Tag Archives: mindfulness

Feeling low? 4 simple ways to lift your mood

Lift your mood if you're having a grey day
We all sometimes have grey days when we feel low and lacking in energy

We all have those days – when everything feels too much of an effort and everything you try seems to go wrong. Feeling tired and lacking in energy. Your mood is heavy.

Sometimes its stuff going on in our lives which gets on top of us – work pressures, family angst, health concerns.

Or it may be hormonal, part of the ebbs and flows of the feminine and lunar cycle.

Other times these low moods seem to descend for no apparent reason… though it’s common at this time of the year as we shift from summer expansive energy into the withdrawal of autumn.

It’s important to be honest with how you’re feeling and not try to bottle up emotions or deny them or push them under or, worse still, berate yourself for feeling this way.

But also know that you can take control of how you feel – you don’t have to be at the mercy of your shifting emotional inner landscape.

Here are my own personal tried-and-tested methods for lifting a low mood: Read more…

Retrain your brain with a mantra

Monkey mind: use a mantra instead
What message is your chattering monkey mind giving you?

Do you have a little voice in your head giving you a running commentary on everything you do, say, think or feel? A negative mantra that you keep repeating?

I reckon that the answer is “yes”.

Because we all do.

We all have a voice in our head running a commentary on ourselves, our lives and other people.

An inner critic judging what we do or say, replaying situations over and over again looking at what we “should” have said or done, analysing every waking moment and action we take or fretting over what we think we should do or ruminating over what might happen.

But instead of being at the mercy of your noisy mind, wouldn’t it be great if you could consciously change the words your mind’s inner voice uses? Read more…

Mindfulness & the senses

ship-harbour-boat drop anchor to calm your senses
Drop your anchor into calmer waters

Drop anchor into the sea of now through mindfulness and the senses.

Busy mind. Tired body. Feeling unfocused and sometimes overwhelmed. Sound familiar?

Our busy lifestyles and overstimulating environment mean that we’re always on the go and there’s always something to do – there’s precious little time just to slow down and be.

There’s a saying oft used in yoga: Where your attention goes your energy flows.

If your attention is flitting around all over the place between past, present & future; getting lost in the past; fretting about the future; or judging and wanting to change what’s going on now,  then your energy is going to feel diffuse and scattered – no wonder you’re tired and feeling confused!

But you don’t have to feel lost and out of control.

I’d like to remind you that we all have five things which are always available to us to bring us home; to drop anchor into the sea of now.

Our senses. Read more…

Start your day with intention

Sunrise: start the day with good intention
Rise & shine

Here’s a question for you. What’s your intention for today?

Did you answer something along the lines of, “Erm, dunno”?

Daily life can all to easily turn into a hamster wheel of: get up, go to work or look after the kids or run around all day doing stuff, arrive home exhausted, flop in front of the TV, haul yourself off to bed before repeating it all the next day.

We’re so busy, busy, busy – in a culture which unhealthily glorifies busy and being productive – that one day can easily feel like the next.

Events determine what we experience each day and how we feel.

What would it feel like to know there’s another way?

Imagine living each day with purpose and intention.

Yes, you might still need to do the same stuff but what if you no longer needed to feel pulled this way and that as if you have no control over what you do and how feel? Read more…

Be kind to tension

be kind to yourself - release tensionWhere do you hold tension?

We all have a place where we feel it most.

It might be in your back; your jaw; your shoulders. It might be in clenched fists or tightness in the chest or throat or perennially clenched buttocks!

Maybe it’s become so habitual you don’t even realize you’re constantly holding a part of you tense.

For me it’s in my shoulders, throat and often my jaw.

Our busy, fretful, planning, judging, rarely-present minds create this chronic tension in our bodies.

So, it’s time to come out of your head and into your body.

Listen to your body and it will show you its wisdom.

And it’s definitely worth listening because often the whispers of tension will become shouts of pain or illness if we ignore them.

But, a word of caution. Read more…

The mindful way through stress and anxiety

Choppy waters - let mindfulness calm you
The waves of life can crash against us

When your head is full of thoughts. When you’re worried or scared. When you’re tired and just can’t be bothered any more. When you’re tense. When you’re in pain. When you’re so overwhelmed that you think you’re just going to go into melt-down. When burnout feels around the corner.

It can feel impossible to know what to do.

But there is something you can always do to help yourself. To reconnect back to yourself. To self-soothe.  To come back from the brink.

I know because I’ve experienced all of these myself.  The tension, overwhelm, exhaustion and whizzing mind.

They still sometimes creep up on me, but now I know what to do to stop them in their tracks and recover my equilibrium.

I take these 3 simple but powerful steps. Give them a try and see how they work for you. Read more…

Self-Care for Sensitives

Sweet Pea - sensitive tend to appreciate the delicate, intricate beauty of things
Are you sensitive to the delicate, intricate beauty of your natural surroundings?

When you’re sensitive to your surroundings and other people and you feel easily overwhelmed by too much stimulation and information, life can feel both challenging yet also soulfully rewarding.

Tiredness, overwhelm and feeling scattered and discombobulated may be feelings you know all too well. You crave withdrawal from this frantic world.

You’re also conscientious, observant, intuitive and empathetic to others’ feelings. You think about things deeply, you deeply feel the beauty of our natural surroundings and can easily be profoundly moved by music, art and acts of kindness.

You’re tuned into life around you. You have a delicate appreciation of the subtleties of life.

You may feel anxious, kind, connected, different from everyone else, aware, soulful, confused…

In short, you experience life intensely and sometimes it feels like a blessing and other times like a curse.

I know all this because this is how I experience the world. And if, like me, you’re Highly Sensitive (and if you’re not sure then take this short test) then you’ve probably felt all of these feelings, and more. Read more…

Gratitude to lift your mood

Grey skyDecember. Full of joy and sparkling lights. Full of cold bugs, coldness and darkness. Every coin has two sides eh?

How are you feeling?

Me, I work up earlier than usual this morning. It was still completely dark. I wasn’t feeling full of joy, to put it mildly (more to do with being day 26 of my cycle than anything else: I know from charting my monthly cycle all through this year that days 25/6 are often the days my inner critic gets LOUD).

But I still took myself to my meditation cushion and sat and allowed whatever was coming up, to come up. It wasn’t particularly pretty. But, with mindful awareness I offered kindness towards myself and to what I was feeling.

I began my usual practice – focusing on the cool-in breath at the nostrils and the warmer out-breath. I gradually took my awareness down through my body to ground.

Feeling grumpy, I continued to breathe. Read more…

My Sensitive Life

Yoga & Meditation teacher Stella, looking to the lightI’m Stella. I don’t usually like labels, but I fully claim this one: I’m a highly sensitive introvert.

I love quiet. I l need time alone.  The noisy, busy world drains me.

I notice the details of what’s around me.

I pick up on other people’s moods and energy and vibes – and oftentimes to such an extent that they change my mood.

I love to listen to the birds, and to gaze at the clouds floating across the sky.

My heart fills to bursting when I see a beautiful sunset or sunrise.

I can stare at flowers for ages.

My exercise of choice is slow, graceful, gentle yoga. And I love it because yoga offers a philosophy for living and a spiritual practice to connect to my soul wisdom and a sense of the ineffable.

I love to meditate (even though my crazy busy mind likes to pretend otherwise!).

Above all I appreciate all things that bring me inner peace, stillness and joy. Read more…

5 little words which may change your life

Mindful or Mind-Full?Ah, the human mind. It’s such a powerful tool.

But it does love to flit around and judge.  Wanting this, not wanting that. Pulling and pushing. Attachment and aversion.

All too often never quite satisfied with what we have here and now.

It’s all rather tiring isn’t it?

The mind pulls us out of this moment and stops us enjoying the people we are with, or the quiet-time we’re allowing ourselves, or the simple pleasures of sights and sounds around us which can bring us joy and enrich our lives. Read more…