Motivational

Motivational Hub

All Things Motivational & Inspirational

Welcome to our motivational and inspirational hub—the place for you to get your fix of optimism and tools to rock your better-than-ever life!

Whether you’re interested in flexing your positivity muscle, you’re going through a rough patch, you need a distraction from the 24/7 barrage of negative news—or you’re just not feeling your best self—this is the place to turn to for inspiration.

Mindfulness 101

Mindfulness is having a serious moment (no pun intended). It seems these days, this buzzword is on everyone’s lips—from your next-door neighbor, to Ron in IT, to your bestie’s hip grandma. Mindfulness is no longer some esoteric hobby reserved for yogis and A-list celebs—and for GOOD reason.

But what exactly is “mindfulness”?

Definitions vary, but in essence, mindfulness is the ability to be fully aware of what is happening around you in the present moment. Often referred to as a “practice”, this mental state of being (and living) is something anyone can access with—you guessed it—practice.

By mastering the art of mindfulness, we become more resilient, more anchored in and attentive to the now, and less overwhelmed by the incessant noise around us.

According to HelpGuide and the Mayo Clinic, practicing mindfulness can offer a slew of benefits including:

  • Stress reduction
  • Increased awareness of destructive thought patterns and beliefs
  • Greater connectedness with others
  • Improved attention
  • A greater appreciation of life
  • Mitigating heart disease and diabetes
  • Blood pressure reduction
  • Chronic pain reduction
  • Improved sleep
  • Reduced gastrointestinal issues
  • Decreased job burnout

What’s more, many therapists are now encouraging their clients to make mindfulness a habit to help address things like: substance abuse, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, relationship conflicts, and even OCD.

We personally love how Mindful.org describes the practice of mindfulness: “When we practice mindfulness, we’re practicing the art of creating space for ourselves—space to think, space to breathe, space between ourselves and our reactions.”

So how do you go about creating space?

To begin, you’ll want to dedicate a physical space and time every day to devote to mindfulness. Where and when is up to you, but we recommend finding a quiet, comfortable place and starting with 10 minutes, then gradually increasing the time.

The key is to be still, close your eyes, and tune in to your body. Concentrate on a focal point, like the rhythmic inhale/exhale of your breath. When your mind wanders (as it naturally will when you’re first getting started with mindfulness), acknowledge it and return your attention calmly to the breath. Don’t beat yourself up if you find you’re easily distracted by thought. This is natural and with time and practice, this tendency will diminish.

A few other common forms of mindfulness meditations include:

  • Body scan meditation – This is often done lying down, though you can also perform this in a seated position. The practice involves tuning in acutely to every part of your body, beginning with your head and working all the way down to your toes, paying special notice to areas where you feel greater sensation (e.g. tingling, pain, tension, etc).
  • Sitting meditation – Also called “expanding awareness meditation”, this type of mindfulness meditation is usually performed in the seated position—cross-legged or seated in a chair. It involves focusing your attention on your breath, and becoming aware of the different sensations, thoughts, and feelings occurring in your body, as well as outside sounds. This practice can be done with eyes open or closed, and be even more powerful if performed barefoot with feet planted firmly on the ground, feeling the earth.
  • Movement meditation – This type of mindfulness meditation includes yoga, t’ai chi, qi gong, walking, and other physical exercises that integrate mind and body.
  • Visualization – This form of meditation involves using a specific image or person as a focal point of your mindfulness practice. You might, for instance, engage in a meditation for compassion, where you employ visualization techniques to cultivate loving-kindness either toward yourself or others.

To learn more about mindfulness, check out the following blog posts:

  • 10 Tools to Supercharge Your Mindfulness Meditation
  • Using Yoga To Augment Your Mindfulness Practice
  • What are the Best Mindfulness Activities?
  • How to Create a Meditation Corner
  • A Guided Meditation for Stress & Anxiety – led by Stacey or Carey

The Power of Positive Thinking

Positive thinking is another powerful practice many people are adding to their mental toolkit. Adopting a positive mindset can help you:

Make proactive strides forward in your life
Banish destructive thoughts and perceptions that are standing in the way of your success
Find more joy and purpose
Improve your health

…and lots more.

As the phrase implies, “positive thinking” refers to one’s ability to focus on the good in life and the belief that things will work out for the better.

We all have an internal dialogue—or belief system—that guides our daily existence. These scripts that play on repeat inside our heads have either a positive or negative slant. If your inner voice tends toward negativity, this can rob you of peace and happiness, severely limit your potential, and hurt your overall health and well-being.

Positive thinkers typically employ a combination of the following methods to embrace optimism:

  • Reciting affirmations
  • Practicing gratitude
  • Smiling more
  • Reframing negative thoughts
  • Positive visualization
  • Practicing mindfulness
  • Prioritizing their health
  • Making time for self-care
  • Surrounding themselves with uplifting people and content, especially on social media

If you tend to be a bit of a pessimist, the great news is you can retrain your brain to adopt a positive mindset. Learn more about how to leverage the power of positive thinking.

For more helpful resources, check out the following blog posts:

  • How to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude
  • 10 Positive Affirmations to Reduce Anxiety
  • How to Manifest Your Dreams
  • Create Your Own Vision Board
  • 5 Apps to Help You Be More Positive
  • Finding Happiness in Nature

Practicing Self-Care

We all know the merits and far-reaching benefits of investing time and energy into caring for ourselves. Self-care helps us:

  1. Remember who we are/connect to ourselves
  2. Boost our immunity
  3. Feel happier
  4. Be more productive
  5. Cultivate self-compassion
  6. Take better care of others
  7. Relieve stress
  8. Reflect and regroup
  9. Feel more energetic
  10. Improve overall well-being

All amazing things, right? And bonus: mindfulness experts have suggested that even 10 minutes of self-care a day can make an impact.

So why, then, do so many of us struggle to do it?

According to Psychology Today, time is part of it. But self-compassion (or should we say, lack of it) is actually the major culprit.

Many people consider self-care to be an indulgence (think of the oft-used phrase “indulging in self-care”), an act of selfishness—narcissistic even. In truth, we don’t consider ourselves worthy of the time or effort.

But the beaten-to-death airplane mask analogy is a cold, hard truth. We cannot care well for anyone in our lives if we don’t first tend to ourselves.

We must show ourselves the same level of love, acceptance, kindness, and compassion we would show a loved one. Giving ourselves some TLC doesn’t have to be hard, expensive, or time-consuming!

For other helpful self-care resources, check out these blogs (coming soon!):

  • 60 Healthy Self-Care Ideas
  • 13 Self-Care Habits You Can Do In 10 Minutes Or Less
  • Our Top 10 Self-Care Products
  • How to Cultivate Self-Compassion & Empathy
  • How to Master the Art of Forgiveness
  • Why Self-Pleasure Is a Critical Form of Self-Care
  • 7 Types of Self-Care to Know

Habit Change: The Key to Healthier, Happier Living

How many of us have wished there was some magic potion or elixir we could take to make us healthier, happier, more peaceful, and purpose-filled? (Raises hand.)

Unfortunately there isn’t…but there is actually a pretty simple solution. And even better—it’s free.

It all begins with habits.

Habits are the foundation upon which our lives are built. They’re the automated behaviors that run our lives.

And depending on what they are, our habits can be beneficial or seriously detrimental to our health and well-being.

The good news is, we can replace our harmful habits through a process called habit change.

Simply put, habit change (or behavior change as it’s sometimes referred to) is the process of replacing harmful habits with healthy ones that support our best living.

Habit change is what creates lasting transformation. It’s the magic potion of sorts…because when you change your habits, you change your life.

For more on habit change, check out the following blog posts (coming soon!):

  • Habit Change Cheat Sheet: How to Change a Bad Habit
  • 10 Bad Habits to Ditch today
  • 10 Habits To Kickstart Your Better Than Ever Life

Other Inspirational Resources

At Health Coach Institute, we love sharing resources that inspire others to live their better-than-ever life. With that in mind, we’ve curated a collection of some of our favorite inspirational resources.

You can turn to these blog posts and podcasts a for some serious inspiration and motivation:

We hope these resources help you wherever you are in your health and wellness journey! Be sure to check back often, as we’ll be adding new content here regularly.

If you LOVE content like this and want to learn more techniques to help you live your best life, you could be a perfect match for a Health Coaching career. Click here to learn more about how you can launch a career as a Health Coach from anywhere in the world in just six months.