How To Change Your Negative Thoughts

Distorted thinking styles are not only common, they’re also human. Dr. Araron Beck’s theory of cognitive therapy first recorded these and Dr. David D. Burns refined them further. 

Distorted Thinking Styles

  • All or nothing – everything is black or white. Right or wrong. Perfect or a failure.
  • Mental Filtering – looking at the world through pessimistic frame, filtering out all the positive aspects of a situation.
  • Over-generalisation forming a general conclusion based on one piece of information: “You’re always wrong.” One negative event is part of an endless pattern.
  • Being right – feeling we must always prove that what we think, do or say is right.
  • Blaming – holding other people responsible for the pain or unhappiness you are feeling.
  • Disqualifying the positive – unable or unwilling to accept a compliment.
  • Jumping to conclusions – drawing negative conclusions without checking to see if they have any foundation.
  • Magnification or minimization – catastrophizing the unpleasant problems or mistakes and minimising anything that might make you feel good.
  • “Shoulds” and “musts” believing they are backed up by some universal law.
  • Martyr syndrome – all your “giving” and self-sacrifice should pay off and you become bitter when it doesn’t.
  • Emotional reasoning – making our feelings become who we are. “I feel inferior so therefore I must be.”
  • Personalization – blaming yourself for something that was largely out of your control.

Thought Stopping

If we can replace these irrational thoughts that occur repetitively and endlessly, we can then look more realistically at our lives. Cognitive restructuring techniques may sound overly complicated but they are really quite simple. First, we must catch ourselves when thinking negative thoughts.

  • Find a rubber band to fit on your wrist that is loose enough to be comfortable.
  • Each time you catch yourself in a negative thought (around what is about to happen, what is happening or what has happened) flick the band on your wrist, as a reminder.
  • Create a picture in your mind of a STOP SIGN in front of you, which will help you stop unwanted thoughts. It will take practice, but with time your brain will do this on its own.
  • Make yourself aware that you are having unwanted thoughts by saying to yourself, “I’m having the thought that…”. This reminds you that these are only thoughts, not something that will happen.

Would you like to get unstuck and overcome obstacles that are holding you back? Book a session with me here

How To Reconnect With Nature & Yourself

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better” – Albert Einstein 

The gifts of nature are abundant, offering us freedom and connection to boost our mental health and physical wellbeing. In fact, time spent in nature expands the mind and sharpens thinking.

One of the lessons we can learn from nature is that there is no such thing as perfection, so why do we command perfection from ourselves? No tree or flower is perfect but we accept them as they are. Basking in the beauty of nature, allows us to take the pressure off ourselves and maintain our present moment awareness.

Getting away from high-rise buildings, technology and noise pollution on a regular basis makes you happier, calmer and more grounded. It also has a significant impact on reducing stress and anxiety, while increasing creativity. When we get out in nature, we find a natural rhythm with our surroundings as time slows down. Next time you’re out in nature, allow yourself to be guided by the sun rising and setting. 

How To Reconnect With Nature & Yourself

  • Buy a plant for your desk
  • Watch a sunrise or sunset
  • Plant your own garden or a community garden
  • Have a picnic in the park
  • Go for a hike and listen to the sounds of nature
  • Take vacations in nature 
  • Do yoga on the beach
  • Look up at the stars 
  • Meditate by the ocean
  • Relax on a park bench with an inspiring book
  • Take a mindful walk in the park and notice the vibrancy of colors and textures
  • Hug a tree
  • Bird watch
  • Walk barefoot on the grass 

Nature is free and gives us the space to let go of our ruminating thoughts and reconnect with ourselves.

Do you need help reducing stress? Click here to book a session with me.

 

 

 

How To Heal Your Body With Whole Foods

Every day we make choices that will either support or worsen our health and wellbeing. The food you eat today impacts how you’ll live tomorrow. Food is supposed to be nourishing and pleasurable. Every time you eat, it’s an act of self-care but everything you put into your body is a choice you make and will have a direct impact on your mood, energy and health.

While eating on the go can seem like a time saver for busy people, it can actually have a detrimental effect on your digestive system leading to an upset stomach, heartburn, nausea, constipation or diarrhea. A healthy gut is the foundation for optimal health and wellbeing.

Thankfully a whole food plant-based diet helps your body receive the right nutrition through adsorption, digestion and elimination.

By adding a few small changes one step at a time, you can help improve your health right now. Start by replacing unhealthy foods with healthy whole food alternatives.

13 Healthy Food Swaps

  • Avocado or apple sauce instead of butter
  • Whole fruit instead of juice or smoothie
  • Plant milk instead of dairy
  • Cinnamon instead of sugar
  • Veggie bowls instead of burritos
  • Garden salad with walnuts instead of fries
  • Popcorn (plain)  instead of chips
  • Trail mix instead of candy
  • Brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice
  • Almond yogurt (unsweetened) instead of Greek yogurt
  • Frozen bananas instead of ice-cream
  • Cacao instead of cocoa
  • Energy balls instead of cookies

Would you like to add more plant-based foods to your diet? Book a session with me here

The Healing Benefits of Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands have long been a favorite amongst travelers, and especially those who come to Hawaii for a wellness vacation

For Hawaiians, a healthy and balanced life starts with the Aloha Spirit. Aloha means hello and goodbye to love, caring, sharing and goodwill to others. In a nutshell (or should I say, coconut shell), aloha means a way of life.

To maintain optimal health, Hawaiians practise constant cleansing of the mind, body and spirit. Healing is believed to occur in many different ways. 

Hawaiian Practice of Forgiveness 

Ho’oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian practice of forgiveness. Ho‘oponopono comes from ho‘o (“to make”) and pono (“right”). The repetition of the word pono means “doubly right” or being right with both self and others. Ho‘oponopono is a process by which we can forgive others to whom we are connected.

Hawaiian Massages

  • Kahuna: An ancient Hawaiian massage passed down by the Hawaiian Kahuna tribe that originated in the South Pacific. It is also known as Hawaiian Temple Style and Lomi Lomi massage. In the Hawaiian language, Lomi Lomi means to press or knead. Lomi Lomi incorporates long, flowing strokes using the forearms, elbows, wrists and hands in a continuous, fluid, rhythmic motion that can energize and ground you at the same time. It’s a relaxing massage that nourishes multiple parts of the body at the same time as well as healing the body mind and spirit.
  • Lomi Mohala: This massage will open your heart, mind, body and soul during an exclusive herbal oil blend that melts away tension. It’s an ancient technique, which utilizes rhythmic forearm strokes, allowing you to experience the expansive feeling of mohala (opening).
  • Lomi Pohaku: Heated stones are incorporated into the traditional Hawaiian lomi lomi modality to penetrate and soothe tightened muscles for an even deeper relaxation of the entire body.
  • Lomi Aumoa: The ultimate relaxation with a four-handed lomi lomi massage. Two therapists synchronize their movements in this indulgent treatment, producing double the benefits. You will emerge nourished, protected and completely relaxed.

Planning a wellness vacation to Hawaii?  Book a session with me here

 

 

 

 

The Fit Mom: Working Out Strategies with Kids

In today’s busy world, trying to find the perfect work-life balance can be a huge challenge for many moms. Trying to meet the needs of your family and the demands of your job means putting your own needs on the back burner most of the time, especially when it comes to finding time to exercise for the working mom. Exercise releases serotonin, a feel-good chemical in the brain that is related to influencing moods and decreasing depression and anxiety. Exercising also boosts energy, which is exactly what moms need; and it leads to a healthier and happier life overall.

Before kids, your workouts may have involved an hour-long session at the gym, but with playtime and mealtime added to the mix, you will need to get creative and rethink what your workouts will look like. I’ve put together some realistic tools and tips to help you with your busy schedule workout plan.

How Do I Fit Exercise Into My Schedule?

First of all, plan out when you’ll workout each week. If you feel stressed about the lack of time in your schedule, add exercise to your calendar. Ensuring that a workout is part of your daily routine will help to create more balance. You wouldn’t skip a meeting at your child’s school, so treat exercise with the same importance.

Trying setting aside 10-15 minutes in your day to do something active. When you have a plan, you’ll know exactly what you could do in a given timeframe. Squeezing in 10-15 minute sessions per week is just as effective as getting to the gym for an hour once a week.

Find a gym with a great day-care center. Most day-care centers at the gym will only take kids up to two hours. You can use this time to do a combination of 30 minutes each of cardio and strength training, with time to cool down, stretch, and shower before picking up your kids. You will feel completely refreshed and ready to roll.

How Do I Exercise Everyday?

You can combine playtime and exercise by riding a bike with your kids or by jogging along as they ride their bikes. Jump rope offers a great cardio work out and you can alternate with your kids by doing 5 or 10 jumps each. If you want to be the coolest mom around, get a scooter and a helmet and scooter around the neighborhood with your kids after school.

Build exercise into daily chores by doing squats while folding laundry or doing lunges from one room to the next.

With Fitness apps growing in popularity, they are much cheaper than a gym membership but just as effective while working out in the comfort of your own home. Fitness apps can be instantly downloaded on your smartphone, which makes it a very ideal form of exercise for a busy person.

Try Virtual Trainer apps, which are perfect for moms as it allows you to easily create your own routine. They have multiple programs and divided by indoor, outdoor or equipment based activities. Also, specific exercises can be looked up through a muscle group. A picture with information on the specifics of the exercise is also available to guide you.

How Do You Incorporate Fitness In Your Life?

Weekends are a great time to fit in fun with the whole family. Use this time for longer workouts by taking a 45-minute walk with the kids or stroller runs to the park. It helps you get in some cardio activity while you both get fresh air.

Try to make exercising together a regular part of your family life. Come up with physical activities your family loves to do together, such as hiking, skiing, bike riding, rollerblading, canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, swimming, skating, playing golf or tennis and ice skating. Consider joining a community center or gym where the whole family can swim, exercise or take different classes.

Gardening is also a great form of exercise as it involves squatting, lifting, digging, bending, and pulling yard waste bags.

Consider calling a friend and going for a jog or meet at the gym for a class after dropping the kids at school. You can even trade off babysitting to make time for each other’s workouts. Always park at furthest end of the parking lot and walk to get more steps for the day.

Looking for more healthy tips? Book a session with me here

The Fit Student: Keeping Active While Studying Hard

If being a college student isn’t hard enough these days, wondering how to find time to workout in college, can feel like a difficult task in itself. Having to dedicate countless hours a week to classes, homework, studying, exams, extracurricular activities and perhaps even a part-time job – doesn’t give you much room in terms of how to find time to workout in college. Just the idea of having another thing on your plate is enough to make you want to stay home and order take-out instead.

One of the reasons why a lot of students find it difficult to balance school and exercise is because they don’t know where to start. By trying these useful tips and tools, you’ll never have to wonder “how to fit in exercise with school” again. Having a busy schedule workout plan that you can turn to at anytime, makes life a little easier no matter how busy you are.

How Do I Fit Exercise Into My Schedule?

If you’re fortunate enough to have a gym on campus, make the most of it. It’ll save you time and money. Whether its lifting weights, running on the treadmill or hitting up a punching bag, there is something for every type of workout at the college gym. Students who are motivated by exercise tend to have better time management skills too.

You can also find out if your college offers any free or discounted fitness classes and take as many as you can. Most college gyms will offer a variety of options, ranging from karate and kickboxing to yoga. Having a fitness class in your schedule will encourage you to visit the gym more regularly.

Look for recreation center bulletin boards, which often include flyers for anyone who wants to join cycling clubs, swim teams or rock-climbing crews.

Try taking a walk or bike to classes and around campus. During a study session, take a break every 30 minutes to walk a few laps around the library or climb a set of stairs in your building.

How Do I Exercise Everyday?

It is recommended that healthy adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. You’ll get there by exercising for just 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week. Add some fun into your workout time by listening to your favorite podcasts or audiobooks. By making your workouts something you’ll actually look forward to doing, you’ll be more likely to do them.

If your schedule simply won’t allow you to join a sport’s team or visit the gym, consider using your dorm room. Clear a spot on the floor for jogging on the spot, doing jumping jacks, or for strength training exercises such as chair dips, push-ups, squats and lunges – next time you’re watching Netflix. That way you’ll look forward to exercising at the end of a long day or make it a great way to kick-start your morning.

There are many great fitness apps available on the market today with a workout plan for everyone. Look for apps with a personalized workout that allows you to set how long you want to exercise. Then follow the video trainer shown onscreen and start working out. It’s great for someone looking for variety in his or her workout routine. Most of the workouts don’t require equipment but offer countless different exercises. They’re great for full-body workouts too, since you can look for ones that offer strength, cardio, stretching, and yoga.

How Do You Incorporate Fitness In Your Life?

It’s important to make sure you find an exercise routine that you’ll actually look forward to doing everyday. But first you’ll need to schedule it. Once you put it on the calendar, all you have to do is make sure your workout is enjoyable enough that you’ll want to it, or social enough that you have a reason to go. Before you know it, you’ll wonder why you didn’t find the time to exercise sooner.

Use the weekend to schedule longer workouts. We often have more time on the weekends and more energy.

You may want to consider joining your college’s Ultimate Frisbee team, which is a great way to meet new people and get a full body workout. You will be working your legs and hips by squatting, throwing and jumping to catch a frisbee. While there is a lot of legwork, your arms will feel it too, especially if you play a handler role in offense.

Looking for more healthy tips? Book a session with me here

3 Healthy Travel Hacks For Women

No More Airplane Nausea

Nothing says vacation buzz kill quite like feeling nauseas on an airplane and especially during a long-haul flight. If motion sickness meds aren’t your thing, I’ve got the next best thing that is sure to keep you calm and relaxed during your flight minus the drowsiness. I knew you’d be excited.

It is well known that peppermint essential oil is one of nature’s healing gifts -giving a cooling sensation and having a calming effect on the body to reduce stress, mental exhaustion and depression. It is also recommended for its anti nausea benefits, which makes it ideal for motion sickness.

Even with restrictions placed on carrying liquids on the plane, the easiest way to take aromatherapy with you on-board a flight is to just take essential oils that have already been absorbed into a tissue, handkerchief, and cotton ball or roll on essential oils. Since there isn’t any restrictions for the amount of liquid packed in a checked bag, you can still take your oils with you to have after you land.

Try condensing liquids in order to maximize the variety of liquid items you can carry with you. Place essential oils in smaller 5ml glass vials. Like peppermint, ginger and spearmint can also be applied to pressure points, rubbed gently over the stomach and intestinal area to bring relief for nausea.

Do Free Activities 

They say the best things in life are free, and for every fun-loving traveller out there, it’s an idea worth keeping in mind. Imagine seeing famous paintings, entertaining your kids with activities, going for a hike while overlooking waterfalls and seeing gorgeous views of sunset from the mountain. Now imagine doing it all for free. For free? That’s right!

Tourism websites are an awesome way to seek out free sights, events and activities happening in and around town. Try taking a walking tour and get a free history lesson at the same time; go to a music festival in the park; stop by cultural center; check out a farmer’s market; sample local food; stroll through the botanical garden or visit a museum. It’s a fun way to navigate your way through a new city and see all kinds of cool things you wouldn’t usually see if you were sitting on a tour bus or on an airplane. 

Healthy Instant Airplane Breakfast Ideas

The worst thing about flights is without doubt, the food. Airline food is jam-packed with 20-30% more sugar and salt to bring out the flavor. Calories in airplane meals are pretty high – between 255 and 360 per food item. 

Whether you’re sitting in first class or coach, all the food comes from the same place: An industrial kitchen near the airport, where it’s cooked before departure and then reheated on board. Usually the meals are made between 12 and 72 hours in advance. It’s enough to make your stomach churn.

Why not take your own breakfast and make it a healthy one? Put some quinoa flakes in a baggie along with your favorite toppings (dried fruit and nuts). During the meal service, ask your flight attendant for hot water and prepare your healthy breakfast in a coffee cup. You can also take a spread like almond butter and some rice cakes. People tend to eat out of boredom and especially on long-haul flights. Plan ahead of time so you’ll be prepared to reach for something healthy when hunger strikes. By the time you reach your destination, you will feel better for it. It’s time to leave those nasty sky-high-calories behind.

Looking for more healthy tips? Book a session with me here

How to Work Out With A Busy Schedule

These days, finding the time to exercise for a busy person can be a challenge. With so many work demands and family responsibilities, the thought of having to go to the gym can feel like just another thing on your to-do list.

While it seems like everyone and everything needs your attention, truthfully nothing needs your attention for every single minute of every day. What if you could find easy and enjoyable ways to incorporate exercise as part of your important me-time? There’s no need to limit your idea of exercise to just going to the gym. It’s important to carve out special time for yourself. When you put yourself first, you maintain both your mental and physical health, giving you more energy and enthusiasm in other areas of your life.

It’s easy to feel motivated about the idea of exercising but when it comes to the crunch, we often lose motivation when we try to do too much too soon. What’s most important for motivation is accomplishing and completing a task on a consistent basis, not the size of the task itself.

Let’s consider breaking it down into achievable steps so that you can find fun ways to include more movement and exercise into your busy schedule to get your heart pumping and muscles working everyday, no matter how busy life gets.

How Do I Fit Exercise Into My Schedule?

While you don’t need an hour or even half an hour a day to lose weight or get into great shape, doing 15-20 minutes of exercise a day may be enough exercise for a busy person.

Going for a walk around the neighborhood, not only burns calories but the fresh air and sunshine are mood boosters as well. It’s okay to break things up. Try doing two 10-minute walks. Walk over to co-workers, rather than phoning or sending an email or IM. Take a walk during your coffee and lunch breaks. Walk while you’re talking on the phone. Bike to work, get off your bus or train a few stops earlier, or park the car further away to extend your walking time.

 How Do I Exercise Everyday?

A little exercise is better than nothing. In fact, adding just modest amounts of physical activity to your weekly routine is all it takes.

Expecting too much only leads to frustration. Try not to be discouraged by what you can’t do or how far you have to go to reach your fitness goals. Instead of worrying over results, the key is to focus on consistency.

Looking for more healthy tips? Book a session with me here

8 Tips For Staying On Track With Your Fitness Goals

Trying to stay on track with your new fitness goals can often prove to be a little challenging. Changing existing habits or adopting a new lifestyle isn’t something that magically happens overnight. The good news is there are several proven techniques that’ll help you achieve your fitness goals and get lasting results.

Every day is a new day to make good choices. The trick is establishing a plan like having a monthly wellness calendar and sticking to it.

Here are 8 tips to staying on track with your fitness goals to ensure you have everything at your fingertips.

Develop A Positive Attitude

A positive attitude is key. Even if you’re tired or stressed, unless you are physically incapable of moving due to medical reasons, remind yourself that sticking to a healthy lifestyle has a ripple effect. You’ll sleep better when you eat better and by eating better you’ll ultimately think and feel better.

How To Fit Exercise Into Your Busy Routine

Small steps really do lead to big rewards, you just have to get moving and keep it real by aiming for a realistic first step. Try increasing your workout schedule from 2 to 3 days a week, or exercise for 15 more minutes each time.

Not a morning person? Consider working out in the evenings with a calmer routine like yoga that will also help you relax and sleep well after a busy day.

How To Stay Motivated

Revamp your fitness gym wear. Let’s be honest looking good makes you feel good and girls gym clothes are like your personal investment as the image of who you see in the mirror can sometimes determine how motivated you are for your workout.

Keep a fitness journal or use an app to record your progress, for example, how much you run, walk, or lift and the calories you burn.

Get A Good Playlist

Say no more to workout boredom. Put together a few playlists for various workouts, something hip and upbeat when you go for a run, and something calm and instrumental for your yoga practice or when going for a walk.

Get An Accountability Partner

On days when you’re opting for the couch instead of the treadmill, a workout buddy can steer you back in the right direction. Studies have shown that you’ll also work out longer when you have a friend join you. Plus you can hold each other accountable to stick with your fitness goals. So grab a buddy and set some fitness goals together by mixing together different workouts. Create a schedule that you can both keep up with on a weekly or daily basis, and that will eventually become a routine in your life.

Reward Your Goals

Rewards are a key part of the fitness journey. They motivate us and can make a tough workout feel worthwhile. Reward yourself whenever you hit an important milestone or achieve a specific goal. What works as a reward should be inspiring to you; otherwise it won’t inspire you to stick to your program. Maybe you need a new set of hot yoga clothes or an fitness magazine subscription. This can be especially rewarding if you have gone up or down a size thanks to your hard work.

Add Variety To Your Workout Routine

Mixing together different workouts keeps things interesting and exercises different muscle groups. If you usually do a spin class, Pilates routine, or yoga at the gym, you can do a series of squats and lunges before your spin class to make riding the bicycle just a little more challenging. Or you could do a full body weight-training workout that works all your muscles except your abdominals before you go into a Pilates class.

Plan Healthy Meals

Planning meals and snacks is a key part of healthy eating, but will also help you with budgeting, shopping and avoiding unhealthy temptations.

Prepare your meals for the week ahead. It won’t feel like “dieting,” and it’ll save you the effort of thinking about what you’re going to eat every day.

Be mindful of calorie intake, which can sneak up on you with portions that are larger than you think. Use the nutrition facts to your advantage so you know how many macronutrients carbs, fats, and proteins go into your body. That’s not to say you should count calories, but you should balance out your consumption to make you get enough protein (for building muscle) and fats and carbs (for energy).

Looking for more healthy tips? Book a session with me here