The power of positive thought

DO YOU WANT TO FEEL HAPPIER EACH DAY?

Disclaimer: This is not the blog article I thought it was going to be. It was supposed to be about coping with food intolerances and the power of positive thinking but it turned into more of a ‘getting to know me’ post. I often say the phrase ‘but it’s not about me’ but sometimes I wonder how I expect anyone to relate to things I post if they just see me as a goody two-shoes spouting (hopefully) helping advice.

I was chatting to a good friend earlier who reminded me that only 4 years ago I was sat on her settee in floods of tears completely unhappy with my life. My health was suffering, my relationship was in tatters and I was finding my job too demanding. Most of all I didn’t know what to change or how I could do anything about it. I just assumed I was someone who wasn’t one of the lucky ones, whose lives seem so perfect on Facebook.

Fast forward to today and I was babbling on about how much I love my new house, how my husband is awesome and my jobs (note the plural to reflect a patchwork career) are going well. Yes I’m earning less than I used to in the corporate world but my life is so much richer for having changed so completely. The biggest change is that I’M HAPPY EVERY SINGLE DAY. Sounds annoying doesn’t it but you can be an annoying person too!

My biggest obstacle back then? Myself. I was in such a dark place, I couldn’t work out where to go, how to change or even what I wanted to do. If I didn’t have a plan, even just an inkling, how could I take a step forward? I opted for the more extreme version and left my job, my boyfriend and London behind as I headed home to lick my wounds and wonder where it had all gone wrong.

Staying with my parents allowed me a month off work without having to worry about income. I’m pretty sure I spent the first week just sleeping and crying. Then I started reading books of people in far worse scenarios than me who kept going for inspiration (Chris Moon, Jane Tomlinson, Lance Armstrong – before the truth came out). I’ve always been a sucker for a good old Hollywood ‘I changed my life completely’ story and was probably subconsciously looking for a bit of inspiration.

The idea of ‘positive thought’ sounded too American and cheesy to me. Waking up and being thankful for the new day, for a good night’s sleep or for a cooked breakfast? No thanks. But slowly I wondered if there was something in it and although I felt silly, I started to make a list of things I was grateful for and jot down ideas, however outlandish, of what jobs I’d like to have, places to visit and activities to try.

Another friends told me about moodboards and dream planning. Again the cynic in me didn’t understand how making a collage could help but flicking through magazines and Pinterest enabled me to work out a vague idea of what I wanted my life to look like. And it certainly wasn’t living with my parents on the eve of my 30th with a body that felt like it only had 20% battery life left.

So where does that leave me now? Fast forward 4 years and I am:

  • Happily married to someone supportive and caring – √
  • Living in the countryside – √
  • Pursuing my passion of health and wellbeing (having spent the past 3 years retraining) – √
  • Helping other people achieve their potential – OK I can’t put check as that feels too big headed but maybe a tiny nod of indication
  • Listing things I’m grateful for on a daily basis – hell yeah!

Fancy increasing your happiness? Try it for yourself.

 

which of these doe you hear

If it’s the left column, try rewording it into a more encouraging statement.

We have over 60,000 thoughts a day. Why not try to chance at least one of them?

 

Wishing you all a wonderful week,

Sarah x

 

 

 

Would you like some help with getting a good nights sleep?

SLEEP & RELAXATION TOP TIPS

Sleep is nature’s way of restoring and recharging both mind and body for a new day. It supports brain function, emotional wellbeing, and it’s not called beauty sleep for nothing; sleep really is the best anti-ageing treatment there is, helping to restore brightness to your skin. When we sleep we release hormones and regulate our metabolism, leading to cell turnover and collagen production.

PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE!

“You can’t pour from an empty cup”.

We all lead busy lives but it is important for our health both mind sanity and immune system to relax and allow our body to recharge.

Lack of sleep triggers the release of cortisol (a stress hormone) which causes blood sugar to rise, the always on ‘fight or flight’ scenario and inability to switch off.

Make time for relaxation

Use your ‘me time’ certificates to make time to relax. Create a short time block each day for (this could be a 10 min walk in fresh air, having a cup of tea in the garden, night time bath etc.)

Me Time Certificate fb-tile-zen-and-oil

TOP TIPS

  • Create relaxation time every day – switching your mind off
  • Good bedtime routine
    • Warm bath
    • Relaxing candles
    • Caffeine free / night time tea
    • Soothing music
    • Window open in bedroom to cool it down
    • Glass of water before bed with zinc or beauty sleep supplement to restore overnight
    • No technology 30 mins before bedtime
    • Phones off (including vibrate off), switch off standby on tv
    • Scribble pad for any thoughts or worries
  • Hold ESR points on forehand and breathe deeply. Deep belly breaths not shallow chest ones.
  • Gentle stretch before bedtime
  • Increase hydration (and take your omega oils to help your body absorb water into your cells)
  • Use a Zen Soto diffuser to help gently swish releaxin essential oils into the air forcing your body’s limbic system to respond and physically help you relax

PRODUCTS TO HELP

SUPPLEMENTS – remember to get natural, bulking agent & sucrose free supplements for optimum absorption

  • Vitamin B for energy conversion
  • Zinc  to boost immune system and health skin, hair and nails
  • Omega 3,6,9  They’re not called ‘essential’ fatty acids for nothing!

Sleep and relaxation health

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

SUPPORT INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

I am very happy to celebrate #InternationalWomensDay.

How many of you have experienced being paid less than your male peers? Feeling marginalised just because you’re a woman? Have felt vulnerable just because you’re wearing a skirt? How many female leaders do you know of? How many of your female friends do an incredible yet silent job of raising their children or managing the household? How many of your female friends have started their own business? And how many times have you downplayed your achievements or said ‘Oh it’s only a little thing?’

I am incredibly proud to be part of NYRO, who have come TOP in the world’s most ethical shopping companies, who have strong developmental and supportive links helping empower women. It’s not a nameless marketing trick, but a genuine relationship. I listened to Susan Curtis speaking yesterday on her trips to Africa and sharing her experience and photos of the great work NYRO do out there.

For example, our organic frankincense is gathered by the Samburu Tribe in northern Kenya. As well as a much needed income, the women receive a 10% social premium, which helps to support their children’s education.

So, stand up and be proud to be a woman.  You don’t always need a megaphone but can support by simply shopping with a Fairtrade company. So why not treat yourself or a wonderful girl friend and enjoy that warm, fuzzy feeling knowing 10% of your purchase goes directly to Women fow Women International. (Plus there is still £5 off selected gifts so save money for yourself AND support the charity – yes pelase!)

 SHOP WITH NEAL’S YARD REMEDIES ORGANIC

IWD

WOMEN FOR WOMEN

I’ll let the below post describe more accurately the work NYR actually do.

Happy International Women's Day! Today we're donating 10% of sales to Women for Women International to support their…

Posted by Neal's Yard Remedies on Tuesday, 8 March 2016

No regrets

NO REGRETS

Ever heard your parents say that you’ll only regret the chances you DIDN’T take? Well it’s true! Just do it! (Why are they always right??)

I don’t know about you but I don’t tend to sit around thinking ‘I wish I hadn’t gone for that job interview’ or ‘That meal was rubbish, why did I bother?’, I try and see things as an opportunity to learn. I’m not a cheerleading ‘You go girl!’ fist pumping American (no offence to my American friends), but I am a fan of self-development. I do believe that everything happens for a reason – even if the path seems rather opaque and winding at times.

I’ve started working in a school recently and love seeing the senior school girls enjoying their wide variety of activities, knowing that they have so many wonderful years ahead of them to try new activities, love some, hate some and find their own path through life. I don’t sit there feeling bitter and old about being in my 30s and how I wish I had done something else with my life, I remind myself of the incredible opportunities I’ve had and, to be honest, how much happier I am settled in my 30s than struggling with the rollercoaster of insecurities your teenage years bring. Every single one of my decisions, both good and bad, has brought me to the place where I am today. Even the negatives aspects such as years of ill health, toxic relationships and stressful jobs all take their place in the tapestry of my life. Those challenging situations have helped me take a moment to reflect, evaluate and make changes.

no regrets

Pushing myself out of my comfort zone, from something simple like trying that new recipe or calling that person who was interested in hosting a Neal’s Yard party (I hate calling people as I’m constanly worried somone will say ‘You’re a dreadful person, never call me again!’) are all small ways of developing myself.

Take tonight for example, I joined the local Military Wives Choir just 4 weeks ago. Tonight they were holding auditions for the opening solo of ‘On my own’ from Les Mis. Now there are a lot of beautiful and varied voices within the choir but I, like many, love the musical and had been singing away all week. I hadn’t rehearsed as I went along with zero intention of auditioning, however the little nudger inside my head said ‘go on. Why not? What’s the worst that can happen?’ Well apart from sing off key in a room full of people and be kicked out of choir for being tone deaf, I just thought ‘let’s do it.’ Well actually I didn’t; at first as they called the auditionees I remained in my chair but I could feel the disappointment creeping over me so I jumped up and snuck onto the end of the group. Heart beating wildly, I just decided to give it my all and show them what I’ve got.

Considering that life isn’t a fairytale, needless to say I didn’t get the solo, and apart from a nanosecond of the naughty devil’s voice saying ‘obviously i wasn’t good enough’ I looked around and realised that 19 other people were probably feeling the same thing so I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. So I accepted the compliments people gave me (that in itself is another post in its entirety), felt proud that I put myself forward for it and enjoyed feeling comfortable enough in my skin to have even auditioned in the first place. And then I drove home quickly for a cup of night time tea to calm the adrenaline!

I’m so pleased I did join in; I would’ve hated to have come home, sat on the settee and wondered ‘what if?’ I can now relax safe in the knowledge that every day, in some small way, I am trying new things.

So, I challenge you to STOP criticising yourself, to stop thinking that you’re not good enough and just to GIVE IT A GO! You never know, you may be better than you think and you’ll definitely be happier. In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take so don’t leave room for regret – just do it!

With love and encourgament,

Sarah xx

Jar of happiness

Who else wants to keep a Jar of Happiness next year?

What a beautfully simple idea this is. Starting on Jan 1st 2016, I’m going to write down one thing each day that I’m thankful for to fill my Jar of Happiness. All you need is an old jam jar and some paper – simples!

Help yourself keep going and get through the tough times. So many of us wander through life saying ‘I’m fine’ or ‘it’s OK’ without ever expressing when something is INCREDIBLE or REALLY DIFFICULT. By writing something for this jar each day, whenever you’re having a trickier day you can reach in and pull out a little piece of happiness to remind you of a good time and help you keep going.

Who wants to create their own Jar of Happiness?

Sarah x

nyr jar of goodness