If you'd have said to me 2 years ago, when I was struggling to breathe after walking up Malham cove on the Jane Tomlinson 14 mile walk, that I'd complete the Yorkshire 3 Peaks I'd have laughed so hard and dismissed it without question.
But here I am having completed the 24.5 miles and 700 meters in elevation in 13 hours. To say I am proud just doesn't seem to convey the feeling to it's fullest. And to top that we estimate that the team of 20 of us has raised approx £8000 for the Reuben's Retreat charity. Sponsorship money is still coming in so the accurate amount will be announced soon. It's just incredible.
I still can't believe I did it to be honest, the small steps really do add up to a mountain. Then you look back and think wow, did I really do that! Along the way there were times when I had to keep focused, sometimes just on the next few feet and conquer my inner negativity but there were also times of laughter and fun.
Reminds me of any goal and the value of taking it bit by bit. You'll be amazed at where you end up. I've learnt that its your mind that gives in way before your capability.
So what's your personal goal/challenge? Something you've wanted to do but talked yourself out of? Let me know in the comments box below. Sign up for it today because you're more capable than you think and the feeling you get when you've done it is amazing.
Thank you to everyone who donated and made it so worth while.
Do you feel it yet? That feeling of crawling out of hibernation and feeling the benefits of increasing your vitamin D levels?
Yes, spring feels like it's finally here and I can already see the difference. I've spoken to my neighbours twice as much in the last few weeks, had a sudden urge to deep clean the house and generally been better equiped to get myself out of bed in the morning.
I think it's amazing how much impact a little change can have on how you feel and I don't know about you but I have to keep reminding myself of that fact. Too often I overlook the little things, wrongly thinking that couldn't possibly make it better.
Haha, silly isn't it........no I won't try all that easy stuff, I'll tackle this mountain instead because that's bound to make me feel much better. Never mind the ditch the coffee and opt for a little more fruit, that's far too easy. Let's starve ourselves and feel miserable instead.
Ok so that's a little extreme but you get my point. We generally feel we need to challenge ourselves to big things and forget all the simple stuff which could have such an impact.
So this week I've vowed to make the little changes which I've cast off as insigificant. I'm going for the easy stuff like making the effort to smile more and finally getting around to that job which is always bottom of the priority list. What do you think? Will these things make a difference to how I feel?
If so, what little things could you do to improve your springy feeling? Be sure to know that they will make a difference to how you feel so go on but your efforts into picking the easy stuff for a change. You might even surprise yourself by how much of an impact they can actually have.
Have a great weekend
Last night I met a group of amazing ladies and I got into a conversation which I'd like to share. It has humour and advice which I think will make you smile on this snowy spring day.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you feel overwhelmed? The underdog, the opposite of confident and far from strong or proud. An occasion when you should logically be fine but crumble into something totally different. And you know that happens then, your brain takes over with all the negative wit it can muster, telling you you're not qualified, gonna mess up, not as good as everyone else, don't deserve to be there, can't do the task in hand. If you weren't so busy kicking yourself you'd probably marvel as how creative and cunningly hurtful your mind can be. I'm sure very few people could muster something more devastating than the contents of your own mind.
I've experienced countless examples myself, sitting in a meeting quiet as a mouse when I could have spoken quite eloquently on the given topic. Furthermore kicked myself profusely after the event at how unbelievably rubbish I'd been. This generated endless laughs as we recalled the devastation and shear skillful wonder of these situations last night. Great we can all have a laugh about it after the fact.
But far from a comical part of life these situations actually matter and do effect our lives. Maybe it's a job interview or a meeting which could change your life, maybe even the simple things which devastate our confidence and limits our abilities. So here's the practical yet enjoyable way of getting a grip before you crumble.
1) Before you step into the situation think about how you'd like to feel.
2) Ask yourself what would make you feel that way. Examples from last night were putting on a pair of leopard print shoes or imagining you're walking like Angelina Jolie.
3) Now you need a trigger, something which you see/hear/feel just before the situation eg pressing on the door handle, the carpet changes, the walls change from brick to glass windows. You could also use the noise levels increase or the air is cooler. Pick something which you'd notice.
4) Next imagine that every time to come into that situation the minute you hit the trigger you do your thing eg put on that pair of shoes, become Angelina etc. And mentally do this every time you come across the situation.
You'll be amazed how it changes how you feel and act. If nothing else it will put a smile on your face which always feels better. I think I may keep a pair of those shoes for myself :)
Let me know how it works for you.
Yay the Refreshed Minds wedding services now have a dedicated home. Check out www.theweddingkarma.com
for tips, freebies, help and information.
Weddings are an amazing time in your life and are meant to be enjoyed. And that means all of it, from the engagement, through the planning and even avoiding the wedding blues. So if you're not enjoying it for any reason check out the website and keep in touch.
I have lots of things to share with you so this website will only get bigger and better. I suggest saving it as a favourite so you can keep your eye out for any new stuff.
I'm always looking for feedback to so let me know what you think. Email, Facebook, Twitter, I don't mind how people talk to me, I love talking! My contact info is at the top of each page of the website.
Hope you like and enjoy the new addition to the Refreshed Minds family. If so please share it so everyone can benefit.Many thanks
So you start the new year with great intentions, you know you want/need to do something, maybe get fit, stop smoking, stop stressing, be nicer or lose a few pounds. Whatever it is you wake up and think this is the year you'll make it happen.
So how is your resolution going so far?
I was struck by this article I read today in the guardian where 78% of people failed in their resolution. So what can you do to make sure you're in the 22% that succeed? Well here's my top 5 tips.http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/dec/28/new-years-resolutions-doomed-failure
1) Start with one thing. Trying to change to many things in your life at once is a recipe for disaster and one thing generally snowballs into others so pick something important and stick to that one for now.
2) Set a goal, what is it you want? If you want to lose weight, how much do you want to lose? If you're stopping smoking how much money will you have and what will you do with it? Having a goal gives you something tangible to work towards.
3) Bring that goal to life. What will it be like? What will you be able to do? How will you feel? This is a way of checking the goal to make sure you'd be happy when you've achieved it. Think about the negatives too and work around them. This way they won't stand in your way of success. So for example if you're going to lose weight you'll need to buy new clothes, maybe you know you can't afford it. Ok so you could decide to sell the old things to make money for the new stuff. Doing this means that excuses doesn't hold back your progress.
4) Break the goal down into simple steps you can manage. What are you going to do each day/week etc which will lead to your goal.
5) Rewards. Decide what you can do along the way to celebrate your achievements. Have a range of rewards from something small for those little successes to larger things to celebrate amazing achievements. Maybe get your family, friends or kids involved so they have a way of supporting you. When kids are little they suggest using a reward chart so they can see what they've done and have a sense of pride. You need the same pride so think about how you can reward yourself along the way.
Finally, if you do slip up along the way take each one as just that. Realise how far you've come, don't drown in guilt or entertain the brain's 'oh well I might as well give up' messages. Get back on it and keep going.
And that's it. Good luck with your amazing successes in 2013.
Hope this helpsZoe
Want more help to quit smoking?
I'm running a small group session in Leeds on Sunday 10th Feb and you can reserve a place for only £20. More info can be found in the Products & Services, Quit smoking page.
Have you ever noticed how someone can say 1 negative thing and you feel deverstated, maybe you mull it over in your brain for days, not sleep well because you can't stop thinking about it or just feel really angry.
Compared to someone saying 1 nice thing, which lingers for a few minutes. Then its impact is gone and you're on with the rest of the day.
Technically these things should have equal impact so why does your brain not work that way? Well here's my take on it. I hope it helps you understand and therefore work with your brain instead of against it.
A couple of things to think about.
1) What do you hold dear? Your values and beliefs are deep routed, you hold these very sacred. If the 'negative' comment is challenging these, you end up with a very emotional reaction because it's like they're challenging the very person you are. Look at any relious conflict, someone holds a belief which they've based their life on, someone else comes and says it's not true and hay presto we have a very strong emotional response. They only need to say a few words.
2) Conscious vs unconscious. I explain your unconscious like a massive filing cabinet full of all the experiences, sights, sounds and feelings you've ever had. And your conscious can only hold a small amount of information. If you've heard you can't do it often enough you have a huge filing cabinet full which says that is true. One small comment saying the opposite is like a single water droplet in a large pond. It just doesn't make an visible impact.
So what do we do to change it?
1) Know what your beliefs and values are and make a conscious effort to understand that not everyone's is the same and that's ok. They're not criticising you they're mearly posing a different way of looking at life. Neither view will be wrong, just different.
2) You can override the unconscious filing cabinet by filling those files with something else, once there is enough of them you'll start to believe it. Tell yourself the positive thing over and over again. See it around you, look at pictures relating to it, fill yourself with it. Allow yourself to notice and take in that positive comment and give a genuine thank you. Soon your filing cabinet will be telling you something new and it's the occasional negative comment which seems out of place.
Have a great weekend.
So I've decided to be a human guinea pig and conduct a little experiment. I don't know about you but I've been feeling a little sluggish lately which I've put down to the darker, colder weather. I've never liked getting out of bed when it's dark! So I've just been getting on with things really (all be it a little slower than usual).
Late last week I became inspired to experiment with how much of an impact food has on how you feel. (I put it down to becoming a little obsessed with watching the Food Hospital on TV.)
So I've kicked out the cakes, crisps and chocolaty goodness and stuffed my face with fruit, veg, meat and pasta. I also seem to have eaten a lot of baked beans and tuna!! As you know I'm all about the brain and getting the best from your thinking so I'm a few days in and thought I'd report on my results.
1) So far I've been on a course all day Sunday and worked 32 hours in 3 days from Mon-Weds. In a normal week I'd have been dead on my feet today. I've actually got all of my to-do list done plus a little extra - whoop.
2) Wednesday night is notoriously a killer, driving back over the M62 at night after a long day's work. It usually requires some extra focus and effort. This week I found myself chair dancing to the radio all the way home. Maybe just because there were good tunes on the radio but I definitely felt a lot more awake and alert.
3) I also feel I can think clearer, I definitely feel I'm firing on all cylinders instead of forcing the cogs to go round.
Oo I know it's not brain related but I'm counting the 4lb weight loss as an extra bonus :)
I know my little experience wouldn't hold it's own in a quantative/qualitive study but I'm convinced that food can help you feel and think well. So if you're feeling low and sluggish with a mushy brain take a good look at your diet. Reach for the nutritious foods and cut down on the high sugar and fatty foods and see if it makes a difference to how you think and feel.
I'll definitely be taking my own advice and sticking with this one.
Have a lovely day
An article I read about obesity surgery has really caught my eye today. So I thought it would be worth sharing my thoughts.
You can read it here if you're interested http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19982591
If you haven't got time to read it here's a basic summary: The National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death looked at the care given to more than 300 patients at NHS and private hospitals in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It found that many were given insufficient time or information to properly consent to the operations. It also found that not all patients were given access to dieticians and psychologists.
This report doesn't surprise me at all, I hope we get to a time when we see people holistically and give them the freedom and range of choice in their own health and not glitze up a very serious operation as a quick fix. I think its awful that many people who are in this situation aren't given the care and focus they deserve. There are so many options and professionals who can make a huge difference why aren't these services being fully utilised?
In my opinion surgery should be the last resort after looking at ways to help change your habits, behaviours or feelings towards food or yourself. Many times I've worked with people with weight issues and mostly I don't end up working on food but on confidence, self esteem and how they feel about their life. I've seen people go through these surgery solutions and it bothers me that people see this as the easy way out, I can honestly say it isn't.
I'm not saying I disagree with this type of surgery, for some people this is absolutely the right approach but you deserve to have all the information so you can choose what's right for you. It's worrying that we live in a culture where we want everything now regardless of what it costs in the long run. Is your body and mind really worth that little?
How can we help people feel good about themselves if we don't give them the tools to lead a balanced, healthy life? I hope more is done to integrate the services on offer as a result of this report. I'm so proud I get to see the faces and pictures of people I've helped lose weight in a safe and natural way. Its things like this that make my job worth while.
Hope you're having a good Thursday
There are many times in my line of work that I learn little tips and activities which are facinating and helpful. So I thought it would be nice to share them.
Here's one of my favourites to help you understand the way you think a little better. It may also help improve the way you communiate with others. It's a quick and easy one to get us started.
Spend two minutes now thinking back to a fond memory, it could be a favourite holiday or a memory from your
childhood, try and remember it in detail. Do it now before reading on.
Now be conscious of how you remembered this, which one of these is most appropriate or stood out for you?
· You saw it like a vivid picture? Almost relive it? Or saw it through your own eyes?
· You remember it by hearing who said what, or the sounds you heard or didn't hear at the time? Like it was so peaceful or the lapping of waves etc.
· You remember it by how you felt at the time, feeling happy, comfortable or relaxed in the way you did when you experienced it for real?
We all use a blend of these methods but which is your strongest? This is how your brain likes to work and it is different for each person depending on which one their brain finds easier.
Now you know how you think, just imagine if every time someone explained something to you they described it in the way which your brain used. Describing a picture, explaining what was said or explaining how it will make you feel. This is how you can make it easier to remember or learn things. Your brain will take it on board quicker if it's in your language.
You can build rapport with people quickly using this idea too.
Next time someone speaks to you make a mental note of the words they use in order to determine how they like to think. Some examples to look out for are below but there are many more.
· I hear what you are saying.
· I see what you mean.
· I feel that would be the right thing to do.
· The way I look at it is….
Taking note of these things can help you structure your answer so you’re speaking in their language. If you speak in their language you're likely to get your point across easier.
So a few of my friends and family have decided to give the Stoptober challenge a go. It got me thinking how I could help. Now unfortunately I don't have the time to go round them all with some hypno wonderfulness especially since they live all over the country but I do have time to share a little mind wisdom in the
hope it helps.
Now I can almost guarentee that this is the hard bit, a few days in and reality is kicking in. Will power gets you so far, then its about shear determined effort even when the going gets rough. Now I and others around are all there to support, waving pom poms and yelling "go for it!" but that doesn't get away from that niggly voice in your head saying, "oo go on, just this one, it will be ok." So here's a little mind magic to help.
Tip 1 - We're amazing at giving ourselves excuses and reasons for everything. The fact is you're deciding to listen to that voice, even if it's just for a second. You control your mind and that's a fact. At a risk of sounding like Grange Hill, "just say NO". Tell yourself you aren't listening, aren't interested and change the subject. Give these thoughts no time or space. Once you stop telling yourself you could, might, maybe and start saying I'm a none smoking, don't like it, need it etc you'll be amazed at how different you start to feel.
Tip 2 - None of us do something for no reason. So what's your reason for smoking? A few minutes away from your busy day? A social catch up away from the bosses ear? A good catch up with mates? A way to calm yourself down? Whatever it is needs filling without the fags, depriving yourself makes your need for smoking worse. Chances are you're saying "oo I couldn't possibly do that without the fags." If you're saying that you're probably right. You won't be able to because you're constantly telling yourself you can't. Fill the emotion somewhere else and it won't be as hard to give up the smoking. Give your energy to saying you can do it, rather than how difficult or how you can't do it.
So keep going, remember why you decided to quit in the first place and keep telling yourself you can do it. Oo and save the money so you can treat yourself at certain intervals.
Here's to the next 4 weeks of being a none smoker.