Deal With Stress

5 Tips For Accomplishing Your Good Intentions

reminderOne of life’s under-rated stressors is battling with your good intentions. You want to eat healthy, lose weight, save money, spend more quality time with your family, take time to meditate and exercise, help out at church, clean up the basement, the list can get quite long. . . yet all the other tasks and demands in life and work often take you away from these good intentions. Or they leave you little time and energy to pursue them. In this brief article, we’ll explore five tips to remember and follow through on what is most important to you.

That phrase “what is most important to you” is a great starting point. Sometimes our good intentions get pushed aside because we haven’t clearly defined what is most important to us or gotten clear on exactly what actions we need to take. So, let’s start there.

Tip #1: Clearly define what is important to you and what actions you need to take

I suggest you take a few moments to write down one top priority that you haven’t been following through on, along with the specific actions you need to take to do that. For example, if you want to lose weight, “I will focus on eating protein and vegetables, drinking water, limiting sugars and starches and taking a 20 walk at lunch-time every day.”

Tip #2: Start your day with conscious intention and end the day with a brief review

A great way to start your day is to take a few moments when you first wake up to set your top priorities. For many people it can be helpful to begin with a little meditation or prayer to get in the right state of being. Then, you can follow that by bringing a top priority to mind along with the actions you will take to move forward on that today.

At day’s end, before going to sleep, briefly review your top priority and the actions you took or didn’t take. See if you can do this without judging yourself as a failure, just note what you did and how it went or what you didn’t do and why. Then, you can set an intention for tomorrow that may include revising the actions you will take based on what you learned today.

Tip #3: Post reminders

We all get caught up in what we’re doing and forget our good intentions, if we don’t find ways to remind ourselves. A great technique is to post reminders where you’ll see them, like your bathroom mirror, car dashboard, day-timer or electronic schedule, or wherever you’ll see them at the right moment . Set timers to go off, write your notes in bold colors, and do what you need to do to call your attention back to your intentions.

Tip #4: Check in with yourself on the hour

No matter what your priorities in life, it’s important to periodically check in with yourself and see where you’re at. This week, I had a client who told me she is going to check in each hour, do a minute of deep breathing to relax herself, and then make sure she is on track with her priorities for the day. That’s a great idea! Set times to check-in with yourself.

Tip #5: Schedule self-care activities

One of the top priorities that often gets pushed aside is time for self-care. It’s so easy for work tasks, family responsibilities, and pretty much anything someone else needs to get in the way of your own, daily, self-care. Yet consider this: you will do everything else better, if you care for yourself first.

So make sure to schedule prayer and meditation, exercise, gardening, artwork, check-ups, meetings with friends, relaxation, rest, and whatever else is important for you to be at your best. Then keep that appointment with yourself like you would any other important meeting. You’re worth it!

I’d love to hear any of your best strategies for remembering your good intentions in the Comments below.

Deal With Stress

Feeling Stressed-Out? Let Your Higher Self Do The Work!

pressureWhat do you do when you are feeling stressed-out and you aren’t sure what to do? For example, when you have bills that you don’t know if you can pay, a relationship in which you feel repeatedly disrespected and undervalued, a health crisis in which doctors and other experts are giving you conflicting advice, or a work crisis that you don’t know how to solve?

Do you put your head down, plow ahead, and push through no matter how much stress builds up? Do you throw your hands up in the air and give up? Do feel exhausted and depleted by having yet another thing piled on top of all the other things you don’t know how you’ll handle? In this article, I’ll describe a simple technique that can help you find solutions to any stressful situation or problem you face.

Let’s begin with a simple concept. What you see as real and possible for you in any situation is determined by your current perspective in that situation—the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that you are currently engaged in. Now, some of these you are aware of, but most of your perspective is below your conscious awareness.

Think of yourself as having three parts: conscious, subconscious, and super-conscious. The conscious part of you is what you are aware of at any given moment. Your subconscious holds memories of your past experiences as well as all the programming necessary to run your life without you having to be conscious of these things. This includes DNA instructions for all the physiological processes in your body as well as habitual routines that you use to get through life such as: how to breathe, chew your food, brush your teeth, drive to work, and accomplish your repetitive daily tasks. Your subconscious takes care of all this for you, so you don’t have to spend energy thinking about it.

Now, what about your super-conscious—what is this and what does it do?

Think of your super-conscious as that part of you that is connected to everything else and to your Source. Some call it your Higher Self or just Inner Guidance. It’s that part of you that takes in the whole field around you and calculates what is best for you at any given moment. Your Higher Self knows things like “right action” and “perfect timing” because it senses everything at once-much more than you can consciously be aware of and process.

It’s this part of you that you can tap into when you feel stuck or stressed-out. You can do this through what’s called “Conscious Priming.”

Conscious Priming is when you ask a question or assign a task to your super-conscious and then let it go to work for you, while you go about the rest of your day. You then find that a solution pops into your mind, or you see something that sparks an insight, or you meet someone who has your answer.
I’ve found three very effective ways to use Conscious Priming:

1. At the end of my morning meditation practice, when I am nice and relaxed, I pose a question to my super-conscious, then I pay attention to anything that comes into my awareness throughout the day.

2. Before exercising, I work on a project or ask a question, then notice what comes into my mind as I exercise. Exercising stimulates new neural connections. I often get great writing ideas or problem solutions while I exercise.

3. Right before bed, I consider the situation I feel stuck in or stressed about. Then, I let it go and give it over to my super-conscious mind. I will sometimes dream of a solution or have one with me when I wake up in the morning.

I encourage you to experiment with Conscious Priming and see what works best for you. I’d love to hear some of the ways you tap into your super-conscious guidance in the Comments below.