Feeling Stressed and Overwhelmed? Try A Few Joy Boosters

We all need a few ways to release stress, add some joy, and re-energize ourselves.  Here are some of my favorites:

Add joyful movement:  When you get up in the morning, thank your body.  Sometimes that’s not easy when you feel a few aches and pains.  Still, appreciate your body because it’s continually regenerating billions of cells at any moment.  So, stretch your body and release endorphins–those feel good chemicals! Daily exercise will increase the quality of your life and your feeling of wellbeing. Include movement that you enjoy like walking, running, Zumba, Yoga, or NIA, which is like dancing Yoga.

Create a Zen Den:  Find a place where you can hide out when stressed. Disappear there for a few minutes to chill out with a cozy chair.   Surround yourself with whatever you love. These can be beautiful objects, music, and maybe add aroma therapy with a diffuser.  Even in your office at work, add a soft lamp and other things that bring calm.  Remember to walk away from your desk and stretch out the stress and add some deep breathing for calm.

Have some Fun!  Laughter is one of the best remedies to stress.   A burst of laughter can get the blood flowing and boost your immune system.  Laughter releases endorphins that help you to feel better and have a positive attitude. Believe it or not, there’s a practice called “Laughing Yoga,” that is meant to boost joy and healing.  I teach this in my workshops and groups.  Click here to learn more about How to Ignite A Success Mindset.

Eat healthier:  Ever notice how you feel, when you eat too much junk food?  The next day you feel sluggish and not very energetic.  When you eat healthier, the opposite is true.  Feeding your body lots of fresh veggies and fruit, protein smoothies and wholesome foods, helps you feel more energized.

Enjoy sipping green tea:  Green tea is a source of L-Theanine, a chemical that is great at relieving stress and anger.  Some studies say it can also boost your metabolism.

Treat yourself to a mini-massage. Rub some lotion on your hands and start massaging the muscles in your hands using your thumbs to help get rid of stress. You may also include your shoulders, neck and scalp.  This will get your energy flowing with a sense of well-being.

Talk to a friend: Create a support system.  When something is bothering you, share your feelings with a friend. Vent to a close family member or call a close friend.  In person or over the phone is so much better than venting and texting.  You will feel so much better afterwards.

Daydream and visualize:  Let go of your stress by imagining something that makes you happy or something that you want to create in your life. Use your imagination and travel anywhere that makes you feel peaceful and serene.  Or imagine your life a year from now, and what you want to create.  Visualizing will boost your mood and lower blood pressure.  It will also help bring more of what you want in your life.

Remember these joy boosters to create the best mindset! If you like this blog post, please share it with your friends.  And let me know in the comments below some of your favorite joy boosters!

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Specialist.  Vicki is passionate about bringing more peace and wellbeing to parents and children.  Find her at HeartTalkNow.com and CalmingCorner.comfor kids. You can connect with her on Facebook and email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com.

5 Tips for More Happiness

Where Are You on the Happiness Scale?

Can you choose to be happier?  Psychology professor David T. Lykken believes we each have a “happiness set point.”  Yet, other Psychologists who study happiness believe we can improve our state of emotions.  Try focusing on gratitude and appreciation and creating the intention to be happier.  Here are a few Best Mindset tips to help you expand your happiness.

Tip # 1: Choose Happier Thoughts

Choose to make happiness a top goal.  Author of The Happiness Hypothesis Jon Haidt teaches positive psychology and for homework, he assigns his students to make themselves happier during the semester.   Some of these include: being more forgiving or more grateful. They also learn to challenge negative thoughts.

Tip #2: Make a Gratitude List

In his book, Authentic Happiness, University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman encourages readers to perform a daily “gratitude exercise.” It involves listing a few things that make them grateful. This shifts people away from bitterness and despair, he says, and promotes happiness.  I also keep a gratitude rock by my nightstand and before bed, I remind myself of 3 to 5 things that I’m grateful for.

Tip #3: Continue to Forgive

Michael McCullough and Robert Emmons, researchers who edited The Psychology of Happiness claim holding a grudge can affect your health.  One way to curtail these kinds of feelings is to practice forgiveness. This reduces the power of bad events to create bitterness and resentment, and add stress to your body.

Tip #4: Build Friendships

There’s nothing like a good laugh with dear friends, and this also promotes happiness. Author of The Pursuit of Happiness David G. Myers found one Australian study that showed people over 70, who had the strongest network of friends, lived the longest. Myers claims the “social ties that bind also provide support in difficult times.”

Tip #5: Find Meaningful Activities

People are seldom happier than when they’re in the “flow.” This is a state in which your mind becomes thoroughly absorbed in a meaningful task that challenges your abilities. Psychology research has found watching TV ­­produces some of the lowest levels of happiness. It turns out that to get more out of life, we need to put more into leisure time.  Choose activities that you most enjoy doing.  They’re good for your mental health and your happiness.

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Specialist.  Vicki is passionate about bringing more peace and wellbeing to parents and families.  Find her at HeartTalkNow.com and CalmingCorner.comfor kids. You can connect with her on Twitter and email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com

Recovery St. Louis Healing Circle

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Join us for our new Healing Circle at Recovery St. Louis!  All are welcome who want to take the mystery out of meditation, mindfulness, and guided Imagery.   We are more powerful when two or more are gathered.  Also, this Healing Circle will improve your “conscious contact” with your higher power, as it says in Step 11.

We will learn techniques to connect to our breath, connect to our hearts, expand awareness, and feel more peace and less stress.  It’s our hope to help make a meaningful difference in your life, and discover a safe place to heal.  Embrace the love and abundance that is All-That-Is.

As a Certified Guided Imagery Practitioner and Best Mindset Coach, I am honored to be partnering with Recovery St. Louis to co-create these special sessions. With the Healing Circle, we aim to build community and provide healing, whether you are in recovery, or a healer, or needing healing.  Together, we will connect to a higher, wiser aspect of ourselves and hold that same intention for each in the Healing Circle.

 

4 Signs You May Have Anxiety

How do you know if you are one of the 40 million adults who may suffer from anxiety in the US?  And what to do if you show these signs of anxiety? Most of us experience anxiety at one point in our lives.  Perhaps it’s before an interview or before a “big day.” This is normal stress and to be expected. Anxiety disorders go beyond the normal jitters.

For years, I had suffered from worry and sleepless nights. About eight years ago, I rediscovered meditation and Guided Imagery that has helped me live with more ease.  That’s why I began teaching meditation and Guided Imagery and other tools because these helped me release the worry.

I know there may be others who want relief, as well.  Let’s explore some of the signs of anxiety, and then talk about better ways to cope.

  1. Poor Sleep

Most people who have generalized anxiety disorder also suffer from poor sleep patterns.  If you have difficulty getting or staying asleep on a regular basis, then this could be signs of anxiety. If you are constantly worried about everything then it could be a sign of Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

  1. Constant State of Fear

Fear of heights, fear of flying, many of us feel these, but if it’s getting in the way of you living a normal life, like leaving your house, then this is probably an anxiety disorder.  Sometimes this fear takes over leading to nausea, headaches, stomach cramps, or all over tension in our stomach or throat.

  1. Compulsive Behaviors (OCD)

Obsessive compulsive disorders fall into extreme rituals and a sign of anxiety.  This can include overthinking or repetitive cleaning actions. Once these actions start to interfere with daily life you may find relief through treatment.

  1. Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is more common than you think.  If you are regularly feeling self-conscious going out, especially with close friends, your anxiety is getting in the way of living a more satisfying social life.

 

What Are Treatment Options?

The most important thing to know is that you do not have to suffer in silence.  For one thing, being in a constant state of anxiety raises your cortisol levels, which can lead to weight gain, brain fog, and stress-related illnesses.  Treatment varies for Generalized Anxiety Disorder.  You may need to see a doctor to be prescribed medicine that may help you relax or sleep, and possibly combine this with talk therapy.  There are also natural supplements and homeopathic remedies that may help.

Learning to meditate and using Guided Imagery can be extremely helpful. That’s what has helped me the most.   In fact, hundreds of studies point out that being in a deep meditative state calms the fear and flight part of the brain and over time rewires the brain for more calm.  Learning to breathe in deeply and letting it out slowly, sends a signal to the body through the parasympathetic nervous system to be calm.

I have two helpful Guided Imagery programs for anxiety:  Embrace Love Release Fear and Stress Buster.  There’s also Blissful Sleep.  Private coaching and learning other stress-relieving tools like Emotional Freedom Technique or Tapping may also be helpful.  Check out my services, or find another holistic coach, therapist, or doctor.  The most important thing is to feel better.

You deserve to lead a fulfilling life.  There’s a better way to live than living in constant anxiety and stress.  Your family will love the change in you and so will you.

Wishing you peace!

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Specialist.  Vicki is passionate about bringing more peace and wellbeing to children, teens, and adults.  Find her at HeartTalkNow.com and CalmingCorner.com for kids. You can connect with her on Twitter and email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com

Ignite Your Morning Power with Meditation

Time for A Mini-Meditation?

Do you have a time that you set aside for meditation?  Motivational success coaches, like Best-Selling Authors Jack Canfield and Tony Robbins, suggest meditating first thing in the morning.  It helps set the tone for the day.  If you do not have much time, try this six-minute mini-boost in the morning which is outlined below.

If you want to learn more about how to ignite your inner light and create your best life, join my six-month online member program Unleash your Inner Power which starts February 7th.

Now, here are simple directions for my mini-meditation.  Find a quiet spot where you will not be disturbed.  Sit in a comfortable chair and close your eyes.  Begin with a minute or two of gratitude.  Think of someone you love or who loves you.  Or, think of other things that you are grateful for. Maybe you appreciate a hot cup of coffee, or the morning quiet, before everyone is up.  Opening your heart in gratitude brings us in a higher state of appreciation.

Follow that with two or three minutes of receiving a loving presence from above and all around that connects your Divine spark.   Know that this higher power can heal and solve problems in your life.  Raise this awareness and connection.  Allow the Divine, Source Energy, or God, whatever you call this power, to help you in your life.  But in order to receive, it is helpful to be in a state of appreciation.

Then, use two-to-three minutes of visualization to imagine the three to five things you want to accomplish in your day or your life.  Imagine what it would feel like to complete those items.  Spend time with each thing that you would like to go well, whether it’s a relationship, a business deal, reaching a health goal.  See the end result as already accomplished.

Join us to begin igniting your morning power! The six-month online member program Unleash your Inner Power starts February 7th. We will also be setting intentions to create what we most want to manifest in 2018.  As a group process, this can be even more powerful.

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Specialist.  Vicki is passionate about bringing more peace and wellbeing to children and adults.  Find her at HeartTalkNow.com and CalmingCorner.com, for kids. You can connect with her on Twitter and email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com

 

How to Recapture Wonder? Try Guided Imagery

This Guided Imagery may help you recapture that sense of wonder.

During this time of year, we often see the classic movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  On the brink of suicide, a Guardian Angel saves George Bailey from ending his life. The angel helps George rediscover how important his life has been and how many lives he had touched with love and kindness.  George returns with new appreciation and wonder for life and his many blessings.

So how do you recapture that childlike wonder?  In order to cultivate more wonder, it’s important to stop, take a breath, and appreciate your life and the miracles that surround you. You have touched many lives and will continue to do so. We are very much interdependent.  During the next few weeks, take a few moments to be the observer, who does not judge, but sees with compassion.  You are a miracle and you will continue to be a miracle to all of the lives that you have touched.  That’s what will help make the holiday season more special.  This Guided Imagery “Welcoming Wonder” may help.

Guided Imagery: Welcoming Wonder

Let’s recapture a feeling of childlike wonder.

Close your eyes and take a couple of deep breathes in and out.  Slowly breathe in on the count of 4…1,2,3,4 hold it…then let it out on a count of 4.  Do a few more deep breaths like that, letting the air in through your nose, expand down into your belly, pause, then slowly let it out through your mouth…

Feel your heart space and let it expand… (Pause for a few moments.) Now, see yourself as an observer…Be like a child who is watching a colorful rainbow.   Or, spinning in the breeze because you feel so alive. Or, lying in the soft cool grass watching magical clouds float by.  What do you see?  What do you hear?  What do you smell?  Let that feeling gently come into your being.  Be in wonder at the process of life. (Pause again for a few moments.)

Now expand this wonder, this feeling of joy for life, expand this feeling even 10 times stronger than what it was before…this sense of awe that your life does matter and we are connected.  Stay in this feeling for several minutes, or however long you’d like, opening and appreciating.  Feel a compassion for yourself and others.

When you are ready to return from this Guided Imagery, gently bring yourself back, opening your eyes.  And bring this sense of wonder and awe back with you into the rest of your day.  Wishing you peace and a holiday season filled with wonder!  If you like this, check out our store page for more Guided Imagery.

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Specialist.  Vicki is passionate about bringing more peace and wellbeing to children and adults.  Find her at HeartTalkNow.com and CalmingCorner.com, for kids. You can connect with her on Twitter and email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com

Thank you! Gratitude Meditation

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for family and friends.  It’s a time to practice gratitude for the little things and bigger blessings in our lives. Here’s a gratitude meditation to practice when you want to feel more connected and in a state of grace. Gratitude raises your state of higher awareness with love.

Settle into a quiet place and get comfortable. Please close your eyes. Take a deep breath in on a count of four, hold it. Then release on a count of four and pause. Do this deep breathing a few more times to relax your mind and body.

Make sure you release any tension that remains in any part of your body. (Pause for a few moments.) Now place your attention on your heart. Breathe in and out a golden light in your heart. Be thankful for your heart center, which is the seat of your soul and also holds love, compassion, and forgiveness.

Keep breathing in love, and breathing out gratitude. Feel your heart expand to someone you love…stay here for a few moments. (Pause) Now feel in your heart some of the things you are grateful for, like your health, the abundance of nature, the beauty of life, so many blessings. (Pause for a minute or more as you imagine each blessing.)

That’s great.  Just breathe in love and breathe out gratitude. (Pause here for a bit.)  Now spread this gratitude to all of your family and friends (Pause.)  Then, expand out into your community.(Pause for a minute or more)

Continue to sit in this stillness for a little while, saying “thank you,” “thank you” for your blessings.”  When you are ready, come back into the room where you began your journey, carrying this gratitude, peace and love.  Gently open your eyes. Remember this gratitude for yourself and others and to all you meet throughout your day.  Please share this gratitude meditation with family and friends.  Wishing you peace!

 

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach and a Certified Guided Imagery Specialist.  Vicki is passionate about bringing more peace and wellbeing to children and adults. If you’d like more of this in your life, connect with her at HeartTalkNow.com and CalmingCorner.com, for kids. You can connect with her on Twitter and email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com

 

5 Keys to a Successful Meditation Practice

I recommend beginning a meditation practice with a strong intention.   At my Ignite Your Best Mindset Group, I tell participants that when your desire is heartfelt, your commitment will be much stronger.  This is the first of five steps to make your meditation a success long-term to empower your best life.

If you don’t set a firm intention, you’ll eventually lose sight of the reason you’re meditating, and be off course.   When you are aware of your intention, it’s like you’re the great batter who is consciously aware of every muscle as he moves his body toward the ball to score a homerun.  Be like that athlete who succeeds!

To set an intention, write down your answers to the follow questions:

  • What is my deepest desire for meditating?
  • How many minutes am I willing to dedicate to the practice?
  • How many days a week am I truly willing to meditate?
  • What is my deepest desire to achieve; is it connecting to your higher power, stress relief, more peace?

Now make an intention from your answers.  For example, “I will commit to a practice of at least 5 to 20 minutes of meditating or Guided Imagery each day to wake up and empower my best life.”  Or it could be, “I intend to do five minutes of meditation three times a week for stress relief.” Whatever you choose and say will be just right for you.  The most important thing is to write down your intention and begin.  When you calm your mind, go inside, you are now aligned with your higher self to inspire and expect great things.

Here are the 5 keys to a successful practice:

  1. Set an intention
  2. Align with Your Higher Power or the Divine
  3. Tune into your body and breath
  4. Welcome your thoughts and feelings
  5. Tap into a sense of wellbeing, joy, and compassion

In future blog posts, I will go more in depth with the other keys to a successful meditation practice.  You can also work with a meditation coach to help setup a strong practice.

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach, a Guided Imagery Specialist, and Producer.   Atlas is passionate about bringing more peace and wellbeing to children and adults.  Find her at HeartTalkNow.com and CalmingCorner.com for kids. You can connect with her on Twitter and email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com

Venture Cafe’ Ignite Your Best Mindset

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Are you ready to access your inner power, turn off stress, heal your mind and body, and inspire effortless success?  Many top athletes, entrepreneurs, and executives use visualization to empower their careers, relationships, health, and business.  In the last 10 years, there have been thousands of studies boasting great benefits of using Guided Imagery and meditation for health, relationships, and success.

Learn more at a FREE introductory talk at Venture Cafe, Thursday, October 19th from 4:00 to 5:00 PM.  As a Best Mindset Coach and Certified Guided Imagery Practitioner, Vicki Atlas-Israel will share some amazing studies, insights, plus take you through a group Guided Imagery session.  She has been trained by Jack Canfield, Best-Selling Author of “The Success Principles” and Dr. Joe Dispenza, featured in the movie “What the Bleep Do We Know.” Here are some benefits of using Guided Imagery:

  • Improves focus, learning, creativity, and performance
  • Promotes joyful feelings of inner peace
  • Enhances and Improves self-esteem
  • Improves quality of life and overall health
  • Elevates intuitive insights

We look forward to seeing you at “Ignite Your Best Mindset” at Venture Cafe!

How to Grow More Resilient

Category 5 hurricanes, wildfires, political unrest, and now a nuclear threat. The news can be quite upsetting.  During these difficult times, how can we find strength? Where does resilience come from? The right side of our brain may contain the answer.

You may have seen Neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor on Oprah’s “SuperSoul Sunday.”  Dr. Bolte had suffered a stroke in her left brain.  She lost most of her physical functioning.  However, the stroke opened up the right side of her brain even more.  In her book “My Stroke of Insight,” she talks about how she had felt a deep connection to the Divine that brought intense feelings of peace, love, and joy.

This experience was so powerful, she was tempted to sit back and enjoy these feelings.  Yet, she knew she had to seek help to live.  Eventually, she was able to dial the phone and survived.  Dr. Bolte believes those higher feelings of love and joy are found in the right creative side of the brain, not in the thinking left side of the brain.

That explains why if we are constantly thinking, and pushing our brains even harder for a solution, the answer comes only after we go for a walk or take a shower.  Letting go allows us to receive from the right brain.  So to combat stressful thinking, Guided Imagery can help us tap into the more creative, right hemisphere of love, peace, and joy.  This is where our real power lies.  Just closing our eyes connects us to the right side of the brain and that’s how Imagery begins.If you haven’t experienced Guided Imagery, please click on this link to download our FREE Guided meditation.  Click Here.

Sometimes just observing feelings in a meditative state can help them be released and flow through us and not get stuck.   Setting aside time for this can help us grasp our true nature.  We are human.  We have feelings.  Accepting the good and the bad feelings allows us to open up to compassion for ourselves and others.  Tuning in to our right side of our brain through meditation and Guided Imagery can help us build resilience.

Vicki Atlas is a Best Mindset Coach, a Guided Imagery Specialist, Former Radio Host and Producer.   Atlas is passionate about bringing more peace, healing, and wellbeing to children and adults.  Find her at HeartTalkNow.com and CalmingCorner.com, for kids. You can connect with her on Twitter and email her at Vicki@HeartTalkNow.com

 

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