Weekly Mindfulness Workout

Sunday was a great day to chill at home, the library, or at a museum! How did you spend it?? I got through loads of laundry and finished some crochet projects I have been working on for Little Sprouts for some time.
 
The image below is of a creative installation in the Christchurch Art Gallery. It hangs in front of the wall, and the shadows are part of the artwork, it’s awesome. It’s different from every angle. And you know, you are just like that! A beautiful piece of art, you can discover something new, everytime you look!
 
Mindfulness can help you by increasing your self-awareness in a healthy way. Learn to observe your self, your thoughts and your feelings. Learn to embrace yourself with kindness and acceptance when things are rough.
This takes practice, but you can learn it! Just take one step at the time. To be able to cope with difficult emotions, you can try to focus on your breathing first. As this will calm your nervous system and that will help you to regain your zen. You get a clear mind and a better view to investigate what it is, that is upsetting you. Is it something that has just happened? Is it having some negative thoughts? Just take your time to focus on your breathing, and to investigate and coach yourself in a kind way through this.
 
Have a great week!
IMG_6188.JPG

Happy Queen’s Birthday,

hope you are having a nice relaxed weekend. Did you go to Armagaddon? Or the NZ Art Show? Or maybe both?
Here’s another Mindfulness Monday Workout for you!
If you want to live a long, happy and healthy life, one of the things you have to be mindful of, is your stresslevels. You probably know that too much stress is bad for the body and mind, but did you know that not enough stress is also not recommended? You have to find yourself in the right stress frame, we actually need stress to perform best, but not too much! The ideal amount of stress is called eustress. We also need time to recuperate from stress.
So this week, see if you can discover a bit more about your stresslevels during the day. Are you mostly bored, and finding things too easy? Or are you constantly high wired, with not enough time to get back to healthy stresslevels? Or are you doing just fine, having a nice flow of stress for the best performances?
And if you think you have a busy life, see how you compare to our Queen, really interesting. Just enter your age and see what she was up to at when she was your age! Cool right??!! Here’s the link for it: http://www.keepingupwiththequeen.com
Have a great week,
Monique
1974-age-48
According to the keeping-up-with-the-queen website, this is the queen when she was my age. However, thanks to a very attentive reader of my blog, this is not the queen, but her daughter Anne!

Selfcompassion in words and actions

I had to be in Christchurch on Friday. Doing the workshop to become a primary school mindfulness facilitator.
I decided to fly out on the Thursday morning and make it a long weekend away, just for me.
Why?
Because it is ok to look after yourself and do something fun just for you! Selfcompassion in mindfulness is not only being kind in your self talk, but also being kind towards yourself in your actions.
 
This week how about doing something kind towards yourself? You have every right to do that. It helps path your way to a happy life, where you feel good in yourself and towards others. Go on, give it a go! If it feels a bit unusual, that’s ok, all new things can feel a bit odd in the beginning. Don’t let that stop you!
IMG_6105

Have a happy week! Pause, Breathe and Smile :-)

<><>Weekly Mindfulness Workout<><>
Another week has gone by just like that!
I’m looking forward to start my 8-week group again in The Hutt on Tuesday! Also happy to be going to Christchurch and train for the Pause Breathe Smile programme. And that has inspired me for this week’s workout:
Take a couple of moments every day to Pause, to take a nice long Breath and to Smile! Set a timer on your phone to remind you, or couple it to your meals and drinks on the day. Just a little break, to relax your system and to reset yourself for happiness. It works!
Have a good week!
IMG_0637

Take in the good

*** Weekly Mindfulness Workout***
 
Hope you had a great weekend and are ready for another week! Your brain is made to remember all the bad stuff and this doesn’t help if you want to feel happy. The good news is, that you can train your brain to focus on the good stuff, and gradually you will do this more automatically and you will start to feel more postive, happy and relaxed and worry less!
So this week, keep asking yourself all through your days “so what else is good here?” Doesn’t have to be big things, anything will do.
 
Have a good one!
IMG_1183

# your problems, Weekly Mindfulness Workout

Good morning here is your Weekly Mindfulness Workout:
 
You might be inclined to solve problems by thinking about them over and over again. Sometimes this works.
And sometimes it doesn’t. There just isn’t always a perfect answer straight away, or there might never be a right answer. You just exhaust your brain, give yourself a headache, make yourself feel unhappy, anxious or upset. Often it is much better to acknowledge and accept that yes there is problem, for example something at work. Whenever thoughts about it, pop up in your mind, tell yourself ” there its is again, #work, I know” and relax yourself by focussing on your breathing for a bit and than do something else. Try it, it works!
 
Have the best week,
be happy!
IMG_9643
You can practice Mindfulness everywhere! There is alway your breathing and there is always something worth watching or hearing or feeling!

Grateful in April

Free Weekly Mindfulness Train-Your-Brain Workout!
 
This week another group of awesome people are finishing my 8-week mindfulness for happiness course, and I’m very proud of their hard work and achievements! Let me know if you want to be in the next class!
 
Our brains are not wired to be on the lookout for all the good and positive things that are right here. Instead our brains are always looking for what is negative and what can go wrong, just protection for survival really. So we have to make an effort to rewire the brain by consciously training it to focus on the good stuff that is going on, so we can feel good!
 
So everyday this week, you are going to make an effort to remind yourself of three things, that are right here, that you are grateful for. No matter how small, it’s worth giving it some attention.
 
I’m joining the Grateful In April challenge. I hope you will too, you can signup on their webpage gratefulinapril.com or  like the facebook page.
 
Have the best week!
Monique
IMG_5511
Awesome Wellington Street art! Train your brain!

Looking after you!

Hi, I hope you have had an enjoyable weekend! Here is your Weekly Mindfulness Workout:
 
Self compassion, looking after yourself, being kind to yourself in words and actions is so important and yet we often forget. If you don’t care for yourself, who is going do it? How will you be able to keep up all you’re doing, all your jobs and caring for others and racing around etc etc?? You are worth caring for in the best way! And self compassion is also an important part of mindfulness.
 
So this week, pretend you are a little Easter chick, sitting on your shoulder, seeing all you see and do, and hearing all the things you say out loud and in your head, to yourself. Are you being kind to yourself? Are you looking after yourself well? Are you taking breaks when you need to? Are you complimenting yourself when you look in the mirror? Are you speaking nicely to yourself, being your own best friend? Are you guiding yourself through difficult situations or beating yourself up?
 
Have a great week, remember the next 8 week mindfulness starts in May, Mindfulness for Parents starts in June and you can book your children into the Zendoodle workshops in the April holidays.
 
Be happy,
Monique
IMG_0209

It’s February 29!!

Another free weekly mindfulness workout!
 
A bodyscan is a great way to meditate and relax. You can make it as long or short as you like. It can help distract your mind from your worries and make you more aware of what is going on in your body. We don’t usually take time to scan our bodies!
Start with 3 deep breaths, and focus first on your feet, and than focus on the different parts of your body. Your legs, your belly, your chest, your arms, hands, neck and shouders and head. You can make it longer by adding your face, mouth and eyes for example. Or do your left and right side separately.
This can be energising or it can make you fall asleep. Try and find out how this can be useful to you!
 
Have a great week!
IMG_1282

Mindfulness weekly workout

Hi there,

We had another exciting week with the All Blacks parade in Wellington and the Guy Fawkes fireworks, great fun!

After the last rugby match last Sunday, I overheard someone saying that with the winning of the All Blacks, there would be a lot less domestic violence that day in NZ. And I found that upsetting. So this week the workout is about something a lot op people are not aware of. Over the years I have often heard people say it is good to give your emotions free reign, and express anger, but I have never agreed with that and this is why. Psychologist Brad Bushman explains it very clearly: “Maybe you have heard of the joke, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” The answer is: “Practice! Practice! Practice!” My question to you is: “How do you become an angry, aggressive person?” The answer is the same: “Practice! Practice! Practice!” Venting is just practicing how to behave more aggressively.”

So this week’s practice is about growing awareness of your feelings of anger, frustration, annoyance etc. Do you easily fire up? First step is observering yourself and when you see you are getting wound up, or have acted angrily, bring your focus to your breathing and just follow your breathing for a couple of minutes until you feel your body has calmed down. This is not about beating yourself up for being angry but about praising yourself for being aware and taking the first step to changing! It takes practice to become a calm and more balanced person, but it’s not impossible.

As always, would love to know how you are doing, have a good week,

Monique