All posts tagged: psychology

How to find your flow state

”Don’t go with the flow – be the flow.” At the moment Coursera offers a course called ”The Science of Well-Being” from Yale University. According to the course professor the course was created because she was worried about the levels of student depression, anxiety, and stress that she was seeing as a Professor and Head of College at Yale. ”When I first developed the class, I had no idea it would become the most popular class ever taught at Yale University. The Yale class was featured in both the national and international news media, and I was flooded with requests from people around the world to find a way to share the content of this Yale class more broadly.” – Professor Laurie Santos During the course professor Santos talks about flow state, and the health benefits that this state provides. For me personally flow state can be described a little bit like this; ”When you’re enjoying what you’re doing you easily reach that so called flow state. A state of being when time passes by without …

Mindfulness & Resilience

”Resilience is not about overcoming, but becoming.” – Sherri Mandel Resilience (noun) re-sil–ience ”… the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress – such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace or financial stressors.” – American Psychological Association 2020 has definitely been a year filled with adversity, threats and significant sources of stress. For many of us our sense of control swiftly disappeared, and we found ourselves solely relying on our inner strength. Taking it day by day. And some days, hour by hour. In a Ted Talk, Shauna Shapiro talks about mindfulness as one of the most effective vehicles for how to help people transform. ”What you practice grows stronger”, says Shapiro. According to research we can sculpt and strengthen our synaptic connections based on repeated practice. However, paying attention in the present moment is not enough, says Shapiro – it is how we pay attention. She talks about paying attention with kindness. The beneficial effects of kind attention are that it decreases stress, strengthens …

A bird’s eye view

”The eyes are useless when the mind is blind.” How to master the art of observing life with an open mind? Where others see either black or white, to learn to see the rainbow? Life is a spectrum of moments, occurring one after the other. Anything can happen. And it’s impossible for us to know what might be hiding behind the corner. We’re allowed to change – in fact we should, change, and grow. In line with each and everyone of your breaths you are allowed to be. Exactly the one you were meant to be. For the most part of my life I’ve tried to live with an open-mind. I’m very curious, and I’ve always thought that there can’t be one answer to all of this. Of course not. My opinions do not have to align with yours. However, I will always respect you, for being you. For your actions, and thoughts, even those I don’t agree with. ”Oh, you think like that, interesting.” I think if we humans would strive to become better …

How to manage stress

”While you cannot control the weather, you can always choose to kiss in the rain.” To not encounter some kind of stressor in your life is rather impossible. Stress is inevitable, and most certainly we will feel stressed out at some point in our fast paced life. However, what are the steps we can take to master stress, and not become its victim? But firstly, what is stress? Stress can be seen as a process. This view emphasizes the importance of how we appraise – that is, judge – demanding or threatening events (stressors); these appraisals, in turn, influence our reactions to such events. Therefore, stress is largely in the eye of the beholder; it’s not so much what happens to you as it is how you respond. Stress can, however, be a positive, motivating force that can improve the quality of our lives; a moderate amount of stress can be beneficial in challenging situations. Nonetheless, when a person experiences very strong emotions – especially those associated with a perceived threat – the body’s sympathetic nervous system and …

Choose your thoughts wisely

”October dear, I breathe you in like air.” Thoughts are a huge part of who we are. The human mind is a beautiful, yet complicated and sophisticated machine, and it’s estimated that an average person has between 40.000 to 60.000 thoughts per day (National Science Foundation). What is more, 80 % of these thoughts are negative, and 95 % are repetitive.  Nevertheless, one important aspect to bare in mind is that you’re not your thoughts, you’re simply having thoughts. Furthermore, you aren’t even conscious of most of the thoughts running through your mind. These so called subliminal messages go un-noticed since they aren’t perceived by the conscious mind. However, whether we notice these thoughts or not they will affect us to some extent. Pay attention to your thoughts According to the facts above it might seem that all we do is complain, whine or have thoughts that diminish our own or other people’s self worth, and mostly without even being aware of it. According to Eckhart Tolle one of the ego’s favourite strategies to strengthen itself is through complaining. ”Every …

How to be more gentle with yourself

”Relax. My darling, unwind. Be patient and stay alert. You’re coming home. To yourself.” No one in this world is pure and perfect, not even Nature. If you avoid people for their shortcomings, you will most certainly be alone in this world. And if you’re constantly doubting yourself, and never take the time to actually embrace your accomplishments, you’re most certainly chasing a perfection that doesn’t even exist. Therefore, try to judge less, and love more. Surround yourself with people who understand. People who lift you up. We rise by lifting others. With this being said, below you’ll find some tips & tricks on how to recharge your soul. Your entire being. How to feel all sparkly, and good about yourself again, when you feel unmotivated and ready to crawl back to bed. Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, even you. ”Temporarily closed for spiritual maintenance.” I appreciate the calmness. I appreciate my books. I love spending time alone, getting to know myself on a deeper level. I love to soak …

The utmost freedom

”When humans stop running away from themselves, the world will become a kinder, more peaceful place.” At times freedom has little to do with the outside world, and circumstances. Man becomes free the moment he becomes free of thought. When he does not longer obsess over the constant chatter in his mind, but instead turns towards the heart. Freedom from compulsive thinking, desire, addiction, outside validation, constant approval. How does one become free of all that? I think one needs to stop. One needs to allow himself to slow down, to listen. When one is constantly bombarding himself with stimuli from outside sources it becomes nearly impossible to hear, or see anything. How is one able to listen to the whispers of the soul if one is continually caught up in the outside circus? How is it possible to become aware of the song of the heart when the sirens of the external environment is set on full volume? One does not typically feel comfortable sitting alone with one’s thoughts. To realise just how dysfunctional …

Small daily habits to improve your life

”Ask yourself; Does this support my innermost being?” While being perfect is rather boring, we should instead strive to be a bit more willing to be the best version of ourselves. A version that will change from day to day, from hour to hour even. Some days we learn, some days we win. However, we don’t stop when the mountain gets too high or the sea too rough. Rather, we adjust. We may scream a little (or a lot), we may laugh at our foolishness. But we continue, we adapt. And that’s how we evolve. ”Fragile you are, little seed. Planted in the depths of thick, dark, nourishing soil. Resilient you are, blooming flower. Early spring.” I strongly believe it’s the small daily habits that encompass the greatest value on our overall wellbeing. Like waking up early dawn, knowing it’s time to make yourself a freshly brewed cup of coffee. The smell and sound of coffee beans grinding. The taste of creamy oat milk, nicely poured on top of a hot, steamy cup of goodness. …

Mindfulness & Meditation

”We do our best work when we care for each other, and are cared for.” Ever since I tried meditation for the first time I was fascinated by the positive impact it had on me. Nonetheless, I’m far from a meditation guru, and I’ve only meditated regularly for approx. 3,5 years. Still and all, I believe it has helped me stress less, especially about things I can’t control. Moreover, I find it easier to stay focused, and to keep my mind more sharp and attentive when needed. In addition to the things mentioned above I’ve also noticed a remarkable change when it comes to my creativity. Of course, there might be a lot of factors influencing these ”changes”. Nonetheless, one factor is for sure the meditation part. Meditation is scientifically proven to increase both Neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to change itself) as well as Neurogenesis (the brain’s ability to generate new brain cells). A couple of days ago I listened to a Mindvalley Speech online with Emily Fletcher; the founder of Ziva, and the creator of the Ziva Technique (a …

How to cope during times of self-isolation

”You are never alone;we have each other.” During tough times it’s more important than ever that we spend time doing things that make us feel a little more peaceful. Whether it’s breathing a little deeper, spending extra time with loved ones, cooking healthy meals, reading books or having long conversations over the phone. It’s okay to be afraid, but fear or panic is never the answer. It will never be the answer. Now is not the time to be selfish; you may be strong, but the man you meet on the street may not. Be compassionate. It’s when the safety around us has been taken away from us, that it’s time for us to rely on the safety within us.  Below you’ll find three ways/mindsets to embrace during these difficult times affecting all of us. Take care, and know that you can always reach out via an email or a comment. I’m happy to connect ❤ How to cope during times of self-isolation   1. The importance of routine During trauma or uncertainty it’s highly …