3 Steps to Incorporate Gratitude Into Your Daily Life

3 Steps to Incorporate Gratitude Into Your Daily Life

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Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.Margaret Cousins

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.”
Wayne W. Dyer

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If you visit the self-help or personal growth department of your local bookstore you will find a common theme. The idea is that you can change your life by following a simple plan, few steps or reciting positive affirmations. You are promised you don’t have to keep living the life you currently have. These concepts have always been overwhelming to me. If things don’t go my way or if don’t manage to find a new job, marry my dream man and live in my dream home I wonder if maybe I didn’t follow the steps right or recite enough or the right affirmations. For years I would simply try another plan, read another book (because maybe the next guy would have figured it out and I could read his book and my dreams would come true.) Then I read some research that shows a correlation between reading self help books and low self esteem. Somewhere in this whole mess I realized I had gone to far. I was hit with the realization that maybe I didn’t need my whole life to change to be happy.

Whew I’m exhausted simply thinking about all the expectations I put on myself for so long. This blog was born out of a bit of inspiration I had at a particular dark point of time in my life. I found myself feeling trapped in yet another questionable relationship, I had just moved to a new city and had no friends, no job and no money. I was walking back to my house one morning after stopping at my local coffee shop for a cup of coffee. I was feeling miserable. Wondering why I couldn’t create the life of my dreams like all those books said. I had done everything they said for the past ten years why wasn’t it paying off? I’m not sure what happened next, all I know is gratitude pushed its way into my life in a big way. I was suddenly filled with a deep sense of gratitude for the warm cup of coffee in my hand. Thankful I had enough money to buy this delicious brew. I took a deep breath and realized how clear the air was, another wave of gratitude washed over me as felt my strong, healthy legs as they took me down the street, the sun warmed my face. In just a few moments the spirit of gratitude simply took over and completely changed my perception and experience in the moment. My life hadn’t changed at all, only the way I looked at it. So my blog takes a slightly different approach. I say forget about changing your life and creating miracles. Maybe all we have to do is focus on being thankful and our change in perception will bring about whatever change you are looking for. To echo the words of Wayne Dyer “change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.”

Here are three practical steps to put gratitude into practice in your daily life.

1. Start Using Gratitude Lists

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Gratitude lists are something I use in my everyday life. At all times I have a list taped to the mirror in my bathroom but it could be on your refrigerator, your cubicle at work or above your kitchen sink. It is simply a list of stuff I’m thankful for. It’s usually the first things that come to mind whenever I make the list. You can make the list as long as you want and change it as often as you want.  Use recycled paper, the back of old receipts, programs, act. Make your list stand out by using colored markers or pencils. You can make a list today, the first things that come to your mind are fine to jot down and hang it up. Keep it up for the next week or so and if it inspires you and helps keep gratitude in the forefront of your life then keep on making them and hanging them. Watch gratitude start to infiltrate your life.

2. Hang up a Gratitude Dry Erase Board in a Prominent Place

My friend Andrea has a dry easer board hanging in her bathroom. A place for her and her husband to write down things that they are thankful for. I loved the idea the moment I heard it. The practice of gratitude requires just that, gratitude. Placing ourselves in an attitude of thanksgiving and being open to look for things we are grateful for doesn’t come naturally. We are  hardwired to look for danger and what may go wrong. Hundreds of years ago our human ancestors had to be a constant lookout for danger in order to survive. In modern society we don’t need this same vigilance but it is still hardwired into us. The good news is that neuroscience teaches us that we have the ability to re-wire our brains and to change the way we look at things. The ability to develop lenses of gratitude can be a journey that requires disciple and gradual shift in thinking. The best way to be able to turn to gratitude first as lenses is to come up with fun, easy and in your face reminders to look for the gifts, to spot things to be thankful for. Andrea’s white board idea is a great idea and there are many others like it that can help bring gratitude to the forefront. Note cards lefts around the house with your favorite quotes or reminders of reasons to be thankful. Books written on the subject of gratitude. A gratitude journal is a great start! Feel free to come up with your own ways to incorporate gratitude into your life.

3. Diffuse Uplifting Essential Oils

One of the main reasons I personally starting incorporating essentials oils into all areas of my life was the positive effect the oils had on my mood. I first I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Were the oils really helping my moods? I started doing the research and found out that yes; essential oils can positively impact and support your moods. If you are starting an active gratitude practice try diffusing uplifting oils in your home throughout the day to inspire and support you in practicing gratitude. Uplifting oils include: bergamot, ylang ylang, grapefruit, ginger, cypress and frankincense. Start with one or two drops in the diffuser before you write your gratitude list or when your having trouble reaching for a grateful thought and observe the way the oils support you in your endeavor.

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Get INTO the life you are living now. Explore the adventure you are living NOW. What if nothing had to change?

What if you didn’t need a new partner, a new job, a new city? What if you didn’t need to travel to more places or lose more weight? What if all the excitement you were looking for was wrapped up and hidden in the present moment?

What if miracles and magic were waiting for you and all you had to do was simply look for them. I believe that gratitude, the simple act of being thankful is the key to a whole new world that exists within your current situation. The start of this process is to begin to pay attention to all the little details. The way breeze feels as it hits your face. The warmth of the sun, the sound of children playing or birds singing, the pleasure of tasting food or the simple bliss of hugging a friend or loved one. Let gratitude lead the way.

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The Best Essential Oil For Beginners

The Best Essential Oil For Beginners

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If you have never used essential oil before lavender (lavandula angustifolia) is a beautiful and versatile essential oil for beginners.

It’s commonly know for its relaxing effect on the body but that is just the beginning for the many ways you can use this oil. If you are going to be using Lavender as part of your daily life or health routine be sure to purchase a high quality therapeutic grade lavender. When you use lavender aromatically, internally or topically it travels right to you bloodstream so be sure you purchase oil that doesn’t contain impurities or fillers. If you ready to get started with essential oil, purchase some lavender and then try out these ten different ways to use the oil.

 

  1. Bring on a restful nights sleep

If you have trouble relaxing after a long day try rubbing a few drops of lavender onto the bottom of your feet. If you are using this technique on a toddler be sure to dilute the oil first with carrier oil.

  1. Help a toddler relax

A few drops of lavender placed on a pillow will help a restless child relax. You can also you this on adults.

  1. Diffuse for a calm a peaceful environment

Diffuse lavender any time of the day you would like create a calm and peaceful environment in your home or office. Best diffused at the end of the day.

 

  1. Bug bite or bee sting

Place a drop of lavender essential oil on a bug bite or bee sting to reduce swelling and stop itching.

  1. Help Skin Irritation

Lavender can have a calming effect your skin irritation. You can use it after shaving to soothe or soften skin or on dry or chapped skin. To do this mix three parts mixing vegetable oil (coconut, almond etc.) with one part lavender oil in a small spray bottle and spritz on effected area.

  1. Take a Bath

Create a spa like, relaxing atmosphere for you bath. Drop a bit of lavender oil in the water for a calming experience. You can even add Epsom salts to help with an achy body.

  1. Great smelling sheets and towels

Add a few drops of oil into our laundry detergent with washing sheets or towels for a wonderful fresh and clean scent.

  1. Aromatherapy to lessen stress

Feeling stressed? Put one drop of essential oil in the palm of your hand. Rub your hands together and inhale deeply. After you done you can rub you hand on the back of your neck to soothe tension in the upper back and neck.

  1. DIY body scrubs

 

There are many DIY body scrubs that call for lavender. You can have fun experimenting with these recipes.

Simple Lavender Scrub

½ cup coconut oil

¼ cup sugar

20 drops pure therapeutic grade Lavender.

Mix together, store in a glass container.

  1. Cook with lavender

Lavender can add a creative and delicious flavor to scones, breads, truffles, and even cocktails.

 

Lavender is a must have essential oil and a great first oil to introduce into your health or wellness routine.

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Why I Haven’t Been Sick All Winter

Why I Haven’t Been Sick All Winter

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It’s cold and flu season and everyone is getting sick. In my family my kid has literally been sick with one thing after another for the past few months. This is his first winter in preschool and I swear he comes home every week picking up a different bug. This past week when I went to drop him off I could tell his little school buddy was not well at all. All my mothering instincts told me to grab my kid and run but I left him anyway and of course today he is sick again and spiking a fever. My partner was sick in bed for an entire week with the flu last month and everywhere I go people are coughing. I’m happy to say I haven’t been sick. I credit a big part of this to a strong immune system and a whole set of things I do almost daily during cold and flu season to not get sick. For starters, being sick with a kid is the worst scenario and well I just don’t like being sick, it effects my sleep and my mood. So, here is what I do, maybe you find a few things you want to adopt as the this years cold and flu season come to an end and some you may want to try next year.

 

sick

  1. Sleep

This may seem like a no brainer but its crucial. If I’m tired I put my sleep as priority. Sometimes I even have to cancel plans with friends or skip a workout so I can go to bed early. Lack of sleep weakens the immune system so start your healthcare routine with adequate sleep

 

  1. Ginger and Lemon

Most days I take a strong “shot” of ginger and lemon. I sometimes make it my own and sometimes buy it at my local juice bar. Lemon is high in vitamin C, which will naturally boost your immune system, and ginger has antiviral, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory and boost the immune system.

 

Lemon Ginger Tonic

To make this tonic combine:

½ cup lemon juice

3 cups water

2 tablespoons ginger

Pinch of cayenne

Throw all of the above ingredients into the blender, blend till combined and enjoy. You can add a bit of honey or stevia if it’s too strong.

  1. Throat and Gland Spray- I take this!

sick

I buy it at the local health food store and have been taking it the past three winters. I swear by this stuff. I take it only when I start feeling like I may be coming down with something and I swear it wards of everything.

 

 

  1. Elderberry Syrup

During the cold and flu season I take a tablespoon of this a day and more if I feel like my immune system is fighting something specific off. Elderberry is known as one of the top antiviral herbs on the planet. When taken within the first 48 hours of flu symptoms it has been show to reduce severity of a cold. Elderberry has many benefits and uses and keeping you healthy is one of them.

  1. OnGaurd Essential Oil

Almost every night I diffuse essential oil for my son and me. OnGaurd is a blend of Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Bark/Leaf, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Rosemary Leaf/Flower essential oils that naturally support the immune system and protect against seasonal threats.

  1. Take Fish Oil

Be sure to take a high quality, toxin free fish oil. Fish oil was know to be an anti inflammatory for awhile now but studies show fish oil, particularly fish oil high is DHA enhances the activity of while blood cells also know as B cells, and therefore the ability to fight infection.

  1. Take a Probiotic

Probiotics are a must have for cold and flu season especially if you have to go on a round of antibiotics. By increasing good bacteria in the gut you naturally help your body stay strong internally and fight off infection.

  1. Check your Vitamin D levels.

Many of us have low vitamin D levels. I would recommend checking your levels before you start taking a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D is a crucial component of activating your immune system so be sure your getting enough of this important vitamin.

  1. Meditate to decrease stress.

Stress decreases immunity. If there are current stressful situations in relating to your career, your relationships or finances it is best to address them by finding the best support. Your health very literally may depend on it. If you are looking for a practical way to decrease stress, that anyone can do, try meditation. A simple meditation I like to start with is to find a quiet place and sit upright in comfortable position. Set a timer for five to ten minutes and begin to pay attention to your breathing. A great way to do this is to inhale to the count of four, pause and the top and then exhale to the count of four. You can continue like this until your timer goes off. The sort of deep breathing activates your parasympathetic nervous system and gets you out of flight or flight mode. Your body and your health will thank you.

  1. Eat Well

sick

Eat well. Consume large amounts of whole, plant-based foods. Eat plenty of leafy greens. Avoid and limit sugar and processed foods. Proper nutrition will give your body the strength it needs to protect itself from colds and flu.

 

 

We all get sick sometimes but following all or some of these guidelines will help your body to use it immune system to naturally fight off colds and flu.

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Interested in motivation to live a healthy and vibrant life? Check out my health coaching packages and be sure to email me with any questions. 

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What To Do When You Haven’t Had Enough Sleep

What To Do When You Haven’t Had Enough Sleep

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I fondly remember the sleep issues I had in my twenties, I would stay out late with friends or be up late watching Netflix and then complain the next day about how tired I was. Ha, I had now idea the limited amount of sleep I would get as a Mother. My son woke up pretty consistently every few hours at night for the first few years of his life and somehow I survived on little to no sleep on many nights. Currently, my son is growing and waking up with growing pains so once again I’m dealing with little sleep at night. Parents aren’t the only one to deal with sleep issues though. Many of the clients I see as a health coach come to me with sleep issues. Maybe its trouble falling asleep or staying asleep or trouble disconnecting from technology so they stay up way later than they need to. Whatever the case I’ve come up with some tried and true strategies that help me get through those days when all I want to do is sleep.

 

  1. Have a cup of coffee and make it Bulletproof

essential oilsOk, so this won’t apply to those of you that don’t drink coffee. If you’re a tea drinker have a cup of tea. On days when I’m really tired I may have more than one cup of coffee but I make sure that it is supercharged coffee. My body is already dragging to I don’t want to risk feeling jittery or crashing after coffee. I use this recipe from the Bulletproof blog. Adding fat to my coffee prevents a crash and gives me extra energy. It’s important to note that coffee shouldn’t take the place of a good night’s sleep. The risk of relying on coffee day after day is that your adrenals will become fatigued. So be careful not to fall into drinking coffee all day everyday to stay away. Trust me, been there done that, coffee can never replace consistent restful nights.

 

  1. Take a cold shower.

Yep! On the days that I really feel like nodding off I jump into a freezing cold shower for a few minutes to feel more alert. Added benefits of taking cold showers include:

– Increases Alertness.

– Refines Hair and Skin.

– Improves Immunity and Circulation.

– Stimulates Weight Loss.

– Speeds Up Muscle Soreness and Recovery.

– Eases Stress.

 

  1. Diffuse Peppermint Essential Oil

Diffuse a high quality, therapeutic grade peppermint essential oil for an afternoon pick me up and immediate alertness. You can shop my store to find high quality peppermint oil. You can also put one drop of essential oil in the palm of your hand, rub your hands together and inhale deeply to clear the groggy feeling that sleep deprivation brings.

 

  1. Drink Water

Fatigue can also signal dehydration so before blaming lack of sleep drinking 16oz of water immediately. Even if I am really tired  drinking water will sometimes bring me immediate energy. Especially if you are drinking coffee or other caffeinated diuretic beverages you need to stay hydrated with water.

 

  1. Take a walk.

When I’m really tired I try to tell myself I’m too tired to work out. However, working out is exactly what my body needs. On days when I’m extremely sleep deprived I don’t push myself too hard but I do make sure to get a long walk in. Walking increases circulation naturally boosting energy levels. If you walk outside the fresh air will also increase your energy

 

  1. Don’t make any big decisions.

When I’m tired I don’t think as clearly so I usually put big projects or decisions I have to make on hold for a day. I find my thoughts tend to be filled with anxiety or negativity on days when I’m really tired. So if you find yourself going down a negative thought rabbit hole remind yourself you need sleep. Focus on being generous and kind to yourself when your tired. Wait to get some sleep before you make a big choice.

 

  1. Eat Nutrient Dense Foods

Sleep

If you tired it’s easy to grab a quick pick me up like candy or junk food. This will only make you tired and your body will have to work even harder to process the food. So eat nutrient dense, easy to digest foods. Examples could be:

  • Fruit
  • Chicken
  • Rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Steamed veggies
  • Toast
  • Smoothies

 

  1. Prepare you mind and body for a restful evening. 

If your sleep deprived you need to do everything you can to help yourself sleep better the next night. You need to make up the sleep deficient. Try to do the following:

– Stop drinking coffee after 11am.

– Turn off your screen by 7pm.

– Don’t eat a heavy meal before bed.

– Be sure you room is dark and cool when you sleep.

– Don’t drink booze.

– Consider a natural sleep aid. I use a sleep aid called Serenity.

 

There is my list. Of course a twenty-minute power nap will help, but many of us may not even have time for that. So, here is to a great nights sleep and having the tools you need to get through crazy sleep deprived days.

 

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Interested in motivation to live a healthy and vibrant life? Check out my health coaching packages and be sure to email me with any questions. 

Would you like to know more about essential oils and how you can use them to naturally support your health? Start here.