life hacks

  • 4 Ways To Develop A Positive Attitude Towards Life

    The way you view life impacts your experience of it and developing a positive attitude towards it rests within your grasp.

    If you’re one of the people that tends to have a less than positive attitude towards life or believe that it’s tough to change your habits, keep reading because I have good news for you.

    Here are four simple things that you can do to help you develop a positive attitude and mindset.

    How to Have a Positive Attitude

    Image Source – Pixabay CCO License

    1. Try Meditation 

    Letting go of negative thoughts and outside stress is an important part of developing a positive attitude towards life, and meditation is one of the best ways I know of to do that. When you meditate on a regular basis, you develop the ability to be present and allow thoughts to pass without judgment. When negative thoughts arise, you’ll be less likely to latch on to them and give them free reign over your actions and decisions. Instead, you will find that you are able to allow space for them to arise without attachment and as an added bonus, they’ll eventually show up less often. 

    Meditation is such an effective stress reliever, it is recommended by mental health professionals as an alternative  to medication. If you find the idea a bit daunting, or are someone who likes step by step guidance, you may want to check out this mindfulness journal. It teaches you the basic brain science of meditation and offers great tips on how to be more mindful. Your thoughts will soon start to shift and you will begin to notice more of a positive attitude and less of a negative one. 

    2. Improve Your Body Language 

    Your body language impacts everything from your mindset and attitude to the way you interact and communicate with others, but many of us don’t give it a second thought. Picture this for a moment – or better yet, try it; stand up, put your hands in your pockets, slouch your shoulders and walk around hunched over with poor posture. Chances are, you won’t be feeling energetic or enthusiastic and quite likely feel like a bit of a schlep. Now if you take your hands out of your pockets, shoulders back and down, chest open and stand tall, you will feel more confident and positive. Changing your body language may seem like a minor thing, but it makes such a huge difference to a positive attitude and the way that you approach life. 

    Superman's Positive Attitude

    3. Practice Gratitude 

    Gratitude is a powerful thing, and most of us do not practice it as much as we should. It’s easy to focus on all of the difficult things in our lives and to take the good things for granted, but this leads to a negative mindset. It also becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because you get what you focus on. It’s important that you take time to think about all of the amazing things in your life, like your friends and family.

    If you need help with your gratitude practice, here’s 8 Ways To Have More Gratitude Every Day. When good things happen to you, even small things like somebody doing you a favour, allow for the grace and space to express sincere gratitude and you will feel a profound shift in attitude and perspective. When you direct your focus onto all of the positive things in life, you will experience a deeper level of appreciation and happiness.

    Positive Attitude Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash

    4. Spend Time With Positive People 

    According to motivational speaker Jim Rohn, you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with, although I’ve recently read research that suggests your behaviour is affected by everyone you interact with to some degree, even friends of friends that you don’t even really know! The attitudes of those around us have a huge effect, and if you spend time with negative people, you will be influenced by them. It can be difficult to distance yourself from difficult people at work and/or negative family members, but here’s a great article that offers help, Remove Toxic People From Your Life in 9 Steps.

    If you can remove the negative influences in your life and surround yourself with positive people, it will be a lot easier to maintain a positive attitude. Keep in mind all of your connections on social media and the impact they’re having on you as well.

    Changing your mindset through meditation, having an awareness of your body language, practicing gratitude and surrounding yourself with positive people will most definitely change your attitude and your life. 

    Photo by Olia Nayda on Unsplash Positive Attitude

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  • Increase Your Confidence by Tapping Into the Power of Body Language

    Tap Into the Power of Body Language to Increase Your Confidence

    let go of what's holding her back

    Is something holding you back when it comes to feeling and looking confident? What if I told you there’s an easy way to boost your confidence? A pain-free, drug-free, cost-free way to change your thoughts, your feelings and your physiology.

    From Shy Girl to Own Your Damn Self Girl

    I grew up shy and introverted, darn near afraid of my own shadow. I longed to feel comfortable in my own skin and experience the joy of the ever elusive confidence code. Everyone else around me appeared to have been given the combination I somehow missed out on. Fast forward to last year when I signed on with Vanessa Van Edwards and her Science of People team to become certified as a Body Language Trainer. I couldn’t have known how one decision would change the trajectory of my life.

    What Changed for Me?

    Everyone has experienced confidence at some point in their life. It may feel like those experiences were few and far between but that’s only because you’ve trained yourself to dismiss them. It’s basic programming. If you suffer from a lack of confidence, it’s largely because you’ve trained yourself to focus on situations when/where you didn’t feel confident, and then you end up feeling like those far outweigh the former. You’re definitely not alone in this and it’s definitely holding you back from showing the world the beautiful, awesome, confident & capable person that you really are.

    Through body language training, I learned to create confidence (yes, you can learn to create it on demand) and I learned to tap into my confidence (yes, you do have it and yes, you can learn to tap into yours too).

    It all comes down to two things; your body and your mind. Super shocker there, right!?

    Confidence

    What’s Holding You Back

    Your body and your mind, or your actions and your thoughts, or your movement and your mindset – whatever way you want to look at it – that is what’s holding you back. One could argue that those two things are behind everything you achieve, or don’t achieve, in your life, but we’ll apply it to your level of confidence for today.

    We all talk to ourselves (as many as 50,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day) and if those are critical and negative, you’re definitely holding yourself back. Just think of how much you could accomplish if you’re thoughts were predominantly positive!

    YOUR FIRST STEP in letting go of what’s holding you back is to take stock of how friendly that voice in your head is. Pay attention to it and start to interrupt it and replace it with positive thoughts. If that’s a stretch, at least go for a neutral replacement thought. It takes practice like anything else, especially if you’re spent a lifetime of not paying attention to how you talk to yourself.

    THE SECOND STEP is to pay attention to what your body is doing, otherwise known as your body language.

    Tap Into the Power of Your Body Language

    One of the easiest and most powerful tools that I use to let go of what’s holding me back is…..drumroll please…..my posture.

    Carrying yourself in a certain way (shoulders back, abdomen in, spine aligned) exudes confidence and an affable demeanour. Compare that image to the posture of (most of us) slouched over our cell phones, appearing apathetic and bored. And we spend so much of our time in this position!!!

    slumped body language

    A study in Health Psychology found that people who feel stressed can kick their negative mood and even boost their self-esteem by sitting upright. Other research found that good posture was associated with better body image among people with depression. (*I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression in the past and I can attest to posture being an easy go-to to help shift how I’m thinking and feeling.)

    It’s the easiest tool I know to help you with your confidence and it works regardless of whether you’re sitting or standing.

    YOU Are What’s Holding You Back

    Not intentionally, perhaps, but it definitely comes down to you. Your thoughts and your actions are both well within your control. Before you get upset with me, I know that it is not at all easy to get control of your thoughts (I’ve battled many, demons and they were ALL in my own head – anxiety & depression, remember?) That’s precisely how I know what I’m talking about. The good news is, you can learn to take control over your thoughts, and even easier, take control over your body.

    Use your body to interrupt the self-limiting thoughts.

    If you spend way too much time in your head ruminating and over thinking, it’s supremely difficult to get ahold of your train of thought when it’s ferociously derailing. This is how, and why, adjusting your posture is so effective. Get out of your head and into your body.

    Feeling unmotivated, sad, discouraged, afraid? Sit up straight, lift your chin, pull your shoulders back and for heaven’s sake, soften your jaw! We hold sooo much tension in our jaw and in our shoulders. Now just take a moment and really pay attention to how much better this feels than slouched over.

    Now keep doing it. Keep coming back to it. As often as you think of it, straighten up. Even if you’re just watching tv, or driving somewhere.

    Continuously checking in on your posture is a game changer!

    As much as I’d love to, I can’t snap my fingers and give you confidence. But YOU can develop it. Keep practicing it. Work on changing how you hold your body in any and all situations. You don’t get a six-pack by doing one sit up. Like any other muscle you work to develop, using your posture to your advantage takes practice, but it’s the easiest thing with the greatest leverage I’ve ever found.

    Try it out and let me know how it worked for you!

     

    Jen xo

     

     

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  • Inspiration Tip #3 of 3 Tips for Life Change

    The benefit of happy thoughts
    Me full of happy thoughts

    Inspiration Tip # 3

    Inspiration tip #3 for changing your life is all about the little voice in your head that is either lifting you up or dragging you down. Have you ever thought about HOW you talk to yourself? Are you hard on yourself? Critical? Negative? or generally upbeat,postivie and encouraging with yourself.  

    What’s your self talk like?

    I’m one of those constantly-in-my-head overthinking type people (I think it’s an introvert thing) and I’ve spent a lot of time working to get the upper handle on the little voice and it’s narrative. Fortunately for me, and hopefully you, inspiration hit me this morning on how to take back control of this little blonde maniac upstairs.

    My Epiphany

    My epiphany occurred when I realized that self talk comes down to being one of two things (negative or positive) and the trick is to interrupt the pattern when it’s negative. Gaining control over your self talk is really just a matter of conditioning yourself, much the way you condition yourself to eat healthier or exercise. You have to be consistent in your efforts, and like any other endeavour, change will come.

    Try this approach with your self talk; GO or NO GO.

    GO or NO GO

    You will have to monitor your thoughts throughout the day in order to apply this logic at first but over time it will become habit through something called muscle memory and you won’t have to think about it. All you really have to do is check in with yourself and with your thoughts. Since most of what we think is autopilot kind of stuff, we’re not even consciously aware of what we’re actually thinking about, or the extent to which our thoughts are controlling our actions and feelings. Having awareness of our thoughts, and if they’re negative or positive, gives us a sense of control right there.

    The Simple 3 Step Process

    Step 1

    When a thought comes up that doesn’t feel good (again, having the awareness of your thoughts is key so it’s important to check in with yourself) ask yourself, “is this thought a GO, as in, does it make me feel good?, or is it a NO GO, as in it makes me feel like sh*t. Or makes me feel yucky/uncomfortable/sad etc.

    If it’s good, make note of it. It’s helpful to be aware of how often you are thinking supportive, helpful thoughts because our thinking creates our feelings and we want to focus on feeling good. This would be a GO.

    If it’s a thought that creates any of the above noted feelings, it’s a NO GO. Call it what it is. Label it. Interrupt it. Most of our thoughts are just ingrained and automatic and we’re not always aware of them and what they’re actually doing to us. These negative, self limiting thoughts and thinking patterns were  created way back in our life experience due to an event that occurred, and that we attached a certain meaning to. It’s like a groove on a record (yes, I’m that old that I just used a record for an analogy). Reprogramming or reconditioning ourselves and our thinking patterns is like grabbing the needle and dragging it across a record. Did you just hear that? ZZZZZZZZZTTTTTTT

    We are interrupting the train of thought.

    DISRUPTING the thought pattern.

    Step 2

    If it’s a NO GO, congrats for recognizing that! You’re already a step closer to kicking it to the curb. Next you need to replace it with another thought. We’re reprogramming right? So you need to give your brain something else or it will just stick in it’s current, not-helpful-at-all groove. Find something kinder to say to yourself. If that’s a struggle see Step 3.

    Step 3

    Talk to yourself as if you were talking to a good friend. We get so caught up in the emotional attachment to who we think we are and what we think is true about ourselves that we lack the ability to be objective. Ask yourself, “what would I say to (insert name here) if they were stuck in the same rut?” You’ll be amazed at the wealth of helpful advice and supportive words you’d have for your friend that you wouldn’t have necessarily be able to reach for when talking to yourself.

    That’s it! I literally JUST came up with this so let’s all try it out and see if it works. If you DO give the 3 steps a try and you find that it does work, comment below or shoot me an email. I’d love to hear from you.

    Sunglasses and Inner thoughts

     

     

     

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  • 3 Ways to Change Your Life

    I’m one of those people who looks for the lesson in everything, sometimes annoyingly so. Most of the times it’s a great thing but there have been times where I’ve almost driven myself nuts trying to find the reason behind things.

    What do I do in those moments or situations when I just don’t get it? Or when I can’t seem to mentally figure out why something happened the way it did/when it did/how it did? I remind myself that even though I may not see the reason initially, I do understand that 1 of 2 things will happen; either the reason will reveal itself in time, or being ok with things as they are without seeing the obvious reason, is the reason or lesson. Some might call it presence, zen, or being-ok-with-whatever-is-going-on-and-still-living-a-happy-and-fulfilled-life.

    Profound, eh?

    And yes, I’m clearly Canadian. 🙂

    OK, so here’s #1 of my 3 ways to change your life…

    1. DEAL WITH YOUR S#*T – If you’ve identified a problem/issue/concern/circumstance/etc in your life that you are not OK with, (as in it upsets/bothers/frustrates/irritates/exacerbates/annoys you-you get the picture) you have 3 choices;
      1. Complain about it (this is usually done to other people that can’t do anything about the situation and gets you nowhere really, aside from all fired up and left with feeling blechy because you have all those pent up negative vibes coursing through your veins now).
      2. Avoid it (as a recovering avoider, I speak from experience when I say that this is the WORST option. Not only is the problem sucking the life out of you, permeating your thoughts and sabotaging your happy happy, it’s not going anywhere. It will remain front and centre for as long as you continue to avoid dealing with it. At best, you’ll fool yourself into thinking that you’re handling it by trying not to think about it, in which case you’re still thinking about it and it’s still draining your mojo like a battery with a rogue entity stealing it’s charge. invisible and relentless).
      3. Deal with it. You know there’s an issue. Find a way to deal with it. You do this by:
        1.  Talking with a trusted friend (NOT the one that always tells you what you want to hear and adds fuel to your fire by telling you you’re completely justified in what you’re thinking/feeling and offers no helpful advice other than to put ex-lax in the offender’s coffee like something out of a dumb movie ;))
        2. Taking steps to address the issue. Big steps, small steps, the size of the step is not as important as the fact that you just take a step. This helps you feel some sense of control – because you’re using your valuable energy to do something about it and not to avoid it – and takes the intensity out of the situation so it doesn’t loom so heavily over you.

    It’s quite possible that you may never see the situation resolved the way you initially expected, but that won’t even matter. It’s not about the outcome in this case, it’s about the process. It’s about what changes occur in YOU when you take action. It creates this ripple effect in your brain that says things like, “Hey! What’s going on? He/she is doing something about this nagging situation. This isn’t our usual avoidance protocol”, followed by, “Hmmm, this is new and weird and kinda scary but I also kinda like it. It actually feels good”, and also, “What else can we do with little effort and big benefit? WE could totally take over the world!!!” 

    It’s far more about the person you become in the process, than the getting of the end result. Besides, once you start taking action on things and see how super capable you are of calling the shots and being in control of YOUR life, the thing that got you started on this new and exciting journey in the first place probably won’t even phase you anymore.

    You’ll see way beyond that to far bigger and better things to set your new action-taking awesome sights on.

    Stay tuned for my mind blowing #2 way to change your life in the next blog.

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