Improve your body language, improve your self confidence!

The way that you move your body, and how you walk has an enormous effect on the way that you feel and affects your confidence levels.

Lets start with an exercise.

Imagine there are two people standing in front of you – one with “negative body language” and one with “positive body language”.  I’d now like you to write down what you are observing with each of these people

Positive                   Negative

 

  • How are they standing?
  • Where are their eyes looking?
  • What position are they holding their head?
  • How are they talking?
  • How are they moving?

Business people communicating with each other against white

How you feel at any moment in time is linked to what is going on in your mind and how you are moving your body. The way that you move sends subconscious messages to your mind and this either helps or hinders the way that you feel.

Emotion is created by motion. If you sit still for a long period of time your natural energy levels automatically get lower. And what happens when you get up, walk around and return to your seat?  Yes, you have more energy and you’re given a boost.

I can’t stress how important it is to move and act confidently and positively. You will give off all the right vibes to everyone around you and it will make them think that you are confident even if you’re not feeling it inside. Yes, that’s right. Even if you’re not feeling confident, act as though you are.

So, how do you do this?

  • Walk swiftly and with a purpose. Don’t saunter along, walk like you know exactly where you are going and when you get there you mean business!
  • Gesture with your hands as you talk, it will create motion and you know what that leads to – EMOTION! The right gestures also have a major impact on building rapport as long as you’re not shaking your fist!
  • All it takes is a smile!  Think for a moment about your confidence role model. One thing that he/she and confident people in general have in common is that they all probably smile a lot and are happier than their negative counterparts. It may sound silly, but there is a lot of power associated with a smile.

Start smiling more often. Now, that doesn’t mean that you have to walk around with a silly grin on your face all of the time. But smile as you walk down the street, when you talk to someone, even when you look in the mirror at yourself. You will be surprised at how much better you will feel for it, and it will project a positive image to all others – one that will attract opportunities and people.

Remember that confident people are happy people and negative people are not. Happy people are also seen as more attractive than unhappy and sad people so that is an added bonus!

You know, the way that we communicate in our appearance, posture, gesture, gaze and expression can be such a powerful tool in the way that we feel and when communicating with others. The manner in which you communicate and your interpersonal skills are also very important indeed. Effective communication is vital if you are going to succeed no matter what you are doing.

iStock_000006933714Medium (2)

The way in which we communicate with people is broken down into component parts, and it is popularly believed that people to whom we are speaking understand what we say by interpreting these different elements in varying proportions:

VERBAL – 7% of our message is interpreted from the words we use.

VOCAL – 38% is picked up from our voice – speed, tone , pitch, rhythm etc

VISUAL – 55% is what the other person sees – our body language

Please bear the above in mind when you are communicating to people.

If you are ever feeling down, just have a look at your body language and change it immediately. YOU WILL start to feel better and more confident immediately.

First impressions count – notice body language. You can normally tell what others are feeling by the way that they are moving and using their body too. You can use this to your advantage when you are more aware of it.

So, if this resonates with you, and you would like to have a conversation about how coaching with me will work, get in touch today and we can arrange to have a chat to begin finding out where you think you are in your life and how I can serve you.

As Sydney Banks says, “ There is no end or limitation, nor are there boundaries, to the human mind.

I really look forward to hearing from you soon.

Maggie Currie

maggieheart
Consultant, Coach, Author
Founder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING

Website:       http://www.maggiecurrie.co.uk

Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/Maggie-Currie-Coaching-527886050648208/?ref=hl
Email:            hello@maggiecurrie.co.uk

Taking time for YOU!

My clients often tell me that one of the added benefits of coaching they hadn’t considered before they started, is that their hour long session can often be the only time in a busy week that they feel able to step back and truly focus 100% on themselves.  Hand on heart, how often could you say that you allow yourself to do that?

A lot of the time we get so busy ‘doing’ that we forget about ‘being’.

This was a revelation of sorts for me some years back.  I had something fantastically inspiring to aim for, I had the focus and drive to work really hard and I was making good progress.  And yet, I wound up feeling ill, stressed and fairly disillusioned.  If this was what having stretching goals was about, I wasn’t sure I wanted them after all!

Stressed Businesswoman

Talking through how I felt with a friend one day, I was brought up short when she said “oh yes, you’ve become a human doing instead of a human being” and I thought about that all the way home.

As I reflected on the previous few months I could think of few times when I wasn’t ‘doing’ and even fewer times when I’d consciously decided to take time out and just be.

So how much of your time do you spend ‘doing’ and how much do you spend ‘being’?   If you had to divide a circle up with how much time you give over to each, what would it look like?  How big would your ‘being’ slice be?

With our busy lives and time-poor society it can seem impossible to take more time for ourselves, but at what cost do you choose not to?  My decision those few years back was to invest more time in myself and I’m certain that I’m much more productive as a result.  I get more done in my ‘doing’ time now than I ever did when I was ‘doing’ every waking second of the day.  Plus, my ultimate decision was that it couldn’t all be about the doing and the destination or I’d miss the journey altogether.

So what time could you make for yourself to just be?  When could you next set aside an hour or two, a whole day or even more than that to relax and recharge?  How much better would you feel if you did?

nomoreexcuses

Could you do with some regular time set aside to focus 100% on you and on making your life how you want it?

Have you got so lost in the process of life that you have forgotten who you are?  If so, I can help you.  Get in touch today.

 

Maggie Currie

maggieheart
Thought Leader, Coach, Speaker, Author, Survivor
Founder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING

Website:       http://www.maggiecurrie.co.uk

Facebook:    https://goo.gl/ZByKGW
Email:            hello@maggiecurrie.co.uk

 

Improve your body language, improve your confidence!

The way that you move your body, and how you walk has an enormous effect on the way that you feel and affects your confidence levels.

Lets start with an exercise.

Imagine there are two people standing in front of you – one with “negative body language” and one with “positive body language”.

??????????????????????                                                            teenage depression - teen woman sitting thinking

I’d now like you to write down what you are observing with each of these people:

Positive                                                                                                                                        Negative

  • How are they standing?
  • Where are their eyes looking?
  • What position are they holding their head?
  • How are they talking?
  • How are they moving?

How you feel at any moment in time is linked to what is going on in your mind and how you are moving your body. The way that you move sends subconscious messages to your mind and this either helps or hinders the way that you feel.

Emotion is created by motion. If you sit still for a long period of time your natural energy levels automatically get lower. And what happens when you get up, walk around and return to your seat?  Yes, you have more energy and you’re given a boost.

I can’t stress how important it is to move and act confidently and positively. You will give off all the right vibes to everyone around you and it will make them think that you are confident even if you’re not feeling it inside. Yes, that’s right. Even if you’re not feeling confident, act as though you are.

So, how do you do this?

  • Walk swiftly and with a purpose. Don’t saunter along, walk like you know exactly where you are going and when you get there you mean business!
  • Gesture with your hands as you talk, it will create motion and you know what that leads to – EMOTION! The right gestures also have a major impact on building rapport as long as you’re not shaking your fist!
  • All it takes is a smile!  Think for a moment about your confidence role model. One thing that he/she and confident people in general have in common is that they all probably smile a lot and are happier than their negative counterparts. It may sound silly, but there is a lot of power associated with a smile.

Start smiling more often. Now, that doesn’t mean that you have to walk around with a silly grin on your face all of the time. But smile as you walk down the street, when you talk to someone, even when you look in the mirror at yourself. You will be surprised at how much better you will feel for it, and it will project a positive image to all others – one that will attract opportunities and people.

iStock_000006933714Medium (2)

Remember that confident people are happy people and negative people are not. Happy people are also seen as more attractive than unhappy and sad people so that is an added bonus!

You know, the way that we communicate in our appearance, posture, gesture, gaze and expression can be such a powerful tool in the way that we feel and when communicating with others. The manner in which you communicate and your interpersonal skills are also very important indeed. Effective communication is vital if you are going to succeed no matter what you are doing.

The way in which we communicate with people is broken down into component parts, and it is popularly believed that people to whom we are speaking understand what we say by interpreting these different elements in varying proportions:

VERBAL – 7% of our message is interpreted from the words we use.

VOCAL – 38% is picked up from our voice – speed, tone , pitch, rhythm etc

VISUAL – 55% is what the other person sees – our body language

Please bear the above in mind when you are communicating to people.

If you are ever feeling down, just have a look at your body language and change it immediately. Even if it has to be false – YOU WILL start to feel better and more confident immediately.

First impressions count – notice body language. You can normally tell what others are feeling by the way that they are moving and using their body too. You can use this to your advantage when you are more aware of it.

Maggie Currie

Thought Leader, Coach, Speaker, Author, Survivor
Founder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING

maggieheart
Website:       http://www.maggiecurrie.co.uk

Facebook:    https://goo.gl/ZByKGW
Email:            hello@maggiecurrie.co.uk

Do you really know what will it take to make you happy?

Do you really know what will it take to make you happy?

Think about it and see if you can discover, or if you know, what it will take for you to be happy?

  • Will being in a relationship, or with the right boyfriend/girlfriend make you happy?
  • Will being married make you happy?
  • Will having a million pounds make you happy?
  • Will being successful make you happy?
  • Will having better health make you happy?
  • Will getting a new job make you happy?
  • Will having a great career make you happy?

If you think the answer is yes to any or all of the above questions, you’ll never find happiness!

Surprised? Well don’t be. The truth is nothing can make you happy. Happiness is something we feel, not something we can find.

20 ways to increase your confidence after divorce

 

Being happy doesn’t depend on a particular outcome or something happening to you. There isn’t somewhere you can go and find happiness sitting there waiting for you.

Advertising of all sorts is designed to make you think that a new car, a particular skin cream, a new outfit, some new shoes, a drink or a new diet will make you happy, but that is simply not true. Nothing can make you happy because happiness is a feeling. Happiness is something you experience.

If you want to be happy, then be happy. Most people don’t choose to be happy because they spend most of their time focusing on what they perceive is wrong with their life.

Think about it, you can’t be happy doing something that you don’t like. If you don’t believe me try it. Try doing something you despise and see if you can be happy at the same time. Trust me, you won’t be happy doing something you don’t enjoy!

You also can’t do something you really enjoy and be sad or angry. Don’t believe me? Try it. See what happens. Go and try doing something you really enjoy and see if you’re angry or miserable at the same time. That really doesn’t work.

Unfortunately, people believe they can be happy when they achieve a particular goal and make the mistake of chasing that goal in order to be happy. It’s really not achieving the goal that makes them happy. It’s the feeling of achieving the goal that provides another feeling, satisfaction perhaps,  that is mistaken for happiness.

This mistake is quite common, because it’s not security or peace of mind that makes you happy. You experience happiness when you do what you enjoy and when you focus on the positive things taking place in your life. If you’re not doing that then you can never be happy.  Don’t think that you can be happy just by having something.

car

You can experience happiness by achieving your particular goal,  by doing what you enjoy, having fun while achieving your goals and choosing the right goals, the kind that allow you to be happy all the time.  Focus on what you want.

Start doing the things that you enjoy. Look at the positive things that are going on in your life. Direct your mind and subconscious mind to help you experience happiness every day. This will start once you begin to appreciate the good things in your life.

Okay so how can you begin to be happy? It’s really quite simple, all you have to do is shift your focus.

Instead of looking at all that is wrong with your life, instead of looking at what you don’t like about yourself or your life; constantly criticising; change your focus. Start appreciating all that is good in your life. You will probably find there are many things you appreciate.

Make a list if you want and write out all of the positive things in your life. Usually someone will say: “Maggie, I can’t think of anything positive or good in my life. I just want to be happy.” That’s only because you are not seeing all the positive things in your life.  And so you’ll never be happy.

Every day there are wonderful things taking place in your life, yet you fail to observe and recognise them. You tend to take them for granted.  This can be anything – a hot  meal, a wonderful spouse, family, a beautiful flower, lambs playing in a field –  If you have a roof over your head, that’s a positive aspect of your life.

Start looking at all of the great and terrific things that are going on in your life and you’ll begin to experience happiness on a deeper level. You can begin to improve or change the areas that you are not happy with but at the same time you should acknowledge the good things that are going on in your life.

Your mind is used to only paying attention to what is going wrong and in the process it directs the subconscious mind to continue creating more of those things that are going wrong. You actually create more of what makes you unhappy.

Why?

iStock_000004524893XSmall (2)

Because your subconscious creates what you regularly think about. So if you don’t regularly focus on the positive things you won’t create positive situations in your life.

And here’s where it gets worse.  When you constantly focus on what is wrong with your life, when you only think about and see what is wrong in your life your subconscious begins to create more of what is wrong or more of what you don’t want because it thinks that you want more.

Now you know why it can be so difficult for some people to truly experience happiness, it’s because they’re used to focusing on the negative aspects of life and in the end continue to create more of what they don’t want.

In order to change all of this you have to begin training the mind and re-directing the subconscious mind to begin creating what you want in life and to focus on the good things that are taking place in your life.

Begin experiencing happiness by changing your focus. Every day think of the positive things that are going on in your life. Make a list of all the wonderful things that are taking place in your life.

Think of at least 3 great things that happened to you, they can be small or large – but just appreciate 3 good things that happened during the day. Focus on the positive. Direct your mind and subconscious mind by changing your perspective so you experience happiness everyday

Too often I hear from people who simply want to be happy but when I ask them what they do for fun they say: “Nothing.” No wonder you’re not happy. How can you be happy if you’re never having fun in life?

If you want to experience happiness then start doing things that you enjoy.  You may like gardening; you may like hang gliding, you may like riding your bike, you may enjoy going for long walks, you may enjoy acting like a 5-year old – whatever it is start doing it and see how great you feel.

But there is one catch when you’re doing what you enjoy, you can only focus on that and not think about anything else that may be bothering you. That’s the only way you’ll truly enjoy the activity and begin to experience happiness.

As adults we get bogged down with the everyday tasks that force us to be serious. We have jobs where we’re serious, bills to pay, food to prepare, children to look after, it’s all too serious and it is necessary. I’m not suggesting you ignore your responsibilities – but take some time just to have some fun.

Now you can’t just have fun once a week or once a month. You have to do this every day. It can be for just 5 minutes a day if you like.  That means every day you have to find something fun to do, and only then will you get comfortable and used to the process to the point where you regularly experience happiness. Once you start doing this you’ll enjoy it so much you’ll wonder why you never did this to begin with.

If you don’t feel you have the time to have fun and enjoy your life then you’re really saying that your happiness is not important enough. Only when you decide to be happy will you truly begin to experience happiness. You can work with the techniques I’ve outlined – they will help you get started. But you will need to train your mind and subconscious mind to begin seeing and living in a different way.

 

 Maggie Currie

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© Maggie Currie and Maggie Currie Coaching, 2011-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Maggie Currie and MaggieCurrie.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Do you know where your beliefs and values come from?

Whether you realise it or not, you are constantly in the process of creating and changing your reality.

You are not truly aware of what someone else’s reality really looks like, and they are not truly aware of what your reality looks like. You are only aware of your own reality and how it looks to you.

Don’t believe me?  Take a simple scenario.  A road traffic accident, where nobody is hurt, fortunately, when one car hits another car.  There are three witnesses.  A policeman will ask each witness what he or she saw.  There will be three completely different perceptions of the same incident.

car

For instance, one person might state that they saw the first car brake suddenly, so the driver of the car behind (being far too close in their perception) braked really hard but the car was going too fast and ran into the car in front with a loud bang.

The second person saw the second car approaching the car in front too fast and the driver didn’t appear to even see the car in front and ran straight into it without braking.

The third person witnessed the first car slow down too much so the driver of the car behind (which wasn’t going too fast) couldn’t quite stop in time (though they tried) and hit the car in front really hard.

Three different perceptions of the same accident – each quite ‘real’ to those witnesses – but significantly dissimilar.

How you perceive your life and everything around you will differ dramatically from other people’s perceptions.  Your reality is totally unique to you.

How you think about your life, how you see yourself in the mirror, and what you believe is happening to you at any given moment, will be the reality that exists for you.

So what are your beliefs?  They are your views, judgments, guiding principles and decisions about yourself, family and friends, communities, organisations, employers and everything else you come into contact with.

Your beliefs filter everything you see, hear and feel around you and, as a result, determine the meaning you attach to any event. Your beliefs act as self-fulfilling prophecies. If you think that you can’t do something and then find it extremely difficult to do and give up trying, you have successfully fulfilled your belief that you can’t do it.

What would have happened if you had believed that you could do it?  Would your reality have been different?

Your beliefs, whether they be limiting or empowering, determine your actions, and your actions in turn verify your beliefs. Over time, as you collect more evidence to prove your beliefs, your beliefs become your reality.

Your beliefs operate in your subconscious mind and influence your conscious mind,  they affect your thoughts and behaviour. Whilst you are aware of many of your beliefs, in general, your most influential beliefs are stored away in your subconscious mind.

 

There are some beliefs you view as absolute truths and never question – that is just the way the world is! A change in your beliefs can have a major impact on how you live your life and the behaviours you manifest.

Once you believe in something, you tend to ignore opposite examples and accept only those events that reinforce that belief.

As Henry Ford, industrialist, said: ‘Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you are probably right.’

How right he was.

Your beliefs can have a significant effect on your life, particularly your health.

To quote Ian McDermott and Joseph O’Connor, from their book NLP and Health, (Thorsons, 1996), in a typical clinical situation, about thirty-five percent of all cases receive as much pain relief from a placebo as from morphine – simply because the recipients believe it will work.’

That is a very interesting observation isn’t it?  The subconscious mind believed it had been given a strong painkiller, and therefore the pain was relieved.  This happened because the subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between the truth and anything else it is told.

But what about your beliefs?  How can you verify them?

Well, many hundreds of years ago people were told, and believed, that the world was flat. Today there are probably still some people who continue to believe this. It is easy to see how this belief was once so prevalent.  Just look at the ground beneath your feet – it’s flat.  In the distance you may be able to see a few hills and valleys, but these are just ripples on an otherwise flat surface. All of the land is surrounded by water and it seems quite logical to have once believed that if you sailed far enough you would eventually fall off the edge of the world. Those who set off to sail the seas and never returned were testament to this.  Obviously those who did return, just hadn’t sailed far enough!

flat world

You will have noticed how this belief proved its own validity. Therefore that reality was true.

The flat-world belief was very useful in explaining and predicting phenomena in a very small area when there were no satellites, there was no television and there were no news broadcasts and no other means of communication other than verbal messages passed from one individual to another. More importantly, it made the people in that localised area feel comfortable and safe in this reality.  However, by discouraging wider exploration, it was also a very limiting belief.

But you can challenge this belief and put your life ‘at risk’. You can let go of the limiting belief of a flat world and explore other possibilities.  You can entertain new and more expansive beliefs, which other people may view as equally limiting or indeed as impossible. All these beliefs are equally valid.

Do you currently have beliefs that keep your reality comfortable and safe and that prevent you from exploring your true potential?  Do you choose to acknowledge only the reality that is predicted by your limiting beliefs and then use these observations as proof that your current reality is indeed true?

Is it time to step out of your comfort zone and set sail into the unknown?  To push the boundaries of what you think you know and discover new lands and opportunities – to challenge yourself to create your new reality?

Does that sound like something you would like to experience? I work with clients face-t0-face, on the phone and via Skype.  The choice is yours. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Contact me today for a free chat on how we can start moving you from a place that is not so great in your life to a place of enjoyment.

 

Maggie Currie

Email: hello@maggiecurrie.co.uk

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How to break bad habits

What are your bad habits? First you have to identify the habits that you want to break.  The ones you really don’t want to hang to. The ones you consider to be bad habits.

  • Smoking?
  • Talking too much?
  • Drinking?
  • Untidiness?

Whether it’s that perpetual pile of clothes in the corner you’re waiting to someday turn into gold, a self-proclaimed disability which renders you unable to refrain from interrupting, or a knack for timing your exit just so, so that someone else is continually left to do the washing up, now’s the time to extinguish these habits before they turn into next year’s resolutions.

Here are some of the reasons why.

1.      It’s not fair to others. One of the great universal laws ruling our wonderful planet says that you get back what you put out there.

Do you want others to be kind and considerate to you?  Then start putting the considerate, kind vibes out there and pick up your clothes, do the washing up, and stop interrupting or whatever it is you or a collective “others” define as a bad habit.

2.    It’s not fair to you.  I’m sure you’re a nice person, and you pride yourself on having generous, warmhearted traits.  So, it’s not fair to you either that this simple, little, annoying thing you do can wield the power that it now, or will soon have.

These tiny culprits have been known to ruin marriages, friendships, and cause the downfall of many a mighty person.  Plus you’ll feel better about yourself.

3.   Your success depends on it. Bad habits have a funny way of scope and context creep.

First they only happen in certain situations, and the next thing you know, you’re at a business function swirling your fingers through the chip dip. Put an end to it now before situations that require your utmost polish become tarnished by these terribly annoying little monsters.

4.   You probably don’t like it when others do the same thing. Think about it.  If someone did the same thing to you, would it bother you?

 How do I know I am in a relationship that is bad for me?

Be honest.

Sometimes all it takes is a simple exercise in empathy to find the motivation to quit whatever it is we could benefit from stopping.

5.   List your own reasons. But be sincere and totally honest.

What is it costing you to perpetuate these habits?

Whether it’s a moment of peace, seemingly perpetual nagging, or simple anxiety resulting from anticipation of the next blow-up or negative comment, you owe it to yourself to commit to your ongoing personal development, and to the elimination of any behaviour whose costs far outweigh the benefits.

 

So how do you begin?

Just like breaking a smoking habit, bad habits have a way of creeping up on us and slowly over time becoming somewhat akin to an appendage—i.e. they’re hard to get rid of.

Here are some tips for breaking these bad habits:

Start small: 

While it might not be reasonable to expect that you can just stop whatever you’re doing overnight, identify what might constitute as a small step in the right direction? Write down what that step is and carry it out over the next 21 days.

For example, if you are smoking 40 a day, cut that down to 20 for the next 21 days.  Make that behaviour a habit before you cut that down to 15 for the next 21 days and then 10 and so on.

 Commit: 

Make a commitment to yourself that you will make this shift, and if reinforcement and punishment works—use it!  Think about how you might reward yourself for making the change.  Or, consider how you might penalise yourself if you don’t.

For instance in our smoking example. Put the money you would have spent on the cigarettes in a jar and at the end of the 21 days add it all up and buy yourself a treat for example.

From cutting down to 20 smokes a day from 40 smokes a day, over a 21-day period at £8 a packet that will save you £168 in just 3 weeks!

Also, write two lists, one of the reasons why you are doing this and also a list of the things that you will miss out on if you keep on doing your bad habit.

Identify alternatives:

What are some alternatives to the behaviour you are demonstrating? Is there a quick fix or solution that might help provide an alternative—e.g. put a laundry basket by the bedside (one to match with the décor) so that you don’t end up with a pile on the floor.

Get help: 

Ask someone to help keep you accountable.  If they’ve been victims of this bad habit, they’ll most likely be thrilled you asked! Or seek professional help from a coach or mentor who will definitely hold you accountable. A coach will be non-judgemental and will offer you praise when it is due.

iStock_000004418879XSmall (2)

 Ask for feedback: 

Because human nature dictates that we will only complain when you offend, rather than amend, ask for feedback frequently.

Don’t assume, no news is good news, but be sure to get praise when praise is due. Remember to reward yourself when you achieve your short term goals, your medium term goals and your long term goals.  It doesn’t have to be something expensive, although it can be.  It could be a cream tea by the sea, or a cup of coffee, or a small box of chocolates.  You decide what your rewards will be and make sure you reward yourself.

I am here to help, so call me and we can talk about how I can help you.

 

Maggie Currie

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Recycle, Reuse, Compost, Biofuel, Donate, Trash – Guest Blog by Lisa Arends

I saw a promo picture for of those hoarding shows the other day. It showed a woman surrounded by an impossible pile of stuff, trying to look strong, yet you could see the struggle etched upon her face. I did not watch the show, but I gather that she acquired and held onto these items out of fear, that she sees the piles of clothes of objects as some sort of talisman against the evils and discomforts of the world. This may have worked for a while, but eventually, as the stuff accumulated, so did its power. It now has her trapped, stuck, buried under the weight of that which she refused to let go of.

We see these shows or read these stories and wonder how they let it get so bad. Don’t they realize that the accumulations are smothering them? Don’t they know that many of those items are worthless? Don’t they see the freedom that comes from release? No, they don’t. They are wrapped in a security blanket of stuff that tightens around them like a serpent whispering platitudes into fearful ears.

We see these shows or read these stories and proudly declare that it could never happen to us. We would recognize that slippery slope and halt the accumulation before it grew to epic proportions. What we often fail to realize, however, is that we are guilty of the same behavior within our minds. You may not be surrounded by the tangibles of your past, but can you say the same for your thoughts? Do you let old hurts and pains clutter your mind? Are you buried under the weight of days gone by? Do you hold on to these memories and thinking patterns because you are afraid to let them go?

We hold on to our thoughts for the same reasons that hoarders stockpile stuff. They are known. They are comfortable. They fulfill some need within us, either real or imagined. It’s scary releasing those thoughts, those beliefs that hold us back. It almost feels traitorous, as though we are turning the blade upon ourselves. Yet sometimes branches have to be pruned back to let the light in.

If you have allowed your mind to become cluttered with unneeded and unnecessary thoughts, it is time to take out your mental garbage.

recycle

Recycle: Take your old patterns and thoughts and change them into something new and useful. If you have trauma or struggle in your past, how can you reframe it into something that can help others? Our brightest gifts often come from our greatest wounds.

Reuse: Repurpose a negative habit into a positive one. If you have negative mantras that echo through your thoughts, reword them into motivational sayings. I have a tendency to respond to challenges with the phrase, “I can’t.” I’ve reworked it into “I always said I couldn’t live without my ex husband and if I can do that, I can do anything!”

Compost: Use the decaying scraps left over from something transient and good, and turn the waste into fuel for new growth. There are often lessons to be learned from the low points of life. Let the sorrow feeds the roots of the young shoots of a new life.

Biofuel: If you feel stuck, turn the negative energy into fuel to power yourself forward. Anger can be a valuable, yet corrosive, fuel here as it has the potential to move you through the roughest of patches. Just be sure to release it once it has done its job.

Donate: Do you have any mental clutter that doesn’t serve you but can help others? Sometimes the best way to be thankful for what we have is to help others. Can you use your voice to help those that can’t speak for themselves or reach out to others that are where you have been?

Trash: Some habits and thought patterns simply need to be discarded. For me, the “what ifs” had to be thrown into the rubbish bin and carried away on the back of a truck, as they simply served no purpose and had no value.

We schedule regular cleaning for our homes. Our minds, which we occupy all of the time, deserve at least the same attention. So take a look around, inventory those thoughts and discard the ones that no longer serve you.

Lisa Arends

Lisa Arends works as a math teacher and a wellness coach. After using her own sudden divorce four years ago as a catalyst for positive change, she now helps people navigate their own divorces and transform stress into wellness. She loves to lift heavy weights and run long distances, and she is still learning how to meditate. She blogs at Lessons From the End of a Marriage and The Huffington Post.