self-help

How to Declutter Your Mind So You Can Feel Balanced

How to Declutter Your Mind

We are more in control of our own emotions, thought patterns, and mood than we give ourselves credit for. Most of us believe that our brains just work on their own wave lengths, and we are just along for the ride. Well, my 40yearflip friends, this is simply not true. Or more accurately, it doesn’t have to be true. We all accept the fact that if we want a healthy body, we need to exercise our bodies in order for them to be strong, and vibrant. So why don’t we accept the same for our minds? In order to feel balanced, you have to learn to declutter your mind.

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It’s 100% true. If you want your mind to be healthy, happy, and balanced, you need to work on your thought patterns, be in tune with your own moods, and declutter your mind. And, yes, this takes practice. But think of it as taking your brain to the gym. 



How to Declutter Your Mind Exercise #1:  Flip Negative Thoughts Right the Hell On Out ASAP

 

Once you get in the habit of remembering to implement this exercise, it becomes your most powerful tool to being happier. But, remembering to do it is the hard part. All you have to do, whenever you find yourself thinking a negative thought, particularly one that is critical of yourself, like, “I’m no good at this,” “I look fat today,” “I feel old,” is to flip that thought right the hell on out, like pronto.

 

You don’t have to negate it with self-affirming mantras, or even by telling yourself that the opposite is true; you just have to acknowledge that you are being unproductively negative, and flip that thought out of your brain. When I catch my kids expressing negative thoughts about themselves aloud, I clap my hands and say, “Flip that thought!” It’s become embedded in the little folds of my brain at this point, so whenever I catch myself being negative, I think those words, and I do a quick hand clap. I even do this in public, which might look strange, but I don’t really care, because it works!

Read more about how to flip negative thoughts: FLIP: FROM UNHAPPY TO HAPPY

How to Declutter Your Mind Exercise Exercise # 2: Train Your Brain to Flip the Switch on Worry

 

Similar to flipping negative thoughts about yourself, you need to do the same thing when it comes to worrying about things you cannot control, especially things that you have no real reason to believe will ever happen. It’s natural for us to worry. Some degree of worrying is good, because it makes us go through life in a careful and cautious manner. But when we get in cycle of worrying about things we cannot control, on auto-loop, it can make us more anxious and feel out of balance. 

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Flip those thoughts!

 

For example, once upon a time, our house burned down. We lost almost all of our physical possessions. Luckily no one was injured. But for years afterwards, I was constantly worried that we would be trapped in a fire or other disaster, especially, for some reason, in public spaces. My worrying over this intensified whenever I wasn’t with my children. I would obsessively worry that if I went out to eat without my kids, the restaurant could catch on fire. 

 

And trust me when I tell you that housefires were not nearly the only things I obsessively worried over. I was quite adept at finding danger lurking in every corner to the point where I rarely separated from my kids, even just to run to the store. At some point, I realized that I was letting my worrying thoughts control how I was living rather than me being in control of my own thoughts. So, every time I would catch myself in the cycle of worry, I would implement the same thought-flip from Brain Exercise #1. 

 

It seems so simple, but it is very effective. And, the more you implement this thought-flip, the easier it gets. My brain will still go to these dark thoughts when I’m not being vigilant, but I flip the thoughts out as soon as I recognize them. 


How to Declutter Your Mind Exercise #3: Practice Self Care

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I see it over and over again, and I’ve lived it. Women tend to give and give and give, until they are empty and exhausted. By the time we’ve hit our forties, we’ve spent decades giving our time, love, and energy to our children, spouses, family, friends, and careers, and we put ourselves last. This leads to feeling unfulfilled, lonely, exhausted and unbalanced. And for those of us who really never carved out a life for ourselves, it can feel as if you are living a life that isn’t your own. 

 

Well, my friends, this is clearly not a healthy way to live. So many women feel guilty whenever they take time for self care. Flip that thought, right now. You must, must, must practice self care. There is nothing selfish about it. It’s a mandatory exercise for a healthy mind, body, and spirit. And, when you practice self care, you fill yourself back up, so that that there is an overflow to pour out to other people, making you a better lover, mother, friend, co-worker, and human.

 

Self care can be as extravagant as a weekend getaway with your girlfriends, or as simple as getting up 20 minutes early to read a book in silence before your day kicks off. 

 

Read more ideas for self care:

FLIP A BAD DAY INTO A MANAGEABLE ONE WITH SELF-CARE ACTIVITIES

FLIP YOUR MORNINGS FROM FRANTIC TO FANTASTIC WITH A MORNING ROUTINE

FLIP YOUR UNTAPPED CREATIVITY INTO A FUN AND RELAXING SELF CARE ACTIVITY

5 SELF CARE FLIP FOR WOMEN WHO ARE TOO BUSY TO PRACTICE SELF CARE




 

How to Slay Your Goals and Avoid Overwhelm

Flip: From #AllTheThings to Slay Your Goals

Let me guess, you’ve got plans. Big ones. Goals too—lots of them. Well, then, ladies, let’s learn how to slay your goals and avoid overwhelm.

Slay Your Goals

You start with a small plan, and then you think and think about it, and your little plan to becomes #allthethings!. For example, say you decide that you are going to start eating healthy. And, after you decide on this pretty vague, general goal, your plan to eat healthy has suddenly morphed into something like this:

I’m going to wake up every morning at 5am, go for a 5 mile jog, while listening to self-help audiobooks, and plan out my entire week while running, and while listening to the self-help audiobooks. Then, when I get home, I’m going to make a kale shake with every superfood known to man blended up in it, and take some supplements, and then I’m going to pack another shake to take to work, because I’m never going to have take out every again for the rest of my life. Like ever.

And then, at work, on my lunch break, I’m going to powerwalk around the parking lot while chugging my health shake and listening to more self-help audiobooks. And then, after work, I’m going to go to the gym and join pilates, yoga, spinning, indoor paddleboarding, and sign up to run a marathon. Or better, yet, I’ll sign up to run every marathon in America! 

And then what happens? 

·      You don’t do any of it because you are overcome with overwhelm. 

·      You blame yourself for not achieving any of your goals. 

·      You end up feeling like poo poo about yourself. And then you eat 2 pints of ice cream, while binge watching HGTV, all the while, beating yourself up with negative, self-deprecating thoughts. 

Sound familiar?

I know it does, because we all go through this.

You are not alone. You are not defective. You are not bad at sticking to plans. You are not unable to reach goals. 

You just got caught in the cycle of #allthethings!. And the cycle of #allthethings keeps you from slaying your goals.

We all want to be our best. And our brain sometimes tricks us, and sets us up for failure, but trying to rush us into being our ideal self.

But no worries, because I’m going to tell you exactly what’s happening in that well-meaning brain of yours, and, most importantly, how to flip those thoughts it so you can slay your goals, every time with the one-flip-at-a-time method.

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Yes, your brain means well. It’s trying to make you be your best self. But, often, in this pursuit, it kicks into overdrive, and lays out a plan that, when executed correctly, takes time. 

So what’s the solution? How can you flip from #AllTheThings to focused goal setting and slaying your goals with the one-flip-at-a-time method?

1.   The first step is to recognize when your brain flips into #allthethings! mode. 

2.   Next, tell yourself to stop the cycle. 

3.   Understand that your self-worth is not dependent upon whether or not you can manage #allthethings! or not. Don’t value yourself so low. 

4.   Now, it’s time to actually tackle the initial goal. Likely, when you decide to take on #allthethings!, you actually started with a small goal in mind, before you let your brain go into perfectionism mode. Focus on that one small thing. Set out a single, achievable goal for yourself, and a realistic timeline to work toward and slay your goal.

Related: Flip Your Mornings from Frantic to Fantastic with a Morning Routine

For example, say you decide that you’re going to make yourself a kale and berry shake every weeknight before bed, so that in the morning, when you are rushing to get ready, your healthy breakfast is ready for you. You don’t need to think about it. The work was done the night before. Great. That is a single, attainable goal.

Set out to slay it. Repeat this one goal until it becomes a habit--until you do this naturally as part of your evening and morning routine. Once it’s part of your routine, you have successfully slayed your goal!

5.   Once this goal has been slain, add in a second goal. Let’s say you are firmly in the habit of making your weekday shakes at night, and drinking them every morning. Now, what is the next small, attainable goal you can work into your routine? Do you want to add in 20 minutes of walking in the morning? Add it in.

Once you figured out how to slay your goal, and the morning walk has become part of your daily routine, you could choose to add in a 3rd, attainable goal. And so on and so forth, until you are slaying it forever and always.

6.   Avoid the temptation of #allthethings!. Once you have reached a milestone, your brain is going to try to convince you to that you can handle adding in a few more goals, and speeding up your timeline. Do not fall for it. Keep your momentum slow and steady. Be the tortoise, not the hare!

7.   Do not let your #allthethings! brain convince you that small victories are not enough. Be proud of every victory, every reached goal. In fact, be proud of every attempt at reaching a goal. 

8.   Do not criticize yourself too harshly if you don’t perfect every goal, every time. Instead, celebrate your small wins, and forgive yourself for small missteps. If you do miss a goal. Shake it off and try again.

Keep that momentum going!

Flipping from #allthethings! to focused goal setting and achieving takes practice and patience with yourself. But it is worth it. You are training yourself to be a goal-slaying master.

Slay Your Goals and Avoid Overwhelm with the One Flip At A Time Method

Slay Your Goals and Avoid Overwhelm with the One Flip At A Time Method

Implement this one-flip-at-a-time method every time you want to achieve something. By using this method, you rewire your brain and train it to slay your goals in a focused and organized manner, designed to set you up for success. And, once you start slaying those goals, you will learn to think of yourself as a goal slayer, which in turn, will make it even easier to continue on your journey to a better you.

You have it in you to slay those goals. I believe in you. What are you big goals, and how can you slay them by flipping from #allthethings! to focused goal setting and achieving? Lay them out in the comments! And then hit the slay button.

Did someone say slay button? Well, here it is! I’ve made a handy-dandy worksheet, just for you, so that you can flip from#AllTheThings to focused goal setting and achieving, no matter what your goals are.

How to Be Happier Every Day and In Five Seconds Flat

Flip: From Unhappy to Happy

4 Easy Flips Can Make Your Happier in No Time

4 Easy Flips Can Make Your Happier in No Time

It is so easy to get stuck in the cycle of thinking that one day your life will be better, but just not right now. Or, even worse, that you are doomed to live an unfulfilling life, day in and day out, until one day, you die.

Ugh, that was depressing just to read. I can’t imagine living that way. Well, yes I can, because I did. I lived with that exact mindset for most of my entire adult life. I get it. But what so few realize is that it is so much easier to make the small flips in life that make us happier than to remain stuck and unhappy. 

And, if you are still stuck feeling this way, you, my friend, are not alone. As little experiment, I kept my curious little ears open all last week to hear how people talk about themselves and their lives. (Eavesdropping is one of my super powers, in case you were wondering.) 

Here are a few things I heard:

  • When I win the lottery, I’m going to retire, and move some place better than this. This place is depressing. (I wanted to say, “Yo, you live in Miami. People dream of retiring here. And you are…already here!) 

  • I’m not buying any clothes until I lose five pounds. (Ok, you know who you are, so I’m just going to say right here what I said to your face…Ummm, didn’t you say that like six months ago? And six months before that? And, I think you see where I’m going with this, right? Good! So buy the damn pants and enjoy the heck out of them!)

  • My life is so boring! (I didn’t know this person, but we were sitting at the same happy hour spot, and it was such a great happy hour spot. Who are these people being bored at a happy hour with free tacos? Yes, free tacos.)

Be Happier

Be Happier

If you are brave enough to admit to yourself that you can relate to these Debbie Downers (don’t worry, no one has to know), here are 4 quick and easy flips to get happier in seconds: 

1. Focus on the Good Over the Bad

No matter how spectacularly blah-tastic your life seems right now, there are some shiny little objects you can hold on to. Do you have a warm place to sleep at night? Is your favorite TV show on the DVR, just waiting for you and a tub of ice cream? Did you just send out a meme to everyone you know and now the lols are rolling in? Is there a taco with your name on it out there in the universe (bonus points if it’s free!)?

Can you, your heart, and your brain land on at least 5 good things? Are there 5 things in your life that give you at least a glimmer of joy, hope, or just make you say, “Umm, yes, please!” Good. You are so lucky. You have so much to be happy about.

2. Look back with gratitude instead of regret

Every single thing that has happened to you in your life, every fall, every misstep, every lost lover, every forgotten opportunity, and even every mistake you’ve ever made has made you the you you are right now (there’s a heck-ton of “you”s in that sentence, but hey, this is self-help, and self-help is the one time where it really is ALL ABOUT YOU!) 

Even if you don’t think you are living your best life, or that you aren’t the ideal person you want to be, you know yourself better than anyone else in the world, and you know that you have a plethora of redeeming qualities. And, you’ve earned them. Yes, it would’ve been great if you got the promotion over Sally-know-it-all-down-the-hall, but you learned from that experience. It made you smarter. It made you a bit tougher. Maybe, hopefully, it made you evaluate what you want and what you can do to get it. 

Look back on all your past with gratitude—even the dark and ugly times. The bad times are the ones that give you grit. They are the experiences that build wisdom. You deserve a lot of respect for living through them and surviving, and no one owes you more respect for that than you do. Go you.

3. Flip Your Mindset from Negative to Positive

It sounds so simple because it is. It sounds too simple, in fact—too good to be true. But the truth is, it’s that simple, and it’s that hard. 

It’s simple because deciding to be positive really and truly makes you a happier person. When you decide to look for the positives in any situation, to appreciate the growth and knowledge gained from a less-than-stellar experience, it immediately makes you happier. This is what I call a flip. A flip is a small, quick mindset change that can improve your life.

Flip from dwelling on negativity, and looking for all the chances to be negative, and instead, look for those shiny objects you can grab and hold on to. It’s that simple. But it takes practice—that’s the hard part. 

Start practicing this flip with small things, and soon it will become part of your mindset tool collection. For example, let’s say that after work one day, you go to the grocery, intent on making your Grandma’s famous spinach lasagna. So far, so good. But, once you get there, you discover that they are out of her super-secret ingredient. As soon as your start hearing your brain say things like, “Of course, they don’t have what I need. Isn’t that typical. First I had a crap day at work, and all I wanted was some damn spinach lasagna, and now I can’t even have that. The world is against me. I have the worst luck.”

Flip that switch, girl, pronto. As soon as that voice starts babbling on, cut it off, and tell yourself that you just weren’t meant to make dinner today. And now you have time to finish reading the book you haven’t had time to read, and finally order from that cute new Italian place on the corner. Alone time + book + hot food delivered to your door = perfection. Damn, you’ve got it good.

4. Remember You are in Good Company

I know you think that you are the only one who feels this way. You’re completely convinced that your next door neighbor, your friends on Facebook, and that promotion stealer, Sally-know–it-all-down-the-hall all have their sh*t together, and only you feel this way. But I promise you, that this is not true.

Evidence number 1—remember my little week of eavesdropping on Debbie Downers?

Evidence number 2—Let me tell you, I spend a good chunk of my everyday life, hanging out with other life coaches, and even they have their moments. We all do. And thinking that you are the only one who suffers with this, is just another belief that holds you back from being happier every day. 

So, those are 4 easy mindset flips that you can start practicing right now to make yourself happier in no time. The hardest part is just remembering to implement them, and believing that you have the power to use these flips, and make them work for you. Say them aloud. Write them down. Set a reminder in your phone. Commit to them in comments, right here, right now. Do whatever it takes to remember, implement, and benefit. I believe in you. Don’t flip out. Flip your life.