5 Key Elements To Increase Wellbeing

Positive Psychology was first introduced at the turn of the century and was founded by a man called Dr. Martin Seligman who set out to focus on what contributed to people’s happiness or wellbeing, rather than focusing only on how to “fix” mental illness after it had occurred. Dr. Seligman pioneered the view that optimists would fare much better than pessimists in many areas of life including handling stress, physical health and general wellbeing. He identified 5 key elements to increase wellbeing:

  • Positive emotions
  • Engagement
  • Positive Relationships
  • Meaning
  • Achievement

POSITIVE EMOTIONS

Barbara Fredrickson (2009) has done extensive research and found that these ten emotions color people’s day to day lives the most with love heading the list of the most frequently experienced form of positivity.

  • Joy
  • Gratitude
  • Serenity
  • Interest
  • Hope
  • Pride
  • Amusement
  • Inspiration
  • Awe
  • Love

ENGAGEMENT

Being deeply engaged in our lives will foster feelings of satisfaction and wellbeing, just as being disengaged will produce the opposite. The concept of “flow” has been studied extensively by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1990) and he has found that spending time doing something that produces the following state is greatly beneficial to our mental and physical health:

  • We are totally absorbed in the activity
  • We are not aware of time passing
  • We are challenged to the right extent – not too much, not too little
  • We have a sense that we would like to do the activity again when we stop

POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS

Having people who care about us, who listen to us and support is crucial to our chances of experiencing life satisfaction. Forging bonds with people is what we are hard-wired to do, yet in today’s busy world, relationships are often one of the first things to be neglected.

MEANING

How we find meaning in the world defines our identity. Once we lose this sense of meaning we can flounder and feel insecure about our reason for being. Making sense of our world is essential and often big changes can throw this out of the window and put us in a temporary state of insecurity and even depression. Finding meaning is one of the most profound and challenging issues we can face as individuals as it requires a great deal of self-awareness and introspection, questioning our values, our deepest dreams and our sense of purpose.

ACCOMPLISHMENT

Having something to work towards and the opportunity to feel the satisfaction that comes with having achieved whatever goal we have set for ourselves is an important part of wellbeing. This is just a short introduction to the area of Positive Psychology with the main aim of introducing the reader to a world of resources and research that show what factors can help us thrive.

Would you like to have more confidence and balance in your life? 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.

 

 

 

10 Tips To Practice Mindfulness and Sharpen Awareness

Mindfulness is a form of meditation that you can practice any time and anywhere. From mindful eating to mindful walking and mindful living – it’s about being in the present moment and bringing awareness to what you’re directly experiencing through your breath and the five senses (sight, sound, touch, taste and smell). 

The opposite of mindfulness is being on autopilot, which has you disconnected from your body and constantly striving to get things done. It can also also leave you stuck in old mindsets. Being present helps you appreciate the richness of life.

10 Tips To Practice Mindfulness and Sharpen Awareness

  • Drinking a cup of tea
  • Patting a beloved pet
  • Arranging a bouquet of flowers
  • Practicing yoga
  • Listening to guided meditations
  • Taking a mindful walk in nature
  • Watching the waves in the ocean
  • Mindful breathing
  • Mindfulness body scan meditation
  • Mindful listening

While it’s completely normal to get off focus, you can bring yourself back to the present moment at any time through the five senses. 

Would you like to have more confidence and balance in your life? 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

 

 

 

 

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

Disconnect To Reconnect In The Real World

Ahhh MySpace. That was my very first introduction to social media back in 2005. I soon followed with a Facebook account, then Twitter and eventually Instagram. But several years later, I deleted them all except for Facebook, which I rarely use now. As a Generation X girl, I began to reflect on life before the Internet and how I used to spend my time. I wanted to make better use of my time by choosing to disconnect to reconnect in the real world. 

Of course, having an online business means being online, but I didn’t need to extend it to social media distractions. By limiting my use of technology I created a win-win situation. I unsubscribed from newsletters, turned off notifications on my phone, signed out of Facebook and shut down my computer to reduce screen time. 

Researchers have found that too much screen time can have a negative affect on your health and wellbeing. We put our brains through an exhausting physical workout, day in day out. The constant stimulation from our phones and computers never gives our minds a chance to truly rest. Next time your in a public place, take a look around you and you’ll find that at least one or more people engrossed in their phone.

Health Risks of Too Much Screen Time

  • Headaches
  • Chronic neck and back pain
  • Insomnia
  • Impaired cognitive function
  • Weight gain
  • Anxiety
  • Reduced attention span
  • Irritated eyes
  • Social isolation and loneliness

Going on a digital detox can have tremendous benefits on the body and mind.

Benefits of a Digital Detox

  • Gets your creative juices flowing
  • Mindfulness
  • Calmer
  • Healthier relationships
  • Face-to-face connections
  • Better sleep
  • More productive
  • Improves physical health
  • Increased happiness

There’s no denying that technology is incredible but being able to unplug and have some time away from the screen will leave you feeling refreshed and energized and more in touch with the world around you.

Do you need to go on a digital detox and find more balance and freedom in your life? Book a session with me here

How Mindful Eating Could Help You Lose Weight

Being aware of why we are eating is essential to changing the behavior. Mindful eating involves paying full attention to the experience of eating and drinking. It has been shown that by practising mindful eating, people may be able to control their emotional eating and overeating habits, enjoy their food and feel more aware of the body’s physical hunger and satiety signals.

Mindful Eating Techniques 

  • Eat small or moderate amounts of food every 2-3 hours
  • Pause before eating and ask questions e.g. Am I hungry? Am I thirsty? How do I feel? Why am I eating? Ask what type of food/drink do I want? Will it satisfy the hunger?
  • Sit down to eat at a table with food served on the plate
  • Sit in a quiet environment with no distractions
  • Eat slowly and pay attention to the food using all the senses
  • Put utensils or food down between mouthfuls
  • Wait 10-20 minutes after a meal before eating more food if you’re still hungry
  • Feel grateful for your food

Looking to add whole food plant-based foods to your diet? Book a session with me here

10 Self-Care Tips For Women To Boost Oxytocin

“Slow down, this ain’t the Mainland”, is a catchy phrase here in Hawaii, referring to the speed limit and slower pace of life in Hawaii. But slowing down is also a healthy approach to self-care.

Sometimes a busy schedule just gets in the way of taking care of yourself, but letting that happen can actually make things worse. Neglecting self-care can actually have a negative affect on your wellbeing by keeping you stuck in unhappy and unhealthy behaviors.

Taking time each day to nurture ourselves is an act of self-love, which also boosts oxytocin aka the “love hormone”. Look for activities that promote inner peace and calm, that allow you to unwind from stress and get in touch with your needs. Be creative with your self-care and don’t forget to have fun along the way!

10 Self-Care Tips For Women To Boost Oxytocin

  • Meditate
  • Eat a whole-food plant based meal
  • Go for a walk in nature
  • Read an inspiring book
  • Take a relaxing aromatherapy bath
  • Be mindful with a cup of tea
  • See a movie
  • Get a massage
  • Tap into creativity with a mindful coloring book
  • Light some candles and listen to music

Do something to nurture yourself every day. You matter.

Do you want to be the best version of yourself? Click here to book a wellness coaching session with me.