Being Empowered With Mindful Habits


Stress is Optional


Lesson Info

Being Empowered With Mindful Habits

We've looked at the model of stress because we wanted to know you know where can we make a difference where can we pick a habit and that's what going to talk about next is just picking a habit you know do we want less coming into this do we want to change a change a habit around awareness of perceiving what's going on where do we want to do something that just makes a stronger and we talked about how we had ways that we could increase our awareness we could have a habit maybe that had to do with cooling down to power up once we are stressed that's more of the rescue version of stress management or could we pick a habit that's going to be part of our long term strategy may be using the maps where the meeting maps or doing something long term that's going to help for us and I'm going to switch to this life so reducing the load reframing raising awareness where these habits that you could pick from so I want to focus on really according to fighting stress what kinds of habits would help I...

want to look first at habits of awareness and I really want to hear from you all especially online as well we talked about the fact that if we want to fight stress if we want less stress we're gonna have to disrupt what were already thinking about so that we can have this moment of awareness we can use the dots on the phone on the computer we can do the dot method we can set alarms we can use some of the acts that were available um in the bonus material that sound a little alarm or do something but we've got to disrupt ourselves teo develop awareness so what are some ideas you have that would be a habit you could be just raise your awareness of how are you physically mentally emotionally and spiritually where are you on the stress scale um I'm presently sort of going through ah science type textbook and I'm at him loving it because I'm loving the learning but I noticed that sometimes it's just overload and too much some thinking that maybe when I get to a certain you know a certain section in that chapter like each section or something I could that could be a trigger for me teo take a pause and do a five five five or something like that to be aware of do I need to take a break and my rolling that kind of a nice don't need to stretch right let my eyes go outside or yeah right um because I think I often go too far when I'm I'm not being as efficient or remembering it and so I think that's stopping would be really helpful you bring up a really good point we're afraid to stop we're afraid we'll lose our flow and and this sounds like you want me to stop and think about how I feel you know, I was just reading I was finally reading I've quit procrastinating finally rating and you want me to stop and check in but I do and I want you to develop that trust that if you disrupted and stop it's actually gonna make you better doing it, you can try with pomodoro is that's a great way to do it mentioned before using them um and that's not in my hapless because they're multiple pomodoro aps but you can set the timer on when the timer goes off you check in and if you're fine, you take the five minute break and keep going and I like that it's a check in and not almost like a mandatory stop it's can I keep going? I don't have to stop now I'm gonna check in with myself and maybe well, or maybe I won't but it's having that awareness and not just a black or white right top after twenty five so good out for a lot when you're doing a task like reading or you're at the computer, a great one is to stretch why you do that a little bit, just open up up and stretch send some brain signals as well, but I what you're saying is that you've got to interrupt yourself that that's where the awareness comes, I love that and trust that that's a good interruption. How about you, simon? Uh, well, I have that heart math. Um um coherence. Think so? I think, um building in a time, tio to do that, I love you. Is there what's your kind of a recommendation on how often or amount of time? What simon is discussing is a little biofeedback tool that you can get, um, comes in multiple forms. You can get it on your desk top so you can get a little handheld one that's probably twice the size of this clicker or not, even, um and now there's a phone version that you just stick into the fire and you stick it on your ear and it's measuring heart rate variability and looking for something called coherence, which is this state where your heart rate is in this lovely curved flow of speeding up and slowing down with your breath. It's coherent that's a state in which you're sympathetic stress system is equally balanced with your parasympathetic let me try that one again, parasympathetic we're newell system. So when those air balanced, you really are in a very healthy state of being and biofeedback allows you to see if you really made it there, I've done heart math for so long I can often tell you from there so I can I can usually tell but the via feedback is a used is a wonderful wonderful way to do that and bio feedback is coming out in all different kinds of aps and things but it's a way to check in it's a great way to check in you can ask yourself if your present then it's a wonderful thing to do and then you have to build and when to do it which is what you're asking when should I do that? Some people set an alarm to do it um global coherence initiative all definitely ask you um you can just set a pattern I'm going to do this before I get out of bed we got to do this before I go to sleep doing it before you go to sleep improve sleep that's a really nice time to do it a really nice time to do that sort of function before you're going into a meeting something that you feel like you may be off centre it's a great time to get grounded in center but again it's it's a habit of awareness and I I'm aiken tell you that it truly works because I've done it for so long that I can I am now more aware of when I'm coherent and when I'm not sometimes that's frustrating erica what are some I'm trying to think of ideas around habits of awareness with my procrastination and I'm having a hard time um so like I could know that I'm procrastinating and do something but do you have any ideas you're gonna have to check in with your list and you could make yourself a metric of what procrastination you give yourself a sort of a scale um oh and we're going to talk a little bit about metrics and accountability but for the awareness of whether you're procrastinating I think you probably already know that yet I don't think that's an awareness habit I think you already know that this is more an awareness of just how are you okay um what you could have an awareness habit around is just a stress metric and what is procrastination contributing to it you know on a scale of one to ten I feel like a seven right now and I think procrastination is giving me for those point I think that articulation it would be very powerful for me good any awareness habits coming from the cyber world because I don't have greek tread a ground to be covered in session one but story ominous saying I think the only thing that would stop me make me stop and be aware is an alarm to remind me and I was just replying to them the same one in a way that's what the doctor principle is that is that kind of an alarm you put it around so when you see that don't you? Yeah and I have lots of clients that actually set the cellphone alone for three times a day yeah, I mean it could be in your pocket on vibrate um there isn't one of the apse that I mentioned is good habits which will remind you and you're exactly right ran you have to be disrupted you have to be interrupted from what you were doing to develop awareness if you keep doing that, I promise you your brain is going to learn to know when you're more off center or not it really does now the question from angst puppy has been with us actually for all the sessions and they're saying what is the difference between resilience and grit? Because grit has been getting a lot of press reset that's why secret resilience is being strong I think of grit grid has given multiple connotations lately I think of grit as having the courage to use your strength um sometimes it's the persistence to barrel through and sometimes you need some grip in the grit in the face of something difficult but that's going to be a whole lot easier if you're practicing stress management and you're practicing parts of that especially that making more resilient and strong if you're trying to just grit your way through things and you're overtired you're undernourished in one capacity physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually you can't keep that up but way sort of have become wimpy about some things and I think then using the word grit is is kind of cool to say you know, I wantto toughen up on this one but you gotta have you gotta have the mussels mussels to be tough you gotta exercise those muscles thanks for asking you've been had great questions so let's talk about habits of mindfulness so awareness was about you know how am I in the moment mindfulness is about developing a habit of choosing your perspective how am I going to look through? I love these these sculptures were in the national gallery this past year how you know how am I going to frame the picture for myself of what I'm looking at him I'm going to frame it in the story of o woe is me you know I can't believe how many bad things have happened to me I mean you wouldn't believe it or am I gonna frame it in? Wow, here comes another life challenge and I made it through several I'm pretty strong this one may hurt but I'm going I'm going to be okay and in a big picture scheme of things it's okay, so what are some habits you could do that would help you keep your perspective be more mindful and shoes? I talked about this a little bit yesterday, but with the garage door opener I think as I'm waiting for the garage open um that's I can look at that home framing things in the perspective and what I even noticed as I was open the garage door last night and this morning is not only do I try to get the garage door open as fast as I can but I actually bend over and get into the garage before the garage door you know it's just is this woman in a hurry I but um I think that will be very helpful for me to slow down and start my day with that mindset perspective I love that um kind of like what when the garage door goes up what what you going to see out there? How are you going to see it right? Yeah, yeah, I like that that's great. How about you, simon? So just let me see if I understand. So this is habits that mindfulness uh you're saying is about how you reframe think how you want to choose your perspective that having the power to choose your perspective, huh? So stuff's gonna happen to you all day long? What's what's ah habit that you could form to be able to put it into the big picture. Well, if I understand in terms of framing like if I can look at things you know, like you said like, you know, life is a gift, you know and and look at every situation as ah as a gift, you know and and see that kind of opportunity for growth and you know, greater compassion yeah even when sometimes you feel like saying I've had enough growth it's you stop it already I'm tired of growing but yeah that's exactly what I mean this could be as simple as repeating your theme because that brings your perspective back we talked in the earlier session about taking your values and your strengths and your purpose in your vision and coming up with the word just sort of sums it up for you that reminds you of the big picture so that when you start to feel yourself stressed you just repeat that theme word or phrase and it brings you back to your choice it gives you the bigger perspective how about from the online world? Well, alex in london is asking do you have suggestions for reframing exercises that you would recommend they are finding this, you know, getting into these habits very, very difficult. Yeah, it is difficult and sometimes they're different ones I actually I actually like the physical things you know, when I feel like I need teo putting their hands up and saying okay, I'm looking at this part of the picture and then taking them apart and saying what's the bigger part of the picture because we tend to live while we tend to live like this it's taking microscopic little pictures of what's going on so you can just, you know, write the problem, put it down and kind of go open up bigger from it. There is a technique called open focus that can help with that, where you focus on one little thing and expanded again, but writing the theme posting the theme somewhere can be very helpful. Mindfulness is the secret to really putting your whole life in perspective and being able to keep that curiosity to keep the calm, to keep that that state of compassion I if it's all feeling quite overwhelming, it could be a simple as we discussed before just, you know, when you feel that you put your hand on your chest and just kind of I'm okay, I'm okay, which says two things really? It says yes, I'm ok, and that actually changes your chemistry in your brain waves, but it also says I'm okay and this thing is out there, it gives you some distance between what's happening to you and you and in that space is your ability to choose so you're you're allowing that space to bay? I hope that helps. So how about some habits of resilience? What are some of the things you could do that would just make you stronger because from all of these I I hope you're listening not thinking oh my gosh she's asking me to do all of these things I can't possibly do all of these things what I'm trying to do is develop a bigger menu and you just pick one that we're going to talk about so what? We're just just brainstorm some ideas what kind of things would make you stronger in the face of stress and so would some of these then be tied to like yourself care exactly so that you know bad as we've said over and over bad stuff is going to happen and if you we all probably have done enough research to know that when we feel low when we feel drained and bad stuff happens it's a whole lot harder to cope with it so what makes us strong to cope so getting enough sleep sleep for sure sleep is huge um having ah friends you can call each week and just debrief of what's going on so the connection things were may be fine but then when things you know do hit the fan that you're you've got that love that yeah I consider this friend's anchors and the um the tendency isn't it funny how when we need that most we sometimes stop doing it so building in some accountability we'll talk about that but building in some accountability to check ins that's nice what else makes us just strong in the face of stress? What if some choices things that would support physical, mental, emotional spiritual strength working out regularly and we've discussed how exercise does it in a way just exercises phenomenal it's a drug think of it as taking a drug it really is because we do actually get too addicted to it and I don't know safar extract that does happen actually, yeah, thank you for saying that because this is something that I deal with, a fair amount of exercise is fabulous and the vast majority people do not do enough. There is a subset of people who are addicted to exercise and over exercise, and they're burning themselves out that is not supporting stress reduction, becoming anxious when you haven't been able to exercise feeling like you can't kano control the world because you haven't gotten your workout in that's getting beyond the healthy state of it. But for most people who are doing healthy exercise, it releases all kinds of renewing chemicals. It makes it's like sprinkles miracle grow on your brain, it's amazing it increases your circulation, which is good for everywhere in your body so it's making you stronger but thank you for bringing up the addicted side of it because there are some people who are, you know, squeezing it in and insane hours and quite anxious if they can't, I don't have that issue and I am still waiting for that endorphin in terms of exercise, when you say that term is there like one, is there like a certain, you know, it's like anaerobic aerobic or weightlifting except like a certain type that's it and then like a certain amount, you know, in terms of uncertain time of day that so I've been a doctor for almost thirty years. I cannot tell you how many theories we have been through diet theories and exercise theorists since I started the world of science has been very slow to catch up in the physiology of this, and the science is still fairly new. I remember the whole period where we were all supposed to do all aerobics and we weren't supposed to dio weightlifting now weightlifting, really? And it doesn't I'm gonna quickly change that doing something that's weight bearing is and strength training is good for your heart as well. I think the jury is still completely out. The real thing is to make sure you're moving just make sure you're moving. I know people who do yoga and I'm going to say the word just yoga and really I love when people come into yoga class who think that it's going to be all relax ation and this is an easy thing same for chee gong they think, oh, this is gonna be a lightweight thing and the sweat's pouring off of him I think they're multiple forms of exercise and we don't know the answer to exactly what's right? But something where you're you're using cardiovascular workout and something where you're actually using your muscles the combination is good it can be dancing I mean, it doesn't have to be I go to the gym it khun b I go out and dance with my friends that's huge exercise and it's multipurpose exercise because you're with friends and you're laughing usually what least our friends are when we dance but it doesn't have to be the jim it doesn't have to be something you dread where's my mother calls it the dread mill good question yeah um when I just sort of had a light bulb moment with this too is just the phrase habits of resilience um helps flip my mind set a little bit on things so for example, meal prep is paramount teo resilience for me because if I don't do meal prep than I either don't eat or eat something that may trigger things going on in my body. And so so that to me is a habit of brazil is brasiliense and thinking of it as a habit of resilience that this is going to make my life so much easier just having that and I knew that right that's clear to me but for me the phrase habits of resilience tagging that too that habit and even with exercise this is a habit of resilience that's pretty cool, it's not this drudgery thing that I have to dio, so I really appreciate having that nice nice, I I love the way you put that, because as we talked about the book that I'm going to write on the should diet, um, really, these things feed us, it is about nourishing you and it's about making you strong, and you know what? It feels good to be strong, it really feels good to be strong. Don't you love that feeling when you when you nail a challenge? Yeah, it's a great feeling, whether it's a mental, emotional or physical or even spiritually challenge, it feels good when you can do it that's that is actually peak performance and there's a high from that. Yeah, it's a wonderful feeling, so thanks for sharing that. So what we're gonna do is we're going to go through picking one of these things so that you can work with a worksheet that will go through and figure out okay, I want to do this, but how do I do it? How did I not make this? Like every other new year's resolution that is totally undone in two months? How do I feel empowered to do it? So what we're going to go through is is deciding if you've picked a habit that's gonna work for you so keep brainstorming those keep kind of mulling over your mind and maybe jot down a page of him and look at him and say, you know, okay, these are all the things I'd ideally like to dio um I've got twenty four habits here, but which one of them says to me, okay, I could start there I could actually do that I think I want to do that that's where we're going to start in the next session we're going to move into why that's so hard because I think it's really important to understand where we sabotage ourselves because it's really no fun to try this and fail, is it? I mean, how many of you all have try toe habit and failed multiple times? Um, you know it's not fun because that just tells my inner critic I'm right you know, I told you she couldn't do it, you know? I get tired of that, you know, I want to feel that that positive, strong, resilient, forceful failing and when you fail you lose it and you really just nail yourself so I want to go through how we self sabotage so that we can proactively not self sabotage and we'll be doing that so I want to go through in this session with a bit of a guided visualization again so are there any questions just in general about the whole process of habits or we have a question actually that this sort of came up earlier and it's relating to mindfulness it actually came from alex is joining us from london they're saying is it possible to define mindfulness? Is it all just about engaging your frontal lobe? Is that what it's about? I think there are it's a way overused term thank you for asking alex and watch me try and come up with one it is so it's a very overused term timmy this is mindfulness according to cindy which may be just what that's worth on paper to me it's having the space of choice of what you want your mind to be full of it's that keeping things in mind keeping the perspective in mind keeping your choice in mind it could be a simple as having the pause between something happening to you and choosing a response choosing a response as opposed to just mind leslie reacting because when we mindlessly reactors one really get ourselves into trouble because I know how that sort of come clear was we've talked about the brain when we mindlessly react we're reacting usually from our lower brain more of our survival system which is based in emotions and that's based on stories and trauma and all the stuff you know because we were picked on in fifth grade then when this person this is this in public, we blurt out the wrong thing. Mindfulness to me is realizing that you have this space of choice between what's happening and choosing your response, whether it's a behavior or thought you have that this space of choice. Thank you for asking that anything else from yes, darcy ji's gotten interesting question that I think of all people identify with this saying, you know, a lot of stress is an ally in our life is a trip trip it's very, very slow sum of things that we've talked about. You know, you could do with a bigger, eventual one time event, you can address it straight on what's your advice for those sort of dripping things that were always there that we're actually gonna wear a corset. So, yeah, you are so right. And that's, why that's? Why I love to address this work and start with just a small habit. If your habit could stop one tiny leak, you're going to save gallons. It's a great analogy. If you stop one little league that's, the stress is gonna happen every day and it's going to be the the same little tiny things that happen where you have the power is to change your energy demand for that. How much energy are you going to spend on the drip, drip, drip or you going to be able to put it in perspective? Are you going to be able to turn off some of the drips because you realize you're repeating the same one over and over and you just need to fix that drip? Or are you going to find a new place to reframe it? To be more mindful about it so that you're not spending as much energy on it or you just get some more sleep so that you don't even notice it as much kind of nice tools to put in place? But but it is it's it's the death by a thousand paper cuts um, the big stuff truly matters, but when we can stop, all the tiny leaks were strong enough to handle the big stuff. So that's a great question, yeah, erika, um, do you have any tips or tools as too like the commenter and said, sometimes you don't even know that there's these little drips happening, so to sort of heightened our awareness to start taking stock of maybe a lot a lot of those smaller things that were not even aware of deveney tips for that? Yeah, really, um the more you check in during the day physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, the more you're going to start to see it you'll say you know, wow, I'm really disconnected right now and in fact the drip is because I haven't been in touch with the people I need to be in touch with on a regular basis so you will the more you build that awareness, the more you're going to start to see where your energy's going start with you and your energy and then the second question when we do the five, five, five, the first question is how am I physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually? The second question is what's needed here in that question, you're going to start to get your answers and you're going to realize, you know, every time I walk into this building and I see mo sitting there with his, you know, black cloud like linus, not linus pig pen with a cloud of negative energy around it, I I don't I let some of mine gets sucked out, you realize that you have a choice there and you'll start to notice it more. So, you know, I've artificially tease these things into awareness and mindfulness and habits of resilience, but in fact, it's all really meshed and you start by picking out something and it's gonna ping into others yeah, I like that, yeah, so so you will build that awareness, so even if simon's doing the heart math by a feedback um one of the things I noticed when I first did it was I built my skill of appreciation so I wasn't just physically changing my body as I did this in my brain I happen to know because I've seen it hooked up my brain waves change when I do the heart math work, but I'm also changing my perspective that I choose because I continually do that it's a perspective exercises well when you keep coming up with something you appreciate it really changes which colored glasses you're wearing and as we talked about before, we all have on funny glasses can we change the lens is a little right, which backto alex is another analogy that sometimes works for people when you feel like you can't change your perspective, you actually, you know, think about being in the ophthalmologists and you get to click the different, you know is one or two better, you know? And you're always sitting there kind of going, I don't know it's go back again, but you have the ability to realize, you know, I've got I've got the foggy ones on I want I want to get some clear ones, please flip the lenses great question guided visualization of the sounds good okay, everybody ready early, dad, just get comfortable in your seat with your feet on the ground and I'm gonna this is a longer version of what you could do just very briefly the brief version is that that's the heart math version where you become aware of your breathing, you become aware of your breath around your heart area and pulled mind a positive emotion and hold it there that's the quick version and it's written down in here and you can do that I'm gonna do a little bit longer one just for fun for everybody to enjoy it so go ahead and close your eyes and start by taking a nice cleansing breath in and out and kind of pulled that breath into all the cobwebs of your body and then let it go out again and now just come to a nice, slow, easy breath, noticing the coolest of the breath as it comes in your nostrils and following your breath with your mind down to the bottom of your lungs, we may put a hand on your belly when is your diaphragm pushes down it's going to push your belly contents out just a little bit and that should just rise and fall no effort just allow it to come in, but with your mind on it, you know you've been breathing all morning, hopefully this time you're just observing it, no judgment, just observing it in following it and a thousand different thoughts may come to mind, but you're just observing and now slide your hand up to your heart area and become aware of the breath coming in and out of this area just filling naturally and softly and allowing it to go out each breath filling the heart area you can picture all that oxygen getting to your heart being pumped around it's a good thing they can picture it's softening that oxygen going out to wherever it needs to be and now bring to mind something that gives you an inner happy smile. It could be a place being on the beach, a mountaintop snuggled in your bed it can be a person on someone who really you appreciate love it can be your dog I was always happy even when everybody else isn't it could be a thing something that particularly makes you smile but just bring it to mind and all the senses of it sight sound, smell, feel let it just soak your mind for a moment, all the details now bring your awareness to the area under your hand how does that feel that deep inner appreciation kind of inner smile and glow and allow each breath to fill that in your heart area expanding it does you breathe out? It can spread a little la that deep appreciation to grow with each breath, happy heart and that deep happiness that the real joy, the joy of gratitude and appreciation and just feeling that soak in with the next couple of exhales maybe send that to an air in your body that could use some softening and some positive feeling. They beat your shoulders that have been tight or your hips from sitting, maybe there's something in particular that hurts. Send it a little bit of that nice flow of appreciation and positive feeling, maybe it's your mind, I just feel that start to flow there as you exhale, and with your next inhale and exhale, send some of that feeling out to someone in the world who needs it. Someone who could really benefit from a little that positive feeling a shift someone who'd like some caring deep appreciation and now send a little bit back to yourself for having taken the time to investigate what's going to make you stronger, the happier and less dressed and healthier appreciate yourself for doing that and know that this power is yours always to just bring yourself to this positive feeling and let it spread. Let it nourish every cell, and when you're ready, come back to your own pace of breathing and open your eyes, enjoy the feeling, let it just spread through you and hold you. I hope that felt good, isn't it amazing that we sit here totally stressed out, and we have the power to shift our emotions yes somebody's guiding us and you can get all kinds of guiding podcasts and one of the apse that I used I think it's in sight timer has all kinds of little visualizations in there sometimes we're so busy brained we we can't do it ourselves we need someone to guide us we need someone to help coax are busy brain down that path but it's always available and it's last time I checked free it's free to feel good and you can do this even when you know what's hitting the fan you can it doesn't mean that you changed what's happening but you just go it's stronger so enjoy that and practice it it's really fun to dio any comments people in the chat room as well I eventually notice it they're obviously taking the exercise because because they stop chatting thing I wonder how they can chat and do that s o and don't you say thank you very much for explaining how mindful of this is on the line mrs saying you know is mindfulness self control in effect based on what you were saying there is the yeah it is it is and to me it's interesting how that has worked into my leadership work our ultimate control is to control how we think and that's not the good let me rephrase that that's not the bad kind of control of you know, over analyzing and anxious out everything. It's. The good kind of control of choice, of choosing what you want to think. And isn't that our ultimate freedom?

Class Description

Panic, anxiety, and stress are paralyzing emotions that can stand in the way of the life you want. Freeing yourself from the grip of these toxic thoughts and feelings will give you clarity you can use to make better business and life decisions. Join nationally recognized stress expert Dr. Cynthia Ackrill for a course that will give you powerful tools to relieve stress and develop greater emotional resilience.

Everyone has to negotiate difficult life circumstances – financials problems, conflicts, and business challenges are woven into the fabric of everyday life. Small business owners and entrepreneurs are especially vulnerable to feeling overwhelmed. Learn how to manage life’s ups and downs using insights from stress management research and positive psychology and you will bounce back more quickly from life’s inevitable setbacks. In this course, you will develop a framework for evaluating your stress levels and your behavioral responses, and then identify cues you can use to get back on course. Dr. Ackrill will explain the physiological impact of stress and offer techniques for minimizing the disruption it can have on your body and life.

Stress, worry, and anxiety lead to procrastination and burnout, which cause more problems--and more worry. You can stop the cycle. Join us for Stress is Optional and learn an effective, proven approach to relieving stress for good.