It never ceases to amaze me when that certain person finds a happy experience, then brushes it off just as quickly as it appeared. Sometimes, I find that person to be me. That then becomes my cue to get back on the happy trail.
Why do we chase away the happy, joyful, and peaceful moments in our lives with grim, fear-based thoughts? Psychologist and author of Hardwiring Happiness, Dr. Rick Hanson, calls it the negativity bias, our default to dwell in the negative and to avoid enjoying positive experiences due to a primitive brain feature still hanging on. I call it annoying.
No one wants to be the Debbie Downer or Negative Nancy in the room. No one (that I know of) wants to hang out with them either. And that's why I teach and practice these techniques daily. Much like your exercise program keeps you in shape, a daily sensory practice keeps your brain in shape and stops you from thinking you need to defend yourself from, well, anything.
Awareness of your body, of your senses is the ultimate mindfulness practice.
We need daily sensory reminders that we are well, happy in some cases. Thinking it and talking about it just isn't good enough to make that sensory candy stick. Embodiment of feel-good feelings is healthier in every which way you view it - on the physical, mental, spiritual, and social self. There's no longer a need to sweat the small stuff, to continue feeding that stress pattern, or to stress ourselves out for things and people we cannot control.
If you believe you can change your brain, it's never been easier to do so. If you're already practicing sensory awareness or mindfulness, drop me a line and let me know how you're doing.
If the stuff you've been stressing about has looked the same day after day, week after week, year after year, it's time to start breaking that energy-draining pattern before it breaks you. Like cigarette smoke, stress patterns can be addictive and toxic, but certainly not an impossible to stop. Sometimes the less you do to directly address those stressful situations, the better the outcome. Here are 3 ways to stretch those toxins out of your body and start breaking that pattern.
Daily or periodic unproductive stress builds up toxins in your body damaging your health along the way. By doing these stretches, you're working from a deeper layer where stress has compromised assimilation and elimination, lung capacity and joint restrictions. Follow the steps above and report your experiences. I love reading success stories about energy matters! #movementheals #yourenergymatters
If you're struggling to find more energy, you might be surprised to learn that you're probably draining yourself of the precious energy you already have. See if you might be stuck in any one or more of these patterns below and follow the tips to restore your energy and improved your quality of life.
Here are 3 typical energy-draining patterns and what to do instead to untangle them.
1. Worry about things you cannot control.
Worry falls under the Unproductive Stress category. The bus is late, the traffic is heavy, or that thing that hasn't yet happened is sure to be tragic, etc. None of these are worth compromising your health for. The next time your eyebrows crinkle and you feel that familiar tension in your belly and/or chest, STOP! Then ask yourself, "If I can't control this situation, how can I control the way I feel about it?"
Do this instead: Take 5-10 belly breaths. Breathing is a reliable anchor, always there to remind you to get out of your head, move into your body and be present. That experience is what you CAN control.
2. Being overly critical.
Marshall Rosenberg, founder of the peace organization, Non-Violent Communication once said, "Every criticism, judgment, diagnosis, and expression of anger is the tragic expression of an unmet need."
If you default to criticism, it's time to put a stop to it. Not only is it draining your energy, it's reinforcing the illusion that you are separate from those in which you find fault. You've heard it before, we're all connected. What we put out comes back. Before you pass judgement and assign negative labels, ask yourself, "How am I being a better example?" Then, remove the behavior from the person. We all do stupid things. If you want others to be more compassionate and understanding, you must demonstrate the same. Be the change.
Do this instead: Focus on their strengths. If you can't find any, focus on yours. If this is difficult, refer to #1. Another thing to remember is that the more unsettled we are in ourselves, the more we separate ourselves from others. Criticism is a sign of such a separation.
3. Become a member of the ICC (I Can't Club).
This exclusive club is full of people doing, you guessed it, not a darn thing. There is a lot of #1 and #2 going on and not a whole lot more. You can see it in their posture, slumped with shoulders forward, sunken chest and frown wrinkles. Somehow, at some point they were told, "you can't". And they believed it. Not only that, they assigned that command to other tasks they felt unworthy of accomplishing. The value of their efforts dissolve with each "I can't". It's a broken record that keeps them in the club and stops abundance, joy, and creative energy from ever reaching them. If you're part of this club, it's time to break away.
Do this instead: Go to your scrapbook, journal or memory-bank and find the things you have accomplished. Look for your successes, your wins, however menial they may seem. Your energy mattered then as it does now. Be a beacon of playful curiosity and creativity, and practice replacing I can't with I Can!
I hope this helps you take note of what might be causing your energy drains. Practice turning around unproductive energy into energy that nourishes all parts your dynamic Self. How do you want to feel instead? It's up to you. Remember your energy matters!
To be the change you wish to see, you've got to feel it in your bones.