3 More Questions to a Better You!

3 More Questions to a Better You!

What would it take to be a better you? As I continue to talk to women about wellbeing, I know how hard it is to put new habits into place.  One friend I was talking to realized she could give herself more energy management.  After a busy weekend of speaking and traveling, she allowed herself a day of down time.  Before, she would have kept plowing through, to the detriment of her health.  What are you beginning to notice?

We talked last week about social, physical and career/purpose wellbeing.  This week, let’s look at  financial, community and spiritual wellbeing. Let the following questions guide your vision of a healthier you!

Financial Wellbeing- ­­How content are you as you spend your money?

Interestingly enough, money doesn’t buy wellbeing although it is needed to have enough for food, shelter, transportation- the basics. Without those basics, finances can be stressful.  After basics are met, the positives of money come from being able to spend it on others.  Studies show that spending it on experiences and creating memories also have a lasting effect on your well-being, rather than on material things.

What is your financial outlook?  Where are you on the financial scale,1-10 (with 10 being easy-peasy to give away) of spending money on others?  What about on experiences?  What visions and intentions do you want to foster for your financial wellbeing?

Community Wellbeing- How well do you like and are involved in your community?

Community has to do with where you live and play.  Do you feel safe in your community?  How active are you in your community?  Attachments to a community are first based on security, then personality, family, interests and personal pursuits.  For my husband and I, we chose the Madison, WI area because of the university, availability of work, the beauty and the friendly Midwest culture. What made you choose the community you now live in?

After living in the city for 26 years, we ended moving to a beautiful, oak grove outside of Madison.  I was suffering from daily headaches at the time and needed the quiet.  The older I got, the louder the interstate traffic got near our home in the city.  We made an intentional choice for our well-being. What a difference the beauty and the quiet have made for both of us! What community changes may you need or want to make for your well-being?

Spiritual Wellbeing – What spiritual practices can connect you to better health?

According to research being done at the University of Minnesota, there is a growing body of evidence that indicates spiritual practices are associated with better health and wellbeing.

One of the major ways to spiritual wellbeing considered are contemplative practices, those practices that guide you to a specific focus, often an inward-looking reflection or concept.  These contemplative practices are shown to increase compassion, empathy, and attention as well as quiet the mind.

Some of these contemplative practices include:

  • Mindful meditation, in which you take time to focus on your breathing has shown to induce feelings of calm and clear-headedness as well as improve concentration and attention.
  • Prayer, a belief that there is a higher power that has a level of influence over your life, can provide a relaxation response as well as feelings of hope, gratitude and compassion. People who believed God was at work in their health and wellbeing responded to better to treatment more than those who did not.
  • Journaling, considered a contemplative practice in that it helps you become more aware of your inner life and get connected to the thoughts swirling in your head. By placing your thoughts on paper, you have the opportunity to make meaning out of what is going on in your life.

For me, this has been my greatest area of growth for my health.  By taking the time to pray, reflect and quiet my mind daily, I have been restored to hope, joy and contentment.  I have a more healthy mind, released from the anxiety and depression I experienced early and I am grateful.

What is your vision of wellbeing?

From these last two blogs, how do you begin to envision and create your own pathway to a life of better wellbeing?

Social – Who do you spend time with every day?

Physical – What choices do you make every day?

Career/Purpose- Do you like what you do each day?

Finances – How content are you with how you spend your money?

Community – How well do you like your community and how involved are you?

Spiritual – What spiritual practices are connecting you to better health?

A vision board helps you visualize a preferred future in each of these areas.  Scientific studies reveal that when you visualize an action, you stimulate the same brain regions as when you actually perform that action.

One athletic study proved that visualization enabled nationally ranked gymnasts to execute several complex tricks for the first time. Visualization has also been shown to improve high jumpers clearing the bar!

In other words, your brain can be trained to create outcomes you most want.

So, begin to gather those visions in each area.  Join me and other women April 1st for a day long retreat in the Stoughton, WI area and invest in a day for yourself to create your well-being vision.  Check out the details on my facebook page and contact me for more details.  Now is the time to set your vision and intentions to move forward on your wellbeing.  You’ll be glad you did!

 

 

Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach.  She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope.  She writes about taming the overwhelm and reducing stress, looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you!  You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm and stress.  It’s time to explore possibilities of new relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.

3 Questions Calling You to a Better You!

3 Questions Calling You to a Better You!

What would it take to be a better you? More friends, better relationships in your family, better health, less physical pain,  more of a purpose in life….. What areas are strong for you?  What areas are causing you pain? Let the following questions guide your thinking and vision of a healthier you as you envision an inspired life!

In a recent survey (still would love your opinion:-)  I sent out to my readers, I asked women how stress was affecting them. Part of those survey results revealed that worries and concerns for adult children and physical chronic pain rate high on the list of chronic stressors.  How does that resonate with you?

Much research and print these days is dedicated to your happiness, health and lowering stress.  Wellbeing isn’t just about being happy, or wealthy or physically fit.  In the book, Wellbeing, The Five Essential ElementsTom Rath and Jim Harter give  insights behind the research and ways to incorporate the research into your daily life.  In this blog, we’ll look at the first three elements – social, physical and career or purpose.

Social Wellbeing- Who do you spend time with?

Research shows that our social networks matter. No surprise here! Positive social interaction with friends, family, co-workers increases our positive emotions of love, peace, joy and interests.  Data suggests we need six hours of positive interaction a day! I wonder who gets this and how they get it:-) This can be on the phone, with co-workers, emailing and other communications.  Even three hours of positive interaction reduces the odds of a bad day to 10%. Rate your social network on a scale of 1-10.  How can you strengthen your social network, such as people around your friendship table?

This social network of friends becomes even more important as you navigate those relationships with your adult children.  Bouncing off ideas with a fellow mom is invaluable in lowering stress. Since our adult children are going through some tough times right now, my college roommate and I decided we would call each other every Sunday night so we could encourage and pray for each other.

Physical Wellbeing- What choices do you make every day?

Regardless of your physical health, each day you make a choice.  You are either getting healthier by the choices you make, or less healthy.  For example, I need to be exercising outdoors on a daily basis as it helps my mood.  Am I?  No, for some reason, getting out the door is challenging.  The list goes on – eating, exercising, rest,…(I love naps!)  What about you?  How would you rate your physical wellbeing and self-care?  What do you need to do to get more things involved as habits?

Facing chronic pain makes self-care even more challenging.  When I was facing chronic daily headaches, my doctor describe the view through my pain as looking at the world through glass doors smeared with vasoline.  That description resonated with me as I felt pain colored everything I did and viewed.

With chronic pain, one choice is to be gentle on yourself and find out how best to manage your energy.  Pain takes a lot of energy. One friend looked for energy saving devices such as a cane and a motorized cart when traveling long distances.  Another gave herself permission to rest and do nothing the day after three long grueling days of a conference.  What works best for you and how can you conserve the energy you do have?

Career Wellbeing  – Do you like what you do each day?

In thinking about your work or career, the basic question is, Do you like what you do each day?   We spend the majority of our waking hours at what we consider our job, work or career.  In Jeff Goins, The Art of Workhe envisions work as more of a “passion-fueled calling that makes each day an exciting adventure.”   How are using your strengths on a daily basis?  Where are you on a scale of 1-10 with ten being madly in love with what you do? (even if it is not a career) Your career greatly impacts your health, your thinking, your emotions and your outlook on life. If you are leaving a career, what purpose do you wake up to each day that is meaningful?

How did you score on your wellbeing so far (rate each area on a scale of 1-10)?  Top score would be 30 if you are off the charts in every area.  You will probably find you are lower in some scales than others.

How surprising was this to you?  You can make changes in your wellbeing.  What will be your next steps?  For me, it was working with a coach because I was very low in physical wellbeing and career wellbeing.  One client I am working with currently is working on her social wellbeing and developing a better social structure that works for her as a single, retired woman.

Create Your VisionComing up April 1st is our Create Your Vision day long retreat that will be focusing on a healthier you.  This day will give you a chance to envision what is calling your heart to be a better you!  Contact me at nancy@nancyboothcoaching.com for more information.

Let’s get ready motivated and energized for a healthy summer!

Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach.  She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope.  She writes about taming the overwhelm and reducing stress, looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you!  You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm and stress.  It’s time to explore possibilities of new relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.

 

5 Ways to Recognize and Reduce Stress

5 Ways to Recognize and Reduce Stress

When you hear the word stress, what comes immediately to mind?  Is it the stress that comes with peak performance, as an athlete in top shape, running the best race of her life? Or the stress that pumps adrenaline into your body as your sprint to catch your child as he falls off the chair?  Do you see stress as your friend or your enemy?

 

Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When you sense danger—whether it’s real or imagined—the body’s defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” reaction, or the stress response. The stress response is the body’s way of protecting you. When working properly, it helps you stay focused, energetic, and alert. In emergency situations, stress can save your life—giving you extra strength to defend yourself, for example, or spurring you to slam on the brakes to avoid an accident. But beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to your health, your mood, your productivity, your relationships, and your quality of life.

What about you?

Is stress in your life beyond a certain point of being helpful?

Rate the following statements about your life (1 being never to 5 being almost daily) over the last two weeks:

Ways to recognize Stress Never   Often   Almost Daily
I am not sleeping soundly at night 1 2 3 4 5
My shoulders and neck are tense 1 2 3 4 5
I have a reoccurring tension headache 1 2 3 4 5
I have been continually sick and can’t seem to get over it 1 2 3 4 5
I am having trouble concentrating 1 2 3 4 5

If you are experiencing long-term stressful responses (mostly 4-5’s) as the chart above indicates, your body is distributing cortisol and adrenaline at a high rate.  Your brain doesn’t know you’re not in immediate danger and is preparing you for “flight or fight.”

Long term, excess cortisol and adrenaline in your body are linked to a whole host of long-term poor health outcomes for you, such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, depression, gastrointestinal issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome.  Stress is not to be taken lightly.

What are you to do?

Your first step is to acknowledge the presence of stress in your life and pay attention to what part of you is being most affected by the stress response.  Where are you carrying your stress?  Neck and shoulders?  Swirling thoughts?  Knot in your stomach?  Tension headache?  Sleeplessness?

Once you locate the area being affected by the stress response, you can begin to help your body relieve stress in that area, regardless of the stressors, which you may or may not be able to control.

Where do I start?

Adding to an already full plate may feel more stressful.  However, the 5 steps below are baby-step habits to incorporate into your daily life to begin reducing your stress response so that you begin to take your health back.  You have choices – just don’t do everything all at once.  Even one choice can calm your brain and reduce your “flight or fight” stress response.

If you  Then brain-based stress fighters could be:
are not sleeping soundly at night discovering a bedtime routine to calm your thinking – reading, journaling your thoughts, soft music, yoga stretching, and a similar routine each evening to signal to your body it’s time to sleep.  Screen time can excite the brain so stopping an hour before bed is preferable
find shoulders and neck are tense finding gentle yoga and stretching exercises to get blood flowing to those muscles. Also relaxation exercises can help those muscles as well.
have a reoccurring tension headache listening to your reoccurring thoughts before you get your headache.  What thinking preceded your headache?  Is what your thinking an expectation or reality?  What compassion can you have for yourself and the situation that precedes the headache triggers? Check with a doctor to make sure everything else checks out okay.
have been continually sick and can’t seem to get over it listening to your body when you are tired or hurt.  How much have you been pushing?  Give yourself permission to rest and care for whatever your body is telling you it needs
have trouble concentrating pausing for deep breathing exercises throughout the day gives your brain a break. It does wonders for your concentration and mood as you get more oxygen to your body and brain.

These ideas are just the beginning of our journey towards a more simple, less stressful life.  I hope that you’ll explore some of these possibilities to reduce your stress. The future of your long-term health and well-being depend upon it.

I am still looking for more of you help me write good articles for you by filling out in your surveys.  I have gotten good feedback so far and will continue on the emphasis of stress-free living which includes, getting things off our plates, using our time wisely and ways to reduce the overwhelm in our lives.

Let me hear your ideas.  Click on the survey link here if you’ve not already done so. I look forward to hearing from you.

Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach.  She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope.  She writes about taming the overwhelm and reducing stress through connecting to yourself and others, possibilities thinking, and brain-based strategies for hopeful living.  You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm, explore possibilities and find hope.

Behind the Scenes at Nancy Booth Coaching

Behind the Scenes at Nancy Booth Coaching

There are some changes taking place at Nancy Booth Coaching that I hope will be of benefit to you and your well-being. I want to be sure I am writing blogs that meet your needs as you fight overwhelm in your life and look to get healthier and more hopeful.

First, since we have been talking about vision boards, I thought  it would be fun to share my vision board in my move towards supporting women and my personal vision of no sugar!!  As you see in the above vision board, I am focused on vision, inspiration, turning darkness into light, joy, connecting with my family and peace among other things.

For me, I want to create safe spaces, such as retreats, for you as a professional woman who is feeling overwhelmed in your life and to change those overwhelmed feelings and disconnectedness.  Problems shared are problems cut in half.

I, then, want to provide a variety of opportunities for us to explore possibilities that lessen your overwhelm and worry load.  I envision us working together to discover action steps and habits that make your life more healthy and hopeful.  Finally, in finding hope, I think you’ll see a noticeable difference in your well-being.  I certainly have over the past two years.

What is overwhelming you right now?  Too much to do in too short a time?  Not enough energy and feeling tired all the time?  Feeling the world is out to get you?  Thinking your home, work, life is so disorganized there’s no end in sight?  Beating yourself up for the umpteenth time for not doing x,y,z?

I used to live in a continual overwhelmed state.  I am currently healthier than I have been in the last two years. A lot of that has to do with learning self-care, exploring brain-based wellness strategies and giving myself permission to care for myself.

Nancy’s Desk

However, some habits die hard.  My current overwhelm comes in the form of organization. Here is a picture from my office desk.  I still have so many ideas running through my head that I go from one pile to the next.  I am working towards systems that have me list my top three tasks for the next day.

So behind the scenes at Nancy Booth Coaching, I am working on research and topics that will hopefully support us in our quest to shed different types of overwhelm and live a more hopeful, joyful life, regardless of our circumstances.  With my background in brain-based coaching, and all the research going on in neuroscience, I am excited to look at how my writing, retreats, coaching and workshops may support you in brain-based wellness and hopeful living.

What about you? What are the causes of overwhelm in your life?  Over the next two weeks, I hope to be contacting you, my readers, for advice and feedback on several items including:

  • What your current overwhelm challenges are?
  • What areas of self-care and wellness are most challenging and of most interest to you?
  • What is your vision of well-being for the next few years?
  • What types of formats do you like information in, ie blog, newsletter, topical videos or e-books? Or additional learning – face to face workshops, online groups, e-courses at your leisure, coaching?

I will announce the results of my findings on March 9th with the roll-out of of my new emphasis on brain-based wellness and self-care to lessen the overwhelm in your life.

See you in two weeks!

Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach.  She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope.  She writes about taming the overwhelm through connecting to yourself and others, possibilities thinking, and brain-based strategies for hopeful living.  You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm, explore possibilities and find hope.

 

How Does Your Hope Garden Grow?

How Does Your Hope Garden Grow?

Finding ways to grow your hope can be like growing a garden. Hope can come in many different packages and grow in different ways.  The definition of hope includes:

  • a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen
  • a feeling of trust.
  • want something to happen or be the case.
  • intend if possible to do something.

All of these definitions could look like different flowers in a garden, depending on what you need at the present moment.  Are you desiring a change in your career or move into retirement?  Are you hoping that you can trust someone more?  Or are you hoping something about your life will be different – better health perhaps, but you’re not sure?

I have had coaching conversations lately with women who are on the verge of sprouting new hopeful ideas. They are moving into new ways of living.  We have discussed their initial hopes and dreams which feel like little sprouts, tender and green.

How do you go about planting your garden of hope?

Till the soil.

Sometimes before hope for a different life, or a different career or even a different day, you are in the dark.  You have to begin to dig the soil around you, break up the hard dirt and get it ready for the hopes and dreams to sprout.  Tilling may include examining your mindsets – what is causing you to be stuck or feel hopeless?  What do you need to do to get the right ingredients in the soil so that it’s ready to plant?  Sometimes it’s a question such as “How would I like my life to be different?”

Examine the seeds.

Begin to explore all the different seeds you might want to plant.  Research your possibilities for change.  What is the one thing, that if you did this thing, would start you moving forward to other positive changes in your life?  What do you want to be?  What do you want to do?  What do you want to have?  These are the vision questions to help you examine seeds of hope you can plant.   Is it a career change?  Is it a lifestyle change?  Is it the way you think about yourself on a daily basis?

Choose seeds to plant.

Start your hope garden by creating a vision board or a picture of what your garden could look like.  Then choose what seeds to plant.  For example, one client I am working with has decided to move forward with a career change.  That’s a large seed to plant.  However, as she nurtures and lets it grow slowly, she’s excited to see what kind of beautiful flower will grow from it.

Care for the seed and sprout tenderly.

The seed of hope is tender.  When any change is being explored, you have to keep weeds pulled, like “What am I thinking- I can’t do this?”  or “This is too hard, I don’t know what I’m doing.”  Or letting other people’s comments trample on the tender shoot “What do you mean you’re changing jobs?”

Ask for help in tending your hope garden.

Tending a garden can be a challenge. You are working, watching and waiting.  You can be pulling weeds, watering the hope and waiting for it to grow.  By watching for changes in hope, you feel the strength growing within yourself.  It’s okay to ask for a community of helpers to support you as you tend your garden.  They may like to walk in the hope garden with you and admire the growth.

I know the plans I have for you plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

Growing your hope garden takes time, energy, sunshine and patience.  The change that hope brings, even day to day will bloom for a lifetime.  I would love to help you find and tend your hope garden.  Let’s get those sprouts growing.

 

Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach.  She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope.  She writes about taming the overwhelm through connecting to yourself and others, possibilities thinking, and brain-based strategies for hopeful living.  You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm, explore possibilities and find hope.

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