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Anxiety

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How to Achieve Inner Peace Despite Life's Challenges

1 minute 58 second read

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Over the past few decades, I've heard countless people tell me how stressed they are. They say they feel unsettled, unhappy, frustrated or discontented.

And they say they would do just about anything if only they could feel a sense of inner peace.

I tell them it is absolutely possible to achieve that but before they let me explain, they start listing all the reasons why it is impossible, all the obligations, the struggles, the family problems, the boss who's a demanding idiot, the in-laws that drive them nuts, the spouse who refuses to help with the chores or the children, the health challenges or messy divorce...whatever is going on in their lives, they insist that these are the reasons for their stress and unhappiness.

I'm not going to diminish the significance of any of these or other life challenges or how difficult they can be. Heaven knows I've endured plenty of my own. So I can promise you that I'm speaking not just from my education but also from my personal experience.

First, I will confirm that yes, it is absolutely possible to achieve inner peace despite whatever is going on around you. The real source of stress, unhappiness, frustration and discontent isn't external; it comes from inside you.

Now before you yell at me and stop reading this, let me explain…

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Your perception of the external circumstances of your life is what determines whether or not you feel stressed and miserable. Here’s what I mean: If you choose to adopt an attitude that it's all hard and awful and it hurts, then that's the experience you'll get. If you choose to adopt a positive attitude about being able to handle whatever is happening in your life and you trust that all is well, no matter what, you will get through everything so much easier.

Of course, there are some events that are truly going to throw you, like losing a loved one or dealing with some sort of trauma. Still, there are so many life challenges that will feel a lot less difficult if you learn how to achieve inner peace. Then it won't matter what's going on around you; you'll always manage to stay calm and centred.

The best way to do this is to practice mindfulness meditation every day. Even if you just do ten minutes a day, which is enough to develop discipline for your mind, it will train you to use those same techniques throughout your day and especially when things are difficult. You will keep bringing yourself back to a place of inner stillness, from which you can deal with anything so much better than when your thoughts are left to run wild and create all sorts of havoc.

Mindfulness meditation improves health and longevity when practiced regularly and it's so easy to learn! I know because after struggling to figure it out, I found some simple tips and tricks that made it the easiest thing ever. I’ve been sharing those tips with people for many years and they always see great results instantly.

I've written an award-winning book entitled Meditation Essentials: How to Achieve More Personal and Professional Success and it's loaded with super simple ideas and information to get you started on the path to inner peace. TO GET THE BOOK FREE (just pay shipping, no other obligation), click here.

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Too Much on Your Plate? Stressed and Overwhelmed? This Will Help.

1 minute 26 second read

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They say "A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." Actually, the proper quote by Lao Tzu is that it "...begins beneath one's feet," which means something slightly different.

However, for my purposes here, they're similar enough to make my point, which is about facing a difficult -- or seemingly impossible challenge -- and wanting to give up before you start because it feels like it's just too much to manage.

It's easy to be in a place of feeling overwhelmed. All of us feel that way at times. It's like standing at the base of a mountain and staring up at its tallest peak, knowing you have to scale the damned thing and you don't even have a climbing rope.

You might feel like turning and running full speed in the opposite direction, just changing your mind or abandoning your responsibilities. But of course, sometimes neither of those options will work in the long term.

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So what do you do in the short term? How do you get past feeling completely overwhelmed and unable to cope with everything that you're facing?

Well, you do it one step at a time. You look at one small, manageable "something" that you can do right now, in this moment, or today, and you do that. Just take one step and begin the journey up that mountain. Don't look up. Don't look down. Just stay focused on where you need to put your foot next, and that's it.

The more steps you take, the easier they'll get, and eventually you'll feel ready to look up and see how much of that mountain is still ahead of you. It'll also give you a chance to notice how far you've come, which will spur you on and help you to continue to make progress.

Whatever your "mountain" is, every time you start to feel overwhelmed or as though you just can't cope with everything ahead of you, just remember that you don't have to do it all in one day. Focus on just one manageable step for now, and that's all you need to do. Then the next one, and the next one, and so on until you're feeling better.

Have you ever felt like this before? What did you do to start taking steps to move forward? Please share in the comments below. It could help someone else.

Is anxiety keeping you stuck? Get your FREE copy of my “7 Quick Tips to Reduce Anxiety and Get Unstuck” by clicking on either the photo or the button below!

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"Stop the World! I Wanna Get Off!"

1 minute 56 second read

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I remember being a young girl the first time I heard, "Stop the world! I wanna get off!" It conjured an image of Earth as seen from space, screeching to a halt (cartoon sound effects included), and seeing someone with a suitcase essentially leaping off the planet. What happened to the person after that, I didn't know, but I remember laughing at the idea that Earth could be seen as a large bus and you could just get off at any particular stop if you felt so inclined.

Then I grew up. Life became a series of crises and a whole lot of turmoil. There was just too much on my plate. Everywhere I turned, there were challenges and problems that took everything I had just to get through them. It took quite a while before I heard myself thinking, "Stop the world! I wanna get off!" Only this time, it wasn't making me laugh.

And of course, the world wasn't really going to let me off at some invisible bus stop in outer space. I had to figure out how to get what I needed while staying on right here on terra firma.

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It's easy for us to become overwhelmed in our insanely busy culture. There's information coming at us from all directions all the time. Phones and computers dinging and beeping with constant notifications of some sort of activity, most of which really don't matter in the least, but we treat them as though our lives depend on them.

The way we conduct business is changing, moving to the internet in a massive way while companies are closing their doors. This is adding equally massive pressure to many people. We have to reinvent ourselves, the way we connect with people, even the way we earn a living.

An extra problem is that we wait until we're overwhelmed and feeling like we're going to snap before recognise that we have to do something to reduce stress. This. Is. Not. Good.

The most important thing you can do to feel well and balanced. This will help you to deal with the challenges and keep you from feeling overwhelmed.

And in order to feel well and balanced, you've got to put yourself at the top of your list of priorities. Here are a few tips:

1. Make sure you meditate every morning, even if it's only for 5-10 minutes. It sets you up for a more harmonious day.

2. Spend at least 30 minutes a day doing something you love.

3. Do some sort of physical activity each day that releases physical tension and reduces cortisol. A walk, yoga, shooting hoops, ride a bike. Even just getting down on the floor and doing some gentle stretches can make a world of difference after your work day is through.

4. Drink a lot of water to help flush toxins and reduce exhaustion and headaches.

5. Eat whole foods as often as possible and avoid junk and processed foods. What you put into your body will determine what you get out of it.

Pop into the comments below and share what you do when you need to "stop your world so you can get off." Your input could help someone else!

Is anxiety keeping you stuck? Get your FREE copy of my “7 Quick Tips to Reduce Anxiety and Get Unstuck” by clicking on the photo, or the button below!

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Bothered by the Behaviour of Others? It Contains Precious Gifts...

1 minute 39 second read

It can be too easy for us to get ourselves bent out of shape about what the behaviours of others. They were rude, they were inconsiderate, they were thoughtless or selfish. We label them with our judgement.

No doubt there have been a lot of times you've heard yourself say (with great indignation), "How dare he do something like that?!"

And we allow ourselves to become upset by their words and actions, often while stewing over the offending behaviour.

It has been said that the things that irritate us about other people are behaviours or aspects of ourselves that we don't like. When I first heard this, I was very young and absolutely disagreed without thinking about it. But as I aged, I began to discover that although it wasn't always the case, there were definitely more occasions on which that was the truth than I wanted to admit.

The beauty in that, however, is that once I was willing to look at it, I could see the gift in it because it allowed me another layer of self-awareness. I could see that there were times I'd been upset with others for doing a version of something I had done, too.

The more I paid attention to my reactions to events that I found to be upsetting when I was on the receiving end, the more I was able to find room for improvement within myself.

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It is also true that not every occasion was about one of my own behaviours. In some cases, whatever it was that I found to be upsetting was a trigger, reminding me of a past incident, something that still stung. Often, there wasn't anything particularly rude or disrespectful in the behaviour; it was merely my interpretation because of my own issues.

The gift in this was in discovering wounds that had remained unhealed. This was especially helpful when I'd thought an issue had been resolved but apparently, there was another layer lurking and interfering with my life in some way.

Now, if I find myself feeling irritated by the behaviour of someone else, I ask myself why I feel that way. I take a good look to see if there are ways in which I am exhibiting the same behaviour. If I'm not, then I dig into why I feel triggered by the event.

At the end of the day, unless the behaviour of others impacts me directly (e.g. someone hits me or trashes my home), it's none of my business. I can choose not to react. I don't have to feel anything one way or another. Their behaviour is no reflection on me, unless I choose to make it about me. I can just observe and move on.



Is anxiety keeping you stuck? Get your FREE copy of my “7 Quick Tips to Reduce Anxiety and Get Unstuck” by clicking on the photo, or the button below!

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"Pain Is Inevitable; Suffering Is Optional..." (Quote by Haruki Murakami)

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(1 minute, 52 second read)

The Buddha taught that suffering arises when we have attachments to things that we desire. Whether this is in material objects, relationships, or various pleasure in life, the issue is that everything is transient and ultimately, loss is inevitable. We cannot always have the "thing" we want to buy, the trip we want to take, the person who doesn't love us back or that "not-good-for-us-but-wonderful-something" that we wish we could eat, drink, ingest or do.

Buddhism also teaches us that the only constant is change. As long as we draw breath, nothing about our lives is fixed or permanent. When you desire something, you are attempting to control it or make it happen

This is going against the forces of the universe and is a recipe for anxiety, depression, frustration, disappointment and other unpleasant emotions when you are not able to have or achieve that which you desire. This is the cause of suffering.

It is virtually impossible to completely eliminate desire. You can desire water when you're thirsty or food when you're hungry. The conundrum is that when you try to stop desiring something, you're still desiring to stop desiring.

What is most important is to eliminate attachment and desire as much as possible. This is how to end suffering and find true freedom from all anxieties, worries, and troubles.

When I first heard this idea, I thought, "How are we not supposed to feel attached to our children or other loved ones?" It took a while for me to realise that we can love without attachment because they're like comparing apples and frogs. They're not at all the same. We can love our children (and others) for who and what they are without feeling attached to a desire for those relationships to be a certain way.

Sometimes it means letting go of people you love, even if it's your children or other family members. Staying attached to a relationship that isn't working will only bring distress and toxicity to your life.

 
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One significant game-changer in releasing attachment and suffering is in the stories we tell ourselves. A relationship breaks up and we say things like, "I'll never find someone so wonderful again." Or "I'll never be happy again." Or "I'll never get over this."

As long as you choose to think such negative thoughts, you're right, you'll never be happy or find that "someone wonderful." It is up to you to create positive thoughts and to focus on good possibilities and keep your vibration high so you can attract like-minded positive people and situations that will light up your life.

Let go of your negative thinking. Let go of the sad-sack stories. Focus on the good in your life and stop fretting about the past or worrying about the future, for neither exists. The only reality is this present moment, this one, right here, right now. You can choose to make it a happy, positive, blessed moment of gratitude in your life. Or you can suffer through it by dwelling on what's wrong, what you're lacking or will never have.

Do you struggle with Anxiety? Get your FREE copy of my “7 Quick Tips to Reduce Anxiety and Get Unstuck” by clicking on the photo, or the button below!

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Grounding: Great for Easing Anxiety

2-minute read

It's awful when anxiety lurks in the dark recesses of your mind, always waiting to grab you by the throat and make your life a living hell for a while. Whether it's a low level anxiety that keeps you constantly on edge, easily startled and nerves jangling, or you're dealing with full on anxiety attacks as a regular occurrence, it's a misery to be invaded by this bloody-minded monster.

I know it can feel like you have absolutely zero control when that happens, when it's got you in its grip, your heart racing and your mind suddenly paralyzed by fear.

Perhaps it's just that you're feeling extra stressed. Sometimes that can feel like anxiety, too, especially as tension increases.

There are many ways to reduce and/or eliminate anxiety permanently, without the use of drugs or other treatments. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, I did it and I've taught countless others to do it, too, so I can promise you it is absolutely possible.

And it's also possible to reduce or eliminate stress. Okay, I must be joking, right? Wrong. Stress isn't in the events and circumstances of your life. It's in your responses to those circumstances. Now, of course certain events are going to be difficult to manage, such as the death of a loved one, losing a job or getting a divorce. But even in these highly challenging situations, you can still do a lot to find ways to relax and find a place of inner calm, at least to some extent.

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One of the simplest ways to reduce anxiety is to spend some time every day making sure that you're grounded. This is just a way to balance the way your mind spins out of control when you feel anxious or extra stressed.

An excellent way to bring yourself back into your body is to get yourself outside and into a natural setting. Even if all you can manage is to walk or sit on grass, that's better than staying indoors or being surrounded by concrete.

If possible, sit with your back against a tree trunk for a while or if you're not concerned about what others might think, face the tree, put your arms out and give it a lovely, long hug. You'll be amazed at the energy that you'll feel pouring up from the earth into the trunk and into you, too.

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If the weather isn't conducive to that kind of outing, see if you can find a garden center or even a hotel or office building with a lobby filled with plants. Go for a drive in the country. Anything that lets you enjoy nature as much as possible in your circumstances.

Or if you're stuck indoors, close your eyes and visualise deep roots growing out of your feet and extending hundreds of miles into the earth. Feel those roots firmly planted in the ground, where they gather nutrients and energy that then move back up the roots and into your body. Beginning and ending each day with a few minutes of this wonderful visualisation exercise can really help to keep you grounded. It can also become a quick and easy "go-to" answer when anxiety rears its ugly head throughout the day.

The more you do it, the better it works.

Do you struggle with Anxiety? Get your FREE copy of my “7 Quick Tips to Reduce Anxiety and Get Unstuck” by clicking on the photo, or the button below!



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