Practical Tips to Boost Your Positivity
Your perception about life determines your attitude towards yourself and others, making it imperative to practice positivity. Besides, it reduces your depression and distress levels and increases your coping skills for more challenging times. What’s more, it lowers your cardiovascular disease risks and improves your physical well-being. Despite its many benefits, only 14% of Americans have a positive outlook on their lives. However, you can build your optimism with the following tips.
Embrace positive affirmations
Positive affirmations help you challenge and overcome negative thoughts and self-sabotage, leading to a more positive mentality. Besides, researchers have revealed that reminding yourself about your best qualities before an important meeting can increase your confidence and calm your nerves. Therefore, you may want to affirm yourself to enhance your positive outlook. Therefore, you may set aside three to five minutes to speak positively about yourself and maintain consistency until you see significant results. You can leverage a mirror and speak to yourself to increase its efficiency.
Although you may not have all that you wished for, other things make your life worthwhile. Therefore, it’s prudent to practice gratitude for the beautiful things you have. Not only does it boost your immune system and mental health, but it also enhances your positivity level and healthy relationships. Fortunately, you can create a gratitude journal or map to record the beautiful things you experience daily. You can also admire nature’s beauty and find the good things in everything that happens to you. These steps will boost your happiness levels and improve your outlook on life.
Don’t neglect your physical health
It might be challenging to maintain a positive outlook when your health is compromised, making it necessary to prioritize your health. Moreover, healthy living reduces your risks of developing diseases while improving your mental health and mood. What’s more, it builds your confidence and, ultimately, your optimism about life. Fortunately, you can adopt certain lifestyle practices to enhance your overall well-being. For instance, you can eat a balanced diet while eliminating junk food and other unhealthy meal options. It’s also prudent to get at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep and stay hydrated throughout the day. You may also leverage exercises like the butt lift workout or pilates to keep your body in excellent form.
Don’t shy away from criticisms
Most people may avoid criticisms to avoid hurtful feelings. What’s worse, some may refuse to try something new due to the opinions of others. However, you may want to handle criticisms healthily to live a positive life. For instance, you shouldn’t reply to the criticism immediately when angry; instead, you should process what you’ve heard while taking deep breaths. It’s also best to address them from an objective perspective to determine their usefulness and let it go if they were made from spite. Sometimes, people lash out when they’re angry, so it’s best not to take everything personally. Moreover, you can build your self-esteem so that people’s words would not bring you down.
Positivity is achievable once you know the proper steps to take. Hopefully, you’ll adopt these tips for a more optimistic outlook on life.
There is a reason that summer is the best season. Not only is the weather a little nicer, but the long days and bright skies seem to put a smile on just about everyone’s face. It’s also a time of great change – which means that many of us feel inspired to make changes in our own lives during this period – whether they relate to healthy eating or working out.
With that in mind, here are some top tips that you can use to live happier (and healthier) this summer!
- Find a way to introduce exercise into your daily routine – whether you tackle a core workout in your living room or an outdoor exercise session with a friend. If you find it hard to get excited about working out – then change up your routine a little. Sign up for a new class or try something completely new – as this is the easiest way to find a fitness activity you’ll love.
- Do not set aside any health concerns in the hope that they will go away. Instead, start taking better care of your health by attending regular checkups with your doctor. If you don’t have the time in your schedule to make an appointment, consider signing up with an online GP to receive the care and attention you deserve.
- Understand that everybody is a bikini body – and that no matter what size you are, you look beautiful. Letting go of negative body image and understanding that the pictures we see on social media are not accurate depictions of real-life can significantly boost your confidence.
- Begin treating mental health issues with the same care and grace you would use to deal with a physical injury such as a broken bone. For example, while you would not continue to walk on a broken leg – you shouldn’t suffer in silence if dealing with mental health struggles. Instead, you should speak out – whether you have a conversation with a trusted friend or family member or reach out to a licensed professional.
- Start each day off on the right foot with some positive affirmations. For example, you should stand in front of the mirror each morning and recite five positive phrases about yourself – whether you complement your smile or your ability to do your job. In addition, getting into the mindset of being kinder to yourself is a great way to boost your confidence naturally over time.
- Strive to curate a manageable work-life balance, where you dedicate a fair amount of time to your career progression and your social life. While you may be keen to get that raise at work – understand that some things are more important.
- Spend more time doing things you love – and don’t be afraid to turn down plans if you don’t feel like going out. Too often feel as though we have to say yes every time we are offered something – and this is not the case. You have the right to decide exactly how to spend your time – and there’s nothing wrong with wanting a little time alone.
From even before I had kids I knew several key points that would become the cornerstones of my parental approach. I feel very passionate about my kids seeing themselves as unique (like most parents) but in that uniqueness I wanted them to understand what it was like to develop individual skills and interests before engaging in the big wide world of pee-wee sports. We chose to skip the pee-wee games and guide our kids towards self-confidence using self-discovery and independent activity development. That meant family fitness activities. I know this is not for everyone, but for us-our kids getting down and dirty means playing in the mud, dancing in the rain, and walking in our woods searching for deer tracks and turkey feathers. I believe whole heartily that this is the foundation of childhood and developing into an independent-thinking adult. Yes, that’s right, family fitness is a foundation for our kids.
And within those independent activities, I wanted to be able to spend as much time with them as possible because there will come a day that they don’t think I’m top dog and will want to join the other team. But from the start, the team we wanted them to know they are on first is team “Krebs”.
Fitness is essential to me, and family fitness is even more important. The idea of keeping my kids active might not be what you are thinking because my suggestions won’t reference tee-ball, soccer, or dance. My suggestions are practical. They are beneficial, hopefully, to celebrate the little things because the little things are the foundation for your child’s future and who they will become as an adult and maybe one day as a parent.
Every movement matters.
In our house movement is super important. Now that my kids are school-aged, I recognize the extended periods of sitting and studying mean we need to prioritize movement once school activities are complete! I try to have them soak up every hour of daylight outside possible: jumping on the trampoline, climbing on the playset, chasing chickens, riding bikes, and making up games. And as easy as it is to send the kids outside, when you make an effort to go out with them they are not only more likely to explore, but it will make an impression that parents play too. I want to encourage you that if you tend to be a “go play outside parent” to set a timer for 20 minutes and go play with them, and then see what happens. I bet you that 20 minutes will quickly turn into an hour, because in the grand scheme of things- dinner can wait.
Family fitness walks.
Those in town who know me will vouch to say that they have seen me with my red stroller, two dogs, and two kids on bikes all over town. I need my movement, and because I work from home means I’m with my kids almost 24/7, so where I go, they go. And this has its perks. I used to fight for my personal time (I still get it but in other ways), but then I realized that the message I would be sending to my kids was exercise and fitness for adults is always separate. And after ten years of following this philosophy, I can honestly say it has paid off. I have gotten so much out of our walks together and I know I am planting the seed for years to come; plus, my kids love coming, they love my presence and I theirs. I use this time to talk to them about health, staying active as well as singing and playing eye spy. This is one of my most cherished non-winter experiences.
Family chores can be fun.
We have a very large backyard and woods and with all the tree cover a light breeze will drop tree limbs and black walnuts in an instant. My husband and I are not able to pick up this all ourselves and if we did we’d have no time for anything else. Staying active is super important to me and my family, but learning life skills is too. I know that when my kids become adults the impressions I set on them as kids will heavily impact the choices and decisions they make in their adult years. Picking up sticks is always a family affair, and I have to be honest they don’t always love it, but the older they get they realize: it’s not going to change anytime soon. Being outside in the warm sun and fresh air we race to fill our buckets first, who can pull the most roots, who gets the most walnuts and we often celebrate with lemonade and lunch outside afterward! We can easily spend two to three hours together (and don’t get me wrong there can be a fair share of complaining, but that is also part of the process) and after my husband always thanks them and asks them to look out and see what a great job they did. Seeing my kids notice their hard work and efforts and see them as they receive positive praise for helping in the household is a huge bonus too.
Encourage your kids to get dirty.
As parents we often let the end result cloud our willingness to let our kids run free. Stains on their pants, the time needed to then bathe, the worry of if they will get hurt, and the age-old excuse of not enough time. But I have to be honest, there is nothing more liberating than getting dirty with your kids. Sliding down the dirt mound outback with them. running barefoot in the rain, building sandcastles and mud pies at their side. When my husband and I get down and dirty with them, I get to see their eyes light up, not because of the dirt (although that is a big factor) but because we are dirty with them. I can feel the connection between us and our kids grow stronger and for me, it’s liberating as an adult to give myself permission to be a kid again and not try to be perfect all the time. When we get dirty we are reminded that life is messy. The mess is part of the experience.
Now these might not be wild and crazy ways to have fun, but they are free, fun and family orientated. When we instill in our kids that fitness, health, and fun cost money and require fancy equipment or continuous social engagements, we are limiting them in their own self-discovery process and creative development. Plus the time we get with our kids when they are young and we are the greatest thing since sliced bread is limited and I refuse to limit that even more.
Now go out and enjoy some family fitness!
Practice makes perfect. And I’m talking posture!
Imagine being in a room full of people and someone walks in and instantly commands the room without a word spoken.
How do they do that? Fancy clothes? Fireworks? Paid groupies?
No. Amazing posture.
Because how you carry yourself says a lot about who you are, your self-esteem, your relationship with the world, and how you feel about yourself.
Ever observe someone depressed. They posture says “don’t come near me, don’t touch me”, a fetal like position of protection.
But when you see that person whose posture screams confidence, openness, and ease, you can’t help but want some of that secret sauce they have been drinking.
Only they haven’t been drinking, they have been moving. Moving in the right way.
So to help you on your posture perfect path not only for your body’s health and alignment but your own mental, emotional and social health here are my TOP 5 POSTURE PERFECT YOGA POSES.
Top 5 Yoga Poses for Better Posture
1. Heart Opening Mountain Pose
- Standing at attention with your weight even on your feet.
- Turn your feet to face forward and draw your pelvic into neutral (pubis bone and front hip bones all parallel with the front wall).
- Interlace your fingers behind your back (or grab a strap or towel if your hands can’t clasp or you can clasp but have no range of motion).
- INHALE, drawing the shoulder blades together and down as the arms externally rotate.
- Lift your chest gently and keeping space in the back of the neck gently lookup.
Play with rotating your arms and wrists to find the most appropriate release in the shoulders. Breathe deeply into the lungs to open the chest further. Enjoy for five to ten breaths.
2. Shoulder Blade Runner
- Standing at attention in Mountain Pose, draw your arms up in front of you at shoulder height.
- Turn your palms to face each other and the folds of your elbows to gently face up (no hyperextension), keeping a solid pelvis (see #1) and a stable rib cage (no thrusting). Only move your shoulders.
- Inhale, pinching your shoulder blades together like they are going to come together over your spine.
- Exhale: reach your arms away without rounding your shoulders forward like you are reaching for an object just out of reach.
Repeat this movement focusing on range of motion ten to twenty times.
3. Turkey Neck Stretch
- Seated tall, relax your shoulders down and back.
- Drop your head forward and using your fingers pull down on the skin at your clavicles.
- Keep that connection and open your mouth as wide as you can.
- Keeping it open, tip the head back, as you do so pull down on the skin creating a facial stretch.
- Now close your mouth and imagine you have an underbite and push the bottom jaw upward.
- Try sliding the bottom jaw side to side to find the most viable stretch. Hold for up to ten breaths.
- Gently bring the head back to center.
4. Melting Wheel
Dust off your large Swiss ball (the one you bought thinking you’d sit on at your desk, make sure it’s well inflated). Take a seat on the edge of it and slowly start to lean back over the ball. If your lower back feels tight, tip the tail bone up between the legs to lengthen the lower back. Now play with where your arms lay to open the front line of the body and pretend that you are making a snow angel and when you find a point of release, hold your arms there until you feel release (your arms may not be symmetrical).
Play with your body and using your legs, experiment with squatting, and then moving your head towards the ground to choose where you want to focus-lower back and hip flexors or chest, arms and shoulders. Enjoy as long as you feel comfortable. To come up, begin to squat and roll yourself up back on top of the ball. And counterbalance by hinging forward.
5. Rolling Forward Fold
Staring in Mountain Pose, bend the knees and imagine you are like a flag blowing in the wind. Exhale and loosely roll yourself down into Forward Bend. Like you were jumping on a trampoline, bend your knees and think about being sprung up (rolling) into a standing extension.
In standing extension keep your knees bent and float your pelvis forward as you arch back. You should feel your core turn on and your front line of the body stretch. Exhale, bend the knees, and fall/roll back down (think less control and more flow). Repeat this movement fine to ten times.
Posture does make perfect. Because how you present yourself to the world is how you receive it back.
I want to know: Which move do you like most?
Did you know that May is #MentalHealthMonth?
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), a mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling or mood. #MentalHealthMonth was created to increase public awareness of mental health conditions and to break down the stigma associated with mental illnesses.
Mental health conditions are far more common than you think, mainly because people don’t like to, or are afraid to, talk about them. However, it’s important to know that you are not alone. Everyone experiences the ups and downs of mental health and there is nothing wrong with seeking help to manage it.
As a mom of three and someone who has battled mental health challenges most of her life, my greatest concern upon having children was that my children would struggle with their mental health in the same ways that I did. However, I believe that my own struggles actually made me a better parent. I was more aware and attuned to the needs of my children and never once did I hesitate to seek help when I thought they needed it.
So, what can we do, as parents, to help improve the overall mental well-being of our children?
Communication is the key. Good communication with children involves listening well and talking in ways that encourage your child to listen to you. Communicate the super uncomfortable and challenging things, too. Being open to talking about all kinds of feelings, including anger, joy, frustration, fear, and anxiety will help you and your child to navigate potentially tricky situations in the future.
2. RECOGNIZE THE NEED FOR HELP
This may seem silly or even stupid to some reading this. As a parent who has struggled with this most of her life, I just don’t get why seeking aid in this way for your child or children is still a “last resort”, or for some, not even an option.
My oldest is very emotional. Last year, he was caught teasing and talking under his breath during class to a few of his classmates about how they looked. When I confronted my son and talked to him about why he was doing what he was doing, in all honesty, he told me that he wasn’t that sorry for some of it. I knew right then and there was something bigger going on. Not in regards to the relationship with these other children, but within himself. My son needed someone else to talk to and it was my job to find someone else who could give him perspective and insight beyond that of my husband and myself.
3. SEEK HELP
That summer, I arranged for my son to see a counselor. We called his sessions “his class with Michael”. During that time, a few parents and family members questioned my decision to seek outside help for my son. They often said, “Why are you doing that? He’s fine”. But, I knew he wasn’t. I saw a young boy struggling to process how he felt. I saw myself in him.
Seeking help was the best thing I could have ever done for my son as his mom. It gave us a place to communicate with our son and it gave my son a place to communicate openly without judgment. Michael played a HUGE role in my son’s confidence, understanding, and processing of emotions. Most importantly, Michael was a huge game-changer for my son and his future. He now has insight and coping strategies that will serve him his entire life. An insight I wish I would have had at his age. If I would have, then, maybe, my story would have been a bit different.
4. DON’T JUDGE
For many parents, at the first sign that their child appears to be sick, there is no concern or questioning on getting them medicine to help them feel better. So why aren’t we looking at our children’s mental health, their mental well-being, in the same light as their physical well-being?
I urge you all, parent or not, to put all your personal issues aside and see your kids as they are. To attend to them in the best possible way that has nothing to do with you. Seeking help is not a bad thing. Would you ever look down on someone for seeking treatment for a medical ailment? More than likely, no. So, I urge you to do the same for you and your child’s well-being, especially when it comes to their mental health and wellness.
So, I ask you, during #MentalHealthMonth–what does your child need? As someone who has struggled most of her life with mental health and wellness concerns, I can tell you that having a therapist has been one of the best things I have done for myself and it made all the difference for my son, too.
If you are interested in learning more, check out these great resources on Amazon.