Spring is here! The days are getting longer, the temperatures are getting warmer, and the sun seems to be shining a little brighter. As the snow retreats back into the mountains and trees begin to unfurl their tender new leaves, you may be feeling the urge to shrug off the comforts of winter and welcome some new growth of your own.
Recently, Pope Francis publicly acknowledged that numerous nuns in the Catholic church have been systematically sexually abused, many for years. This abuse has come at the hands of an unknown number of priests and bishops. As a former nun myself for many years, I was horrified by this revelation, and that it has taken so long for the church to acknowledge it.
If prime time TV can be believed, Valentine’s Day is a day dedicated to love; it’s an oasis of flowers, hearts, lace and warm gestures to thaw the chill of a February that seems like it may last forever. Unless you’re alone, that is. Then its purpose is to be mocked and rejected from the comfort of baggy sweatpants and ice cream straight out of the container.
But I would like to offer an alternative: no matter your situation, why not dedicate the holiday to falling in love with yourself? There’s a lot to be said for the happiness that comes with the peace and acceptance of yourself and your surroundings.
Staying inside your comfort zone is, as advertised, comfortable, and doesn’t require a change of mindset. Unfortunately, it’s also a way to stagnate personal growth and prevent you from achieving your best self. Pushing your boundaries and finding new experiences is the best way to shake up your mindset, but it can also be stressful and anxiety-inducing.
Fortunately, if the problem is in your head, the solution likely is too. Motivational psychologist Dr. Heidi Grant says that an individual’s in-going mindset has a huge impact not only on how we anticipate and experience new situations, but also in what we do – and don’t – say and do.
It’s almost time for the New Year. Will you be sad to see it go, or are you in the majority who happily see the old year go and welcome a blank slate for 2019?
This is also the time of year when we’re flooded with “look back” lists – your top 1o photos on Instagram, your most popular artists and playlists on Spotify, the best (and worst) movies at the box office. It’s easy to let these be your markers of the year you had, but if you dig just a little deeper for a moment, you can find some meaningful self-reflection.
Self-reflection is an opportunity for personal growth. It can help you learn from your experiences and feel more in control of the choices you make moving forward. If you’re not careful, negative self-talk can easily disguise itself as reflection – so try to keep your thoughts positive and helpful. It may not be easy, but practice makes perfect.
Work-life and career coach Eileen Chadnick has twelve easy exercises to guide your self-reflection journey – six for looking back, and six for the year to come.
In light of Thanksgiving, I wanted to share how giving thanks can be beneficial and positively impact yours and others’ lives.
You may have been taught to say thank you as a small child, but what you may not have realized is that saying those two little words can have a profound impact on your daily outlook.
It is important to help others feel socially valued, giving them the opportunity to feel your appreciation for their contribution. Letting friends, family, co-workers and acquaintances know you appreciate them can also be beneficial; it can help you keep a humble, grateful perspective in your day-to-day life. This positive give and return relationship can benefit you and those around you by helping develop stronger bonds with each other. A 2012 study by the University of Kentucky, reinforces this notion after they found that participants who performed higher on their gratitude tests were more empathetic and less likely to hold grudges.
Those who live life day by day may not think about how their thoughts and actions can affect them day-to-day. Especially when dealing with stress, negative thoughts may easily creep in. However, what if the thing that is holding you back from being empowered is how you are mentally talking to yourself?
A person’s perception of you that is negative or positive can be a powerful force, but it is up to you to accept or reject their comments and start believing and repeating their ideas. We are often our own worst critics, but only you have the power to control how you feel – despite what some people may believe.
Personal improvement is one of the longest and ongoing parts of our lives. It is essential we invest in personal improvement and work on it every single day. One of the most necessary aspects of personal improvement is to develop inner strength.
What is inner strength? As The Daily Pioneer explains, “Inner strength, also called atmabala, is the strength of the soul. It is the core strength of a person, while mental strength is simply the strength of the mind. And we know that we, souls, are different from our minds. We have minds, which we use for feeling, thinking and willing.”
Failure may be a part of life, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. When you work hard, put your all into something and it doesn’t work out; that can be heartbreaking. From a misstep to a failure, it’s important to learn from each outcome.
As I state in my book, Exuberant Women Don’t Age:
Failure is only a temporary shift in direction.
Failure is the honest assurance that you are a
success for trying and for taking chances.
As you learn through your day-to-day experience,
your failures turn into success.
Like I said, you have to learn from failure to find success. What can you learn from failure? Keep reading to find out.
Did you know that July is Picnic Month? This offers a wonderful excuse to go out in the great outdoors. Unfortunately, many of us don’t get to go outside very much, let alone play outside.
Between work, family and obligations inside homes, there’s rarely a free moment to get a breath of fresh air. While you may be busy, it is important that you spend time outdoors for your health. Keep reading for reasons why.
3 Health Benefits of Going Outside
- Mental Health
As reported by The Huffington Post, a Stanford University study found that walking for 90 minutes in nature, compared to walking in the city, made a difference in mental health. A Stanford study also, “Found that those who walked in nature experienced less anxiety, rumination (focused attention on negative aspects of oneself), and negative affect, as well as more positive emotions, such as happiness.”