Enjoying The Holiday Season

During this time of year it is easy to get stressed out by all of the additional pressures that go hand in hand with the holiday season. And, because of this, you will likely have seen article after article talking about the best ways to beat that festive stress. Continue reading Enjoying The Holiday Season

Yoga Flow at Dusk

Practicing yoga in the evening is a fantastic way to reset your stress levels and invite some peace and relaxation into your mind.

Any of us may have a bad day for any number of reasons and it is important to accept that this is going to happen from time to time. The important thing is how you choose to deal with this negativity, and whether you allow it to follow you into the next day.

Ending each day by hitting the yoga mat is an incredible way to release negativity. Doing so can set you up for a good night’s sleep followed by a peaceful and positive morning.

Yoga for Relaxation

When you engage in a regular yoga practice you are likely to notice that your stress levels decrease, anxiety is experienced less frequently (or to a lesser degree) and also that you generally feel more at peace during your days. But, why is this?

As you flow through a yoga session you are going to naturally clear your mind of worries and concerns as you concentrate on the activity at hand. Also, as you move through the poses, you will be encouraging the flow of blood around your body and releasing tension from the muscles.

The deliberate and conscious way in which you breathe whilst practicing yoga is key to the relaxation benefits that you will enjoy! So, be sure to pay attention to your breath, especially during the moments when you are holding each pose.

Meditation

A normal yoga session will often involve periods of meditation, which has been shown to seriously aid stress release and support a positive frame of mind. When you make time to meditate daily – even for a short amount of time – then you are giving yourself permission to solely focus on yourself and your emotions. This is an incredibly powerful thing to do and can help you to connect to yourself.

The following video demonstrates a sequence I created to guide you through a 30 minute daily flow. You can really practice this at any time of the day, but I believe it is especially useful in the evenings! If you enjoy this video then be sure to head over to my YouTube channel for more!

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we move towards the end of 2017!

Self-Care Sunday – What’s Your Passion?

The latest topic in my Self-Care Sunday series is all about discovering for yourself what your passions are! This is the sixth week in the series and you can check out the previous videos below.

What’s Your Passion?

Knowing what it is you want to do with yourself, with your time, and with your life, can be quite an overwhelming thought process.

The first step is to find out what you are passionate about and to begin exploring these ideas. You may find that several things come to mind, or that you have to spend some time contemplating what these things are. This is something that there is no need to rush through, and it’s fine to let this evolve naturally over time.

Once you have a clearer idea of the things that you enjoy, the things that you love, and the things you take pleasure in, then you can find ways to make these things a more integral part of your life.

The Power of Positivity

Creating and maintaining a positive mindset is a fantastic step in working towards finding, believing in and building your passions. An optimistic outlook will help you to stay focused on the goals that you set for yourself. This itself is a difficult concept for some people! 

There is no one quick fix when it comes to embracing positivity. It is something that has to be developed in a number of different ways and considered regularly. Ask yourself often if the decisions that you are making are going to serve to enhance your happiness and your positivity, and if not then it’s time to re-evaluate your choices.

Find, Believe, Build

In the following video I talk more on the topic of finding, believing in and building your passions! Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel whilst you’re there so you can be automatically alerted about future videos in my Self-Care Sunday series!

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we move towards the end of 2017!

Self-Care Sunday – Managing Stress

As I shared with you last week, self-care is one of my favourite things to talk about AND is also something that I consistently work to make a part of my own life. In fact, I’m so sure about the power of self-care that it’s the focus of my upcoming book – Recharge: A Year of Self-Care to Focus on You.

In order to celebrate the launch of my book I am going to be sharing one topic from the book every Sunday for 12 weeks. This is something that I got started with two weeks ago, and you may have caught the first video on YouTube!

Last week as part of my Self-Care Sunday series I was talking about Managing Stress.

Managing your stress levels is an imperative part of living a happy and healthy life. When you let stress get the better of you then your health can suffer the knock on effect and your happiness will also be harder to maintain. You may find that your ability to focus and concentrate is impeded, and that your relationships with other people become more difficult to manage. It is also normal that your anxiety levels will increase!

An important part of overcoming your stress is to create the positive mindset that you want for yourself. So, instead of telling yourself and everyone else that you are stressed out, try to say that you are powering through and that you are getting on top of all that you need to do!

In the following video I share some of my insights into living a stress-free life and also talk you through a super simple breathing technique that you can do to combat present moment stress! You can do this anytime, anywhere AND nobody around you even needs to know that you are doing it! This means that you can bring back some calm into your mind and into your day regardless of the situation that you are currently in.

I have put together a downloadable PDF for you to look at alongside this video, and you can click here to enter your email address and receive this download!

Also, if you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we move towards the end of 2017!

How to Deal with Negativity

There are countless reasons why negativity may feature regularly in your life. Perhaps you have some not-so positive relationships that you haven’t let go of yet, or perhaps you are still dealing with incidents in your past that have affected you in an ongoing way.

A lot of the negativity that we experience as people unfortunately largely comes from other people! Passing judgement is something we are all guilty of to some degree, but it is important to remember that you don’t always have to absorb this judgement when you are on the receiving end of it.

Choose Compassion

Making an extra effort be compassionate and kind in all that you do is a great way to tackle negativity. This is an idea that you should particularly embrace if you are experiencing negativity in a direct way, such as someone challenging you in an unnecessarily unpleasant manner. When you give nothing but positivity back to these people then you are much more likely to be able to disarm this negativity and resolve the situation.

Understand Intentions

It is an unfortunate fact that people who experience negativity from others often go on to spread this negativity around. Those who seek to cause emotional harm to others, or who do so unconsciously, will most likely have received this kind of treatment from one or more other people. This is why choosing not to engage in this behaviour and opting for positivity instead is a great idea. Doing so breaks the cycle of negativity that is being spread from one person to the next, and encourages love and happiness instead.

Overcoming Negativity

Whether the negativity in your life stems from you or come from others, the most important thing is to remember that you can choose to overcome it. You are in charge of your own happiness, and you must make the choice to create the life that you want for yourself.

Every time you find yourself in a situation that makes you unhappy in some way, then ask yourself how you would advise your best friend to deal with this situation. Would you encourage them to walk away? To try to confront the issue head on? Perhaps you would advise yourself to take some time to process your feelings properly before attempting to address the problem.

When it comes to self-love and self-care, you have to be your own best friend. And, treating yourself as such is a simple but effective way to overcome negativity!

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!

Alternatives to Meditation

The benefits of regular meditation are seriously not to be overlooked! It can help to combat stress, soothe anxieties and aid your mind in the process of dealing with emotions and past experiences – to name just a few great benefits. But it is true to say that traditional meditation isn’t everyone’s cup of tea…

If you find it hard to partake in meditation then there is no reason that you need to miss out on the benefits of this mood enhancing activity. Maybe you find it difficult to sit still for extended periods of time, or perhaps you struggle to create or find an environment that is conducive to this peaceful practice.

The key to enjoying the benefits of meditation, without necessarily engaging in a seated, eyes closed meditative practice, is to quieten your mind, focus on your breathing and simplify your thought process. This is something that you can do absolutely everywhere, and in any moment – you do not need to put time aside to spend a few moments doing these things.

Incorporating basic meditation concepts into your day is an easy way to enjoy the benefits without engaging in the actual practice. For example, when you are walking to work, take a few minutes to clear your mind, breathe deeply in and out, and bring your focus to concentrate solely on your breathing. As thoughts about your day try to invade this process, acknowledge them and then release them from your mind to bring your attention back to your breathing. Doing this each morning before you reach the office can help you to start your day with a relaxed and peaceful mindset.

Paying attention to your breathing throughout your day helps to settle the mind similarly to how meditation would. Breathing deeply from the very bottom of your lungs is the way to enjoy this – in through your nose and then out through your mouth. Try to keep your shoulders loose and do not let any tension build up in any part of your body while you are doing this. This is something that you can do regularly during your day for between two and ten minutes each time. You will soon notice that you are more prone to breathe in a deep way naturally, thereby better enabling your mind to tackle anxiety and keep stress at bay!

This month on my wellness for women community website we are talking about the best ways to avert anxiety! You can click here to join us now and start on your journey to a happier, healthier version of yourself!

Anxiety and your Diet

Choosing which food we will nourish our bodies with is among the most important decisions that we will make each day. With our dietary choices we have the potential to either heal or harm ourselves, and this is particularly true when it comes to anxiety.

Research has shown that certain foods can exacerbate feelings of stress and anxiety, whereas other foods have the potential to combat and ease these feelings. If anxiety is something that is affecting your life in some way then taking notice of the following tips could go a long way to helping you overcome it!

Tryptophan

Tryptophan is an amino acid that has been shown to have a positive effect on reducing stress. It is a precursor to serotonin, which is extremely beneficial for promoting feelings of calm and happiness.

Tryptophan naturally occurs in several plant-based foods, most notably in bananas, oats, peanut butter and sesame seeds.

Vitamin B

There is much research to suggest a connection between the various B vitamins and the mood. In fact, a deficiency in any of the B vitamins can lead to a low mood, anxiety and even depression.

Eating a range of foods that contain B vitamins is the best way to enjoy the many benefits of this vitamin group. Good foods to include are leafy green vegetables, oranges, nuts, spirulina, watermelon, spinach, rice and legumes.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates often get a bad rep in the wellness world, but they are actually great for increasing serotonin production. Whole grain carbohydrates are the best choice and you should make an effort to avoid processed carbs, such as white rice and white bread.

When you eat whole grain carbohydrates it takes a while for your body to break them down, and this means that sugar is being released into the bloodstream relatively slowly. This is great for consistent energy levels as well as consistent mood.

The best things to include are brown rice, quinoa, oats, whole-wheat pasta and legumes.

Caffeine

Caffeine is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to dietary choices that encourage feelings of anxiety!

Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee and energy drinks, are often favoured for the quick burst of energy that they can provide, but after the high comes the inevitable crash – and this can impact your mood as well as your energy levels! Furthermore, studies have shown that the presence of caffeine can actually inhibit serotonin production. This can quickly cause you to be more prone to feelings of irritability, anxiety and depression!

This month on my wellness for women community website we are talking about the best ways to avert anxiety! You can click here to join us now and start on your journey to a happier, healthier version of yourself!

Coming to Terms with Your Anger

Anger is generally an uninvited and unappreciated emotion that can strike at any time in response to a negative experience. Although it can be difficult to prevent anger entirely, it is possible to address this emotion in order to help alleviate the effect it has on your mind.

Understanding your anger is the first step to being able to deal with it when it does occur, and in order to do so it is helpful to be aware of why certain situations prompt you to become angry.

Disagreements, jealously and rejection are common causes of anger. When we encounter any of these things our feelings can become hurt and this can lead to resentment, or even rage. When you allow these emotions to settle and spread throughout your mind you will be allowing your happiness to be compromised. Positive affirmations are a great tool to call upon in these situations in order to rapidly bring some positivity back to the forefront of your thinking.

The following are super helpful positive affirmations, not only for coming to terms with your anger, but also for helping to process and alleviate it!

“I acknowledge these feelings of anger and I am in control of releasing them from my life”

“I am a positive person who can confront my problems constructively and with reason”

“I am calm, I am at peace and I am totally in control of my emotions and my life”

If you find that jealousy often leads to feelings of anger, then it is important to explore these feelings. They can often be connected to loss or abandonment from your childhood.

Those who are quick to react to situations with anger will often find that this stems from self-esteem issues. This is something that can be addressed by taking the time to meditate on these feelings, and finding positive and productive ways to love yourself.

When you do feel angry it is very important to express this anger in some way! Many people try to avoid conflict and this is often because we are told as children that we should not express this emotion. However, keeping these feelings bottled up inside is not good for your physical or mental health, and it is important to have a productive outlet.

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!

How to Deal with Stress

Stress is often an unavoidable part of life. It is something that strikes during particularly trying times and helps us to recognise that something is difficult. Although the existence of stress is something that we can’t deny or avoid, there are ways that we can productively deal with stress to ensure that the impact it has on our lives is minimal.

Although stress is most likely something that you would rather live without, it is one of several negative emotions that give contrast to the positivity in our lives. Negative feelings, such as stress and fear, help us to understand how we feel about things, and they often also serve as warnings that we are not entirely comfortable with a situation or happy with ourselves.

Although I often advocate ways to deal with negative emotions and feelings, I would never advise someone to repress them entirely. This is because I believe it is important to embrace this side of yourself.

Stress can manifest in several different ways that can be quite individual to a person. You may find that for you it starts with a mild feeling of anxiety about a certain situation or person. This can then quickly develop into a larger concern that leaves you feeling depressed and reluctant to deal with the situation in question. The additional consequences of this could be that your sleep pattern is affected, your appetite changes and that your mood is prone to inconsistency as irritability sets in.

It can be difficult to manage stress because often it is connected to a potential future concern that you currently have no control over. It can also often just generally be connected to things outside of your control, and therefore there is little that you can do to mitigate this stress. If this is the case then the most effective thing that you can do is check in with yourself in regards to your feelings, and then try as best as you can to restore calm and a more usual frame of mind.

So, when you begin to feel stress take over, ask yourself the following questions:

“What is the absolute worst outcome of this situation?”

“Is there anything I can do in this moment to lessen the severity of the situation?”

“Why has this situation left me feeling like this?”

Once you know the answers to these questions, then you can begin to find a remedy to your predicament and alleviate the stress you are feeling. Often a fear of confrontation will prevent us from addressing our problems head on, leading us to unintentionally exaggerate the seriousness of an issue. When this is the case, simply being upfront and talking things out can bring some relief or allow a solution to present itself.

Some time spent in deep meditation is a great way to truly understand your feelings about your stress, and can also guide you towards resolution.

On my wellness for women website – Truly Julie – I share resources, advice and support that can help you deal with stress head on, as well as helping you to mentally prepare yourself for other sources of negativity!

Hurdles to Jump on Your Journey to Happiness

As we get older we come to realise that we will only get from life what we put into it. If we do not strive for the things that we want and invest our time and effort into them, then they are simply unlikely to manifest!

The same logic applies to our emotional state. We can’t expect to become happy people without focusing our time on considering happiness. We have to devote our days to promoting positivity in all that we do in order to allow our minds to accept this as our reality. If we spend great amounts of our time wondering why we are experiencing negative feelings then these feelings are not likely to stop! We have to find ways to adjust our outlook in order to overcome our emotional hurdles.

Everybody has the power to jump these hurdles and not allowing potential perceived problems to influence your mood is a powerful way to start. There are three incredibly common things that many people believe their happiness depends upon. As soon as you realise that they don’t then your ability to find your own happiness and hold onto it will continue to present itself.

The first of these things is believing that your success in life is moulded by your career. You are more than your job! However, some people get bogged down with the assumption that they have to have the amazing job title they often dream of in order to become fulfilled. It is unrealistic to assume that you are going to walk out of education into your fantasy job and realising that you have to work your way to where you want to be will help to keep you positive in the long run.

The second of these things is your romantic relationship status. Many people jump from one relationship to the next without taking the time to understand why these relationships aren’t working. It may sound cliché but it is absolutely true that you can’t be genuinely happy with someone else until you are happy with yourself. So try instead to focus on your relationship with yourself, your own self-love, and the rest will come in time!

The third and final point is to try not to focus too heavily on your finances. The majority of people believe that life would be easier if they had a bit more money but would it really make you happy? If you are able to support and care for yourself and those who depend on you then you are not doing anything wrong! Instead of thinking that life would be better if you had a higher income, think of all of the good things you have been able to provide for yourself and your family in the present day!

As you sprint forwards and jump over these hurdles you will will notice that your positivity affects other areas of your life, creating a happier, calmer you!