How I’m Learning to Turn Into a Positive Thinker

I realized that with all the the negative thoughts I was having, I was experiencing my life’s events behind a fog. Learning to become a positive thinker has been very hard, but I know that becoming more positive will lead to new and healthy experiences. Here are a few of the things I’m doing now to become a more positive, and happier me:

Learning to Forgive

I’ve learned that it’s not worth my time to dwell on things that are already done and that I need to become stronger in order to learn to forgive. Forgiveness is still very hard for me but it will allow for me to move on from both mine, and others’ mistakes. Happiness and positive experiences are going to be impossible to come by if I’m still holding onto to the past.

Being Grateful

I’m aware that learning to be grateful is key to becoming a more positive person and I work on it everyday by writing down 3 things I’m grateful for that day. If you’re reading my work right now be happy you have a computer; the internet! Be grateful for what you already have because I believe it’s a privilege to live this way.

Taking Responsibility

It’s easy to wish for things, but the first step is to take responsibility for my feelings and take the initiative to make positive things happen. With my depression and anxiety, I can easily stay inside all day and hide from the world and not feel like I’m missing anything. Yet, on the other hand I know I’m the only one responsible for my feelings and that yes, things can go wrong sometimes but I can make them better. And if I don’t like how I feel now, I need to take the initiative and change something.

Eliminating Drama

I’m not one for starting drama but I don’t do anything to stop it either from happening around me. Eliminating drama from my life starts with ditching those that add unnecessary stress to my life. I should be happy and filled with gratitude, not dealing with petty drama.

Surrounding Myself With Supportive People

Once I let go of those drama-filled people from my life, I also need to start surrounding myself with positive and supportive people. Making new friends is hard for me so I started out with reaching out to those 1 or 2 people that I already wanted more of in my life. To become a more positive thinker, I’m more selective with who I let into my life.

Setting Aside “Me” Time

As an introvert, I need time to recharge and relax by myself in order to be “on” and positive for when I spend time with other people. I take personal time to just slow down and reflect in my own thoughts. Sometimes, I relax through writing, sometimes meditation – just depends on how I feel that day; whatever makes me happy.

Thinking Optimistically

Thinking optimistically is thinking positively and I’ve learned that most things in life are for the better rather than the worst. When I have a really bad day, I try to think of what good things happened that day, too. This little technique helps me to learn to think optimistically naturally and have an overall better perspective on life.

Being Kind

Be nice to other people – yes, it’s that simple. When I’m nice to others, it generates good feelings for both me and the other person. Everybody wins and it’s such an easy way to start thinking and living more positively.

Having Fun

One last, but really easy way to eliminate negativity and to be more positive is simply to have more fun. It leads to excitement, laughter and joy; what else do you need? Since I’ve made it a priority to go out more and have fun in places I know I’ll like, I’ve found it a lot easier to think more positively, naturally.

What are some of the ways you try to stay more positive? Leave me a comment and let me know!

6 Things That Are Making Me Miserable

I’ve realized that I need to purge some of my bad habits and learn from my mistakes instead of repeating them over and over again. I’ve decided to conquer the habits that are making me miserable and here are just a few things that I’m learning to overcome:

Sticking Only With What I Know

I’ve realized that when I stop learning, I stop living a meaningful life. Learning about new ideas, even if I don’t fully accept them, helps me grow as a person and I get out of my comfortable and familiar zone. It’s only when I take initiative and venture out, away from the familiar, that I grow into a stronger and more capable me. I still hold onto my core values but I’ve learned to open my heart and mind to new ideas, feelings and experiences. I know that my own perspective will only grow stronger when I look at things from a different perspective.

Replaying the Hurt

Pain is a part of life, just like love, and it’s what make us human. I know that I don’t have to forget what happened in my past but I don’t have to let it conquer and destroy me either, over and over again.  Sometimes it’s hard to remember this but I’ve learned to go easier on myself and treat myself with kindness and compassion. One step at a time, one foot in front of the other and I will get through my troubles, sooner or later.

Following the Path of Least Resistance

When it’s simply easier to give up, it takes strength to persevere. It’s always easier to sacrifice short term pleasure for long term gain and hard to resist temptations and distractions. But – these are the things that make me a stronger person. I’ve learned to try and do what’s right, put in the necessary effort and keep pushing forward even when it’s hard. I know that if I keep exercising my strength everyday, I’ll be more capable and stronger everyday.

Waiting For a Miracle

If I were to always wait for inspiration, nothing would get done. Instead, I try to meet it halfway with dedicated action. I know that often the difference between someone who is successful and someone who isn’t is ability; it’s who has the guts to take calculated risks and to act. In other words, you can sit around waiting for good things to come to you, or you can act now and make them happen.

Not Balancing Rest and Activity

Downtime is extremely important, yet I know I don’t give it the time and attention it deserves. Creating balance in my life – between rest and activity, work and family, and between getting things done and leaving them undone, is key otherwise everything else I’m not focusing on, falls out of place. I need to learn to balance the various parts of my life to not only get things done right, but to be successful in life.

Ignoring My Passions

Sometimes life gets in the way but I still have to nourish my mind and spirit just like my body. That nourishment comes from indulging my passions because when I lose myself in something I love, I eventually find myself. A truly fulfilled life is lived by living out my passions and dreams and then losing myself in the process of making them a reality.

These are just a few things I do to myself to make myself miserable but I’m working on them. What would you add to your own list? Leave me a comment!

15 Ways I Stay Positive in Negative Situations

  1. I take a deep breath in as the first step to calm me down.
  2. I don’t respond to a situation unless I’m in a calm state of mind. If I’m not calm, I’m more likely to say something I’m going to regret.
  3. I try to see the positive aspect of negative situations, instead of rejecting the entire experience.
  4.  I do ignore the negative parts of the message.
  5. I’m open about my mistakes; if I made one, I’ll admit it.
  6. If I did make a mistake, I remember this quote by George Bernard Shaw, “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”
  7. I try to speak in a calm, soft tone to reduce tension in negative situations.
  8. Realize there are always opportunities to become a better person even in negative situations.
  9. I try to maintain a positive view of other people, even if i don’t always agree with them.
  10. Realize that negative feelings just hurt me, and not the other person. Let it go.
  11. I try to listen to music or motivational videos on Youtube to improve my mood.
  12. I let it all out and vent to a close friend or my partner who encourages me to stay positive.
  13. I use a quote of the day app to keep the positive vibes coming in daily.
  14. Remember that negative situations are a natural part of life and they help you for future ups and downs.
  15. Remind myself that I can’t please everyone and sometimes you have to let some people go.

These are just a few of the ways I try to stay positive in negative situations that arise, do you have anything else to add? Please let me know in the comments!

4 Little Habits That Lead to Big Success

Success is about what you can control. While we can’t control the weather, traffic or the global economy, we do have complete control over our daily habits, routines and rituals that define who we are as people. Here are 4 simple habits I’ve formed that have helped me set myself on the path to success and I know they can help you too:

Write Down Your Goals

They say a goal that isn’t written down is just a wish. When I write down my goals, I cement my commitment to it. Written long-term goals helps me be proactive, plan my day better and think ahead to what I want to accomplish rather than reacting to everything that happens to me and in turn, becoming distracted from my long-term goals.

Spend Time Alone

Spending time alone in solitude whether meditating or simply being alone with your thoughts allows me to reboot and and unwind. I’ve been able to work through complex problems that had been bugging me for a very long time after spending time alone reflecting on them. They also say students that study alone rather than in groups perform better also, so give it a try!

Make Time to Read

Sometimes I read before bed, on the train to work or during my lunch break. You’ll seldom find me without a book in my bag because the immense mental, emotional and health benefits outweigh the cons. Just reading for 30 minutes a week has improved my mood and increases my satisfaction in life. As a lifelong insomniac and someone who deals with depression, I’ve found that its not only helped me sleep earlier (vs. watching television before bed) it’s also subtly helped with my self esteem.

Make the Bed

It turns out my mom was right when she told me to make my bed everyday. It’s a statement to yourself that you respect you space and it puts me in a productive mood to start my day off right. So before you leave for work, make your bed. When you’re coming home tired from a long day of work, you’ll thank yourself for it.

These are just a few little habits I do everyday that leads to big success. If you have any other ideas please let me know in the comments. As a side note – I’ve decided to take on a few clients to coach with your health and wellness related goals so if you’re interested in that, please visit me hereI have a free promo code GIFT16QR2 for the first 10 clients.

My 5 Steps to Inner Peace

Inner peace: it can only come from within, yet, it’s our inner thoughts that rob us of it. It’s the most valuable thing to cultivate yet one of the hardest (if we let it be.) The great thing is we don’t have to retreat to a monastery or church; we can experience inner peace right now, exactly where we are. What we have to believe is that it is important enough; to prioritize it. Once it’s important to you, you work hard to make it a reality. Here are a few suggestions to help bring you your inner peace:

Spend Time Wisely

When we’re constantly watching the news or reading the paper, we’re bombarded by the negativity we see in the world. Although we can try to detach ourselves from the events going on in the world, it’s a lot easier when we don’t spend hours watching the news and seeing all that is wrong. When we have an extra 15 minutes, we should try to avoid surfing the internet or switching on the news channel and instead, we should take that opportunity to do something positive like meditate to still our minds.

Control Our Thoughts

Thoughts are what determine our state of mind and if we’re constantly thinking of negative and destructive thoughts, inner peace will remain a far cry. Try to avoid spiralling into a negative train of thought by catching yourself in these moments. It takes practise but we have to remember that we are in control of the thoughts we pursue and the ones we reject. We are not helpless victims to our own thoughts.

Simplify

Daily life demands a lot of our time and we can feel like there’s never enough of it to finish everything on our plates. Trying to minimize some of the demands on our time, especially the ones we know we can do without (like TV) will help us simplify our life and get rid of unnecessary time sucks from our schedule. Do the most important tasks, one at a time and enjoy them. To enjoy inner peace, it’s essential to avoid cluttering our schedules with unnecessary activities and worries.

Be Immune to Both Flattery and Criticism

If we’re constantly seeking out reassurances and praise from other people, we can never have inner peace. Both criticism and flattery are two sides of the same coin – both are judgements from other people but we shouldn’t let ourselves be affected by either. Feed your own ego and learn to have confidence in your choices and in yourself. Value yourself and respect your own opinions enough so you don’t need external validation.

Don’t Criticize Others

What we give is what we get back. Although we should not base our esteem on the words of others, you will notice if you offer a peaceful, loving attitude to others, it will come back. When we criticize others, we’re simply judging the worst aspects of ourselves and projecting onto others.

These are just a few of the things I’m working on to develop inner peace and I hope they can help you too. How do you try to live a more peaceful life? Leave me a comment!

8 Things to Remember When You Feel Defeated

Sometimes, life just feels like too much. It pushes me to my limits and when I feel I can’t take anymore, I tend to fall into a black hole of hopelessness where I feel broken and defeated. It’s hard to remember in the moment, but I’ve learned (over a very long time) to simply step back and let the emotions bubble up to the surface, even when they seem too painful to bear. These episodes of pain only make us stronger and more capable of dealing with life so I try to reframe my thinking and try to see the positive that comes with the miserable:

Cracks Allow the Light to Come In

If I didn’t feel broken on occasion, there would be no place for the light to enter. Sometimes, to see all the good in the world, it takes heart-hurting, horrible experiences to really appreciate it all. If everything was always positive and wonderful, as nice as that sounds on paper, we would never grow as people. We would never really be able to appreciate all the good in our lives and learn to become resilient. I feel things open up inside of us when we feel broken and I use that to rebuild a stronger, more powerful me.

Remember Your Why

During hard times, it can be difficult to even remember what we want in life because we’re stuck in a rut of bad feelings. However, these bad feelings actually give more depth to our purpose and it’s easier to relate to others who go through hardships everyday. If I didn’t go through unpleasant experiences, I would not have a well-rounded perspective of my “why” nor be relatable to other people.

Don’t Fight Your Feelings

I feel bad, a lot of the time, for feeling bad; but I shouldn’t. If I didn’t have bad or negative emotions, I wouldn’t be human. We all go through really tough experiences that warrant strong reactions and all we can do is just feel them; then try to work though them. Controlling and repressing my feelings only seemed to delay but not prevent the inevitable emotional breakdown. Instead, I’ve learned not to hide from my feelings for fear of other people’s reactions – but to embrace them.

Feelings Are Only Temporary

We’re only on this planet for a short time yet it’s so easy to forget we don’t have forever. I try to enjoy it all while it lasts because I know all of my experiences, even the bad ones, will shape who I turn out to be just as much as the positive experiences. In the moment, I remind myself that this too, shall pass. Emotions are only temporary.

You Have a Support System

It’s hard for me to reach out to others for help when I feel down about life. I already feel worthless and I have a hard time grasping the idea that the people that truly care about me would gladly be there to help me. I feel as if I’m a burden and try not to bother others but this isn’t right. Your loved ones do care and they want to help, even if they don’t know how to. Help them, help you.

You Are Not Your Feelings

I am so much more than my temporary emotions so I try not to let them control me. Emotions come and go as they please – they’re never invited, so why should we treat them as guests? We are so much more than our emotions and all we can do is accept them but that doesn’t mean they control us. Simply feel your emotions and work on moving past them, knowing all-the-while they’re only temporary.

Focus on What Brings You Joy

When I feel defeated, I focus my attention entirely on my sadness and despair, that I forget about the things that make me happy. I read books, get some sunshine or go for a run to make myself feel better. I’ve learned that just because I feel sad and broken, doesn’t mean I have to spend every waking minute wallowing in it.

There’s More to Life

I know I’m selfish – it’s always about me, me, me but that doesn’t mean the whole world shares my view. If I have a bad day, I have to remember that doesn’t mean everyone else did too. I still get to work out, breathe in fresh air and see all the beautiful fall colours outside my window. I need to remember that there are good things happening all around me despite my temporary slump and everything doesn’t seem as bad.

This is what I try to refer back to when I feel down and defeated and it’s helped me a lot. What do you remind yourself of to keep perspective? Let me know in the comments!

One Easy Way to Stop Negative Thinking

There’s nothing wrong with a little negative thinking; it can turn your anxiety into action and allows you to prepare more and try harder. However, being too critical with yourself can hurt your motivation and drive over time. If your inner voice is constantly calling you lazy and not good enough, you’re going to tend to believe that whereas if it’s coming from “someone else,” you’re more likely to question it.

The one way I keep that negative voice in check is to give her a name. “Sally” calling me lazy and no good makes me think twice about whether that is really true. Typically, it makes me defensive and I can start pointing out all the positive aspects of myself rather than the negative. Over time, I’ve found that by giving my negative, inner voice a name keeps me from automatically believing everything “Sally” says. This allows me to quickly recognize my negative thought pattern and start turning the dialogue around.

Essentially, it’s easier to ignore another person than you can ignore yourself. If “Sally” starts criticizing me, I can defend myself or tell her she’s wrong and to shut it. Again, self criticism can be helpful for example when reviewing your work – just be mindful of being excessively negative and critical of yourself otherwise that can lead to motivation-killing perfectionism.

It’s all about finding balance. I hope this quick tip can help you keep your mean, inner voice in check. If you have any tips on how you control your negative thoughts, please let me know in the comments!

How to Turn a Once-In-Awhile Workout Into a Lifelong Habit

Exercising consistently can be tough already but even harder when you don’t see results rights away. Focusing on extrinsic factors like how much you weigh every week or how your clothes fit, isn’t what’s going to keep you motivated long term. Seeing great results one week can leave you feeling elated and extra motivated but what about when you don’t see any progress this week? You won’t feel like working out, period. Here are a few solutions that will help keep you exercising for the long term, not just the occasional workout:

Reframe Your Thinking

If you think of exercise like a chore, that’s exactly what it will be – a chore. Instead, change your thinking about exercise and view it as a one-hour escape from your day. It’s not a chore; it’s your secret weapon. It’s what keeps you looking young, fit and brings you energy. Find activities you enjoy and combine them with other pleasurable activities like listening to music or a funny podcast. Enjoying your time while “exercising” will increase the chances you’ll keep it up and turn it into a lifelong habit.

Don’t Be a Weekend Warrior

Just like you can’t brush your teeth extra long on weekends to make up for not brushing them during the week, the same goes for exercise. It’s better to be consistent and hit the gym 4 days a week for only 20 minutes, instead of an hour on Sundays only. Prioritizing exercise and making it an important part of your day just like showering, is what keeps you at it when life gets in the way. You will have built the habit to get at least a little activity in during each day even when you have barriers in your way like work issues or a bad mood.

Don’t Say Yes All the Time

Life is already busy enough and people will unintentionally get in the way of your goals, if you let them. When something interferes with your workout, you don’t have to necessarily say No right off the bat, but you have to think to yourself, “Is this important enough to interfere with my well being and health?” It might sound extreme if you put it like that but it’s not. Rethink those requests before you say Yes otherwise you’ll always be putting other things first at the expense of your own wellbeing.

Focus on One Thing

Sometimes, you just get the urge to fix everything at once, start exercising, cut out sugar and go vegan – all at the same time! But you need to resist that urge. Although it’s tempting in the moment when you’re feeling pumped and motivated, you’re setting yourself up for failure in the long run. If you’re new to exercise, give yourself a few months to stay consistent and then move forward with your other goals, one at a time.

These are just a few of the ways I’ve personally been able to stay consistent with exercising, do you have any other suggestions to add? Please let me know in the comments!

8 Easy Ways to Quickly Boost Your Energy Levels

We’re all familiar with full on physical exhaustion – tired, achy muscles and your eyes are just fighting to stay open. What you may not recognize is the more subtle, mental exhaustion where no matter how fun or enticing something is, you just can’t psych yourself up enough to get up and go. This was pretty common for me before, where after work I usually stayed put unless I really had to go out. I just did not have the energy. So I decided to work on boosting my energy levels so I could get out there more, and this is what’s worked for me:

Exercise

I know, I know – when you feel tired, exercise is that last thing on your mind but hear me out. Getting just 30 minutes of exercise in per day can help boost not only your energy, but your mood as well. I’m not talking about a hardcore, intense weightlifting session either – just going for a walk around the block or dancing to some upbeat music does enough to raise your energy levels and if you make it a habit, you’ll find you feel less tired when you should be alert.

Try Something New

Starting a new project at work or home, or learning a new language will make you feel good and perky. It has something to do with the newness and unfamiliarity that releases feel good chemicals called dopamine, which in turn will give you a nice boost.

Breathe Deeply

Shallow breathing prevents your body from getting enough oxygen and tends to happen when you’re feeling tense. Taking a deep breath in forces more oxygen to your cells and even helps lower blood pressure. You’ll feel refreshed, less tense and more awake.

Eat Consistently

Eating on a regular basis keeps your blood sugar on an even keel without the spikes that occur when you go too long without food, then suddenly overload your system. Stick to protein, complex carbs like veggies and fats at every meal and avoid simple carbs like cookies and chips. They may provide an initial rush of energy but your body will burn them off quickly and you’ll crash shortly after.

Listen to Music

Listening to my favourite, up-tempo music makes me feel happy, energized and ready to go! Pleasurable activities like listening to music or watching a funny movie helps release endorphins, the same chemicals released when you exercise that make you feel good. I try to avoid things that drag me down whether it’s negative people or a task I’m not looking forward to and focus on having fun.

Drink Fluids

Stick to water for the most part because dehydration can cause headaches and make you feel more tired. It’s recommended to drink half an ounce to an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day but I do also advocate drinking green tea and the occasional coffee. Both of these drinks contain caffeine and antioxidants and if drank in moderation, can also give you a lift.

Stop Stressing

When you stress, your body releases another hormone called cortisol that can wreak havoc on your energy levels. Worrying too much is like having a hole in your bucket – if you don’t do anything about it, it’ll just keep draining your energy. Practising some form of meditation or yoga can help significantly lower stress levels and in turn, saves your energy for more productive things.

Go Outside

Try going outside at least once during the workday as it’s been shown to reduce blood pressure and stress hormones in the body. Sunlight also helps the body produce more serotonin, another feel good chemical naturally produced by the body. Breathing in the cool, fresh air will definitely make you feel more awake and alert.

These are just a few tips that have worked for me to get me out of my energy slump – how do you keep your energy levels high throughout the day? Leave a comment and let me know!

How Meditation Has Helped Me Get Better

When I first started meditating, I felt pretty silly sitting on the floor of my room. I sat there trying to “empty my mind” and got frustrated pretty quickly because I couldn’t get rid of all my thoughts. That’s what meditation is right – trying to empty your mind? I would sit there but thoughts would keep intruding – some mundane, some stressful. I gave up pretty quickly until I decided to give it another try 6 months ago with a lot more success. I’ve learned that meditation isn’t about “thinking about nothing” necessarily, but to focus on one thing and to ultimately stop the incessant chatter in our heads. I started using a guided meditation app and it has worked wonders for me because it walks me through the process and allows me to focus on the soothing voice in the app. Below are just a few of the benefits I’ve experienced:

Stops My Mind From Wandering

My brain likes to jump around from one thought to another without thinking about anything in particular. It’s pretty draining and only causes me to feel anxious and bit down without knowing why. Since meditating, I’ve noticed that although my mind still wanders quite a bit, it snaps back a lot faster. I’m more prone to catching myself in these funks and I can actually turn it around and refocus my attention on something more specific and positive. My concentration and attention span has also significantly improved because meditating allows me to focus, longer.

Helps Treat My Depression and Anxiety

Though there have been studies on meditation and its positive effects on reducing anxiety and depression, I’m not at the point where I’m going to stop my medication. Instead, meditation complements the other strategies I’m using and I’ve noticed that my symptoms have reduced significantly, especially my anxiety. Over time, I’ve learned to be more accepting of my feelings and to just let them be. The bad feelings pass and although it’s not all roses and daisies after, I feel more calm.

Reduces My Insomnia

This directly ties into both points above because since I’ve started meditating, my wandering, restless mind has been able to calm down at night. My head used to race with vague, anxious thoughts about life and unfortunately, I used to use a glass of wine to relax until I could get to sleep. Of course, using alcohol to fall asleep is a terrible idea but I just couldn’t cure my insomnia until I started meditating. It reduces stress and anxiety, and I’m more able to catch myself thinking negatively and turning it around before it turns into full blown anxiety.

Reboots My Brain

Sometimes my brain feels exhausted, foggy and burnt out while my body doesn’t feel tired at all. I realized I was exhausting my brain by constantly overthinking and I was burning my brain out to the point where I just needed to shut down and reboot. When I feel overwhelmed with all my thoughts, I simply take 5 minutes to myself and disconnect from the world by meditating. I come back feeling refreshed and I’m able to see problems from a new angle. As an unexpected benefit, I’ve also noticed I’ve become more efficient with my work!

These are just a few of many benefits I’ve experienced since starting meditation and I hope it’s intrigued you enough to give it a go. There is such a low barrier to entry – it’s free, can be done virtually anywhere and takes very little time. When something can have such a huge impact on your life, is there any reason you wouldn’t do it? Try it out and let me know how it goes in the comments!