Breathing – Part 2

Last week I shared a peaceful reminder to breathe; today I wanted to share some tips on how to breathe more deeply and with purpose.

When our needs are not met, we have a tendency to respond by holding our breathe, clenching our teeth or tightening our facial muscles. When I say “our needs are not met” I mean anything as simple as our reaction when we spill our coffee, we get cut-off in traffic or we have to wait in line. The list of things and people that bug us is endless and unless we become more aware of our response to items on our lists, we will increase our frustration and decrease our peace of mind.

Short Term Solution

The stress from minor irritations adds up and our body pays the price. Learn how to do four square breathing to release tension on the spot . . .

Square Breathing (2).jpg

Repeat as needed – even if you have to do so 100 times a day!

The more aware you become of your reactions and what stresses you, the more relaxed you will become, because the awareness itself,  pulls you out of the stress cycle and gives you and your brain a chance to redirect.

Long Term Solution

You can enjoy,  free brief guided meditations daily that will, over time, bring increased awareness and calm into your life. Research shows that meditation positively impacts stress levels, productivity and pain control.  And, it is free!

If you have never tried meditating, I suggest going with a guided meditation to start. And, if you have started and stopped in the past, don’t give up; keep searching for the style of mediation that works for you. There are hundreds of free options on the Internet.

Even if you start by simply sitting quietly without any distractions for 15 minutes a day – you are ahead of the game, because you are letting your body, your brain and the folks around you know that you value the time alone and the time for yourself.

And, breathe.

Are you ready? Life could be better  . . . Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching

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Weekend art escape

Need a relaxing, refreshing break?  Pour a cup of tea or coffee, or sip some wine – depending on the time, and enjoy Monet’s gifts to the world along with some beautiful music in this impressionistic seven minute escape.

If you lower your eyelids as if you are sleepy, gaze gently at the center of the screen,  breathe deeply and focus your attention on the colors, you will create a meditative experience that will relax your brain and renew your soul.

Enjoy.

Breathe

Breathe Beach Final (2)

Words with more meaning

Susan Perry’s recent positive psychology article inspired me to write this post. Her article was sparked by Tim Lomas’s research. Lomas is a psychologist at the University of East London.

Different cultures have many words that are not directly translatable to words in the dictionary-1149723_960_720English language. Some of the words are used to express very positive, specific feelings or conditions. A common belief in the study of languages is that if we value something we label it, so simply having these positive words as part of a language may speak volumes about that culture, what it values and how it perceives the concept of well-being. Lomas’ research is exploring these ideas and more.

Reading through the list of positive words Lomas collected made me stop and think about what words I would like folks to use when describing me. Those thoughts led me to think about how I want to be remembered by others, which made me realize I need to pay even more attention now to how I communicate with and treat others.

I also was struck by the beauty and depth of feeling these positive, descriptive words evoke.  Here are some of those words that I thought were wonderfully special and would love to be part of my life and how others describe me . . .

Ubuntu (Nguni Bantu): the culturally valued notion of being kind to others on account of one’s common humanity

Orenda (Wyandot Iroquoian): the power of the human will to change the world in the face of powerful forces, such as fate

Kào pu (Chinese): someone who is reliable, responsible and able to get things done without causing problems for others

Suaimhneas croi (Gaelic): a state of happiness encountered specifically after a task has been finished

Fargin (Yiddish): to glow with pride and happiness at the success of others (often family members)

Nakama (Japanese): friends whom one effectively considers family

Kombinowac (Polish): working out an unusual solution to a complicated problem, and acquiring coveted skills or qualities in the process

Hoadult-18792__180w do you want to be described? How do you want to be remembered? What one thing could you do today to move closer to the you, you want to be?

Click here, if you would like to read the article that inspired this post. Click here, if you would like to read more about Lomas’ “positive lexicography project” .

Click “Like,” if you are happy!

 

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Your Pay-It-Forward Valentine’s Day Challenge

heart-1077724__180Want to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a new and different way?

Step 1

To join you have to pledge to pay-it-forward by doing something nice for someone before Valentine’s.

Your act can be simple or grand – it is up to you.  It can be for family and friends or a random act of kindness for a stranger.  The act can also be an apology to someone who you know you owe one to or the ask for a “do-over” in the coming days, when you say something you wish you hadn’t and ask for a do-over to make it better.

Or, you can write and present a gratitude letter to someone who has made a positive difference in your life, for more on how to do that, click here.

You can even send Valentine’s cards and/or notes to those who matter, and who you have never sent a Valentine’s before. (One year, when I was out of the country with Peace Corps, I sent Valentine’s emails to all the women who had made a difference in my life. It was great and so much fun to write and then read their response.)

Your act must be something different, heartfelt and if it is a bit out of your comfort zone, all the better. And, the most important part is you do it without expecting anything in return!  To read about one of my favorite Valentine’s pay-it-forwards click here.

To join, just note in “Comments” that you are in.

Step 2

After you have done your act(s); post your act in the comments of this post. You can give as many or as few details as you wish, but include how it made you feel!valentine-candy-626447_960_720

Step 3

Make sure your act is heartfelt and comes for a warm and happy place. (You can tell if you are smiling inside or out, or feeling cozy all over after you do it!)

Heartfelt participation is guaranteed to make you and someone else feel happier. Sharing your act with all of us, allows us to share a bit of the sweetness, too. (If you do it with an open heart, research supports guaranteed results, but you have to make it happen.)

I truly believe we should all be feeling the love on Valentine’s Day.

With love,

Patrice


14 Valentine’s tips for a happier day

Patrice Koerper Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching Speaking

Would you like your sweetest Valentine’s Day ever? 

Here are 14 Wishful Thinking Works tips to make this year’s Valentine’s Day your best yet!.

Mix and match them to your heart’s desire. ♥

♥ Using even one can raise your happiness levels. 

 

  1. Plan ahead – having something to look forward will raise your spirits.
  2. Broaden your scope – you can celebrate being in love with anyone on Valentine’s Day – friends, family, your kids, your life, your job – whatever makes you smile!
  3. Expand your options  – restaurants can be overbooked and way too busy, flowers and candy can be pricey, so . . .
  4. Be creative – good times don’t require big budgets.
  5. Relax – even the most romantic evening can be ruined by letting our expectations outweigh our circumstances.
  6. Put the focus on others – this is a great time of year for Gratitude Letters, cards or notes to special aunts and uncles, neighbors, or co-workers anyone who has done something special for you – ever!
  7. Memories make great gifts – find ways to bring great moments alive again through Facebook posts, photos, calls or visits.
  8. Volunteer studies show this can brighten everyone’s day, and may even lengthen our lives.
  9. Babysit – If you don’t have big plans – help make someone else’s night great! 
  10. Share sweet surprises – Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to live the Lollipop Effect.
  11. Give an unexpected hug; it is good for everyone’s health!
  12. Ask for a do over – to undo something you said or did that you wish you hadn’t.
  13. Forgiveyourself or someone else!
  14. Give instead of receiving – A $25 donation to KIVA will create a loan that will empower a life. They have a 98.40% repayment rate, which means your one time donation can help again and again around the world. A $58 donation to the International Rescue Committee can send a girl to school for a year in Afghanistan or Africa.

Make the simple, special this Valentine’s Day and you will be making yourself and others happier.

Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching

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and share the post with your friends!

A path to peace

PeaceTo read more about bringing peace and joy into you life, click here.

 

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