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Archive for the 'coping with personal problems' Category

What can you do?

Saturday, April 4th, 2020

 

 

 

I’m keeping busy during confinement at home under ‘lockdown’!!! I just finished writing and narrating Lulu is a Black Sheep, and Happy at Work for Mid-Lifers.

Both books are designed to support people who are going through life challenges including loss of income, the detonation of their careers, and rejection and abandonment by their family. As always the message is one of self-empowerment, resilience, and divine guidance.

Both books are available for pre-order (release date 8 April) now at a REDUCED price to celebrate the launch and to also make them affordable for people worried about their finances.

I’m also a third through narrating Sex With Strangers…a romantic comedy with an x-rated life coach!

It’s taking me a lot longer to knuckle down than usual (daily stories of how many people are suffering and concerns about my own family worry me.) But keeping busy is a great way to distract ourselves mentally.

I just learned that Shakespeare wrote King Lear and Macbeth, and F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway were in quarantine in France for the Spanish Flu in 1918. It can be a worrying time but a productive time if we turn our hearts to what makes our soul sing.

I hope wherever you are in the world you have someone to share your joy, your heart, your angst, and your healing.

I’m so grateful to all my clients and my readers who share their longings with me and reach out for support and comfort and inspiration to keep going with their dreams and deepest longings and pursue the things that make their soul sing.

 

I hope you enjoy this wee excerpt from How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

“It’s a circle—the more you know, the more you remember. It’s a circle. So yes, it gets easier, it gets better, it becomes more joyful.”

Neale Walsche

When you’re feeling stressed, depressed, forlorn or lonely it can feel as though it’s impossible to summon the energy to do anything you love. But it is possible. It’s possible to do a little thing. A small thing. A tiny thing.

Whether it’s just taking one deep breath. Taking five extra steps. Or signing up for a class you’re curious about and just sitting there absorbing the creative energy.

Hannah did this recently when she learned to crochet. One stitch at a time, she slowly felt her joy return. And as she waited, a new joy was created. A beautiful, happy hobby.

During low times in Cassandra’s life, she loves to sit in places of sacred silence. This may be the beach, the forest or the sanctuary of her bedroom. When she returned to Wellington to support Hannah after her release from hospital recently, she decided to spark joy by going with her daughter to the healing harmony of Saint Mary’s of The Angels. They lit a candle, said a prayer, and sat in sacred silence.

Then they went as planned to their health appointment and said what they needed to say and listened to what they need to hear.

They closed their ears to toxicity, negativity, and fear and opened their hearts to love, light, and learning. Learning how to grow. Learning how to flow. Learning, again how to listen to the wisdom of divine intelligence that resides within.

As above, so below, we are reminded. Spirit soars in heaven and on earth.

With one foot in front of the other, we must keep moving forward.

What can you do?

How can you remind yourself that whatever you are going through will pass and the sun will come again?

 

What seems impossible to you? To write a book? To find your joy? To wake up happy? Rebuilding your life after a tsunami of stress? To forge a stellar career despite seemingly serious handicaps or a major accident or health crisis? Look closer. Look closer still. Look closer at the word IMPOSSIBLE? Do you see what is hiding in plain sight?

I’m possible.

Look again.

I’m possible.

Yes!Yes!Yes!

I’m possible!!!!

Shout it with glee.

“If it’s to be, it’s up to me.”

 

When you do the I’m possible you inspire others to follow their joy too.

Achieving the unachievable tastes delicious—like swiss chocolate infused with strawberry-scented gold-dust. It doesn’t have to be huge. Making our bed after a period of depression. Going for a walk after a period of incarceration or self-isolation. Reaching out to a friend. Or staying sober after a year. What matters is that what you do matters to you.

 

“Every man has a quiet place in his soul,

where everything is self-evident,

a place to which he likes to retire from the confusing possibilities of life,

because there everything is simple and clear, with a manifest and limited purpose.”

~ Carl Jung, The Red Book

 

Stay home, stay safe, stay healthy and be kind to yourself and those you love.

 

Take care xxx

 

 

This is an edited extract from How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

To grab your eBook or Print copy from Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/FindYourJoy

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>> https://books2read.com/u/bzoawZ

To grab your copy from Kobo, click here>>www.kobo.com/ebook/how-to-find-your-joy-and-purpose-1

Also available in audiobook and hardback

Stuck at home? Your guide to finding joy despite any life challenges

Sunday, March 29th, 2020

 

Mollie MathewsAre you in lockdown? Is it driving you up the walls, or are you doing a mindset reset and looking for ways to love life more? Joy is a powerful antidote to boredom, frustration and stress.

Joy for me was hearing a Kiwi calling to her mate last night in the garden. How does joy show up for you?

Joy goes in all directions. It can be as tangible as a job or car or a house or as intangible as a dream or an idea. You could be joyful about anything:

• A cause

• Analyzing things

• Books

• Magazines

• Sports

• Clothes

• Computers

• The future

• A belief

• A movie star

• An idea

• Astrology

• Saving the planet

• Your family

• Music

• Meditation

• Running your own business

• Crocheting

• Knitting

• Butterflies

• Bees

• Writing romance novels

• Coffee

• Growing plants

• Mental health

• Joy!

Or something else.

 

 

What captures your interest and attention? List as many things as you can that you could be, or are, joyful, passionate, and purposeful about. Like me, you may discover that joy may be found at home.

This is an edited extract from How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

To grab your eBook or Print copy from Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/FindYourJoy

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>> https://books2read.com/u/bzoawZ

To grab your copy from Kobo, click here>>www.kobo.com/ebook/how-to-find-your-joy-and-purpose-1

Also available in audio.

 

 

What I’m working on now…

Having more time at home is fuelling my desire to write more children’s books that aren’t just for kids.

Recently I released Jojo Lost Her Confidence inspired by my daughter telling me recently she had lost her confidence. Coincidentally, the story is about staying in your own bubble and shining bright—and not giving your confidence away and hoping others are right. 

Available in paperback, ebook, and audio (written and narrated by me!)

Amazon>>getbook.at/Jojo

iBooks and other great online bookstores here>> https://books2read.com/u/m2VJKR

Kobo>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/jojo-lost-her-confidence

And last night I finished a draft of Lulu Is a Black Sheep. This book was inspired by the realisation that I too am a black sheep. I’ve never felt I belonged in my family. I was always, and still am, criticised, shunned, and blamed when I didn’t walk to their beat. Today, I will be narrating the audiobook, and next month I will release paperback, ebook versions.

Hearing the Kiwi call out last night, reminded me that Kiwis must feel the same. I love that they don’t try to change. They are birds that can’t fly and they’ve learned to adapt to stay alive.

This is the first time I have reached out to illustrators. My vision and goals are that these books provide inspiration, hope and healing for adults and children. I like the simplicity and fun of Dr Suess books, and also the Little Golden Books (littlegoldenebooks.com). But I also love the beauty of Jessie Burton’s The Restless Girls: A Dazzling, Feminist Fairytale https://www.amazon.co.uk/Restless-Girls-fairytale-bestselling-Miniaturist/dp/140888691X

Above all I want the illustrations to evoke beauty and joy.

If you are an experienced illustrator or know someone who is talented and experienced in illustrations of children and made-up birds and fantasy animals, and passionate about this area can you please message me (cassandra@cassandragaisford.com) and also provide a link to your website.

 

Have Your Lost Your Job? Or Worried You Could?

I know what this feels like. Last December a ‘witch’ fired me and another three child counsellors from our jobs. I was lucky I had diversified my career and had developed other income streams.

Be proactive. Start planning a way to have more freedom and control.

The following books will help:

Mid-Life Career Rescue Three Book Box Set

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>> https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EG1L3D6

To grab your copy from Kobo, click here>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/mid-life-career-rescue-series-box-set-books-1-3-the-call-for-change-what-makes-you-happy-employ-yourself

 

 

 

Joy-Filled Creations

Enjoy some eye-candy and check out my Instagram feed, Youtube Channel and Cassandra’s Gallery to see some of the artworks I’m creating during COVID-19

Check out some of my videos where I share strategies and tips to stress less and love life more—http://www.youtube.com/cassandragaisfordnz

www.facebook.com/powerfulcreativity

www.instagram.com/cassandragaisford

www.youtube.com/cassandragaisfordnz

https://www.cassandragaisford.com/gallery/

 

 

 

Did you enjoy this post?

You might like:

 How to be the rock that resists adversity—mind, body and soul food during COVID-19

Emotional alchemy—the spontaneous healing power of joy

 Why Being Inspired Matters: The Spontaneous Fulfillment and Healing Power of Joy

 

Here are three more things you might like:


Interesting interviews: Listen to my best interviews on topics like overcoming obstacles, finding joy in adversity, following your passion to prosperity.


Online Course: Find Your Passion and Purpose with my best-selling self-paced course made for busy people.


Keynote speaking: Hire me to speak to your organization or team about Resilience, wellbeing, innovation, and motivation.

You can get more of my thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For personalized help schedule a session with Cassandra here >>

 

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to this blog and receive a free gift when you sign up for Cassandra’s newsletters and get more help to live your best life.

This story will surprise and delight you. . .

Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

 

 

“Beautiful!”

So many people feel anxious, fearful, and stressed right now, but there is something we can do. We can feed our soul. Which is what I did when I wrote my new release, the 5th in the Transformational Super Kids Series, Jojo Lost Her Confidence. 

 

Book Blurb

 

Have you lost your confidence? Do you feel discouraged, stressed, or held back? Are you or your child suffering from low self-esteem?

Holistic therapist, award-winning artist, and #1 bestselling author, C. G. Ford is best known as The Queen of Uplifting Inspiration. C.G. Ford’s unique blend of counselling experience and qualifications (BCA, Dip Psych.), creative skills, and wellness and holistic training (Dip Counselling, Reiki Master Teacher) blends pragmatism and well-being savvy with rare and unique insight. Her strength is and out-of-the-box-thinking and empowering anyone wanting to achieve an extraordinary life.

When we are stressed, anxious, bullied, or overwhelmed our confidence can be one of the first things to be lost. Jojo Lost Her Confidence is a short, beautiful story which will help boost self-esteem for women, self-esteem for kids, and self-esteem in men and boy at all ages and stages.

From the bestselling author of The Little Princess comes the next in the brilliant Transformational Super Kids series. These modern-day heroes and heroines tackle modern-day problems with the passion and gusto of warriors.

They defeat cruel critics, they slay savage self-esteem demons, and they show people—jealous of their kindness, talent, and beauty—that their biggest superpower is staying true to themselves.

There are so many reasons why you should follow your dreams. If you need some inspiration, look no further than this book.

Be inspired by this journey to transformation and self-love, and self-belief as our heroine learns to overcome the vagaries of child and adult behaviour. Her personal odyssey culminates in a voyage of healing, self-esteem, and freedom to be who she truly is and who she wants to be.

Bonus: Free Excerpt from The Little Princess.

 

Suitable for ‘kids’ of all ages. After all, aren’t we all still children at heart?

 

Why I wrote this (tiny golden) book

 

I wrote Jojo Lost Her Confidence using my penname C.G.Ford for my daughter who messaged me in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“I’ve lost my confidence a little bit,” Hannah Joy shared.

When we are stressed, anxious or overwhelmed our confidence can be one of the first things to be lost.

I made the story up on the spot to comfort her and allowed the story to speak through me as I left a message for her on WhatsApp.

Hannah Joy is nearly thirty, But confidence places no boundaries on age. I hope this story is a reminder to all of us that, no matter how old we are, what is truly ours can never be lost. Sometimes we just need help bringing back the light.

If you’ve lost your confidence, consider remembering all the things you love about yourself, or that others love about you. Write these down, and look at your list regularly.

Empower this awareness further, by recording affirmations and positive feedback in a digital app on your phone. Listen to these feel-good thoughts daily.

If you are reading Jojo Lost Her Confidence to your child, or they are listening to the audio version, encourage them to do the same.

Introduce an element of play. Go and blow some bubbles and surround yourself with gorgeous prisms of light.

Learn more, sample, and purchase via the links below

Available in paperback, ebook, and audio (written and narrated by me!)

Amazon>>getbook.at/Jojo

iBooks and other great online bookstores here>> https://books2read.com/u/m2VJKR

Kobo>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/jojo-lost-her-confidence

 

 

 

Featured reader of the month: Alma Hammond

I’m so grateful to Alma Hammond who is in self-isolation with her husband in Southern France. I reached out to her as I would love to illustrate my Transformational Super Kids books. Alma has written and contracted illustrators for her fantastic series of children’s books. Check out Alma’s Website here>>https://www.sweetbeetbooks.com/

I reached out to her for help. Last night (her morning) we talked via FB live from my home in The Bay of Islands, New Zealand, to Alma’s in Southern France during the Coronavirus lockdown (23 March 2020).

Alma was so kind and generous and helpful. I ended our call feeling so excited.

Some moons ago Alama read and reviewed the third book in my series, The Boy Who Cried.

Curious?

Amazon, click here>> getbook.at/TheBoyWhoCried

iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>>https://books2read.com/u/bPR1Dj

Kobo>>https://www.kobo.com/ebook/the-boy-who-cried-1

I’M HERE TO HELP.

 

Need someone to talk to? Is it time to plan a career change and stress less? If you go do with some help at this time please reach out. I’m here to help—wherever you are in the world.

“It was great to talk to someone objective who doesn’t have an agenda.”
Pete from South Africa

 

For personalized help schedule a session here >>

Who says we are isolated? There has never been a better time to be connected via our social media networks and other technologies.

 

Make 2020 your best year yet! Discover freedom, find happiness & change your life

Saturday, December 7th, 2019

 

Could you do anything if you only knew what truly makes you happy?

Do you want to find your purpose and true calling?

Feeling stressed? Anxious? Overwhelmed or depressed?

Get off the treadmill. Break free of being a salary slave. Make the leap to a more fulfilling career in 2020 and beyond. Career Change 2020: Discover A Job You Want and Live the Life You Love will show you how.
The Career Change 5 Book-Bundle Box Set includes celebrated career change expert Cassandra Gaisford’s  (BCA, Dip. Psych) more popular and successful career-changing books.

Book One: Midlife Career Rescue: The Call For Change, will help you:

  • Strengthen your creative, outside of the square, thinking skills to discover a job you love
  • Flame the embers of inspiration and passion
  • Overcome current stress and symptoms of burnout
  • Master the fear of failure, boost your self-esteem and super-charge the confidence needed to make an inspired change

Book Two: Midlife Career Rescue: What Makes You Happy, will help you:

  • Explore and clarify your passions, interests, life purpose, values, transferable skills, and natural gifts and talents
  • Identify ways to beat any skills gaps
  • Build a strong foundation for career happiness and success by identifying your criteria for job and life satisfaction
  • Have the courage to quit, or fall back in love with a job, you’ve come to hate

Book Three: How To Find Your Passion and Purpose, will show you:

  • Why successful people follow their passion, not their pension
  • How to identify your real priorities
  • How working with passion can cure many modern-day ills – depression, anxiety, overwhelm, and boredom
  • How to discover your signature gifts and talents and confirm your work-related strengths
  • How identifying your PPT will reveal your life purpose and true calling
  • How to follow your bliss to increase profit, peace, and prosperity

Book Four: Midlife Career Rescue: Employ Yourself, will help you discover:

  • How to decide what to do and find an idea that will be successful
  • How to create a passion-driven business and still pay your mortgage
  • How to start a business with zero start-up capital and finance your career
  • How to develop a side-hustle and monetize a hobby or interest you love
  • How to escape the 9-5 drudge, live and work anywhere and join the new rich

Book Five: Stress Less. Love Life More, will show you:

  • How to stop worrying, reduce anxiety, eliminate negative thinking and find happiness
  • Why following your bliss provides stress relief
  • How to tune into your body barometer
  • How to anticipate potential stressful things before they occur
  • Practical methods for managing common and extraordinary stressors
  • How to build life-affirming coping strategies
  • How to rediscover joy and love life again

 

Save Now! 5 books that will change your life—for the price of one.

To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/CareerChange2020Box

Bonus excerpts from How to Find Your Joy and Purpose and The Little Princess

Don’t Settle…find joy and success in the RIGHT career

Give yourself or someone you love the gift of career nirvana in 2020 and beyond!

 

Easy, Inspiring Ways to Pull Yourself Out of a Rut in Your Life, Relationships and Career

Sunday, September 22nd, 2019

 

“Verily the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul,

and then walks grinning to the funeral.”

Kahil Gibran, Writer

Are you stuck in the comfort rut? Many people trade off their deeper joy for material comforts and status that can only ever give fleeting satisfaction. They get stuck in the comfort rut. They settle for their actual self—what’s easy, comfortable, or an area of competence they know. They settle for a stagnant plateau that doesn’t stretch or fulfill them or enable them to grow. Outwardly, they may appear happy and successful but in fact, they are bored, frustrated, and flat.

We all like to be comfortable, to do well and feel a sense of safety and security, but the comfort rut is a bit like staying in bed—you just keep lying around because it feels comfy and familiar. You may convince yourself that you’re happy in maintenance mode, but in your heart you know it’s zapping your energy and it’s time to make the leap to an invigorating change.

Sometimes the signs of being in a rut are not obvious. But there may be other warning signs—emotionally, mentally physically and spiritually—that you should pay attention to. Do any of these sound familiar?

• You don’t feel inspired about your life or work

• You have trouble keeping your focus

• You feel tired, and find it hard to get motivated

• You reminisce about the past, or

• Brood about your future

Can you think of some rut-busters you used in the past to pull you out of a rut in your career or life? What helped you recharge and find new inspiration? Perhaps it was a change in location; making new friends; rediscovering what intrigues you; stepping away from it all; revisiting your goals; taking on a new challenge or learning something novel.

Sometimes the best way to gain a fresh perspective on your career is to step away for a while. Take a long vacation where you unplug from the world and enjoy some time to yourself. When you provide some distance from your life, everything looks clearer and summoning the courage for change is easier.

Security is mostly a superstition designed to keep us sadly safe. As Helen Keller once said, life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.

Making a leap into a new life and being true to your ideal self can be the most comfortable, joyful, liberating feeling of all.

How could any discomfort you may be feeling now serve you if you push through?

What rut-busters would help support and invigorate you?

 

When I first started publishing my writing over 15 years ago, I felt completely out of my comfort zone. I couldn’t structure my writing or write succinctly. At first, I compared myself to everyone else, but gradually I learned to relax and enjoy the process of being a beginner again. Now I own my own publishing company, am a bestselling author, and incorporate many helpful writing and creative principles into the way I run and manage my business. But none of this would have happened if I hadn’t found the courage to try writing professionally for the first time.

Everyone gets into ruts. But the best way to pull yourself out is to acknowledge why and when they occur and never pretend the danger-zone isn’t there. A rut can be a wake-up call and a golden opportunity to lean out and lift yourself higher toward a new, exciting direction.

 

This is an excerpt from How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

If you’d love to: 

  • Relieve stress and quit worrying easily
  • Create more happiness, peace, and joy
  • Keep your brain and body strong and ready for joyfully, focused work
  • Rescue and enrich your relationships
  • Increase your success, health, and happiness with a few simple steps

You’ll find the answers in How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.  

 

This is an edited extract from How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.

To grab your eBook or Print copy from Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/FindYourJoy

To grab your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores, click here>> https://books2read.com/u/bzoawZ

To grab your copy from Kobo, click here>>www.kobo.com/ebook/how-to-find-your-joy-and-purpose-1

Also available in audiobook and hardback

How to Find Your Joy and Purpose

Friday, September 6th, 2019

Focus Your Energy and Time to Achieve Outstanding Personal and Professional Results With Absolute Health, Certainty and Excitement.

What if you could increase your success, health, and happiness with a few simple steps? How would your life be different if you had more energy, motivation, confidence, and self-belief? What if you could hit your career, personal and financial targets easily? Imagine waking up every morning looking forward to your day, working and living with joy, purpose, and profit.

Amazon bestselling author of Mid-Life Career Rescue, and How to Find Your Passion and Purpose, Cassandra Gaisford (BCA, Dip. Psych.) and Spiritual Conduit and Intuitive Healing Coach, Hannah Joy provides simple but powerful and easy to implement ways to find your joy and purpose. Based on survey research, personal experiences and their professional expertise and success as career and life coaches helping people achieve outstanding results – including lawyers, teachers, back-to-work mums, accountants, school leavers, and creative entrepreneurs – Gaisford and Joy answer the question: how to overcome adversity, find your destiny and follow your bliss.

In How To Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want and Live The Life You Love, you’ll learn:

  • Why successful people follow their joy, not their comfort-rut
  • How to identify your REAL priorities
  • How working with joy can cure many modern-day ills – depression, anxiety, overwhelm and stress
  • Why cutting yourself away from certain friends and family is for your highest good
  • How to be happy, healthy and successful
  • How to boost your self-esteem and super-charge the confidence needed to make an inspired change
  • How to change jobs and find a career you’ll love, including self-employment
  • How to discover your signature gifts and talents and confirm your work-related strengths
  • How identifying your PPT will increase profit, peace, and prosperity
  • BONUS: Find Your Passion Workbook
  • BONUS: Living with Purpose Workbook
  • BONUS: Making Decisions and Choosing Your Best-Fit Career Workbook

If you’re like many people who don’t know what sparks joy or what gives your life meaning and purpose, this book will help provide the answers.

If you have been told it’s not realistic to work and live with joy and purpose, this book will help change your mindset.

If you’re too busy, too tired, too ill or too stressed out to read a lengthy book, this concise guide comes to your rescue.

Quit just existing and start really living!

Pre-order this book now to start achieving outstanding personal and professional results with absolute certainty and excitement.

Pre-order your copy today! To grab your copy from Amazon, click here>>getbook.at/FindYourJoy

I hope you enjoy this excerpt.

Art is the highest form of hope

“If you want joy, give joy to others.”
Deepak Chopra



Prior to writing this chapter from my book, How to Find Your Joy and Purpose, I felt ‘compelled’ to donate a second painting to the local hospice who were holding an art auction to raise much-needed funds.

I felt a surge of joy as I drove along the country roads of The Bay of Islands and drove toward the township of Kerikeri with my painting, ‘Blossom’ in the backseat. I felt delighted when the Fundraising and Awareness Manager, for Hospice Mid-Northland greeted Blossom and me – “Wow. That’s brilliant,” she said. “Thank you so much. I love it.”

“Everyone needs cheering up at moments like these,” I said, referencing the fact that the people they care for are dying. “ I hope it brings a few moments of happiness and joy,” I said. “I know how healing creativity can be.”

I shared with her the memory of my step-father Ted, a military man, who in the final stages of brain cancer, began to paint watercolors. Brilliant watercolors they were too—surprising everyone who had known him. Painting brought Ted a few precious moments of joy and peace, and escape. And when he left this world, we had them framed and they were the gift that kept on giving.

“Love. Joy, Prosperity. Hope,” I said, reading out the words I had painted in French to the Fundraising and Awareness Manager, for Hospice Mid-Northland.

And we agreed.

It is the intention behind your giving and receiving that is the most important thing. The act of giving should always be joyful. It should always be to create happiness for both the giver and the receiver—then the energy behind the giving multiples, spreading seeds of joy among the world.

And today I felt joy seeing my paintings in The Little Black Gallery in Kerikeri. And I felt joy feeling gratitude for how much help and encouragement Anna, the owner has given me.

What can you gift or do to give joy to others? It doesn’t have to be a physical thing, it may be by volunteering, dressing joyfully, sending a kind thought or a prayer, or the willingness to forgive.

How to Find Your Joy and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love.. AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW. Grab your copy from Amazon.

Me Before You—Why Self-Care is The New Go-To For Health, Wellness, and Happy Families

Thursday, September 5th, 2019

 

We’re facing unprecedented levels of stress, yet a commitment to self-care is lagging behind. Culturally, we’re socialized, especially women, mother’s and wives, to put others first. “I always get the burnt toast,” a client once told me.

Many of us are healers—although we may not officially call ourselves that. mum’s, wives, daughters, friends, teachers, midwives and others who are caring, empathetic, and kind. We often soak up loved one’s stress without realizing the impact on our own stress levels. We listen to their fears, we soothe their anxieties, we teach and counsel in our attempt to help those we care about to survive in an often toxic and increasingly narcissistic world.

But what about us? Who helps us?

“It must have been awful for you,” a dear friend said recently, acknowledging the impact of the traumatic episode which happened to a family member recently. “Yes, it was,” I said, simply, grateful of the acknowledgment no one else had offered. I didn’t tell her that it was only the tip of what I have suffered.

If you are supporting loved ones through mental illness, acute stress, toxic drama, addiction, or something else, you can forget that you too are suffering from this thing that is happening to your son, your daughter, your husband, your wife, your significant other. Even your client.

A lot of time and energy and commitment, and rightly and willingly so, is spent on trying to help them stabilize and get back to their old selves again. To be healthy and well. But the care and support of family and loved ones cannot, must not, do not need to come at the expense of your own health—and sanity.

It may sound cliched, but it’s true—you have to strap on your oxygen mask first. The announcement of the flight attendants prior to aircraft takeoff is simple and straightforward: “In case of cabin depressurization, oxygen masks will drop automatically.”

But, automatic self-care doesn’t happen without your commitment to making it a priority. Your approach to helping others must change.

Listed below are five easy-peasy, bright and breezy strategies to manage stress, find joy, and increase your happiness—even when you are too exhausted to try.

 

1. Change the Way You React

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.”

~ Jim Rohn

By change of reaction comes change of circumstance, say many great spiritual masters and teachers. If you are distressed and on the verge of burnout, taking back control can prove challenging. It is hard to feel optimistic when you are overwhelmed, depleted and despairing.

It’s hard—but not impossible. Viktor Frankl, an Austrian psychiatrist who survived the horrors of Nazi death camps, believed that it’s not the situation which defines and controls us, but our attitudes and reactions. The key to his survival, Frankl maintained, was searching for meaning in that which seems unfathomable.

Stressed or not, you can determine your reaction. Ensure success at becoming less stressed by:

• Focusing on three good things you have done each day

• Praising yourself when you achieve a result—no matter how small

• Practicing radical acceptance of yourself, or the situation, if you feel stressed

• Find meaning and purpose in your experience.

Throughout Stress Less. Love Life More: How to Stop Worrying, Reduce Anxiety, Eliminate Negative Thinking and Find Happiness, you’ll discover strategies to help you transcend the biological stress reaction before it overpowers you. Listed below are two simple strategies:

Reinterpret the situation: e.g., change the meaning; instead of,  “They should do what I want,” try, “I’m learning how to cope with other peoples’ choices, reactions or demands.”

Modify or remove the stressor/s: eg., take assertive action—make ‘no’, your new ‘yes’; prioritize your own self-care; work reasonable hours; quit a job you hate, follow your bliss and schedule ‘me time’ to do what you love (or try something you may end up loving).

If you’re a people-pleaser or struggle with saying no, you’ll find helpful tips in No! Why ‘No’ is the New ‘Yes’: How to Reclaim Your Life, Shine in the Sun, and Be Authentically You.

2. Dealing with Perception

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” 

~ Wayne Dyer

The way you view events, people, and situations can create stress. A simple way to change your level of stress begins by changing how you view circumstances.

Coping Strategies:

• Reframe: change the way you see the event; e.g., if insomnia keeps you awake, rather than lie there stressing, value this as extra time to read, plan, think or simply just to ‘be’; see problems as challenges.

• Look at now: remain in the present, embrace the power of now. Take comfort that what you are worrying about may never happen. If you still fear that things may turn out badly, adopt a ‘what if’ strategy and identify what steps you can do ‘now’ to minimize this likelihood.

• Self-talk: Only speak to yourself in positive words; not “I can’t cope,” but, “I can do this; I’ve handled change before,” or, “ I trust myself to be able to handle this.” Not, as I have said during times of stress, “I’m a terrible mother,” but “I’m a great mother and I’m doing the best that I can with the resources I have.”

• Don’t think in absolutes: you will disappoint yourself.  “I must be perfect at everything I do all the time,” is setting yourself up for failure.

• It’s OK to feel bad: the real fake news is that we are meant to always feel good. Give yourself permission to feel down—seek help if it spirals into depression.

• Don’t focus on the bad: not “My daughter has broken down – why her? why me?” but, “She’s now getting the help she needs to release the trauma of her past. It’s worrying, but in hindsight, I know she will emerge stronger. We all will.”

Other helpful coping strategies include advance preparation. Minimize the impact of stress and boost your resilience, by:

• Identifying stressful events in advance and try to minimize or avoid them if possible—e.g. if family get-togethers are a stressor, put a limit on how long you visit or consider missing the event altogether. Christmas comes to mind!

• Identifying your stress reactions so that you can pamper yourself, self-soothe or take extra self-care

• Planning your winning strategy: what options do you have? What is the most realistic solution?

• Planning small, realistic steps: don’t overwhelm yourself or try to do everything you need to at once

• Choosing a few important goals: prioritize and accept that some things may have to be pushed back

• Praising yourself when you cope well. This boosts confidence and self-esteem, strengthening your ability to handle future stress

In the next tip you’ll discover how, despite experiencing extreme stress, some of the world’s most influential people have found gifts from their suffering.

 

3. Look for The Gift

“Nothing beautiful in the end comes without a measure of some pain, some frustration, some suffering.”

~ His Holiness the Dalai Lama

 

In The Book of Joy, two great spiritual teachers, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu—men who have both known tremendous suffering, encourage us all to look for the gifts contained within adversity. One of these gifts is the opportunity to be reborn.

“When I spoke about mothers and childbirth, it seems to be a wonderful metaphor, actually, that nothing beautiful in the end comes without a measure of some pain, some frustration, some suffering,” writes the Dalai Lama. “This is the nature of things. This is how our universe has been made up.”

In The Book of Joy, the Dalai Lama shares how the gift of being exiled from his beloved Tibet provided the opportunity to give birth to a new way of being and to share his teachings and Buddhist philosophy throughout the world. “Life is suffering,” he says. “It’s how you react to life that changes your karma”, he teaches. “I’m just one human being, but I believe each one of us has a responsibility to contribute to a happier humanity.”

It is no coincidence that successful and revered people see the cup half full, look for ways to add more to peoples’ lives rather than play the victim, and demand life treat them more favorably.

Sometimes in life, as with photography, you need the negative to develop. What at the time seemed like a low point can, with hindsight, prove to be the most life-changing and meaningful experience.

Call to Action

How might you be able to experience joy even in the face of inevitable challenges?

4. Follow Your Bliss

Following your bliss is a great antidote to stress. Whether you refer to the things, people and situations that fill you with happiness as sparking passion, joy, love or desire these powerful heart-felt emotions are natural opiates for your mind, body, and soul.

Charles Kovess, the author of Passionate People Produce, describes passion as: “A source of unlimited energy from the soul that enables people to achieve extraordinary results.”

Often when you’re feeling stressed, the things that you love to do are the first things to be traded. When you tap into something you deeply believe in and enjoy you may be amazed at the results.

Passion brings the energy or chi of love, giving you energy, vitality and a heightened sense of well-being. It’s one of the greatest stress-busters of all and promotes the generation of endorphins—feel-good chemicals that will give you an extra spring in your step. Even five minutes a day doing something you love can give you your mojo back.

Is the true source of stress your work? What may start off as a hobby could very well turn out to be your ticket to a more fulfilling career. Like for Brian Clifford, owner of Integrated Pest Management, who had always been fascinated with bugs. After becoming disenchanted with his first career, he opted to follow his passion and became a “pestie.” He loves the idea of being a white knight coming to peoples’ rescue.

Call to Action

What do you love doing? What inspires you? What makes you feel joyful? Identify these things and take some time to follow your bliss.

These are just a few of the strategies I have put in place recently, I hope, whatever you are going through, you find something helpful

 

and the last one is my gold-standard—it’s my 5-star go-to strategy every day…

 

5. Meditate

“Our brains never get a break and the results can be increased stress, anxiety, insomnia and if left unchecked, even depression. But there is something you can do—nothing.”

~ Mathew Johnstone, author & cartoonist

Stressed, fatigued, or overwhelmed minds will never be productive. The opposite is also true—peaceful, calm, and clear minds elevate success.

Many of the most influential authors, creative artists, and business people today credit their meditative practice for their increased productivity and prosperity.

“It’s the Swiss army knife of medical tools, for conditions both small and large,” writes Arianna Huffington, the founder of The Huffington Post and author of Thrive.

When Tim Ferriss, who practices transcendental meditation, sat down with more than 200 people at the height of their field for his new book, Tools of Titans, he found that 80% followed some form of guided mindfulness practice.

It took Ferriss a while to get into meditation, he says in a podcast episode about his own morning routine. But since he discovered that the majority of world-class performers meditated, he also decided to follow the habit.

His practice takes up 21 minutes a day: one minute to get settled and 20 minutes to meditate.

Ferriss recommends two apps for those wanting some help getting started—Headspace or Calm.

“Start small, rig the game so you can win it, get in five sessions before you get too ambitious with length,” says Ferriss.

“You have to win those early sessions so you establish it as a habit, so you don’t have the cognitive fatigue of that practice.”

So, what’s the buzz? Here are a few of the many ways a regular meditative practice will improve your productivity:

• Decreased stress and anxiety

• Improved focus, memory, and learning ability

• Fantastic recharging capacity

• Higher IQ and more efficient brain functioning

• Increased blood circulation and reduced hyperactivity in the brain, slower wavelengths and decreased beta waves (Beta State:13—30Hz) means more time between thoughts which leads to more skillful decision making

• Increased Theta State (4—8Hz) and Delta States (1—3 Hz) which deepens awareness and strengthens intuition and visualization skills

• Increased creativity and connection with your higher intelligence

Recent research published in New Scientist has revealed that meditation can help to calm people and reduce fear. The research found that regular meditation can tame the amygdala, an area of the brain which is the hub of fear memory.

People who meditate regularly are less likely to be shocked, flustered, surprised, or as angry as other people, and have a greater stress tolerance threshold as a result.

By meditating regularly, the brain is reoriented from a stressful fight-or-flight response to one of acceptance, a shift that increases contentment, enthusiasm, and feelings of happiness.

Call to Action

Many successful people regularly take time to focus on the present moment. Make meditating for at least 20 minutes a day part of your daily routine for optimum success and well-being.

Consistency is key. Shorter meditations on a regular basis are more productive than long sessions every few weeks. If you are a beginner, you may prefer to aim for 5 minutes a day and add 1 minute each week.

Many people find that meditating for 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at the end of the day yields remarkable benefits. I know, I do!

 

This is an edited extract from Stress Less. Love Life More: How to Stop Worrying, Reduce Anxiety, Eliminate Negative Thinking and Find Happiness by Cassandra Gaisford. To purchase your copy and learn how to stress less and love life more, available now from all good bookstores, click here to go to Amazon

 

 

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