Positive challenge #2: Take a 5-minute stress break. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!

A moment of sanctuary in California

Step 1. Stop what you are doing. Step 2. Take a deep breath in letting your abdomen fill with nourishing oxygen, and exhale all that carbon dioxide out through your mouth. Notice the tension leaving every muscle of your body. Step 3. Repeat 3 times.

Notice how you feel? What sensations do you feel in your body? It’s important for us to take mindful breaks like this throughout the day. Taking deep breaths and releasing all the stress and tension with each exhale can refuel you throughout the day. Don’t forget to breathe!

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Positive Challenge #1: Lift the FOG, lighten the load

A moment to reflect * Wolfeboro, NH * Photo by Sofia Reddy

Life is stressful. We can acknowledge this truth and learn to respond from a place that is centered and grounded. On a trip to New Hampshire, I discovered this cozy corner and sat to reflect on how we can achieve long lasting happiness, despite life’s stresses. Several realizations emerged: 1. We are capable of overcoming any stress life throws our way. 2. We are resilient and adaptable. 3. We have choices. 4. We can choose happiness. How?

First we must lift the FOG: Fear, obligation, and guilt. Many of us operate under one of these three conditions in relationship to others, ourselves and the world. Sometimes we get caught up in beliefs that keep us unnecessarily stuck in situations that are unhealthy. We might fear change, though we know it’s ultimately what’s best for us. We might feel obligated to someone, even though it might be an unhealthy relationship. We might feel guilt about something that is not our fault.

We need to step out of this FOG that clouds our judgment and interferes with our ability to truly be happy. We can “lighten the load” by practicing self-care on a daily basis. We can say no when something isn’t right. We can nurture ourselves. We can spend time with loving others. We can move on to healthier situations. We can create change in our lives to make it better. We can make our dreams come true. We have this power. We just to have to believe in ourselves and take action to move us forward. We must never, ever, give up.

Positive challenge # 1: Take a moment to sit and reflect on what is preventing you from making a positive change in your life. Is FOG clouding your vision? Are you stuck in an old belief that is no longer serving you? Decide how you will lighten the load today. Replace the old belief with one that is current and realistic. Take one step forward in the direction you want to head. What will you do differently today?

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