Thursday, 29 January 2015

5 practices to help you connect to your authentic, amazing self!

Happy New Year!
As a new year begins, it is very common to talk about ‘resolutions’ or things we want to achieve this coming year. I have been quite surprised by the synchronicity of what is being said by many people I come into contact with. There appears to be a common theme of wanting to be ‘true to myself’, ‘not caring what others think of me’, ‘being strong and standing up for what I believe in’ and ‘just being me’. I find these comments very reassuring, as in a time where there is much unrest in the world people are still able to find the strength to go in deep and connect with their true self. If this can be done on a large scale, it gives me hope for a change in consciousness on this planet which is very much needed. I know for myself I will be practicing techniques and really focusing on the things that bring me joy this year.
It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, to find 1000 things to be stressed about and to go from day to day in this fast pace society without allocating any time just for YOU. Before you know it another year will have come to an end; and sure you may have worked hard in your job, been to many social engagements and tried the newest restaurants but have you really achieved all that makes you feel fulfilled? Have you grown as a person and truly felt that you are being your authentic self?
Here are my 5 tips for helping you to connect with yourself, find your passion and be the all amazing being you were put on this planet to be!
1.     Practice meditation daily. Meditation is something that many of us struggle with as the mere idea of switching off our minds and having no thoughts appears near impossible. One thing we seem to overlook is that nothing is easy the first time and it may take years of practice before we can do it with ease. But that’s ok! There are many types of meditation so it is more about finding one that suits you. It is ok if thoughts come into your head just acknowledge them and let them pass through, getting frustrated will not achieve anything. You will find that the more you practice the easier it becomes. By focusing on your breath it helps the mind reduce the frequency of thoughts. Meditation is one of the most significant tools for helping you connect and be your authentic self.
2.     Get in touch with nature. Whether this means simply getting outside and going for a walk around the block in your lunch break or after work, taking a day trip to your favourite picturesque spot (mine being the Dandenong Ranges) or going out into the garden and smelling the flowers. Nature has a way of calming the nervous system, giving you space to disconnect from everything else going on in life and truly appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.
3.     Use affirmations. Affirmations are a great way to reinforce our inner strength. They can be tailored to the individual and when practiced daily can be a very powerful tool for personal growth. Wanting to gain confidence? Try saying ‘I am totally confident’ for 5 minutes in the morning after waking, 5 minutes at night before bed and any time during the day when you feel your confidence is lacking.
4.     Practice deep breathing. Breathing is something that we take for granted as it is something we have to do for survival, so often people do not give it much thought. However, breathing is a very powerful tool not just for relaxation but to ensure all aspects of our health are functioning optimally. Learning how to do deep breathing correctly can help you feel grounded and strong.
5.     Exercise! I have reinforced the importance of exercise many times for all aspects of health from maintaining a healthy weight, to building confidence, to releasing stress and creating a positive mood. Like meditation it is a great way to clear your mind and focus entirely on yourself. When done outside it also allows you to connect with nature! I personally love going for a walk but it can be whatever you love to do whether that be running, cycling, swimming, yoga or tennis. As long as you look after your body it will look after you.