How To Rise Above Disappointments, Doubts & Defeats?

No one tells you at any point how to fall when things go south. No one tells you how to shield your spirit. No one tells you enough how failure is painful. No one tells you about the humiliation, anger, and toxic numbness. As a child, regardless of which parenting style you have been raised, when you fall, ideally, your emotions are validated. Your parents or caregivers might rationalize, but eventually, the emotional approach you receive allows you to label the pain, and ultimately you feel safe. A kiss, an antiseptic, or a cast with the reassurance that “you will be fine” and off you go to explore your next venture.

Matthew Grabelsky

As an adolescent, you experience frustrations and disappointments. Generally, your parents will empathize and give you emotional courage. They will reassure that “if you are not failing sometimes, that means you are not trying hard enough.” They will help you learn self-regulating skills, put a smile on your face, and make sure that you remember that their love is unconditional.

Later in life, as an adult, you are encouraged to take chances. They show you the grassland in front of you and pressure you to explore. Only you have to jump over the cliff to enjoy the beauty of the prairies. Equipped with your dreams and ambitions, you run, but sometimes things go wrong, and you fall. Your body aches, and the psychic pain is unbearable.

August Vilella

You see, it’s not the fall that gets you but how you fall. A bruised bone or a scar on your hand can be fixed but what about your soul.  No one told you that the magnitude of agony is beyond what you have experienced as a child. No one taught you the depth of resilience you need to withstand the despair. Now, as you are hurting, social anxieties creep in, your confidence diminishes, addictions take over, low tolerance with stress webs around you, and the vision for future becomes a blur.

Adam Lupton
Adam Lupton

Move away from numbing your pain with unhealthy behaviors and distractions, you need to develop the antidote called, “Self-compassion.” A mindset that encourages you to display leadership skills instead of anger or wallowing in self-pity, and self-doubt. And knowing that nothing in life worthwhile is ever going to come easy, and while each of us has a different set of circumstances, it takes a period of hopelessness and bad feelings, self-help materials, and definitely a wise mentor to recalibrate your mind and cultivate Self-compassion.

Kristin Neff, a researcher explains that self-compassion has three elements:

  1. Self-kindness, which translates into curbing harsh self-criticism
  2. Recognizing one’s own humanity, accepting the fact that people are imperfect and we all experience distress
  3. Mindfulness, maintaining impartial thoughts of our experiences not to disregard or magnify them

That said, learning to extend Self-compassion is an ability that can be developed with the support of a wise mentor, reading self-improvement, and practicing coping skills.

1- A parent or mentor who motivates, encourages and opens a window to let the airflow when you are hiding from the embarrassment. One that listens when you ruminate, validates your anger, and responds with kindness. A mentor that refrains from dismissive attitude and compassionately reminds you that you are not alone. And like a good coach supports you.

2- Here are a few good helpful books to cultivate a productive mindset:

3- Bouncing back from hardship is a process to strengthen your resilience and to nurture a sense of peace through mindfulness techniques. Working at activities that help you embrace challenges to learn from setbacks and criticism and put effort into achieving. You can refer to mindful.org to learn about different activities and the Jon Kabat-Zinn mindfulness meditation series (you can also refer to my Mindfulness Series Section).

On a final note, turning your focus outward by volunteering brings a new perspective into your life, has health benefits and boosts your brain’s natural high. Studies have found that helping others for the right reasons improves wellbeing from lowering your blood pressure to reducing feelings of depression. So try to replenish your mental state with good deeds with no expectation of reward.

Interview With R.A. Leslie – Transformational Coach and Speaker

Maybe all you need right now is to help yourself. Perhaps you need to work on quieting the noise in your head, listen to the voice of your unconscious, and connect with your dreams and desires. Maybe the gap is so wide, and you are hanging on the edges of two cliffs while gravity pulls you down. You look up, scared to death, not knowing which edge to let go. The dreams, the desires, or the shadows? Maybe while you were expanding your horizons, striving to be the image of myths and protagonists in novels, you lost your voice. And now, you have no idea how to calm the chaos, how to heal your wounds, or how to re-connect with your true aspirations. Maybe you need to learn about your meta-narratives. Perhaps you need someone that cares, makes you comfortable, takes your hand, and sheds light on the gap so that you can rationally see where you are and what you need to know about your life purpose. Maybe it is time to reshape and “discover your dreams.”

Maybe you need a coach to find clarity. A coach that motivates you to move forward. A coach that guides you to a place that echoes “live up to your potential and never give up.”

R.A. Leslie, a transformational coach, and speaker believe that “Our lives begin with stories and dreams inside of us, waiting to be discovered and brought into the world.” Her creative coaching unveils your internal battles and shows you “how to change your message, your feelings, and your habits.”

Image courtesy of R.A. Leslie

Jupilings: How did you become a coach and why-

R.A.: I think of myself more as a lifestyle architect. Someone to reflect back to the client the answers they already have deep within and then help them design, shape, build and structure a life that defines who they truly are.

I started out quite simply and organically by doing workshops for children on believing in their dreams, which led to having healthy self-esteem. Then I went through a divorce and people began asking me to help them with their relationships and careers.

Jupilings: What are the most common challenges people face-

R.A.: People are challenged by love because oftentimes they have been raised with contradictory messages of what love is and is not from their caregivers. Often the romantic relationship is not necessarily love but a form of attachment and painful dysfunction. The other challenge they face is being happy in a career choice. The two themes are often linked to similar emotions and triggers. People struggle with both, often simultaneously.

Jupilings: When things get chaotic and complexity swirls in your life, how can you take back control of your life-

R.A.: The first step is to notice what is causing chaos. Typically it is a slow-building up of past choices. Then insulate yourself for a period of a few days. A long weekend away or even a few personal days away from work. Slowing yourself down is a short cut to resolutions. It always good to reflect on your life so you can see where the chaos has stemmed from and how to halt it. Turn off technology and sit with yourself in meditation. Make a list of what is not working in your life and see if you can ask yourself “why” and what you can do about it. Reach out to a good friend or your coach.

Jupilings: How to overcome the feeling of “I m not good enough or I don’t know enough” when you want to embark on a venture-

R.A.: To overcome the feeling of “I am not good enough, or I don’t know enough” it is best not to compare yourself with others. Realize that there really is no competition when you are original because you have your own unique way of self-expression. Your passion is your own and so are your dreams. They might look like the ideas and dreams of others but you are the only one who can express your vision of who you are and what you want to accomplish.

Sometimes we don’t know enough for a field we are interested in and we can always learn more. However, the experience is a wonderful teacher and provides us with knowledge so we can start from the point of experience and just know that we can always learn more about any given topic. It is “ok” to not know things sometimes. If we have stories to tell and life experiences to share—our insight into those experiences will carry us through any feelings of “not being good enough or not knowing enough.” Sometimes we just don’t need more information. (You are here because you are here you are already more than enough.)

Jupilings: Practical tips on how to switch off the negative thoughts-

R.A: This is not easy, but to be aware of the thought is the first tip. Then don’t give the negative thoughts energy and feeling. Dismiss it. Catch yourself when a negative thought comes and don’t invite them to loop into a cycle of more negative thoughts. Move on to a better feeling thought. This takes practice but it works!

Jupilings: Finding meaning versus happiness, what are your thoughts-

R.A.: When our lives have meaning it becomes a life of happiness. A life of happiness is a feeling of internal joy despite circumstances and outside influences and events. Meaning brings joy, does it not? Often times people associate happiness with externals, labels, images, and things, but that is not true happiness. When we look closely at meaning—it lasts. It is the kind of happiness that is mature. It is not ephemeral. There is deep joy in meaning. Definitely worth the quest.

Jupilings: How do you deal with setbacks-

R.A.: It depends on what the setback is. Sometimes we just need to pause, accept what we are presented with, in each moment and allow the setback to be there. It will pass with the right action and in time. Setbacks will teach us something about ourselves and others and then we need to do whatever we can to keep a positive, forward momentum going so we can continue to move in the right direction. Setbacks are a part of life. As we mature we understand that setbacks do not have to paralyze us. They are invitations that ask us important questions about where we are in our lives; what we are doing and why and how we will respond to challenges and crisis.

Jupilings: What is your life motto-

R.A.: My life motto? I have a few. One of my favorite ones is: be prepared. We may not get that opportunity of a lifetime but it is still better to be prepared just in case we do. Every day is an opportunity to succeed, to accomplish a goal, to begin something. Finish what you begin or don’t start it. My favorite motto is: Time is irrelevant but timing is everything. (I believe this is true.)

How To Develop A Growth Mindset? Talk with Krista Roesler M.A. RP

Do you feel misunderstood, go through bitter self-recrimination, be confused about how you feel, cope with life challenges, or be distracted? Occasionally, we feel sad and display a lack of energy or vigor; however, gaining a deep understanding of the reasons behind the distress enables us to regulate our mood. The awareness allows us to remedy our feelings either through finding a solution or adopting a restorative method.

The problem arises when unknown anxiety, procrastination, fear, or an undigested disturbing experience pushes us to nihilism. When we cannot identify an accurate reason for the lingering inner conflicts, we tend to gravitate towards the negative path. This complication prevents us from gaining insight into what has triggered our despair, anxiety, or other impaired emotions. This is when self-help stops working, and you need a confidante, someone who patiently and supportively listens.

When your efforts and resources are ineffective and blindly steering the wheel, it’s time to establish a personal interaction that acts as a catalyst—a professional who can improve your wellbeing and resolve your worrisome behaviors and thoughts.

On this account, to learn more about how to deal with self-criticism, not to take offense, and develop a growth mindset, I had the opportunity to interview Krista Roesler M.A. RP, a registered psychotherapist and a professionally trained life coach at Psych Company located in Toronto:

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Courtesy of Psych Company

Jupilings: Please tell us about your background and areas of expertise- 

KW: I am a registered psychotherapist and a life coach. I have a masters degree in psychology and life coaching training from the Adler Institute/the University of Toronto. I work with individuals and couples on a wide range of issues from finding purpose in life and achieving dreams and goals to dealing with more severe mental health issues such as addiction, trauma, depression, etc. Please see the website for a more detailed list: www.psychcompany.com

Jupilings: In the context of living a meaningful & a mindful life, how can we distinguish between who we should be and whom we want to be- 

KR: In the context of living a meaningful & a mindful life you can distinguish between who we should be and who we want to be by getting familiar with our values or what is really important us. Start by writing a list of all the things you feel like you should do, have to do, feel obligated to do or others told you to do. Now cross off everything you don’t want to do. Now start a 2nd list and of the things you actually want to do and try to get more of that in your life. 

Jupilings: How to deal with self-criticism- 

KR: One way to deal with self-criticism is to first become really aware of it by writing it down. Next, separate your self-criticism from your own voice. Tell your self that just because you are thinking these thoughts it doesn’t mean any of them are true. Explore and think about where the thoughts originated. Did you have a critical parent? Next, think about what you really need to hear to feel empowered? Do you need to hear that you can do it? Do you need to hear that you are smart enough or good enough? 

Jupilings: How to become braver in life- 

KR: You can become braver in life by trying and doing things that are out of your comfort zone or that you didn’t think you could. This will help build your confidence.

Jupilings: How not to take things personally- 

KR: You can stop taking things personally by recognizing that it’s usually about someone else’s issues and not you. These issues might be that someone might have a bad day or be under stress for example. 

Ask yourself if they are like this with everyone? If they are like this with others than it is not personal.

Be curious and wonder why that person might behave that way? If it’s a bully. Were they bullied at some point in their life and now bully others? Is it someone who is shy and that’s why they have trouble with eye contact, responding, talking? When you can try to understand why someone behaves a certain way you can free yourself from taking it personally.

Jupilings: What are your 5 golden tips to help us develop a growth mindset-

KR:

  1. View all obstacles/challenges/criticism as a learning opportunity
  2. Embrace imperfection, mistakes and failure
  3. Enjoy the process of getting there and don’t hyper-focus on the end result
  4. Learn from the mistakes of others
  5. If you haven’t mastered something yet, allow time to practice and improvement.

Jupilings: We do negotiate with ourselves and others each and every day, what are the necessary traits that need to be nurtured to help us negotiate from a position of strength- 

KR: Non-judging is one of the attitudinal foundations of mindfulness. Any tips or practice that will support our efforts to adopt a non-judgemental attitude.

A tip that will support our efforts to adopt a non-judgement attitude is to be more compassionate with yourself and others. A good way to do this is to think of someone you deeply care about and want to protect such as your child or best friend. Now ask yourself if you would ever say those thoughts to your best friend or child. If you wouldn’t think about what you would say to them instead and say that to yourself. 

Jupilings: “If one does not understand a person, one tends to regard him as a fool”. What are your tips to deal with our lack of understanding and to stay calm in unpleasant situations or being annoyed by people’s behaviours-

KR: A tip is to try to have empathy and to try to put yourself into that person’s shoes. Become curious about what made that person act or think that way. Remember we are all doing the best we can with where we are. Remind yourself of all the times in the past that you didn’t know any better and also acted like a “fool.”

Jupilings: How do you deal with setbacks-

KR: Setbacks are a normal part of life. I expect setbacks to happen. I factor the expectation that setbacks will occur into everything I do. It means whatever I want to do will just take a little longer and little more work to get there and that’s okay. That’s part of life. 

Jupilings: What is your life motto-

KR: Action leads to success. Every little step forward will get me closer to where I want to be. 

Click on the link provided for more information about www.psychcompany.com

How To Control Yourself When Your Emotions Get The Best Of You!

Have you recently sat down and unpacked your thoughts and asked yourself: what are the things you repeatedly do that keep you from reaching your potential?

Why this question? Because how you live your life matters. How you deal with your emotions matter. For most of your life, you acquire knowledge to have a point, to set goals, and lead a meaningful life. You probe into your conscious and allow your intelligence to guide you constructively. You tap into skills & capabilities nested in you due to your education, experience, and privileges in life with its triumph and setbacks.

If your perspective is that the world is in progress, you are a firm believer in growth and advancement. Indeed, this point of view starts with self-progress. A mindset that understands positive thinking is about emotional agility and not avoidance. We all hear disturbing news, and every day there is a painful event happening in one part of the world. However, the reality is that evolutionary progress is taking place, and we are moving forward.

So, next time your enthusiasm is ebbing away, or you feel stressed, sit down to investigate your inner feelings and thoughts. Make sure to remind yourself of the dynamic of your emotions and your ability to wean off the habit of instant gratification with mindfulness techniques. (You can refer to the mindfulness series to learn about the foundations of practice).

Few points to think about:

  • Recognize the emotions you are facing
  • Label them – Upset, fear, anger…
  • Understand that you can step out of the unpleasant situation to gain control and re-energize
  • Negotiate with yourself on how to express your feelings, whether is anger or worry, at the right time and in what dosage
  • Re-orient yourself. This process entails deciding to act in a way that is in harmony with your rational self & values.
  • Align your behavior with your goal and detach your intention from ego
  • Use your imagination for the best outcome.

It is crucial to control your emotions before taking any initiative as your best judgment is unavailable when you are boiling with anger or scared.

Remember that you choose a path of stagnation that will lead to depression or the sweet sake of manifesting yourself congruently with your potentials and powerful, capable self.

 

Featured image by Rodney Smith.

 

 

 

Change Negative Thoughts Instantly!

“Our views of our body image – what’s on the outside – are directly affected by our emotions on the inside.”

Dr Alan Watkins

Are you feeling stressed out? Are you facing challenges? Are you having negative thoughts about how things are going? Do you have a poor body image that affects how you present yourself?

Next time you are riding on the negativity rollercoaster, notice the mindless chatter that is taking over your cognitive reasoning. Recognize that tension and anxiety are the sources that are stirring up the useless inner voice that signals destructive criticism. This negativity is unrealistic, and if it is not challenged, it will consume your health, your immune system and turn you into a self-absorbed toxic person who is unaware of the world around them. So be aware!

Introspection and shifting your mindset to a positive state can be achieved through myriads of ways. There are lots of self-help books, treatments, training, and the list goes on. However, it is possible to remedy the way we feel at any moment of the day! You can control the rush of negative thoughts and tensions in the heat of the moment by shifting your focus to your heart’s physiology.

Dr. Alan Watkins, a leadership expert, neuroscientist & CEO of Complete Coherence, explains that we can balance our emotions by controlling our breath. He further points out the connection between the optimum level of our performance and our physiology. Therefore, to reach our “A game,” we need to get a grip of our different psychological and physical layers:

Performance – To be at our best, we need to change our behavior.

Behaviour – To change our behavior, we have to change the way we think.

Thoughts – Our feelings influence our thoughts.

Feelings – Our feelings are the awareness of our emotions.

Emotions – Emotion is the energy in motion from all the streams of data,

Physiology – Streams of data produced by functions and mechanism within our body,

Therefore, in a stressful situation, practicing rhythmic and smooth breathing to regain a coherent heart rate pattern allows the flow of data in our body to function without a blockage. Due to our ancient survival instinct, our frontal lobe shuts off as the time intervals’ variation between the heartbeats increases. Once you master the smooth and rhythmic breathing, you have set the ground to gain control over the fabric of your mind. As a result, the mixed self-help efforts or developmental training exerted on those psychological layers will help you stay alert and energetic to give your best. Only with practice, in an anxious state, you can steer your heart rate variability to an ideal pace so that your brain regains its clarity. The emphasis should be to breathe in measured, regular, and smooth intervals to have a coherent heart rate pattern.

Now that you are aware of the connections and most importantly, you have the elixir of control, next time you are restless and on edge, you know precisely what to do: zoom out of the negative perception of your body or mind and zoom in to your heart and breathing rhythm.

For more watch:

Featured image courtesy of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the galaxy Marvin

Make It Happen! How To Change Your Mindset & Thrive.

The present time is full of possibilities, so why can we not edit our thoughts to actually see the threads that can lead to a desirable experience? Almost always, the answer boils down to our inner struggles to keep things together! Every day, we are bombarded by stressful questions or circumstances, by the urgency of decision-making, or feeling anxious about the unknown future. We might have a master plan; however, we will encounter setbacks or disasters along the way. Often, the course of actions needs to be modified, adjusted, refined, or totally removed to be replaced by the new approach.

Appropriately, we all need supporting tools, strategies, and definitely a mindset that helps us manage stress, anxieties, and improve the quality of life and our wellbeing. Deep interrogation of our attitudes reveals how we see the world and what mindset determines our value system. In Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Stanford Professor Carol Dweck distinguishes between fixed and growth mindsets. Her research clearly shows the difference between the two extremes. The fixed mindset has no safety net for challenges and disappointments, and the growth mindset develops tolerance in the face of adversity and frustrations. 

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If there is a seedling of desire planted in your heart, despite a voice in your head sending signals “No, this cannot be done,….”, make no mistake you are suffering from a fixed mindset! It’s time to pay close attention to your thought patterns. The good news is that you can develop a growth mindset.

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Art by Igor Morski

Invariably, we need to change our inner dialogue, identify our limiting beliefs, and cultivate a set of attitudes that will respond supportively and intelligently to uncertainties and setbacks. The amount of time we put into self-deprecating can be thrust into deliberate practice.

The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value.”

Carol Dweck

Consider the following steps to shape a growth mindset and strengthen your abilities:

  •  Mindful self-knowledge – consciously start examining your attitudes and your intentions. Detach yourself from your self-made identity. Take a bird’s eye of your inner perception and your destructive & hindering thoughts. Notice the triggers. Replace them with the desired mental pictures, value learning, and efforts more than innate intelligence.
  • Apply strategies into your daily routine– to develop a new communication network in your brain. Include mindfulness techniques, such as meditation, as an integral part of your day-to-day life, strengthening your neural pathways’ connections. Erase negative self-talk, create positive core belief that you can improve your abilities, and learn new skills.
  • “The power of yet” – (Carol Dweck) replacing the “I am not good at this,…” with “I am not good at this, YET,..”
  • Try new things – It helps with self-compassion and understanding of others, especially in difficult or worrisome situations. A beginner’s mind is curious, resilient, and creative.
  • Keep in mind that knowing is not enough! You need to practice!
  •  

Next, I will look into “7 attitudinal foundations of mindfulness practice” for us to monitor our inner dialogue to make good use of our neurons and rewire our brain.

 

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Art by Sonia Rentsch

Featured image by Aykutaydogdu

Tell Your Brain To Shut Up and Listen!

As promised, I embarked on the practice of mindfulness meditation to learn useful techniques on how to change our state of mind deliberately. The practice serves as a navigator through the ups and downs of life, transcending the fear and seeing things or the problem as they are. Meditation takes you to a place deep within yourself, a bridge to your inner wisdom that helps you stabilize distress—the optimal formula to nurture the best version of yourself.

At its core, the concept of mindful meditation is nothing more than being aware of what you are doing while you are doing it. It is not always about sitting in the Burmese position (mind you, it does help) and chanting a mantra but to be present at the moment. As Jon Kabat-Zinn writes in “Catastrophe Living,” unless you change your way of looking at things, no type of meditation will be useful in the long run. He frames a set of 7 fundamental attitudes that will help with the practice of being present. Non-judgingpatiencebeginner’s mindtrustnon-strivingacceptance, and letting go are to be part of your frame of mind to channel your energies and reach an alpha state. I will dive deeper into each of these attitudes in my upcoming “Mind Series.” 

The practice needs commitment! In the beginning, it will be very hard to include the above attitudes in your thought process, but merely keeping them in mind and applying them in small increments in your day-to-day ways, from eating habits to rituals or working systems, will eventually be ingrained in your thinking.

  • A good place to start is to take notice of your daily habits. For instance, pay attention to what you are eating as if it is for the first time that you are seeing or tasting that food. You can try with just one fruit or any other produce that you like. This exercise involves minding one moment to another and can be extended to other tasks and routines. 
  • Intentionally, build up your efforts and set aside a time during the day to quiet your mind and focus on your breathing.
  • Taking notice of the breath is the anchor that shifts our battling mind and anxieties to a relaxing and calming stage. The turbulence is still there, but even if it’s for a few minutes, this exercise enables you to reconnect to your ability to stay calm.

 

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Photo courtesy of rafyA creative art designs
  • Diaphragmatic breathing – the idea is to intentionally contract the diaphragm muscle and relax your belly during the inhalation to rise and deflate on exhalation. Lie down on your back or stretch out on a recliner put one hand on your belly. Bring your attention to your hand and feel it move. Practice for 15 minutes every day. (“The power of Breathing, Jon Kabat-Zinn) 
  • The other way of practicing mindfulness of breathing is to be mindful of your breath during the day.

 

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Photo courtesy of designrfix.com
  • Kindly observe your thoughts and emotions without judgment and turn your focus on your breath each time you start dwelling on them.
  • Note the persistent thoughts, detect the emotional threats of the self-centered sentiments, anger, hate, or different moods.
  • Recognize that what comes to your mind is only a thought. By redirecting your attention to your breath, you will detach any value to the lingering thought, and gradually, you will have the strength to intentionally let go of the negative emotions and calm your brain.
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Photo courtesy of designrfix.com

The whole process is not about pushing the unwanted emotions or thoughts away but cultivating the courage to see as they are. Meditation is about accepting the contents of your mind, regaining calm to reach the peaceful brain wave, and finding clarity.

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Photo courtesy of designrfix.com

Explore your rhythms and pulses, and in concert with your restyled thinking at the same time integrating gratitudecompassionkindnessforgivenessgenerosity, and tolerance, steadilyyou can lead a robust lifestyle.

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Art of Alex Gross

Can Meditation Change The Brain?

Throughout history, meditation has been practiced in one form or another to assert the primal instinct to connect with oneself and the universe. Perhaps it is the most effective channel to reach clarity and harness the power of thought. Interestingly, the practice has its variations from the sweat lodge ceremonies of Native Americans, reading the Bible, the whirling dervishessound rituals of aboriginals, and Islamic practices of prayers. Nevertheless, meditation trains the brain and enables us to shift our brainwaves from the working mind to deep sleep.

I briefly touched on the Alpha State of mind in my last post; now, I like to delve into moving from one state of mind to another through meditation. So I decided to learn about the process and write about my findings in a series of blog posts.

Let’s start with our brain frequencies:

  • Gamma State (30-100Hz) is when your brain is extremely active and retains information. In this state, you are an active learner, and the assimilated information is lasting. However, if it is excessively stimulated, it can lead to anxiety. A good example is when you attend a seminar or a workshop, and the coaches urge you to jump up and down or dance.
  • Beta State(13-30HZ) is associated with the prefrontal cortex, a brain region that orchestrates our thoughts and actions from personality expression, decision-making, or keeping our social behaviors under control.
  • Alpha State (9-13Hz) is when the thinking mind slows down becomes calm and peaceful. In this state, the brain’s communication pathways (neural integration) are open to activate the intelligible and reflective mind. The only way to know that you have reached this state is when you are entirely relaxed mentally and physically.
  • Theta State (4-8Hz) is when our brainwaves in its intuitive thinking. Meditation begins in this state, and we can move the thinking mind over to the visual mind. Your brain is extremely receptive to visualization.
  • Delta State (1-3 Hz) is when we are in deep and dreamless sleep. In this state, through transcendental meditation, we can reach the unconscious realm and connect with the collective unconscious or the universal mind.

When you train your brain to move from the active state to a calm state through mindful meditation, the brain undergoes positive changes. It heightens emotional intelligence and strengthens the resilience of your mind leading to good physical well-being. In a study conducted by a team of researchers at the University of British Columbia, “Is meditation associated with altered brain structure?”, they confirm that the brains of consistent meditators have thicker tissue in those regions responsible for body awareness, enhanced focus, stress management and attention control. (Referring to Anterior cingulate cortex – the area associated with controlling impulses and maintaining attention).

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ANTONIO MORA

Furthermore, the research outlines that mindful meditation’s regular practice activates some regions in the brain while other regions are deactivated. For instance, the brain region associated with many negative emotions such as anxiety or sadness gets smaller with practice.
Overall, integrating mindful meditation techniques into our lives will significantly reduce our unproductive emotions and boosts self-regulation.

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ANTONIO MORA

In the next post, I will introduce a few techniques on applying this alternative well-being approach into our daily lives to manage our emotions.

Featured image by ANTONIO MORA

Can you Re-wire Your Brain To Influence Your Reality?

“Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious.”

Thomas Edison

Apparently, it can be done! Our subconscious can be directed to influence our conscious level. We need to access the portal to begin with. There are five distinct brain wave frequencies in neuroscience, namely Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta, and the lesser-known Gamma. These brain wave frequencies are generated by millions of neurons that connect and communicate through small electrical currents, changing depending on stimuli.

Learning to bridge conscious to the subconscious is to switch our brain’s activity to a deep relaxation state known as the Alpha brainwave. A meditative state of integrating mind and body to be calm and relaxed. The best time to reach the Alpha brainwave (8 to 12 HZ) is before we sleep at night or right after waking up in the morning (when our brain is still in Theta).

From this state, we can reach the Theta waves (3 to 8 HZ) to communicate with our subconscious and have the power to create. In Theta, our senses are focused internally, and we are in a dream. A place that we become aware of all our information, from our past to our fears or having novel ideas. We can align our subconscious with our hearts, desires, inner voice, and, most importantly, bypass our limiting beliefs.

To program your mind to flow between these brainwave frequencies, you need to apply the visualization techniques:

    • Set your intention
    • Make sure your goals or desire for change are in harmony with each other
    • Record your intentions or affirmations
    • Choose relaxing background music for your recording, preferably a Theta brainwave music (here is an example)

Start meditating! Listen to your voice purposefully and you will be able to transform your energy to create your intended desires.

Featured image: Leo Patzelt

How to feel lasting joy?

I have been contemplating the word joy or happiness in the past few years if I may use them interchangeably. What’s best for me, what gives me pleasure, and most importantly, how do I measure my well-being? Typically, our pursuits, interests, experiences, and how we choose to live form part of our well-being value list. Hopping from the linguistic meaning of the word to the spectrum of emotions defined by psychology and finally to the philosophical value of joy, I was on a mission to find my answers.

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Cyril Rolando

The first lesson was that life could go well or not and influence our state of mind; however, to feel joy is about orienting the heart towards peace. Taking a dip into the real meaning of pleasure was to remove all the superficial layers of how people portray their personality as a smiling emoji. At the same time, one could observe their tensions and frustrations.

I learned that it is OK to explore, and you are not obligated to smile all the time and pretend to be cheery when you are fearful, frustrated or when your incredible inner hulk is about to pop up. All the emotional rollercoaster ride had nothing to do with feeling genuine joy.

Deep down, we all can feel happiness! If you have no desire to be part of the pretentious Cheshire cat group on a merry go round, then start the inner-reflection. Hush all the noise of what encapsulates joy characterized by the latest trends in cultural concepts, social belief, or editorial images and re-connect to your heart.

Throughout civilization, whether through Eastern or Western philosophies and scientific research, the indication that the heart is the most important organ in the human body is prevalent. From Aristotle or Abu-Nasr al-Farabi, Ninth century Arabic philosopher, to Prof. Paul Pearsall, a clinical neuropsychologist and clinical professor of the University of Hawaii, they all pointed to the power of the heart to store memory, a center of reason and having the ability to think. Prof. Pearsall’s research on heart transplant patients indicated the possibility that a donor’s personality traits transfer to the recipient. The parallels ranged from the same taste in food and music to sexual and job preferences. Moreover, the electrical frequencies of our hearts are much stronger than our brains. Importantly, our heart transmits many instructions to the brain on what to do.

Our heart and brain communicate in four ways: 1- Neurologically, via nerve impulses, 2- Energetically, via magnetic fields, 3- Biochemically, via hormones and neuro transmitting chemicals, 4- Biophysically, via blood flow. The energetic interaction of the heart, most specifically the heart’s magnetic field, envelops every cell of the body and extends out in all directions, 6 to 10 feet, into space. Hence, the coherence between the heart and the brain is vital to feel joy. This state of flow is to quiet your mind and to open your heart.

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Only for you – Catrin Welz-Stein

During the chaos, confusion, or heartbreak, align your self-healing power with the concept of peace. The harmony and the lack of hostility take the individual to a time in the future. If we have the capacity to lower our blood pressure, improve our hormonal balance to recover from heart attacks, then we are able to self-regulate independent of the external conditions. A clear intention to feel joy elevates the electrical charge and serves as a magnet. Knowing that happiness is one of the heart’s elevated feelings, learning about self-regulation and practice leads to lasting fulfillment.
By improving brain function through the heart, we reach mental clarity and discern a joy greater and more profound than a smile.

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Cyril Rolando

The second lesson was to stop judging and getting over the fear of being judged. Being compared, evaluated, or to make a judgment are exhausting sentiments. Recognize that the anxiety of disappointment, fear of failure, or shame is just a perception. By opening your heart to find harmony and immersing yourself and others into the created space, the judgments become irrelevant and unworthy.

Mastering to use your heart’s wisdom allows you to reach the inner-peace and a fulfilling relationship with yourself, which can immensely impact and be the magnet for the pursuit of happiness and life you want to lead.

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Cyril Rolando

Featured image by Cyril Rolando

How To Control Your Anger?

Life has unpleasant incidents, and naturally, the pressures and pain felt from the troublesome problems or offensive behaviors often manifest through anger. An emotion that ramps up high blood pressure, stress, anxieties, and evoking hard feelings in relationships. The reasons behind this emotion depend on different situations, whether it is from being helpless to have been treated unjustly or overwhelmed and fearful. One form or another, anger is a response to pain. Still, pain is not the only reason; our thoughts, assumptions, or interpretations intensify emotion. As humans, we tend to have unrealistic and hopeful expectations, such as being understood by everyone, or everything will go as planned. Possibly our hopes shattered, and we are in for a rude awakening. This is when anger creeps in.

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Welderwings

Anger can also happen consciously or unconsciously to distract attention from the root cause of the pain and redirecting the focus to external factors. In this situation, the pain’s ease is temporary and leaves the person vulnerable to chronic emotional distress.

 

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Welderwings

Anger complicates situations. It gives the furious sense of righteousness and power a feeling of superiority without considering other perspectives. Regrettably, this perverse gratification of anger to stamp oneself as a torchbearer of moral supremacy league will use up the individual’s credibility. An uncomfortable situation commands assertiveness in response rather than aggressive behavior.

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Welderwings

 Nevertheless, anger can be used constructively once you gain insight into the reasons. In many ways, it can serve to be indeed in control of our reactions. To manage our anger in a difficult or unforeseen situation, practice three steps:

  • Shift your thoughts to a neutral state. Do no associate negative motives to the person or their action.
  • Observe and listen, do not lash out; it will make you look irrational.
  • Be assertive and specific in expressing your feelings and expectations without offending or undermining other people’s rights to think or act differently.

In a foggy situation, when we are at most vulnerable, a little anger is the antidote. Use it wisely. If we throw a tantrum, our emotions can cloud our judgment, and we can come across as unqualified or a pain to deal with. Assertively communicate what is at stake. Like a campaigner who believes in its cause and passionately points to the injustice, take command to tell your story with conviction and rally support.

 

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Rob Woodcox

Clearly, dealing with anger or angry people is not an easy task; as long as we know that arguments, displeasures, and sadness exist and we compassionately realize that there is a reason for them, solutions appear. He knew that everyone has vulnerabilities, and it takes sound judgment to look beyond unwarranted anger. The famous story about Alexander taming Bucephalus by noticing that the famous horse was afraid of his own shadow illustrates good practicing sense. He pointed Bucephalu’s nose towards the sun and calmed the beast.

 

Featured image by Shaylin Wallace

Change Your Mindset​, Change Your Life!​ – Introduction

“The most important question anyone can ask is: What myth am I living?”

Carl Jung

Self-deception, confirmation bias, seeking perfection, fixated on innate talents sum up a mentality stuck in quicksand. Imagine that although a landscape was colorful, ever-changing, and adapting nature and everything in it is minding its survival, you are stuck in the quicksand. You try to smile and reach for the exposed oak tree’s root only to twig that your grip can support you for the utmost couple of hours. Then, a rustle, and all of a sudden, a smile appears on your face hoping for Robin Hood to your rescue. However, the relief is short-lived as there are numerous quicksands in the forest. Getting out of this undesirable situation, you will need support, but most importantly, you should change your mindset.

Mindsets created by habit, by experience, by the snippet view of the world around us can radically be shifted from static to dynamic way. Our ability to embrace change and transform our lives is profoundly linked to our acknowledgment that change in attitudes is conceivable and achievable.

Instead of fueling our brain with the undesirable, ego-centric, and non-learner frame of mind to avoid challenges or threats, we have the potential to develop a mindset that leads to an excellent and fulfilling way of life.

In the following posts, together, we will delve deeper into the mind’s matters and explore practices and school of thoughts about positive psychology, mindfulness, fixed & growth mindsets to get rid of limiting beliefs and nurture the best version of ourselves.

I would love to hear your comments, insights, experiences, suggestions & your goals for 2020, #goals2k20!

 

 

Featured image by : Olya Khaletskaya