Mental Health

  • Shame kept me from being open

    56% of people say they’re uncomfortable talking to loved ones about their mental health.

    Even those they care for and trust.

    Behind this discomfort, lies a common culprit: shame.

    We’re often ashamed of our symptoms and what they say about us.

    We’re ashamed of needing help or seeming different.

    We’re ashamed of labels. For many, this shame becomes a guiding emotion.

    It keeps us from knowing ourselves and others, learning new things, and taking chances.

    I have felt so much shame for feeling anxious and I can recall after my dad passing away feeling so weak for hurting, crying and needing to take a break from my life (which I filled with busy to avoid my emotions).

    Let me make this clear: There’s nothing weak about having emotions. Let’s rid the #mentalhealthstigma and I am so passionate about speaking openly about mental health – showing you the reality of life, the ups AND the downs.

    I felt ashamed I had to take a pause in my job, that I couldnt go on my planned euro trip and to tell those I loved I was experiencing delayed grief onset.

    I cut myself off from everyone for a few months and I’m so glad my friends and family stuck by me and were so loving, kind and compassionate. We all experience grief differently.

    There is no shame in feeling your emotions. We are all human. Emotions are in our nature it’s what makes us truly alive – I am so grateful for my emotions.

    I am so grateful for this experience because truly if my dad did not pass I don’t know if I would be running this Instagram or being a life coach.

    His death taught me so much about life, myself and has ultimately helped me help so many of you beautiful souls 🧡

    This #mentalhealthawarenessmonth@madeofmillions is talking about shame & the things it keeps us from. I’m honored to be a campaign partner, and share my story alongside so many others. Learn more about their efforts over on their page, or support their work by making a tax deductible donation at madeofmillions.com/donate.

    Huge shout out to my friend @matthew.parisien who does so much for made of millions and how I became aware of the campaign.

     

    Additional resources

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  • 27: Normalising Boundaries With Family

    Episode Summary of The Grow Through It Podcast with Phi Dang, 27: Normalising Boundaries With Family

    Family and boundaries. Just because they are your family doesn’t mean they are exempt from boundaries. Boundaries exist to help and protect you in addition to strengthening all your relationships especially and including your family.

    What you'll learn from this episode

    • Why boundaries also apply to your family​
    • How your boundaries are formed as a child
    • What are boundaries
    • How boundaries are formed
    • The influence of family on boundaries – your upbringing
    • The 3 crucial things a life coach wants you to know about boundaries
    • How we recreate familial situations as an adult particularly in romantic relationships
    • Practical family scenarios and their influence on boundaries
    • A practical strategy to understand how your family influenced your boundaries​
    • Boundaries and cultural conditioning​
    • A life coach’s insight on boundaries

    Key Quotes from this Episode

    Boundaries are a beautiful tool - they help you to be true to who you are and be in your full expression in life!

    Phi Dang

    Boundaries apply to everybody not just one particular type of relationship.

    Phi Dang

    People cannot mind read so you can’t expect people to just know boundaries

    Phi Dang

    Featured Resources on the episode

    Show Transcript

    [Introduction to the Grow Through It Podcast With Phi Dang plays – Background Music: upbeat, confident, rising beat]:

    Don’t just go through life, grow through it. Don’t just go through life, grow through it.

    Hi and Welcome to the Grow Through It Podcast with Phi Dang.

    My name is Phi and I am a Clarity and Confidence Life Coach known as the “The Positivity Queen.”

    My passion is to help you go from stuck and self critical to courageous and empowered so you can conquer anything.

    Join me, every Tuesday, as I discuss all things mindset, self love, energy and purpose.

    This podcast won’t just inspire and motivate you, it will also provide practical tips and strategies you can implement in your daily life.

    Ready to grow? Let’s grow!

    [Grow Through It Podcast With Phi Dang End of Intro]

    [Episode 27 – Normalising Boundaries With Family]

    Normalising Boundaries With Family Introduction

    Hi beautiful soul!

    Wherever you are right now and whatever you are doing I hope you are doing well and fully present! 

    I’ve actually started listening to more podcasts when I drive, so if you’re driving full focus on the road whilst absorbing this podcast. 

    In fact a few of you have written to let me know you love listening whilst driving too and re-listening at home when you can fully take in everything and write notes. 

    Welcoming a new 1:1 client!

    First of all I wanted to do a huge shout and congratulations to my new 1:1 client S wooohooo beautiful soul I’m so excited to be working with you – my first client from London! In our initial consultation chat S was blown with the breakthroughs and realisations she was having about her anxiety and perspective regarding her career and feeling held back from getting a promotion. She’s now stepped into her power and I can’t wait to see what the next few months working with her will lead to!

    Work with Phi

    If you’ve been tuning in for a while, finding my posts resonating and feel the pull to work with me – please get in touch – I would love to work with you as I have done with my clients to help you overcome your negative self talk and limiting beliefs so you can start living your best life, your next level of growth and evolution! 

    Why boundaries also apply to your family

    Today’s episode is inspired and rooted in my latest Instagram post which I did on Sunday to coincide with Mother’s Day. Part of that post was being really firm with boundaries even for and especially for family members like your mum.

    I want to start the episode with a key insight for you: your family at the end of the day are human just like you. They aren’t on a pedestal, we are all and in one the same. From the same source which you may call God, Universe, Spirit, Source, Infinite Intelligence – whatever resonates best with you. 

    Labels of mum, dad, sibling are what we give to identify the relationship to the person. They are also roles, you are a daughter or son to someone, perhaps even a sibling.

    Just because they are your family it doesn’t mean boundaries don’t apply to them. Boundaries apply to everybody not just one particular type of relationship.

    How your boundaries are formed as a child

    And here comes the journey of navigating and understanding the huge role our families play in the formation and enactment of our boundaries.

    So many things we believe – how we act, what we believe to be true is formed and learnt from birth and as children. 

    We are always consciously and subconsciously absorbing the world around us like sponges that in turn create our programming and conditioning. 

    This can become tricky when you are so accustomed to a certain way and belief that perhaps you may not even realise the situations around you are unhealthy, in fact you think it is ‘normal’ based on your upbringing and conditioning.

    How your upbringing and family influence your boundaries

    Depending on how you were raised – boundaries may or may not be a thing. 

    Simply put, boundaries are what you put in place whether physically, mentally, emotionally, morally, financially and so forth to protect yourself and what behaviour you will allow. 

    As a baseline boundaries are ensuring you are respected. That goes both ways including respecting your own self and being firm and following through with the boundaries you set. 

    Think of them as sliding doors, used when needed. 

    Boundaries are a beautiful tool – they help you to be true to who you are and be in your full expression in life!

    The importance of clearly explained boundaries

    Whilst I’m talking about boundaries, from my experience as a life coach I can’t stress how important it is to clearly communicate and define your boundaries. 

    People cannot mind read so you can’t expect people to just know boundaries – if you tell them clearly there cannot be any confusion.

    How we recreate familial situations as an adult particularly in romantic relationships

    On the topic of family and our boundaries, it is in fact our family relationships which form the foundation and groundwork for a lot of other relationships we go on to have in our lives particularly romantic relationships. We often recreate familial situations in romantic relationships consciously and unconsciously.

    A common example that I identify with is fear of being abandoned. Growing up as an only child, having my parents divorced I had developed a fear of being alone and abandoned. 

    I can recall memories of being left alone in the house and freaking out when my parents just popped out to the shops and of course the heart wrenching memories of my parents splitting up. 

    Being so young I didn’t know how this would impact me and later on I realised I would get very easily and anxiously attached to men I dated. It wasn’t til I did the work I was able to move forward and free myself from this limiting narrative and conditioning. 

    The impact of your family and the boundaries you have

    So back to familial relationships and boundaries here are some ways in which this can unfold in your life.

    Chaotic upbringing

    Perhaps if you grew up in a chaotic upbringing, you desire more security and control and so you exert firm boundaries as a means of power and distilled down for your safety. 

    A healthy boundary for this would be discussing any suspicions of a partner cheating instead of harbouring resentment, making assumptions or making a rule to be able to always check and read each other’s messages.

    No boundaries

    Perhaps you grew up in a household where there were no boundaries, what we know to be as enmeshed families to differing degrees – you spoke to your parents about everything and in turn they knew everything about your business and you knew everything about theirs. 

    A healthy boundary for this would be giving your parents a general update on your dating life but at the end of the day you will date who you desire.

    Spending time with your family

    Perhaps you grew up expected to spend all your time with your family and now you feel very guilty for having your own life and spending time apart from your family. 

    Or maybe it was that if someone felt sad in your family, everyone was expected to feel sad too. 

    Maybe your family played a very active role in your academic or social life – pushing things to be a certain way. All of these things play a role in the formation of your boundaries. 

    A practical strategy to understand how your family influenced your boundaries

    For a moment put yourself in a time machine to when you were younger and you said “I don’t want to” or “I don’t like…” or “why do I have to do this…?” 

    Really as a child we are made to do a lot of things we may not necessarily want to as we are learning and growing – being made to speak to or see certain people, eat particular foods, extra curricular activities before, at and after school.

    How did your family react? That can help inform a lot about the conditioning you have when it comes to boundaries. 

    Know that boundaries develop over time, for example the significant shift occurs as you go from a child to an adult particularly on your independence. Maybe your family dynamics change, divorce happens or new partners in the family happen.

    Boundaries aren't evil or made to hurt anyone

    Boundaries aren’t an evil tool in place to hurt other people or let them down.

    Boundaries are the opposite, they protect you and strengthen your relationships. When you can feel safe and at ease with yourself and the world around you, that benefits everyone.

    Boundaries and cultural conditioning

    Boundaries particularly feel difficult on particular occasions such as Mother’s Day which has just happened or holiday season such as Christmas. Cultural conditioning comes into play – it’s that feeling of ‘you have to spend time with your family’, ‘you should be nice to your family’ and so forth. 

    So how do you overcome this? By getting curious. By stepping back and being the awareness of observer of the stories. Oh this makes sense because “society as a whole expects you to spend time with your family.” 

    Just because it’s a holiday it doesn’t mean you have to talk to a toxic family member again or even spend time with them if it makes you feel upset and uncomfortable. 

    Go deeper and bring it back to the self – do the inner work. Notice your triggers. See the patterns. If you have difficulty this is where someone like myself, a life coach, can help you, or another profession such as a psychologist. 

    Note: Listening to the episode on bringing awareness to your inner child can help and be a good start!

    Your boundaries are yours

    At the end of the day your boundaries exist for you and are created solely by you. 

    Give yourself permission to have boundaries because they are important for your safety and wellbeing. 

    You know yourself best and it’s healthy to do what’s best for you. 

    It’s healthy because in order for you to be your best for those you love, you need to be at your best. 

    Episode closing Grow Through It Podcast with Phi Dang 27: Normalising Boundaries With Family

    Understand that it is often difficult and uncomfortable to set boundaries again depending on your programming and conditioning. So be patient, gentle, kind and compassionate with yourself. Know that the rewards of having healthy boundaries are worth the uncomfortable journey of enacting boundaries with our loved ones. At the end of the day if your family love you they would want to respect you in the same way that you would want to as well.

    Until next Tuesday beautiful souls for another episode of The Grow Through It Podcast with Phi Dang, love and positivity. 

    [Episode 27 – Normalising Boundaries With Family Outro]

    Are you wanting to find out more about 1:1 Coaching or working with me? Maybe perhaps you want to know more about me. I’d love to connect with you. You can visit my website phidang.com or connect with me on Instagram @thephidang. Speak to you soon.

    Click here to read more

  • Hell no to this one very toxic thing you think

    We hear people say this all the time and it truly is very damaging to us.

    Just BE POSITIVE.

    Positive thoughts only.

    Good vibes only.

    NooOoope.

    We aren’t robots set to one default feeling or mental concept only.

    And even if we were how boring would life be…

    And what you resist persists.

    It makes you feel worse trying to force yourself to feel a certain way or think a certain way.

    It’s damn draining and tiring.

    It’s not about being positive all the time or even being positive at all.

    It’s about being in your POWER.

    You don’t need to label anything.

    Grounding yourself in your essence and strength.

    No matter what happens or thoughts you’re going to be okay.

    You got this.

    Allow it all because it’s life, it’s a part of the human experience.

    So bring on whatever – “positive” or “negative thoughts” you got this 👊🏽

    Want to work on your personal power and strength? I got you! Lets work together 🥰

    love & positivity (but not all the time 🤪) ✨ phi 👁

    Click here to read more

  • May is Mental Health Month 2021

    MAY IS MENTAL HEALTH MONTH 🧡 9 Powerful Reminders You Need To Hear (refer to post above and move through the carousel) 

    Mental health is for a conversation and important every single day not just in May (which is to raise awareness).

    Mental health does not discriminate.

    It happens to anyone at any age, gender, race and place in their life.

    Even if you’ve done the work, done the healing, seen professionals it can pop back up again.

    Mental health is a journey not a destination.

    Mental health is not being happy all the time and thinking positively.

    There’s nothing wrong with you for having a diagnosis. It does not define you.

    It’s not weird or shameful to have a diagnosis.

    Looking after your mental health looks different for everyone.

    You are not alone.

    Please tag, send and share this with everyone. Let’s raise awareness for mental health and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. Let’s talk about it to create conversation and change for the better 👊🏽

    Click here to read more

  • 12: Understanding Your Negative Emotions

    Episode Summary of The Grow Through It Podcast with Phi Dang, 12: Understanding Your Negative Emotions

    This episode gets real on negative emotions despite society where we avoid negativity and put up a front of positivity always. Learn about why you have negative emotions and how you create negativity in your mind. We also delve into practical tips and strategies on how to be less negative.

    What you'll learn from this episode

    • Why we feel negative emotions
    • How you create negativity in your mind
    • The role and impact of attention and focus on negativity
    • An instant life hack on being less negative
    • How a simple shift in mindset can change your perspective on negativity

    Key Quotes from this Episode

    Now when you understand that your thoughts determine your reality, you can understand how to make yourself feel certain emotions, you can generate how you want to feel.

    Phi Dang

    Energy flows where focus goes.

    Phi Dang

    You can focus on emotions you don’t want or focus on emotions you do want.

    Phi Dang

    Featured Resources on the episode

    The Grow Through It Podcast with Phi Dang, 12: Understanding Your Negative Emotions

    You are listening to Episode 12 of the Grow Through It Podcast with Phi Dang: Understanding Your Negative Emotions.

    [Introduction to the Grow Through It Podcast With Phi Dang plays – Background Music: upbeat, confident, rising beat]:

    Don’t just go through life, grow through it. Don’t just go through life, grow through it.

    Hi and Welcome to the Grow Through It Podcast with Phi Dang.

    My name is Phi and I am a Clarity and Confidence Life Coach known as the “The Positivity Queen.”

    My passion is to help you go from stuck and self critical to courageous and empowered so you can conquer anything.

    Join me, every Tuesday, as I discuss all things mindset, self love, energy and purpose.

    This podcast won’t just inspire and motivate you, it will also provide practical tips and strategies you can implement in your daily life.

    Ready to grow? Let’s grow!

    [Grow Through It Podcast With Phi Dang End of Intro]

    [Episode 12 – Understanding Your Negative Emotions Begins]

    Hi Beautiful Soul, so glad you’re here. 

    I want to start this episode with flagging I’m recording in a new location for the podcast so there may be a little background noise a car and bird chip here or there but I didn’t want that to stop me from recording and releasing a new podcast for you.

    Genuinely I usually record in a my clothes wardrobe nook but I’ve been barred from that because my boyfriend is currently ill and so I’m in the office recording it.

    A wardrobe nook – yes it’s actually the best place to record because it keeps all the sound insular and all my clothes muffles background noise. A sneak peak into life now – I love it because one day I know I’ll have my own pro podcasting room in the future – it’s on my manifestation list.  

    How are you doing today? Really how are you doing?

    I have something to confess I had a whole other episode scripted and ready to go but an immense wave of grief hit me.

    It was as to no surprise for it was my dad’s birthday the other day, he would have been in his late sixties.

    It was such a wave of grief that I truly struggled, I felt very low and I have to say every day I cried. 

    Now? I feel okay. I’m good and it’s because through self development and having a coach myself I have learnt to navigate negative emotions. 

    To add to this, this time, last year, whilst I also cried I didn’t feel as low, I was feeling quite upbeat and positive.

    And that’s emotions for you.

    They are waves, they’ll always go up and down, some will be high and low, other times still and flat.

    One thing is for sure, in life you will always be navigating emotions and negativity more often than not given our brain is negatively biased to protect us.

     

    Getting real on social media - the truth about positivity

    As a life coach and as someone with a large community of over 10,000 followers on Instagram – I have made a commitment to myself, my clients and community to always be honest and true. That is to not pretend on social media and in real life that life is all sunshine, rainbows and unicorns because it’s not.

    On social media there is a facade of perfection we put up highly stylised images, we always look happy, in fact we curate so much of it. What images we select, how we portray ourselves and somewhere along the line some of us have believed that it’s real.

    Always happy, always camera ready, always positive. I stand for positivity, authenticity and integrity. To be true. To show you when I feel the lows – what it’s really like and it is sometimes a chaotic mess, a roller coaster. Even as someone is known as the Positivity Queen, I still feel negative sometimes because I am human and positivity doesn’t exclude negativity exclusively. 

    I’ll repeat that again because that’s an important distinction: positivity doesn’t exclude negativity. They require each other. More on that later.

    There’s a misconception as a life coach that all we preach is being happy and positive all the time however that’s not the case. As a life coach I teach my clients to feel the full spectrum of their emotions and practical tools and strategies to understand and navigate their emotions.

    Let it also be known even when you learn tools and strategies, how your mind works though brain based coaching there will still be times you feel negative.

    I have talked to people and have clients who you would think have perfect lives on the outside but on the inside it’s a different reality. Don’t let appearances or social media fool you. 

    Social media along with the media in general – TV shows, movies, radio has somehow led us all to believe that we are always so happy farting rainbows and glitter or that sadness is glamourised in this aching, cool way.

    I want to talk about what other people don’t talk about or are scared to and that is negative emotions because we all go through it.

    So let’s get real on negative emotions on understanding them and owning them.

    Negativity by default

    When I first start working with clients, a lot of the time they think they are just negative by default which is true. Yes. Humans have a negative bias which is evolutionary to keep us safe, being negative compelled us into instant action in an immediate return environment.

    Rustle in the bushes defaults to dangerous animal, take instant action flee which means you are safe. Interpret the rustle as just wind meant no action meant potential of death if that was in fact a dangerous animal.

    For more on this concept, listen to Episode 10 of the Podcast, How to be a Warrior Not Worrier.

    How you create negativity is through your thoughts

    Now acknowledging we have a negative bias, we create our own negativity through our thoughts.

    The world is nothing but neutral circumstances, it is our thinking that determines our feelings of positivity or negativity.

    For example, rain on a weekend is a natural circumstance. 

    Your thinking would determine if that’s a positive or negative, on person may jump to a negative because they can no longer have a picnic outside whereas someone else sees it as a positive – they don’t have to water the plans outside.

    So bring awareness and to attention to your thoughts. How do they create your reality?

    Negativity isn’t only created by overt thoughts in your mind, negativity creeps in through subtle ways.

    Judging others. Criticising others. Shaming. Jumping to conclusions…

    “That won’t work for me”

    “I can’t do that”

    “I don’t like”

    “I’m too tired”

    “It’s too hard” 

    “I’ve never been able to”

    And of course the number 1 way negativity builds in to your life: Complaining.

    Try cutting out complaining for one whole day and see how you feel.

    Now when you understand that Your thoughts determine your reality, you can understand how to make yourself feel certain emotions, you can generate how you want to feel.

    Is it easy? No. Is it possible, yes.

    The impact of attention and focus on negativity

    Energy flows where focus goes. 

    Simply put, focus on the negative and you have a negative mindset. Focus on the positive and you have a positive mindset.

    You can focus on the fact how much you hate mint ice cream or focus on how much you love honeycomb.

    You can focus on everything that’s going wrong in your life or focus on everything that is going right in your life.

    You can focus on emotions you don’t want or focus on emotions you do want.

    Don’t just focus on what you want, find what you want.

    Find something everyday to be positive about.

    Have an open mind, allow yourself to feel positive. Look at kids, they are always so open and get ridiculously happy and excited about what we consider the small things: sand, waves, puppies, butterflies, being outside…

    Why it's hard not to be negative

    For many it’s easy to be negative – to criticise, to dismiss, to be skeptical. It’s harder to consciously and intentionally to do the work to be positive – to acknowledge the good, to purposely change your thoughts. Thinking on purpose requires relentless consistency and it can be exhausting. You have to catch yourself having the thoughts and not only decide to change but to do the work to make the change happen.

    It’s like what Socrates says “the secret to change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new.”

    It doesn’t help that your brain is also lazy but it’s understandable it takes up so much energy on a subconscious level you don’t even realise. The brain is pumping your blood around your body, breathing automatically, blinking automatically… it can’t help but be a bit lazy and want to do things efficiently.

    It’s easier for your brain to give into the negativity, to wallow even though it knows if it does the work it can be more positive. The thoughts you’ve been thinking repeatedly are so comfortable and easy like taking the same route to work everyday vs trying a new one which many cut down minutes off your commute but that involves energy, effort and time upfront. 

    Thought work on negativity

    https://phidang.com/05-river-of-misery/You can even get caught in a place where you catch your thoughts, you intellectually understand you are having a negative thought but you feel stuck because you feel like you can’t change it. That’s the real catch you can. You only can’t at this moment because you believe the thought, that because you thought it, it must be real and you aren’t open to other possibilities such as the thought isn’t true or that the thought isn’t a fact or maybe even that you are wrong (oh hello ego!). More on this on Episode 5, River of Misery. 

    All of the thought work it takes to overcome negativity requires tiny leaps of faith. To be willing to feel your emotions and realise it won’t kill you and that you could be wrong. To be willing to do the work knowing it feels terrible right now but will become easier and second nature like working out. Lifting the weights feels impossible and heavy at first, but over time with consistent practice, it becomes effortless until it’s time to reach the next level.

    Negativity isn't all bad, negativity serves a purpose

    https://phidang.com/03-beyond-the-law-of-attraction-the-12-universal-laws/I’ll let you ponder on that for a moment whilst I state the fact that negativity itself isn’t all bad, in fact it serves a purpose.

    Positivity doesn’t exist without negativity.

    Light doesn’t exist without dark.

    It’s Ying and Yang, the law of correspondence (more on that on Episode 3 Beyond the Law of Attraction, the 12 Universal Laws).

    How would we know happiness without sadness?

    What would life be to you if you were only happy all the time?

    Negativity raises our self awareness and like our cave man ancestors it drives us to take action.

    If we feel unhappy it forces us to look at our lives, to see what we want and don’t want, to drive us to create an intentional life where we are being our must truest and authentic selves. 

    Resisting negativity makes life harder and more negative

    Negativity has become a huge force that messes with our minds nowadays because we cocoon ourselves in double negativity.

    We make it more negative by resisting.

    I’m not meant to feel negative.

    I can’t feel negative.

    I shouldn’t feel negative.

    These negative thoughts mean there’s something wrong with me.

    Think about if if you are already feeling negative and then judge yourself on being negative, you are in a double negative situation.

    It’s unnecessary for you to beat yourself up about feeling negative because it doesn’t help.

    In fact the more you resist, the more it persists. 

    I think about waves. Imagine how much harder it is to swim against the current and tide as opposed to just going along with it and seeing where it takes you.

    How does it feel to resist as opposed to allow.

    Allow feels much nicer for me, much calmer. My mind is at peace. 

    The energy is completely different. 

    Most of us don’t allow our emotions, we don’t feel it the full way through so it’s weird sometimes we don’t actually know how it fully feels. We resist which creates suffering, we get scared of the suffering, we future predict all the discomfort we will feel and we resist.

    Instead of resisting and wanting yourself to be positive, can you find the neutral ground?

    Neutralising negativity, the first step to being less negative

    For example if you think you’re not good enough, it takes a huge leap to suddenly say I am the most amazing person but it’s much easier to have a neutral thought like “I don’t feel good enough right now and that’s okay. I am human”.

    That thought is more neutral, there is acceptance in there and the thought opens up possibilities to the fact hey maybe I’m not good enough isn’t true. 

    It’s like on a scale going from a -5 to a -3, that in itself is progress. 

    Try it! It’s like an instant life hack, allow the thought, drop the I should feel this instead or I shouldn’t feel this or it should be different and the edge of suffering melts away. 

    Allowing over resisting.

    If there was a free voucher for bungee jumping it’s much easier for someone who loves heights and adrenaline to take it up then someone who is terrified of heights.

    Allowing over resisting. 

    Allowing is tolerating. Yes there may still be slight discomfort like an ache or headache but that’s okay. It won’t kill you. You will live, you can go on with life.

    Negativity can become automatic

    That’s the funny thing about our minds. It automatically jumps to the conclusion and equates negativity with suffering.

    It makes sense.

    If every time you ate carrot cake and felt sick, your mind equates carrot cake to making you have a bad reaction, that’s your only experience at current. 

    This is the same with feeling negativity automatically makes you suffer.

    However imagine we found out that it was the flour making you sick and replace it with gluten free flour. At first your mind will still be like no i’m not eating the carrot cake, every time I do it makes me sick. It’s understandable because your mind has never had the experience that carrot cake won’t make you sick. Your brain panics and resists the new carrot cake.

    It takes a little tiny leap of faith knowing that this new cake won’t because it has gluten free flour. Once you do you realise oh I don’t feel sick and it’s okay.

    That’s the same with allowing yourself to feel your negative emotions. You think it will be awful but in reality its okay. It’s uncomfortable, it’s hard but you are capable. You can feel hard things. 

    Approaching negativity with curiosity

    To make this process easier, shift your mindset from one of judgement of yourself for the emotions you have to curiosity.

    Sit with the emotions, welcome them, get curious to see what emotions mean.

    What are they telling you about what is going on in your life?

    How can you see your emotions as an ally not a foe?

    How can you learn and grow from the current emotions at present? 

    The Grow Through It Podcast with Phi Dang, 12: Understanding Your Negative Emotions

    If it’s one thing you practice from this podcast is to try allowing over resisting.

    If you’re listening along and thinking “I’m so sick of having negative thoughts on repeat all the time”

    Do you identify yourself as a negative person and feel stuck and helpless, as if you will be negative for the rest of your life?

    Do you want to wake up feeling confident and assured that no matter what happens you will be able to handle it?

    If you are, let’s chat visit my website phidang.com or DM me on Instagram @thephidang because I can help.

    I’ve gone from the depths of anxiety, depression and grief to someone who is able to navigate the hardest of emotions from the grief of losing my dad at the age of 20 and experiencing life in negativity and being numb and emotionless.

    I can teach you how to rewire your brain for positivity as I do with my clients. I’ve only got 3, 1:1 coaching spots left so get in touch with me now. 

    Enjoy your day beautiful soul, next week’s episode will be the one I actually scripted for this week “Your Brain is a Liar”. It’s an eye opening episode where you realise how often your brain lies to you… Speak to you next Tuesday. Love and positivity.

    [Episode 12 – Understanding Your Negative Emotions]

    Are you wanting to find out more about 1:1 Coaching or working with me? Maybe perhaps you want to know more about me. I’d love to connect with you. You can visit my website phidang.com or connect with me on Instagram @thephidang. Speak to you soon.

    Click here to read more

  • 10: How to be a Warrior not a Worrier

    Episode Summary of The Grow Through It Podcast with Phi Dang, 10: How to be a Warrior not a Worrier

    Learn the biological and evolutionary reason as to why you worry. Find out what it means to have a warrior mindset in addition to practical ways you can be a warrior not a worrier.

    What you'll learn from this episode

    • The biological and evolutionary reason why humans worry
    • What a warrior mindset means
    • Practical strategies to be a warrior not a worrier

    Key Quotes from this Episode

    Don’t let others or society define it for you, figure out what success is for you.

    Phi Dang

    Don’t let others or society define it for you, figure out what success is for you.

    Phi Dang

    Don’t let others or society define it for you, figure out what success is for you.

    Phi Dang

    Featured Resources on the episode

    The Grow Through It Podcast with Phi Dang, 10: How to be a Warrior not a Worrier

    You are listening to episode 10 of the Grow Through It Podcast with Phi Dang: How to be a Warrior not Worrier.

    [Introduction to the Grow Through It Podcast With Phi Dang plays – Background Music: upbeat, confident, rising beat]:

    Don’t just go through life, grow through it. Don’t just go through life, grow through it.

    Hi and Welcome to the Grow Through It Podcast with Phi Dang.

    My name is Phi and I am a Clarity and Confidence Life Coach known as the “The Positivity Queen.”

    My passion is to help you go from stuck and self critical to courageous and empowered so you can conquer anything.

    Join me, every Tuesday, as I discuss all things mindset, self love, energy and purpose.

    This podcast won’t just inspire and motivate you, it will also provide practical tips and strategies you can implement in your daily life.

    Ready to grow? Let’s grow!

    [Grow Through It Podcast With Phi Dang End of Intro]

    [Episode 10 – How to Create and Have Success in 2021 Begins]

    Hello beautiful souls! How are you going today? So happy to have you join me on another episode of The Grow Through It Podcast with Phi Dang.

    It’s been a busy start to 2021 for me with all things coaching and I wanted to shout out some of the incredible wins my clients are having.

    Shout out to M, after one week of coaching we are already seeing huge shifts. When we first spoke, he described feeling numb when it came to dating women and he’s already called in a second date with a lovely lady who’s stirred some feelings within him!

    Shout out to J, a long time client who I recently reconnected with, he is continuing to work through his journey of his past with his family and past relationships. He’s recently opened up new perspectives after feeling very stuck for the last couple of years.

    Shout out to another J, a new client who after one session she’s put into practice her insights from our session and made 3 new groups of friends and did a huge social media clean up, the final step of letting go of her recent break up and channeling all of that time and energy to herself and her growth. All amazing wins I am so happy to share!

    If you are thinking about working with me, I’d love to chat and be shouting out your inevitable wins on the podcast sometime soon too! Details in show notes as usual or you can connect with me on my website phidang.com or instagram @thephidang.

     

    On worry in relation to your family and self

    Today’s episode is titled “How to be a warrior, not a worrier”. I saw this quote online and it really resonated with me. It’s a gem of a quote and shifts your mindset to one of power and confidence – that is something that I am all about. 

    My parents, particularly my mum, used to worry about me and I feel this was exacerbated by the fact that I am an only child.They would worry about life in general – what’s going on in the world, reading newspapers daily and watching the news every night including all weather updates, having enough money to pay bills, being safe from danger (stay away from this, don’t do that) and so forth. The constant worrying was most certainly passed down to myself as a personality trait. 

    I still do worry from time to time but to be honest I don’t really any more as I have full faith and confidence in myself and my capabilities. However rewind time to even 3 or 4 years ago, when I was younger I used to worry a lot.

    Will he like me? Will I be alone forever? Will anyone want to date me?

    Will I pass this test? Will I get this job? Will I be stuck in this job forever?

    Is my outfit okay? Will people notice this on my face?
    Am I really sick? Will I die? Do I have cancer? Is what I have something that has no cure? 

    If I spend this money, will I get my money’s worth? What if I wasted my money?

    And the list goes on… in fact sometimes I would end up in worry loops about worry!

    Am I worrying too much? Worrying doesn’t help and I logically know that so why am I worrying? Is something wrong with me? And then it loops round and round.

    Are you nodding your head along? Your parents worried a lot? You worry a lot? There’s an actual reason as to why this is. Humans are wired to worry. Worrying is a part of human biology and human evolution.

    The biological and evolutionary reason why you worry and why humans worry

    Worrying itself is not a problem, in fact worrying serves a purpose: to keep you safe and process potential threats. Worrying is a problem when it interferes with your life, is acutely intense and lasts longer than it usually does for you. 

    The theories of immediate-return environment and the delayed return environment are used to explain why humans worry.

    Immediate-return environment

    Humans used to live in an immediate-return environment, 500 years ago – In reference to time and history, 500 years is relatively recent.

    Our worries were immediate in nature as cavemen lived a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Worrying was very useful in the moment as it helped us take action in the moment rather than later for survival. 

    Your stomach grumbles > you feel worried about food > you find food > your worry is relieved.

    Your mouth feels parched and dry > you haven’t drunk enough water today > you feel worried and dehydrated > you find water > your worry is relieved

    You hear a storm brewing > you worry about getting wet and being cold > you find shelter > your worry is relieved.

    You feel cold > you worry about dying > you light a fire > your worry is relieved.

    All of the actions you take deliver immediate results, gratification and therefore you lived in the present moment.

    In fact animals still live in an immediate-return environment. As Duke University professor Mark Leary put it, “A deer may be startled by a loud noise and take off through the forest, but as soon as the threat is gone, the deer immediately calms down and starts grazing. And it doesn’t appear to be tied in knots the way that many people are.”

    Delayed return environment

    Nowadays we live in a delayed return environment where our decisions don’t immediately benefit us in in the moment.

    Some examples for you. 

    When you work, you get paid either fortnightly or monthly. When you work hard, you don’t get promoted immediately, you do after hitting your key performance indicators over time.

    If you save money now, you’ll have enough for when you retire later in life.

    When you start exercising and eating healthier foods, you’ll see results over time, you don’t lose weight or get fit immediately. 

    The nature of a delayed return environment results in uncertainty as a great source of worry. There are no guarantees to most things we do and in fact most of the choices we make today won’t immediately benefit us. 

    Going to school and university doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a job.

    Going on a date doesn’t mean you will meet the one, your soul mate. 

    Investing in stocks, doesn’t guarantee you’ll make returns. 

    Put simply, our brain is not designed to solve the problems of a delayed return environment. Our environment and way of living has changed rapidly, but our brains have not. Our brain hasn’t evolved to live in a delayed return environment.

    Now you know the biological and evolutionary reason as to why we worry, let’s talk about being a warrior not a worrier.

    What is the Warrior mindset?

    Before I share how you can be a warrior, not a warrior, let me set up the stage, what is the warrior persona?

    A warrior triumphs whereas a worrier cowers. A warrior has the rock solid, unshakable belief in them-self. They know how to handle anything that comes their way. A warrior is brave, they are not afraid of the unknown and even if they are, they put themselves out there. They confront and face their fears. They are not scared of challenges because they know they will rise to the challenge. In fact, warriors embrace all opportunities to grow because they know they have so much to gain. Warriors win massive wars, by focusing on winning one small battle at a time.

    Now we’ve established the warrior persona, I’m going to share 5 ways how you can be a warrior not a worrier.

    5 ways on how to be a Warrior not a Worrier

    1. Recognise that behind every emotion including worry, lies a thought.

    Your emotions are a result of your thoughts. Therefore if you want to change your emotions, you have to change your thoughts. 

    Bring awareness to your thoughts. Consciously choose to accept and run with a thought or reject and deny a thought. 

    Slice through unhelpful thoughts like a warrior with your sword of evidence. 

    Our thoughts are often stories or assumptions we create so question the thought – is there factual evidence to support this thought or am I making something up?

    2. Focus on what you can control and accept what you cannot change.

    I have two great exercises to share with you to help. The first is the dichotomy of control circles.


    On a piece of paper you draw two circles. The first being what you can control and the second being what you can’t control. No point worrying about what you can’t control because nothing you do will influence it. A super simple exercise.

    The second exercise I have for you to be a warrior and not a worrier is the circles of control. On a piece of paper draw a giant circle, a circle within that and a small circle within that. All in all it looks like a bullseye.

    The centre is what you can control – the circle of control. This is all within you that you can directly control such as your thoughts, your behaviour, your attitude, your effort, your energy, your actions and so forth.

    The circle outside the centre circle is the circle of influence, what you can influence such as your network and relationships. Emphasis on influence – you can’t make or force it. For example you can talk to the people you know and try convince someone, if you’re looking at a promotion you can influence this by building strong relationships with colleagues, putting yourself out there for more projects to take on and so forth.

    The largest is everything else outside of your control and influence. For example things like a global pandemic like coronavirus, the weather, strangers you don’t know, traffic, the economy, policies, the media and so forth.

    Onto the third way to be a warrior and not worrier.

    3. Be strategic, have a game plan and take action.

    Always be prepared. Identify what worries you and create a solution to the worry. It’s not enough to just create the game plan, you also have to take action.

    For example, if you are worried about getting a job, create an actionable plan on how to get a job. Chunk it down so it’s not overwhelming. For example if you want to get a job you need to apply for jobs. In order to apply for jobs you need a cover letter and resume. Start there! When you break it down it’s not so intimidating. 

    Another example is if you are worried you won’t have a partner, create an actionable plan on how to get a partner. In order to have a partner, you need to go on dates. In order to go on dates, you need to meet people. People are candidates for partners. How do you meet people? You can do that by going outside your house or within your home through applications and websites.

    A game plan also involves having coping strategies for worry such as setting aside time to worry such as 10 minutes then moving on as an example and a support network you can turn to when it becomes all overwhelming.

    If you need help creating a personalised game plan, strategies to cope and support, let’s chat. I work with clients to create a specific, actionable plan with clear steps that can be measured in order to achieve their goals. 

    Whether that’s getting a promotion, changing jobs, finding a partner, becoming an entrepreneur to make money online – anything is possible. A life coach is all about life! Just to add, not many people know that as part of my coaching, you’ll have access to me Monday to Friday so I can answer any questions or concerns that pop up along your journey to hitting your goals and up levelling your self! 

    4. Believe in yourself

    You are an amazing person. You’ve gone through so many hard things, times you didn’t think you would make it yet here you are. 

    This wasn’t by accident or change, this is because of you. You are strong, you are smart, you are capable and you are resilient. You know how to overcome obstacles and challenges.

    In fact when a worry comes up, repeat this mantra: I am a warrior, not a warrior.

    5. Work on your strength

    I mean strength physically and in your mind.

    It’s well known that exercise can alleviate anxiety. Exercises alleviates stress, provides a beneficial distraction and boosts your feel good endorphins. The high from accomplishing exercise will fuel you to conquer not only workout but whatever else is on your mind too. Physically you’ll even start to take the form of a warrior by getting super fit.

    Mentally, to work on your strength is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Do something small everyday that makes you feel uncomfortable to work on your mental strength such as running for an extra 5 minutes to keep your heart-rate going or try a cold shower!

    The Grow Through It Podcast with Phi Dang, 10: How to be a Warrior not a Worrier - Close

    To wrap it all up there are 5 ways to be a warrior not a worrier.

    1. Recognise that behind every emotion including worry, lies a thought.

    2. Focus on what you can control and accept what you cannot change.

    3. Be strategic, have a game plan and take action.

    4. Believe in yourself

    5. Work on your strength

    Be a warrior not a worrier! Every warrior has their teacher, so if you’re looking for your teacher, it would be an honour to be your teacher. 

    Thank you so much for joining me today beautiful souls. If you’ve enjoyed listening along, I would appreciate you sharing this with your friends or leaving a review, it would really help me to spread the word on personal development. 

    I’ll catch you next Tuesday with a new episode of the Grow Through It Podcast.

    Love and Positivity.

    [Episode 10 – How to Be a Warrior not  a Worrier Ends]

    Are you wanting to find out more about 1:1 Coaching or working with me? Maybe perhaps you want to know more about me. I’d love to connect with you. You can visit my website phidang.com or connect with me on Instagram @thephidang. Speak to you soon.

    Click here to read more

  • Men’s Health Week 2020 – A Perspective on Mental Health

    The lack of awareness about men’s mental health has been alarming to say the least. Through Instagram (@spoonful_of_sarah) I found out it was Men’s Health Week. Confusion. Sadness. Frustration. Apart from her Instagram I hadn’t seen any other promotion of Men’s Health Week.

    I felt conflicted… what should I do? I have a platform. I have influence. However this site, my Instagram had been targeted toward women.

    Should I say something? Did I have a right to say something? Who was I to say something?

    If I wasn’t going to say something who would?

    Off the back of the Black Lives Matter movement, if I stayed silent what did that say about me? What good does that do? If I say it wrong did I at least try?

    So I decided to make a post based and share information about men’s mental health. I had never expected such a huge response from the community. I had hoped if that one man had seen it or one man had been helped then it was all worth it.

    This experience made me really question the stereotypes and assumptions about mental health in relation to men. It made me realise why I only sought to speak to women? Beyond my gender experiences, there are experiences and commonalities that I as a woman also share with men.

    Before diving deep into my personal opinion and take of mental health and men please note:

    • I am not a medical professional and hugely encourage seeing a doctor/psychologist/psychiatrist – their expert advice is invaluable
    • This is my personal opinion and words. A take by a 26 year old female Australian shaped by other factors such as my heritage, life experiences, values etc.

    Toxic Masculinity

    For many men, struggling with a mental health issue means suffering in silence. Declining but still present stigmas around acknowledging mental health issues, as well as problematic ideas of masculinity often play heavily into men’s reluctance to seek help. This isolation can have disastrous effects, including increased rates of alcohol and substance abuse, as well as depression and suicide, which are ranked as a leading cause of death for men.

    the dawn rehab

    As mentioned in the article above, we have seen men in popular culture suffer in silence (at least from an outside perspective); Tragic deaths of men around the world by suicide have been heartbreaking, alarming and awakening such as Anthony Bourdain, Ernest Hemmingway, Kurt Cobain, Robin Williams and Sushant Singh Rajput. May they rest in peace. May we hope that their deaths help and prevent other men from the same outcome.

    Defining Traditional and Toxic Masculinity

    There is a range of masculinity ideologies but most people have often used traditional and toxic masculinity to mean the same things, which are not.

    PSYCHOLOGY TODAY

    Four areas of masculinity in society:

    “no sissy stuff” (i.e., men should avoid anything feminine or associated with females)

    “the big wheel” (i.e., men should strive for success and achievement)

    “the sturdy oak” (i.e., men should not show weakness and handle their problems independently)

    “give ’em hell” (i.e., men should seek adventure, be risk takers, and use violence if necessary).

    Silver, Levant, & Gonzalez, 2018

    It has been discussed that this traditional masculinity ideology reflects the dominant view of the male role prior to the feminist deconstruction of gender roles.

    In fact my partner shared a podcast with me where the group discuss men being gaslighted. It is astounding to think people don’t think men get gaslighted too and that men feel ashamed when they are. A preview of the podcast is below and you can find the full podcast episode too – worth a listen!

    Men don’t have emotions, they don’t cry…

    This is horrible and I believe perpetuated by what we see in the media. So rarely do we see on TV or in a movie a male crying. When we do see emotions it can be on extremes: happiness or anger. Given this lense of life, it can feel strange to see a man cry when really it is not.

    To the men out there – I personally think seeing a man cry is beautiful in a way – like anyone who cries it is a beautiful release, it is cathartic, it is freeing. We are all humans. We are not robots. We all have emotions whether we choose to show it or not. Just know, that it is okay to cry.

    There is nothing weird or unmasculine about it. It takes strength to cry.

    I think this is further perpetuated by dating culture – it’s easy for women to fall into the trap about a guy who treated her wrong, the jerk, the playboy, the charmer, the ghoster, the one who has left you high and dry as if he didn’t feel a thing. Yes that may be the case some times but we never truly know what is going on with another person. Try to see it from the perspective of not taking it personally, everything we experience in terms of our feelings and thoughts are shaped by our own experiences. Some times it really is not personal.

    Further to this the phrase ‘man up’ is really damaging to young men growing up. When men are told this they may think ‘I am not manly because i’m doing X…’ As a society we have to be conscious of the words we use and the power of language. We need to change this.

    Mental illness is caused by a personal weakness.

    A STRONG MAN

    No. A lot of factors play into why people have mental illness. Beyond Blue sums it up nicely for everyone.

    You are not weak for having a mental illness, in fact I think it is fair to say that many of us during our lifetime will experience feeling down or mental illness.

    Everyone’s mental health varies during their life, and can move back and forth along their own personal range between positive and healthy at one end through to severe symptoms or conditions that impact on everyday life at the other, in response to different stressors and experiences.

    BEYOND BLUE

    Men can control their feelings

    Nope. Like other humans, we cannot control our feelings. I like to think of them like clouds, passing by uncontrollably. They are fleeting moments.

    “Emotions are celebrated and repressed, analyzed and medicated, adored and ignored — but rarely, if ever, are they honored.”

    Karla McLaren

    Real men don’t ask for help

    No. They do. It takes strength to ask for help. Even talking to someone is a sign of strength. Whilst at times it may feel like talking about it won’t help the situation it will. You will be surprised by what others have to share about their own experiences and you never know how someone can connect you to someone who can help. The National Alliance on Mental Health sums it up with a great analogy.

    Trying to battle a mental health condition on your own is like trying to push a boulder up a mountain by yourself—without a team to back you up, it’s going to be a lot harder.

    THE NATIONAL ALLIANCE ON MENTAL HEALTH

    Your anxiety, depression or feelings will be a burden on others

    Absolutely not. Think of yourself as a friend, you would do anything to help them… why wouldn’t they do the same for you? This is what friends, family members, coworkers are there for…. they are there for support, for help. There are even professions purely based on helping! They go through years of studying, obtaining qualifications and gaining experience so they can help you.

    Men and relationships

    As a huge stressor and cause of potential anxiety and depression for men, If I may offer you some advice that also equally applies to females.

    • When you are with the right person they are going to love you for who you are. Your flaws, your strengths and everything in between. You won’t feel constantly sad, ashamed, angry, fearful etc.
    • Know your worth and do not be afraid of being alone. It is much better to be single then in an unhappy relationship.
    • Communicate, communicate, communicate. Be true to yourself. Honour your feelings. If you partner triggers you or makes you feel upset – discuss! Communicating clearly avoids any assumptions as we cannot mind read!
    • Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Our vulnerability brings us closer together to other people, no one is perfect.

    “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.”

    Brené Brown

    How as a woman you can help a man you know

    From one woman to another, here are some ways I believe you may be able to play a role to help any man in your life.

    • Truly ask how he is and check in? It is rare for men to discuss their feelings with other men due to stereotypes of masculinity. Create a safe space for him to open up. Truly listen – we don’t always have to have a solution or an answer, he may just want to be heard.
    • Embrace your man and his emotions – reassure him and let him know it’s okay to have feelings, to cry, to be sad, to be anxious, to be depressed, to be down.
    • Educate yourself, learn the warning signs of anxiety, depression and mental illness. Observe any behavioural changes.
    • If you suspect he is down or needs help, with love, kindness and respect, encourage him to see a health professional.

    A special Thank You

    I want to thank my partner, who has allowed himself to open up and be vulnerable with me by sharing his experiences. Thank you, I love you! Thank you for always supporting me, it truly warms my heart.

    In Conclusion

    If you are a man reading this or a woman reading this or a someone – you are not alone.

    Please reach out and speak to someone you know, to a friend, a family member, a health professional.

    “Because in our pain we must find each other – mirror to mirror the grace of our shared humanity, the stunningly broken beauty of our shared grief.

    And you can let your grief see my grief and let our tears mingle into some kind of healing alchemy, and you’ll know what i know.

    That we are never alone.

    I promise. You and me? We are never, ever alone.”

    Jeanette LeBlanc

    Please find further resources in the next section of this article and whenever in doubt you can contact me through the contact page via email or my instagram @inhervitality.

    Resources for Men and Mental Health

    Beyond Blue

    MensLine Australia

    Health Direct – Mental Health Resources for Men

    Whilst these are Australia specific please note a search on the terms “Men’s mental health” will usually produce a fair amount of resources – please do due diligence to check the sourcing for example but not limited to mental health organisations, government departments etc.

    Other articles I have written they may inspire you

    PERSPECTIVE – ANOTHER POINT OF VIEW
    INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES TO CHEER YOU UP
    TODAY IS YOUR DAY

    Click here to read more

  • Hygge Self Care

    Learn all about this popular Hygge lifestyle which is pronounced as hoo-gah or hue-gah. If something is hygge, it is known as hyggelig.

    What is hygge? Hygge definition, Hygge meaning

    Hygge is a Danish concept that roughly translates to comfort and coziness. It’s the feeling you get from being rugged up on a cold winters day, a cosy contentment. It is well being and self care. It may be a part of the reason that Denmark is consistently ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world despite their freezing winters. In saying that, hygge is a lovely lifestyle for enjoying Winter.

    You may have seen it trending on blogs, used to market ridiculously expensive items such as candles, blankets, plates, throws and rugs.

    All in all, hygge can be summed up as self care – to be cosy, content and comfortable.

    Hygge is nourishing. Hygge is a self care mindset.

    Who invented hygge?
    Hygge has its origins in the word ‘hug’ which makes sense given its all about comfort.

    In Old Norse, ‘hug’ meant soul, mind, consciousness.

    Benefits of hygge

    • Self care – feel happier and at ease.

    • Less stress – there is comfort in taking care of yourself.

    • A relaxed state of mind – all tension melts away.

    What hygge is not

    • Hygge is not being sucked into the hype of expensive and well marketed items.

    • Hygge is a feeling, a self care mindset.

    • It is simple, Hygge is to feel at ease and comfortabx

    A warm cosy blanket and coffee, what's not to love?
    Creating the feeling of hygge

    Creating the feeling of hygge

    • A comfortable environment – A calm and inviting place to relax in. You may have a nook somewhere where you live, it could be lots of cushions and pillows, under a blanket. The use of soothing colours such as blue and muted, dusty colours – think blush, beige and tan.
    • A peaceful setting – It could be complete silence or relaxing music. The removal of distractions such as electronics and your phone.
    • A warm drink – it could be a hot chocolate, turmeric latte, tea, coffee, mulled wine.
    • Blankets – something warm and soft to keep you feeling cosy.
    • Candles – Comforting and radiate warmth. Alternatively consider your lighting, warm and soft instead of harsh.
    • Comfortable clothes – Big shirts and jumpers, trackpants, leggings, knits, socks. Hint hygge may not be glamorous but it is damn comfy!
    • Connection – Surround yourself with people who make you feel happy and loved.
    • Decorations – Whatever makes you feel warmth such as photos of loved ones, significant memories, travel etc. It could be leafy plants and succulents.
    • Mindful indulgence – Allow yourself to eat what you love without any guilt.
    • Presence – It’s being in the moment, appreciating the little things that give you comfort.
    • Relax – have a hot bath, read a book, snuggle, sip tea, play board games.

    Intrigued by different cultures and the mindsets they encourage?

    Read about the art of Fika originating from Sweden.

    the hygge life
    the hygge life

    Click here to read more

  • The power of now during Coronavirus

    The power of now. Thriving during a health crisis of COVID-19 Coronavirus.

    “Repeat After Me: This is not the new normal. This is the now.”

    Nedra Glover Tawwab, THERAPIST

    This quote about how this is no the new normal, this is the now… It had me thinking about the immense power of living in the moment. The power of now in times of Coronavirus.

    Being present.

    How to thrive during unprecedented times. 

    On a site note, what is normal anyway? We are heavily influenced by our upbringing, what we see in the media. What is normal?

    Back to the present moment. 

    What if this global event was a divine message of the universe to you out of your routine?

    A divine redirection, a detour Amazing Race style. An awakening.

    To remind you that you cannot control everything.

    To force you to surrender. 

    To nudge you to flex your mental muscles. 

    To be agile, adaptive and flexible. To remind you of your innate power within, that you can control our perspective and attitude. This applies to life as a whole, not only in times of a global health crisis such as COVID-19.

    When you are stuck in a rut.

    When you are feeling down and helpless.

    When you hit rock bottom.

    When you are at the mercy of events that are beyond your control. The loss of a loved one, the loss of your job, the break up that shattered your soul, the friendship where you were betrayed.

    What does this all mean?

    To be present.

    To be present in order to thrive during times of uncertainty as we globally face now.

    So how do you thrive during a health crisis such as COVID-19/Corona Virus?

    Be present. Be here. Be now. The power of now in times of Coronavirus.

    What a weird yet strangely incredible time, to be alive during a global event such as this. In this very moment, we are all experiencing a global health crisis. You cannot control or plan the future, like any other time, however this crisis gives you clarity on this notion.

    What you can do is be present.

    Feel your broad range of emotions. 

    I feel anxious. I feel scared. I feel hopeful. I feel hopeless. I feel nervous. I feel worried. I feel at peace. I feel positive. I feel.

    What are my current surroundings? What can you see? Is there a scent to the air?

    When eating a meal, what can you taste? Is it hot? Is it cold? Is it soft or crunchy? 

    What do you want to remember from this crisis? What is your ideal day? What lifts you up? What drains your energy? 

    Be.

    Instead of feeling frustrated that you cannot plan for the future, why not embrace now?

    Live in the moment. Live in the minute to minute, live day to day.

    Feel your mind, body and soul surrendering.  

    Surrendering to the present moment.

    Surrendering to inner peace.

    Enjoy the present moment. 

    Affirmations for being in the moment

    ♥ I am.

    ♥ I am here now.

    I am present.

    See the silver linings

    As humans we are wired to be bias to the negative unconsciously. 

    A study, Not all emotions are created equal: The negativity bias in social-emotional development by Vaish et. al states

    “…Adults display a negativity bias, or the propensity to attend to, learn from, and use negative information far more than positive information.”

    Vaish et. al

    Whilst it’s in our nature to easily see and feel the losses due to this crisis, there are silver linings.

    You know when you go through a heartbreak and you wish the world around you would stop? Well right now, the whole world is on some sort of strange pause of what you are used to. The whole world is essentially with you. We are all feeling the pain, however we all also have the opportunity to see the positivity in all of this.

    Examples of silver linings:

    Working from home enables a flexible way of living. There’s no commute to work, I can even wear my pyjama pants if I want to! I can easily do little tidbits around the house as a break from work. I’ve always wanted to know what it’s like to work from home on a consistent basis and this is an opportunity to see what it is like.

    I have more time in my day as I no longer need to commute or because my work hours have been cut. I have been given more time! I can use this time to rest, to focus on my passions, to work on my projects, to spend time with my loved ones in my household.

    Clarity on what is important to me. This virus has stripped back my daily life. I have time to reflect. The absence of certain activities, products and people in my life makes it clear what I feel is important to my life. 

    Silver lining affirmations

    I can find the positivity amongst the chaos.
    ♥ There is always a positive to every experience in my life.
    ♥ This is an opportunity to have clarity on what is important to me.

    Maintain connection

    We are forced to connect in ways that we may not be used to. The absence of physical presence and touch makes you grateful for all the times you were able to.

    Connect with old friends.

    Connect with people who uplift our spirits.

    Connect with our community.

    You can connect in various ways such as online through Zoom or Skype. Using applications such as Houseparty, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, iMessage. Email. Over the phone. Find a Facebook group or forum to speak to like minded and different people.

    In saying that, you can also connect with yourself.

    You can do this by pausing. By breathing. By reflecting. Being in the present moment. 

    You are here now.

    The power of now in times of Coronavirus.

    Connection affirmations

    There are always ways to connect.
    ♥ I am well connected.
    ♥ I have the opportunity to deeply connect with myself.

    Self care

    Self care can take various forms. With daily life at a pause in this very moment, it is an amazing opportunity to take care of yourself. 

    “Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although it’s a simple concept in theory, it’s something we very often overlook.” 

    PsychCentral

    Examples of self care

    + Resting. Doing nothing at all.

    + Doing what nourishes your soul. That could be for example yoga, making a tea, having a bath, calling a friend, reading a book, journalling.

    + Speaking kindly to ourselves and melt away the negativity. Challenge your mind to see the positivity of a situation. For example instead of “I’m bored”, “How lucky am I to have an opportunity to find something to do. My options are a, b, c etc.”

    Self care affirmations

    I am important.
    ♥ I love myself

    ♥ I take care of myself.

    Pursue pleasure, set fire to your soul, to your life

    With the gift of time, give yourself permission to explore and focus on your self.

    Pleasure is defined as “a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment.”

    Pleasure comes in different forms.

    During a time like this, I’ve definitely felt guilty when I’m doing nothing… the below passage by Ella Jane in her article, “Can we stop trying to optimise our isolation?” really spoke to me.

    “The idea that we are supposed to continually self-optimise, even in the face of a life-threatening pandemic, is surely the dark underbelly of the hustle-culture we find ourselves in in 2020. We’re living in an age where each hour has been broken down for us in order to commodify our waking seconds.”

    ELLA JANE, RUSSH

    I think we can collectively agree that the age of COVID-19 is simply a terrifying time to be alive, and that tending to your basic needs while coping with so much is more than many people can handle, let alone the pressure of using each spare second to optimise our existence.

    LLA JANE, RUSSH

    We are all uniquely experiencing this moment.

    I’ve accepted and surrendered to the fact, at times I will feel like resting and doing nothing. At other times I will feel like being productive.

    No matter which it is, I hope the following questions will help you in pursuit of what you find pleasurable.

    + What is something you’ve always wanted to do or do more of? 

    + What makes you feel more alive? 

    + What makes you tingle with happiness?

    + What makes you excited to wake up in the morning? 

    + What makes you radiate positivity? 

    + What makes you smile?

    + What energises you?

    Pursuing your passion affirmations:

    ♥ I pursue my passion with zest and fire.
    ♥ I am radiantly alive.

    ♥ I feel so alive. I am full of energy. I am magnetic.

    In conclusion on the power of now, embracing uncertainty and thriving during a health crisis

    That concludes 5 tips on how to thrive during a health crisis such as COVID-19/Corona Virus.

    + Be present. Be here. Be now.
    + See the silver linings
    + Maintain connection
    + Self care
    + Pursue pleasure, set fire to your soul, to your life

    More affirmations to help you get through this uncertain time of COVID-19

    The power of affirmations to live a soul fulfilling life

    27 Calming affirmations and mantras for acceptance

    Struggling with anxious thoughts? Here are 22 powerful affirmations to reframe your thoughts for a positive mindset

    46 Affirmations to radiate self love

    Additional resources to help cope during this unprecedented time of COVID-19

    Coronavirus Anxiety: Coping with Stress, Fear, and WorryHelpGuide

    Coronavirus: Resources for anxiety, stress & wellbeing – Black Dog Institute

    Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service – BeyondBlue

    Decoding The Power of NowEckhart Tolle

    Click here to read more

  • Inspirational quotes that will cheer you up

    Feeling down? We all experience ‘good’ and ‘bad’ days, ups and downs, wins and losses.

    When times get hard it can be nice to read some inspiring quotes that will cheer you up.

    These quotes may also help you a cheer someone up such as a loved one such as a friend, family member or partner.

    Radiate love and it will be contagious 🙂

    They serve as reminder of how incredible you are.

    They serve as a prompt to reframe your thoughts and see an issue from a different perspective.

    They serve as a reminder of the love that surrounds you.

    Here are some quotes that will cheer you up. They will instil love and positivity within you.

    Hopefully these inspiring quotes will bring a smile to your face or a bright moment.

    It is important to note that it is okay to feel down or sad at times, we are human and this is normal. Honour yourself and allow yourself to process what you are feeling before moving on.

    “Everyone deserves a sad day once in a while,” Calista told me. “Sometimes things are too big for cheering up. Sometimes the best way to make things better is just to let yourself be sad for a little bit.”

    Lisa Graff

    Note if you are feeling down – reach out to someone you trust, someone who loves you. You are strong for reaching out. Talk to them. Be in silence with them. Just know you are never alone. If you don’t have someone please contact a medical professional such as your doctor or a psychologist who can help.

    Sending love, light and positivity always.

    Inspirational quotes that will cheer you up

    Stay focused on what you desire and want to achieve, it will provide the motivation you need.

    “When everything feels like an uphill struggle, just think of the view from the top.”

    UNKNOWN

    You are alive! 🙂 Today may be your day!

    If you are still breathing maybe it is not such a bad day after all.     

    Darren E. Laws

    Find a reason to be positive – you can do it! Change your thoughts and change your world.

    If you’ve got nothing to dance about, find a reason to sing.     

    Melody Carstairs

    Find the light within you.

    Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle.     

    Benjamin Franklin

    No situation is permanent.

    “The bad news is nothing lasts forever,
    The good news is nothing lasts forever.”

    J. COLE

    You offer something unique to this world.

    “There’s something in you that the world needs.”

    UNKNOWN

    Spread the love.

    The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.     

    Mark Twain

    Enjoy ever moment before it becomes a memory.

    Enjoy the little things and be joyful,for one day you may look back and realize they were actually the things that mattered!     

    UNKNOWN

    No one can take away the successes you have already had.

    “No matter what, nobody can take away the dances you’ve already had.”

    Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    Be at peace knowing everything happens for a reason and one day you will realise why.

    “Someday, everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.”

    UNKNOWN

    Sometimes when things are falling apart they may actually be falling into place. 

    Unknown

    Tough times in our life teach us lessons.

    “Stars can’t shine without darkness.”

    UNKNOWN

    Keep moving forward.

    “Don’t look back, you’re not going that way.”

    UNKNOWN

    “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” 

    Michael Jordan

    Whatever we endure, prepares us for the future.

    “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”

    C.S. LEWIS

    It’s all about perspective.

    “I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.”

    Benjamin Franklin

    Failure doesn’t exist, you get something out of everything, one of the best? A lesson learnt.

    “There are no failures – just experiences and your reactions to them.”

    Tom Krause

    “Don’t be discouraged by a failure. It can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, in as much as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid.”

    John Keats

    Turn your wounds into wisdom. 

    Oprah

    You are resilient.

    Tough times don’t last. Tough people do. 

    Robert H. Schuller

    We can turn pain into motivation.

    We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey. 

    Kenji Miyazawa

    Embrace the present moment.

    Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain. 

    Vivian Greene

    Tough times teach us a lot about ourselves and how strong we truly are.

    It’s in the darkest moments that we find our greatest strengths. 

    Steven Atchson

    You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it. 

    Unknown

    Tough times prompt change for the better.

    Pain doesn’t just show up in our lives for no reason. It’s a sign that something in our lives needs to change. 

    UNKNOWN

    Rough times lead to opportunities.

    In the middle of a difficulty lies opportunity.

    Albert Einstein

    Change leads to transformation.

    What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. 

    Richard Bach

    Accept where you are now and find inner peace.

    The secret of being happy is accepting where you are in life and making the most out of every day. 

    Unknown

    You have the power to cheer yourself up. You are powerful.

    It only takes one person to make you happy and change your life: YOU. 

    Charles Orlando

    Be brave, you may not be able to change what is happening but you can let go in your mind. Read here for more on true acceptance.

    One of the happiest moments ever, is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change. 

    Unknown

    Feeling down and need more cheering up? Please turn to these resources

    Beyond Blue – Australia

    Feeling Down? 7 Ways to Pick Yourself Back Up!Zen Habits

    Low mood, sadness and depression – NHS UK

    Help Guide – USA

    The LifeLine – Canada

    Additional resources at in her vitality

    Click here to read more