MindBodyWisdom

Panic Attacks: 11 Tips to Flip the Switch

Panic Attacks: 11 Tips to Flip the Switch

Out of nowhere…panic attack tips

Your heart is pounding out of your chest.
Your breath is shallow and quick.
Your body feels like it’s overheating.
You can’t think straight – the world is spinning.
You’re dizzy and scared.
You feel trapped in your body, out of control… and you feel like you’re going to die.

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it’s likely that you’re having a panic attack.

Panic is a whole-body experience!

Your body needs tools to flip the switch and stop the madness!

Here are my favorite MindBodyWise Panic Attack Tips
to slow down your system instantly…

BREATHING METHODS:

  1. Paper Bag Method – Cover your nose and mouth with a paper bag. Breathe as deeply as you can through both your nose and mouth (inflating your belly and chest) for at least a minute.

Why this works: When you hyperventilate, it means your body has too much oxygen which stops you from retaining carbon dioxide. This excess oxygen makes you feel short of breath. The paper bag breathing technique traps carbon dioxide in the bag, so when you inhale into the bag, you absorb carbon dioxide-rich air, which then allows you to fully absorb the oxygen that’s entering and stops the hyperventilation.

2. Hold your breath –  If you hold your breath for 15-20 seconds (repeating this a several times), it helps to slow your heart and calm your hyperventilation quickly.

Why this works: Holding your breath prevents the release of carbon dioxide. Similar to the Paper Bag Method (above), holding in carbon dioxide allows the oxygen that’s entering in to be used in your body, instead of having an excess – which is what causes hyperventilation in the first place.

3. Conscious 1:2 Breath – Even though it may feel challenging, aim to breathe consciously. Bring your hands to your belly (not your chest, as you’ll feel your fast heartbeat and this sensation may induce more anxiety), and feel your inhales and your exhales inflate and deflate. Try to double the length of your exhale, which is proven to slow down your central nervous system.

BODY METHODS:

4. Get Present – The best and easiest way to get present is to use what you already have – your body. This is most easily accomplished while sitting in a chair. With an open palm, tap your body beginning with your feet. Feel the sensation of your hands against your body and your body receiving the touches and taps. Take your time to notice the experience in its entirety, moving from toes to head. Experiment with different levels of pressure and soft fists versus open palms.

dog laying on me
Here’s a picture of my dog laying on me. When I feel her weight and I sync my breath with hers, my body relaxes almost instantly. FYI – no animals were harmed in the shooting of this photo (but 2 animals were calmed :-).

 

 

5. Ground Yourself – Lay on your back, on the floor with weight on top of you. When you are panicking, it can feel like you are floating off the ground and into the ether. Feeling your body supported by the firmness of the floor with a heavy pillow or blanket on top of you (or your dog) while breathing deeply can help to flip the switch on your panic quickly.

6. Move – Jump! Dance! Walk! Run! It doesn’t matter which you choose – what matters is that you get your body moving. The trapped feeling that comes with panic is much more easily dissipated when you get moving. It might be challenging, while in the midst of panic, to get yourself out the door, but if you can muster the courage –  it could be your saving grace.

7. Eye Pillow – Light pressure on and around your eyes is a great way to stop panic in its tracks. Use an eye pillow and if you aren’t hypersensitive to scent, purchase an eye pillow with lavender scent for bonus calming effects. Another, more intense, option is to use a cold eye mask. The cold temperature with the light pressure can be an effective way to stop panic in its tracks.

Why this works: The vagus nerve (this is the nerve that controls your fight/flight/freeze response) is easily stimulated in the area around your eyes. Light pressure and cold temperature soothe this nerve instantly send a signal of safety to your whole body.

8. Laugh – Did you know that it’s nearly impossible to laugh and panic at the same time? So, if you can make yourself laugh (even if it starts off as a fake laugh), you can ward off an on-coming panic attack. Start with an exaggerated fake laugh, if you can’t get a real one going, and see where it leads. The louder and sillier you can get, the better.

MIND METHODS:

9. Distract Yourself – With mild panic it’s possible to distract yourself to stop the sensation of anxiety. Turn on an upbeat song you like, a TV show that engrosses you or that makes you laugh. It’s best to make a list of these before you have the panic attack, so you have your go-to distractions ready and no thinking is required (remember: panic lowers your ability to think clearly).

10. Remind Yourself – If you can, even in the midst of the chaos of your panic, remind yourself that just like everything else in life – nothing lasts forever. This feeling and sensation will pass, just like all feelings and sensations do.

EXTREME METHOD:

11. Ice Dunk – This is only suggested for when you’ve tried everything else and you are in extreme panic mode. If you have a heart condition or an eating disorder, do NOT do this. Fill a wide bowl with 1/3 with ice. Add cold water, leaving some room at the top. Take a deep inhale and then plant your whole face into the water for 30 seconds. Make sure you get the check bones and above your eyes fully immersed in the icy cold water, as these are key areas that connect with the vagus nerve (fight/flight/freeze response).

Why this works: This physically halts the panic, by forcing the parasympathetic nervous system to turn on (regulated by the vagus nerve) and it slows your heart instantly, which has a relaxing effect on your whole body.

AVOID:

The following list includes some of the most common triggers for anxiety and panic, so stay away as much as possible from: caffeine, sleep deprivation, dehydration, smoking, narcotic drugs and alcohol.

Panic attacks don’t have to be a life-sentence!

Love, Rachel

P.S. If you’re prone to panic, I’d love to work with you! You can go on to live a joyful, panic-attack-free life. Yes, this is absolutely possible (I’ve worked with many who will attest)!

P.P.S. To continue the conversation and share/listen/learn/connect, join me and a group of others just like you in the free MindBodyWise Living Room group on Facebook. I hope to see you there!

The Top 10 Reasons Why you Suffer (& what you can do about it)…

10 reasons why you suffer

The Top 10 Reasons Why you Suffer (& what you can do about it)…

Have you ever considered why you suffer or what you can do about it?

Here goes the MindBodyWise top 10 list of why you suffer, followed by remedies for each…

suf·fer·ing: noun. Pronounced: ˈsəf(ə)ring; Defined as: the state of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship.

1. Expectations: You predicted a situation or relationship to play out a certain way and things didn’t go according to your prediction. Then, you suffer because you mourn the loss of a fantasy that seemed like it was already a reality. Maybe you replay it in your mind on a loop, wondering how you could’ve done it differently to make things match with your expectations. Holding on to what never was is a root cause of pain and suffering.

What you can do: Try a simple mind-body grounding practice to bring you back to the present reality. I like to use the question “What’s true right now?” Take a deep breath after asking yourself this question. Then notice the truths of your present reality, starting in your body. For example: What’s true right now is that my breath is shallow, my feet are on the floor, my arms feel tingly. Then, move to what’s true in your senses and in your environment. I like to end with one or more things that I’m grateful for. Each time you notice your mind is off and running in the failed fantasy, you can use this practice.

2. Anticipation: You worry about what will happen next, tomorrow or even next year. You fear the unknown and you try to get control over it by coming up with every possible outcome you can imagine, so as to brace yourself for what might be. You don’t live in the here and now, appreciating what’s in the present. Instead, you ruminate about possible future outcomes. This sends your central nervous system into overdrive.

What you can do: Most importantly, get present to yourself and your environment. Notice and acknowledge the anxious loop of your mind trying to control things. Thank your mind and body for attempting to keep you safe. Next, get your feet planted firmly on the ground (standing or sitting) and make your spine tall. Close your eyes. Bring a hand to your chest and a hand to your heart. Seal your lips gently and breathe. Feel the breath moving into and out of your body. Keep sensing the breath, maybe even imagining it as a soft, healing blue light that is moving through you. Feel the beat of your heart. Stay present to this simple experience. Keep coming back to body and breath, which are 2 of the only constants we have in this life.

3. Assumptions: You assume you know what someone else’s intentions are, what they meant or what they will do. You really have no idea if your assumptions are right, but you make yourself believe that you know for sure. Based on these made-up scenarios and imaginary outcomes you suffer from anger, sadness or disappointment about something that is purely made up.

What you can do: Remind yourself that you really don’t know. In fact, it’s not a sure thing until it’s already happened. Try playing a game I call “The Other Possibilities Game.” Ask yourself what 10 other possibilities there are for how this is going to turn out or what’s going to happen? Get creative with your answers — Maybe he will do the dishes this time. Maybe she’s late because she’s planning my birthday party. Maybe she accidentally left her phone at home. Maybe he wasn’t staring at the stain on my shirt, but he was thinking about how he needs to pick up his shirt from the dry cleaners. 

4. “Second Dart”: This is a brilliant Buddhist idea that addresses how we create our own suffering. This notion postures that when we are faced with an unavoidable circumstance, frustration or pain (referred to as the first dart) we throw the second dart onto it by how we react with resistance, aversion and criticism. For example, you get stuck in traffic (first dart) and then you react with anger/blame/self-criticism/judgment toward yourself for taking the wrong route home (second dart) or how you often make bad choices (second dart). When you pile on and beat yourself up, it compounds your suffering. Since our brains are hard-wired to anticipate painful experiences more than pleasurable ones, it’s easy to fall into this trap.

What you can do: Read this post about the negativity bias. Follow the tools in the blog post to remedy Second Dart suffering. 

5. Old stories (and judgments): You have old “tapes” playing in your mind about not being enough or being an imposter. Not smart enough, not pretty enough, not strong enough, not tall enough, not thin enough, not successful enough, not rich enough, not deserving enough…not worthy, not lovable, not, not, not… You judge yourself harshly and you experience pain from listening to that sharp-tongued voice in your mind. Your labeling, assessing and evaluating leads you down a rabbit hole of disconnect from who you really are. These old beliefs keep you stuck, sad, and safe in your suffering.

What you can do: Check out this post about breaking the cycle of self-criticism.  

6. Compare and despair: Jonathan Fields says, “Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides.” Whether it’s in person or on social media, you’re comparing yourself to others. You desperately look outside of yourself for confirmation that you’re ok by measuring your life with the lives of others. Each time you use comparison as a guide in an attempt to soothe your uncertainty about yourself, you actually feel a sense of despair. That seeking, comparing, hoping and desperation don’t feel good, no matter what the final outcome is. And, remember, you’re comparing apples to oranges – so your metrics are only a figment of your imaginary framework.

What you can do: When you notice the comparing voice inside you, pause! Remind yourself that we are all on different paths – no one’s path is the same as yours! Also, things don’t always seem as they appear. Take a few breaths. Consider what you would say to someone you love about whatever it is that you’re artificially comparing about yourself to someone else. Provide yourself with some compassionate love and guidance as if you’re your own best friend. Notice what it feels like in your body and your heart as you shift the conversation from judger/comparer to compassionate friend to yourself.

7.Magic key”: You tell yourself that if you just had this one thing, could change this one thing, or could become this one thing that you will be happy. You make yourself believe that you are missing one elusive thing and that thing is the key to your happiness (when really, the plight of obtaining that thing is the heart of your suffering).

What you can do: Read this post and follow the 3 tips in the article. 

8. Fear of change/unknown: Outside of your comfort zone is where the magic of life emerges, but it’s scary to go on an unknown journey that has no roadmap. So, you hold yourself back in old patterns of unhappiness and stuckness. You may even tell yourself you have no other choice, when in reality you have many other choices — if you’re willing to get vulnerable and face your fear of the unknown.

What you can do: It’s time to take a risk. It’s time to change up your routine and do what you fear most. It’s time to move toward the fear, not circumvent or avoid it. Take time to notice how you feel in your body when you’re hiding from your life. Be fully in that sensation. Then bring your hands to your heart and ask it what it wants most. Notice how it feels to listen, allow and be receptive to the wisdom inside you. Now, ask yourself for a small, albeit scary, step that you can take in the next week that moves you toward openness, freedom, and change. Let it be a tangible step that isn’t too scary or you won’t do it. Finally, declare your step to a friend, so that you are accountable and then go for it. Courage begets more courage. You’ve got this!

You may also want to read this post, this post and this post for more MindBodyWise ways to help you move through your fear.

9. Physical pain: Your body can be the source of suffering. Maybe you have tight shoulders, an old injury that still crops up and surprises you, or a new ache. The thing about body pain is that it often starts with suppressed emotional pain and manifests as physical pain. In any case, you suffer as you learn how to navigate life with physical pain as a companion.

What you can do: Most importantly, get it checked out by a doctor, while also considering what might be the origin of your pain. For example, if your shoulders are tight – it might be from carrying a heavy bag. This is the more obvious origin, but what if there’s more to it? What in your life is feeling weighty, heavy or tense? What’s holding you back or keeping you down? Sit quietly with your eyes closed and take some time to breathe. Bring your awareness to the body part that’s holding the pain. Ask it what it’s trying to say to you. Without anticipation or attempting to control anything, wait and see what it has to say.

10. Trauma: You had something traumatic happen or you witnessed something traumatic. Trauma is a whole-body experience. Trauma stores itself in the depths of your mind and in the crevices of your body. Like an earthquake, trauma ripples out and reverberates long after the events are over.

What you can do: No matter what type of trauma you’ve experienced, this post can help you to understand and normalize your experience. If you’re experiencing severe symptoms as a result of your trauma, you don’t have to suffer forever. Also, it’s not your fault. You may want to consider doing some embodied therapy to help access the issues that are stuck in your tissues.

Bonus Reason for Why You Suffer: You don’t self-care and you put other people’s needs before yours. You ignore or minimize your own pain, sacrificing for others in ways that hurt you. What can you do? Start making self-care a priority! If you resist this, notice what holds you back from taking care of your most precious commodity: YOU. <3

The fact is, no matter what kind of suffering you experience, it requires work from the inside out.

A deep and lasting approach to work with and heal your suffering is MindBodyWise (embodied) therapy. Learn more here and request a free consultation.

Love, Rachel

P.S. If you want to practice embodiment, presence and stress-reduction from the comfort of your own home, the 2-week, $25 Stress Less Reset program will help you take a deep dive into releasing your suffering and living more freely.

P.P.S. I’m here for you. Whether you want talk therapy (reimbursed by most insurance plans), MindBodyWise therapy, or to connect in the MindBodyWise Living Room on Facebook (join almost 400 others in the free space for expression, support and learning)…don’t hesitate to reach out.

Removing your Barriers to Love

heart pictureRemoving your Barriers to Love:

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. – Rumi

Love is so intoxicating, yet so complex. We struggle with receiving it, giving it, and allowing ourselves to luxuriate in it!

We are such sensitive beings.

We crave love from the deepest part of who we are, yet we do so many things to stop ourselves from getting it and feeling it fully.

How do you shut down, shield your heart, and block yourself from the tender tendrils of love?

For each person, the barriers are different. For many, the walls began being built long before you were verbal – as babies and young toddlers you unknowingly began laying the bricks.

Maybe…

…you experienced a negative glance from a primary caregiver and your body absorbed the glance as a threat to your open heart.

…you were hungry and someone didn’t feed you right away. Your body yearned for nourishment that it didn’t get. Your body then sent signals to your brain that you weren’t important, you weren’t seen, you weren’t loved.

…you weren’t held much as a baby. Your body felt that absence of human touch. Your body learned to protect you from getting close or allowing yourself to be “held” as an adult.

Even if these examples don’t resonate for you, in some way you have spent decades building unconscious body, mind and heart barriers against love — as a loving act of self-protection. Unfortunately, you may still be protecting yourself from false threats.

Ok, so you may be wondering how you now come back to love and remove those barriers? Great question ;-)!

Breaking down the barriers to love begins with self-awareness and self-care.

Start with your body.

The key is that you are taking steps to honor being in your body, without trying to change what you feel or force the feelings to be different than what they are.

  • This may mean doing a simple body scan a few times per day to begin the process of self-awareness.
  • Maybe you take a conscious bubble bath 1x/week, where you have no distractions and you feel what it’s like to inhabit your body.
  • Maybe you get a regular massage or you step up your exercise regimen, but make these conscious, compassionate steps toward understanding your connection to loving yourself (not a checklist of “To-Do’s” to improve the shape of your body).

Then, check in with your mind.

  • Noticing how you speak to yourself. Is it loving, compassionate and accepting? If it’s not, notice how your negative self-talk feels in your body. Notice if what you’re saying sounds like the voice of someone from your past (a teacher you once had, mother/father, friend from the past, sibling, a past romantic partner…or other). Consider reading this post to work on your self-criticism.
  • What are your core beliefs when you are in relationship with others? For example, do you tell yourself that you are annoying, a burden, or unlovable…? Do you make lists of reasons why people won’t want to be close to you or wouldn’t like and accept you as you are? Again, notice how you feel in your body.

Next, check in with your heart.

  • Right now, as you breathe, does your heart feel open or closed? Is it tight and constricted or light and easy? Trust whatever you sense to be true in this moment. Notice if you don’t trust it and allow that to be information about a barrier you have toward love and trust within yourself.

With all of this information, you can begin to do what Rumi’s poem suggests: “seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against love” and then you can begin to work through those barriers, gently.

Finally, overdose on self-care.

If you don’t treat yourself with care and love, you won’t be able to give or receive it from outside of you.

Here are some self-care ideas to get you started…

  • Make quiet, alone time a priority – schedule it into your calendar (even if it’s only 5 minutes per day).
  • Eat a healthy meal, sitting down at a table, without multi-tasking.
  • Take walks, in nature if possible. If not, skip nature and take a walk anyway. Movement helps to remove the crinks.
  • Stretch, at least 1x/hour, even if it’s while sitting down in your desk chair.
  • Hydrate.
  • Listen to your favorite music.
  • Make a list of the things that you know you are good at. Revisit this list often.
  • Do something creative.
  • Meditate or try a this moving meditation.
  • Write down whatever comes to your mind/body/heart. Consider infusing something you are grateful for.
  • Take a yoga class.
  • Call someone you love and tell them how much they mean to you.
  • Rest. Take naps and get a good night sleep as much as you can.

What else would you add to the self-care list?

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends. I hope you enjoy the journey toward unblocking love and allowing it to flow in.

Love, Rachel

If you liked this post, you might like: Love-Loading vs. Carb Loading, 5 Ways to Feel Good Every Day, and An Easy 8-Step Tool to Increase Self-Acceptance.

P.S. Join other like-spirited, MindBodyWise personal growth junkies in the free MindBodyWise Living Room on Facebook. I hope to see you there!

P.P.S. If you want support with unblocking love in your mind, body and life – I’m here to support you! If you’ve been waiting to book a MindBodyWise session, consider starting with a free consultation first, to see how I might be able to help you.

Panic Attacks: 11 Tips to Flip the Switch

Panic Attacks: 11 Tips to Flip the Switch Out of nowhere… Your heart is pounding out of your chest. Your breath is shallow and quick. Your body feels like it’s overheating. You can’t think straight – the world is spinning. You’re dizzy and scared. You feel trapped in your body, out of control… and you […]

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Dear Human, I’m writing this note to remind you why it’s wonderful that you are human…and to give you a simple 4-step process to begin tapping into a super power you didn’t even know you had! Being human is a complex job…and it’s easy to get caught up in the challenge. First, allow me remind you about some powerful […]

She believed she could, so she did…

If you were to see me on the ride there, you would’ve thought I was headed to my own funeral. My body was wrought with fear and my veins were pulsing with adrenaline.  Getting out of the car was one step closer to facing my deepest fear — the biggest challenge I’d ever constructed for myself. You […]

12 Super Healthy Ways to Worry

Do you ruminate, obsess or worry about potentially bad things happening? If you’re a worrier, you’re a member of a very large club. The worst things about worrying are: it feels awful in so many ways, it keeps you from enjoying the moment and it begets more worrying! In order to worry well, it helps […]

A Gift of Loving Kindness

This is a thank you gift from my heart to yours. I am so grateful to have you in my mind and my heart as I write these words, share insights and tools, and offer up what I hope is a bit of freedom from any pain that you may have. As a token of my appreciation, […]

Getting your Life Back on Track

You know those days or weeks when things feel completely OUT OF SYNC? Life feels really hard (more than usual). You’ve lost your footing. Nothing happens with ease… Each door that looks wide open, slams in your face. Everyone around you seems to be constantly saying “no.” Everything you try to accomplish takes at least 2 […]

How to Break the Cycle of Self-Criticism

In your mind chatter, do you sometimes hear repeatedly harsh, critical words? Maybe they sound something like some of these: I’m not good enough. I don’t deserve it. I’m not worthy. I’m not ________________enough (fill in the blank with: “skinny” “young” “tall” “old” “pretty” “smart” “rich” “tall” “short” “strong” or some other adjective of your […]

11 Happiness Boosters

Happiness begins on the inside. “Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” -Dalai Lama And while there’s no magic key to happiness, the following tips can boost your happiness levels while you’re doing the deeper internal work toward creating a relationship with yourself and your life that’s one of joy. Listen […]

The Art of Letting Go and How to Begin

Sometimes you have to let go to make space for new experiences, relationships, new life lessons and most importantly – for joy! Something has to die to make room for something fresh to grow. This is the painful reality of being human. This process of letting go is SO CHALLENGING. It hurts. It stings. It’s […]

It Wasn’t your Fault + 8 Paths to Healing Sexual Trauma

I hope that you know that you can absolutely, positively recover from even the most intense experiences of trauma. AND, it wasn’t your fault. No matter what. It wasn’t. Read on to see how I know this for sure… So, here are two unfortunate truths: Sexual assault is rampant. In my 10 years of being a […]

Mindful Email: Stop, Breathe, Email (from Rewire.me)

If you’re anything like me, some emails are guaranteed to make you cringe, tense up or bring about an emotional response. While being mindful may be the last thing on your mind, these very moments are when it’s most important. Personally, I like to practice mindful emailing and my mantra is respond; don’t react. To […]

3 Giant Myths & 1 Big Lie

Knowing the truth may change your life.  Really. Our society has it all wrong about depression. There are 3 giant myths “out there” about depression and suicide…and I’m here to set the record straight. Myth #1: The majority of suicides and suicide attempts happen in the winter. WRONG! ALL WRONG! I’m not sure where or […]

9 Helpful Hints for making Good Decisions

9 Helpful Hints about making Good Decisions… Do you struggle with the process of making decisions? Whether it’s a life-altering decision or a smaller choice, we’ve all been faced with this challenge at some point in our lives. An anecdote: I was recently faced with deciding between 3 fantastic opportunities. They all happened to fall […]

16 Mind-Body Depression Hacks that Don’t Require Medication

Have you ever felt like you’re wearing invisible sunglasses and a commercial vacuum just sucked out every ounce of energy and joy from every cell of your body for days, weeks or even months on end? If you answered yes to this question, which based on the statistics – you probably have – then you […]

3 Exercises for Flowing with your Fear

You are human, therefore you have fear. There’s no such thing as “getting rid of fear” just like there’s no such thing “getting rid of having feelings” (learn more about the value of fully feeling your feelings HERE). You are stuck with fear, but it doesn’t have to own you. In fact, fear can be […]

An Easy 8-Step Tool to Increase Self-Acceptance

Marianne Williamson says: “Everything is either love or a call for love.” We are all doing the best we can. Even when the best we can is doing less than enough or nothing at all. Sometimes, that’s our best. I used to be able to hold a handstand for what seemed like ages. Now, 1.5 […]

13 Quick things you can do to be Less Anxious

Let’s face it – feeling anxious is uncomfortable in our bodies, our minds and in our hearts. We are at dis-ease when we are anxious and our whole system feels the impact of it. The thing is, you don’t have to sit and wait for it to pass. You don’t have to stew in your […]

5 Simple Ways to Listen to your Heart

Sage words from guest blogger, Courtney Carver of Be More with Less… Your body was designed to connect with your heart. Every day, your heart sends you powerful messages, but unless you have the time and space to pay attention, you might miss them. A busy, stressful life gets in the way of knowing what […]

Can you answer these 4 Questions?

Take a moment to honestly answer the 4 simple questions below. Do you enjoy on meaningful conversation? Do you thrive on personal growth? Do you value the mind-body / body-mind connection as means toward living more fully, freely, and joyfully? Are you someone who feels most alive when you’re connected with like-souled, like-minded, like-spirited people? […]

MindBodyWise Living Room: Connect with others just like you…

Navigating life’s challenges is hard. It can feel lonely, scary, stressful, overwhelming and downright depressing. Sometimes, it probably feels like you are doing it alone and you wonder if there are others out there having similar struggles. And if they are out there, WHERE ARE THEY? You no longer have to go it alone or […]

How to support people in emotional pain

You want to be a good friend or partner, but it’s easy to feel helpless when you see someone that you love feeling badly. Sometimes, it’s hard to know what to say. It’s really important, though, to find ways to verbally acknowledge someone’s experience, instead of minimizing it.  Here are some suggestions and alternatives. As you […]

Love-Loading vs. Carb-Loading

Whether you celebrate V-Day or it’s not your thing, let it be an opportunity to give love to the most important person in your life – YOU! Love-Loading vs. Carb Loading – An anecdote When my beloved grandfather, affectionately known as Pop-Pop, passed away, our family was distraught with grief.  He was full of love […]

Something you can’t live without…

“What’s something you didn’t know existed before that now you can’t imagine living without?” asked my brilliant, lovely, talented friend Marsha (of Yes Yes Marsha) on Facebook. Most people, including me, posted a lot of technology-related stuff (Netflix, Internet, Fitbits etc.). However, later in the day, while doing a brief self body scan (as I […]

Be better at balancing it all…

So here I am at about 7 years old… posing happily on a floor balance beam.  Only one month before, I had been selected as the newest member of the gymnastics team. In this picture, I see a little girl beaming with pride and joy. I absolutely and completely loved the sport of gymnastics. Gymnastics […]

10 Gifts of Inspiration for You…

In 2015 I posted over 140 times to Instagram. Most of what I post includes a quote or insight of some kind, that many have said is inspiring. So, I’ve collected the posts that got the majority of “likes” (and ones that I like the best) to share with you here. I hope you find […]

Stop Self-Criticizing, Start Meditating

Are you seeking a path back to self-acceptance and self-worth? Have you considered meditation? Maybe it’s time you do! To get started on your path, read this informative article, written by Crystal Fenton of Rewire Me with commentary from yours truly! Enjoy… Admit it, you’ve been there: acting as your own worst critic by doubting yourself. As a […]

Healing the Post-Holiday Hangover Blues

Do you ever experience a post-holiday season emotional hangover? This year, maybe the holidays met your expectations, exceeded them or depleted you. Whether you’re a lover of the holiday season or you thrash through it painfully, you may experience a dark-mood day or dark-mood week that follows the end of the season. This is normal…and […]

1 simple way to free yourself, once and for all

The joy that comes with being free from attachment is a “felt” sense that cloaks all of who you are, inside and out. If you choose to look at yourself from the inside, you can gain perspective and agency over how you move through your life. The practice of freeing yourself begins with bringing awareness […]

How to make 2016 your best year yet…

A brief note: You live and you learn. With reflection and introspection, you can make adjustments and pivots to enhance your life as you purposefully step forward into it. In this very spirit of reviewing, learning and redesigning, I am sharing the year-in-review exercise I sent out last year, but I’ve made changes to enhance it […]

5 Ways to Feel Good Every Day…

The awesome news is — it’s totally possible! It will require some work, on your part…but…the coolest thing is that as you do this very personal and self-focused work, the benefits expand into all areas of your life. The more you do to actively care for yourself – the more you feel good – the […]

Setting a Resolution that Lasts…

 It’s your life. Choose your path and fully embody your whole self. It is with this intention that a beautiful journey will unfold within and before you. Make 2016 YOUR Year ~ Free Your Body, Free Your Mind Every new year, you make resolutions that don”t stick. Maybe you sign up for denial-driven programs that […]

Don’t miss it…!

“It’s a one-shot deal…” How many times have you heard this and it’s rarely (if ever) true…?  This time it IS true!   Recently I have been exposed to several untimely deaths, others who are struggling to stay alive and others who have recently been diagnosed with life-altering diseases. Although we all know that death is part of […]

Wondering where to find the wonder?

With summer ending and a new season beginning, it gives us an opportunity to become present to our lives in a new way. But how do we get present and find the wonder? A reflection…a suggestion…and an opportunity… I’m just returning from 2 weeks of being away from my everyday life. My first week away […]

6 Seconds to Stress Relief…really!

Did you know that hugs are a natural stress reliever? How cool is that?! Hugging for only 6 seconds releases dopamine — the feel-good hormone — in both the hugger and the “huggie” (is that even a word?). A few more words about hugs and your health… Hugs reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) Babies who […]

Are you having fun yet?

It was recess and the game was Capture the Flag. My big brother was in the sixth grade, and I was a few years behind in second grade. Usually, only the older kids played, but this time my big brother invited me to join his team. It was an extra special honor to be a […]

Inspiration & Empathy ~ A Human Experience

Have you noticed that stories of triumph often support you in feeling most alive, inspire you to overcome your own challenges and sometimes even bring you to tears? Me too! Did you know there’s a neuroscience and mind-body supported reason why these beautiful, life-affirming stories move us so deeply? I might be a bit of […]

7 Mind-Body Creativity Hacks

Do you want to become a better problem-solver, innovator and to access more of the creativity within you? Of course you do…who doesn’t! The most effective way to enhance your creativity is to get your whole body into the process. Here are 7 scientifically supported and totally awesome mind-body creativity hacks that involve all parts of you. Some […]

Stand Up for Yourself

By this subject line, you may assume that I’m suggesting that you hold your ground, or speak up for yourself, or stop being a people pleaser. However…I’m actually talking about… Standing up for yourself and for your health! STAND UP! Get out of your seat! Yep, it may seem like a silly suggestion, perhaps. Or […]

Love More, Live Longer

This one’s a short and oh so sweet one…! Create relationships. Connect. Give and receive support. Love. Be loved. Continue surrounding yourself with good people and meaningful relationships. Fill up your “connection containers” and live a longer, healthier life. This isn’t just touchy-feely stuff. This is back by facts! There are countless studies that show […]

Transform your Perspective

We all know that our mood is heavily impacted by our perspective. Knowing this fact and knowing what to do about it is a whole different story. I love this 3.5 minute video, based on the Growth Model from Carol Dweck. The video simply explains why it’s sometimes hard for us to shift our perspective.  The video also confirms […]

What Invigorates You?

When’s the last time that you felt full of life? How many days, weeks, months have passed since you last felt invigorated? You don’t have to wait or hope or wish that you could recreate that feeling of excitement about getting up every morning and starting your day. It doesn’t have to be difficult or […]

Authentic to the Core

What does it mean to be authentic? How do you you know when you are being your authentic self? When I am being my true self, I know it because I feel ease in my mind and freedom in my body. I am neither anticipating what’s next or belaboring what came before. I am present. […]

Are you living a “Good Life”?

How do you define living a “Good Life”? Are you living it? If not, what steps are you taking to create it? What does it feel like to think about these questions? It’s not uncommon to hear people say “I want a good life” but not really know what that actually means…and it’s so unique […]

Simple Shifts, Lasting Changes

Do you KNOW there’s more to life than this, but you’re finding it challenging to create change? Do you feel a bit alone in your quest for health and happiness? Do you feel a little stuck about what to do next? Do you make promises to yourself, but find it difficult to keep them? Often […]

Spring Cleaning for your Soul

Are you leaving space in you life for new challenges and new opportunities? Are you creating space in your body, lengthening and stretching and reaching, to create the life you want for yourself? For transformation and personal evolution to occur…to fully squeeze the juice out of life…both your mind and body have to be a part […]

Peace in Motion

Have you ever thought you’d like to meditate, but that you aren’t or wouldn’t be “good at it”…? Walking meditation might be your solution! First of all, just so you know, there is no such thing as not being good at meditation. All of us struggle with wandering minds – that’s our brain’s job (and […]

Are you Crazy-Busy?

When people ask, “How are you?” do you tend to answer with something like: “So busy!”…? Over the past few years, many articles have emerged about the function of our being so “busy” and how this “busy-ness” serves to distance us from our unique purpose, from connecting with others and from connecting to our authentic […]

It’s All Connected!

What is the mind-body connection? How does it work? How do you access it? Why would you want to? Only a few words this time…and instead some awesome mixed media to help you understand, appreciate, and gain some tips on how to access your mind-body connection! I could list endless references, movies, and more here, […]

How to Love your Life

“Death is very likely the single best invention of life.” – Steve Jobs We all know that we have limited time here, in this precious life. Yet, we don’t always live like each moment is our last, nor would it be healthy to do so! However, it’s valuable on occasion to remind ourselves of the […]

Making Peace with Pain

You know it and I know it: PAIN IS NO FUN! If given the choice, it would be very difficult to turn down a life of a pain-free existence, right?! However, there is no magic healing wand – sorry! And, this may sound nuts, but our pain can offer us powerful and often profound life […]

6 Life Lessons from a Balinese Offering

I just returned from a yoga vacation in Bali. It was an amazing, magical and beautiful trip on so many levels. One of the most striking aspects of Bali is its people… They are kind and they smile often. They are generous and warm. They take time and care in all they do. They don’t […]

5 Ways to be More Courageous

Do you fear … Speaking your truth? Trying new things? Being your authentic self? Exploring the unknown? Going for your dreams with all you’ve got? “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The […]

Releasing Regret and Finding Freedom

Do you have regrets? Most of us do.  What function does regret serve? How can we live more freely and release the pain of the missed opportunities of the past? When I was growing up, the quote “I woulda, coulda, shoulda, but I didn’t” was on my family’s bathroom wall (and is still posted there […]

Coming from Love

What’s your Heart Saying? If we approached all of life and every human interaction from a place of love, what would life be like? If we all lived from the voices of our hearts, what would our world be like? What might be different? Who might we be? We are often so go-go-go that we […]

How to Feel your Feelings…

You may be wondering, why would I want to feel my feelings?! Because…it’s life-changing in many great ways… If you missed last week’s discussion about the importance and value of feeling your feelings, you can read about it HERE. As promised last week, here are some ways to connect and begin the practice of feeling […]

5 Life-Changing Reasons…to Feel Your Feelings!

Do you avoid allowing yourself to feel what you’re really feeling? As human beings, we crave safety. We crave comfort. Often, our same-old same-old routine becomes our safety and comfort. Sometimes, it may seem easier to go on autopilot, without any consciousness about our internal experience. It’s natural and adaptive to want to avoid things […]

Moving through the Blues

Are these cold, short days getting into your body and making you feel a little slower than usual, a little more down than usual, or a little less motivated? Weather and sunlight can have a profound impact on your physical body as well as your mind. So, what can we do about it? Well, the […]

Happiness Jar

Capturing Happiness… As I’m sure you know, the more we allow in and connect with the happy moments in our day (even the very ordinary happy moments), the happier we are…duh…! I know, this idea isn’t groundbreaking, but sometimes putting this happiness thing into practice isn’t quite as simple – especially on those not-so-great days […]

How to Live with Intention

A new beginning is a marker that gives each of us an opportunity to get conscious about what we are creating inside ourselves and in the world. It’s a chance to start fresh, (re)design our lives, build new relationships, deepen existing relationships, and connect to our purpose. You get to create it! Each day we face […]

Revisiting your Year

Reflecting Back… Looking Ahead… Living in the Present… As 2014 comes to a close, we are given a great opportunity to reflect, rewind, recall, revisit, relive, and then ultimately reinvent. This process can be exciting, sad, joyful, frustrating, scary and more. As human beings, we often experience many conflicting feelings all at one time, which […]

3 Ways to Lean into Joy

Wholehearted Living… Do you lean into joy? Or do you find yourself waiting for the other shoe to drop? Are you often looking over your shoulder in expectation of the happiness you feel to disappear at any moment? If we don’t learn to be grateful or be vulnerable and present to what is in the […]