Feel Your Best Tip: Change Your Words, Change Your Life
5/24/16 — One of the hallmarks of a great friend (or therapist), is being a great listener.
These precious souls hear us and through that, help us to hear ourselves. That’s huge. I’ve found that the answers we seek–where we’re going wrong, and what we need to do for our lives to work better–are not actually outside of our awareness. That insight is right there, often tangled up in our heads and words. Sometimes another person can be helpful in extracting it. And we can do it for ourselves too.
At its essence, today’s tip is to practice listening to ourselves. As the video beckons us to consider: what are your words really saying?
Start by noticing how you use common (and revealing) words like: “busy,” “should,” and “just.”
As you become more aware, make adjustments as needed, and continuously, compassionately refine your own internal ear.
In my experience, this leads us to make more positive choices in our words, and more.
Feel Your Best Tip: Two Ways To Be Happier Immediately
5/8/16 — Happiness is closely linked with mindset and level of positivity. In today’s tip, I share two ways to give yourself a positivity boost.
First: sing or dance. Make this as expressive as possible, even if it’s just for 30 seconds, you’re completely by yourself, and you really don’t feel like it.
Action changes the way we feel. Don’t wait until you feel like dancing or belting a tune. Do it, and see how it shifts your mood.
Second: mentally list a bunch of things you’re grateful for. Nothing is too small. You can even look around the room and go from there. “I’m grateful for this comfy couch.” “I’m grateful for the brightness in this room.” List a good 10-15 things.
Gratitude is a pathway out of pits. I believe the percentage of time we’re grateful is pretty darn close to the percentage of time we’re happy.
I know from experience these tricks can give you a positivity surge, and the more we get that level up, the better everything works out!
Feel Your Best Tip: How To Be More Assertive
4/25/17 — Do you have trouble standing up for yourself? Or maybe on the other hand, do you tend to get hostile and confrontational?
If either is true, here are three tips for cultivating a healthy level of assertiveness.
1 – Accept your feelings.
I often write off how I feel because I feel bad for feeling the way I do. I’m annoyed by something, but I feel bad about that. Like I shouldn’t feel annoyed. This is a work in progress for me…
The truth is, how you feel isn’t good or bad, it just is. So instead of denying or discounting our feelings, the work is to acknowledge them. Allow them. No judging.
2 – Communicate effectively.
Say how you feel by making “I” statements. Instead of “you make me feel…,” (which hands over your power and can make the other person feel blamed), say “I feel angry when….”
This increases the chances the other person will actually be able to hear you.
3 – Remember there’s always a bigger picture.
If we could zoom out and take a bird’s-eye view, we’d be able to see the other person has a lifetime of experiences that shape their behaviors and points of view. This isn’t to make excuses, but perspective can help us understand and respond with compassion. That tends to lead to better outcomes, for everyone.
Feel Your Best Tip: Raise Your Sense of Self-Worth
4/12/17 — Do you have many self-destructive thoughts? “I can’t do this.” “I’m such an idiot.” “I look disgusting.”
If any of that’s familiar, it’s safe to say you’re blocking ability to really enjoy your life and live out your fullest potential.
Years ago, Sonia told me that she tries to be mindful of her own negative self-talk. When the voice in her head starts to get going and says something destructive, she notices that, mentally says “delete,” and lets that thought go.
I actually don’t know if Sonia still does this, but she’s been really successful–it’s worked.
I think things like this are what help certain people to get ahead. No one is immune to negative thinking. We just need to learn how to manage it. I still use this trick all the time.
I believe we get what we think we’re worthy of; anything that helps us to remove some of the junk that makes us feel unworthy can be a pathway to a richer and more abundant life. Try it out!
Feel Your Best Tip: How to Handle Your Politically Divided Family
3/20/17 — My family is politically divided, and that causes some problems.
I know I’m not alone. So here’s what I’m trying to do: chill out on being sure I’m right.
It is good to be committed to ideals (peace, justice, freedom, etc.), but I’ve been sabotaging those causes by clinging to my perspectives. That’s blinding me, and enticing my loved one to cling to the other side.
So I’d like to try the opposite. This takes letting go of closely-held beliefs and listening, without criticizing or needing to convince. I have to remind myself this, but it doesn’t actually matter if we agree. What matters is how we treat each other.
This intention to be open-minded can be painful, but it inspires self-respect and it can change the tone in our homes, maybe beyond.
I think what we see in politics (anger, fear, disagreeableness…) is a macrocosm of what happens within ourselves and our smaller, interpersonal relationships.
If we can start to heal in this context, our own situations will improve and maybe we contribute to the greater solution too. It’s the old “be the change you want to see in the world” idea. Definitely worth a try.
Feel Your Best Tip: Your Body Knows Best
3/2/17 — Our bodies give us information. One of my good friends throws up whenever she really needs to break up with someone.
Physical cues aren’t always quite that pronounced, but they’re always there.
Our bodies reflect something deeper. They don’t lie. They tell us if something’s good/bad…whether we should proceed or stop, and so much more.
But life is crazy, and in all of our running around, we often miss the insight that’s available under our own skin.
So here’s a simple technique that can help us reconnect.
Slow down your breath. On a deep inhale, feel your chest expand in every direction. Pause and be with whatever sensation, or even lack thereof, you might observe. Slowly exhale. Feel all around that area for settling and letting go. Again pause and be with whatever sensation you notice.
When you can, do two more rounds. Next focus on your belly, then your whole body.
This brand of feeling is a way of taking a step back from whatever it is we’re caught up in mentally. It anchors us to the moment, and strengthens our connection to that authentic information inside.
This is subtle, but huge. Regularly checking in is a pathway to a more conscious way of living. And everything becomes possible with that.