We all deal with anxiety from time to time. It can be triggered by a major life event (like a job change, move or loss of a loved one), a health crisis, and even by the day-to-day stressors of our modern world. We live in a time where we are constantly connected and this can lead to a rise in anxious feelings.
Although it may not always feel like it, you are not alone in feeling anxiety. It is a natural part of being human. For some of us, we’re especially sensitive and therefore, more prone to feeling anxious. When you are constantly picking up on the noises, notifications, and nuances around you, it can be a challenge to keep anxiety at bay.
Personally, I have been feeling increased anxiety in the past few months—so I want to share some tips and methods I’ve tried to help reduce anxious thoughts and feelings.
Here are my three tips for reducing anxiety naturally:
I’ve been using the Insight Timer app for over a year. Meditation has been a great way to quiet my mind and bring me back to my center. I’ve noticed a difference in my sleep and how relaxed I feel during the day. One other benefit of meditation, aside from alleviating anxiety, is increased focus. On the days I meditate, I’m able to focus more clearly and get more done.
I also practice a lot of different breathing techniques which help as well. They say that if your body is relaxed, your mind follows suit and I have definitely found that to be true.
Walking in nature
Being outside in nature is the best medicine for anxiety. Studies have proven that being in nature increases activity in parts of the brain responsible for empathy and love. I like to go for a hike with my dog—and my thoughts always feels more clear when I’m done.
Talk it out
I would honestly say this has been my #1 anxiety reducing technique. There is just nothing like talking through exactly what you are feeling anxious about. I utilize both my friends and a professional therapist.
There is a great metaphor that my therapist gave to me recently about anxiety. She said we have a “fire alarm” in our brain that goes off when it senses there is a threat. But often, that fire alarm goes off due to “bacon smoke” and not real smoke. Meaning your brain has created a problem that isn’t really a threat. And similar to when the fire alarm goes off with bacon smoke, all you have to do is, fan out the smoke flames and open a window for some fresh air.
I hope you’ll find these tips helpful! I also really loved this article about natural anxiety reducing remedies.
I’ve included some resources below. These are products I’ve been using that have been helpful in my own journey with alleviating anxiety:
Himalayan Salt Lamp
B Complex Vitamin
Lavender Essential Oil
I’d love to hear what you do to stay calm and relieve stress and worries in your own life. Let me know in the comments below!
First it’s a whisper, then it’s a shout, then it it’s a 2 x 4 to the head.
We’ve all had it happen. It begins quietly, there’s a gentle unease with how things are going and a feeling that things aren’t quite right. Then things get more uncomfortable and clear that change needs to happen. But usually we ignore these two phases.
Then, the 2 x 4 comes, often in the form of a health crisis (as happened to me recently), an unwanted job or relationship change or some other major shift.
A friend of mine calls this the “sound of the death rattle”.
It’s when the current stage you are in is coming to an end.
This concept resonated with me because I associate this “death rattle” metaphor with hearing the call to do the next thing in our lives. I know for me, when I hear the death rattle, I’m usually not ready for it and I resist and resent the change forced upon me as it is often in an unpleasant form by the time it reaches the 2x4 stage.
We often have the feeling of “but I just got comfortable here!” However, change is inevitable, whether we like it or not. So it’s up to us to learn how to embrace it, even when it might make us uncomfortable.
So what do we do when we know change is a-comin’? Here are my top three go-to ways to turn towards a new beginning when you hear that “death rattle.”:
It’s hard to figure out the next step if we’re too busy racing around and filling our days with endless to do’s. Sometimes we need to consciously slow down in order to listen to our inner voice. This might seem counterintuitive, especially if you’re a Type A personality (like me!) and you want to take action, not press pause. Slowing down will help you feel less frantic about next steps and you’ll be able to make more solid and grounded choices about where you’re headed. For me, guided meditations on the Insight Meditation App are incredibly helpful.
Get out of your comfort zone
Start exploring new options and trying new things. You never know what’s right for you until you try. For example, I recently felt the call to start writing. So I signed up for a writing class on the website Master Class. Step out of your normal routine and shake things up a bit. When you get out of your comfort zone, you allow new ideas and fresh experiences to help guide you towards your next step.
Sometimes when we can’t see what lies ahead, we start to doubt ourselves. This is when you need to trust that there’s a reason you’re being called to make this change—even if you don’t know what that reason is yet. That’s where you have to trust that what you’re doing is leading you to what’s right for you. For me, usually it is speaking with others; whether it be a wise friend, a therapist or a coach that helps me see a broader perspective and trust that there are bigger things at play.
I hope these three tips are helpful for you! Are there others that have worked for you? Share in the comments below so that our community can benefit from your wisdom.
Here are some other resources that may help you when you hear “the death rattle” / the call to make a change:
Over the years, I’ve always felt drawn to creative people and the art, ideas and music they produce. I’ve worked with so many different thinkers and innovators in my coaching practice and I’m constantly reading about where inspiration comes from and how to get the creative juices flowing.
After spending so much time focused on the creativity of others, I’ve recently felt a calling to start exploring my own creativity and follow my inspiration. I signed up for a writing class and am thinking about writing a novel. This is totally new territory and a huge step in the evolution of my creative journey.
As I help guide others on their creative path and start to explore my own, I’ve gathered some tips that I know have been helpful to me and the people I coach—and may be helpful for you too.
Here are six tips to help you on your creative quest:
1. Explore different avenues. So often, I see people limiting themselves because they’ve never done something before. I know I’ve experienced this! We might want to paint or play an instrument, but don’t know how. One thing that’s important is staying open to exploring and trying different ways of being creative. Maybe you want to start a blog and write every week. Or sign up for a knitting class. Or a writing class. Whatever you feel called to do, don’t let your lack of experience in that area hold you back. You never know if it’s the right fit for you until you try.
2. Step out of your head. With busy schedules, it can sometimes be hard to make space for creativity in our lives. One of the best ways to be open to inspiration is to create some “free time” in your calendar. Take a break, go for a walk, meditate, or do any activity that clears your mind and doesn’t involve “to do’s.” This creates space in your day for inspiration to start flowing in.
3. Get all your ideas on paper. I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of ideas of things I’d like to do and try. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming when you have so many things you want to create, but don’t know where to start. One great first step is to get all your ideas down on paper. Make a list and then pick the top 3 you’d like to begin. You can always return back to your list later and keep adding to it. Getting your ideas organized in this way will help you choose the ones you’re ready to move forward on.
4. Take one small action step. Review your top 3 ideas and decide on one small action step you can take to bring that idea to life. Maybe you want to get your artwork in a gallery? Make a to do to research galleries in your area and then send them an email. Or maybe you want to write a book? Find a writing class or sit down and create an outline. After you take one step, then take another. Each small step is one step closer to bringing your idea to life.
5. Stay open to new inspiration and ideas. Sometimes when we get focused on one idea, we might block new inspiration from coming through. While it’s important to stay focused on your new creative goal, it’s equally as important to stay open to new and fresh ideas you may have. There might be new way to approach your creative project. Or a totally new idea you may want to pursue. Stay open to any fresh perspectives and ideas you have along the way.
6. Remember: there’s no right path. When it comes to creativity, no one else’s path will look exactly the same as yours. We are all creative beings, and it’s your unique journey. There’s no right or wrong way to be creative. Trust yourself and follow your own inspiration. You can get support and motivation from others, but stay away from comparison. Creativity is your own unique expression that comes from you.
I hope these tips will help you on your creative journey! In addition to the guidance above, here are a few resources that may help you as well:
Essentialism by Greg McKeown
"Sometimes what you don't do is just as important as what you do."
What Did I Love?
This book clarified so much for me in my life. It was like permission was granted to me to start saying no to everyone and everything that wasn't a 'hell yes' in my life.
Purchase Book Here.
Dying to Be Me by Anita Moorjani
"Everything that seemingly happens externally is occurring in order to trigger something within us, to expand us and take us back to who we truly are."
What Did I Love?
This book inspires fearlessness and shows the purpose of all of our lives and to not question that. The story of her near death experience is truly incredible.
Purchase Book Here.
Journey of Souls by Michael Newton
"During our lives all of us will experience opportunities for change which involve risk. These occasions may come at inconvenient times. We may not act upon them, but the challenge is there for us. The purpose of reincarnation is the exercise of free will. Without this ability, we would be impotent creatures indeed."
What Did I Love?
This book opened up the meaning of life for me which is that we are here to learn and experience that which we cannot experience on the other side. You will see your life with completely new eyes after reading this book.
Purchase Book Here.
The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer
"There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind—you are the one who hears it."
What Did I Love?
This book makes you realize that you are not the voice in your head. You are able to see it for what it is, a voice of fear trying to keep you safe. I developed a whole new relationship with fear after reading this book.
Purchase Book Here.
The Republic of Tea by Mel Ziegler
"What is told may be heard, but easily forgotten. What is shown will be seen, but not easily remembered. For those who aspire to know the way, sip the tea."
What Did I Love?
As someone who is looking to be a change agent in this world, this story of how the company "The Republic of Tea" came into being shows how our companies and ideas are an entity outside of ourselves and we are their shepards.
Purchase Book Here.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
"It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting."
What Did I Love?
What is there not to love?! This allegory about following your calling and living your legend is truly legendary. A must read for all on this path.
Purchase Book Here.
The Light Between Us by Laura Lynne Jackson
"Nobody lives a small life. No one is forgotten by the universe."
What Did I Love?
This book is a gift to all who read it. What comfort it gives from scientifically studied psychic medium who explains that our lost loved ones are always with us.
Purchase Book Here.
I've created this list of my 10 favorite lifestyle Instagram accounts to give you some inspiration. These accounts keep me feeling motivated and I hope they will for you too. Leave a message in the comments if there is anyone else you think I should follow!
The Chalkboard Magazine - @thechalkboardmag
Jillian Harris - @jillian.harris
Goop - @goop
Monika Hibbs - @monikahibbs
Shira Gill - @shiragill
A Thoughtful Place - @athoughtfulplace
Living with Landyn - @livingwithlandyn
Tim Ferriss - @timferris
The Everygirl - @theeverygirl_
Ayesha Curry - @ayeshacurry
A client recently wrote to me and asked, "How do you rock a Monday?"
She explained that she had a hard time snapping out of weekend mode and starting Monday as effectively as possible.
I thought I'd share with each of you the 5 key things I believe set you up for a productive and effective week.
But here is the most important part of it all...it actually starts on Sunday. Yep, Sunday morning, afternoon or evening is when you need to carve out 30 minutes - 1 hour to plan your week.
And here is how you should spend that time on Sunday:
Essentialism by Greg Mckeown
The One Thing by Gary Keller
7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” - Benjamin Franklin ***
If you are interested in having me coach a leader in your organization to have a greater impact or lead a workshop / offsite for your team, please feel free to reach out. I'd love to speak about how we can partner. Feel free to also watch my TEDx talk - Why We All Need to Take The Road Less Traveled.
"If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it's not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take.
That's why it's your path." -Joseph Campbell
Ever feel frustrated that you are, yet again, in the place where you aren't quite sure what your next step is in your career?
I have felt that as well...often, too often. for the likes of this ambitious personality.
That is why when I heard the Joseph Campbell quote listed above, I got the chills. It resonated at such a deep level because it validated what I know deep down.
When you are carving your own path, it can feel discouraging because no one else has cleared that exact path for you.
There are people who may be doing something similar to what you are trying to do but when you are playing in the world of thought leadership, what you are trying to accomplish has never been done.
While you want to have your career and your impact be laid out beautifully, it often actually looks like fits and starts like this:
So when you are in that moment of, "what am I doing again?", how do you gain clarity?
The world needs the unique impact that you bring.
If you are interested in having me coach a leader in your organization to have a greater impact or lead a workshop / offsite for your team, please feel free to reach out. I'd love to speak about how we can partner. Feel free to also watch my TEDx talk - Why We All Need to Take The Road Less Traveled
I don't know about you but in the last few months I have felt like the world is going to hell in a hand basket.
"North Korea tests nuclear missiles."
"Russia has infiltrated our government."
"Neo-nazi movement on the rise in the US."
"Worst weather on record - climate change upon us."
Towards the end of summer, I started to feel really down about everything that was happening in the world. I also found myself addicted to checking the news, Facebook and Twitter. As if, I had some control over what happened.
"If I stay informed and check Twitter every 15 minutes, I will then feel more in control of what is happening.", my ego told me.
"See, I'm not crazy, there are people who think the same way I do.", I'd tell myself as I retweeted or liked a post from someone I respect.
On and on I'd go like a dutiful robot programmed by the brilliant engineers who built these social media programs and the skillful journalists who put out the news.
Until one day, I realized, enough was enough. All of the retweeting, all of the articles I had read and all of the CNN analysis I had listened to, none of it had resulted in the news changing.
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Unknown
So I decided to take back my time and my emotional well being. I deleted the news app, I deleted the Twitter app and I deleted the Facebook app off of my phone.
In addition, I decided to commit to meditating every day for at least 3 minutes a day (I believe in setting the bar low when creating new habits). I use my favorite meditation app, Insight Timer, to stay on track.
Today I am 15 days in and I feel a huge difference in my emotional well being.
What I've learned is the lesson we all learn over and over again in our lives - we cannot control the world around us but we can control how we react to it.
Maybe you've had the same reaction to the news that I have. Or maybe you work in a toxic work environment. Or maybe in your community there is drama.
How do you stay calm amidst chaos?
"Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death." - Nelson Mandela
You do what you need to do to stay calm. You cut out the noise. You create the boundaries you need. You build in habits of self care - sleep, meditation, healthy eating, exercise, quiet reflection, time in nature, laughter and whatever else it is that fills you up.
And from THAT place, you are able to create positive change in the world. You get re-inspired and your creative juices start flowing. New ideas have the space to emerge in your life without all of the noise and stress.
Join me in being a calm but powerful force for good in the world.
*Curious how your organization and leaders can operate in this mode? Send me a note to talk about the off-sites I lead for other companies like yours.
Ever wonder what it would feel like to be unapologetic? I don't mean being a jerk or being insensitive to those around you.
An unapologetic leader is someone who is confident in what they are doing and moving forward with purpose. In my work as an executive coach, one of the common missteps I see with leaders is that they often second guess themselves. This second guessing causes spin which then trickles down to others in the organization and can cause a lot of churn. It also can cause unnecessary stress to the leader themselves as they tend to move into more of a reactive instead of proactive mode.
For those leaders who embrace an unapologetic mindset, you see a marked difference in their behavior.
Below are 8 behaviors that you can shift in order to adopt this mindset:
Why is it important to be unapologetic at work?
In my experience, when leaders shift to a unapologetic mindset, they see the below shifts:
Where can you begin to adopt the above behaviors in your day to day? Could you experiment with being unapologetic in one meeting and see what it feels like? Give it a try and let me know what you find in the comments.
I once asked attendees in a workshop I was leading to describe someone who they felt was influential.
Here are some of the quotes:
Think about someone you know either personally or professionally who you deem as influential, how would you describe them?
As an executive coach, the skill of being “influential” is something that is my clients often desire to hone in themselves. After all, if you can’t influence others with your ideas, how can you lead?
But how do you build the skill of influence, especially when sometimes, you feel like an imposter inside?
There are 3 components to building influence; trust, creditability and personal relationships.
Have you ever listened to or followed the advice of someone you did not trust? Of course not. Why would you? Trust is the cornerstone of influence.
But how do you build trust? I believe that trust comes through time and consistent interactions. Some ways to build trust within your team or organization is to ask yourselves the below questions:
Credibility is about reliability. When you are experiencing “imposter syndrome” (no, you are not alone, most if not all leaders I know have experienced this), it can be hard to feel credible. You may be asking yourself questions like, “What do I know about this topic?”, “Surely there must be others who know way more about this than I do.”
But credibility does not mean you are the ultimate expert. It means that you consistently and reliably show up prepared and with a point of view. It means you have an opinion that is well thought through and that moves the conversation forward for others.
Next time you are in a group meeting at work, think about what questions or opinions you can share that you believe will help your coworkers to see things in a new way.
Let’s face it, we listen to people we like. If I don’t like or respect you, I’m most likely not going to be influenced by you or your opinion.
I’m not saying that you should be in the business of making everyone like you. Far from it. What I am saying is that it is important to build a level of rapport with those you work with.
This could look like making sure you do “drive bys” with your peers for a quick hello. Grabbing lunch with a leader you respect in another department. Getting to know those on your team a little better.
Know that building influence takes time and dedication. It doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t happen without putting your attention to it. But by building trust, credibility and personal relationships with others, you will be on your way to influencing others with your great ideas!
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