Positivity in the Workplace

Positivity in the Workplace: Mental Health Techniques for the Company and the Employees

Debbie Lyn Toomey, RN, CIPP

Health and Happiness Specialist™

Author of the Happiness Result

Negative effects of stress on mental health at work are rising. No industry is spared. Finding ways to maintain mental health while trying to meet the demands at work is a global issue. The downward spiral effect of this problem has been shown to impact organizations’ bottom lines and employees’ work and well-being. The impact of stress on mental health affects overall health. Major cities in the U.S. are aware of the burden of stress in certain professions and are able to directly correlate medical emergencies with workplace stress.

The World Health Organization (WHO), states that workers who suffer from depression and anxiety are costing companies time and money. Globally, companies are collectively losing trillions of dollars annually due to the negative effects of poor mental health and mental illness. Fortunately, companies like Google, have recognized this problem and have implemented mindfulness programs to help reduce employees stress and increase their focus and productivity. Companies are beginning to do their job to take care of their employees.

While not all companies can afford robust employee health and well-being programs, there are actions that both organizations and employees can take to create a healthier workplace environment. Many studies have shown that positivity in the workplace initiatives create happy, healthy, and engaged employees who are more productive and remain in the company longer.  Positive psychology, the science of happiness, optimum human potential and flourishing, offers many simple, yet powerful skills that protect and buffer the harmful effects of stress. Positive psychology consultants combine a number of research proven techniques and offer practical and unique approaches to team dynamics and development.

Companies who offer creative and personalized ways to cultivate meaningful connections boost their employees’ spirit and well-being. Some of these no-cost initiatives can be mentorship, appreciation and recognition, forgiveness, and kindness. These techniques can be transformative to the culture of any organization. As companies do their job to shift the atmosphere, employees have their role to play as well.

Employees have a responsibility to take time for self-care that preserves and strengthens their mental health. While some healthy habits can be done at home such as getting proper amount of sleep and exercises, other skills can be done in the midst of their busy day. Within the field of positive psychology are an array of powerful, proven skill sets that boosts health and well-being. Some of the techniques that come from the sciences, such as mindfulness, self-compassion, and gratitude, all lead to the road of happiness and well-being. But it is up to the employee to learn and establish their own wellness practice before, during, and after work so that they can nourish their body and mind.

Researchers have found that positive emotions broaden and build people’s ability to produce and create. These researchers argue that happiness is not the only positive emotion; there is a range that includes gratitude, joy, hope, and so much more. Within each positive emotion are skill sets that employees can cultivate to improve and strengthen their mental health.

Employees can take an active role in their mental health. It begins with the thoughts that they choose to focus on. Thoughts that ruminate in the mind are distracting and draining on the energy which ultimately impacts concentration, communication, and performance. Human beings have a negativity bias that allows negative experiences, thoughts, and emotions to stick and stay in the mind for a long time. A recommended way to handle negativity is with positivity. In fact, a three to one positivity to negativity ratio is needed. Knowing about our tendencies towards a negativity bias can help individuals take proactive actions to release them.

There is much to be said about how positivity in the workplace can protect and strengthen overall health. Companies and employees both have to take responsibility for the atmosphere and attitudes. As organizations realize the cost of a negative work environment on its employees’ mental health and take actions to improve culture, employees must also do their part. Mental health is a shared responsibility for both the company and its employees.

To learn how to add more positivity in your workplace, contact me at info@HealthandHappinessSpecialist.com. I would be happy to work with you and your group.

Bounce Back Stronger – Resiliency Skills for Today’s Busy People

Bounce Back Stronger – Resiliency Skills for Today’s Busy People

Debbie Lyn Toomey, RN, CIPP
Author of The Happiness Result

Do you remember the Weebles toys?

I used to love these egg-shaped wobbly toys that never seemed to fall down despite how many times I tried to knock them down. These toys to came to mind when I was preparing for my presentation on resiliency for a group of emergency medical service (EMS) professionals. EMS professionals are at risk for burnout and compassion fatigue due to the nature of their work with trauma and human tragedy. That was why I was asked to teach them about resiliency and ways to bounce back stronger so that they could learn how to manage their stress and increase their sense of well-being.

What’s Resilience?

Even though we are not EMS professionals, it is still important for us to learn about resilience and how to cultivate skills that can help us live a healthier and happier life.

What is resilience? According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, it is “the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress” and “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.”

Are you resilient?

Do you remember the last time you bounced back from adversity?

What did you do to move on with your life?

Three Skills

While we have our own resilience set point, there is always room for growth. The more we learn about ways to navigate through life’s ups and downs, the better prepared we are for the next time we are tested. In this article, I will share three simple resiliency skills that can help you become a victor, instead of a victim. The practices are mindful breathing, self-compassion break, and gratitude.

  1. Mindful breathing – This simple yet powerful tool that can help you feel grounded and centered when you feel defeated from life. Mindful breathing can help nourish your body and brain so that you can take the time you need to respond properly instead of reacting too quickly.
  1. Self-compassion break – This Kristen Neff self-compassion exercise encourages a person to lean into their suffering and start treating themselves with kindness. Neff suggests saying these three phrases.

“This is a moment of suffering.”

“Suffering is a part of life.”

“May I be kind to myself in this moment.”

  1. Gratitude – This powerful practice boosts happiness instantly. This skill helps elevate the spirit during times when it is needed the most. Asking yourself what went well helps the mind to focus on the good rather than the bad. The more you concentrate on and savor the good that has happened, the quicker you can bounce back stronger.

Contact Me

The next time you feel upset, try these three resiliency skills until you feel better. The more you practice these techniques the more you can be like the Weebles toys who wobble and don’t fall down. If you need more support on how to cultivate resiliency skills contact me for coaching at info@HealthandHappinessSpecialist.com.

Two Self-care Tips for Airline Travel

Two Self-care Tips for Airline Travel

By Debbie Lyn Toomey, RN, author of The Happiness Result

Hurry up!

And…

Wait.

Are the four words that best describe airplane travel. While some people like to hurry up and get to the airport early, there are others who like to get there right on time. I like to be an early bird, and I don’t mind waiting once I am all checked it. I bring reading and writing activities to help me pass the time.

Business Trips

My business trip last week was unusual because it was back to back. I drove home for two hours, from one trip, and got home with just enough time to restock my carry-on luggage with fresh clothes before my flight. I was speaking at the Trauma Conference in Lexington, Kentucky the following day and my plan was to get to my hotel by dinner. My check in at the airport was uneventful and I found a nice seat to plant myself before I boarded.

Change of Plans

At the boarding area, I amused myself by watching a movie on Amazon Prime. Everything was going great until I looked up at the departure time for the flight and noticed that my first flight was going to be 10 minutes late. I didn’t think much of it until I noticed a group of people started to congregate in front of the flight screen as if watching a suspense movie. I got curious and looked at the screen and immediately knew why they were glued to it. The 10-minute delay had changed to 40 minutes. YIKES! Normally, this kind of waiting did not bother me, but in this instance, it did because this delay could mean that I would miss my connecting flight to Kentucky.

Hurried and Waited

I didn’t give up. I was still going to make a run for it when the plane landed, just in case my connecting flight was delayed, as well. As soon as my plane landed, I grabbed my carry on and ran and ran and ran. I didn’t stop even though there were signs along the airport that notified the passengers how long the walk was from one gate to the other. My walk was 15 minutes long because my plane was at the other side of the airport. As you can imagine, I did not make it.

Water and Walked

I had a three hour wait for the next connecting flight, and I decided to give myself some much-needed time for self-care. I filled up my empty water bottle and drank my water as I walked around the airport. I made the most of it. Since I woke up at 4:00am that morning, all I was focused on was getting to my destination. I had forgotten to take care of myself by drinking my usual amount of water and getting in my 10,000 steps. In hindsight, using my three hour wait to hydrate and walk made a big difference. Even though I felt tired, I was happy that I was able to get in my typical amount of fluids and steps. What an adventure! Needless to say, I slept well that night. When I woke up the following day, I felt ready to speak at the conference.

Self-care Matters

Self-care is important especially when you are travelling. As we all know, while the thought of travelling can be fun and exciting, it can also be very tiring and stressful. Be sure to take good care of yourself during this time. My suggestion is to keep hydrated with water and walk around to circulate the blood in your system. These two self-care tips can help you stay healthy and happy during your trip. Take care and safe travels to you and yours.

Contact Me

To learn more ways to add happiness and self-care techniques into your busy life, visit my website www.healthandhappinessspecialist.com. If you need a speaker for your next event, contact me at debbielyn@healthandhappinessspecialist.com. I speak on topics of happiness, mindfulness, and gratitude for positivity, peak performance, and inner peace.

Seven Mindful Ways to Add More Love & Kindness into Your Life

Seven Mindful Ways to Add More 
Love & Kindness into Your Life

By Debbie Lyn Toomey, RN, author of 
The Happiness Result

 

Happy February!

Did you know that this month is not only a month for celebrating Valentine’s Day but also for performing a Random Act of Kindness?

In the spirit of love and kindness this month, I want to share with you some wise words of wisdom that were given to me by my mindfulness muse during a meditation. I suggest that you read it a couple of times and think about the phrases that speak to you. Once you are done reading, pick a phrase, and play with it for a day. Be creative and have fun with it.  As you practice one of the mindfulness techniques, notice how it makes you feel. If you like what you have chosen, repeat it for another day or two.  When you feel ready to try another one, read over these Words of Wisdom again and repeat the same process. Here are seven mindful ways to add more love and kindness into your life.

Words of Wisdom

By Debbie’s Mindfulness Muse 

Breathe and… 

Watch your words

Breathe and…

Listen to your gut 

Breathe and…

Question your mind 

Breathe and…

Speak from the heart 

Breathe and… 

Turn up your lips 

Breathe and… 

Extend your hand 

Breathe and… 

Move your feet

This month, I encourage you to give it a go and tune into how much more love and kindness it brings into your day. There is such depth in these seven phrases that each one of them can become a month-long mindfulness practice in itself. Here is what they mean.

1. Watch your words – Think about what you are going to say before you say it. Use your mental filter to avoid hurting someone’s feelings and regretting what you have said.

2. Listen to your gut – Tune into your gut instinct and intuition. They are the radars that keep you informed about everything and everyone.

3. Question your mind – Just as your gut tells you the truth, your mind can play games with you. Ask your mind what is really, really, really so. You are not your thoughts.

4. Speak from the heart – When you speak, allow it to be heartfelt. Words that come from the heart, speak volumes about your intentions.

5. Turn up your lips – Smile – period – Smiling can brighten everyone’s day. Smiling is very appealing and attractive too.

6. Extend your hand – Help others. One of the best ways to make yourself and others feel better is by doing a kind deed.

7. Move your feet – One of the best ways to decrease stress and improve your health is by being active. Call a friend or family member and ask them to go for a walk with you.

I hope you enjoyed the Words of Wisdom from my mindfulness muse. I certainly do. To learn more about ways to gain more love in your life, get my book, The Happiness Result. I created my book for today’s busy people to help them pick and choose seven simple techniques to create an awesome life. Go to www.TheHappinessResult.com to get your copy.

Much love and gratitude,

Debbie

One-Minute Mindfulness Techniques for the Busy Person

By Debbie Lyn Toomey, RN, CIPP
Author of The Happiness Result

Six year ago, I fell in love with mindfulness while studying Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). I fell hard and I was never the same again. I learned how simple and forgiving this technique was for someone like me who was constantly juggling work/life balance. What is mindfulness? It is being in the present and experiencing that moment with all your senses. It’s also a way of becoming non-judgmentally intimate with yourself – the good, the bad, and the ugly. In a nut shell, it is a science, a practice, and a way of life. 

Mindfulness Experience

Since studying MBSR, I’ve studied other mindfulness specialties, such as, mindful education, mindful communication, mindful leadership, and mindful self-compassion. Over the course of six years I’ve created and facilitated mindfulness workshops for children and adults, keynoted on the topic, and even did research on it.

Imposter

Mindfulness has become a part of my personal and my professional life. But even though, I practice it all the time, I still get mindless! Sometimes it happens when I am trying to focus and concentrate on something important, like reading, writing, or even listening to someone. I feel like a mindfulness practitioner impostor. I should know better, right? Wrong!

Only Human

As it turns out, I’m not the only one. According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, who is considered “the father of mindfulness” the more we practice mindfulness, the more we notice how mindless we are. We are only human. It’s part of the human experience since we have about 70,000 thoughts going through our head every day. It’s no wonder we get distracted from time to time despite mindfulness. After all, that is why mindfulness is considered a practice. It’s a skill that we constantly need to work on so that we can get better and better at it. The more we do it, the stronger our mindfulness muscle becomes. The stronger it becomes, the sooner we can catch our mindlessness and get back on track to the task at hand.

Here’s How

Here are three one-minute mindfulness techniques for the busy person. If you are new to the practice, welcome! The exercises below are great for beginners. However, if you dabble with mindfulness and want to enhance your practice, the suggestions below are good for you as well. Set your timer and try one or more of the following activities today.

  1. Mindful breathing – Take a slow deep breath in through your nose and then out through your mouth. When you inhale, notice the coolness of the air as it enters your nostrils. Likewise, when you exhale, notice the warmth of your breath as it exits your mouth. Continue to monitor your breathing and be curious with it until the minute is over.
  2. Mindful listening – Either at your desk at work, in your car, or even in your home, close your eyes (not while driving of course!) and tune into the different sounds around you. Try to listen to as many as you can one after the other. Notice how your body responds to what it hears. If you hear a sound that is passing by, try to listen to the sound for as long as you can until it disappears, then choose another sound to focus on.
  3. Mindful eating – During one of your meals, take your time and eat slower than usual. To get the full experience of eating your food, examine each bite before you put it into your mouth. Look at its color, texture, and shape. Touch your food and notice the temperature of the food. Then, hold it close to your nose and smell it. Next, put the food into your mouth. Allow it to sit on your tongue until you can taste the flavors. Finally, notice how your tongue moves the food in your mouth to allow your teeth to chew it before you swallow it.

When you finish each technique, check in with yourself to see how you feel compared to when you started.

Take Care

I know you are busy but remember, there are 1440 minutes/day. What better way to take care of yourself during your busy day than to set aside a few minutes to exercise your mindful muscles. I suggest that you try all three. Then pick one that you want to commit to for one week. When the week is over, choose another one to do for the next week, and so on. If you get distracted during any of the exercises, don’t worry. It happens. Just get back on track. Remember, while distraction is a part of life, noticing when you are mindlessness, is part of the mindfulness practice.

Need Help?

If you have any long-term goals and keep getting stuck from doubt or the distractions in your busy life, contact me for coaching at info@HealthandHappinessSpecialist.com today. Your best life awaits. I know it and so do you.

Five Simple Steps for a Successful Day

Five Simple Steps for a Successful Day

Debbie Lyn Toomey RN, author of The Happiness Result

Whether you work from home or not, what you do before you tackle your day can either make you or break you. These five simple steps will keep you from drowning due to feelings of frustration and overwhelm.

Just as you would pack an umbrella or wear a raincoat due to predicted rain, there are also simple steps to take to prevent you from sinking like the Titanic. It is possible to stay afloat despite knowing that you will have a crazy busy day.

Below are five simple steps for a successful day. They are:

  1. List – Set yourself up for success by writing down what your to-do list is before going to bed. This is a fantastic way to empty your mind and help you begin the next day with a solid plan. While it’s tempting to create lists within your list, keep your to-do task items to five or less. Begin by asking yourself one question. This principle is based on Steven Covey’s time management system of focusing your time and energy on the quadrant that you deem as being non-urgent and important to you. The topics that fall under this quadrant are building relationships, reevaluating priorities, planning, and prevention. Ask yourself this question. 

“What are the three non-urgent but important tasks for me tomorrow?”

  1. Star – Once you’re done creating your list, take a deep breath and ask yourself which of the five items is one that will create the greatest ripple of opportunities for you. Put a star next to that item and do it as soon as you can the next day. Doing this will help you feel ahead of the game and set in motion a more focused, organized, and successful day.
  1. Time – Once you’ve made your short list and placed the allotted time you want to spend on them, gamify your to-do list by trying to beat the clock. After you put the amount of time you want to spend on each task and stick to it. Doing this will keep you from dragging your feet and getting distracted. Beat the clock and do the task as fast as you can. Your prize is time. Use your extra time for self-care during that day.

Feel like a winner the rest of the day by completing your task list and having extra time to slack. Having time for slack in your schedule is something that Herminia Ibarra, author of Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader talks about that every great leader does. Slack is time that you spend doing something that is purposely unstructured to help you gain a new and fresh perspective in what you are supposed to do. This well-earned free time will help you go back to work with greater clarity and productivity.

  1. Celebrate – Once you are done with all of your to-do items, give yourself a high-five, hug yourself or shout out a big “Woo-Hoo!” It’s important to celebrate successes throughout the day so that you are able to feel that your efforts have been effective. Don’t wait for others to recognize your great deeds. Do it yourself. The more you do this, the happier you will be.
  1. Gratitude – While there is always something to do, it’s also very important to practice gratitude by appreciating all the good that you have done. A wonderful gratitude practice to do at the end of a busy day is asking yourself what are the three good things that happened that day. This will help ensure that your day was not only productive but also positive.

The little time you invest in doing these five steps will pay off in the long run. The more you do them, the more you can feel victorious in being able to ride the waves of your busy work day. To learn how to work more effectively and successfully, contact me for 1:1 coaching support at info@HealthandHappinessSpecialist.com today.

How to Use Gratitude for Stress Reduction and Resiliency


Next time, you find yourself in the middle of a project that is too stressful or tedious to do, think of gratitude. Gratitude can help you “hack” into your happiness so that you can reduce your stress and boost your productivity.

What exactly is gratitude?

Gratitude is not only a virtue, it is also a science, one of the 24 Character Strengths in the VIA Classification of Strengths, and a way of living a resilient life.

Researcher Robert Emmons, defines gratitude as a “felt sense of wonder, thankfulness, and appreciation for life.”

Gratitude trains the brain to look for the good. This heart-felt practice reminds us that we are connected to something bigger and greater than ourselves. It helps us realize that there is also something to be “thankful” for in every moment of our life no matter what or how we are feeling.

Here are 5 simple gratitude steps that you can use for stress reduction and productivity.

  1. Take three big deep breaths.
  2. Look around you.
  3. Find three (big or small) things to be grateful for.
  4. State why you are grateful for them. *Hint *If you can’t find anything, you are not looking hard enough. Look for something that if you didn’t have it, your work would be 10 times harder and longer to do.
  5. Notice how much better you feel just after a few minutes of doing this gratitude exercise.
  6. Repeat steps 1 – 5 until you feel better.

If you haven’t guessed by now, this whole “thank you” process is a simple way for you to cultivate the practice of gratitude. Studies have shown that gratitude builds optimism, reduces stress, and boosts happiness. Personally, my life was made even better from practicing gratitude. It’s enriched my relationships, helped me cope during my mother’s cancer journey, and also gave me a positive outlet when I felt overwhelmed. Gratitude is a practice that I enjoy teaching in my workshops and also in my coaching session with clients.

Great news!

I have opened up more slots to coach new clients. If you are looking for coaching to help you live the best version of your life, contact me at info@HealthandHappinessSpecialist.com.

You will be thankful you did.

 

Create the Best Year of Your Life: Learn Three Self-Coaching Questions to Get Started By Debbie Lyn Toomey, RN, CIPP

Are you tired of your same old story?

Are you bored with life?

Are you ready to make this year better than you can ever imagine?

Let’s get started!

This year, challenge yourself by asking questions that will make 2018 the best year of your life.

Before you start asking yourself these questions, it’s important to understand why asking the right questions is really important. Basically, the questions you ask create your reality. It can help you shift from one state to another within minutes. It’s true!

The mind is obedient and intelligent. It’s programmed to answers questions. For example, when you ask the question, “What else can go wrong now?”, your mind will find anything that answers that question. We’ve all asked this question before and regretted asking it by the end of the day, right? On the other hand, when you ask, “What went well?” your mind will look for all that went well to answer your question. This question is an energy booster and will make you feel good.

Here are the three self-coaching questions you can ask yourself to help you stay true to your goals. Read them over once, then go back and take the time to answer questions from your heart.

1. AM I HAPPY?

According to Bronnie Ware’s work on the top regrets of the dying, the fifth regret was not allowing oneself to be happier. We all have a happiness set point. Some have more than others based on genetics and life circumstance. However, it’s important to know that you can cultivate more happiness from your intentions and actions. Happiness is not only a choice, it is also a skill that can be learned. While some people are born with more happiness genes than others, it is possible to become happier regardless of what is going on in your life.

Am I happy?

If your answer is “yes,” congratulations. Keep on doing what you are doing. Shine on!

If your answer is “no,” move on to the next question.

2. WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY?

Happiness is a positive emotion that raises your vibrational energy and makes you more attractive. Doing something that makes you happy, no matter how small it is, is enough to positively influence all areas of your life. Just as negative emotions such as sadness or anger can impact all areas of your life, happiness can do that too.

If you are not convinced, think of someone in your life that is genuine happy. Do you like being around that person? Do they seem charismatic and somehow attract people to them? Ask yourself, what makes you happy and then go on to the next question.

3. WHAT IS THE ONE THING THAT I CAN DO TODAY TO BE HAPPIER?

It can be daunting to all of sudden make major changes in your life even for the better. The best and only way to start creating positive habits is by taking small and consistent actions every day. The more you mindfully take small actions by chunking down your goals, the more they will seem doable. Ask yourself, what is the one small thing that you can do today to be happier. Once you determine what it is, do it right away before your logical mind start talking you out of it.

Once you take action. Notice how you feel. The more you recognize the difference in how you feel the more you will want to do it. Give yourself permission to have fun.

New Story

I hope these three self-coaching questions will help you add more adventure and abundance to your life. Ask these questions daily. The more you work with these questions, the more you can live with no regrets. Print out a copy of these questions and keep them close by. The more you ask these questions, the more they will help you create the best year of your life.

Happiness Result

If you need more help to reach your goals, contact me for 1:1 coaching. You can reach me at info@HealthandHappinessSpecialist.com. If you haven’t yet, gotten a copy of my book, The Happiness Result- More time, More health, More love, More success, click here to get your copy www.TheHappinessResult.com

Are You a Dreamer, a Doubter, or a Doer?

Are You a Dreamer, a Doubter, or a Doer?

Be a Doer and Make Your Dream Come True.

By Debbie Lyn Toomey

Are you a dreamer, a doubter, or a doer?

Besides being a dreamer, I am also a doer. I bounce back and forth from dreaming, doubting, to doing and back. But my goal is always turning my dreams into reality.

Daydreamer

I’ve always been a dreamer ever since I can remember. I spent most of my childhood with my head up in the clouds daydreaming. Being socially awkward and insecure, I didn’t get around much. But it was different when I daydreamed. Anything was possible in my mind. When I wasn’t saving the world, I was discovering new ones!

Scary-Good

Although, I am not an Amazon Marvel heroine, my husband sees me as a wonder woman. Why? I really do not know. All I know is that by stretching myself out of my comfort zone I can take leaps of faith in order to turn my dreams into reality. I do this because I still want to save the world and discover my full potential. For me that means living a happy and meaningful life that is not limited by my doubts or defined by other’s fears.

Actions

Little by little I took scary-good actions that purposely got me out of a safe routine. I joined Toastmasters even though I have a fear of public speaking. I wrote a book even though I didn’t know what it really entailed. I proposed to do a mindfulness research study even though I had no experience in doing research.


Mantra

Many years ago, during a melt-down from feeling like I was going to fail big-time, I heard a voice in my head. It said, “Failure is not trying!” After hearing it, I repeated it and realized how true that statement was. Ever since that day, “Failure is not trying” has become one of the mantras that I use to shift myself from the “doubting” state to the “doing” state. It gets me out of the imposter syndrome right away.

Done

I’m happy to say that since joining Toastmasters, I have won speaking competitions and become an international speaker. I’ve also published three books and I’m finishing up my mindfulness study on stress reduction for nurses. Anything is possible when you realize that failure is not about making mistakes but rather, “Failure is not trying.” The key is to keep learning along the way.

Do it!

Here’s how you can become a doer and make your dreams come true.

1. Dreams- Pick an idea that keeps coming up for you at night in your dreams and during the day. If the idea seems too big for you to undertake, just let it simmer. As it percolates in your mind, allow it to drop into your heart. Put your hand over your heart and ask your heart what it thinks about the idea.

Notice how your heart is receiving this idea. Does your heart soften with peace and joy? Does the idea resonate with the truth of who you are? If so, this dream is worth the pursuing. If not, let it go for now. It’s best to leave it alone for now until you get a sense that it is heart-led and not ego-led. Ideas that are ego-driven will exhaust you and leave you empty inside while passion-driven ones will make you feel fulfilled and help you flourish.

2. Describe- Have a way of describing this dream with words and images. Using an arts therapy based journal will allow you to creatively express yourself. You can create an arts therapy based journal from a regular journal and use it for self-expression, empowerment, and enjoyment.

Your arts therapy based journal will help your turn your thoughts into a real thing. Have fun with this journal. Remember, it is your journal you can be as elaborate as you want in between the pages. Keep this journal close to you. Use it as a reminder of your goal. Allow it to be a source of inspiration and strength during your uncertain days.

3. Doubt- Notice the doubts that come up after a while as you entertain your dreams. What negative words do you hear? Have you heard the same ones before? We learned about fear from our parents when we were growing up, from society and culture, and from stories we hear. Learning to recognize the voice of your fears and doubts will help you gain the control to release it. This is a life-long unlearning process that will help you unleash the best version of yourself so you can live a happy and well-balanced life. Lastly, anytime any fear or doubt hijacks you, remember to repeat my mantra, “Failure is not trying.” Be sure to add this mantra to your journal.

4. Doer– Once you have examined your doubts and released as many layers of them as you can, take small actions daily that will help you get closer to your dream. It could be as little as asking other people about your dream or buying a book to learn more about it.

The more steps you take in the alignment of your dreams, the more you will find that the dreams will take a life of their own and become more of a reality instead of a fantasy. Ask yourself daily what small step you can take that will help you reach goal. Take immediate action on the answer or a sense of inner knowing that you get from asking.

Need Help?

If you need coaching to help you reach your dreams, contact me for coaching support. I would love to work with you and to teach you how to reach your goals. You can contact me at info@HealthandHappinessSpecialist.com.

 

How to Create a Relaxing Space at Work for Stress Reduction within Minutes

 

The best way for us to sneak some time for self-care and stress reduction at work is to create a relaxing space that reminds us of what we love to do outside of work. That’s right. When we bring in personal objects that we are passionate about to work, it makes our work space less dreary and more inviting for us. The whole idea is to give our mind and body a way to mentally reflect, refresh, and relax. This special spot doesn’t have to take up our whole office or cubicle.

Prime Our Environment

Having positive and purposeful reminders of the feeling state that we want to achieve is the best way to do it. Priming our environment with inspiring images, empowering quotes, objects, and aromatherapy is a wonderful way to get started without breaking the bank. Priming, in this case, means mindfully using visual, kinesthetic, auditory, and olfactory reminders to help us achieve the feeling state that we want.

Suggestions to Get Started

For the sake of offering different types of settings, I will use the example of the hiker, the ocean lover, the gardener, and the sports lover in the following examples. Here are four easy suggestions to get started in creating a relaxing workspace for stress reduction within minutes:

1. Visual (Seeing)

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”

~ Helen Keller

The Hiker – Have pictures of the mountains and the hiking trails.

The Ocean Lover – Have a picture of you on the beach or a boat.

The Gardener – Have a picture of you with your prize plant or vegetable from your garden.

The Sports Lover – Have a picture of you at a sports game.


2.
 Kinesthetic (Touching)

“Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has

struggled with in vain.” ~ Carl Jung

The Hiker – Have a piece of rock from your latest hike.

The Ocean Lover – Have a big shell or starfish.

The Gardener – Have either a real potted plant.

The Sports Lover – Have a ball from your favorite sport.


3.
 Auditory (Hearing)

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”

~ Bob Marley

The Hiker – Listen to acoustic music or country music.

The Ocean Lover – Listen to island music or ocean sounds.

The Gardener – Listen to music that you like to listen to when gardening.

The Sports Lover – Listen to music like the Rocky theme or music that is used during the game.


4.
 Olfactory (Smelling)

“Stop and smell the roses.” ~ Walter Hagen

The Hiker – Have a scent of evergreen or cedar.

The Ocean Lover – Have the scent of the tropics that has the coconut or lemon scent.

The Gardener – Have scent of lavender, rose, or peppermint.

The Sports Lover – Smell the leather from the ball that you have.


Inviting Workspace

Creating your special relaxing space and priming your environment can show off your personality and can help you feel more comfortable. The more inviting you can make your work space, the easier it will be for you to mindfully take a few minutes to stop, reflect, refresh, and of course relax.


Learn More

To learn more on how you can reduce your stress and increase your sense of well-being creatively at work contact me for coaching at info@HealthandHappinessSpecialist.com. Also, for those of us who enjoy coloring de-stress, my coloring book, The Happiness Result Art Therapy Coloring Book – Express & Enjoy Yourself is going to be available at the end of October! Visit www.TheHappinessResult.com to get your copy.