Are you being kind to yourself?

Not with Rewards

Are you kind to yourself? Stop saying negative things to yourself and start affirming the positive. You ARE awesome. Start saying it!Oh sure, you reward yourself with a piece of cake or a new piece of jewelry once in a while. But those are rewards, and while it is nice and kind to do something “extra” for yourself, the real question is: are you kind to yourself every day?

Kind Self-Talk

“I’m so stupid.” Do you say that to yourself? Know this: it’s not true. Perhaps you poured OJ into your coffee instead of milk. That doesn’t make you stupid, it just means you weren’t paying attention at the moment. In most cases, when you tell yourself you’re stupid, you are reacting to a situation in which you’re not performing at your best. You may have done something stupid (and I’d prefer to say you did something not so smart), but that doesn’t make you stupid. So stop saying it. I hear people, particularly women, say this aloud about themselves all the time. Take notice if you’re doing it, and stop.

There are other phrases of unkind words we say to ourselves: I’m fat, I’m not good enough, I’m ugly, I’m a bad mother/wife/partner/sister/friend. Stop it. You have the power to change your reaction to whatever situation is causing you to say those things. And you can start making that change by changing how you talk to yourself.

Instead of saying “I’m fat” try:
– I am in control of my health.
– I am choosing to be healthy.
– I am awesome.

Instead of saying “I’m not good enough” try:
– I am a winner.
– I am successful.
– I love myself for who I am.

Instead of saying “I’m ugly” try:
– I am my own unique self.
– I am comfortable with who I am.
– I am special.
– I am beautiful.

Instead of “I’m a bad (insert relationship here)” try:
– I am patient and kind.
– I am a source of love and inspiration.
– I am loving and passionate.
– I am love, loved, and loving.

These alternatives are all positive affirmations, short positive statements that are true (or you want to be true). Repeating them aloud or writing them down every day instills the affirmation into your subconscious and it will change the way you think about yourself. For those who doubt this and think it’s some New Age hype, let me just remind you that all those negative things you’ve been saying have gotten you where? This is basic human psychology. So make a concentrated effort to write down three positive affirmations and say them aloud every morning for a week. See if you feel a difference. I know you will.

If you’d like more information on positive affirmations, including over 300 more affirmations covering everything from finance to creativity, then check out my book, Positive Affirmations.

6 Ways to Relieve Stress

Stressed to the Point of Implosion

Does hair-pulling, shoulder-tensing stress have you wadded into a ticking time bomb? Diffuse that stress with these 6 easy tactics to relieve stress.Does hair-pulling, shoulder-tensing stress have you wadded into a ticking time bomb? Diffuse that stress with these 6 easy tactics to relieve stress.

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that money issues often stress me out. Two-thousand-fourteen had a whopper of those. I closed a retail business at the end of 2013 to start my coaching practice. I had enough in savings to get me through the year while the new business got started. Unfortunately two roofing issues and some major house construction (a result of the roofing issues), ate into that savings quite a bit. To further add to the mix, my husband’s job was no longer as secure as it was six months ago.

6 Techniques to Relieve Stress

Without the techniques that I’m going to share with you, I would be a nervous, tense, sleep-deprived wreck at this point. Such a state would certainly hinder any momentum to move forward, both personally and with the coaching practice. Thankfully I began implementing several of these techniques even before the stress factors kicked in full force.

  1. Breathe. Slow, deep breaths. If you are a regular reader, you know that I preach breathing. I am aware of when a situation is causing my blood pressure to rise or my muscles to tense, and before I react in any way, I breathe. Three slow, deep breaths. Try it right now. It’s very calming.
  2. Drink water. If you’re dehydrated your level of the stress hormone cortisol increases. Aim to keep your base stress level as low as possible, and water will aid you doing that.
  3. Meditate. If you don’t have a regular meditation practice, start out easy: five minutes of quiet deep breathing. Alternatively you can listen to soothing music, practice yoga, or participate in a relaxing aspect of a hobby or sport (gardening, knitting, singing, cooking, drawing, dancing, running, kayaking, swimming, etc.).
  4. Be aware of what you can control and what you can’t. Staying up all night worrying about things I can’t control isn’t going to solve any problems. Believing that I will find a solution to any problems that arise, and getting a good night’s sleep so that I can be clear-headed in the morning is much more beneficial. Not always easy, but certainly a  calm and rested mind can make better decisions than one that is fraught with worry.
  5. Say positive affirmations every day.  This has helped me so much that I wrote a book on the power of positive affirmations and how to use them. Here are a few to help you if you are feeling stressed:
      • I am responsible for the success I achieve.
      • I am confident, competent, and calm.
      • I am capable of any task given to me.
      • I deal with problems immediately.
      • I live in an abundant universe.
      • I invite and allow money in my life.
      • My days are rich with opportunities.
  6. Express gratitude. I wake up and think about three people for whom I am grateful. Before bed I think about three things for which I am grateful. The day before Thanksgiving 2013, I stood in my basement surrounded by 12 large plastic tubs that were gathering the gallons of water pouring in from our roof issue. I stood and cried, not because of the water coming into my house, but because I was still going to be able to spend Thanksgiving with my husband and children. A pastor’s family in our community was not. That same day a man set himself on fire and ran into a local church, setting the church offices on fire. The pastor didn’t make it out of the building in time. So be thankful for what you do have, and make a conscious effort to think about people you are grateful for every day. Go beyond just thinking about the people, actually express the gratitude: write a letter or a short note, give the person a call, or if they’re no longer living, write about them in your journal.

Practicing these techniques has given me a safe and calm anchor point. I can find that anchor at any given moment which helps me keep things in perspective. I’m less likely to overreact and more likely to make rational decisions based on fact and not emotion.

Try to implement one of these techniques today (I’d start with the breathing). Continue practicing that technique daily while adding in a new technique every couple of days. Do you have any techniques you already use to help you cope with stress? Please share in the comments or on our Facebook page.

13 Quick Stress Relievers

Every day comes with at least some stress, but with the holidays approaching, even those who consider their lives low stress start feeling a bit more anxious. Those with high stress to start with often compound their stress just thinking about how much more stress there will be. Whew!

So here are 13 things you can do in less than five minutes (some in under a minute) that will help to take the edge off:

13 Quick Stress Relievers you can do in under 5 minutes

1. Breathe.

I sound like a broken record on this, but this one thing can make huge difference in your reaction to a situation. Take a moment and breathe deeply and slowly. Three times. Do it now. Then…

2. Smile.

If you have to fake it, that’s okay – just don’t turn it into a snarl. Repeat if necessary. Repeat even if not necessary. Smile at a stranger for an added boost of serotonin and endorphins (which make you feel good). When they smile back, you get a bonus boost!

3. Take a walk.

You’ll get more out of a 40-50 minute walk, but even five minutes, especially in fresh air, will do you and your body good.

4. Stretch.

Reach both arms above your head and stretch. Better if standing, but even just reaching above your head while sitting will have benefits. Pointing and flexing each foot (ideally with leg extended) can also be done while sitting.

5. Laugh out loud.

LOL for real. Think of time when you laughed really hard over something – you don’t even have to remember what you were laughing about, just remember the sensation and try to duplicate that. You may not get to that level of laughter, but you at the very least genuinely smile and probably even giggle a little.

6. Hum.

Hum a tune, say the word hum and hold the “mmm” sound, whatever.

7. Sing.

Sometimes this one is best done when you’re alone, and if you are then sing at the top of your lungs! Aim for an upbeat song.

8. Dance.

It’s okay if the music is only in your head. Just move, shake, and bop around for a few minutes. Take a bow.

9. Daydream.

Take one minute to imagine yourself doing your favorite activity, or relaxing, or winning the lottery. See it, hear it, smell it, taste it, feel it. (Set a timer if you’re afraid you’ll get sucked in too deep to your daydream to come back to reality).

10. Rub your hands together vigorously.

As if you are trying to warm your hands, rub your palms together for about 15 seconds. When you stop, feel not only the heat, but the energy force between your hands as you slowly separate them.

11. Doodle.

Scrap of paper and a pencil. Draw something: a line, circles, a picture, anything. There’s a lot to be said about the power of doodling.

12. Yawn.

Open your mouth really wide and it will come. It may even happen a few times, and that’s okay.

13. Make a paper airplane.

Flying it is optional. It’s the process of making that will help lower your stress level. I like to make tiny ones out of sticky notes.

Keep this list handy for anytime you need a quick dose of stress reduction. You can Pin the graphic from here, or visit our Pinterest site for this and more great stuff:

What do you do to relieve or reduce stress?

Why Self-Worth Leads to Success

Self-Worth and Self-Care

Yesterday I treated myself to a foot massage. It was fabulous! The room was low lit with soothing music playing softly. I climbed up on the table and was instantly enveloped in warmth from the heated blanket beneath me. A few deep breaths later and I was completely relaxed; Jamie hadn’t even touched my feet yet. And then the massage began. Ahhhh. I hadn’t realized I could become even more relaxed than I was. It was heaven; pure heaven.

This was the first time in 11 years that I’d had a professional massage. Why did it take me so long to do it again? The previous (hot stone!) massage had been a gift from my sister as part of a spa weekend. I loved it. Why not treat myself at least once a year or so?

As I gave that some thought, I thought there might be several factors that contributed:

  • cost
  • time
  • self-worth

While a weekly massage probably wasn’t in the budget (or was it?), I realized that I easily spend the cost of a massage each month on things far less satisfying or necessary. So while I tried to use cost as an excuse, it really wasn’t true.

Lack of time was probably only a little bit more true than the cost excuse. Certainly if getting a massage was a priority, then I could find an hour or so in my schedule once a month to fit it in.

And now we come to the self-worth issue. Here’s where the buck stopped. Apparently I thought I was only worth a massage once every decade; scheduling that kind of treat for myself was only for a super special occasion. And in my mind, when I really took the time to analyze my feelings about this, I saw a connection between very powerful and successful people and those who got frequent (say, every month or so) massages. Certainly they had money and time, but most importantly they were worth it. My conclusion was that when I saw myself as powerful and successful, THEN I too would be worth getting monthly massages.

Well, that notion seems a bit ridiculous. Furthermore, what if the “reward” for getting more frequent massages (or any other “treat” of that nature) was BECOMING powerful and successful? What if I had things in the wrong order the whole time?

This notion did not seem as ridiculous, although it may to you. I know from changing my morning routine these last few months into a very focused first hour early in the morning, I’m able to get a lot more done throughout my day. The first part of that routine is meditating – entering a very relaxed state. I felt even more relaxed at my foot massage. What if each month I had that additional deep relaxation through massage? Could my productivity increase even more? More productivity means more is accomplished which means I’m helping people change their lives to be happier and more successful which, in turn, makes me happier and feel more successful.

I’m scheduling a hot stone massage for mid-August!

Learn the Power of Breathing

100% of the top 100 successful people do it. 100% of Olympic gold medalists do it. 100% of the top 100 happiest people in the world do it. They breathe. Long, slow, focused breaths. Try it (because you know you already did, but do it again). Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. You don’t have to hold the breath in. Closing your eyes helps too (after you’ve finished reading this). I visualize the breath coming into my toes and filling my legs, body, arms, and the I exhale. That air leaves as quickly as it came in, taking with it my stress and worries. Sometimes I can feel chunks of stress fall off my shoulders.

In May I was in Indianapolis on business with some friends of mine. I spent much of the weekend being referee to some verbal arguments as well as just witnessing some downright ugly behavior. I didn’t realize how much stress I’d accumulated (indirect stress, as I wasn’t directly involved in the arguments), until I sat grabbing a bite to eat with another friend at the airport. As I sat, for the first time in four days, in a peaceful setting and took a few deep breaths, I could feel big, dry, caked-together chunks of stress fall off. My friend looked at me from across the table and remarked she could see the stress “falling away” as I took each deep breath.

Many of us don’t breathe properly. Our breaths are shallow and only use a portion of lung space. Deep breaths come from the diaphragm, the muscle below your lungs, and your stomach area should move in and out as you breath as opposed to your upper chest moving. Different breathing patterns can help you to relax, fall asleep, or even become more energized. So I put together a few videos on some breathing techniques that will find useful:

So today I charge you with the task of taking the time to breathe. It’s one of the first things I do in the morning – at least three slow, deep breaths. I repeat as needed throughout the day to combat stress, anxiety, or the daily craziness that comes from being the mother of two tweens.


Taking Care of Myself Once in a While

SeaSource 5-in-1 Essential Massage Oil
Arbonne’s SeaSource 5-in-1 Essential Massage Oil

Suffering from cabin fever, I decided that now was as good a time as any to deep condition my hair. My stylist mentioned that a healthy scalp meant healthy hair – and my scalp was a little on the dry and itchy side. And my hair a little on the frizzy side.

I grabbed my bottle of Arbonne’s SeaSource 5-in-1 Essential Massage Oil. I massaged a small amount into my scalp and hair ends. I then took a towel I had heated up in the dryer for a few minutes and wrapped it around my hair. Five minutes later I jumped into the shower and shampooed as usual. Good bye frizzies! Good bye itchy scalp! Hello beautiful hair!

As the name suggests, there are multiple ways to enjoy the massage oil. Here are some of those ways:

  • Body Massage – Of course! Warm a small amount of oil in your hands and massage onto skin using broad circular strokes, moving toward the heart, until the oil is completely absorbed.
  • Facial Massage – Use on freshly cleansed, damp skin. Warm a small amount of oil in hands and massage onto face, neck, and neckline using light strokes; massaging in direction of the muscles toward the heart until the oil is completely absorbed.
  • Facial Steam – Add up to 4 pumps of oil into a large bowl of steaming water. Place face over bowl, cover your head with a towel and remain in stream vapor for 3-5 minutes to help open and detoxify pores. When complete, cleanse and moisturize your face.
  • Bath Soak – Add 4-8 pumps of oil to tub of warm water and soak for 10-15 minutes. Step out of the bath carefully as tub may become slippery.
  • Aromatherapy – A small amount of oil may be massaged onto temples or added to a diffuser to benefit the aromatic oils, which help promote a sense of well-being. Avoid your eye area.
  • Deep Hair Conditioning – A small amount of oil on fingertips may be massaged onto scalp and ends of hair. Place a towel in the dryer on high and heat it up; once the oil is on your hair wrap the towel around your hair for about 5 minutes. Then rinse and shampoo as usual.

Disclaimer: I am an Arbonne Independent Consultant and do make a commission off of any sales placed through me or through my Arbonne website. A part of my I’ll Take Success business is coaching and training individuals to be successful Arbonne Consultants. If you would like to know more about starting and succeeding in Arbonne, you can visit my Arbonne website or contact me. It’s a fabulous company with botanically based products!