Are you building momentum in your life in a negative direction or a positive direction?
Are you aware of how your daily actions are contributing to this?
There was a time in my life when I was building a negative direction at what eventually became lightening speed. One thing built on top of another until eventually it all crumbled, quite literally – with my burnout and bankruptcy.
And so I had no choice but to rebuild, step by step. I began to slowly gather momentum in the opposite direction.
I began to build sustainable practices that have helped me to build momentum in a positive direction, and I found there to be 5 major steps that greatly contributed to this.
This process is not always a step 1 to 5 in order, but rather more of a back and forth process as you learn about yourself and make the necessary changes in your life that you know you need to make.
1. Express your Emotions in a Safe Way
There are so many things that can be going on within us at any given time. Be sensitive to what you are feeling, and when you find that emotions come up, please give them an avenue to express themselves and release them from your body.
Emotions that are suppressed and stuck in the body can contribute to ill health.
The word emotion is made up of the word motion. It needs some kind of movement. Write, talk, exercise, emote – get the emotion out! Grieve if you need to – cry, shout, scream. Get angry if you need to – bang a yoga mat on a solid wall, whip a hand towel on your kitchen bench top or beat your pillow. Get it out!
The key is to listen to what you are feeling and allow your emotion to be expressed in a safe way.
2. Activate “The Relaxation Response” in Your Nervous System Every Day
Many of us are operating our lives from a place of being constantly in what is known as the “fight-or-flight” response. We are setting off the amygdala part of our brain with thoughts about various situations that are creating a “stress response” resulting in a cascade of events that ultimately release stress hormones from the adrenal glands.
We need to find ways daily to balance this response with its opposite counterpart known as “the relaxation response” (a term first coined by Harvard Physician Dr Herbert Benson).
The two most important factors in creating this relaxation response is to
- create a focus for your mind such as the repetition of a word or phrase, the focus of concentrating on an object or even engaging in a purposeful activity using the fine motor movements of the hand such as drawing or painting.
- allow any thoughts that come up in your mind to drift away. Choose not to give any energy to them and come back to the area of focus that you have chosen.
This relaxation response provides many benefits such as
- lowering blood pressure (if it’s high)
- slowing the heart rate and breathing rate
- calming the activation of the sympathetic nervous system (where stress hormones are released)
- heightening the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system (where hormones that promote a feeling of calm and relaxation are released).
3. Support Yourself Holistically
You are a holistic human being. While it is all good and well to focus plenty of energy on your physical health, this won’t do you as much good if you are doing such things as staying in an unhealthy relationship or continuing to do a job that you hate only for the money.
Take a good look at your life and consider the various areas where you need to make adjustments.
Consider such areas as
- home life
- health and fitness
- relationships with family
- romantic partnerships
- leisure activities
- life purpose
- leaving a legacy
- and any other areas that you feel are appropriate.
The point is to look at all aspects of your life and begin to create a plan to address the areas in your life that need your focus and attention.
4. Get in Touch With What You Deeply Desire For Your Life
Take some significant time if you haven’t already to open deeply to why you are here and what you are really meant to be doing with your life.
Who do you want to be?
What ignites your soul?
What passions and pursuits give you an enormous amount of pleasure?
How do you want to be remembered?
What legacy would you like to leave behind?
Get really clear on the vision that you desire for your life. This is not likely to be a quick process, but start, start opening to what it is that you need, and if you have already, continue to build on your vision so that it becomes stronger and stronger.
5. Make a Plan to Take Daily Action Steps in the Direction You Need to Follow
Having identified the areas in number 3 above, decide on which areas you are going to focus on first.
Create an action plan for yourself and break it down into small, manageable steps.
Start with one thing and build on it.
Stay with it.
These points are really a summary of what really requires some deep, inner work from you. But this is your life, this is the real thing, right here and right now!.
You are here to share your gifts, talents, wisdom and insight with the world. You are here to serve in a way that ignites your soul. And in that process your health will flourish as you gather momentum in taking your life in a positive direction.
Create your vision. And start with something. Just start.