Topic: Life Lessons
1. Take the proactive approach: Stress can have a negative impact on your physical, mental and emotional health. You have a responsibility to yourself to maintain your well-being. Response-ability is the ability to choose your response. You may not have any control over the situation and you can’t change the way people behave but you do have complete control over the way you respond. Take the high road by readjusting your attitude toward more positive thinking.
2. Laughter is the best medicine: Laughter is a great way to relieve stress. You would be surprised at how much better you will feel after a great laugh. If the situation is one in which a good belly burst would be inappropriate at the time, you can simply smile. Both laughter and smiling provide a physical release of stress hormones such as cortisol, dopamine, adrenaline, epinephrine and the growth hormone.
3. Forgive: Forgiveness is a sister to taking the proactive approach. It is human nature to hold on to past hurts; however, by choosing to forgive the offender, you are actually releasing yourself from the stress associated with harboring grudges. It takes much more time and energy to obsess over someone who has wronged you than it does to just move on. Most likely he/she already has. Realize people are only human and we all make mistakes from time to time. That includes you so remember to also forgive yourself.
4. Take a purposeful pause: A purposeful pause is a break away from your daily tasks with a specific intention in mind for that time. The type of activity you choose to engage in during the “pause” is reliant on what you need at that time. If your intention is to relax, then your purposeful pause could be meditation, prayer or a bubble bath. If it is to reenergize, then the pause could be a nap or a coffee break. A purposeful pause can be as long as an hour or as short as 5 minutes. Try to work several purposeful pauses into your day.
5. Exercise: Physical activity relieves stress in a couple of ways. First, it offers a purposeful pause. Secondly, it promotes better health which in turn aids the body in its ability to handle stress. Take up yoga, join a gym or start walking.
6. Eat well: Having a balanced diet packed full of energizing nutrients aids in combating stress. Heart-healthy grains, fruits and veggies should be eaten regularly. Also, drink plenty of water. Steer clear of foods high in unhealthy fats, sugars and salt. Caffeine should also be avoided.
7. Tell the truth: Honesty really is the best possible. Lies, even small ones, can place terrible stress on the mind. It can be very difficult to keep up with lies and often more lies have to be told in order to maintain the initial one. Dishonesty also puts undue stress on great relationships.
8. Say NO: We often say “yes” to things we really don’t want to, either out of obligation or guilt. It really is okay to just say “no”. If a particular request takes you too far outside of your comfort zone then it is probably best to say no. It is also better to simply say no than to take on a task that you don’t have time for. You are much more productive when you only assume responsibility for those things that are important to you.
9. Plan: Time management skills are a great stress reduction tool. Write important things down, maintain a schedule and stick to it. Organize your files in a manner that makes them easily accessible and create a plan for routine maintenance. Don’t forget to schedule time for you. Add your purposeful pauses to your planner.
10. Delegate: You really can’t do it all by yourself much as you might think you can. Learn the unique talents and strengths of those within your circle of influence and use that knowledge to share your tasks. Doing less is quite often doing more.
© Copyright 2008 by Niquenya D. Fulbright - All rights reserved.
About the Author:
Niquenya D. Fulbright is a certified Christian executive life coach, management consultant, certified mediator, corporate trainer and motivational speaker specializing in inspiring small business owners, nonprofit leadership, entrepreneurs, executives, groups and individuals in a career or life transition to use their innate abilities to master their goals and achieve successes beyond their wildest dreams. http://www.niquenyafulbright.com/
Many people struggle with finding time to fit everything into their busy schedules. We often neglect our health and well-being in favor of completing tasks. We don’t exercise. We don’t eat right. We don’t even relax. We think that we just don’t have the time to take pause in the midst of so much activity. Meditative activities are so important to weave into our lives that I wanted to provide an even easier way to incorporate it.
Meditation doesn't take long hours of classes or workshops to learn how to do. It is a practice which means the more you do it the better you will become and the more benefits you can reap from it. To meditate, all you have to know how to do is to breathe, relax and think. Meditation is continuous and profound concentration on a single subject. It is to give something your complete, undivided attention. You don't need a quiet room or a special place to perform meditation. You don't need to be a student of Eastern Philosophy. You don't need to have a half hour of time devoted to it. You simply need to breathe, relax and think.
With breathe, relax and think as your criteria in mind, what activities do you enjoy that will allow you to incorporate these three elements? Almost anything! That is the great thing about meditation. There is no specified time or place. This means you can do it at work. You can do it at home. You can do it in the gym. It doesn't matter. Any time, any place and in any way you choose, you can breathe, relax and think.
Breathing is important because it is your life force. It is the way oxygen enters your body to be used by your blood cells for energy. When your blood cells don't have enough oxygen, they move sluggishly. If your cells are sluggish, they are slow to bring food to the many different areas of your body. If your body doesn't have enough nutrition, it can't work properly. The end result is that you feel fatigued, stressed, sick and often can't think straight. How many times have you felt that you can't concentrate until you get some food into your stomach? You have to breathe.
Relaxing involves allowing your body to calm itself down. It puts your mind, body and spirit at rest. Relaxing removes stress and allows your muscles to repair themselves. In this day and age, with so much hustle and bustle, we hardly ever give ourselves the permission to rest. Even after a grueling exercise regimen, experts suggest that you take off one day for every three to five to allow yourself time to recuperate. We stretch and tear our muscles during activity. This is why so many people are suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). We never take the time to just sit and relax. So relax and let your mind, body and spirit heal itself.
Thinking invites clarity and focus. We can solve problems, make decisions and hear what our bodies are telling us. We can concentrate on specific issues that may be plaguing us in the form of worries. That dedicated time yields resolutions because you are relaxed. Your mind is quieted from all other noise and distraction. Your complete attention is devoted to the problem at hand. You can be more creative and inspired to determine a solution.
Meditation does not have to be difficult. It does not have to be an intensive task. You can do it in as little as five minutes. Its purpose is to bring clarity, improve health and achieve balance. To this end, you should find it much easier to incorporate meditation into your life. Simply breathe, relax and think.
© 2007 by Niquenya D. Fulbright - All Rights Reserved.
About the Author: Niquenya D. Fulbright is a Chicago area executive life coach, professional speaker and corporate trainer with over 10 years experience specializing in motivating small business owners, entrepreneurs, executives, groups and individuals in a career or life transition to use their innate abilities to master their goals and achieve successes beyond their wildest dreams. Niquenya wants to partner with you in building a bridge between your dreams and ultimate reality. For more information or to schedule a complimentary coaching session, visit http://www.niquenyafulbright.com, send inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 773-368-3575. All coaching sessions are performed via telephone.
The biggest challenge in creating change in others is realizing that you have no control over another person's mindset. Change is an individual decision. It can only be made through free will. You can, however, be effective in instrumenting that change.
You must first get clear in what message you want to convey. Your message must be presented in a way that is easily comprehended by your audience. It is as much how you say it as what you say that is important. When your message is unclear, it can instantaneously turn off your intended target.
Part of refining your message includes determining if you truly believe in it yourself. Do you trust in the change you are trying to effect or are you just keeping up with the Jones? If you do not truly believe in the direction you are attempting to lead others in, you will not be able to convincingly persuade anyone to move with you. You can not speak confidently to your decisions if you are internally a skeptic. Do not attempt to stand behind changes that you are unwilling to make.
Get clued in to your audience. What do you know about this person or group? Gauge their response to your message. What verbal and non-verbal cues can you detect? If your audience is not actively listening, what can you do to be heard? Are they uncomfortable with your message? How can you redirect your approach in such a way that it can be better received?
Finally, what benefits will the change bring? Do you know what obstacles might surface? Be as detailed as possible when you set about evoking change in others. What expectations can they have? How will the change come about? People are more willing to accept change when they are well-prepared with a plan of action to help successfully implement that change. What preparations can be made to make the transition smoother? Arm them with tools and solutions so they can willingly embrace the change.
Change is inevitable. The only things that don’t make change are vending machines when you are in a hurry. Getting others to change with the tides of time can be difficult. Deliver a clear, confident message along with a plan of action and you will find it much easier to facilitate change in others.
Niquenya D. Fulbright is a Chicago area executive life coach, professional speaker and corporate trainer with over 10 years experience specializing in motivating small business owners, entrepreneurs, executives, groups and individuals in a career or life transition to use their innate abilities to master their goals and achieve successes beyond their wildest dreams. Niquenya wants to partner with you in building a bridge between your dreams and ultimate reality.
For more information or to schedule a complimentary coaching session, visit http://www.niquenyafulbright.com, send inquiry to email@example.com call 773-368-3575. All coaching sessions are performed via telephone.
Meditation is a powerful tool used by millions of people worldwide as a method to reduce stress, increase spiritual growth and impact overall health and wellness. Unfortunately, there are many myths stigmatizing the art of meditation. Meditation is often thought of as a “clearing of the mind”. This could not be further from the truth. Meditation is also often associated with the chanting of religious mantras. This is only one type of meditation. There are many different types of meditation and most have no association with any form of organized religion. When performed regularly, meditation can be instrumental in centering one with their intended purpose and opening the mind to greater enlightenment.
Meditation, by definition, is continuous and profound concentration on a single subject. It is to give something your complete, undivided attention. The very meaning of the word does much to dispel the beliefs that meditation is meant to empty your head of any thought. The purpose of meditation is to center oneself or to achieve balance. It is to redefine your life’s focus. It is to become in harmony with your purpose. The act of meditation needs energy in the form of activity in order to be realized. It is a practice meaning that you have to do something.
Activity is crucial to reaping the benefits of meditation. The type of activity you choose to perform is based upon what benefits you hope to achieve. What is your purpose? If the purpose of the meditation is to increase spiritual growth, then the activity you perform could be prayer. If the purpose of the meditation is to gain knowledge or enlightenment, then your activity could be reading. If your purpose is to relieve stress, then your activity could be a visualization exercise. Other activities can include: belly breathing, singing, yoga, martial arts, painting or any other action that requires your complete attention. The point is that whatever type of activity you choose to perform as your meditation, it must be able to produce your desired benefits. Your meditation should be purposeful.
What are the benefits of purposeful meditation? Since it is not a “clearing of the mind”, meditation does not help you to escape your problems. Just as in detrimental coping techniques such as alcohol or other substance abuse, your problems will still be there when you are finished. What meditation can do is help you to gain clarity and focus, work out answers and solve problems with a “quieter” mind. The human brain is such an intricate network of thought and emotion that it is often difficult to truly hear oneself think. Focused, purposeful meditation allows you to dedicate your attention to concentrate on troubling issues without interruption. Furthermore, a quieter mind permits your brain to increase its function by absorbing and processing information better. Meditation also, because of any physical activity, promotes better oxygen intake, lowers the heart rate, reduces blood pressure and regulates the levels of cortisol, a hormone identified as a key culprit to inducing stress.
Purposeful meditation is a way to strengthen the mind, body and spirit. It allows you to achieve balance and hear your own voice. It is a journey of self-discovery. You can not do it wrong so don’t beat yourself up when your mind wanders to other things. It is the nature of the human brain to think. Focused meditation takes practice. Choose an activity that is comfortable, meaningful and that will allow you to achieve your intended purpose. Start with short sessions of 10 or 15 minutes and work your way up to an hour. Remember, purposeful meditation is just one tool to aid you in your journey to a happy, fulfilling life.
© 2007 by Niquenya D. Fulbright-All Rights Reserved.
About the Author:
Niquenya D. Fulbright is a Chicago area executive life coach, professional speaker and corporate trainer with over 10 years experience specializing in motivating small business owners, entrepreneurs, executives, groups and individuals in a career or life transition to use their innate abilities to master their goals and achieve successes beyond their wildest dreams. Niquenya wants to partner with you in building a bridge between your dreams and ultimate reality. For more information or to schedule a complimentary coaching session, visit http://www.niquenyafulbright.com, send inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 773-368-3575. All coaching sessions are performed via telephone.
One of the primary complaints I hear from my coaching clients is that they are unhappy in their professions. Too often, after further exploration of the source of this unhappiness, it is revealed that these individuals did not pursue their current career paths by their own conscious choice but rather to appease their parents. It seems that parental influence plays a major role in whether or not one is capable of pursuing their dreams.
This is not a phenomenon unique to life coaching clients. My mother, an esthetics and cosmetology instructor, is often surprised by the varying backgrounds that make up her class compositions. She ponders why at least half of her students possess experience and post-doctoral degrees in the fields of Computer Science, Healthcare or Law and yet are so eager to start up vocational training in the beauty field. The answer is almost always the same; the parents are to blame.
Socioeconomic concerns make it easy for parents to reinforce traditionally accepted ideals of success. Your parents want the best for you and so offer up strong advice in regards to your future. From the time we are first conceived, our parents begin to map out our lives. They dream about the people we will become and they set certain expectations on how we will fulfill those dreams. Then as we grow, our parents teach us the values and belief systems they hope will be instrumental in pushing us toward achieving success. The problem with this well-meaning effort is that success may have a different definition for you than for your parents.
How you define success is a very personal journey. While societal norms may define success in terms of monetary gain and glorified professions such as doctor, lawyer, or IT professional; one can choose to define success as simply having a healthy family. For the purpose of this article, I define success as what makes you feel fulfilled or happy.
Success, by this definition, can only be attained if one is walking within their own purpose. This means that you must set aside parental influences to tap into what your unique strengths and desires are. Go on a journey of self-discovery and explore the possibilities within your distinct purpose. Never mind how passionate your parents’ dreams are for your future. You must embrace your own destiny by deciding your path based upon your individual success definition.
Don’t beat yourself up if it has taken you 20 years to realize that you are not doing what you truly love with your life. It is never too late to go on the exploratory journey to self-discovery. The hardest step is to decide to start performing within your own purpose rather than under the cloud of your parents’ passion.
© 2007 by Niquenya D. Fulbright, Executive Life Coach - All Rights Reserved.
About the Author: Niquenya D. Fulbright is a Chicago area executive life coach, professional speaker and corporate trainer with over 10 years experience specializing in business, career, life and relationship coaching. Niquenya helps her clients to improve the quality of their personal and business relationships through positive goal-setting, self-assessment, business plan/proposal writing, management consulting, resume writing/review and a number of other career and consulting services. For more information or to schedule a complimentary coaching session, visit http://www.niquenyafulbright.com, send inquiry to email@example.com or call 773-368-3575. All coaching sessions are performed via telephone.
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