Positive affirmations are one of the best ways to reduce stress and increase your peace, happiness and success. Let me tell you how. A positive affirmation is a positive declaration that something is true. In other words, it is a statement of something that is true and it is stated in a positive way. An example of a positive affirmation is “I am a lovable person.” Saying something like, “I will not let this get me down,” is NOT a positive affirmation, because it is stated in a negative way. Positive affirmations help you to combat some of the negative or dysfunctional beliefs that you may have "learned" about yourself. Some examples of negative/dysfunctional beliefs are: "I don't deserve to be successful," or "I am an anxious person," or "Being happy is difficult and takes a lot of work," or "I am not smart enough, attractive enough, good enough, etc." These negative/dysfunctional beliefs become part of the subconscious mind and often do not allow you to move forward to become successful in life. In order to feel peaceful and happy and have the success you deserve, you must combat these beliefs, and this takes time. Research has shown that it takes one to three months of continuously repeating something before it even begins to become part of your subconscious. In order to completely replace old beliefs, it takes even longer. So, if you really want to get something accomplished, you should have a list of positive affirmations that are stated in a positive way, because they will help you to focus on the positive. If you want to get a LOT accomplished, you should have a LOT of positive affirmations, a whole list of them! I have always had a lot that I wanted to accomplish, so I do have a list of positive affirmations hanging on the mirror in my bathroom. Do you want to know what my list says? It says that I am calm, confident, safe and secure. It says that I am positive, outgoing, and caring. It says that I am excited about my future and my career. It says that I am intelligent, creative, healthy, energetic, and successful. And, if you want help starting a list of your own positive affirmations, email me at ChristianPerez_MFT@yahoo.com.
By now, you must know that organization plays a major role in relieving stress and increasing success. However, by staying organized, I do not mean that you should micromanage yourself (or anyone else, for that matter) by adhering to a strict schedule. “Staying organized” means keeping things neat and tidy, so you can easily find them. It also means making “TO DO” lists and keeping a day planner so you know when things are due, and how long it will take you to complete them. One of the things I do to stay organized is schedule all of my appointments on a calendar that I hang on my wall and look at every day. In addition to this, I also schedule reminders on my cell phone. This way, not only can I see my upcoming appointments on my calendar, but my cell phone also notifies me when my appointment is coming up. This helps me remember birthdays, anniversaries, dentist appointments, teleconferences, board meetings, and anything else that I want to schedule, including fun activities, such as break-times, weekly outings, and vacations. When I do this, my stress decreases and my productivity increases, which is important to being successful. If you notice that you are on your computer more than your cell phone, you may want to install scheduling software on your computer. Scheduling software will also notify you of your appointments and due dates every time you log on to your computer. So decrease your stress and increase success! Stay organized!
Well when was the last time you listened to your own advice? We have all heard that going outside to get some fresh air helps to “clear the mind.” This is because the air outside is usually richer in oxygen than the air inside your home or office and your body and brain need that oxygen for proper functioning. But going outside also helps in other ways. Going outside exposes us to sunshine, which also helps us both physically and mentally. Physically, sunshine helps us by causing our bodies to naturally produce Vitamin D, which is important in maintaining proper organ function and assisting with calcium and phosphorous absorption. Mentally, sunshine helps by stabilizing chemicals in the brain that help us to get more restful sleep and also decrease feelings of stress and depression. So remember to go outside and get some fresh air and sunshine, but remember to do it in moderation, take proper precautions such as wearing sunscreen and protective clothing, and talk to your doctor if you are at an increased risk for skin cancer.
We have all heard that exercising is good for us, right? But how many of us know why exercise is good? What does exercise do for us?
Exercising helps to tone muscle (including the heart muscle), increase cardiovascular functioning, increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain, burn calories, burn fat, eliminate waste products through perspiration, and boost the immune system. That’s quite a laundry list of benefits that exercising has on our physical health. But what about the psychological or emotional effects of exercise?
Exercising helps to release endorphins in our brains and reduce cortisol levels. “Huh, that’s very interesting,” you say. “But what does it mean?” Well, according to research, endorphins are a naturally occurring chemical in the brain that are similar to opiates in that they relieve pain and produce a soothing or calming effect. Cortisol is another naturally occurring chemical in the brain. But cortisol, unlike endorphins, have negative effects on our bodies.
When a dangerous situation presents itself, our brains produce adrenaline and cortisol, which work together to help the body prepare for a “fight or flight” response; we prepare to either stay and fight, or flee from the situation. However, the body and brain respond similarly to prolonged amounts of stress (such as arguments, stress at home, stress at work, etc.); cortisol levels continue to be high until the stress is relieved. These increased cortisol levels then cause reduced bone formation, increased blood-sugar levels, weakened immune system, increased blood pressure, and increased abdominal fat. Increased cortisol production also reduces serotonin levels in the brain, which may cause depression.
So, the next time you’re having an argument with your romantic partner, stress at work or home, or, you just want to feel better, take some time to get out and exercise. You may just have a happier and healthier life, as well as happier and healthier relationships!