Unlocking the Power of the Law/Principle of Attraction with Vision Boards

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“Our attitudes and beliefs create a magnet to attract events, circumstances and opportunities to live out those attitudes and beliefs.”

This is what the Law of Attraction (LOA) states  – it provides the opportunity to shape our lives through the act of focusing on and then attracting our deepest, greatest desires. To put this law into action, people use a very influential tool – a vision board. Contrary to belief, creating a vision board is not just putting together pieces of magazine cutouts, gluing them into a collage on a board and hoping they will magically come true.

A vision board helps you narrow down your desires through the power of choice. The time and energy you will invest into making one will help you visualize your future and eventually constantly remind you of your life goals. Will Smith, Jim Carrey, Oprah and Arnold Schwarzenegger have all discussed their use and love of vision boards.

Before you set onto making one, let’s look at how vision boards empower you with the LOA:

1. It puts The Power Of Choice Into Focus. You choose what goes on the board, so it means that you will have to narrow down all of your goals – choose what is most important (now and in the future). It will then let you focus on what you truly want. Remember to choose images/representations of what you DO want in your future, not what you DON’T want.

2. It  is Your Daily Dose of a Visual Reminder. An unspoken rule of a vision board is that you need to place it where you will easily see it every day, every time. Visualization has grown to become one of the most effective mental workouts out there.

3. It fuels Your Emotions. Just the mere sight of your vision board, you should immediately reconnect with your passion for your dreams (if not, the pictures/images may not be powerful enough!).

4. It combines The Mission Of Achieving Goals With Fun.  Aside from being a concrete foundation to help you reach your dreams, creating a vision board should surely be fun from start to end. It could also be an entertaining way of relieving yourself from stress. You don’t even have to put much effort into organizing it – just have fun as you put them all together!

You are the one in-charge with your vision board. You decide what goes in it, you decide which materials to use for it, and you decide how you will make it. It could be digital or physical, anything is possible. This is the joy of planning and searching.

Bring in The Principle of Attraction

Now, not everyone believes in or thinks the LOA is real, nor easy! And I wanted to share a principle that is an evidence-based phenomenon with a foundation in positive psychology, goal-achieving research, and mind-brain sciences. This is called the Principle of Attraction.

The Principle of Attraction (POA) states that “Like Tends to Attract Like.” The Principle of Attraction is not magic and is not a universal law – it is based on you having an active role in the process. How you THINK, FEEL and BEHAVE tend to bring you more of the same.  Research says we are more likely to be attracted to someone who is physically similar to ourselves, and we trust them more! The scientific evidence points to opposites barely ever attracting – which means you can change who/what you are attracting in your life by changing how you think and feel.

Both the LOA and POA rely on you taking action – not being passive. For a new thought (your goal) to become a reality, you have to teach your body at an emotionally level how that would feel NOW. This is why the images on the vision board should elevate you to a heightened level of positive emotion – it is ideal to focus on how that would feel NOW when you look at your images Remember like attracts like – positivity usually attracts positivity and negativity usually attracts negativity. And positive people tend to have greater success, better jobs, better relationships, improved health and more.

So if the vision board image you select is not quite a perfect match for how you feel, think or act currently, then this is the place to start. You can start by imagining who you would be if that goal DID come true, and be active in being that person NOW.  The POA allows you to plan, prepare, take responsibility and adopt an optimistic/realistic perspective.

So whichever law or principle you subscribe to, enjoy the journey of creating both on the board, and in your mind and body!

Peta Stapleton Break Up With Guilt Hands

Break Up With Guilt

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Guilt; a feeling of responsibility, worry or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc. Whether real or imagined. 

Being racked with guilt is a terrible feeling. Occasionally guilt can be useful. You feel bad for skipping the gym, so you make extra sure to go the following day. If it forces a good action or motivation to follow, or stops you making the same mistake in future, a certain amount of it might be healthy. Guilt also makes people more empathetic, and consider others feelings so again, not such a bad thing. With that in mind, it is not surprising research showed people who feel more guilt, make better friends, spouses and workers.

Often however, guilt is a destructive and unproductive emotion. It can become extremely unhealthy especially if we are still judging and beating ourselves up about it weeks, months, years down the track. It can also lead down a bad path to punishing ourselves further for feeling the guilt, e.g. binge eating/purging. 

Study after study shows that self-criticism is consistently associated with less motivation and worse self-control. It is also one of the single biggest predictors of depression, which drains both “I will” power and “I want” power. 

It might surprise you to hear that self-forgiveness and self-kindness is more motivating, and fosters a much better outcome moving forwards.

Peta Stapleton Break Up With Guilt kindnessAnd here’s the thing, no amount of guilt can change the past. No amount of worrying can change the future. So why do we love it so much? 

According to research mentioned in the book Upward Spiral, our bodies process guilt, shame and pride all in a similar way. Which explains why it is so easy to torture ourselves with feelings of guilt and shame, as they switch on our brain’s reward centre similar to how pride does. 

What do you often feel guilty for? Common worldwide pangs of guilt include reasons like, “saying no” to a person or invitation, not picking up the phone, spending too much time on Facebook or Netflix, not responding to an email quickly, falling off a diet plan, being assertive, spending money, staying too long in a relationship, bailing on a workout.

unhealthy eating habbits

You don’t get 20 years in jail for a parking ticket. So why are you sentencing yourself to weeks or years of emotional stress and pain from a minor infringement? You are not defined by these mistakes.

jail - emotional stress and painGuilt is an ineffective emotion. So let’s break up with it right now by following these tips: 

Question your beliefs: is a certain person, family, or society influencing your feelings of guilt? Are they possibly unfounded? Can you let this go? Is there a better way to deal with it that actually helps the scenario? (Note, you feeling bad doesn’t help anyone!) 

 

Debate the consequences: So you fell off the diet last night… What choices will you make today that will help get you back on track? What habits and preparation could you change next time to help you in tempting scenarios again? Guilt is an ineffective way to solve this, and will likely cause more emotional eating to make yourself feel better! 

Self-kindness: Forgive yourself! Is this really the end of the world? Everyone makes mistakes. Show compassion inwardly and stop giving yourself such a hard time. Focus on what you can do from here on in. 

Next time you have guilty feelings, evaluate whether is it healthy or unhealthy. If the length and magnitude outweighs the scenario, follow these tips to solve it in a more effective way. 

A Reading List for Abundance and Wealth Creation

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Wealth creation, money, abundance and financial success is a hot topic. Every time we run a seminar on this and teach how to use EFT / Tapping to deal with blocks or limiting beliefs, they sell out! Seems we are all taught many messages about these areas as children, and some of them stick! Here is a reading list of books I have personally found helpful. If I become aware of any issues in myself, I usually use EFT to deal with them.

  1. I met Lynne Twist at an ACEP conference in the USA some years ago and heard her speak. I immediately bought The Soul of Money : Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life and devoured it. It is a little different from other money books I have read – instead of focusing on setting goals and making plans, Lynne looks at your core human values, and shows you how to align your relationship with money to your desired goal. Great reading!
  2. Platform : Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt is a must read if you use social media for your business.  Michael used to be CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers and embraced blogging when it started. (he still writes one of the top blogs in the world). This book is practical, filled with examples and while the online space does change rapidly, this book is still relevant as a starting point for your business. I loved it.
  3. New Australian Hay House author Denise Duffield-Thomas has written a highly entertaining book in Get Rich, Lucky Bitch!: Release Your Money Blocks and Live a First-Class Life. She gives loads of personal examples and practical tips. I like that there are incremental steps you can take if you want to adjust slowly and avoid the resistance that often comes with challenging core beliefs about wealth. Highly entertaining and useful information!
  4. I heard Jeff Walker on a podcast talk about Launch : An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula to Sell Almost Anything Online, Build a Business You Love, and Live the Life of Your Dreams.  And I can’t tell you how good this book is – it is a practical strategy and many, many, many business (small and HUGE) use this in their online marketing. Anyone can do this – but you need to read the book first. What you can’t see in the photo are all my sticky tabs on different pages!
  5. Finally, The Financial Healer : Change Your Self-Worth, Increase Your Net Worth is written as a novel with a message (I like these types of parables). It was inspired by the books of Robin Sharma and Paulo Coelho and it tells the story of Alex Lucas, a middle aged overweight divorcee who found himself constantly in debt even though he worked in the financial world.  While it is fiction this book highlights the work of John Seymour, Karl Dawson, Peter Thomson, Tony Robbins, Bruce Lipton, Wayne Dyer and more.  You could devour this in a single sitting but come back to it over and over again for inspiration.

That’s all for now – more on recommendations on EFT /inspirational books in other posts, and specific topic areas.

Please note I do recommend Book Depository for books as I love that they have free postage worldwide. I am also an affiliate for them given the amount of books I purchase! Of course you are welcome to shop at your local store or favourite site online!

Great Reading for the Start of 2019!

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I always have a pile of books next to my bed (sometimes piles around the house!). I don’t know about you, but I just like the feel of a paper book and not a kindle version. It means my luggage is heavier when I travel with a book or two, but I can cope with that! Here are some goodies to get 2019 started!

  1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking  by Susan Cain is made for people like me! I know you may not believe I am truly an introvert at heart (but I really am) – Celina Tonkin and I have even written a book about how introverts can use tapping (EFT for Introverts). In Quiet, Susan Cain shows how the brain chemistry of introverts and extroverts differs, and how society misunderstands and undervalues introverts. She gives introverts the tools to better understand themselves and take full advantage of their strengths. It is a GREAT read! Read this first then read our book on how to use tapping as an introvert to embrace your strengths and decrease your anxiety.
  2. Ask my girls and they will tell you I am VERY strict about the importance of sleep. The Sleep Revolution : Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time by Arianna Huffington is such a practical guide to quality sleep, and eye opening about the issues people have, that every teen should have this on the book list at school! Read it this month and set up the year with great habits.
  3. Thank & Grow Rich : A 30-Day Experiment in Shameless Gratitude and Unabashed Joy by Pam Grout is another Hay House favourite of mine. Pam wrote the very funny and highly practical E-Squared : Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and E-Cubed: Nine More Energy Experiments That Prove ManifestingMagic And Miracles Is Your Full-Time Gig (both of which are so worth the read- you get to do all these cool experiments!). Thank and Grow Rich though is more about observing the world from a place of gratitude, using our attention to spot beauty, to focus on possibility. Pam says “Ever wonder why your thoughts easily create up-front parking spaces but don’t always produce the fat wad of cash or the hot guy? Could it be you’re on a different frequency?” Get this book going for the start of the year and report back in December!
  4. How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body has its 10th-Anniversary Edition out now! Dr David Hamilton (my favourite Scottish placebo scientist) has updated the original book out 10 years ago to include MORE on the effect of visualisation, belief and positive thinking on the body. David shows how using our imagination and mental processes can stimulate our own defences and healing systems to combat disease, pain and illness.  In another post I reviewed the CD of one of the visualisation techniques from this book – read here.
  5. Zero Limits: The Secret Hawaiian System for Wealth, Health, Peace, and More by Joe Vitale (featured in The Secret) was gifted to me by one of my lovely sisters. It is the story (and technique) of Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len who cured every patient in the criminally insane ward of a Hawaii`i State Hospital — without ever seeing a single patient. Now this may seem a little “insane,” so you are going to have to read this! The book outlines the legendary Hawaiian healing and cleansing method of Ho’oponopono. I loved the book and practice the technique regularly (you would never know!). A graduate of mine does the same and we tell each other amazing stories as a result!

That’s all for now – more on recommendations on EFT /inspirational books in other posts, and specific topic areas.

Please note I do recommend Book Depository for books as I love that they have free postage worldwide. I am also an affiliate for them given the amount of books I purchase! Of course you are welcome to shop at your local store or favourite site online!

Inspirational Tracks I Often Have Playing

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I am naturally very auditory (my university students might not think so with my dense powerpoint slides!) – I easily learn by listening and often drive around with a podcast, lecture, or CD playing.  These are a few of my favourites circulating in the car (until the girls get in and put music on!).

  1. The Secret – this is the audio version of the book version of the documentary/movie.  I find that because there are snippets of interviews and quotes it is easy to drive and listen in for some inspiration on the way to work. I know The Secret has been criticised for being too simplistic (e.g. You asked for your wish, believed it would happen but it never came true) and this is where something like EFT/Tapping may help to overcome core beliefs (e.g. I am not good enough) or events that happened in the past to set up ways of thinking/feeling. If I listen to The Secret and a certain idea results in a negative thought in my own mind (e.g. ‘as if that will ever happen’) then I may use EFT when I get home to discover where it came from, and then resolve any issues.
  2. Quantum Field Clearing is the CD of the technique relating to Dr David Hamilton’s book How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body.  It has 4 parts – the first 3 are a lecture outlining the principles (you can listen to this driving around) but the 4th part os the actual technique (note: do NOT drive while listening to this part – best done lying/sitting in a nice calm space at home). This is a guided visualisation by my favourite placebo scientist David and demonstrates that the power lies in our own minds, in our perception of disease. You listen and follow along – going down through the layers of biology in the body beyond the atomic level, where an illness or disease can be viewed as waves of energy instead of a solid substance. This is a must (even just to listen to David’s divine Scottish accent).
  3. I love the I am Wishes Fulfilled Meditation by Dr Wayne Dyer.  As Wayne explains, ‘I discovered while reading James Twyman’s book The Moses Code that the sounds you will be hearing in this CD were the result of some intense research to reproduce the exact sounds associated with the name of God found in the Old Testament, translated from the original Hebrew as I am that I am. ‘It turns out that specific numbers can be assigned to letters. And the tuning-fork sounds you’ll be meditating to are the exact sounds ascribed to the letters that comprise the Divine name of God. This has been called the most powerful meditation tool in the history of the world. I encourage you to become open to the idea that these sounds, when accompanied by you own I am mantra, can and will provide you with the ability to live a wishes fulfilled life.’  The sound is just beautiful and even if you weren’t spiritual at all, it is a lovely sound for your meditation practice (Note: do NOT drive while listening to this track).
  4. Another one by Dr Wayne Dyer – Meditations For Manifesting : Morning and Evening Meditations to Literally Create Your Heart’s Desire has had a huge impact in my life. At a time when we were struggling financially many moons ago, I didn’t have many creative ideas so I just decided I would do this meditation every morning and see what happened – it uses the universal power sound, “AH.” (The Evening Meditation for Gratitude uses the words “OM” and “Shal-OM”).  After several weeks of doing this meditation my husband was offered a multiple 6 figure position while buying his coffee; a job that was supposed to last 6 months and lasted 18! Money problem solved.  One for the bookshelf (and meditation practice! Thank you Wayne!).
  5. Finally Anita Morjani’s Deep Meditation For Healing complements her book Dying to Be Me. If you haven’t read, Anita had lymphoma, which had spread throughout her body, and her organs were beginning to shut down (the doctors expected her to die). Anita experienced a near-death experience (NDE) and, within 24 hours of coming out of the coma, she had a newfound knowing about her own life. Subsequently, her body healed very rapidly, and within weeks doctors found no traces of cancer. This CD contains a highly specialised program that uses sound at different frequencies to guide you to a state of very deep and meditative relaxation (note: do NOT listen while driving – you want a really nice cool, dark peaceful space for this meditation – it is lovely!). You can see Anita signed this CD for me – we met in Brisbane a few years ago – being near her was the most peaceful feeling I have ever encountered in a person.

That’s all for now – more on recommendations on EFT books in other posts, and specific topic areas.

Please note I do recommend Book Depository for books as I love that they have free postage worldwide. I am also an affiliate for them given the amount of books I purchase! Of course you are welcome to shop at your local store or favourite site online!

EFT books for Little Ones

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If you are looking for ways to introduce EFT / Tapping to younger children, look no further! These books featured here are a great way to read a story and teach the skill of tapping. There are many on the market and designed for all ages – these 3 below just happen to be on my bookshelf and are for under 10 year olds! I have added an extra non-EFT book that is just brilliant in terms of teaching mindfulness/relaxation exercises and complements EFT perfectly. I find myself dipping into it often (and my 11 year old likes me to read the exercises to her at night).

  1. Gorilla Thumps and Bear Hugs : A Tapping Solution Children’s Story is Alex Ortner’s book (brother of Jessica and Nick Ortner of The Tapping Solution). It is a lovely story of a child being teased in the playground at school (a common event!) and another student teaches her tapping. Suitable for up to 10 years, this books teaches the 4 EFT points rather than the 8 adults use.
  2. A Garden of Emotions : Cultivating Peace Through Eft Tapping is Brad Yates’ latest children’s book (he also wrote The Wizard’s Wish). This book is unique in that is not only discuses how to use tapping for different emotions, but comes with 10 videos that can be instantly downloaded by scanning in a code or entering it on a computer.  Really beautiful illustrations in this book.
  3. Huggi the Bear: Magic Spots is an Australian children’s book written by Psychologist Laura Louise Love. She also illustrated the book that teaches younger children (2-7 years) how to use tapping.
  4. The Power of Your Child’s Imagination : How to Transform Stress and Anxiety Into Joy and Success is filled with practical exercises to empower your child to cope with stress and anxiety. The scripts are designed to be read so children can use their imagination to access their own natural strength and confidence. It includes scripts for stress-induced headaches and stomachaches, phobias, panic attacks, and social anxiety, bed-wetting and sleepless nights, separation anxiety and so much more!

That’s all for now – more on recommendations on general EFT books in other posts, and specific topic areas.

Please note I do recommend Book Depository for books as I love that they have free postage worldwide. I am also an affiliate for them given the amount of books I purchase! Of course you are welcome to shop at your local store or favourite site online!

Your EFT Book Toolkit

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I am often asked which books on EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) or Tapping are good if you are starting out, or indeed have been working with the technique for a while. There are amazing books out there for choose from – I have a book shelf overflowing with them! But here are some of my favourites that are useful in the early days, some of them focus on EFT and others complement perfectly. You can actually see some of these are worn on the edges as they are really mine here in my office, and they get used a lot!

  1. The Clinical EFT Handbooks (vol 1 and vol 2) are a wealth of information for practitioners and therapists.  Each chapter is written by an expert in the field and cover the clinical application of EFT to fields such as addiction treatment, sports, surgery, weight loss, social problems, and family therapy. The physiological mechanisms of action of EFT are covered, as well as its sources in physics and chemistry. These 2 volumes are essential reading for anyone wishing to understand EFT as validated in research, science, and best clinical practice. (Note: I wrote the chapter on long term weight loss with EFT in Vol 2).
  2. Inna Segal has written 2 amazing books that complement the practice of EFT so well they should be mandatory reading in all EFT trainings! The Secret Language of Your Body: The Essential Guide to Health and Wellness  outlines the messages of the body and reveals the underlying energetic causes of over 200 symptoms and medical conditions – just about everything you can think of at a physical level is covered here. This is similar to Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life, but more extensive in my opinion. EFT can be used on any of the suggested origins from the book. The second book here is The Secret of Life Wellness: The Essential Guide to Life’s Big Questions. It outlines many practical skills that can be used in conjunction with EFT for health and wellness, energy and life direction.
  3. Energy Strands: The Ultimate Guide To Clearing The Energy Cords That Are Constricting Your Life  by Denise Linn is my favourite new Hay House book. This is the technique that got me started about 25 years ago – I came across it from a colleague and practiced it over and over again. I am so glad Denise has written this book! She discusses the cords, strands, threads, and filaments of energy that flow to and through us, connecting us to everyone and everything in the Universe. Some energy strands make us feel vibrant and alive. Others deplete and weaken us. Most importantly Denise shows you how to release the cords that bind you and strengthen the ones that heal you. This is a perfect complement to EFT practices and one I highly recommend!
  4. The Ethics Handbook for Energy Healing Practitioners by the fabulous Donna Eden and Dr David Feinstein is essential if you are running a practice. I actually think it is better than some of the ethics texts we recommend in psychology! This text is filled with common ethical dilemmas and what to do as you work with clients. It has guidelines for sound therapy work and suggestions for working with a wide range of client issues and concerns.

That’s all for now – more on recommendations for children in other posts, and specific topic areas.

Please note I do recommend Book Depository for books as I love that they have free postage worldwide. I am also an affiliate for them given the amount of books I purchase! Of course you are welcome to shop at your local store or favourite site online!

 

MindOverMunch_PetaStapleton_food

Mind Over Munch: How To Stop Emotional Eating

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Devoured a litre of ice cream after a break up? Detoured via a drive-through after a stressful day? Demolished 3 bags of chips to crush that loneliness? ‘Eating your feelings’ is a common coping mechanism. Our unconscious feelings can heavily affect and control our behaviour. So many diets fail because often we are not feeding our body due to hunger, but instead to deal with uncomfortable emotions like fear, shame, guilt, sadness, anger, loneliness, tiredness or even boredom. Of course, immediately following this eating binge, we feel even worse! This can lead to unhealthy patterns with food, weight yo-yo-ing, obesity, or eating disorders.

Ironically unhealthy eating habits, binging and/or poor nutrition just leads to further feelings of anxiety, depression, tiredness, low mood and cravings making it even harder to break the cycle.
MindOverMunch_PetaStapleton_sandwich


Am I An Emotional Eater?

Do you tend to overeat at stressful times?
Do you eat anyway despite being full, or not hungry? Feel like no matter how much you are eating, you are still not satisfied?
When you are feeling upset, angry, bored or anxious, do you reach for the junk food to make yourself feel better?
Has your hunger comes out of nowhere, seems urgent and overwhelming? Physical hunger tends to occur slower, and 3-4 hours after last meal
Do you reward yourself using food?
Do you stop eating when you are full, or stuff yourself silly?
Does eating make you feel safe again?
Do you feel like you don’t have control with food anymore?
Do you feel regret, guilt and shame afterwards? Physical hunger isn’t as likely to cause these feelings
Do you feel hunger in other parts of your body? For example, solar plexus (in between ribs) in your mouth, in your head etc. A growling tummy should be the only true hunger signal

Mind Over Munch – Stop Your Sabotage Cycle

Giving your car a paint job, when it really needs a new motor doesn’t solve the REAL issue. At first it appears like it’s fixed, and it looks kind of nice, but underneath the hood it is actually broken, and so it will continue to cause problems until the underlying issues are resolved.

Regain Control With These Techniques

Tapping may seem a bit strange and unorthodox but it has incredible results for many. Tapping on pressure points around the body (similar to acupuncture) helps to clear emotional baggage and also relieve chronic pain. In simple terms, it helps calm the nerves in your fight or flight control centre. This is activated when we feel anger, anxiety, or pain – and Tapping/EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) helps to release these emotions. Tapping has shown effective for helping with weight control and even cravings.

Learn how to tap your way to success – watch the video here.

Be aware. Start to notice what emotions come up before you eat and any patterns. Start a food diary to keep track of what emotion might be linked to a certain food, or be making you want food when you are not hungry.

Wait 5-10 minutes. Instead of eating immediately on impulse, wait a short time before. This gives you time to evaluate the scenario and ask whether you are actually hungry. When you feel hunger, try to choose a different pastime first (e.g. if you are anxious, phone a friend instead or if you feel bored, take the dog out for a walk…). Focus on feeling joy from activities that are unrelated to food. Studies show changing habits are also a vital key to reshaping patterns, and creating long lasting change in learned behaviours.

Mindful eating is also important. Whenever you eat a meal, ensure you are sitting down and you remove all distractions (phone, tv, feed the cat/baby beforehand!). Take a moment to enjoy the meal, chew each mouthful as many times as possible, and appreciate how good it smells/tastes. Research published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has shown this aids digestion, and actually helps you to eat less food, and also make better meal choices.

MindOverMunch_PetaStapleton_food

Where did this start? Think about where/when/around who your emotional eating began. Research shows there children easily pick up bad eating habits from family members, and proceed to link particular food with feelings later in life. Was food linked to certain memorable events when you were younger? Or alternatively, did the emotional eating only start after childhood trauma? Seek professional help if delving back makes you too uncomfortable. The important thing is making any small step forwards.
MindOverMunch_PetaStapleton_cradle

Seek professional help if delving back

Fighting our brain’s reward centre can be challenging but with a few techniques you can reprogram any misguided emotional attachments, and create a healthy stress free relationship with food again.

Stay Motivated_Peta Stapleton_Clouds

How To Stay Motivated

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If you’re required to exert willpower to do something, there is an obvious internal conflict. You want to eat the cookie, but you also want to be healthy. Environment versus goal…” 

According to bestselling author and organisational psychology specialist Ben Hardy, willpower won’t work! This is because studies have shown we only have a limited amount of willpower, so to focus on strengthening it is counterproductive, and to rely on to achieve results will only get us so far. In short we won’t stay motivated for long enough to achieve the goal because we will run out of steam. To create long lasting change, we need to shape the environment around us, change habits for a steady period of time, and remove any potential hurdles (decision fatigue). Change your habits, and change your life! Over time, changing habits also rewires the brain, and of course once you start achieving goals due to this, that in itself also provides added motivation.

start achieving goal

Thinking that you need a boost – read my previous blog on motivation

What do you want to achieve and when by? Can’t drive to Goal Town if you don’t know where you’re going! Get REALLY clear on what you want to achieve here. Research has shown having goals that are both specific and challenging, will 90% of the time have a better outcome. So break it down into measurable targets, and aim high. Create a timeline. Set smaller goals amongst the bigger targets, and break bigger ones down into smaller pieces to stay motivated. If you can’t see the top of the mountain or the end of the tunnel for too long, it is too easy to give up. Plus when we achieve what we want, our brains get a big dose of “feel good” Dopamine neurotransmitters – so work that to your advantage. 

 Envision this goal. Imagine how it will look and feel. 

 “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

 Envision goal

Remove Decision Fatigue 

This is a BIG one. If your goal is to exercise more in the mornings, lay your gym gear out the night before and pre-blend a protein smoothie… If your goal is to eat better, remove all unhealthy food from the house, do a healthy shop the day before you plan to cook, or pre-prepare nourishing meals for the entire busy work week ahead. Studies prove that the more decisions our brain has to make, the more tired our brains become. 

This can play out in a few different ways: 

  • Self-control starts plummeting 
  • Overwhelm = stop completely, do nothing, accept fate e.g. “It’s too hard” 

If you combine a busy life and tiredness with not-preparing and not optimising your environment- you can see why it would be a very fast road to Fail Town. Navigate to success instead by preparing in advance and removing any choices you might need to make, or steps between you and your goal. 

teamwork

See here

Celebrate Small WINS 

We tend to only properly celebrate the bigger, impressive, outstanding achievements (e.g. end of year exams, getting married, finishing a degree at university, being promoted at work…), but if you think about it, most of our life is spent between these large milestones. So make sure to celebrate the journey and the smaller wins too. 

Be Accountable 

Tell a friend, parent, boss, mentor, Facebook… anyone that you can check in with weekly to ensure you are still in the game. Make it public. Team up with another person who shares the same goal – for some mutually beneficial motivation and feedback… And nothing like some healthy competition to get you a good boost!

Get clear on your direction. Be accountable. Change your surroundings to best meet your goals, and success is almost inevitable.

Why You Procrastinate

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Do you put the “Pro” in “Procrastinate”? 

“I have so much to do… “ 

Ever been paralysed by an impending deadline or overwhelmed from all of the things you need to do. So you just.. do..  absolutely nothing? Only to have to frantically write an entire term paper on the last night? 

It’s an age-old conundrum. You procrastinate on cleaning the house for days. Then while needing to finish an essay, all you can think about is how much you suddenly want to clean the house… or maybe the dog needs a perm. That funny cat video (and proceeding YouTube binge..) definitely needed to be watched immediately! 

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” – Abraham Lincoln 

It is fascinating that our brains could be wired so illogically and unproductively. So why is this? 

 Do we fear the possible failure? Nope. We don’t have good enough organisational or time management skills? Surprisingly some research suggests no. More motivation and willpower? Again no. 

The answer is simple apparently… Make a decision! 

 

 “Once we begin a task, no matter how dreaded, our perceptions of the task change…we don’t appraise the task as quite so stressful or difficult once we get started. Starting is everything” – Tim Pychyl, the world’s leading procrastination researcher

From Procrastination to Productivity: 

  • Make a decision – and just start! 
  • Accept you will not always “feel like it” and act on the task anyway. Motivation follows action. 
  • Pick 3 actions/tasks each day – that MUST be completed more than the rest of your list. As they say, if you have more than 3 goals today, you have none. Stop overwhelming yourself. 
  • Do the hardest task FIRST before your brain fatigues throughout the day. 
  • Everyone has different rhythms. Some people work better in the morning, some at night. Start becoming aware of this and if you are able to, structure the most important or brainpower-taxing work during these windows. You will increase productivity, within less time. 
  • Forgive yourself if you start to procrastinate, and then focus on activities that get you back to work…  The worst thing you can do, is procrastinate more.. feeling bad about procrastinating! 
  • If you struggle, evaluate why you might be avoiding a task. What is holding you back? Breaking it down further into a pros and cons list may help to clarify this. 
  • Form solid morning and evening routines that set you up for the day/next day and keep you in focus. Set yourself up for success by pre-preparing and removing obstacles/distractions so you will naturally stay focused on the tasks at hand. 

Follow these steps and master your way to Productivity Pro instead!

Even The Cowardly Lion Can Cultivate Courage

By | Blog

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage” – Anais Nin

Success should be measured not by the goals we achieve, but by the challenges we have overcome. Acting in the face of fear is an achievement in itself, and the more it’s practiced, the easier it becomes. Just like the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz, learning how to leap head-first into challenges towards new, or fearful acts leads to invaluable personal development and growth, strengthening our emotional and mental resilience.

“We can either stay in bed where it’s comfortable, warm and there are no critics to judge us, or we can face the world and push beyond our limits”

Part of why we struggle to face fear head on, is that are constantly fighting our reptilian brain that likes to keep us all cosy and safe. This is not necessarily a bad thing, sometimes fear is valid, sometimes it helps us, and it made sense when we were cavemen/women hiding from lions, tigers and bears. But more often than not these fears are completely imagined. For example, 85% of what humans worry about never eventuates into reality. Especially in relation to perceived thoughts of others (which we should ditch caring about regardless!)

So what is courage?

According to the Oxford Dictionary the noun “Courage Is “The ability to do something that frightens one; bravery” and “Strength in the face of pain or grief”.

So courage is not about the absence of fear like fearlessness… but the ability to still complete an act despite experiencing fear.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear”— Nelson Mandela

Can courage be learnt?

100% it can! It may feel like others were just born with it – but anyone can develop it through small habits. Think of it like a muscle and regularly work it out. Repetition over time commits it to muscle memory, and suddenly over time it becomes easier and less daunting to try new things or attempt something you were previously afraid of. The key is in small daily/weekly challenges. Like any habit over time it actually rewires our minds, right down to the gene level, by creating new neural pathways in our brain. So start challenging yourself and harness your own neural plasticity. Run towards fear as if it’s inviting you to be courageous!

How do we start being courageous?

Life is best lived outside of your comfort zone. Humans are wired for growth and even small challenges and discomfort help us to grow and develop. Start small… You don’t have to leap out of a plane straight away.. (although if you want to, jump to it. Nothing like a good dose of adrenalin to get motivated!).. But you can start small. Maybe walk a different way to work, wear that slightly-out-there dress you were too shy to wear, speak up in your work meeting, try a new restaurant instead of the same go-to, book a solo travel trip, do a new activity on the weekend you always wanted to try but doubted yourself with, dance like no one is watching – and if they are, stop caring!

Failure = Learning

Without meaning to sound like an inspirational quote cliché, you really only fail at the things you never attempt! Attempt plus Failure, equals a learning experience. After all, how else do you learn and grow?! Society may need to rethink it’s view of failure in adults. When a toddler falls down while learning to walk, do we tell them they failed.. just give up now? No, we clap, cheer and praise the little one for trying. We celebrate their seemingly small moments of progress, and after falling over countless times they have eventually trained their brain and body on what to do (and not do) to stay up. Courage means taking action without being attached to the result, so begin with small steps that make up your goal.

If anything we should be ‘trying and failing’ as much as possible! It’s the quickest way to learn. Put courage in action to become your bravest self. Step to it!

worry

How to Stop Worrying

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“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.” Corrie ten Boom

From health and financial concerns to children and relationships, we are all faced with daily worries. Stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can boost energy and focus for sport or public speaking but continual worry turns into chronic stress e.g. being overworked or daily arguments with a spouse. Studies have shown just how damaging chronic stress is on your body , altering your brain size, structure and function – all the way down to the gene level!

Worry is anxiety and negative thoughts about potential future problems. Especially where the actions of others are concerned, we often hold limited to no responsibility over the outcome anyway. When future uncertainty arises it plays right into our inherent human need to feel both ‘safe’, and ‘right’. Many psychologists believe, fear of the unknown is the basis of all other fears , and that one of the leading strengths of successful people is an ability to accept a high level of ambiguity and uncertainty.

A study at Cornel University proved a whopping 85% of what humans stress about never actually happens! With the 15% of worries that did happen, 79% of subjects discovered they were able handle it much better than they predicted, or that the scenario taught them a valuable lesson. That equals 97% of completely fabricated and exaggerated misperceptions!

“My life has been filled with terrible misfortune; most of which never happened.” – Michel de Montaigne

That may give you a giggle but what these worries can cost us is no laughing matter. So how do we manage our worry effectively? Here are some tips:

Reframe Stressful Scenarios & Embrace Gratitude
This helps to focus on what you can control, instead of what you can’t. Let go of your false sense of security, surrender and and accept life does not always go to plan (quite often!). Try to reframe it, look for the upside, or take the lesson from it. What is this trying to teach me here? As Tony Robbins says, “Life happens for you, not to you”. What can you learn from this? Research also shows embracing gratitude boosts mental strength.

surrender flags blowing

Scenario: put off car repairs for too long. Car breaks down at inconvenient time/location.
Reframing, upside, lesson: A reminder to stay on top of car maintenance in future, prioritise your safety, minimise risk and expensive potential repair bills. A breakdown is much better than an accident. Compared to a majority of the world, you are lucky to own a car. While you waited for the tow truck, you were able to finish reading that book you didn’t have time for, or catch up on the phone with a loved one. There are so many ways to look at one scenario.

“Man is not disturbed by events but by the view he takes of them.”

meditating womanMeditation
A recent study published in the Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience journal proved practicing “zen” decreases anxiety levels and helps the brain control thinking and emotion.

Physical Activity and Decent Sleep
Along with meditation, exercise is proven to decrease stress levels. This allows you to problem solve any potential concerns with a clear headed mindset. Best combined with a good daily 7-9 hours sleep!

Technology – Take Back Control
For all its uses, too much technology often negatively impacts mental health and stress levels. Limit social media, email, etc use to set blocks of time instead of constantly throughout the day.

A good morning routine is especially important. Optimise your mindset and get your brain off to the best start for the day by not checking phone or social media for an hour upon waking. Declutter your mind, remove distractions – and be alone with your thoughts sometimes! This will help you get out of “Survival Mode” and be more present. Remaining in the present moment also helps counteracts any future-orientated worry.

Write Worries Down or Reach Out
Share your thoughts with paper or a supportive ear. Stop it circulating in that imaginative head of yours!

Clear Button Method
It is thought our brains have a 90-second window to turn around any stressful thoughts, before our minds can turn these worries into full-blown anxiety, stress or anger. With that in mind Don Joseph Goeway, Author of The End of Stress: Four Steps to Rewire Your Brain, recommends practicing the Clear Button technique to both distract you, and in turn rewire your thought patterns in less than a minute.

How it works:
Imagine there is a button in the middle of your hand that, when pressed, tells your brain to completely stop any fearful, worried, judgmental or negative thinking.

Breathe in, count 1, think red
Breathe in, count 2, think blue
Breathe in, count 3, think green
While exhaling, let your mind go totally blank and relax into the present moment

Tapping
Also known as EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), Tapping is an effective alternative healing strategy combining Chinese acupressure and psychology. Tapping has shown incredible results for a wide range of problems from stress, anxiety, phobias, emotional disorders, chronic pain, addiction, weight management, and limiting beliefs. It helps to clear unresolved emotional baggage, which often worsens small daily stress.

Use fingertips to “tap” repetitively over meridian endpoints of your body while focusing on negative emotions or physical sensations. This calms the nerves, reprograms the brain to react better, and rebalances your body’s energy. Dr Peta Stapleton has a wide variety of resources on Tapping and EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques).

“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”
— Lao Tsu

While we all have daily hurdles, the research is clear that worrying about them only makes it worse, negatively affect your mental and physical health, rest and general happiness. But the good news is you can start to change this way of thinking, learn how to stay in the present and reprogram your mind with regular practice.

Access Chapter 4 from The Science Behind Tapping here free

EFT researcher and author Peta Stapleton, Ph.D., brings together the history and cutting-edge research of tapping. She also shows how tapping can be used for a whole host of ailments, including anxiety, weight issues, depression, trauma, and more. Dr. Stapleton’s own groundbreaking study involving food cravings in overweight adults helped establish EFT as an effective, valid form of therapy.

Access Chapter 4 below - EFT Tapping for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Thank you! Here is your free chapter.