Got Cellulite? 5 Ways To Reduce The Appearance

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Let’s talk cellulite.

At any age, cellulite may feel like a curse or a physical attribute that results in many days of wearing long pants.  Noses have been turned up at the mere sight of it. And a wave of shame or embarrassment may wash over you when you catch a glimpse of your reflection.

But cellulite is, in fact, normal and there is nothing wrong with it. Even though men can have cellulite, women are more prone to the lumps and bumps because of their hormonal structure and their fat distribution. It really is no big deal and does not mean that you are “disgusting” or that your body is “unattractive.”

Let’s get real — babies have cellulite!

Women of all shapes and sizes can have cellulite! How noticeable it is can be based on your genes, body fat percentage, age, and the thickness of your skin. Some women are more prone it, no matter how much they do to reduce it. For others, it could be a sign that their lifestyle choices need some adjusting.

You are never going to totally get rid of cellulite, but you can possibly reduce it by making a few small adjustments to optimize how your body responds.

Changing Your Viewpoint

When I was 15 years old, we stopped at a not-so-local McDonalds for lunch on our day trip with my aunt and cousin. It was a hot day so my shorty shorts and my tank top were the perfect outfit to keep me cool on a warm day of exploring. Young, insecure, and uber impressionable, I sat there eating my french fries and burger, not thinking much other than how good the meal was tasting. All of a sudden, I was brought back into reality when my aunt breaks the silence and points out the cellulite on my thighs and continues to proclaim to the table that I better watch what I eat because I was “getting fat.” My teenage hormones took over and I become embarrassed, emotional, and full of shame and insecurity. I remember not enjoying the rest of my lunch because I couldn’t stop focusing on my “fat legs.”

I am not alone in this. We live in a society that has deemed cellulite to be a sign of being overweight, aging or being unhealthy. This is not necessarily true. 

We all have it. 

It is normal and not harmful.

And, it is time to start having compassion for our beautiful bodies and learning that it is ok to love your body, cellulite and all. 

It is not about the cellulite and the amount you have on your body, it is about how you are taking care of you, your physical body, and your overall health. And, if you reduce the cellulite in the process of getting healthier? Bonus!

What Is Cellulite And What Causes It?

Cellulite consists of several changes in your skin’s normal structure and changes within the fat cells themselves. It is also coupled with circulation issues. Have you ever touched the lumpy skin on your hips, thighs, and buttocks? Chances are that it may feel a little more cool to touch because of the poor blood circulation. 

When the skin overlying certain areas of fat is pulled downward to the deeper tissues by connective tissue bands, cellulite can occur. This is seen by the uneven surface that it creates. It is most commonly found in the hips, thighs, abdomen, buttocks, and breasts.

The collagen fibers between the skin and muscle separate the underlying fat into multiple pockets. This is why cellulite can become more visible as you age and your skin becomes thinner and loses elasticity. All of this exposes the rippled connective tissues underneath. 

Poor diet, lack of exercise, an unhealthy lifestyle, accumulated toxins, genetics, weight gain, pregnancy, and hormones could all cause cellulite. 

Hormonal Impact

The body is incredibly wise and it’s hormones are designed to continually play a dance of balance so that the body can function optimally. Unfortunately, and depending on your season of life or your lifestyle choices, those hormones can become unbalanced, with some hormones moving into a state of dysfunction. Because of this, cellulite can be more dramatic on some than it is on others. 

Most women are going to have cellulite, just because they are women, and looking more dramatic depending on what season of life they are in (puberty, pregnancy, menopause, etc). Let me explain…

The woman’s back of her thighs are very responsive to her hormonal balance and profile. Estrogen prevents fat breakdown and loss by increasing the activity of thigh fat cells. Estrogen also stimulates an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase, or LPL, which is responsible for fat growth. Now, this can appear in the buttocks and the abdomen, but it is often most seen in the back of the legs. 

Then there is prolactin. Prolactin, also known as the breast-feeding hormone, increases water retention in the fatty tissue, making each cell look larger and lumpier and making cellulite more visible.

So this leads to the next question — If estrogen and prolactin do this, then why does a women in peri-,post-, and menopause often experience such dramatic affects of cellulite? There are multiple answers for this (less active, less collagen production, etc) but one huge factor is another hormone.

Insulin.

Estrogen and progesterone affect how your cells respond to insulin. After menopause, changes in your hormone levels can trigger fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. You may notice that your blood sugar level changes more than before, and goes up and down.

Exercise, managing stress, and eating a diet lower in carbohydrates all help to manage your blood glucose and insulin levels. 

Whenever you eat a carbohydrate-rich food such as donuts, ice cream, pasta, bread, candy, etc or drink a carbohydrate-rich drink such as soda, juice, beer, wine, etc, your body releases insulin to manage the glucose, or the sugar from the carbs, that are entering your bloodstream. Ideally, your muscles will welcome it and use it for energy or store it for later use.

But in a world where we are less active and are not burning off the amount of carbohydrate-rich foods we are taking in, the glucose has to spill over to the fat cells, gets turned into fatty acids, and then stored as triglycerides. This causes fat cells to squish out and become more visible. 

The bad news is that if you are not very active, a high carbohydrate-rich diet will induce more fat cell growth. The good news is that you can balance that out with a healthy mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. If you want to lower your insulin response even more, choosing the right kind of exercise and body movement that is right for your body and your stress levels can dramatically help!

5 Ways To Smoother Skin

1. Be Food Savvy

One of the keys to reducing cellulite is to reduce the toxin build-up in your body. Tip #3 and #4 will help with this as well, but it really starts with the food you are choosing to eat each day. 

Eating processed foods that are high in carbohydrates, refined sugars, preservatives, unhealthy fats and salt leads to the accumulation of toxins in your body. The body stores these toxins in fat cells. Try to eliminate these from your nutrition plan –

  • Trans fats (found in many processed and packaged foods)
  • Canola oil, vegetable oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil
  • Refined sugar and excess sugar
  • Highly processed foods
  • Table salt and excessive salt

Eating a diet rich in antioxidants and fiber can help to reduce toxins from your body while also providing your body with the nutrients it needs to help balance out your hormones. 

There are many ways that you can get a hefty dose of antioxidants and, even in ways that are helpful for multiple health issues. French Pine Bark Extract, an antioxidant known for neutralizing free radicals and toxins in the body, can also increase blood circulation and strengthen your blood vessels. Grapeseed Extract is an antioxidant that is known to improve circulation in the legs, strengthen blood vessels in the lower body, and prevent build-up of fatty tissue and the inflammation in the skin — all of these benefits indirectly helping to reduce cellulite. 

Healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, etc helps to balance out hormones, improve the integrity of your skin health, and balance out insulin levels, just to name a few. It also helps to keep you fuller longer and staves off food cravings.

One overlooked area of the nutrition-cellulite relationship is hydration. You might believe that if you drink too much water, you will begin to look bloated and cellulite will worsen. This is simply not true! Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day (more if you drink tea, coffee, juice, and any other dehydrating beverages) to flush out the toxins in the body and to hydrate the skin. 

2. Get More Collagen Into Your Diet

After you turn 30, you start to lose 1-2% of collagen a year. Hormonal changes can cause even more collagen loss and thinning of the skin. Without your skin having significant collagen levels, the chance of fat deposits being pushed up against the skin and creating the dimpling look is much more likely. 

One of the most effective ways to combat this is to increase your skin collagen density by taking a collagen peptide supplement and drinking slow-cooked bone broth. Clinical studies show that collagen peptides get absorbed into the bloodstream and then penetrate and remain in the dermis, triggering collagen production in the skin.

Looking for high-quality collagen sources? Try Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Protein or Great Lakes Collagen Powder (red can for gelatin/cooking, green can for smoothies). Looking for bone broth? My two favorites are Kettle and Fire and Bonafide. 

3. Dry Brush Your Skin

Remember, cellulite appearance is directly connected to your circulation. Dry brushing is a technique to improve lymphatic drainage and blood circulation while helping to eliminate the toxins that break down connective tissue. A whopping 70% of your body’s lymphatic vessels are located right underneath the skin.

Dry brushing doesn’t take long to see results! It also plumps the skin temporarily, lessening the appearance of cellulite and making your skin feel softer and more smooth. 

4. Get Your Body Moving

Moving your body helps to build up the muscle, increase circulation, burn body fat, and lower insulin levels — all of these promoting smooth skin and reduced appearance of cellulite. Doing full body movement is important, but focus on exercise and strength training that will build up your lower body and use the body as one whole unit, such as squats, lunges, deadlifts, hamstring curls, and leg extensions. This will help to target those areas most prone to fat cell distribution.

If you don’t have time to get to a gym or do a full workout, do chair squats at work or lunges in your cubical. Or, you could go for speed walks on your lunch break. 

5. Scrub Your Skin With Coffee

Outside of the caffeine boost, drinking my cup of coffee in the morning was always a delight because I knew that those grounds were having an extended life cycle. I used to save my coffee grounds and use them as a delicious smelling exfoliant body scrub. Sure, it smelled great, but it was also doing my body good. Scrub the body with coffee grounds helps to remove water and toxins trapped in the body and skin. 

Coffee scrubs can help to remove dead skin cells, regenerate healthy new cells, reduces the appearance of cellulite. They also have powerful anti-inflammatory and metabolic properties. And, when combined with a natural oil, such as almond, olive, evening primrose, and coconut, the coffee scrub can help to reduce free radical damage and improve your skin’s elasticity. 

Even though cellulite is normal and should not be shameful or embarrassing, there are ways that you can reduce the appearance so that you feel more comfortable in your own skin!

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Love Your Body With These 10 Simple Tips

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“I would never wear a tank top. My arms are too flabby.”

As she stood there glistening with sweat and begrudgingly completing her arm exercises, she looked me square in the eyes and said…

I would never wear a tank top. My arms are too flabby.”

Yet at the age of 65, she was more in shape and had more strength than she ever did. Her arms were toned and you could see the muscles working diligently with every arm curl and every weight lift. But, the voices in her head still told her that her arms were too flabby.

Those voices. They can noodle around the brain and wreck havoc on the most positive of outlooks. They can pop up out of nowhere at the most inconvenient times. And, they can demolish dreams in the blink of an eye.

It’s those voices that hold you back from being great and, just as you are riding smoothly through life, those voices can throw a stick in the spoke and cause you to hurl uncontrollably through the air.

Thoughtful Action

The actions you take have mighty power and the words you speak can make or break your confidence to take action. But, it’s the thoughts you think that can cause hurtful words and stop your good intentioned actions dead in their tracks — ultimately, leading to a lack of self-trust, self-confidence, and self-love.

I am going to be real with you — I don’t believe in the fake positivity. I don’t believe in just telling yourself that you are enough or that you are going to have a great day or that everything is all rose-colored and filled with unicorn dust.

Sure, that stuff helps, but it is not enough.

Those old thoughts and beliefs that hide in the shadows are stubborn. They are not fooled by the superficial words and inspirational memes on social media. Rather, they are healed and transmuted by changing the way you think and feel about a situation.

They are also healed and transmuted by the actions that you take to prove to them — to prove to yourself — that other ways of thinking, feeling, and speaking are possible.

Because without taking action, change in what you think is possible, what you believe is possible, and how you feel about your power in the situation will continue to elude you.

To learn to truly love yourself, you need to be willing to step out of old routines and what you know.

You have to being willing to create a shake-up in your normal pattern and step out of what is comfortable. This challenges you to believe in yourself, learn that you can do what you once thought you couldn’t, and to discover parts of you that have been lying dormant.

Let's try it once without the parachute

Here are 10 ways that you can take action and change your inner thoughts about your body image and how you see yourself—

Taking Intentional Action

  1. Try new activities to loosen up your inhibitions, such as Zumba, African dancing, hula hooping, or belly dancing. Try competitive sports or rock climbing or skiing. Get involved in a competition that pushes your limits and gets you out of your comfort zone.
  2. Use your body to do something, such as build a shed, score a field goal, carry an elderly neighbor’s groceries, instead of treating it as an object to be looked at. You are an incredible physical being with capability beyond your imagination. Get to using it!
  3. Indulge in your sensual side, by getting massages, using exotic perfumes, or wearing sexy lingerie (even at work). Only you will know how you are indulging in your sensual side.
  4. Wear clothes that allow you to move freely, such as comfortable shoes, flowing skirts, stretchy fabrics. And don’t worry about labeled sizes, only about how they fit and how your clothes make you feel. Sizes vary from brand to brand and are often purposefully lowered to entice.
  5. Learn about the wonders of the body, by reading books and magazines that are positive influences towards the body. Learn how the body works, why it is such an incredible vessel, and read uplifting exerts that create an appreciation for the skin you live in. This is most freeing and empowering!
  6. Try yoga or mediation, two good practices that teach you how to be in your body in a way that isn’t critical or analytical.
  7. Practice good posture, as an instant shot of body confidence. Standing up tall, squeezing your shoulder blades back, and looking eye level at others creates so much confidence. You can also try the power pose for a burst of confidence building testosterone. Try it out!
  8. Quit believing that people are looking at you and sizing you up, because we as humans are very egocentric creatures. Most of the time, we are focused on ourselves and the thoughts in our head. We have no clue what you are doing. And, if others are judging you, it is most likely because they are insecure themselves.
  9. Live your life in a non-judgement zone, by praising others and their accomplishments and their awesomeness instead of beating them down. Live in a gab-free, gossip-free, non-judgement zone and, instead, learn to support those around you. Good energy bounces back good energy.
  10. Hire a professional to help teach and support you, if you truly have no idea of where to start or you just need some guidance to help you become successful. To achieve anything great in life, being mentored and coached by someone who has walked in your shoes can be a sigh of relief and exactly what you need to finally make the progress you deserve. Also, having someone to cheer you along your journey is a huge boost to the self-image!

It was a hot summer day that was only relieved by a fan, a sprinkler, or a tank top. The air was thick and the sun unforgiving. It was also on that day that my 65-year old client told me that she wore her first tank top in years!

She took a chance and had a moment of “who cares” clarity and slipped into her tank top, showing the world, and herself, that she could do it. And, learning that she looked and felt amazing showing off her newly toned arms.

You have one chance to truly experience life without constraints and with full freedom.

You have one chance at living this life with pure engagement and happiness.

Your life deserves to sparkle, my beautiful friend.

Feel the summer sun on your bare arms and let your body move and dance when the moment inspires you. Embrace your life so that you can look back at any moment and say, “Wow, life is amazing!”

“And, so am I.”

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Why Willpower Is Overrated: 5 Steps To Get What You Want

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If I only had more willpower…

I would finally finish that book that I have always wanted to write.

I would shed those last 10 lbs that continue to nag at me like that bowl of ice cream right before bed.

I would allow myself to slow down and really prioritize myself — maybe I would even stop making excuses of why I simply have no time to exercise. 

Yet, willpower —the right amount of willpower — never really seems to be available. And if you can seem to rummage up the willpower to take action, it quickly slips into the abyss after a few measly days. 

The definition of willpower according to dictionary.com is the “control of one’s impulses and actions; self-control.” As much as we need to have the will to push ourselves out of our comfort zones and into the unfamiliar to be able to start the process of changing habits, I don’t believe it starts there.

And, I don’t believe in willpower being the driving force to achieve what you want. I don’t really believe in willpower. 

I think that it is unfair to say that most of our bad habits are due to laziness or lack of willpower. On the surface it may appear like that. You either do something or you don’t and if you do, you have willpower and, if you don’t, well then you are lazy and uncommitted. Right?

Wrong.

Accomplishing anything new requires risk. And, most of us do not like risk and we sure don’t like stepping out of our comfort zones for too long in order to make real, sustainable, long-lasting change. This is precisely why the health industry is booming, people have unfathomable levels of gambling debt, credit cards get maxed out, and we can’t seem to get up early to drag ourselves out of bed for an early morning workout. 

For years, I was a self-proclaimed procrastinator — waiting until the last minute to get anything done. No matter how big or small, I waited and would then rush, stressing myself out feeling the grips of deadlines tightening around my throat. I would get angry at the project, anyone involved, time — yep, I actually would get angry with Universal time or lack there of. But, never ever ever did I get upset with myself. To me, if was who I was and what I did. 

I would try to dig deep and rummage up willpower to start projects early or leave the house on time. Anything to not wait until the last minute. At first, I had success, but in the long run I always failed and slipped right back into my procrastinating ways.  

That was all until I started to address that shadow part of my personality at it’s core. And I stopped giving myself a break. What I learned shook up my entire understanding of myself. I was a self-sabotager and procrastinating was one tool that I used to deconstruct and rip apart the life that I was trying to build. It was my safety net that soothed and kissed my fear of not being good enough, smart enough, resourceful enough. It gave me a place to blame if someone didn’t like my work or was frustrated with me or my actions. It was all excuses. 

Excuses that took me away from my deepest reasons of why I truly wanted something and why they were priorities to me. 

It Isn’t About Willpower, It’s About Acceptance

The concept of willpower is quite harsh. You push and push. You fight the good fight. You stir up all the triggers and feelings within you that will eventually make you get a little spazzy. And then when it is so uncomfortable that you can hardly bear it anymore, you release it and tuck it away, hoping and praying that you have the strength to wrestle with it again one day. 

But I have to tell you something…

Your strongest desire will always outweigh other desires. This is true for any kind of desire, positive or negative. If your desire to lose weight is not as strong as your desire for comfort in the evening after a long, stressful day, your desire for comfort will win every single time. And, if you use cookies as your tool to give you comfort instead of taking a bath or going for an evening walk, then the cookies will win every single time. 

Here are 5 crucial steps to get you off the no willpower blame game and move forward with long-term success:

1. Have Acceptance Of What Is.

Knowing where you stand and what your real, honest to goodness realities of a situation are the first must have step. If you are unaware of the reality of the situation, then gaining acceptance of that reality will continue to slip through your grip. This means looking with honesty at: 

  • Your actions and your patterns, those things you do over and over that typically cause you to throw willpower to the wind
  • Your pain points and how they affect you and those around you, those things that hold you back from moving forward (i.e., spending time with your spouse in the evening by sitting on the couch and enjoying a cookie together. Your time with him is valuable)
  • Your level of control in the situation, those areas of the specific situation that you have any level of control over.

After you get a grasp on these details, now it is time to accept what is and how you have been. No blame. No shame. None of them are good or bad. It just is.

Take away the guilt, take a deep breath, and know that you are ok. 

Let’s move to step two…

2. Knowing What You Want And Why.

This may sound like an obvious step, but I am often surprised when people tell me that they have no idea what they really want. You may think that you want to lose 10 lbs, but do you really want to lose 10 lbs or do you want to not feel so bloated and tired and feel super attractive in that little black dress that you have hanging in the back of your closet, waiting for that special dinner date so you can wow your spouse? 

Knowing what you specifically want is different than having an idea. And, knowing what you want is different than knowing what you think you should have. It gets easy to become lost in your life’s shoulds — many of us are one social comparison away from shaving our heads and hiding in our closet until we start to feel better about ourselves. 

What it truly comes down to is, not only knowing what you want, but also knowing WHY you want it. Do you want to lose those 10 lbs because you want to fit into that little black dress or do you want to feel sexy for your spouse and have your spouse’s eyes on you throughout the entire dinner? Or maybe you want to fit into that little black dress because it will mean that you will be one step closer to being healthy so you can be around for your kids as they grow older. Your big WHY is so important to keep you on track and connected to what you really want. 

3. Know What Is Stronger Than What You Want.

All great things come with a certain level of obstacles. And when your step 2 runs super deep into the caverns of your soul, your obstacles are going to be greater. But don’t let this scare you! Knowing what some of the common obstacles are can help you become better prepared.

As I mentioned above, your strongest desire will always outweigh other desires. Obstacles can be very enticing. If you had a long, stressful day and only have 15 minutes after dinner to get a walk in, your desire (obstacle) to sit on the couch and relax is inevitably going to be stronger than your walk written on our day’s to-do list. That walk is not going to happen. 

When these obstacles pop up, and they will, you need a game plan. Brainstorm as many obstacles as you can around your goal. With each obstacle, come up with at least one alternative plan that can keep you on track. Keep that game plan somewhere that you know you can refer to when the going gets tough. 

Not only does this reinforce that you do have control in the situation, but it also begins to rewire your brain and create new neural pathways that will make it easier to stay on track next time that the obstacle presents itself. 

4. Take One Small Action Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone.

Stepping out of our comfort zones can be super scary, but these steps can help to propel you to take massive action! Think back to a time that you took a chance or you did something that was a little scary. Sure, it was probably nerve-racking, but I bet it was also liberating or inspiring or motivating. And, I bet it inspired you to take action elsewhere, even if it was just for a moment. That is the beauty of getting out of your comfort zone. Sometimes the thrill can ignite our passions and push us forward!

We all have different levels of comfort, so this step will be very unique to you. It is really about taking a chance, continuing to rewrite your brain’s neural pathways, and creating different habits and different actions. This sets you up for a path of success in what willpower has failed with in the past. 

5. Reevaluate And Hone In.

Anything you want to grow in has to have a level of evaluation to see if you are growing, standing still, or falling behind. At the end of the day, sit down and reevaluate on how you did. Did you stick to the original plan or did you have to fall back on some obstacle alternative game plan? What worked? What didn’t work? Where did you succeed and where did you fail? 

Getting out of the willpower loop is all about being honest with yourself and reevaluating your efforts is no different. Take an honest look at the day or the week. Where can you celebrate? Where can you try something different? 

Getting out of living life on auto-pilot will help you to better understand yourself and your goals. What is even more of a gift is how it will put you in the driver’s seat of life and allow you to be more in control of your destiny than ever before!

Want more?

Join my Patreon and become part of my garden of wild flowers! Not only will you be part of the exclusive content that I ONLY share with my Patreon members, but you will also be helping a community of holistic health like-minded people push forward!

And, if you are not getting my weekly emails…

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I love inspiration through story-telling! If you liked this article, then you will love my other blogs.

Click here to get my Free 10-day body reset detox guide. You will become part of my tribe and get weekly blogs delivered straight to your inbox (along with a free gift and other insider tips that only my tribe will get)!

Negative To Positive In 6 Easy Steps

There is a feel of frustration in the air and it feels like a heavy cloud lurking around every corner. And, well, isn’t that just frustrating?

I notice myself saying this more often and I notice the frustration is most from people who feel stuck in a way of life that is not satisfying— maybe you have even met her. She is the woman who wakes up and says, “(SIGH) I can’t believe I have to do this today” as she twists her face in a frown and melts out of her bed to get her morning started. At work, she is the one who complains when the water cooler is low or when her pencil point breaks or when it is a rainy day. At home, she is exhausted and angrily huffs when her hubby looks at her the “wrong way” or when she runs out of toilet paper — whoops! But yet, she claims that her frustration is because of everyone else around her. It is not her fault.

In a way, it really is not her fault.

She is not alone! Frustrated people crawl the streets every day, some even just waiting for something to place blame on. Maybe you are one of them.

woman working girl sitting
Photo by Alexander Dummer on Pexels.com

We all become unsatisfied at times. That is called life. Life is not happy all the time, some misery and frustration keeps that healthy balance. But when that healthy balance become one-sided and negative thoughts become more the norm, then life (and everyone around us) becomes a burden. And, we stop choosing our battles. That is the real core issue here.

We place blame because that is what we have learned and have been conditioned to do. But you can change that (Read that again to let it sink it).

Some mornings, I wake up and put on my suit of armor. I am ready for a battle— bring it on! It is those days that one of two things have happened: I have either dove head-first into a parallel universe and am practicing my warrior princess skills OR I have allowed my mindset and my old negative stories to have gotten the best of me (I think it is probably the latter).

Life is filled with turmoil. That is what makes it so interesting. But, it is truly about how you work through that turmoil and how you perceive the process that makes it either a negative or positive experience. Do I like flopping on my face when doing crow pose in yoga? Nope, it actually hurts. But it does help me maintain humility as I push myself physically and emotionally into growth. See — perception!

Not all of life is unicorns and fairies (even though that would be super fun!), but here are 6 tips to help you start rewiring your negative thoughts so that you can change your perception and truly enjoy your life (not just be “positive”).

photo of a woman holding an ipad
Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

The Good Stuff

  1. Become aware of your symptoms of negativity. We all have those little signs and cues that the poop is going to hit the fan! My tell-tale signs are when my shoulders scrunch up towards my ears, my jaw gets super tight, my breathing becomes super shallow, and I get a wave of heaviness overcome me. Your signs could be physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral. Knowing what happens before you lose your cool is paramount in stopping (or at least decreasing) how you react in a situation. What are your signs?
  2. Get your gratitude going on. When you recognize your symptoms, immediately start looking for what you are grateful for. This sounds all woo-woo, but the reality is that frustration can not live in the same state simultaneously with gratitude. And when you find 3-5 things you are grateful for, say them, write them, journal them, scream them; just get them out! This IS the real stuff, not the little irritating nuances that you are believing in your head. Finding things that you are thankful for can help lead you into a perception change, which takes me into number three…
  3. It’s all about perception. Focus on what is good rather than what it bad. Yes, hitting that long-line of early morning traffic is frustrating and maddening, but it also gives you a chance to listen to your favorite podcast or song. It may feel like you are lying to yourself and trying see something that is not, but it is actually about changing how your mind views it, so that your brain can form new neural pathways (literally!) to change your perception. This is what it means to start seeing the glass as half-full. It’s science. Plus, if you perceive something as poop, then it is magically poop 🙂
  4. Become a wordsmith. I am a lover of posting key words or phrases wherever you look the most to help you either remember who you want to be and/or to cue you to change a thought or behavioral pattern. You can post words such as “stop” or “change it” or “I am (insert inspiring word)” on your phone, computer, bathroom mirror, or in your car. This isn’t to convince yourself to be positive, this is to get you out of your head and refocus onto what is real and true. Take a look at mine on my phone:IMG_9453
  5. Surround yourself with people who think more open-minded and positive. Who you surround yourself with makes a difference in what is influencing you. For the good and bad. Surround yourself with frustrated people, become more frustrated. Surround yourself with happy, open-minded people, become more positive. Stop trying to be fake positive and get around those who already are happy with their lives. You will feel the energy and learn some new mindsets.
  6. Develop a practice, a mindfulness practice. This is my go-to for decreasing my reactivity. When I feel more calm and centered, I am less likely to throw an attitude. And I can tell the days I do not practice first thing in the morning! Developing a daily mindfulness practice trains the brain to slow down so you can better process the gunk of life and truly start to recognize the good stuff that is surrounding you every single day. It can be an actual meditation session or it could be a morning walk in nature — customize it to what calms your brain.

This also will allow you to take some risks. Because when we don’t take risks to make frustrating situations better, then we remain frustrated. Recenter yourself — build confidence — take risks to solve your issues — feel genuine happiness (and positivity) inside!

Photo by Lara Koppmann Photography

Life can get in the way, but you don’t have to be one of the frustrated ones.

How can you stand out and be the difference? Tell me in the comments below!


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