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MINDFULNESS

MINDFULNESS

Learn to meditate, and find your zen

Learning to Meditate

You’ve probably heard us mentioning meditation and how much we love it. (Here, we said it again, in case you missed it the first 100 times!) But meditation doesn’t always come as easily to everyone. Maybe you’re just sceptical and think there’s nothing a little meditating can do for you. Perhaps you tried it once or twice, decided that clearing your mind of worries or thoughts of the dinner menu is entirely impossible, and deemed anyone able to do that as someone who clearly doesn’t worry much in life. Hey, you’re not alone. Meditating doesn’t come naturally to a lot of people, even during your sleep your mind is working so trying to actively stop it from thinking might seem like a long shot.

 

However we like to believe that everyone can learn to meditate. It doesn’t have to be the same way everyone else meditates, the point of meditation is to relax and connect your mind and body, and find your own best way to do so. You have to start somewhere though, so here are some suggestions we learned while teaching ourselves how to meditate.

 

Come up with your own mantra.

You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s a really good technique that helps you in keeping your mind clear from thoughts. Think of a short mantra, it can be one word, or a few words, that you will repeat in your head while meditating. The thing is that it’s easy for the mind to wander. Maybe you decide that your mantra of choice is ‘Love’ and then 4 minutes into meditating, that ex you really don’t want to think about just pops into your head and there goes your zen. Try to choose a word you don’t feel would cause your mind to associate any worries to. Or our suggestion would be – choose a mantra on a different language. This will make it easier for you to keep repeating it, without your brain immediately connecting the dots with 20 other worries currently plaguing your mind.

 

Don’t try to forcefully empty your mind or push out your thoughts.

As mentioned, it can be easy for our brains to wander. This will also be more likely to occur the less you’ve practiced meditating before. Your brain is not used to relaxing so relaxing is something you need to teach your brain as well. The trick is not to try and dissuade yourself from thinking something once the thought pops up in your head. Telling yourself to stop thinking something is counter productive. First, it will just make you think about it more. And secondly, even if it doesn’t you’re already filling your mind with the thought ‘Don’t think about XY!’ which instantly defeats the purpose. So what do you do when this happens? Keep silently repeating your mantra in the same pattern you had been repeating it in before. The thoughts should fade out eventually.

Learning to meditate

Try out different meditations.

We’ve done our best to provide a variety of meditations you can try in the Leaf app. We have audio guided 3D meditation exercises – this means that a soothing voice will paint a relaxing picture for you, and all you have to do is close your eyes and visualize. Not everyone is big on visualization, or maybe someone else telling you what to visualize is cramping your style – not to worry, we have a way for you to meditate as well! There are a few 3D meditations that are not audio guided, but rather sound effects based on your choice of exercise. This gives you the chance to play one of the meditations while repeating your own mantra in your mind. Give this a try and see if it works for you!

 

Make sure you are sitting in a comfortable and quiet location.

Your surroundings are very important. It will make a huge difference if you have a lot of background noises around you or a lot of people moving in the background. These will distract you and cause your focus to break, not to mention ruin the experience. Make sure you are alone in a quiet space, and that you are sitting somewhere comfortably. Creating the right mood is key to everything in life – including meditation.

 

Those are a few tips that we gathered while learning how to meditate. We hope they will help you reach your zen the same way they have helped us.

 

And remember that there is one very important factor to meditating – you need to actually believe in it. When you give it a try you need to leave any scepticism on the side and go into it with an open mind and an open heart. If you’re not ready to approach meditating before eye rolling into tomorrow, it won’t work for you, no matter how hard you try. However if you approach it with curiosity and belief, it might just do wonders for you.

Learn to meditate

September 26, 2017
MINDFULNESS WOMEN'S HEALTH

How to keep your cool when people try to push your buttons

How to keep your cool

We all have those moments when someone pushes you too far. All that goes through your head is ‘I’m done’ and you just want to toss everything to the ground, throw a peace sign in the air and take a vacation from life.

Most times though, the above is not a plausible scenario. Here’s how it really goes down : Your face turns red, you grit your teeth so hard you get nicknamed Beaver, and when you’re away from the people that cause this frustration you explode on everything and everyone that is near. Worst case scenario, you can’t hold it in long enough and end up exploding on the person who is likely most deserving to get burned by your flames – and then you have to deal with the consequences. Which are rarely pleasant.

 

Here’s some advice on how to calm yourself, when people push all your red buttons.

 

Breathe.

You were breathing when someone made you angry and yet here you are, fuming, despite ‘Just breathe’-ing like everyone seems to tell you. We can understand how sceptical that might make you, but the trick is to not just breathe but be aware of your breathing. Take a few deep long breaths, and only focus on your inhale and your exhale. You should feel at least a bit of tension release from your body. That is because taking deep breaths oxygenates the blood, which causes our brain to release endorphins. In turn, these endorphins help reduce stress in the body and even decrease levels of pain. Best part? You can do this anytime, anywhere. You’re in a meeting, and your colleagues or boss are being really hard on you? Just take some time to ‘think’, take a few deep breaths and hopefully that will make it easier to place that fake smile on your face.

 

Vent it out.

When people put you down, or anger you – especially when you think it was unwarranted and that they are in the wrong – it can be hard to keep the Mother of all angry word vomits from escaping your lips. You have so much you want to say, but maybe you’re not able to say it – because the consequences are too big. Keeping your opinion in will drive you crazy. Your brain will obsess about it, you’ll just keep finding more and more reasons why you’re right and they’re wrong, your anger will keep building up (instead of dissipating) and eventually that word vomit will come out after all. The trick to stopping this is venting. Is there a friend of colleague that has a similar issue, or has experienced similar problems? Talk to them about it! They will understand you, they’ll maybe even agree with you, and it will ease some of the tension from your back. Then again, maybe you don’t like talking about your issues, or feel like you would just be burdening others. Well, there’s a solution for you as well! How about writing a letter to the person, or people, that caused your frustrations? Address everything in this letter, whatever you wished you could just say to their face. By the time you write the last word, you’ll feel much less angry. Just don’t make the mistake of accidentally sending this letter out! It’s for your eyes only.

 

How to keep your cool

Accept your emotions.

If someone is hard on you, since you can’t be hard back towards them, you’re hard towards yourself as well. You might blame yourself for getting so worked up and letting other people get to you. But hey, you’re human! You have emotions, and you weren’t built to just nod meekly to everything in life. You have your own opinions and ideas, so of course, if someone else devalues this, you will feel defensive and hurt. Finding ways to blame yourself for that will just make a bad situation worse. Accept your feelings, and validate them. But not just that, find their cause – why are you feeling frustrated? It’s not just because someone said something – you either expected more from them, or from yourself. Define the source of your feelings, and they’ll be a little easier to handle.

 

Don’t overthink it.

It’s easy to spin out of control when you’re upset. Your mindset just goes as dark as your mood, and you only think of the worst case scenarios. Everything that could go wrong has already played out inside of your head, and now you’re not just angry and frustrated, but also worried, depressed and self-deprecating – which will also deplete your energy and make you lose your creativity and motivation. All in all, don’t overthink stuff! Take it easy, and only deal with the present – the future hasn’t happened yet, so there’s no point in trying to become an Oracle and predict it. You are in charge, and your future is not set in stone, so the only thing you need to consider is the current situation, and how you can improve it. It’s easy to think negatively, but being positive requires effort, determination and a dash of hope.

 

Visualize and compartmentalize.

For some reason, most of us feel that having one issue to deal with isn’t enough – why not just pile up 10 more, and make it a party! It’s mostly subconscious and almost automatic. When someone points out one thing that is wrong, you, as a dedicated critic, will be able to come up with at least a dozen more. There’s a trick we hope might be able to help with that, but it will only work if you’re able to visualize things. We will share an example, but it is best to find a visualization that is personal to you and so it will be easier for you to imagine the scenario.
Close your eyes and take deep breaths. Imagine that you are in a huge room, full of various drawers and all of your concerns and frustrations are separated in those drawers. Each of them has only one issue for you to deal with. Only one concern. Only one insecurity. Only one critique. Take deep breaths and look around the room, and then firmly open just one drawer and let one of your worries out. Once you have assessed this worry, and came to terms with it, open another one. Things will be easier to deal with if you divide and conquer, and they might not seem as big and bad as they do when they all come at you at once.

 

Take a break.

You deserve it! While we can’t take a break from life in general, we can take a break from things in life at least for a few short moments. Do a meditation to just relax your mind and let it wander a bit. Take a short walk and reach to accomplish your goal in the Leaf app – a victory, no matter how small, is exactly what you need. Or sit down, breathe some fresh air, close your eyes and just focus on the sounds and smells around you. Overwhelm your brain with different sensations to identify, rather than different problems.

 

How to keep your cool

Find your happy.

We all have something that brings us happiness. Maybe that’s family or a friend. Maybe it’s a precious pet, though let’s be honest, they count as family too. Maybe it’s a hobby that always brings a smile to your face. Or maybe there’s just that one song that will make any day more bearable. Whatever makes you happy, even if it’s something small, take a few minutes of your time to do them. If it’s friends or family, call them. If it’s your cute pet, look at a few pictures and remind yourself you’ll be home to see them soon. Maybe it’s music, so just play your favorite song and just ignore the world around you for a while. Doing something that makes you happy, will keep the feeling somewhere in the back of your mind even when you have to face reality again. A short burst of happiness in your day will also lessen the anger and frustration you felt earlier.

 

Forgiveness.

Forgive doesn’t mean forget. To forgive means letting go of the anger so that it doesn’t consume you. It means distancing yourself from someone else’s opinion and creating a clear line between what you think and know and what someone else thinks. And it means accepting that they view the world differently than you and have different opinions – that you don’t have to agree with. Forgiving will lessen the anger and give you the air of being calm and collected – which means you won’t have to fake your composure. Why is this important? If people are able to see that you are emotional about something and that they can get under your skin, they will start to doubt you more. In their eyes, being able to rattle you will mean you were insecure from the start and that you don’t believe in yourself – which is especially bad in a professional environment. However, if you present your case in a composed way, it will show that you are sure of your opinion and are able to stand by it calmly – even when under attack. Best case scenario, this might even make the other person reconsider what you have to say.

 

Even if you follow this advice, there is no guarantee you will be able to keep your cool next time. Emotions are tricky, and there is no simple equation or theory that will help contain them or reign them in.

 

Luckily, practice makes perfect! If you practice these tips repeatedly, stress and frustration will be easier to handle, and eventually you’ll be able to stay cool no matter which buttons were pushed.

September 20, 2017
MINDFULNESS WOMEN'S HEALTH

How to find yourself, when you’ve lost your way

How to find yourself

We all feel a little lost sometimes.

Maybe you just got out of a long-term relationship that you never thought would end. Or someone you considered a friend showed that you were apparently the only one who thought so. Or perhaps you lost your job, and still aren’t entirely sure how it came to that or what you’re supposed to do next.

When something bad happens we have a tendency to blame ourselves. We feel the need to find a reason for bad things happening, and it’s always easiest to blame ourselves. Why? Because thinking that you caused this turn of events and that by changing yourself things will go back to how they used to be hurts less in a way. Thinking you are to blame is easier than realizing the people you trusted and cared for were just not good people – at least, not good people for you. And even if you come to that realization you might still feel frustrated for trusting the wrong person.

When you start doubting yourself or blaming yourself, it’s a slippery slope to that big question echoing through your head :

 

Who am I, and is who I am good enough?

 

When you love someone, you might give pieces of yourself to those people. And when they hurt you, you’re left confused and questioning. Questioning everything, but mainly questioning who you really are, why something like this happens to you over and over again, and how other people see you.

If you’re in that state right now, or if you find yourself feeling like this in the future, and those questions start popping up, take a deep breath and STOP.

Stop doubting yourself. You are you, and that is more than okay! In fact, that is absolutely wonderful! You being yourself, being different and unique, is what gives this world color. You are a beautiful shade in a growing rainbow, and you don’t need to change a thing. Except for your feeling of self-worth.

 

Here are some tips and tricks that might help you find your way back to yourself, if you ever feel you have lost your way.

 

Make a list.

This is a very important list, so listen carefully. Make a list, and write out everything you like about yourself. Everything you can think of that makes you a good person, a good friend, or a good family member. Done? Okay, great. Now, think of someone you love very much, and write a second list. On this list, write down everything you love about that person. Everything that makes them so dear to your heart. Once you have those two lists, read them over, compare them, and reflect on them. Why is this important? Well, if you ask your friend to write down a list of positive personality traits, they probably wouldn’t include the same ones you do, or as many as you may have been able to write down. That is because – let’s say this together – We are our own worst critic. People don’t see you the same way you might see yourself – especially on those bad days. Your friends never doubt who you are, because you show it to them daily through little things you don’t even notice. When you feel down, look at those two lists, and remember to look at yourself through the eyes of a friend – not your worst enemy. You are amazing, and it’s time you start believing that!

 

How to find yourself

Meditate or take some time for yourself.

It’s hard to think rationally when you have that little voice inside your head always whispering something. That’s one of the many reasons we love to meditate. Meditation helps us get our mind off our current worries, and transports us to a more peaceful place – this is especially easy with our 3D meditations, available in your Leaf app! We urge you to give them a try if you haven’t already. They might surprise you! In case you really aren’t one for meditating, that’s okay as well. Make it a goal to find your own perfect way to relax and regroup. Whether that is reading a book, watching cat videos on youtube, or just sipping on some tea and breathing fresh air. Whatever gets you to stop overthinking and take a breather. Once reality comes crashing back it might be easier to handle – they don’t tell you to sleep before making any big decisions for no reason.

 

Accept yourself.

Do you ever get the feeling that you’ve been putting in effort and trying your best at something, and yet it still doesn’t seem or feel good enough? We’ve all been there. Expectations end up causing disappointments, especially if you are trying to meet someone else’s expectations of you. Don’t let this discourage you. Other people and their expectations do not matter. Why? Because they don’t know you as well as you know yourself. They don’t know your struggles, your thoughts, your worries. They don’t know the thoughts and feelings you fight through each day – so they have no right to expect anything from you. The only expectation you need to strive to meet is your own. And even if you’re not able to do that sometimes, that’s okay! Change is a process and if there are parts of yourself or your health you want to change, the most important thing to do is to simply start, persist, and accept yourself

 

Accept yourself as the flawed yet perfect person you are, applaud yourself for doing your best, and love yourself for making this world a beautiful rainbow instead of a pile of gray slush.

How to find yourself

 

September 19, 2017
MINDFULNESS WOMEN'S HEALTH

Think positive, feel positive!

Think positive, feel positive

When it comes to positive thought, there are 3 types of people. There are people who consider positive thinking to be an effective way of life, and already feel the benefits of an optimistic mindset. Then there are people one could say are on the edge – they acknowledge that sometimes there is a correlation between your thoughts, deeds and circumstances in life, but don’t take it seriously enough to make positivity a life mantra. And then there are people who think it is nonsense that your way of thinking has anything to do with how things play out for you, and would scoff at those that try to tell them otherwise.

 

Maybe you just don’t think much about the power of positive thought at all, or think it’s not possible to maintain a good attitude when things are bad. And that’s okay, we’re all different people. But just for today… Let’s all be positive!

Why today?

Because it’s Positive Thinking Day!

 

Which means it’s a great way to test out how you can improve your day just by being positive. Give it a try and see if you end the day on a happier note than you would normally.

 

Here are some suggestions on how to live a positive day today :

Tell yourself some affirmations

The best way to start a positive day is by choosing a few affirmations that will help set the right mood. Choose something that relates to you and your individual circumstances, and will give you boldness, self-esteem and confidence. For example, if you often find yourself thinking you’re not good enough for a new job opportunity, that there is no way the guy you like would agree on going out with you, or that it is too challenging to take up a creative hooby – think again! And start the day today by telling yourself ‘I am good enough’ as many times as you need.

Meditation

Our favorite way to make any day a good one is meditating! Open up your Leaf app, and choose one of the 3D meditations in it for an immersive experience that will add a note of serenity to your day. Maybe you’re not used to guided meditations, or meditations in general but we’ve got that covered as well – 3 of our 3D meditations are not guided, so you can just close your eyes and relax your body while listening to the sounds of Deep Ocean, Paradise Island, or Country Meadow.

Positive people

There is some truth behind the famous saying: You are who your friends are. You might have caught yourself saying a catch phrase your friend initially used. When your friends are down, you might feel your mood dropping as well. The same goes for positive attitudes. If you surround yourself with positive people, you might find you are in a better mood, or that your mind tends to drift more towards the optimism rather than pessimism.

Think positive, feel positive

Positive self-talk

You are your own worst enemy! We are always most critical to ourselves – we notice all those flaws no one else can see, and maybe you find yourself thinking ‘they don’t fully know me’ if your friends try to convince you otherwise. Well today is the perfect day to work on actively changing that! Be aware that you are always most critical of yourself, and when you catch a ‘bad thought’ infiltrating your mind, stop yourself and change it into a positive one.

 

Focus on the present

Living in the past, or worrying about the future is the best way to end up missing out on the present. Thinking back or ahead will only cause you stress and anxiety, and you might miss out on all the good things today can bring. Focus on today and how you can make today amazing. It can be the little things. Taking the less traveled path home. Getting a coffee to-go and enjoying it in that park you always pass through in a rush. Making some popcorn and having a movie night with loved ones. Calling up an old friend you’ve been planning on reaching out to. And suddenly you’ll find those little things make a great impact.

 

Be kind to someone

You get what you give! If you show kindness to someone today and extend a helping hand, you might find your mood instantly improve. You’ll feel accomplished and happy, and knowing you made a difference in someone else’s day will make a difference in yours! It doesn’t take much to make someone’s day better. Sometimes just a warm smile might be enough.

 

Smile

Which brings us to the last, and probably most important suggestion for the day. Make sure you smile! Even if you don’t really feel like smiling, force a smile on your face. Look at yourself in the mirror, and smile. Trick your mind into positivity! If you smile, other people will smile back – and in no time you’ll be smiling for real. Plus, it takes fewer muscles to smile than it does to frown, so give your face a break today!

Think positive, feel positive

Give those a try, and hopefully today’s positive thinking day will just be the start of your new positive attitude.

 

What are your ways to keep the positive mind frame during the day?

 

Let us know, we’d love to hear your special tricks and tips.

 

September 13, 2017
MINDFULNESS

Best methods to recharge your energy

Best ways to recharge your energy

It’s the middle of the last week of the month, so we can imagine your batteries might need some recharging by now! We all feel low sometimes, and have a feeling our brain just decided to take a vacation leaving us behind. Luckily, here at Bellabeat we discovered several great ways to recharge and bring our energy back up, and would love to share these with you as well!

 

These are our top 5 ways to recharge our batteries

 

    Meditation.

Our favorite way to boost our energy is meditating! Just let go of all the worries plaguing your mind and take a few minutes for yourself. Close your eyes, plug your headphones in and turn on one of our new 3D meditations available in your Leaf app. The magic of our new meditations is that they will fully transport you somewhere else – to a nice beach, surrounded by crashing waves or into a cool forest full of life. For a few moments you will escape every-day life, which is exactly what you sometimes need.

 

    Stay hydrated.

When you are dehydrated your body conserves energy by decreasing blood circulation, which means your muscles do not get oxygenated blood and this causes you to feel fatigued and lethargic! We know remembering to drink water regularly can be difficult, and you might miss out on all the benefits of being properly hydrated. By drinking water regularly you will prevent headaches, improve your mood, concentration, and muscle function, which is why we created our Spring  smart water bottle to help you achieve that. Take a look at our website, and leave your email to be put on the waitlist, as we might have some exciting news for you very soon!

 

    Take a walk

We know this idea isn’t exactly novel, everyone knows walks are good for the body and spirit. But did you know that any physical activity oxygenates blood cells, which helps refuel your body? Physical activity will actually help you feel more energized. So get up, get out, and take a walk! Bonus: It will help you reach the daily Goal in your Leaf app!

 

Best methods to recharge your energy

 

    Healthy Breakfast.

The best way to start your day is with the right amount of energy comes from a wholesome healthy breakfast. We know it can sometimes be time-consuming having to search for food inspiration you can prepare in a short amount of time, which is one of the reasons we created Airi, your personal mind and body coach! Airi is there to provide you with healthy new recipes for your every day, so all you need to do in the morning is open your Airi app, and select the perfect breakfast recipe for you.

 

    Take a break.

Taking 5-10 minute breaks every hour or two will increase your productivity and help you retain your spirit. Sometimes you can lose track of time and find yourself tied to your chair for hours. Use your Leaf and set your Inactivity Alert to remind you to get up and take a short walk or do a short meditation.

Not enough?

Here are a few extra ways to charge up :

 

    Laugh.

Did you know laughing releases feel-good hormones into your bloodstream, which boosts your energy? If that isn’t a good enough reason to laugh, we don’t know what is.

 

    Do something new.

Another fun science fact! When people do something for the first time, the brain releases a reward chemical: dopamine. Try to do something new or unexpected every day!

 

    Aromatherapy.

Everyone knows that nice relaxing scents can make a world of difference. There are so many different types to choose from, so try a few and see which one helps you relax and recharge the best!

 

    Listen to music.

Need we say anything? Music is food for the soul, so if you feel down, turn some comforting tunes on and you should feel better in no time!

 

    Write down the things you are grateful for.

This is great for two reasons. The first one being, it will bring attention to the things that are good in your life, things you appreciate, things that make you smile. And secondly, it will help you visualize the things you enjoy doing most and open the door for more gratitude in the future.

August 30, 2017