How To Improve Body Image And Self-Esteem

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flickr.com/photos/charlottedownie

Never satisfied with the way you look? Feel like you are not good enough in comparison with the people around you? First of all, you should never despise yourself. If you don’t think you worth much, why should others think any different? Also, why do you have bad thoughts about yourself? It is not pleasant to hear them coming from another person, so then why do you do these things to your own person? Here are some ideas an tips to improve your image and your opinion about yourself.

Never Compare Yourself With Other People

Stop looking at others and wishing to look just like them. That is insane, not to mention that it’s impossible either. Each human being is unique and it’s good to acknowledge that. The person next to you may be unique due to his or her curly hair. You may have other advantages, like beautiful eyes, silky hair, tall legs and many other characteristics. Look in the mirror and focus only on the advantages you see.

Take Care Of Yourself Properly

Don’t go to the salon only when the holiday’s are approaching. Make it a more regular habit, since feeling pampered will definitely get you feeling better about yourself. Don’t go out of the house without minimum care, like combed hair, a bit of gloss, mascara, or a clean shirt and being shaved, in the case of men. The respect you’re giving to yourself will be reflected in the respect others will manifest towards you. So it is important to let others see that you appreciate yourself enough.

Dress The Way You Feel And Like

It is wrong to think that clothes and small accessories cannot improve the way we look. Of course, we should not transform clothes shopping into an obsession, but buying baggy and unattractive clothes are not a solution either. You can afford from time to time a scarf, a lovely blouse, some beautiful shoes, or a pair of earrings. Whatever makes you feel more beautiful and manages to brighten your day. Just a small item, such as a hat, can make you feel happier and even more stylish.

Take Care Of Your Living Space

You will definitely not be able to feel good if the house you are living in does not emanate positive vibes. Pick your favourite colour and change your curtains, buy some nice pillows and some small decorative items. Make sure everything is properly cleaned and aired. You can even buy some scented candles to make the place warmer and smell better. Perhaps even get a few green plants. You will see just how valuable the space you’re living in is when it comes to your mood and opinion about yourself.

Posted in Habits & Thought Patterns, Happiness, Self Image & Self Esteem, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Goals Setting Tips: The Importance of Personal Goals

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flickr.com/photos/johnonolan

We all have a dream that is bigger than everything else in our life, a dream that we all hope will come true one day. But you cannot aim right from the start to achieving that dream. You have to build a strategy consisting of a series of personal goals, which will create the stairs you need to climb to reach your biggest wish. How do you think successful people become successful? By just sitting around and waiting for things to happen? Not at all, because these people have a strict set of personal goals to achieve, and they will work hard and do everything that is necessary to fulfil them.

Setting goals will motivate you to become better at what you do, and every reached goal will give you the confidence and strength you need to move forwards. If you’ve ever heard about the visualisation method, where you clearly picture your biggest wish inside your mind, so that you will eventually enjoy it for real, you should know that is realised by setting smaller goals. So this is why it is important to set personal goals, even if they are smaller, because they will help you reach the big picture goal you desire. Here are some tips on how you can set those goals.

Sit Down And Put Your Goals On A Paper

You need to take some time with yourself, in a quiet environment and think about what you wish to do with your life. What are the most important things you want to achieve? Think about what you wish to do in the present, near future and distance future. And think well, as some decisions might influence your life. Also be true to yourself, and write down only the things that make you happy.

Make An Action Plan For Them

You will also have to have a clear picture in your head about making these goals happen. Compose a plan for each of the goals, stating when you are going to start, what needs to be done, location, costs, any details that will make the goal look and feel achievable. Without a plan, you are less likely to succeed.

Turn It Into An Official Aspect Of Your Life

Keep the paper with the goals and plans somewhere close to you, so you can look at it all the time. Also, you could even let a couple of friends or the family know what you intend to achieve. Because once the word is out, you will work hard to do everything in your power not to fail, now that everybody knows. So it is an excellent way to remain motivated.

Respect You Goals And Plans, But Also Keep Your Flexibility

Don’t postpone the start of a plan designed to reach a goal. Respect it and stick to it, if you wish to enjoy the results. But also be prepared to face some changes that you cannot foresee that might change your plans a little. Don’t panic, just make the necessary adjustments to the plan and keep the primary objective. Plans can change and can be modified if that helps you achieve a goal. So you can be as flexible as you want, as long as the goal stands up, and you are on the way to grab it.

Periodically Check On Your Goals

Remember that piece of paper where you wrote down all the goals you wish to achieve. Well, you will have to assess systematically all of those objectives. Why? As life shifts, people can change too, so you need to make sure you want to go for those goals and that they are suitable for you. If something does not look right, or you’re not so keen on achieving a particular goal, just modify the list. Write a new goal, better for your current position, and craft a plan to achieve it, just like you did with the rest of them.

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Emotional Resilience Exercises

emotional-resilience-exercisesIf you want to build your strength and become a more confident person you need to enhance your emotional resilience. Having more of it will enable you to deal with adversity better and keep on keeping on until you achieve the goals you desire. Here are several emotional resilience exercises that  you can try today:

Be Careful About The Way You Breathe

Believe it or not, the way you breathe can have a great impact on your emotional state. If you notice that your breathing is fast and shallow it is time to relax. Take a few moments and breathe as profound and calm as you can, several times. You can even accompany the breathing with yawning and stretching, as these are known to be good for blood circulation. Ready to feel more relaxed?

Don’t Overdo It And Take A Break

Constantly working and not allowing yourself brief moments in which you can relax, will increase the stress levels and make you more vulnerable to negative emotions. Try to stop for a few minutes, after every hour worked, and unwind a little. You will feel much better for it throughout the day.

Allow Yourself A Little Daydream

Yes, daydreaming is great for relaxing your brain and improving your mood, especially if your mind thinks about great things and places. So it is an excellent way to forget about daily stress and lower blood pressure. Just be careful where you choose to do it, and stop it when necessary. A meeting, for instance, would not be such a great place for this exercise.

Control Your Thoughts

Don’t allow your negative thoughts to take over you and your situation. Always be careful about what you’re thinking, especially when it comes to those negative thoughts that ruin your mood. If you notice you start having negative thoughts, just stop, erase them and immediately try focusing on something else, more positive. Thoughts influence your behaviour and what is happening around you, so allow only positive thoughts.

Remember To Laugh

Laughter is the best therapy when it comes to chasing away stress and getting the mood right. Always make some time to do those things that can get you to put a broad smile on your face. Play even, as games are a great way to do some fun activities and have a laugh. You need these to start looking on life’s brighter side and not consider emotions like a personal attack.

Don’t Complain And Be Grateful

It is true that perhaps you are not entirely satisfied with some aspects of your life. But feeling sorry or miserable about them won’t help at all. Instead, be grateful for everything you have. Take a few moments, especially in the morning when you savour your coffee and be thankful for what life gave you until now. There are many that don’t have even a quarter of what you’re enjoying. Keep a positive attitude and be grateful, and everything that’s missing will come to you.

Use Meditation

Meditation is great for regulating mood and emotions, so don’t hesitate to give a few moments per day to do this. It only takes a few minutes. You can use some meditation music, or just listen to the wind and birds, concentrate on breathing and allow positive thoughts. You will feel rejuvenated.

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How To Become A Resourceful Person In Any Situation

How To Become A Resourceful PersonIt’s a fascinating part of the human experience; we can feel and behave really resourceful in some situations but feel shut-down in others. This could be due to behavioural conditioning or just bad habit. But the fact is as a human being you can re-learn or re-program your responses to situations. It’s just a matter of accessing the appropriate resourceful states of being within yourself and transferring them into the contexts where you need them.

The following simple exercise will help you to achieve this in the situations you choose:

1. Think about a situation where you would like to feel more resourceful and have increased behavioural flexibility. e.g.) communicating with a co-worker, interacting with a family member, being on a date etc. 

2. What resourceful states of being would help you in this situation? Playfulness, Calmness, Curiosity, Awareness?

3. Now embody this state of being by allowing your hands to express this feeling; simply go ahead and let your hands express this state in whatever way feels best for you. Practice this movement a few times so that you can re-access the resourceful state easily with those hand movements.

4. Now think about the situation you choose in Step 1: What is the first thing you will see or hear just before it would be really beneficial to access the desired resourceful state of mind?

5. As you hold that visual or auditory cue in mind, start doing the “resourceful hand movement.”

6. Do this a few times from Step 4 to anchor in the resourceful state into your subconscious mind.

7. Break State: Think about something totally different; like what did you eat for breakfast or where are you going on holiday?

8. Now think about the situation you choose in Step 1 and notice how you feel about it now.

Bringing more resourcefulness and behavioural flexibility into the different areas of your life will lead to more satisfaction and happiness. Rather than thinking about, “Why am I not able to be resourceful in this situation?”, ask yourself, “How can I be more resourceful in this situation?” and then go one step further by practicing an exercise like the one above because it will help you re-program your automatic responses at the subconscious level.

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Conflict Management Techniques

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flickr.com/photos/dmarklaing

When working in a collective, conflicts are difficult to avoid. People are different and think differently, so conflicts can appear because of the differences between the perspectives people have. It’s normal that it occurs in working environments and should not be regarded as necessarily a bad thing. When a conflict occurs, it may also mean that there is a place for improvements and changes. So it is important how one handles the situation to make a conflict turn into an experience to learn from. Here are some conflict management techniques to help ease the conflict and improve the situation:

The Competing Method

Known both as competing or forcing, it means to hold firmly onto your own opinions and concerns, regardless of the level of resistance you receive from your opponent. It is a technique used when you meet hostility and aggression because it can come with a quick solving of a conflict, especially when other methods failed. But this method may be energy consuming, so if you choose it you should be prepared for a long battle.

The Collaborating Technique

As the name suggests it, this involves a more diplomatic approach to the problem. You should try to work with the opponent and try to find a middle ground solution for solving the issue so that you are both content in the end. This method is more beneficial because it gives both parties the opportunity to collaborate together, creating a solution that is much better compared to the previous method. It increases both the satisfaction of solving the conflict and of being able to create a better solution.

The Compromise

You already know that by accepting a compromise, both parties agree to a solution that only partially satisfies both of them. It is one of the fastest ways to solve a conflict, and may be best when there is little time to resolve the conflict. It may also be adopted as a temporary solution, while still searching for a way to satisfy both parties, because it can lower stress levels, allowing you and your opponent to concentrate better on finding a middle ground.

The Withdrawing Technique

When using this method, it means that you will let go of any of your concerns and opinions, avoiding the conflict by all means. It may be a solution when you are facing aggression, as it will give you time to focus on more important aspects or will allow the creation of a better mind-set to express your point of view.

The Accommodation Method

Also known as smoothing, it means to put another’s concerns in front of your concerns. It may help to find what are the best interests, leaving aside the ones that are not that important. Also, it gives you the opportunity to look at the issue using different perspectives. Although, be cautious, as there is the risk of being abused or for the opponent to take advantage of you. There is a certain balance and skill from your side, to avoid these things from happening.

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What is Sigil Magick?

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flickr.com/photos/amada_stream

You may think that this name is just a coincidence, but it’s actually not, and it does represent a form of magic. Sigil comes from the Latin word “sigillum”, which means seal. In Hebrew, for instance, “segula” comes with the meaning of action or talisman. Now you may wonder whose seal it is. Or how can one use such a seal? It is actually a symbolic representation of the intentions of a magician or of one that practices magick. It is not a recent discovery since sigil magic was used centuries ago as well. Many books found, which belong to medieval times, contain these magical symbols; so it looks like people did seek the help of these seals throughout history.

In the occult manifestations of the medieval times, the sigil was represented by symbols of angels or demons, which could be summoned by the magician. Also, think about the Germanic runes, or symbols encrypted on stones, dating back to the Neolithic era. So this may look like an ancient form of magic, meant to put to use the Universe’s forces. A controversial list, containing such sigils, is “The Lesser Key of Solomon”, which is said to contain 72 sigils, belonging to princes of Hell. Considered to be the symbol that represented the real name of the entities, it is said that the magician who had the list could have controlled and summoned the beings.

Today, this method is used in the so-called Chaos Magick, and it is said to work this way: A magician thinks about an intention and writes down that statement of intent. Next, he cuts all the vowels out. After cutting the vowels out, he must check to see if the remaining letter have duplicates. If there are duplicates, he must cut down all the duplicates so that every letter has a single representative. Then, with the remaining letter, he can craft his own sigil. It can be of any shape or design, chosen by the magician. To actually work, the sigil must be charged with his energy. Either he turns to a meditative state, uses his sexual energy or blood, through an energetic outburst or just by declaring his intention. The sigil is then used as a discreet symbol written on a piece of paper, in a crystal, on a piece of wood, whatever works for the person using this type of magic.

flickr.com/photos/jdhancock

flickr.com/photos/jdhancock

These sigils are summoned or utilised by the will of the one that holds it, mostly in the attempt to obtain something or to create a favourable environment. A sigil is something private and will be kept well hidden, so you will never come across a magician willing to share his sigil. The point is that this old form of magic survived the passing of time and ended up being used in the modern times as well. Is it actually working? Or have people just been trying to figure it out for centuries now?

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7 Ways To Connect With The Love And Beauty In The World

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flickr.com/photos/nicholas_t

Stop and take a look around. We live a stressful life that unrolls so fast, in a modern society that puts importance on speed and superficial things. We all have one life to live, and we might miss all the simple beauties found on this planet after we depart. So we need to slow the pace down, relax, stop our continuous chase after things that don’t matter and find happiness in the simple things. The world we live in is a fascinating place, but you must dedicate some time to notice the small miracles around you.

The world around us is an extraordinary system, but it evolves and changes at a very slow pace. It’s great to let your mind, body and soul get in touch with the most elementary aspects your surroundings. Here are 7 ways to get connected with this amazing place we call planet Earth:

1. Listen to the Birds

Whether you take a stroll in the park, or you enjoy an outing in the suburbs or a more natural environment, enjoy the beautiful chirping of the birds. You will be amazed how many sounds these feathery little creatures can create. Sounds that cannot break through the crazy noise of a busy city. Their pleasing sounds will sooth your inner being and will make you feel more alive.

2. Enjoy the Benefits of Water Flow

Being near a water course, whether it is small or big, a waterfall or a mountain spring, the sound of moving water is beautiful music for your soul. Probably the best water flows are the sparkling mountain springs. Just look at the crystal clear water as it plays under the sun rays. Or just closing your eyes and hearung the sounds as it passes over rocks and follows its way to a distant point, can put you in balance with the beauty of the world.

3. Watch the Plants

Each plant, regardless of its shape, is a beautiful creation of nature. They have been on this planet for a long time, before we even evolved into what we are today. These simple live forms managed to adapt to any environment condition and to take their existence in complete silence. Again, take the time and look at their bright green, vivid colours of their flowers and delicate scent. Even the smell of grass can make you feel free and careless. A day out in an untouched green wilderness will get you to see life with different eyes.

4. Contemplate the Trees

Trees are silent witnesses that carry with them the shadows for the past years. They live longer than us, so they carry an energetic charge than can be rather impressive. Feel the texture and smell of the bark, look at the intricate branches and fresh green of the leaves. Go up to the mountain and breathe the resin of the coniferous trees. Your blood pressure will soften; you will feel calm immediately and in touch with these lovely giants.

5. Look at the Stars

Take a journey outside of the city. Somewhere at night where there aren’t so many surrounding lights. A cottage up in the mountains can be the best retreat to look at stars, as you need complete darkness to see their beautiful flickering light. Seeing the multitude of stars, you will realise that there are so many galaxies out there, all formed by the same laws of physics. We are so small in comparison with the vast Universe, and we should enjoy them and connect with this great entity as much as we can.

6. Take a Journey through the Untamed Wilderness

To get in connection with the beauty of the world, you need to be surrounded by it. To refill your batteries and feel refreshed and complete, take a short vacation somewhere far from any trace of civilisation and live simple, just by enjoying the wonders of nature. Respect the environment and don’t try to harm its beauty with modern means of living; it would be a shame, not to feel a part of it, for at least a short while.

7. Connect with Creatures

Having a pet, if you can take up the responsibility, is a nice form of therapy and a way to connect to the pure and beautiful side of life. These unreasoning creatures have an amazing way to connect with us, so we should find a way to connect with them as well. If you cannot keep animals on your property, try setting up bird houses, or a squirrel feeding ground if you have any of them where you live. Having life and animals around your house is just another way to enjoy the beauty of nature’s creations and feel more connected with it.

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Laughter Therapy Techniques to Lighten Your Day

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flickr.com/photos/wojtaszek

It’s well known that laughter is one of the best natural antidotes to the effects of stress. So why do we not do it more often? It’s really just down to habits. And a lot of us in modern society are way too focussed on the serious side of life. It’s good to do simple exercises to help loosen the internal funny muscles because it helps us reduce stress quickly and easily. So give yourself 5 minutes to practice the following Rapid Humour Therapy Techniques:

1. Speaking Gibberish in the Mirror 

Stare at yourself in the mirror and begin talking gibberish to that person in front of you. “Blah de blah blah blaaaah!” Why not pull funny faces to? How long can you grin your biggest grin before cracking up laughing?

2. A Funny Gesture

When you find something hilarious what gesture would epitomise that feeling? Go ahead and discover what movements demonstrate that state of being. Is it rapid hand shaking while smiling a big grin? Or how about jumping up and down on your toes…

3. Art Gallery Picture Frame

Think about a situation that causes you stress. Picture it in your minds eye; SEE YOURSELF in the situation, and notice the other people and the surroundings.

Now imagine placing a gallery frame around that picture; is it a thick golden frame? Is it oval or rectangular or another more interesting shape. Play with this and notice how it changes your emotional response.

4. A Friends Laughter

Do you have one of those special friends that are really good at helping you laugh at your sorrows and woes in life? Think about their special laughter. Hear it nice and loud in your mind. And now think about one of the situations in your life that is stressing you out. Now hear your friends laughter nice and clearly. Repeat this process a few times; that should lighten your emotional response to the situation you choose.

5. Evoke The Angel of Clowning

Did you know that there is an Angel of Clowning? Yes, it’s true you know! Breathe in and out a few times and then imagine you are blowing up a big funny clown in front of you; breathe life into him so he becomes alive. Now looking at him, noticing his gestures ask him, “How can I have more fun?” and “How can I lighten up?”

Now just remember, in future, you can pull your Angel of Clowning out of your pocket anytime you need to lighten up.

The exercises above are simple and fun to do. If you practice them regularly it could surprise you how much you lighten up in your everyday life. Doing something to reduce the effects of stress and anxiety is essential these days for our overall health and well-being. So why not share these exercises with friends and double the fun!

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What Is Emotional Resilience And How Can You Develop It?

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flickr.com/photos/samchurchill

Throughout your life, you have noticed people who seem to handle with ease, stressful or difficult situations, comparative with others. These conditions may appear extremely hard for you to handle, and you may consider them as a threat to your daily well-being. But some folks never give up, no matter how many knocks life gives them. It is a quality called emotional resilience, and it enables a person to deal with different crises without becoming demoralised or brought down by the events.

People, who are emotionally resilient, have a set of characteristics that helps them face any obstacle. They are more aware of the things that happen to them, and they know what feelings they experience and why. They are perseverant in any situation and believe that the strength of coordinating their destiny lies in their hands. They are always optimist and have a well developed sense of humour, always ready to laugh instead of letting worries overwhelm them. Although they are seen as strong people, they value the support of their family members and friends, and will always seek to be surrounded by them. No matter what type of experience they have, they will always learn from it and accept obstacles as a way to become stronger.

Here is what you need to know if you wish to become an emotional resilient person:

  • Never Give Up: No matter how hard the situation becomes, do not give up and continue developing your emotional resilience.
  • Change Your Attitude: You need to develop a positive attitude and take each challenge of living as a call to action, rather than to feel pity for yourself or to feel that you are a victim of life. If you concentrate on finding solutions for your problems, you will feel more confident and stop blaming the circumstances.
  • Be Aware Of The Things Around You: It’s very useful to know why you feel certain feelings, especially when you hit major difficulties. Knowing the cause can help you concentrate on coming up with a viable solution. Keeping a journal, for instance, can be very helpful for introspection and allowing you to remain focused on finding an answer to your challenges.
  • Stay Optimist And With Good Humour: It may be hard to laugh when life hits you but if you keep a light heart and always look at the “full glass,” you will be able to pass through any crisis more quickly. Being optimistic can help protect you against stress and fear.
  • Take Control Of Your Life: Don’t let yourself be carried away by events in your life, even if they are most unpleasant. You must be aware that the strength to change things is only in your hands; your attitude to life.

Even if you are an emotional person and you find some events in your life extremely challenging and stressful, you can train yourself to become emotionally resilient. The training needs to be constant if you want the best results and a life with minimum stress.

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How To Write A Personal Vision Statement

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flickr.com/photos/dexxus

Creating your own personal vision statement is a powerful process. It represents who you are, and it reflects your future life, in the way you want it to be. Writing down your goals, your wishes and desires, the way you see life for yourself, can be a powerful tool in achieving all of these. Motivational experts say that putting down into words the things that have the biggest value for you can actually bring you closer to them.

The personal vision statement is a declaration that will lead your life. So take your time in reflecting on the most important aspects in life for you in areas such as; work, friendships, relationships, spirituality and leisure. Also remember that your personal vision statement can change, according to the changes that occur during your lifetime. But you will be amazed how many will still remain steady.

Here are the things you should reflect about, before starting to create your vision statement:

  • Think about ten things you enjoy most. Choose things that make this world a more pleasant place for you.
  • Think about three things that you like doing every day of your life. Consider the ones that make your work more fulfilling.
  • Establish five, maybe six, values that are crucial for you.
  • Take every aspect of your life: career, family, spirituality, physical, social relationship, finances and so on. Set a goal for each aspect of your life.
  • If you would never have to work again in your life, what would you do with the remaining days of your life?
  • If your life is about to end, what is your biggest regret? Things you haven’t seen, or achieved, or done.
  • Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses; the way others see them and the way you perceive them in yourself.

After gaining a clear image of all these aspects, you can start composing your personal vision statement. Some specialists say 50 words or less, are enough. Some say that a better particularisation of your goals and vision is more helpful, and the statement should not cramp in word count. Maybe the best way is to make your statement long enough to include all of your dreams, plans, goals and visions about life. It will become the compass that will guide you every time you feel lost and don’t know what the right direction is.

flickr.com/photos/thomasthorstensson

flickr.com/photos/thomasthorstensson

Always write the vision statement in first person so you identify with it fully. The vision statement should be about the goals you hope to achieve in the future, and you should write about them as if they are already starting to take place in the present moment.

Take the time to write your personal vision statement. It is a document that will have great power in your life and will provide you with excellent motivational support, if you write it well. Make a deep introspection about yourself and your deepest desires. Never write down what others say you should do. Follow your inner guidance and write down only the dreams that will make you happy. Be sincere and honest with yourself and the chance for them to come true are significantly high.

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