the world around them.

Why is that? Because meditation is ultimately the art of self-exploration. Some who regularly practice meditation say that it is like watching a movie of their life play back through their minds. Others find that having a calm moment in the storm allows for greater clarity of an issue, with better problem-solving abilities coming as a side effect of their meditation. Whatever the experience may be, everyone experiences some form of liberation and that’s why it is so easy to find peace through the practice of meditation.

How Can You Get Started with Meditation Today?

If you’ve never really meditated before, take 15-30 minutes today to sit down, quiet your mind, and explore the thoughts that come your way. That’s really all you need to do! You may need to schedule in meditation time, but make that time a priority for you. That way you can resolve stressful situations, get a grip on your emotions, and find yourself in a more peaceful, centered state.

Meditation For Inner Calm

meditation

Did you know that stress is slowly killing you? We have all experienced stress. Some live with it on a daily basis. Having some stress in your life is actually good as it motivates us to take action. For example, your boss tells you to produce a financial report by the end of the week. The stress that we feel from this request will propel us to get that report completed on time.

There is another type of stress that is actually quite harmful to your well-being. This is the chronic stress that many people suffer from during their waking hours. It affects their physical health such as headaches, fatigue, insomnia, and high blood pressure. Chronic stress makes you anxious, tense, worry, unhappy, angry and upset.

You can reduce chronic stress by spending a few minutes each day in meditation to restore your calm and inner peace. Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. Meditation originally was meant to help deepen understanding of the sacred and mystical forces of life. These days, meditation is commonly used for relaxation and stress reduction. Doctors are now prescribing meditation to their patients as a complementary medicine in addition to conventional drugs and other medical procedures.

Meditation is something that you can quickly learn and it requires no special equipment or instructions. You don’t need to spend hours each day on meditation. In fact, studies have shown amazing benefits by spending less than 10 minutes a day in meditation. And these benefits don’t end when your meditation session ends. Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day and can definitely reduce the stress you feel on a daily basis.

The next time you are feeling stressful, take a few minutes to calm your mind by meditating. You will find that your stress will melt away and you will have a big smile on your face.

Page 1 of 4
1 2 3 4