Louise Hay is my bist frind. I am so grateful that my mum bought me and my sisters her book when we were young, and I have grown up knowing that there is a connection between the way my body felt and the thoughts circulating my mind.
Food for thought… do you think we can know what happiness is or really appreciate it without experiencing times of being sad?
I recently listened to a podcast that featured Dr John Di Martini. He is a really interesting man and I suggest you google him if you haven’t already. In this podcast, he spoke about how there are always two sides to every coin. It really got me thinking, and for the life of me I can’t think of anything without an opposite…
Healthy relationships are central to our happiness. Full stop. It’s a basic human psychological need to have positive relationships in our lives to feel like we belong and have feelings of worthiness. In a sense, we all want the same things, because it’s in our DNA. Whether we like it or not, we all strive for love and connection with each other. So it only makes sense to have some strategies up our sleeves for when our relationships aren’t smooth sailing, and when we want more attention and productivity from the people around us. The secret is compassion, my friend.
Have you ever listened to a favourite song of yours and then missed your favourite part because you were lost in thought, then you have to start your song again? This is a great example of how we can miss out on what is happening right now, right in front of us, when we are not in the present moment. We can often be unconscious or aware of our thoughts and we either wonder off into the future or get caught up thinking about the past. It’s important to pull ourselves up and be aware of what is happening now, because, A. it’s good for our health, and B. we were designed that way, A.K.A Human Beings, not Human Doings.
Let me bring your attention to yourself reading this article right now. You are quite obviously doing something. Now think back on your day. You may have driven somewhere thinking about where you are going, or walked from A to B always with the destination or what you are doing in mind. But I challenge you to bring yourself into the present moment. When you’re walking to the bathroom next time or up the stairs to get your phone charger, instead of doing that, be in the moment. Notice your feet as they hit the ground, notice your heart rate possibly increase as you move or your muscles work so well without you telling them to. This can bring you out of your head and shift your thoughts to really enjoy what is happening in the moment.
I went on school camp not long ago and I went sight seeing with some students. In front of each amazing land mark students were taking photos of themselves, as you do. I sat back and observed curiously, until the tour was almost over and I couldn’t bare it any longer. I asked them to put their phones away and began to explain what I had noticed. When they put their phones away they began to marvel in the sights that we were seeing. That is what I mean by being in the present moment. If I hadn’t of brought it to their attention, they would have missed it. Even though they were there, they weren’t really experiencing it or feeling the positive emotion of seeing something beautiful because they were too busy being Human Doings.
What being in the present moment can do for our health…
Being focused on the now or the present moment can help with anxiety and depression, and can also increase your appreciation of beautiful things around you, making you feel more positive emotions.
Anxiety is commonly known for not trusting the flow of life, looking into the future and being worried about what is to come. Depression, on the other hand, is the opposite. It comes from past experiences or having feelings of hopelessness that we feel we don’t deserve to have. Both dis-eases often come hand in hand, and can both be relieved by practicing bringing ourselves back to the present moment.
Give me some proof, please.
In a 2015 study, Deakin University, Insight SRC, Young and Well CRC and Smiling Mind collaborated to survey 12 schools, 104 educators and 1,853 students to assess the impact of our mindfulness programs (bringing ourselves into the present moment). They monitored students’ stress, fatigue levels and wellbeing over eight weeks and found that those who participated in our program reported significant improvements in sleep, engagement with school, and reductions in classroom disruptions and bullying. They also noted improvements in emotional wellbeing and marked reductions in psychological distress, especially for those students who were more at-risk for anxiety. The results confirm the findings of similar studies undertaken by UCLA, Harvard, Oxford, Monash and Johns Hopkins universities.
There is great power in bringing our attention back to the present moment. Not only does it make changes with our emotions and behaviour, it literally reshapes our brains to be happier. Read more about this in my blog post ‘Neuroplasticity: you can teach an old dog new tricks’.
Do you have a problem right this second?
When I feel myself overwhelmed with thoughts of what will happen in the future, or replay the past in my head a thousand times and think about how I wish I did it differently, I practice bringing myself back to the present moment. There are a couple of ways I like to do this.
- Ask myself, what are five things I can hear right now/feel on my skin? Our sensors are ALWAYS in the present moment and can be a great help
- Counting my breath. ‘One’ as I breath in, ‘two’ as I breath out. Then I start again when I get to ten
- Asking myself, do I have a problem right this second? Nope. I’m lying in my bed which is quite comfortable. So is it helpful to waste my energy thinking about tomorrow? Nope, because I can’t tell the future, so I don’t even know if I will have a problem yet. I can deal with it when it comes. Right now, in this moment, I am OK.
The research comes from Smiling Minds, you can read more by clicking here.
Emily Barnes’ Master Class: empowering young people by empowering ourselves
25th of August 2017, Bendigo CBD
ABOUT THIS EVENT
Join me, Emily Barnes, secondary school teacher, well being coach and researcher, as I provide practical guidance on how to create the lives we want to live and be truly influential to the young people around us, in my exclusive Master Class.
My Master Class will cover the fundamentals of how to be an influential role model, how to be more by doing less and make the most of your time, and how to be the most exemplary educator in facilitating creative, self-aware and entrepreneurial young people. This includes:
- well being starts with us; building ourselves up, discovering what lights us up and playing to our strengths
- the importance of being human and modelling this to the young people in our lives
- how to educate and promote self-efficacy, self-empowerment and entrepreneurial spirited young people
Attendees will walk away with the following:
- an understanding of the less is more approach: how to be more by doing less
- a set of skills that shift the focus from external stimulus, to how we process information ourselves, and how we work with young people during restorative practices
- knowledge of how to model healthy well being through vulnerability, being human and self-care/empowerment
- knowledge of how to promote creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and self-awareness in young people
- knowledge of how to promote healthy and responsible use of the internet: the importance of technology and how to expand its uses from socialising to personal and professional development
- access to free lesson plans for teachers and practical tools you can take back to your school and classroom to help you get the most out of your time and effort
- practical tools that equip you with living and creating your best life, and how this is the most effective way to educate those around you: it starts with you!
PREREQS & PREPARATION
This class is great for:
- school teachers (primary or secondary) or university students studying Education
- parents of adolescence or people who have young people in their lives that they care about
- people who work with adolescence, eg. sport coaches
My ABN is 59834706985 if you wish to claim this Master Class on tax. Attendees will be sent a tax invoice once registering.
5.30pm: Arrival and Registration
5.40pm: My story and what problem we can solve together
6.00pm: It starts with our own well being
6.30pm: Creating entrepreneurial and self-empowered students
7.00pm: Time for questions, queries and discussion
7.15pm: Event concludes
You can read more about me and my philosophy by clicking here and visiting my About page.
I love my mum and dad, and could quite easily live with them for the rest of my life. But for some of you, the thought of that would make you cringe. But I must say, financial freedom is liberating, empowering and something we all strive for and hope to achieve one day. I don’t think many of you would answer ‘no’ to the question, do you want to be a millionaire?
However, an article published in the New York Times writes, ‘one in five people in their 20’s and early 30’s is currently living with his or her parents, and 60 percent of all young adults receive financial support from them’.
I recently read an article in the newspaper about homelessness. What really caught my attention about it was the research outlined in the article about how labels significantly impact people’s wellbeing.
In a nut shell, people without a stable home commonly take on the label as being homeless, but not always. A lot of people who have no place to live claim they are not ‘homeless’ because their situation may be complicated. What was interesting but somewhat no surprise, was that those who described themselves as homeless had significantly lower self-esteem and wellbeing compared to those who rejected the label, even when having no place to live.
When it comes to mental health, when we use a label to describe ourselves, we begin to think and act in ways that are associated with that label.
Not awesome at computers? Me neither.
Is it helpful for me to spend hours trying to be ‘good’ at computers? It could be, but I can probably guess that I would be frustrated at least 80% of the time. I would have some serious self-doubt and self-loathing going on and I would be feeling down about myself when I realise how much I actually don’t know, but really wish I did.
Scientists say that we have over 60,000 thoughts a day. That is scary huge. But to me, what is even scarier is thinking about which thoughts we listen to without even realising, and which ones we let fade off into our minds just as quickly as they arrived.
I think that neuroplasticity is a concept that if we all knew how to utilise, we would all be the creators of our own reality. We would be empowered with the knowledge of how our brain works and would use this to shape our thinking and create high performing brains.
Your brain is a tool, and if used correctly it can serve you well. But a lot of us don’t realise that more often than not, our brain is using us.