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Amanda James

Are you Listening?

Listening = "To give one's attention to a sound"

Steven Covey said "Most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply"

Listening in any language requires focus and attention, we use our ears to receive individual sounds, our brains then convert these sounds into messages that mean something to us. Its a skill that some of us need to work a little harder than others to achieve, hearing is the act of taking in sound by the ear, LISTENING however is what we consciously choose to do.

45% to 50% of a typical day is spent listening and immediately after we listen to someone, we only recall about 50% of what is said. We listen at 125 - 250 words per minute, but think at 1000 - 3000 words per minute.  

Effective listening helps to resolve conflicts, builds trust, inspires people and strengthens relationships, spending time being in the present moment and really listening you will truly absorb the information that is being given to you, good listeners are perceived as being more intelligent.  

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Amanda James

Mindfulness during the Menopause

Menopause is a time of great change, a natural biological process for all women, it happen's generally in your 40s or 50s.  The physical symptoms that may be experienced can be Hot flushes, Night sweats, Sleep problems, Weight gain and slowed metabolism, Thinning hair and Dry skin, Irregular periods, before they totally cease and vaginal dryness.  The emotional symptoms experienced could include Irritability, Anxiety, Fatigue, Mood changes, Sadness and Difficultty in concentrating. Having to live your every day life with some of these symptoms can have an overall effect on your health, wellbeing and lifestyle.

Research has found that women who are committed to practicing Mindfulness may experience fewer menopausal symptoms, and women who have higher stress levels show a greater link to experiencing menopausal symptoms.  The impact of Mindfulness on menopausal symptoms is not the same for all of it's symptoms, hot flushes and night sweats seem to be the least changed symptoms, although it shows a positive reduction in the symptoms of irritability, anxiety and fatigue, allowing some women to have help with their changing emotions.

Mindfulness involves focusing our attention on the present moment, maintaining an awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations non judgementaly through a gentle nuturing lens. When we practice Mindfulness we are able to tune into what we are experiencing right now rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future, using our breath as our focus.

Although Mindfulness cannot claim to entirely eliminate menopausal symptoms it shows that it may reduce the impact that your symptoms have on your life, giving you a vital life tool to have.  You have every to gain and nothing to lose so give it a try.

(REF: A study conducted by the Mayo clinic, Dr Richa Sood)

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Amanda James

Are you getting your Green Exercise

Many of us, due to our modern day lifestyles are experiencing a nature deficit.  More of us now live in towns and cities, many of us work inside large and tall buildings sometimes without windows, we are also constantly involved with using our many electronic devices.

Walking in nature, taking in all the atmosphere, using all of our senses to absorb the experience has a positive effect on our minds and bodies.  Research has shown that spending time in nature can, reduce stress, anxiety, deepression and anger, therefore helping us to feel happier, less fatigued, more tranquil and relaxed.  As little as 5 minutes of Green Exercise, a short walk across a park at lunch time, has been shown to boost moods and self esteem, producing a more productive working afternoon.

When our Green Exercise becomes a regular activity, physically we can expect to improve our cardiovascular fitness, strengthen our immune system, lower our blood pressure and improve our muscular strength.

With all of these healthy benefits what a great option for us to choose as an activity, when we have a liitle free time, maybe a walk and picnic in your local countryside, forrest, lakes, woodland and streams, coastal beaches and cliffs, even your local parks, anywhere that will take you closer to nature.

 

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Amanda James

Choose to eat Mindfully

Mindful eating - Giving your full attention to the experience of eating in the present moment.

It has also been shown to help with weight loss and assist in gaining control of unhealthy eating habits.

A few simple tips to get you get started.   Slowing down and eating without distraction.  Our brain takes around 20 minutes to register that we feel full, so sitting down giving our full attention to what we are eating and chewing our food is a great place to begin.  Try not to be distracted by the television, the computer or your smartphone.

Decide what makes you eat,   do you eat from actually being physically hungry or from an emotional signal such as feeling stressed, frustration, sadness or just plain old fashion boredom.  By learning to know and understand what your own personal triggers are, will give you time to choose your response to those feelings.

When do you eat?   at random times during the day grabing snacks here and there during your busy day or do you plan ahead deciding what you are going to eat and when.  With good organisation and preperation skills you are more likely to eat the amount of food that you need and not overindulge with one more snack.

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Amanda James

Wellbeing

Wellbeing feeling good and phyiscally well

Do you want to feel more positive, happier and get the most out of your life?

There is much evidence and research to suggest that there are 5 Steps we can take to achieve an improvement in our mental and phyiscal wellbeing.

Being mindful an awareness of being fully in the present moment, whilst acknowledging and accepting our feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations. When we are mindful we can reduce stress, enhance performance and gain clear insight.  You come to realise that your thoughts come and go of thier own accord and that you are not your thoughts.

To be Active take a walk or cycle, enjoy the colours and smells of the outdoors, join a team event and make new friends, anything that inspires you to move and breath.

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Amanda James

Connection to others

Most of us need to feel supported, valued and Connected to others, this makes us happier and healthier, leading us to function well as human beings in the enviroment that surrounds us.

As we learn the art of genuinely giving and receiving with others our personal, social and professional relationships grow and strengthen.

Why not today see how Connected you are, maybe try a new or different approach than you normally would do.

Smile or say Hello to a stranger.

Speak to someone on the telephone rather than texting or e-mailing.

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Amanda James

Sunshine in your life

Colour is a powerful communication tool, it can be used to influence our moods, personalities and behavior.  With spring upon us, new life is starting to grow in the earths soil giving us a host of bright colours scattered across meadows, hedgerows, gardens and tubs.  Cheerful shades of yellow bring bright sunshine rays into our senses.

Yellow can be said to represent Happiness, Optimism, Freshness, Positivity, Energy, Clarity and Joy.  It can be warm and soft like baby chicks or warm and bright, springtime sun shine streaming into a room through a window.

Yellow looks different to us depending on the time of year, in the summer yellow appears more greenish where as in the winter it appears more reddish. Phyiscally yellow is the easiest colour for our eyes to see, which is why its used in awarness and danger signs.

Look at the stars, Look how they shine for you, And everything you do, Yeah they were all YELLOW words famously sung by Coldplay

How much Yellow is in your life today, close your eyes, breath in the sunshine.  

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Amanda James

Mindful Breathing


Breathing supports our health and wellbeing, so its a good idea to pay a little attention to how we breath, it can affect our physical, mental and emotional state.

Mindful breathing is a simple practice, start by paying attention to the sensations caused by the movements of your breathing in your own body.  The gentle rise and fall of the chest being one of them.

Are your inhales and exhales long or short?, quick or slow?, there is no controlling it, no judging it just letting it be as it is in this moment in time.  Can you feel the breath as it enters and leaves your nostrils?.

As you try to do this breathing practice your mind will wander thats normal, when it does gently bring it back with kindness to the awareness of the sensations of your breath.

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Amanda James

Valentine

Valentine's Day what does it mean to you?

Love is described as an "intense feeling of deep affection"

A feeling of being deeply connected to one or more people.  A partner, family, friends related or not, to animals, ojects, passtimes or career.

To love is to feel and act lovingly,

Maybe this Valentines think what is the most loving and thoughtful thing that i could do for the special person/people I have in my life.

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Amanda James

Mindful - FEBRUARY

Welcome to the month of February, the Latin word Februarius means PURIFY.  

February is a month for us to cleanse, freshen, restore and de-clutter.  Is there an overdue chore or task you've been meaning to do?  Large or small, clearing your in tray or emptying a draw that you no longer can cram anything elso into, now is the perfect time to tackle this.  

Cleansing our personal or working space can improve our energy levels, our vitality and our moods.  February in nature is the month we start to see the long maroon and yellow catkins appear on the Alder trees, one of the many trees that filter and purifies the air that we breath each and every day.

 

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Amanda James

Smile today

A Duchenne Smile, Smiling with your eyes.
Smile to improve your day and maybe make someone else’s day.
Smiling and laughter are of benefit for your mind, body and overall wellbeing.
Smiling can boost your mood even if your feeling a little blue, it can increase positive emotions, so smile your way through a day to lift your spirits feel happier and boost your immune system.

****If you see someone without a smile give them yours****
Dolly Parton.

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Amanda James

No Phones, No Social Media, No Television,

Mindful Meals

 With family or friends, colleagues or strangers, mealtimes make people feel connected to others, an opportunity to talk and share our experiences, to relax and improve our social skills, to stop and listen to others.  It’s a place for children to learn how to interact in conversations and develop their own views on the topics discussed.

Leisurely mealtimes enable us to appreciate how our food really looks and tastes, fully enjoying each mouthful, eating slower has the benefit of helping us to not to over indulge and aid our digestion. 

The sharing of chores involved in the preparation, cooking and clearing away after the meal is also an ideal opportunity for sharing togetherness.

Read more about Mindful eating here : https://www.mindfulnesslife.co.uk/mindfulness/mindful-eating

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Amanda James

How do you care for yourself?

Personal hygiene, a good healthy diet maybe even regular trips to the gym or some other form of exercise, are all ways that we take care of our external selves. The day to day things that we do ensure that our bodies stay clean, healthy and fit for the life style we choose to live.

Do you have the same nourishing and caring relationship with your mind as you do your body ?

Do you have a daily routine or practice that contributes to protecting and maintaining your mental wellbeing ?

A practice that will help you to reduce the effects of living busy and stressful lives.

Maybe you could start by being kind to yourself and creating some snippets of quiet time throughout your busy day with STOP

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