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Tip of the Week

Ten Tips to Create Inner Harmony
By Christa O'Leary

Gratitude Journal:
In our fast-paced world that is filled with distractions and stressors, it is important to 'tune-in' to what you are grateful for to 'tune-up' your life. Focusing your thoughts on what you are grateful for places your attention on something positive. By doing this each morning, you set the tone for the rest of the day. Taking the time to acknowledge and focus on these areas that fill you with gratitude will facilitate a greater awareness of what is really important in your life.

Priority List:
The speed of technology, the pressure of work and the over-commitments at home can create a feeling of stress and anxiety. Break down your to-do list into small pieces that are manageable and attainable. Just having a list that prioritizes the to-do's will give your brain relief from needing to remember the various responsibilities. Furthermore, you will gain immense satisfaction every time you cross one of the items off your list.

Spring Cleaning for the Home:
Your home either nurtures you or brings your energy down. When you walk into your home, do you give a contented sigh because you are happy to be home, or do you notice the lightbulbs that need to be changed and the piles of clutter that need to be tackled? Start with a drawer or closet and begin to make your home a sanctuary.

Spring Cleaning for the Body:
Creating a body that is nourished and nurtured affects your vitality and happiness. Studies have shown that exercise increases serotonin, which is the happiness hormone. Choosing brightly colored fruits and vegetables that are packed with nutrients directly influences your health and mood. Make healthy choices that will energize and foster your overall sense of well-being.

Someone recently tweeted, "When did cell phones become appendages?" It made me think back 15 years when a cell phone was a novelty and not a necessity. We can be plugged in 24/7. It is important for your emotional well-being to unplug for some duration each day to connect with the sensations and delights of the real world. When do you unplug?

Take a few moments in your day to become aware of how you are breathing.  Notice your breathing when you are relaxed and in a good mood.  Begin to acknowledge what happens to your breathing when you are upset, stressed or angry.  Most people find that their breathing is shallow, short and quick, which increases feelings of stress. By taking a few minutes at different points during the day to consciously take five deep breaths, you are able to reset your stress level. Take a moment right now to enjoy five deep breaths and begin to notice the difference in your body.

Make sleep a priority.  You probably have experienced a night where you were unable to get a good night's sleep which left you at less than your optimum level of functioning the next day. Your sleep has a huge impact on your overall sense of well-being. Additionally, sleepless nights or a lack of sleep increases your stress. If you need to, make up for a good night's sleep with a power nap; it is important to listen to your body.

Begin to notice what you are thinking as you go through your day. We have so many thoughts that pass through our consciousness on any given day. Many of these repetitive thoughts become an unconscious virtual loop that plays over and over again in our minds. Start to become aware of the things that you say to yourself repeatedly. Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations.

Positive People:
We all have people in our lives that either uplift us or completely drain our energy. When you need to expend extra energy to protect yourself from slights or a barrage of constant negativity, that effort depletes your well-being on many levels. Surrounding yourself with people who uplift and encourage you builds a strong foundation of harmony and support. It is important to choose life-affirming people versus life-draining. Begin to notice how you feel when you are with different people. Do they brighten your day or bring you down?

Inspired Activity:
You might notice times in your day when you feel truly joyful, happy and inspired. What activities are you doing that are associated with those feelings.  Maybe it is when you are taking a walk, playing tennis, sharing a story or figuring out a complex calculation. Begin to recognize what brings a smile of satisfaction to your lips. Incorporate more of these inspired activities and moments into each day.

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Tags: Anxiety, Christa O'Leary,, Clutter, Eat Less-Move More, Exercise, Gratitude journal, Health, Journaling, Mental Health, Positive people, Pressure, Priority list, Stress
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