By Ellen Farrell, MA, NCC, LPC, EEM-AP
What kind of habits are you reinforcing?
Our reactions to external and internal stimuli affect how we feel, and can influence what actions we will take! You can create balance by making a choice about how you want to respond to your own thoughts and emotions, and how you want to respond to external cues instead of reacting automatically. Make the choice to be healthy and true to yourself. Become aware of healthy options – and then take the time to choose wisely! How do you want your healthy future to feel? One healthy option is making meditation a regular part of your stress management routine, to:
– Connect with intuition and wisdom
– Consciously access your truth
– Develop focus and clarity in each moment
– Feel more balanced and grounded
– Reduce anxiety and depression
– Begin a new and health-supporting habit
… HERE ARE SOME ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS:
1.) USE HUMOR!! See if you can find another way to think about your situation!
2.) DO YOU CHOOSE LOVE OR FEAR? We choose one or the other every moment of our lives. Being loving is the key to happiness. 3.) BE IN THE MOMENT OF NOW. Practice being present in the here and now! How? Stop, go within, initiate slow deep breathing, and follow the breath in the moment. Be in Nature, notice what is beautiful; follow your intuition; choose to take action that supports health – listen to the inner voice and try something spontaneously fun or nurturing!
4.) MASTER YOUR PHYSICAL BODY, and its appetites – it’s your servant, not your ruler, but it has its own truth and wisdom – listen!Respect it! Consider that you’re more than just your body.
5.) MASTER YOUR EMOTIONS – don’t let your emotions push you around! HOW do you want to respond, even to yourself?
6.) MASTER YOUR MIND – it’s the tool we use to create our reality!
7.) NEVER GIVE YOUR PERSONAL POWER TO ANYONE OR ANYTHING! EVER AGAIN! You don’t need to act like a victim. Don’t give your power to your 5 senses, your physical, emotional, or mental selves, your subconscious mind, or another’s expectations.
8.) USE YOUR PERSONAL POWER ONLY IN SERVICE OF UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. Otherwise it’s misuse of power.
9.) LEARN SELF–LOVE!! Not egotistical love, but self-love. If you don’t love yourself you may exclusively or excessively seek love, worth, approval, and acceptance from others, which will throw you out of balance.
10.) PRACTICE ATTITUDINAL HEALING… when you start feeling bad, examine if attitudes or beliefs (and actions) are causing you to feel that way. Consider changing the ones that aren’t healthy. Explore your healthy options!
11.) ALL MISTAKES ARE LEARNING EXPERIENCES! Forgive yourself and others, and begin to heal. Often so much energy is tied up in resentment, fear, anger, blame, and grudges that there isn’t much left over for the rest of your life. Choose not to waste time-draining energy with guilt, shame, and regret. Acknowledge it, let it go and heal your self – re-focus on healthy goals!
12.) THE EARTH IS A BIG SCHOOLROOM! Look for the lessons in everything that life brings you – especially the ‘bad’ stuff. Acknowledge what you learned so you don’t have to repeat the same lesson over and over.
13.) WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE. (See #10!) Language is one of the things that guide what you create. Practice beginning sentences and thoughts with words like: I AM, I MAKE, I CREATE, I LOVE, I CHOOSE, etc., followed by a positive TRUTH – i.e., “I choose to be healthy”. Identify negative and unhealthy language and replace it. Your life will begin to change for the better if you speak the truth with your words!
14.) PRACTICE DEEP LISTENING – try truly being present, listening and observing – without planning what you will say/do next. Be aware of distractions, yet return to the moment. Focus all attention. REALLY LISTEN.
15.) STAY GROUNDED. One really good way is to get out in nature. Honor and enjoy it – especially when you’re feeling depressed, or stressed out – or proactively to prevent burn out! Nature can bring balance and joy. Or meditate about being in Nature!
16.) HANG OUT WITH INSPIRING PEOPLE AND READ INSPIRING BOOKS. Try reading books/listen to music that inspires you, is fun, or uplifting – also, if you continually feel drained after being with someone, consider seeing them less often, and start making new spiritually and emotionally healthier friends.
17.) CHOOSE TO BE TRUE TO YOUR SELF…
– Count your Blessings (have an attitude of gratitude)!
– Believe in yourself, and follow your intuition!
– Focus on your healthy goals (dream – and follow your heart)!
This article was originally printed for workshops provided at SCAD, where Ellen was a Counselor from 2001-2006.