Coronavirus Breathing Exercises

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www.luckyblueye.etsy.com

Dear friends,

I would like to share with you this video by Patrick McKeown. I find it very helpful and I wish it will give everyone a little bit of comfort during this difficult time. Please also read the comments below the video.

 

Keep safe and stay at home!

Love always,

Vassiliki

 

Covid-19: Mental Health Exercises to Face This Incredibly Challenging Situation No5

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www.luckyblueye.etsy.com

Dear friends,

-Can a man still be brave if he is afraid?

-That is the only time a man can be brave!

A Game of Thrones – G.R.R. Martin.

YOUR BUCKET LIST

Having a bucket list will help you identify your personal and professional goals and desires. Use a bucket list to keep yourself focused and make an effort every day to accomplish at least one small task that will lead you towards crossing things off of your bucket list.

MINDFULNESS EXERCISE

You’ll need a few raisins for this activity (or if you prefer, any other dried fruit can substitute). In addition, I recommend taking a few moments afterward to write down any reactions you have to the exercise, and what you learned from it. Your intention will be to eat a raisin in a mindful manner, fully immersed in the experience.
Begin by taking a raisin and placing it in the palm of your hand. Glance down at it, pretending for a moment that you’ve never seen anything like it before. Alternate between holding the raisin in your hand and placing it between your forefinger and thumb to more fully feel its texture. Notice the weight of the raisin as it rests in your hand.
Now take a moment to really see the raisin, paying particular attention to its subtle details. With full attention and awareness, notice the texture of the raisin, and the shadow it casts on your palm. Notice its ridges, and the particular colors it contains.
Placing the raisin between your fingers now, observe all of its texture with even more awareness. How does it feel to brush your fingers over the raisin? Feel the ridges on its surface.
Now bring the raisin up towards your nose. As you inhale, simply notice any smells or scents that you detect. Or if you cannot detect a scent, simply notice that as well, without judgment.
Slowly take the raisin and place it gently in your mouth. Observe what happens within your mouth when you do; perhaps you’ll find yourself salivating or notice your tongue “reaching out” towards the raisin as you place it in your mouth. Before chewing, simply notice whatever sensations come up in your mouth now that you’ve placed the raisin on your tongue.
Take a single bite into the raisin and notice how doing so affects your mouth and tongue. Notice the different textures that you can now pick up on. When you’re ready, continue to slowly chew the raisin. But before swallowing, again simply notice all that’s occurring right now in your mouth, mind, and body.
When you’re ready, swallow the raisin and continue to observe any feelings, reactions, thoughts, and emotions that come up for you as you do. Without judgment, bring full awareness to whatever is happening inside of you, and take a minute to merely sit with those reactions with your eyes closed.
People have all sorts of reactions to the raisin meditation. For some, it’s an eye-opening experience, in that it demonstrates how a simple activity (eating a raisin) can be transformed into something far more meaningful. For others, it feels foreign to eat a raisin in this manner and can even feel uncomfortable. Whatever your reactions may be, take a moment to simply notice them, and write down some quick thoughts about the exercise.

Take care and stay at home.

Love,

Vassiliki

https://www.udemy.com/course/teacher-emotional-wellbeing/

Covid-19: Mental Health Exercises To Face This Incredibly Challenging Situation No4

 

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www.luckyblueye.etsy.com

Dear friends,

This exercise gives people the space to express some of their anger safely on a paper.

Think of coronavirus. Draw it on a piece of paper.

Call the coronavirus all the names you want.

Now tear it up however you please.

Tear it into strips or little pieces or any way you want.

Imagine that this piece of paper is your source of stress and anxiety. Tearing up the paper is very therapeutic!

Love,

Vassiliki

 

Covid-19: Mental Health Exercises to face this incredibly challenging situation No3

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www.luckyblueye.etsy.com

Dear friends,

My emotional disturbance about Covid-19 could be dealt with the following psychological techniques which were especially useful for me for helping me to grow out of fear and emotional stress, into happiness, peace and emotional balance: Radical acceptance, gratitude, mindfulness, my meditation stone and forest therapy.
Radical acceptance improves the quality of my life. Butler and Ciarrochi (2007) define acceptance as “a willingness to experience psychological events (thoughts, feelings, memories) without having to avoid them or let them unduly influence behavior”. According to Jon Kabat-Zinn’s in, “Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness”: “Acceptance doesn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, mean passive resignation. Quite the opposite. It takes a huge amount of fortitude and motivation to accept what is- especially when you don’t like it-and then work wisely and effectively as best you possibly can with the circumstances you find yourself in and with the resources at your disposal, both inner and outer, to mitigate, heal, redirect, and change what can be changed.” By learning to accept this unpleasant event rather than struggling with it, I could reduce my experiential avoidance of perceived future threats and negative emotional experiences.

Psychological resilience has been characterized by the ability to bounce back from negative emotional experiences and by flexible adaptation to the changing demands of stressful experiences. According to the broaden-and-build theory, positive and negative emotions have distinct and complementary adaptive functions and cognitive and physiological effects. This theory posits that negative emotions narrow one’s momentary thought–action repertoire by preparing one to behave in a specific way (e.g., escape when afraid). In contrast, various discrete positive emotions (e.g., joy, contentment, interest) broaden one’s thought–action repertoire, expanding the range of cognitions and behaviors that come to mind. Positive emotions can also act more directly on physiology, dampening the cardiovascular system and the hormone system. In both cases, the link might be what’s called the sympathetic nervous system, the largely unconscious part of our nervous system that controls, among other things, the fight-or-flight response to threats. If the activity of the sympathetic nervous system were dialed down, heart rate would decrease; that is generally regarded as a marker of good cardiovascular health. Blood pressure would also fall, reducing your risk of stroke. Quieting the neuroendocrine system would lower blood levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine, the fight-or-flight hormones.

One powerful mechanism by which positive emotions could affect health is through immunity: They have been shown to increase levels of growth hormone and the hormones prolactin and oxytocin.
There might even be a more direct effect of positive emotions on the body. Some neurons in the brain, called sympathetic fibers, connect all the way to the thymus and lymph nodes, which are production factories for immune-system cells. Activating these neurons in the brain via positive emotions might therefore activate the thymus and lymph nodes, unleashing infection-fighting cells. Sympathetic fibers also release a slew of substances that bind to receptors on white blood cells, again priming them to attack invaders. This perspective on positive emotions might help explain why those who experience positive emotions in the midst of stress are able to benefit from their broadened mindsets and successfully regulate their negative emotional experiences.

Positive emotions solve problems concerning personal growth and development. Experiencing a positive emotion leads to states of mind and to modes of behavior that indirectly prepare an individual for later hard times. Two decades of experiments by Alice Isen of Cornell University and her colleagues have shown that people experiencing positive feelings think differently. Overall, 20 years of experiments by Isen and her colleagues show that when people feel good, their thinking becomes more creative, integrative, flexible and open to information. Even though positive emotions and the broadened mindsets they create are themselves short-lived, they can have deep and enduring effects. By momentarily broadening attention and thinking, positive emotions can lead to the discovery of novel ideas, actions and social bonds. Barbara Fredrickson and her students tested these ideas by surveying a group of people to examine their resilience and optimism. The people were originally interviewed in the early months of 2001, and then again in the days after the September 11th terrorist attacks. They asked them to identify the emotions they were feeling, what they had learned from the attacks and how optimistic they were about the future. They learned that after September 11th nearly everyone felt sad, angry and somewhat afraid. And more than 70 percent were depressed. Yet, the people who were originally identified as being resilient in the early part of 2001 felt positive emotions strongly as well. They were also half as likely to be depressed. Barbara’s Fredrickson statistical analyses showed that Gratitude was the most common positive emotion people felt after the September 11th attacks.

Feeling grateful was associated both with learning many good things from the crisis and with increased levels of optimism. Feeling grateful broadened positive learning, which in turn build optimism, just as the broaden-and-build theory suggests. So “feeling good” does far more than signal the absence of threats. It can transform people for the better, making them more optimistic, resilient and socially connected.

A number of studies suggest that the cardiovascular activity associated with stress and negative emotions, especially if prolonged and recurrent, can promote or exacerbate heart disease. The undoing effect suggests that positive emotions can reduce the physiological “damage” on the cardiovascular system sustained by feeling negative emotions. But some other research suggests that there’s more to it than that. It appears that experiencing positive emotions increases the likelihood that one will feel good in the future. Resilient people are characterized by an ability to experience both negative and positive emotions even in difficult or painful situations, she says. They mourn losses and endure frustrations, but they also find redeeming potential or value in most challenges. When not-so-resilient people face difficulties, Fredrickson notes, all of their emotions turn negative. If things are good, they feel good, but if things are bad, they feel horrid. Resilient people, on the other hand, tend to find some silver lining in even the worst of circumstances. While they certainly see and acknowledge the bad, Fredrickson says, “they’ll find a way to also see the good. They’ll say, ‘Well at least I didn’t have this other problem”. According to Fredrickson although the use of humor, laughter and other direct attempts to stimulate positive emotions are occasionally suitable, they often seem poor choices, especially in trying times. Based on their recent experiment with college students, her advice would be to cultivate positive emotions indirectly by finding positive meaning within current circumstances. Positive meaning can be obtained by finding benefits within adversity, by infusing ordinary events with meaning and by effective problem solving. So, you can infuse ordinary events with meaning by expressing appreciation, love and gratitude, even for simple things. And you can find positive meaning through problem solving by supporting compassionate acts toward people in need.

So, gratitude (appreciation) helps me to notice how much positive is in my life. I slow my life down, and I appreciate all that I have. My daughter, my husband, my dog, my home, a beautiful sunset, the flowers, the trees…
As a result, acceptance, gratitude and awareness of the present moment without judgment (mindfulness meditation) could help me to be better able to tolerate my negative thoughts and feelings.

But the most important healer for me is the nature. My meditation stone also helps me to overcome my negative thoughts and promote mindfulness. When I repeat the powerful affirmations often, and believe in them, I can start to make positive changes. When combined with meditation and forest therapy this can have multiple benefits.
A study from Portugal found that people living near industrial “gray space,” as opposed to green space, reported “decreased use of coping strategies” and less optimism. These are just some of the benefits that scientists, academics and teachers have discovered occur when a person gets some nature therapy into their life:

●Reduces blood pressure and heart rate.

●Reduces anxiety, anger, depression, obesity, post-traumatic stress disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

●Improves sleep.

●Strengthens the immune system.

●Increases energy and vitality.

●Increases sensory awareness and perception.

●Promotes a healthy body-mind-heart connection.

●Increases brain power and clarity of thought.

●Increases self-esteem, empathy, kindness and compassion.

●Boosts creativity and intuition.

●Calms the nervous system.

●Relaxes an overworked brain.

A study in Environmental Science and Technology found a link between decreased anxiety and bad moods with walks in the woods, while another reported that taking a walk outdoors should be prescribed by doctors as a supplement to existing treatments for depressive disorders. The Journal of Affective Disorders released analysis that declared how every green, natural environment (not just forests!) improved mood and self-esteem, a crucial element for personal happiness, and that the presence of water — a lake, a river, the ocean — made the positive effects on happiness even more noticeable. Studies show that exercising in forests — or even just sitting in one — reduces blood pressure and decreases to stress-related hormones cortisol and adrenalin, which helps us to calm down.

Even looking at photos or drawings of trees has a similar effect. Researchers from Sussex University tested the brain activity of 17 healthy subjects listening to a variety of natural and unnatural soundscapes. When asked about how the sounds affected them, the participants reported that the natural sounds led to relaxation and a feeling of positivity, whereas the unnatural sounds made them feel stressed. Brain scans taken just afterwards backed this up, with researchers noting how artificial sounds activated anxiety related brain activity. Even research involving the use of nature videos of the forest or the ocean have the same physiological effects.

So, take care and stay at home.

Love,

Vassiliki

Covid-19: Mental Health Exercises to face this incredibly challenging situation No2

Four Way Negative Thoughts Breaker

www.luckyblueye.etsy.com

Dear friends,

These exercises reduce stress without taking even one minute.

  1. Text your children, your parents, your grandparents or friend: “I Love You”.
  2.  Take a minute to say a short prayer. Prayer helps you let go of your own concerns for covid-19, thereby reducing your stress levels.
  3.  Wrap your arms around your body, giving yourself a hug. Hug your loved ones.

Take care. Stay at home.

Love,

Vassiliki

Covid-19: Mental health exercises to face this incredibly challenging situation

Personal Message:

Personal message

Most of us are very scared of what tomorrow will bring.

Use breathing to release tension from panic attacks and relax.

Use breathing to reduce symptoms of intense stress.

Good breathing habits will enhance your psychological and physical wellbeing, whether you practice them alone or in combination with other relaxation techniques.

Breathing exercises have been Found to be effective in reducing generalized anxiety disorders, panic attacks, irritability, muscle tension, and fatigue.

They are used in the treatment and prevention of breath holding, hyperventilation and shallow breathing.

Lie on your back and gently place one hand on your abdomen and one hand on your chest and follow your breathing. Notice how your abdomen rises with each inhalation and falls with each exhalation.

If you are seated while you do these exercises, remember to maintain good posture with your head comfortably balanced on your spine, your arms and legs uncrossed and your feet firmly placed on the floor.

Although most of the action is in your abdomen when you breath diaphragmatically, your chest does move a little. As you inhale, first your abdomen, then your middle chest, and then your upper chest will rise in one smooth movement.

Once you know what it feels like to breathe diaphragmatically, you can use this option to deepen and slow your breath even more. Inhale through your nose, and exhale through your mouth. Take long, slow deep breaths that raise and lower your abdomen. Practice diaphragmatic breathing for about five or ten minutes at a time, once or twice a day.

Inhale diaphragmatically as you say to yourself “breathe in”.

Hold your breath a moment before you exhale.

Exhale slowly and deeply as you say to yourself “relax”.

Pause and wait for your next natural breath.

As you inhale slowly and then hold your breath for a moment, notice the parts of your body that tense up.

As you exhale, feel the tension naturally leaving your body.

Take care. Stay at home.

Love,

Vassiliki

 

 

How Positive Affirmations Can Help You Heal Your Emotions And Your Thoughts.

My dear friends, hello!

The National Union of Teachers (UK) indicates the ways in which stress manifests itself:
“The effects of stress can be manifested in many different ways including physical effects such as raised heart rate, headache, dizziness, palpitations, skin rashes, aching neck and shoulders and lowering of resistance to infection. Over a long period stress may contribute to chronic health problems such as heart disease and stomach ulcers. Various psychological and behavioural changes affecting work performance and interpersonal relationships may also be noticed by stressed individuals’ colleagues, including inability to concentrate, overworking, irritability or aggression, becoming withdrawn or unsociable, or reluctance to accept constructive criticism and advice”.
The main causes of stress in the workplace:

  • Balancing multiple demands
  • Work overload
  • Lack of time
  • Inadequate resources
  • Inadequate administrative support
  • Inclusive classes
  • Student misbehaviour
  • On-going changes
  • Inadequate professional development

Negative thoughts ruin your life! When negative emotions like stress and anxiety fill your mind you are unable to battle the obstacles you encounter in your life. Psychologist Guy Winch notes that it is both possible and hugely beneficial to stop negative thoughts. “Studies tell us that even a two-minute distraction is sufficient to break the urge to ruminate in that moment,” he says. In this context, Winch uses the term “rumination” to describe the act of dwelling on negative experiences, circumstances, or worries. Though it’s easy to slip into rumination, you can just as easily change the channel in your mind. Every time you catch yourself beginning to worry, stop and intentionally think about something else. The mental distraction might be something completely unrelated, such as noticing the beauty around you or remembering someone’s act of kindness.

Affirmations are positive statements. The use of daily positive affirmations helps you counter the negative self-talk, with positive ideas. When properly formed, affirmations can counteract some of your negative thoughts and habits, resonating with the alpha brain waves and enabling you to achieve empowerment, to change your thinking. When you learn how to think positive, your self-image will naturally improve. As a result you will act differently and your circumstances will naturally change as well. This is a great start, as affirmations with words and valuable phrases can be quite powerful, imprinting positive messages in your subconscious mind.

How to create powerful affirmations:

  • Positive affirmations are always in the present tense.
  • Place your name in the affirmation
  • Positive affirmations only include positive words.
  • Add a feeling to strengthen the affirmation (I feel etc.).
  • Believe and repeat your affirmation with faith and attention. But they cannot be a parrot like repetition of a meaningless thought or sentence.
  • There’s no formula for how often or how many times you should repeat a positive affirmation.

Positive affirmations are words that help release the power within yourself. New strength and ability are released from your innermost being. Positive affirmations motivate you and inspire you. So remember to pick the right statements for your intentions, make it a daily habit to clear the clutter and reprogram your subconscious mind. Be aware that positive affirmations don’t magically manifest results—what they do instead is open your subconscious to new channels of information and opportunity, so you must take action on these in order for any major changes to happen to your life (Leena S. Guptha DO, Psychology Today).

But changes do not happen overnight. You need to repeating the positive affirmations again and again till they are firmly embedded in your subconscious mind.

All my mandala stones, wooden pebbles and bookmarks are stress relieving because they can be used as a focus for meditation. They always have a circular nature and offer balancing symmetrical elements and images symbolizing harmony and completion. These mandala stones, pebbles and bookmarks will help promote mindfulness, focus attention and emotional wellbeing. The Affirmation Stones and the Inspirational Stones can help you to challenge and overcome negative thoughts. When you repeat them often, and believe in them, you can start to make positive changes. The Worry Stones, generally used by Ancient Greeks, can be used for meditation, relaxation or anxiety relief.

Remember that you are worthy of being happy, healthy and of being anxiety and stress free. I wish all of you a very happy life ahead in which you do not need to worry about anything.
If you enjoyed my blog post, please share it with a friend who you think might find it helpful too! I really appreciate your support.

You can also visit my website:

www.luckyblueye.etsy.com

Love always,

Vassiliki

Classroom Therapy Dogs Help Students De-stress

Hello my friends!

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In March, vice-chancellor of The University of Buckingham, Sir Anthony Seldon, spoke out about the benefits of therapy dogs in schools during The University of Buckingham’s Ultimate Wellbeing in Education Conference.
Speaking about the addition of therapy dogs in schools, Sir Anthony said, “The quickest and biggest hit that we can make to improve mental health in our schools and to make them feel safe for children, is to have at least one dog in every single school in the country”. The first known therapy dog accompanied Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud. From pictures and journals, Freud would often have his dog Jofi in his office during psychotherapy sessions. While the dog was originally only in the room as a comfort to Freud, who claimed he felt more relaxed when the dog was nearby, he soon began to notice that the dog also seemed to help comfort other patients during their therapy sessions (Sharon Paul).

Given the impact therapy dogs can have on student well-being, schools and universities are increasingly adopting therapy dog programs as an inexpensive way of providing social and emotional support for students. The role of therapy dogs is to react and respond to people and their environment, under the guidance and direction of their owner. For example, an individual might be encouraged to gently pat or talk to a dog to teach sensitive touch and help them be calm. Therapy dogs can also be used as part of animal assisted therapy. This aims to improve a person’s social, cognitive and emotional functioning (The Conversation).

Just with the presence of a therapy dog within the classroom, medical science has shown that a therapy dog can reduce blood pressure, promote physical healing, reduce anxiety, fatigue and depression, as well as provide emotional support. In research published in Stress and Health, researchers surveyed 246 students before and after they spent time in a drop-in therapy dog session. Students were free to pet, cuddle and chat with seven to 12 canine companions during the sessions. They also filled out questionnaires immediately before and after the session, and again about 10 hours later. The researchers found that participants reported significant reductions in stress as well as increased happiness and energy immediately following the session, compared to a control group of students who did not spend time at a therapy dog session. While feelings of happiness and life satisfaction did not appear to last, some effects did.
“The results were remarkable,” said Stanley Coren, study co-author and professor emeritus of psychology at UBC. “We found that, even 10 hours later, students still reported slightly less negative emotion, feeling more supported, and feeling less stressed, compared to students who did not take part in the therapy dog session” (University of British Columbia).

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Patricia Pendry, from Washington State University, said her study showed “soothing” sessions with dogs could lessen the negative impact of stress. The study of more than 300 undergraduates had found weekly hour-long sessions with dogs brought to the university by professional handlers had made stressed students at “high risk of academic failure” or dropping out “feel relaxed and accepted”, helping them to concentrate, learn and remember information, she said. “Students most at risk, such as those with mental health issues, showed the most benefit,” said Dr Pendry (BBC News). It is therefore perhaps not surprising to discover that dogs are now being used in universities across the UK at examination times as a means of supporting students by reportedly relieving stress (Barker et al., 2016).

“The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.” – M.K. Clinton

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” – Josh Billings

Love always,

Vassiliki xxxx

Mandala Dots For Pleasant Thoughts

Hello my friends!

Welcome to my colourful world of mandala art!

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My hope is that my new website is uplifting – a place you can come to and feel relaxed, calm and enlightened.
The Mandala Dots For Pleasant Thoughts website (like MyGreatTeacher) is about you and your emotional wellbeing – a place for peace and happiness. All my mandala stones, wooden pebbles and bookmarks are stress relieving because they can be used as a focus for meditation. They always have a circular nature and offer balancing symmetrical elements and images symbolizing harmony and completion. These mandala stones, pebbles and bookmarks will help promote mindfulness, focus attention and emotional wellbeing.
The Blue Eye symbol is part of the Greek culture. We use this symbol to wish symbolically good fortune, love, health, strength, happiness, prosperity and spiritual balance.
For my dot technique I use high quality acrylic paint, bright and vivid colours. They are  sealed with two coats of gloss varnish to protect from dust. I use a magnifying glass to see even the smallest details. When you run your hand across the mandala stone, pebble or bookmark you can feel the multiple layers of paint used to create each circle. The stones are from the Aegean Sea, Greece. Sizes range from 7 cm to 20 cm in diameter. The mandala stones and pebbles were carefully crafted with much love and joy. Please, handle with care and keep them away from water and direct sunlight. If you have a specific colour design request, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Select a mandala stone, a mandala wooden pebble or a mandala wooden disc that appeal to you. Focus on the mandala and let it absorb all of your attention and RELAX. Take a few moments to breath deeply. Meditate on the circle and connect with your inner self.Enjoy your stone!

http://www.mandaladotsforpleasantthoughts.com

Love always,

Vassiliki xxxx

 

2 tips to stop negative thinking

Hello my friends!

What are the typical ways in which you respond to the triggers you experience? When faced with a difficult situation, emotion, or decision, do you get caught up in thoughts that seem to seize control of your mind—for example, anxious, fearful or angry thoughts?

1. The key to changing your negative thoughts is to understand how you think now (and the problems that result) and then use strategies to change thoughts or make them have less effect.

Here is a more detailed explanation of the A-B-Cs of the systematic-thought-evaluation process, which lies at the core of CBT:

A—activating event: This refers to the objective situation or external stimulus—the event, occurrence, or specific incident— that triggers a cognitive response in the first place.

B—cognitive response: This refers to how you interpret and come to some conclusion—thoughts often manifested in the form of self-talk—about that event. This necessarily is a reflection of your personal belief system and the particular habit patterns of thought you have adopted and use instinctively every day.

C—emotional reaction: This refers to the distressing feelings that the thoughts in B automatically generate.

Research shows that you can rewire your brain to your advantage. This will lessen the possibility of ever experiencing a serious depression, or, should you have a relapse from a current situation, the odds are favorable it will be less intense and of shorter duration. It also shows you can rewire your brain to recover from traumatic brain injuries of various kinds. This ongoing research falls under the promising new science called neuro-plasticity. Neuroplasticity – or brain plasticity – is the ability of the brain to modify its connections or re-wire itself. Without this ability, any brain, not just the human brain, would be unable to develop from infancy through to adulthood or recover from brain injury.

In Stronger, George S. Everly Jr., Douglas A. Strouse, and Dennis K. McCormack compare humans undergoing stress and experiencing resilience to a rubber ball: In order to make it bounce back, you must put it under great pressure. The greater the pressure, the higher the ball will bounce back. Now to be clear, it’s not the pressure itself that causes the ball to bounce, but the construction and attributes of the ball under pressure. It’s what the ball is made of that really matters. The pressure serves as a catalyst for the rebound. We are like that rubber ball. Our character and attributes—our mental and emotional construction—determine how quickly and easily we will bounce back when challenges apply pressure to our life. And, yes, we can bounce back. Research on resiliency concludes that each person has an innate capacity for resiliency, a self-righting tendency. This capacity operates best when we have resiliency-building conditions in our life, but everyone, even those who grew up with hardships or who have dealt with prolonged or recurring stress, can harness their ability to bounce back.

One strategy that can help improve your outlook is to remind yourself of other challenges you’ve already faced and overcome. Writing down what you’ve learned about yourself from previous, difficult experiences, for example, how you’ve grown or what you’ve accomplished since, or perhaps even because of, a life crisis will empower you with belief that you can triumph in the face of adversity.  Thought diaries help you to identify your negative thinking styles and gain better understanding of how your thoughts (and not the situations you are in) cause your emotional reactions.

2. Learning to manage emotions and choose your thoughts through techniques such as yoga or meditation or by practicing mindfulness will empower you to maintain the perspective that you can survive or overcome. Research from Prof. Mark Williams from Oxford University showed that when difficulties arise in life many of us tend to get caught up in excessive unhelpful thinking. Sometimes people try to stop constant unhelpful thinking but we don’t have to try to stop our thoughts. A more effective way to ease all that internal noise, Prof. Williams teaches, is to pay attention to our direct sensory experience. In this way there’s simply little to no room left in our attention for all that excessive thinking. Coming to our senses calms the mind and grounds us in the present moment. To do this simply redirect your attention out of the thoughts in your head and bring your focus to your sense perceptions. Whether you’re in your home, at the office, in the park or on a subway, notice everything around you. Use your senses to their fullest. Don’t get into a mental dialogue about the things you see, just be aware of what you’re experiencing in this moment. Be aware of the sounds, the scents or the sensation of the air on your skin.

Please visit my new website, e-shop:

http://www.mandaladotsforpleasantthoughts.com

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My hope is that my new website is uplifting – a place you can come to and feel relaxed, calm and enlightened.
This website is about you and your emotional wellbeing – a place for peace and happiness.

All my mandala stones, wooden pebbles and bookmarks are stress relieving because they can be used as a focus for meditation. They always have a circular nature and offer balancing symmetrical elements and images symbolizing harmony and completion. These mandala stones, pebbles and bookmarks will help promote mindfulness, focus attention and emotional wellbeing.

Select a mandala stone, a mandala wooden pebble or a mandala wooden disc that appeal to you. Focus on the mandala and let it absorb all of your attention and RELAX. Take a few moments to breath deeply. Meditate on the circle and connect with your inner self.

Love always,

Vassiliki xxxx