Relaxing Moments Matter: Learn Mindfulness

If your life feels overwhelming, stressful, too busy and relaxation escapes you, it is time to learn to living in "Mindfulness."  Recently, I was on a vacation to Colorado and paused on a bridge to experience the sounds, beauty, breeze, and vista provided by moment by the Snake River. Are you taking time to "just pause in your life" to look and listen to the current flowing for you? Take time to tune in. Life with calming moments, nature scenes, observations of the beauty around you provides you with appreciation, gratitude and stop the madness of life fury. In addition to this brief video of the Snake River, I have a link for 22 Mindfulness techniques you can use to practice being more connected to nature, self and relaxation.  This is brief, so just immerse yourself into the moment. For more on Mindfulness, click on this link
22 Mindfulness Techniques

America, Can we talk about your drinking & pot use?

Yes, this article addresses the impact of alcohol on your life. Effectively, alcohol can take down every element of your life and destroy it. Why not take stock of the impact and use of alcohol and/or drugs on your life? Data show that there has been a steady increase in alcohol use since 2000. Especially alarming is the increase in the 50+ age groups. However, binge drinking in colleges has been rampant.
Pot smoking and use of other drugs has been on the rise also. Take a look at this USA Today report. Grades plummet with alcohol use and week. GPA's suffer drastically over time. Some of the psychological consequences of smoking marijuana include:

  • Memory lapses
  • Concentration problem
  • Motivation decrease
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Anger
    Physical reactions:
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Shallow breathing
  • Increased appetite 
  • Slowed reaction time
Is it worth it? How is your life compromised or changed as a result of your use? Relationship difficulties, legal problems, isolation, job issues, anger, depression, sleep problems, and avoidance of taking on new challenges. 

2018....Your Year of Possibilities

What adventures are you considering embarking upon? How about "do what you love?" If you are spending a great deal of time pleasing others, seeking approval, letting fear guide your decisions, it may be time to confront these demons and break free of worry, anxiety and fear. Fear of making a mistake, failure or avoidance all serve to strengthen fear and hold you back. In life, you get just about as many chances as you are willing to take. Unhappiness, regret, holding back, spending time with negative or even toxic people will diminish you in more ways than you can imagine. Do some house cleaning of people, possessions, jobs/careers that are either not leading your anywhere or even pulling you down. Your internal compass knows what is right for you, but you have to tune in and listen to your feelings. Overthinking can paralyze you, "going with your gut" help you be true to yourself. Believe in your abilities, intuition, standards, and own your limitations are examples of your inner GPS. 
Once you accept and own your role in your unhappiness, you have a chance to break away. This is not easy for many reasons. Defensiveness, ego, negativity, and self-limiting thoughts and beliefs will shut you down. Close the door on antiquated ideas and beliefs and open the door to love and inspiring people and opportunities. Say "YES"to life. Put yourself out there by taking risks, challenges and promoting inner growth and change. Ask for advice and/or guidance from people you trust, but be sure to take it graciously and use it. Lastly, risk not, grown not. 

Imposter it real?

This definition is straight from Wikipedia; "Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as "fraud". Imposter Syndrome Definition
What does it mean to "not internalize" accomplishments? Basically, not being able to integrate achievements and assign value to yourself. 

Feelings of self-doubt can plague all of us — and in some cases these harbored doubts threaten to derail our work lives. A place to begin an exploration of the origin of these negative thoughts is "Where do your doubts originate?"  Typically, these are cognitive distortions and negative thought patterns. Much of the time, "Imposters" feel lucky for their success, not necessarily competent or confident. In fact, There is an ever present fear of being found out and exposed as a fraud. These feeling  serve to drive anxiety, fear, and more doubt. Fear of failure, making a mistake or not knowing something makes this cycle of anxiety and sometimes depression worsen. If you would like to view a NYTimes article about Imposter Syndrome, click on this link. NYTImes Article.
Doubts and fears can arise due to the notion that if things come to easily, the tendency is to discount the value of the process which lowers self-esteem and increases the feeling of being an imposter.  One last observation, confidence is the ability and recognition that you can "do something." Self-esteem is how you "value" what you do or the attribution to it. Getting an award, promotion, or achieving some goal is essentially discounted with thoughts like, "I don't deserve it", "I could have done better", "Someone else is better than me." Correcting the Imposter Syndrome means confronting your fears, negative self-talk and the way you value yourself. Work on validating and affirming yourself and accomplishments. Learn to accept compliments and make yourself an MVP of your own life.