måndag 19 november 2018

What is Mindfulness? Is it something for you?

Welcome back!

Today I want to talk to you about mindfulnesss. This is something that has had great impact in my life, and especially after having quit social, since that´s when I started realizing I was missing out on life. The definition of mindfulness is "the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something". That sounds easy, doesn't it? But think about it, how often are you truly fully present, fully aware or absolutely concentrated on one particular thing?

When you eat your lunch, do you in fact put down your phone or book and enjoy what you eat? Stop and think about it for a moment. What can you smell? What does your food feel like in your mouth? Is it hot? Warm? Can you feel it against your tounge? What is happening to the saliva in your mouth when you start chewing? What tastes can you feel? What textures do you notice? Are you enjoying bringing food into your body or are you just rushing through the meal to get back to work or whatever you were busy with before you ate? Little things can make drastic difference to you, if you stop and think about it.

Mindfulness is about being present, it is about noticing subtle changes, small differences in mood or in the feelings you feel. Mindfulness is about acceptance. It´s not about judging anything but rather about noticing sensations and feelings and accepting them for what they are. Maybe you´re feeling annoyed, maybe you´re hurting, maybe you´re sad or angry. Don´t push away the feelings but rather see them for what they are, without judging.

Turn off the autopilot and focus on what´s going on inside you.
If you want to learn more about mindfulness and how to implement it in your life, make sure to check out my mini serie on mindfulness that I've just kicked off. I will upload one video each week on this theme for several weeks to come.

I hope you'll have an amazing day, take care of yourself and remember to be kind to yourself today.

onsdag 14 november 2018

How quitting social media gave me a stronger mind and body

Hi everyone!

I want to start out with a small disclaimer where I want to define what social media is to me. I do know other sources are counted as social media, but by my own definition I am talking about Instagram and Facebook, becuase these are the places where I interact, see the social sides of people, compare myself, where I get stuck scrolling for hours for no reason, etc. These are the sites which take more energy from my life than they give at the moment. That is why I decided to quit.

However, I am here thanks to my social media addiction and it has led me to start a YouTube-channel, and to go along with it, this blog. So I am excited for this and it will be a great journey where I will learn tons of new things! I hope you want to follow along on this journey and see me progress.

In today´s post I want to talk to you about how quitting social media gave me a stronger mind and a stronger body. I want to talk to you about the many positive effects I've had from not spending any more time on Facebook or Instagram and what I've done instead.

Here are a few changes that have happened to me after quitting social media:

1. I started trusting my own mind and body
Up to this point I had taken into consideration what everyone else thought of me. I was constantly thinking about how to best portray myself in order for people to see that I could be well organized, a good mom and awesome at my job.
When I deleted Instagram and Facebook the transformation was almost immediate. Since I no longer had anything to compare myself with, but myself, there was a dramatic change - I stopped thinking less of myself as a person! This in turn meant I started working out becuase I wanted to do so, and for my own sake, not because I wanted to look like all those fitness Instagram models. My looks were not very important anymore, I shifted focus to wanting to become stronger and pain free instead of looking good. That was a huge and very welcome change, because working out was now so much more fun!

During this process I also realized other people weren't perfect. I realized most moms don´t have the patience of a saint or the energy of a bullet. I realized we are all just trying to do our best.

I realized I had been such a perfectionist and that I had put myself under a lot of stress for years trying to achieve impossible goals or live a life that was next to impossible to live up to. I used to see myself as that mom who always had to cook eco-friendly food, every meal perfectly balanced and nutritious. I tried to be the mom who spent every second making sure my kids had the best and always had my full attention. I wanted to be the best personal trainer in town and strived to become so amazing I let it take over my life. I stopped listening to the signs of my body, instead I pushed through situations where I was extremely uncomfortable, where I thought less of myself and where I ended up killing all my energy and draining myself completely. I had set up such high goals for my mind and body, it was impossible to work through them at the same time as I was sleeping 4-5 hours each night, worked 12 hours each day, took care of a home and two little boys, had lots of pain after giving birth and no time to listen to my body and work on what I needed.

When I crashed, I crashed hard and had to listen to my body, but social media was telling me I was worth less for not being perfect, so I stopped spending time on social media. I started seeing who I was and found numerous of new interests and time to do other things by quitting.

2. Found what I wanted for myself

Since I all of a sudden had more energy to focus deeper and dared to listen to my mind and body I realized what I wanted in life. I wanted calmness, I wanted less stress, I wanted to build myself back up from the ground.

The first step I took was to declutter and organize the obvious things in my life that were taking energy. Whilst doing so I found new ways to organize and gradually started feeling lighter, less stressed in my own home.

I realized I wanted to have a calm, peaceful and relaxing home with more plants and more room to grow as a person. I took care of projects I had not had the energy to do for years. Our bedroom got a major make over, our small bathroom got organized and awesomely beautiful and I cleaned out lots of stuff from the attic and the kids rooms. What was in good condition was sent to thrift stores. I felt like I was doing something good both for myself and the world.

My family is number one on my priority list and I was making changes in order to have energy enough to be the best mom I could be even though I was, and still am, going through a burn out.
You will most likely be able to read more about my new interests as we get to know each other better.

3. Started taking care of my mind and body

When I finally could focus on my own mind and body it started telling me, loudly, how unhappy it was. It started telling me it was hurting way more than I had wanted to accept before, and I had to do something about it. I went to a physiotherapist who gave me my first tools and where I quickly learned in what horrible shape my body was, despite being a regular gym visitor.

Since I was mentally drained, my body did not respond when I was lifting heavy weights and it was telling me it was extremely tough to do simple tasks. As soon as I started to listen I realized my body was yearning simple things. I added yoga and mindfulness to the equation and that was what my body needed. I took of weights at the gym and listened to my bodys weaknesses and started seeing results quickly. I can work out for the rest of my life, but I only have one body and need to be more careful with it.

4. Started being more mindful and present

Thanks to the amazing rehabilitation programme I am undergoing right now, as well as quitting social media, I was able to be more present. I stopped checking my phone every second, I went to the gym without my camera, I took walks and actually enjoyed my surroundings. These were amazing steps. Since I wasn´t so focused on constantly documenting everything I was no longer living my life through the lens, but in real life. I started listening more deeply to others, and myself.

Somewhere along the way, I had a big aha-moment where I understood I had been going against my own values for many many years. I had stopped listening to my own dreams, thoughts, wishes, wants and needs. I was slowly becoming someone I actually didn't want to be. Now, I am fully focused on getting back on to the right path and finding new and exciting ways to get there. Being mindful is powerful!

5. Accepted the mind-body connection 

Being burnt out, I found that when I did not listen to my mind, my body became troubled and cranky. I started seeing differences a few weeks after I put my phone down. Since I was no longer constantly on the phone it meant I was moving more, didn't sit in the same position for hours and therefore did not get as tense. Moving is the key to blood flow which in turn is the key to get our muscles and our body to feel its best.
I spent more time just breathing, long deep breaths. When I did this I felt how tense my body was and how full of knots it was. Just by breathing deeply everyday I lessened my stress levels dramatically. I still have a lot of pain and a long way to go to be free of it, but by doing this I am so much better off. All of a sudden I have hope - maybe I will actually be pain free one day.

I realized the more I took care of my body, the more my mind was giving back to me. The more I took care of my mind, the more positive effects it had on my body.

I will forever be grateful I accepted how closely linked mind and body is and how well they work together when we provide them with the tools for it.

If you want to hear more on this topic in audio, you could check out my YouTube-video instead:

Have a great day, I will talk to you soon!