Journal studies and articles continue to support the benefits of nature, of clearing your mind, and allowing yourself some personal restoration by maintaining moments of mental pause, in order to calm the mind and get motivated. We hear over and over again how we need to reduce stress for our physical and mental well-being. It sounds good, but what exactly can we try that is practical and easy to fit into our busy lives? Check out these eight ways to revive your spirit and motivate your mind into creating the life you desire to live!
1) Engage in some kind of physical activity. Let’s start with the obvious here, do something that releases those stress-releasing endorphins. Gardening, boxing, hiking, playing with your children, training for a triathlon, doing house work. Anything. Yes, even that. There’s no argument that physical activity sets your cells in motion and definitely helps to clear the mind, and keeps oxygen flowing with a stimulating, feel good affect.
2) Get your mojo back. Think about times when you are not stressed. Think hard. What was happening in your day during those stress-free moments? When you can zero in on the environment or activity where you experienced boosts in your energy, or felt calm, creative, and relaxed, you can take steps to recreate that in your life right now.
Was it the last time you went camping, attended a concert with friends, or enjoyed a Starbucks with your favorite magazine in peace? Well, break down those times into manageable realities and bring them back into your daily practice, if even for a short break. It is well supported that these little “bits” throughout your day add up for overall wellness.
3) Think positive. Yes! I hate to break it to you, but you’re going to have bad days with challenging coworkers or defiant children. When frustration comes to a boil, you get to decide on how you will react, pick the response that represents your true nature. Sometimes it’ll seem the universe is just working against you! Maybe it’s time to shift your focus, and concentrate on the aspects of your daily life that are actually pretty good. Try this for a day-an entire day-and you will feel its affects.
For instance, you might become more aware of your impact on others, and also how the energies of other people affect your motivation. Keep doing it and you will create positive abundance, or at least tire yourself out trying-in which you’ll get a fantastic night’s sleep, which is quite beneficial as well. Only you can keep yourself in a bad place, so it is up to you to keep yourself in a happier state. I have found being positive requires less energy-it takes a lot of work to maintain a negative assault! Practicing a positive mentality will open you up to a more peaceful, secure way of thinking-another beneficial energy to emanate.
4) Go crazy. Uninhibited, free-spirited crazy dancing, singing, screaming, or yelling! Turn up the radio in your car and belt out your favorite song, or turn it up in your house for some of your best “dance-like-nobody’s-watching” moves. This is instant stress relief, and it’s a great reminder to not take your self so seriously sometimes. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind, to go to that place where we inflate our roles or the intentions of others. This creates “sneaky” obstacles: negativity, ego, or fear-based beliefs sneak in and take up space in our minds, inhibiting productive thought and activity. Scream, sing, or dance them out!
5) Try meditation. I know, I know. For some of you (myself included), this sounds great, but we just can’t tame the “monkey mind.” But I got over that and I’ve found a way to be comfortable and open during meditation. I found actual meditative release during a group music meditation. In the words of meditation teacher, Oriana Green of GreenMeditations.com, “Ignore the rules. Rules are for aspiring Buddhist monks or Catholic nuns. If something works for you, enjoy!”
I used to think listening to soothing music in the background was “not really meditating” but I found that the end result is the same, so I made up my own rules to offset the limitations I put upon myself. Since then, I’ve benefited from a couple of “mini-medi’s” while listening to calm music during my son’s naptime or late at night. Ironically, the soft music distracts me from my distractive thoughts just enough to let my counterproductive notions come and go easily. Meditation can help you gain insight to situations you face, it can inspire you, it can relax or invigorate you, it can restore your sense of connection. It is good for your body, mind, and soul.
6) Shift your worrying onto more productive activities. Face it, you can’t really control the universe, so don’t let it control you. If you find you are caught up in the emotional tangles of situations that are causing your stress, try to take a break, if not let go of them all together. Switch your energy onto more productive actions. Think creatively and find other sources that drive you and offer a more positive role for you. What are you passionate about, how could you teach it to others? What organizations inspire you? How can you be of service to their cause? What ideas can you bring for the neighborhood family nature club?
7) Be kind, unwind. Stimulate your mind with discovering something new, or just hanging out. Either way, make time in your daily routine (it’s there) to unwind your mind from your usual responsibilities. Allow yourself rewards. You work hard, you are a loving parent and a caring partner-what you wish for your loved ones, you should allow for your self. It’s not just your children who need personal time for independent growth, nor is your spouse the only one who deserves time out with friends or a fun night class.
As you support those you love in their experiences, be kind in manifesting similar opportunities for yourself. Go solo, or get the whole family involved, or take a writing or pottery class with your honey. The point is to excite your mind and create intellectual, social, family, or spiritual balance to be a better you-which is better for all!
8) Build a support team. When you are determining your goals and establishing your path to success, share your dreams with a supportive partner, friend, or a personal coach. Letting someone else in on your plans, who shares in your enthusiasm and wants to see you succeed, is a great way to add accountability to your efforts. With the right support, your obstacles, ruts, or stalls are acknowledged–but with a new perspective and restructured into opportunities that keep you moving forward!
Michelle Hedgecock, CC (aka The Nature Coach) is a graduate and certified coach through the Coach Training Alliance (CTA), a top 10, International Coach Federation (ICF) accredited coach training program. She also has an A.S. in Botany and a B.A. in Anthropology. Her practice creatively blends her spiritual, academic, and professional backgrounds in science and nature with compelling results for her clients. Learn more about Michelle and how to “connect with nature to restore yours” through her private coaching, Personal Mandala Series™, workshops, and Your Nature ezine™ at http://www.karunacoaching.com/