3 Ways to Stick to Your 2018 Resolutions
Happy New Year! Each year millions of us set new resolutions in hopes of achieving a goal. Whether it be to lose weight, find a new job, quit smoking, eat healthy, exercise or spend more time with family – our hope is to break old habit or start a new one, in order to reduce stress and create more balance, peace, joy in our lives.
Finding balance in life is a key element to happiness. Work, relationships, food, substance and technology addictions are common in this pressured world, where obsessive amounts of time is spent online and money, appearance and achievement often trumps our need to recharge.
How do we address the underlying issues that manifest into unhealthy patterns? How do we stick to our resolutions throughout the year?
1. Pray, Meditate, contemplate
Focus and concentration are important abilities that help us do what we want or need to, and yet, if we lose sight of what truly matters, and stress about things that are inconsequential in the end, we’ll never find harmony. The reason why people routinely pray, meditate, or have a contemplative discipline is to learn a way to always find a calm space. When something triggers them and they need to know the way back to serenity, they can tap into it at any time.
Mindful meditation helps us to focus our attention, but also teaches us how to disconnect from the stress we may be feeling which is attached to an event or situation. Many scientific studies have proven that meditation and mindfulness have a tremendously positive effect on the mind and body for those who practice it. Even just five minutes of simple breathing exercises spent focusing on your breath can increase your ability to relax, problem-solve, deal with anxiety, and achieve a sense of calmness in the face of conflict.
The factor that brings about these changes is based on connectivity. Studies have shown that in the physical realm of the brain, meditation increases connections between areas when you’re focused – whether sitting in a formal meditation, or in adopting a mindful approach to all moments of your life. When you detach from distractions that have nothing to do with the present moment, you connect to your subconscious and can change how it relates to the external world. In other words, you can change behavior patterns that aren’t in your best interest, to ones that are.
2. Positive Self-Talk
One of the major sources of feeling like we cannot attain our goal is self-criticism. Two people could experience the same set of challenging responsibilities in their lives, yet have very different mindsets affecting how much stress they will feel. One will beat themselves up with the critical voice in their head – adding to the stress – and the other will speak with kindness and compassion towards the stress and let it go. How we talk to ourselves has a huge effect in how we handle small daily frustrations, along with the bigger challenges we face. Think about the harsh ways you may be talking to your stress, versus the nurturing, self-loving voice. Your inner voice is more powerful than the outer voice.
One of the greatest things that we can do for ourselves at this time is begin to consciously detach from expectations. We think that we have certain material things, or are in a perfect relationship, or high-powered job. All of this causes suffering and stress. Nothing or no one else makes you whole. To be whole you have to find harmony within yourself. Stop and ask, “Who am I? What am I doing here? What are we born for? Is there something more to all of this?”
Your strength – and ability to deal with stress – comes from remaining open to all the experiences that life has for you. When you get to a stage where you begin to stop tagging those experiences as good or bad, and you just call them experiences, that’s when stress disappears and happiness flows.
Join our stress reduction workshops & mindfulness classes to learn how to change your internal dialog.
3. Overcoming Addiction – Substance, Relationships, Work etc
We are inherently attracted to pleasure and averted by pain, so, our subconscious learns to keep reaching for what it thinks will make us feel good. It’s learned behavior, but – on the flip side of that same idea – once you learn why it developed, you can rein it in.
It’s important to look at the whole story of your addiction. Think about the events that may have led up to a problem with the substance or behavior. The period six to nine months beforehand is often very telling. Was there major change in your life? A loss or shift in the dynamics of your environment, work, family or social circle? What caused the spark of addiction? Did it start slowly many years ago only to be triggered into destructive territory by an event, even an outwardly small incident? When did a habit that might have seemed harmless, or even good, turn into a problem?
Your mind attaches to your addiction in a way that creates a bond. It’s important to admit your destructive habit, but remember, you are not the addiction. Because the causes – and resulting symptoms of addiction – are often rooted in depression, anger, fear and a whole host of other emotions, it can be hard to separate out cause and effect. You have to have the courage to say that you want to deal with your addiction and find the root cause of it. It’s all about creating a new pathway that leads back to finding happiness and pleasure in who you truly are.
Inquire about our hypnotherapy or psychotherapy sessions for help on quitting smoking, losing weight, overcoming unhealthy relationship patterns and more.
To Sum It Up
When you let too much of the external world affect you, or alternately, for your thoughts to affect you, your equilibrium is thrown. Give some of your time to yourself and to your soul. Your thoughts are either creating positive or negative in your outside world. It’s not about the actions that we’re doing, but the consciousness that we’re putting behind those actions.
From all of us at Creacon Wellness Retreat, we wish you a blessed 2018. Stop in for a massage, class or workshop, we’d love to see you!