Habit Creation Top 10 Tips for Happiness and Health

Habit Creation Top 10 Tips for Happiness and Health

We all know that habit creation can be tricky. I am sure you have tried lots of times to establish new ones and never got to the habit stage. Whether it is eating better, exercising more or writing every day, these top tips to change a habit will help.

Why we need good habits

Having a set of positive habits in your life makes a huge difference in your health and happiness. The simple reason is that habits are what we default to when we are under stress. If your healthy behaviour is habitual, you are much more likely to carry it out at stressful times.

Be clear on the benefits/ consequences

Don’t choose a habit on a whim. Make sure you are clear about the benefits and consequences related to the habit. What will happen if you do not change your habit? How wonderful will life be with this new habit in place? How will it improve your health and happiness? Get clear on how this habit will impact on your life.

Write it down

It is much easier to make things stick in your mind if you write them down. Put your new habit on a post-it (or many) and put it where you will see it often. Even when you don’t notice it your subconscious mind will be taking it in. This will really increase your habit creation ability.

Start small

Do not try to make huge changes in your habits overnight. When you do this, your mind resists the change and you end up failing. Start small! If you want to start exercising, do not decide to go to the gym 5 times a week. Start by committing to put your kit on and do something! 10 sit-ups will do to start with. Start very small and have a slow build-up to allow your mind to adapt to the change.

Keep going for 30 days

Keep your steely determination for 30 days and you will be well on the way to permanent habit creation. Don’t miss more than one day because that will disrupt the flow and knock you off track. Once you get to 30 days, you will notice that the habit is becoming part of your everyday life.

Make your new habit daily

When you are involved in habit creation, it is best to do it every day. This helps your mind to develop that new neural pathway which will make the habit stick.

Find a way to remind yourself

Use the post-it notes above as reminders but also use other tools like alarms and habit tracking APPs. There are lots of tools you can use on your smartphone to remind you to do your new habit. Let your phone be a bit of a nag for a while whilst you are getting going.

Get a buddy

Sometimes we all need some help from our friends. Tell those close to you what you are up to and ask them to help by reminding you and checking up on you. This will be even better if it is someone habit creation same or similar to yours.

Use a trigger

Habits work best with a clear trigger. Your alarm might spark your morning meditation or getting home your exercise routine. Keep the trigger the same so your mind can make the connection between the trigger and the habit.

Allow mistakes

Be patient with yourself. Developing a new habit is a process of mind rewiring. Your mind is neuroplastic but it still takes some effort to change it. Be patient and allow yourself to make mistakes. Make sure you pick yourself up and start again as soon as possible.

Surround yourself with positive people

When you are trying to change any aspect of your life, having positive people around you is vital. Make sure you spend time around people who support your goals. Even better, if they are people who have similar goals to you.

I hope you have found these Habit Change Top 10 Tips. Changing habits can be challenging but if you adopt this strategy it will help.

Still stuck with your habit change process then get in touch now. I can use my powerful mindset change tools to help you change your habits so you can be happy and healthy.

If you are ready to book a complimentary discovery session so you can find out more about how I can help you with habit creation, click here to access my calendar.

What happens when you are sleep deprived?

What happens when you are sleep deprived?

Are you ignoring what happens when you are sleep deprived? Are you sleepwalking into a health disaster? I often hear people say that they don’t need 7-9 hours sleep.

We hear it on the news too. Some of us will remember the claims that Margaret Thatcher only had 4 hours of sleep per night. And if you tune in to YouTube you will hear about ‘the hustle’! This appears to be a competition in who can be most successful on the least sleep.

We live in a society which is telling us to work longer hours, cram more into life and sleep as little as possible.

But what is the truth? What happens when you are sleep deprived?

 I have broken down what happens when you are sleep deprived into two sections. The effects in the short and long-term.  

What happens when you are sleep deprived in the short-term?

Your memory malfunctions

When you are asleep, your brain does all it’s filing and sorting of your experiences during the day. It forms new neural connections which help you process information. When you are sleep deprived your brain doesn’t have time to do this. As a result, you reduce your short and long-term memory function.  

Your concentration and thinking get foggy

You will have noticed that when you are sleep deprived, you are less likely to be able to solve problems. You will also be less creative. This can contribute to stress as you struggle to solve your daily list of challenges. 

You will be moodier

I am sure you have noticed how short your fuse becomes when you haven’t had enough sleep. You might have observed that you are more inclined to emotional outbursts too. Even little things can feel unmanageable when you are sleep deprived. 

You will be more accident prone

We have all seen the big warning signs on the motorway telling us to take a break. Even the government has realised that sleep deprivation and tiredness cause accidents. You may have noticed yourself that when you are sleep deprived, you are more likely to drop and spill things. If you are doing some kind of manual work or a lot of driving for a living getting enough sleep is even more vital. 

You will be off balance

And I mean, in your body! When you are sleep deprived, your coordination and balance take a knock. This makes you more likely to fall or have other accidents.

What happens when you are sleep deprived in the long-term? 

Your blood pressure will increase

When you are sleep deprived you are much more likely to have high blood pressure. This increases your chance of other health conditions like stroke and heart attack. 

You increase your risk of diabetes

When you are sleep deprived, it affects your production of insulin. This is the hormone which lowers your blood-sugar. If you don’t have enough insulin, you have too much blood-sugar and this can lead to type 2 diabetes. 

You will gain weight

Have you noticed the carbohydrate cravings which appear after a poor night’s sleep? When you are sleep deprived the chemicals which tell you when you are hungry and full go out of balance. You are more likely to overindulge and eat more unhealthy foods when you are sleep deprived. 

You increase your risk of heart disease

As I have already mentioned, sleep deprivation increases blood pressure. This contributes to heart disease. Sleep deprivation also increases chemicals in your blood linked to inflammation. Inflammation is also a contributory factor in heart disease. So, if you are sleep deprived, your risk of heart disease increases. 

Your sex drive will be low

Sleep deprivation reduces your libido. I am sure we have all experienced issues with getting in the mood when we haven’t had enough sleep. Sleep deprivation in men also reduces testosterone levels which makes things even worse.

You are more likely to develop depression and anxiety

As I mentioned above, short-term sleep deprivation makes us moody and emotional. But chronic, sleep deprivation can cause depression. Before my diagnosis of depression in March 2015, I had been sleeping about 3-5 hours per night for at least 3 months. Sadly, lack of sleep causes depression and depression can affect our ability to sleep. Sometimes it may be difficult to know which came first. 

What can you do when you are sleep deprived?

As you can see, what happens when you are sleep deprived affects your health in the short and long-term. The key thing is that most of us need 7-9 hours of sleep. If you are not getting that, it will have an impact on your health.  But don’t worry, all is not lost. In my previous blog, I shared ’10 Top Tips to Sleep Better so You Can Feel Less Stressed’. You will find something you can change to improve your sleep in that blog. And, if you still cannot sleep, please get in touch. I have worked with many clients to improve their sleep and can probably help you.

10 Top Tips to Sleep Better so You Can Feel Less Stressed

10 Top Tips to Sleep Better so You Can Feel Less Stressed

In this blog I will share my 10 top tips to sleep better so you can feel less stressed. This is an edit of a previous blog about the connection between sleep and weight. This shows how sleep can impact on more than one aspect of life. But stress and weight are only two aspects lack of sleep effects. 

Lack of sleep can contribute to issues like depression, anxiety, diabetes, heart disease and many more. Having a long-term sleep issue is also said to take 10 years off your life.  

I am sure I do not need to point out the link between stress and lack of sleep. They feed each other in a way that can make life difficult. If you haven’t had enough sleep you know how that feels. You are cranky, cannot concentrate and your memory feels foggy.

This might mean that you don’t have the best of days. Your stress levels then increase, you cannot sleep and the cycle continues.  If you are ready to break this cycle you need these ….

10 top tips to sleep better so you can feel less stressed.

Power Down

Switch off all tech, including the TV at least one hour before bed. The light from the screens prevents your body creating melatonin, the sleep hormone. Even if you do drop off with your phone in your hand the quality of your sleep will be poor. 

Avoiding Napping

If you must nap, limit it to 30 minutes before 2pm. Napping disrupts your sleep pattern and reduces your ability to sleep at night. If your energy slumps try fresh air or a walk to pick you up. 

Stop Clock Watching

If you wake in the night, stay away from the clock. If you keep saying, ‘I wake up at 3am every day’, that is exactly what will happen. 

Get Comfortable

If you want to sleep well start by making sure your mattress is comfortable and have a cool room with warm bedding. Use pillows to support your limbs, if needed and get your neck in neutral with no more than one pillow.

Save bed for two things only

Your bed is for sleeping and time with your partner! Anything else you do in bed gives your brain the message that bed is for things other than sleeping and love making. 

Establish a Routine

Try to go to bed and get up at a similar time each day (even at weekends). Your body will get into a flow with the routine and you will find yourself sleeping better. 

Watch Out for Caffeine

Have your last caffeinated drink no later than 1pm so the caffeine can leave your body before you need to sleep. Watch out for caffeine hidden in things such as chocolate and painkillers. 

Exercise at the Right Time

Exercise is great for sleep as it helps to tire out your body. Do not exercise too close to bedtime as this can disrupt your sleep and make you too awake to nod off. 

Watch What You Eat and Drink

Do not eat too late in the evening and avoid late evening heavy meals. If your digestive system is working hard it will disrupt your ability to sleep.

Get into the Light at the Right Times

Exposing yourself to daylight early on in the day helps your brain realise that it is morning and time to be awake. In a similar way, getting into the dark helps your brain know it is night and time to sleep. 

I hope you have found my 10 Top Tips to Sleep Better so You Can Feel Less Stressed, useful. As with any habit change, don’t try to change everything at once. Choose one or two things to work on first and then introduce the others one-by-one.  If you are struggling to get enough sleep, feeling stressed or would like to make a change in any other aspect of your life, please get in touch.

8 Top Tips to Learn Self-Love to Feel Less Stressed

8 Top Tips to Learn Self-Love to Feel Less Stressed

Why learn self-love to feel less stressed you may be wondering! How can self-love help you feel less stressed? The main reason that a lack of self-love contributes to stress is that it reduces what you think you are cable of. If you spend all day berating yourself, you will believe that you are not very good. This will make you push yourself too hard to prove your worth to the world and yourself. It will also increase feelings of overwhelm and make you give up more often.

Low self-love will also affect how you look after yourself. If you don’t love something, you don’t tend to look after it very well. If you are not taking time out for self-care, this can have a massive impact on your stress levels too.

Think, for a moment, about something or someone that you love.

Your children, your partner, your dog or even your car. How do you treat that thing or person? I would imagine that you treat them with respect and kindness. You do things to help them be healthy, happy or even to work well. I sure, you would not put the wrong fuel in your car. Because you want it to work , you make sure you look after it. You care enough about it to do that.

As you can see, there is a strong link between self-care and self-love. One is unlikely to happen without the other. Without good self-care, we are much more likely to become stressed. We are more likely to expect too much of ourselves, not take time out and not do things to look after our bodies and minds.

So, how can we learn self-love to feel less stressed?

Here are  my top tips to learn self-love and feel less stressed.

Tip 1 – Be nice to yourself

Your mind believes that inner voice so the more you say negative things, the more you will believe them. Make an effort to be kind to yourself and, if you do slip up, try to challenge any negative thoughts. A good rule of thumb is to speak to yourself in the same way that you’d speak to your best friend. You are with you all the time, so it is more important how you speak to yourself than how anyone else does. Notice, challenge and change your self-talk!

Tip 2 – Stay Focused on You

Comparing yourself to others is a sure-fire way to lower your self-love. You are a unique person on a unique journey. You are not like anyone else in the world. Notice and praise every step you take in the right direction and leave thoughts of others behind.

Tip 3 – Realise that no-one is perfect

It is okay to make mistakes! We all make them, but it is very easy to end up being critical of ourselves even for the slightest error. We are more critical of ourselves than we ever would be to someone else. Our mind can hear every word we say and will use negative words to create or reinforce a negative belief.

We all make mistakes. Be kind to yourself, accept your mistakes, learn and move on.

Tip 4 – Focus on what you can change

We spend a lot of time and energy focusing on the things in life that we cannot change. Whether it’s moaning about the weather or complaining about queues of traffic. Thinking about these things which are outside your circle of control is a waste of time. It also makes us feel weak and out of control. This can contribute to negative feelings about ourselves. Take a look at each situation and decide what you can do about it. Take any action you can then let go and move on.

Tip 5 – Do something which makes you happy every day

By doing something for yourself every day, you are sending the message to your brain that you matter. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but something that is only for you. It could be a massage or a laze in the bath with some candles. The more you do for yourself, the more you are showing that you care about and, dare I say it, love yourself.

Tip 6 – Celebrate Small Stuff

Most of us are much more likely to berate than praise ourselves. Have you ever got to the end of a working day to find yourself focusing on the 2 things you didn’t tick off your to-do list? You have completely missed praising yourself for the 8 you did tick off.

How different would the day feel if you celebrated every little win you had? From getting the kids off to school on time to finishing that big project. Try keeping a journal where you make a note of all your successes. Look back on this record often to lift your mood and help you feel more self-love.

Tip 7 – Help others

Studies have shown that when we do something good for someone else, it boosts our mood. Helping others fulfils a deep human need that most of us have. We get a boost from the positive feedback we get from the person we helped. But studies show that even anonymous acts of kindness can make us feel good. Try to do one thing every day for someone else and notice how that makes you feel.

Tip 8 – Choose positive friends

Some people suck the life out of us on a daily basis. Nothing is right in their lives or the world in general. It can be exhausting to spend any length of time around them. It can also become all too easy to join in their moaning and get dragged into their world. If you have some people in your life who fit that description avoid them in person and on social media. If you have to see them try some relaxation techniques like deep breathing beforehand. Then avoid moaning about their moaning afterwards.

I hope you have found these tips to learn self-love to feel less stressed useful.

You matter and are worthy of love. Please don’t forget that.

If you don’t love yourself or your self-esteem has hit rock bottom, I can help. Please get in touch to find out more.