Create Better Energy for Yourself

5.01.15We yearn for alternative ways to enhance our lives. Opportunities or tangible items that will provide extra incentives. We explore the Internet looking to self-educate, unlocking secrets that can expose happiness and life fulfillment. Sometimes we are fortunate, sometimes not.
Who/what gets your best energy? Where is most of your energy spent? Work? Family? Friends? How about technology? Think of the time consumption you spend daily on your phone, tablet, or computer. Are you consistently checking Facebook in anticipation that you may have missed a post or to see who liked your recent post? Is this your best energy?

As we culture into a technological world, our devices sometimes consume our best energy. Family, friends become secondary. Remember those days you would spend hours chatting on the phone to loved ones and friends? Now it’s a quick text correspondence in-between activities. And should we accidentally leave our phones at home, we feel a bit lost as our connection to the greater world is on temporary hiatus.

Last week, I read a case study and I came across a sentence that asked me “Who/what was getting my best energy?” I reread the sentence. Then reread it again. And again. It finally occurred to me while technology has become an important part of our lives, it was also taking away my best energy at times.

Although my daughter typically gets my best energy, occasionally technology interferes. As I think more about the case study, I find myself moving further away from technology to enable that my daughter continues to gets my best energy. From the moment I pick her up from after care to her bedtime, technology for the most part is put away. No more work emails. No more personal emails, texts, or calls. I want my daughter to know that she is most important and there is nothing greater than our time spent together.  If she is going to get my best energy, I need to ensure I devote myself entirely. And you know what, I think she enjoys our uninterrupted time together too.

Decide who/what gets your best energy and “keep those feet moving.”

A Smile to Brighten the Day

4.24.15Our days are filled with stress and anxiety. We have good days, we have challenging days. We even have days that we are pushed to our limits. Pushed to the point that we want to crawl in bed and sleep the day away. But no matter the type of day you have, there is always someone that has it worse.

I believe in karma. What goes around, comes around. I am superstitious being born on the 13th. And I believe in always doing the right thing. Even if that means sacrificing. Lately I find myself smiling at individuals and telling them to enjoy their day as I pass by. I don’t know why or how this came to be, however, the reactions I get in return are fascinating.

Last week, I was buying lunch and I casually smiled and told the cashier to enjoy her day. She was so surprised by the compliment that she then offered a discount towards a smoothie. She mentioned that she was having a tough day and she said I brightened her day. In turn, she wanted to do something nice. The fact that she was having a tough day got me thinking about how many others are having tough days. And more importantly, how can I reach them to help.

Sometimes all it takes is a smile and genuine comment to lift spirits. A smile can be contagious and heart felt. It can truly make a small difference in the lives of many. Even for that brief moment, it means everything. Despite our own challenges, you never know who needs a quick “pick me up.”

Life is what you make of it. How you rise up to overcome challenges. How you touch the lives of others to make a difference. Even the slightest touch can have a profound influence. You don’t always necessarily have to go out of your way to make a difference. Sometimes a smile is all that is needed.

Brighten someone’s day and “keep those feet moving.”

Boost Your Confidence

4.17.15Have you ever noticed that when your confidence is high, you are on top of the world. But when your confidence is shattered or uncertain, you struggle with the next step forward. Why is that and how can we boost your confidence level?

Confidence can be cemented as part of the foundation to our existence. It can mean a difference between landing that career opportunity, managing relationships, the type of day you’re having, to overcoming an illness such as cancer. Without it, you become stuck in second gear, just grinding it out each day.

The key to gaining confidence is to find role models that can educate you, challenge you to rise to the top. Align yourself with those that are more confident than you. Observe how they handle stressful situations and use their positive energy to push themselves harder. And harder. And harder. Mimic their actions, use them as resources to enable you to gain confidence and strength. Learn to exert your confidence so that you can walk into any situation and knock down walls. Develop a short term memory. There are times you just have to let things go. It’s better to let sleeping dogs lie. Learn to let go of the barriers that surround you.

There is nothing you can’t conquer. Believe in yourself, believe in your abilities. That’s all it takes.  And once you get that, no one can take that away from you. Never let negatively bring you down. Be stronger than that. Anytime you need a confidence boost, remember these very words:

Become so strong that no one can rise above you.
Become so tough that no one can hurt you.
Become so powerful that you become untouchable.

Become untouchable and “keep those feet moving.”

Live Life to the Fullest

4.10.15Fears are supposed to protect us from harm. From the time we are infants to present day, our fears significant impact our lives. While there are good and bad fears, learning to cope with certain fears can help you live a fulfilled life.

I’ll admit, my greatest fear is dying. The very thought of it is unsettling. Too many emotions swirl my head and I can’t even conceive the notion of the unknown. But rather succumb to the sadness and thought, I choose to live my life to the fullest each day. I believe that everyone in life has a purpose. And as long as that purpose hasn’t been fulfilled, there is more life to live. So I’ve dedicated myself to give back, to help others enhance their life. To enable others to reach their potential, their dreams, and overcome personal challenges. There are over 7.1 billion people in this world. That’s a lot of opportunity for me. At this point, I just may live forever.

Sometimes I wonder if our fears are based upon our perceptions and interpretations of what we’ve heard or read. Or perhaps our own personal experiences have taught us to be fearful of certain aspects. There are days when it’s easier to hide inside and not venture out, but that’s not what life is about.

Life is about overcoming those fears. Empowering others to do the same. There are those who insist on hiding behind their fears, while others work to overcome it. Understanding that certain fears are more challenging than others, however, if you don’t attempt to mitigate your fears, you’ll never know what you are capable of achieving in life.

Life is full of fears, big and small. We have one life to live. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.

Live life to the fullest and “keep those feet moving.”

How to Deal With Anxiety and Panic Attacks

4.03.15Anxiety and panic attacks can strike at any given time. Without warning, the weight of the pressure consumes our mind and body, triggering great fear. As we continue to panic, our fear intensifies. Suddenly, we lose control of everything. The first question asked is whether we are having a heart attack. Scary, very scary indeed.

Medical science dictates that panic attacks and heart attacks are different. But try telling that to someone in the middle of a panic attack episode. The heat burning in the middle of the chest. The heartbeat pounding faster and faster. Dry mouth. Shortness of breath. These are all symptoms of a panic attack.

My first panic attack nearly twenty years ago was traumatic. My heart was on fire and pounding out of my chest. I couldn’t focus, I couldn’t calm myself down. It kept getting worse and worse. I was sure I was having a heart attack. Somehow over the next few minutes, the fire and pounding in my chest subdued. Things appeared to be normal again. So I thought. Over the next few days I had smaller episodes. Not to mention a few trips to the ER. I couldn’t understand what was happening to me. The diagnosis each time was panic attacks.

It wasn’t until I read a book, “The Anxiety Disease” by David V Sheehan, M.D., that I was able to identify panic attack triggering points. How to control my thoughts and remain calm during stressful situations. I learned how to channel my strength to overcome fears. I’ll admit I may experience an episode from time to time. However, I have learned how to stop a panic attack and regain control by applying these techniques:

1) Identify panic attack triggers to distinguish whether the episode is panic attack related or something larger.

2) Close your eyes. Slowly breathe in from your nose, exhale from your mouth. As you breathe in chant “Breathe” and as you exhale “Emoji.” By repeating these unrelated words over and over again, your mind slowly transitions from fear to calm. Think of it as a mind misdirection.

3) Drink cold water and wash your face. The coolness will help restore the body sensation and it’ll continue to alleviate the dry mouth.

4) Call a loved one or friend. By sharing your episode can help pinpoint triggers not yet identified.

5) Accept the fact you had an episode. No shame to it. It simply happened, nothing more to it.

Even the strong experience setbacks. It’s part of life and who we are. But what separates ourselves is how we choose to overcome setbacks. How we learn to knock down barriers to gain strength. How we use past experiences to better enhance our lives.  A setback may knock you down, but getting back up immediately shows courage, strength, and determination. As long as you believe nothing can stop you, you can overcome anything. Sometimes the greatest battle in life is the one within yourself.

Overcome your anxiety and “keep those feet moving.”

Depression – Breaking The Silence

3.27.15In life we experience great moments and happiness. Accomplishments that enable us to feel as though we are on top of the world. But we also experience tragedies and disappointments.

Life can equate to riding a roller coaster as we all ride roller coasters differently. Some scream, some put their hands in the air, and others sit emotionless. Regardless of how we ride, we all experience the roller coaster going up and down, twisting and turning. High speed drops that truly defy whether we can stand the challenges at any given moment. And when we are finally able to catch our breath, we become filled with overwhelming emotions.

It has been said that sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to rise again. But hitting rock bottom can flirt with depression, which is entirely a new ballgame. It’s dark. It’s cold. There is an imbalance. When you are depressed, there doesn’t appear to be a higher ground or an end in sight. Some may consider themselves depressed while others are clinically diagnosed. Regardless of the how factor, depression is real. It’s not always visible and it’s not widely spoken about.

I’ve known individuals who have taken their own lives because they believed their pain was too great. I’ve read about celebrities doing the same, not comprehending how they possibility could be hurting given their fame and wealth. So many questions with unknown answers.

The emotional pain may be too great to mend quickly. But, with the right support, anything is possible. There are resources available to assist those in need how to overcome depression and ultimately lead to better lives.

Together, we can help those affected directly or indirectly by depression. Pass along our strength. Provide opportunities that were available previously. Teach how to rise up after each time they get knocked down. Show them all that life has to offer so they can enjoy many more great moments and happiness down the road. While there may be setbacks along the way, together we can make a difference.

Speak up if you or someone you know is depressed. As painful as it may be to watch or listen, we must help them fight their battles. No one is here to judge. No one has to go through depression alone.

Break the silence and “keep those feet moving.”

How to Maintain a Healthy Work/Life Balance

3.20.15We work. We work. And we work. Seldom do we have enough time for ourselves. All the constant work related pressures, it’s no wonder why we feel run down, short of patience, and ultimately sacrifice our health.

With so much emphasis on our careers, we lose sight of our own personal needs. Yet alone, feel guilty for taking a few moments to ourselves each day. In turn, with all that pressure and stress we endure, our immune systems weaken, which could potentially lead to serious illnesses. Rather than decompressing after our day, we log back onto our computers and work for another few hours. Why? Are we that over capacity at work that there is a need to bring work home? Are we afraid that we will lose our jobs if we can’t prove we can increase our capacity? Or are we simply trying to get recognized for our efforts with a promotion?

At what costs do we compensate our work/life balance? Which has a greater emphasis, financial or health?  For some, the answer is quite simple, but for others, there’s a reason why there needs to be a work/life balance structure.

Despite my strong work ethics, I’ll admit, those extra hours worked at night, increased workload capacity never translated to a promotion or greater financial gains. Nor did it lead to better job stability as I still found myself unemployed at times. It was only recently that I learned the true value of a work/life balance. Secrets that I wished I’d known previously. Perhaps it may or may not change where I am in my career per se, however, it would have afforded me greater opportunities to take advantage of time I had available, but chose to work instead.

Enclosed are 5 ways to maintain a healthy work/life balance that are far too often overlooked.

1) Use your vacation days, it’s call sanity.
2) Exercise, no matter how tired or over capacity you are, make time available. A good workout releases tension, which is necessary.
3) Prioritize your own downtime of at least one hour per day, it’s called relaxation.
4) Nothing is more important that spending time with your family, children. Learn to take full advantage of it.
5) Sleep, nothing good follows on a short night’s rest. Medical facts can support this.

Maintaining a work/life balance is challenging. But balancing your work/life will enable you to better structure your time with your family, friends, and ultimately yourself. As for your health, it will thank you for it later on.

Prioritize your work/life balance and “keep those feet moving.”