We know, and research proves,
that experiences bring more joy than stuff…
“Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods. You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences.” says Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University who has been studying the question of money and happiness for over two decades.
Share the gift of (self) love.
Instead of another coffee cup or sweater collecting dust in the back of the closet, what about the gift of self-care, the gift of love?
When you book a Mindbodywise session before December 15th, 2017, you’ll get another session to give to someone you love.
Buy one get one offer applies to:
Mindbodywise Therapy sessions
Private yoga sessions
There’s nothing that matches the experience of a private, personally-tailored-for-you session of MindBodyWise Therapy. The combination of bodywork, movement, breathing techniques, mindfulness tools and verbal processing makes MindBodyWise Therapy a powerful path toward self-discovery.
If you’ve already had a session of MindBodyWise Therapy, you know how life-changing this work can be…it’s hard to forget. Isn’t that worth sharing?
If you’ve been meaning to book your next session, use the Buy Now link below and you’ll get your session plus one to gift to someone on your nice list. And, if you’ve been considering your first session, this is a great time to take advantage of a little extra self-love to share.
We thrive from experiences, not stuff, because… “The best things are never things.” ~Courtney Carver (Be More with Less)
You’ve probably heard plenty about positive thinking, but does it work?
Positive thinking is all the rage right now. It’s also at the heart of a lot of shaming.
Just thinking positively will NOT cure your cancer. Just thinking positively will NOT get you pregnant, land you the job you always wanted, find you the partner you’ve been looking for, make you rich, or help you to never be sad again…
Telling yourself or someone you know who is struggling to “think positive” is HURTING them.
That’s right, you’re not only not helping them by telling them how to think, you’re shaming them for feeling/thinking whatever it is that they are thinking and feeling.
Positive thinking is *not* the antidote to pain, suffering, and life challenges.
Positivity isn’t a cure-all, just as negativity isn’t the root cause of all personal challenges.
I’m frequently saddened when I witness people shaming themselves (and others) for having raw and sometimes “ugly” feelings versus having shiny-happy-rainbow feelings.
We are human, which means we feel a full range of emotions and have a full range of thoughts. Sometimes our feelings and thoughts are dark, negative, and sad. Sometimes our feelings and thoughts are hopeful, joyful and pleasant.
Positivity isn’t the new healthy. It’s a shield from being real.
What’s also NOT healthy: shaming yourself about having negative thoughts and telling yourself that things would be completely different if you “just think positive.”
Let’s stop making ourselves and other people feel bad for feeling bad. Instead, feel what you feel and support others to do the same. Be who you are.
Instead of shaming yourself for
not feeling or thinking a certain way,
work on cultivating compassion for who you are.
How? Try some of these…
1) Name one thing you love about who you are, every day for a week.
2) Think of one way you can be more self-caring or gentle with yourself, then try it out for the week.
3) Close your eyes and feel the power of your whole body working for you. Breathe into 3 separate parts of your body that feel strong, healthy or loving. Notice what it feels like to be connected to yourself in this way.
4) Try something new and no matter how it turns out, write yourself a congratulatory letter about going for it.
5) At the end of each day, write down one thing you did really well.
6) When you notice yourself going into critical self-talk, consider how you would talk to someone you love and reframe the conversation with yourself as if you’re talking with them.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
We know, and research proves, that experiences bring more joy than stuff… “Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods. You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your […]
You’ve probably heard plenty about positive thinking, but does it work? Positive thinking is all the rage right now. It’s also at the heart of a lot of shaming. Just thinking positively will NOT cure your cancer. Just thinking positively will NOT get you pregnant, land you the job you always wanted, find you the […]
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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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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
“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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]