Learning to Relax ……..

Sometimes I have to pause for a moment and think, “why the heck am I rushing right now?” I designed my life so that I work from home and set my own schedule, but still I find myself constantly feeling as if I’m under some kind of pressure to do everything and do it fast.

Oftentimes I have three or four things going on at any one time, which is why I often feel overwhelmed. What I’ve found us that the things to do don’t stop until I choose to stop doing them. Sometimes I have to force myself to just RELAX.

We Learn How to Worry and Live in a Continuing State of Tension from a Young Age…

When you’re in first grade, you’re taught that if you don’t draw inside the lines there may be a problem.

By the time you’re in sixth grade you’re taught that if you don’t have a group of friends there’s a problem.

By the time you’re in 10th grade you’re told that if you don’t fill out 50 college applications your future is in jeopardy.

When you’re a high school senior you’re pressured to find a prom date or else you’ll miss a once in a lifetime chance.

In college you’re pressured to be the best at everything and compete with your peers fiercely.

At your first job you’re expected to work your way up the corporate ladder.

And women, let’s not even talk about the pressure of being 29 years old and not married or not even having a boyfriend (“girl, your biological clock is ticking!”).

It’s clear that an inability to truly relax is built into many of us over the course of many years. When you’ve been taught so long to stress, worry and be concerned about every little thing that’s going on in your world, it seems almost impossible to just enjoy the present.

Relaxing Starts in Your Mind
The real reason why so many people find it so difficult to relax is that they haven’t mastered how to relax their minds. No matter how comfortable your body may be in a seat, if your mind is active and stressed you can’t get the rest that you truly need.

Here’s an example. I’m going to give you a simple command:

Sit down and relax every muscle in your body, from your toes to your forehead. Relax them completely.

A moment ago you probably didn’t even realize that there were parts of your body that were on “alert” either flexing or tensing. But when something told your mind to relax, you actually did.

Try this at night when you’re trying to fall asleep quickly and think of a place where you’d like to be. You may be surprised by how quickly you drift off into a nice dream.

Set Aside 1 Hour Each Day Just for You
When your schedule is full of things to do, including work projects, chores and daily routines, it’s essential that you take at least an hour each day to truly relax. Set aside a clear cut block of time in your day to do exactly what makes you happy, whether it’s a power nap, watching your favorite program or taking a walk in the mall. Be unapologetic about this time that’s just for you.

As I say in my new book YOU MATTER, you do not have to answer every time that you’re called. So turn off your phone ringer. Put on some soothing music. Take this time to reflect and let ideas in. Relaxation has healing properties and can give you extra energy to finish your day strong.

Relaxation Is Healing
Here comes a cliche that I think we all take for granted from time to time: “stop and smell the roses.” You don’t have to run and gun every moment of your day. Take time for yourself. Take care of yourself. You matter.

Love Lynn

Lynn is the author of several motivational books, including You Matter: 11 Ways that You Matter Even When the Worlds Seems to Tell You Otherwise.

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Watching TV Is an Escape… and a Potential Trap – Here’s Why #LoveLynn

I read a post recently that said you spend 12 years getting a basic education, four years in college and then the rest of your life working hard to pay bills.

When you put it like that life sounds pretty depressing doesn’t it? But the fact of the matter is that people *choose* this as their life — it doesn’t have to be that way.

Some people do what they love for the rest of their life. Some people choose to live an extremely modest life so that they can pursue their art instead of working at a job. Some people work 10 years then retire and travel the world. They all made a different decision.

Is Too Much TV Zapping the Life Out of Your Goals?
One of my mentors in my head, Zig Ziglar, said that one of the reasons why many people aren’t successful is that they spend too much time watching television. I had to take a look at my own schedule and admit that he was absolutely right. Whenever I turn on the TV, it’s like the hours fly by and I’ve barely gotten anything done. When I turn it off, I get so much work done.

Here’s an important question to ask yourself this week — how many hours per day do you spend watching television?

Television is a mental escape for many people. It allows them to take a temporary vacation from real life and visit the lives of others. Except in most cases those others are simply actors playing a role (not real). Even though we know they are actors, we often shape our lives and our thoughts based on what we see daily on television and in the media. That’s why I say it’s a potential trap, because in addition to losing time, you could lose yourself in the images you’re watching.

Watching TV vs Sleeping
I have a theory that the time you spend watching TV would probably be better spent sleeping. That’s because when you watch TV you’re in a sort of a mental sleep anyway, except that you are exposed to so many messages from the outer world that could be negatively affecting your life.

When you watch TV you are exposing yourself to the mindset and opinions of the writers of the show you’re watching. In many ways they shape public opinion and also how you perceive the world. That’s why it’s so important to evaluate what you allow yourself and your children to watch.

When you watch TV you also expose yourself to commercials that influence your behavior. How many times have you seen a fast food commercial on television and hours later or the next day you’re going through the drive thru, breaking your diet goals.

So I would say that sleeping for the same amount of hours per day that you watch TV would be preferable. Why? Because when you sleep you are regenerating your cells, rejuvenating your body, dreaming and exposing yourself to your own mind. It’s a chance to get in touch with your thoughts and possibly become inspired to do something really special with your life. Maybe you’ll even come up with an idea that will allow you to have a much better life story then just going to school for 16 years and working at a job you don’t really like for the rest of your life.

Not all TV is bad. Some programs and movies inspire and educate. But unfortunately the majority are solely designed to entertain and get the biggest audience so that money will be made. They aren’t written with your best interest in mind.

An Even Better Choice
Truth be told, neither sleeping nor watching television is the best use of those precious hours if you want to avoid a humdrum existence. I believe those hours are best spent working on your talent, trying new things, meeting new like-minded people and discovering your purpose. I don’t think our Higher Power intended for us to use them watching other people “live” in television, or just sleeping the day away.

A Different Perspective
This post is not meant to be judgmental — it’s meant to give you a different perspective on your day and on how you choose to design your life. If you’re not satisfied with the idea of working hard at a job until you can’t work anymore, then it’s up to you to change that narrative. It starts with making better use of the precious hours you’re given — the sooner the better.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a book of life and love advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

How Do I Deal with Being Alone During the Holidays? (Question from “Why Doesn’t He Love Me?”)

Here is a snippet of a question answered from my forthcoming book “Why Doesn’t He Love Me? (And More Questions We Women Torture Ourselves Over).” Hopefully the answer gives you some peace this holiday season.

Love Lynn

Question: How Do I Deal with Being Alone During the Holidays?

The major holidays (Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s) can be the most depressing times of the year when you’re single. It seems as if everyone you know is with their significant others or enjoying fun times with their families.

So how do you deal with being alone and lonely during the holidays?

Surround yourself with the things that you love!

They say that light is the only cure for darkness, so if you’re preparing for a holiday alone, fill your life and space with things that you absolutely love. Not just like…LOVE.

For example, I LOVE to have what I call a “seafood fest” from time to time. I buy crab legs, jumbo shrimp, flounder, potatoes and all of the extras. I am so involved in the process of buying and cooking my seafood that I completely forget anything else going on in my life at the moment.

I also LOVE to watch French movies with subtitles. They completely hold my attention (no distractions from social media) and I’m almost always inspired in some way. So I might find several French movies on Netflix and line them up for watching during the holidays.

I also LOVE a good massage, so I might schedule some time to go to the mall or a spa to have a 10 or 20 minutes massage by a professional early in the day. Then I’ll have my nails done. This gives me a good feeling that lasts all day long.

List a minimum of three things that you absolutely LOVE to do, and treat yourself to those things during the holidays. If money is an issue, explore the free things about life that can bring a smile to your face, like playing in the snow outside—who said you have to be a kid to make a snow angel? Maybe you’ll decide to volunteer to help someone else in need because you know that will give you a good feeling.

There’s one last thing to remember—avoid all negative media during the holidays that might make you feel insufficient at this time of year. Turn off the TV and spend some time with yourself.

When you approach the holiday season with a positive outlook, you may even be inspired to reach out to someone you care about and spend some time with them—even if it’s someone you’ve had a disagreement with in the past. Open your heart and open your mind…

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU. Her new book Why Doesn’t He Love Me? is due for release in early 2015.

Women, If You Could Have 2 Questions Answered About Life…

I am in the process of writing a new book on the questions that we women torture ourselves with throughout our lives.

My question to you: if you could have 2 questions answered about your life (as a woman) what would those 2 questions be?

Submit your response below — your question may be featured in the book!

Thank you in advance for your thoughtful response.
Love Lynn

Out of 250 Million Sperm …

Whenever I’m feeling a bit unsure or confused about life I like to think about the fact that out of 250 million sperm I was the chosen one. This is true for every human being on the planet — in other words, WE MADE IT.

To fully understand how important this point is, let’s have a quick biology lesson about how fetuses form.

During the process of conception, approximately 250 million sperm are competing to fertilize an egg. For a sperm to succeed at this goal it has to overcome a number of challenges:

– The acidic environment of the vagina kills some off quickly before they can reach the cervix.

– They have to navigate their way to the egg’s location without GPS. Some of them wander off in the wrong direction

– They’re swimming in competition with millions of other sperm with the same goal.

– The egg has to actually be there when it arrives (ovulation). If the sperm gets there too early or too late, it’s a no go.

– There are two Fallopian tubes — if the sperm gets to the wrong one, well that’s that.

– If the egg is there the sperm has to be the FIRST to push its head into the resilient exterior of the egg. Hundreds of other strong sperm are trying to do the same thing.

– Once the sperm does make it inside, it has to still be energetic enough to activate its cells with the egg’s and create a person.

That sperm is me. That sperm is you. That sperm is a fighter and a winner.

We are not mistakes. We are not losers by any stretch of the imagination. Our outer environment (the media, peers, family members, teachers) may tell us that we are “not enough” in one way or another, but it’s just a lie.

We were put here for a reason. Each of us came here to do something amazing. Why the heck else would our “stock” (the sperm we were formed from) be so strong and resilient in the face of so much adversity?

So keep that “250 million” thought handy whenever you’re feeling insecure or unsure about yourself. Keep it handy whenever you’re feeling worthless or useless. Keep it handy when you’re wondering what your purpose is here and if you even have a purpose.

You beat out 250 million other living entities and came out on top. That means you and I are really special and powerful, so I think it’s time we start acting like it.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

What Causes Depression (My Theory)

For the most part, doctors and experts are confused about what causes depression in people. Some believe it is something that is hereditary while others believe it comes from external factors, like environmental pollution and poor diet.

Here’s one other theory — the theory that I personally believe.

I believe that depression comes from having a “song” unsung inside of you. A song that’s desperately trying to get out into the world, but you suppress it time and time again.

By song I mean anything that would make your heart sing. That might be writing something special, creating something, growing something, learning something, pursuing a certain career or just speaking your mind.

A lot of people bottle up resentment for others instead of letting it out. Those poisonous feelings grow inside and can create a physical imbalance.

Some people are depressed because they never told that ONE person who hurt them deeply exactly how they feel.

Maybe you feel that someone or a group of someone’s has wronged you in some way, but you don’t have the courage to tell them about themselves.

Maybe you want to try something brand new in your life (like write music, write a story, be a fashionista or sky dive from a plane), but you don’t because you lack confidence or someone is telling you that you can’t.

Watching celebrities and other people on TV “live their dreams” while you are not can unknowingly be a major source of depression.

My Bouts with Depression
I believe the bouts of depression I experienced in my life came from a number of situations where I left my “songs unsung” so to speak:

– allowing myself to be teased as a young child and not standing up for myself more

– showing unrequited love and support to family members / friends who thought it was fine to treat me a certain way (and not expressing my true feelings about it to them)

– a failed business venture early in my life that left me feeling devastated, useless and stupid

– allowing men to come into and out of my life, using me up, without telling them exactly how much they hurt me

All of these experiences and more allowed years of pain, anger, resentment and guilt to build up within me until the bubble finally “popped” and it came out in an unhealthy way. To overcome severe depression I had to recognize the source of the issue and release it to God. And yes, in some cases I had to tell a few people off, which felt great. Why spare the feelings of an insensitive person who has wronged you at the expense of your own health and wellness ?

I do believe that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance, but I don’t think it is something that’s *inherent* in you — it’s something that happens over time as you internalize negativity.

You shouldn’t put up with nonsense and negativity in your life.

Can you relate to any of this? If so, take a moment to write down the various people, situations and experiences that may have lead you to suffer from depression. It could help you to identify the source of the problem so that you can work on releasing it.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.