Stress, stress..go away.

A few weeks ago I was chatting with a close friend. She and I were first roommates and then turned into friends sharing the same wavelength on philosophy, humor etc. Life took us to different cities and we both became occupied with our lives. In the past few months her work and studies demanded a lot of her time which led to us not being in touch daily. Now that you have the background, let me get to the core.

She mentioned that there was a lot of stress at work, school and personal life too (sounds familiar?). For someone who believed in planning everything in life and being calculative about each decision, she gave into the stress and booked herself an ‘escape’ trip all by herself to a city she had never been to. She told me that she had fun for two full days where she cared for nothing and splurged with abandon. While she was giving me descriptive details of all the fun she had, it also took me back to times where I had indulged in some kind of escape. It struck me that often times when we feel like breaking free and escaping from any stress we tend to choose activities like drinking, smoking, drugs, casual sex, and extreme sports. Any mood altering activity that lets us numb ourselves and the vehicle we choose is our body.

I wondered why is that in an attempt to numb the pain and to create momentary pleasure, we end up abusing our bodies. While we are engaging in these band-aid/feel good solutions, I don’t think it even occurs to us that we could perhaps be abusing ourselves.

The other question being, does this approach really work? Perhaps for a short time (if that’s the goal) and then it resurfaces the next time our emotional immunity is at a low. If only we could learn to be kinder towards ourselves, then we would think of learning different ways of coping with stress. Having said this, I know that we are not meant to be perfect and can take a fall every once in a while.

Some of my favorite coping mechanisms include talking to a friend, writing, exercising and being in nature. What are yours?

My best to you,

Pooja

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The Power of Suggestion – how it influences our daily living.

This morning I was reading an article where the author was discussing whether Angelina Jolie’s recent decision to undergo mastectomy was medically hexed? Reading this article by Lissa Rankin I felt inspired to write my own blogpostJ

Sitting in front the television watching commercials, all I see is the commercialization of emotions. When you make a decision to buy insurance, you are sold to the emotion of fear. When you watch a commercial of the latest anti-depressant and how it promises a better quality of life, in your mind you feel hopeful. Commercials by food giants, sell you a perceived sense of happiness when you take a bite of a certain McWrap. One of my friends who is in the field of Marketing had done research on how advertising is all about emotions. Some of her findings helped me understand why we go and buy a product after we have watched a commercial regardless of whether there is a need or not.

Having worked in a restaurant for a couple of years I have watched the owner of the restaurant ‘sell’ an entrée or two even when the guest had begun with wanting to just eat light. All he used was a suggestion that his guest may enjoy a certain combination better than the other. Now, of course there is a whole field of study called Neuro-Linguistic Programming which uses the power of suggestion to increase sales.

When a mother tells her child that she is ‘stupid’, it is a suggestion that gets implanted in the child’s mind. Alternatively, when someone is told you are told that you can do anything you ever want to..we know how that works.

power of suggestion

power of suggestion

On an individual and professional level I often recommend the use of affirmations and healing light visualizations to my friends and clients. Hypnosis as a branch of healing is very well known to utilize the power of suggestion. One of my friends who was getting frustrated with the medical system of diagnosing one piece of the puzzle at a time tried affirmations in combination with healing light visualization and is beginning to experience improvement with multiple health conditions that she is dealing with.

Hundreds of suggestions are offered to you everyday by family, friends, co-workers, media, governments, religious texts etc. Be careful what you give power to!

Affirmation-Harmony

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Affirmation-Harmony

7 simple ways to enhance your Self Esteem

1)      Stop the harsh inner critic and make way for mistakes

  •  You do not need to be perfect for anybody. We let a lot of people influence our lives and believe it or not they become our inner voice. Sadly enough, not all of these are loving voices.

2)      Learn to say NO

  • Understand your emotional, physical and mental boundaries. Respect yourself enough to say NO to requests or assert your disagreement. People pleasing is one of the fastest ways to get into a vicious cycle of hurt, blame and burn out.

3)      ME time

Self love

Boston White Flower

  • Give yourself some time in a day/week where you engage in an activity that helps you recharge/rejuvenate. It could simply be an hour of listening to your favorite music, taking a walk, etc.

4)      Stay away from Toxic environments

  • You know it when a certain friend, relative does not mean well for you. Try and limit your time with such people and environments where you do not feel loved/respected.

5)      Reframing your criticisms

  • Find a way to reframe the critical remarks you subject yourself to into statements that are loving, affirmative and non-judgmental. For example: Criticism: I just cannot do anything right.  Counter this statement with a fact saying: This is not true since I was recently complimented at work for my presentation. Reframe: I am generally good at work and just need to improve on my report making skills.

6)      What’s in your goodie bag?

  • As you spend time collecting all the negative remarks, make an effort to identify atleast 3 good things to counter one negative remark. Any and all the compliments you have every received need to be respected. Learn to pat yourself when you have kept your calm during a stressful situation or kept your commitment towards ME time.

7) Enhance your inner dialogue using affirmations.

One of the easiest ways is to begin with using the stem ‘I am’ followed by any thing you wish to grow in yourself.Remember to repeat this as often as you can. No harm repeating the good stuff, right? We have enough of negatives coming our way and most of us aren’t kind to ourselves.

Ex: I am loved.

I am beautiful.

I am successful in achieving my goals.

I love my job.

The road to Loving and Respecting yourself begins with making room for understanding and accepting yourself with a kindness that you would extend to a friend or your child.

Happy Self Loving:)

Mind-Body connection: According to Energy Medicine, the third chakra  located in the solar plexus region governs self esteem issues, our comfort/discomfort with our personal power, choosing to blame or assume responsibility and move forward. It is yellow in color. The physical organs connected to the health of this chakra are liver, gall bladder, pancreas, diaphragm, spleen, stomach and kidneys.