Focus

Focus

Nothing gets me more irritated then when I can’t focus on what needs to get done. So, what really is focus and how to you keep ahold of it or get it back when you lose it? Let’s get right to it.

Word Focus

Dictionary.com

Wiki

  • A point at which reflected or refracted rays of light converge.
  • A point of a conic at which rays reflected from a curve or surface converge.
  • The fact of the convergence of light on the photographic medium.
  • The quality of the convergence of light on the photographic medium.
  • Concentration of attention.
  • The exact point of where an earthquake occurs, in three dimensions (underneath the epicentre).
  • The indicator of the currently active element in a user interface.
  • Most important word or phrase in a sentence or passage, or the one that imparts information.

What is Focus and Why you need it?

Eyes

We are going to focus on the ‘concentration of attention‘ meaning of the word. This is the act of concentrating your attention on any one thing. In order to focus on that one thing you must put aside the other things vying for your attention and keep trained on that one thing.

There are times when you need to get a project complete, research done, or that nagging chapter you need to finish; this is where focus is going to get you through to that last step (or to the next one). There are always times you want to stop, take a break, or quit all together. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely times where you NEED that break, but don’t let it take hold so much that you forget why you’re trying to focus and continue in the first place. Take that break, but Keep Going, you can do it!

How to find/be focused

Cameras

Although, your mind is capable of focusing on more than one thing at a time; I mean, come on, who doesn’t love multitasking. The only problem with that is your split mind is trying to concentrate on too many things at once and you’re not getting as much as you could be getting done, complete. You need to focus on one task, goal, etc at a time in order for your focus to really work as it should.

So, in order to find focus you should concentrate on one thing at a time. The trick to it, is that you don’t move onto anything else until that one goal or task is achieved. You may want to spread your thoughts and move to more projects, but when your focus is split, it’s hard to get multiple things done.

Ways to Focus

Focus Tunnel

  • Stop Procrastinating – Get to that thing you’ve been putting off.
  • Turn off Notifications – Better yet, put the electronics in the other room so you won’t hear the phone ring or notifications from your favorite game.
  • Create a list – Stick to the most important first. – Commit to one thing at a time
  • Create Deadlines – What motivates better than having a deadline?
  • Make the Choice – You have to make the choice to focus on what, when.
  • Keep Calm and Forge On – Keep going, Forge ahead to the next goal.
  • Minimize the Noise  – As much as you can
  • Create a Plan – Stick to it.
  • Don’t compare Yourself to Others – only you know how you can do better.
  • Create a Reward System – who doesn’t like rewards for doing well?!
  • Work on Full Screen – To minimize distractions
  • Create a Routine
  • Measure Your Progress – See where you’ve come and where you want to go.
  • Enjoy the Process – Love what you do!
  • Embrace Failure – It’s going to happen, learn from it and Forge On!

Final Thoughts

So, now that you have some ways to focus in your toolbox, go and get back into the rhythm and harmony you were once at. And don’t forget to love what you do, because there is no greater feeling than rising every morning to do what you love doing the most.

Harmony

Harmony

Harmony, the thing we strive for, but rarely achieve. We may get glimpses of it, but then it slips through our grasp as everything falls apart around us. Of course, we won’t always have harmony in all things, but there may be some things we can do to create a closer relationship to harmony. Before we get into that, let’s take a look at what harmony is…

Dictionary

  1.  agreement; accord; harmonious relations.
  2. a consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity.
  3. Music .
    1. any simultaneous combination of tones.
    2. the simultaneous combination of tones, especially when blended into chords pleasing to the ear; chordal structure, as distinguished from melody and rhythm.
    3. the science of the structure, relations, and practical combination of chords.
  4. an arrangement of the contents of the Gospels, either of all four or of the first three, designed to show their parallelism,mutual relations, and differences.

WIKI

  1. Agreement or accord. quotations 
  2. A pleasing combination of elements, or arrangement of sounds.
  3. (music) The academic study of chords.
  4. (music) Two or more notes played simultaneously to produce a chord.
  5. (music) The relationship between two distinct musical pitches (musical pitches being frequencies of vibration which produce audible sound) played simultaneously.
  6. A literary work which brings together or arranges systematically parallel passages of historians respecting the same events, and shows their agreement or consistency.

 

Finding Harmony

Some think you will never have harmony between things like life and work, but since your life is part of your work, I believe you can find harmony within each area of your life.

Spirit

Heart

  Image by Bruno Glätsch from Pixabay

You, as a person, are in search of harmony in every aspect of your life, but have you really thought about what’s going on inside? Have you stop to think about the harmony you have within you and what you could do to keep your thoughts and feelings in sync along with everything else?

What can you do to balance those thoughts and feeling within you that are now out of wack? Well, I’ll give you some suggestions.

Take a Break

When you feel overwhelmed, tired, and have not motivation to continue. It’s time to think about taking a break to calm and rejuvenate your mind and body. There is nothing more important than what you do for yourself to stay energized and healthy. Sometimes taking a break, whether short or long, can help put your mind back in the right direction.

Deciding to take a break can be difficult and I encourage you to do so when needed. You may feel like work and life will just pile up while you’re gone, but if you put things in place before you go to keep things running, and know that some of those things you’ll still have to deal with when you return; you’ll find it’s not as bad as you think. You would have gotten that much needed R&R you needed and you’ll find that work/life did not crumble without you.

Listen to Your Heart

You have always had that passion for that one thing, right? Every time you have a minute to think, your mind goes back to it. You sit and wonder why you never pursued it, picked it up more, or listened when your heart begged you to move toward it.

No matter what that thing is, your heart is crying out for you to listen to it! Take some time to really listen and then go after what your heart is passionate about, even if it’s for small amounts of time. Schedule it in so that your heart is as happy as you are. You’ll be thankful you did.

Your heart is a powerful organ, it’s where your center is. Where everything you love is placed. Not physically, of course, but you understand what I mean. Don’t forget to listen to your heart, it’s what’s keeping you on track.

Know Your Purpose

You only have one life and you don’t want to spend it constantly worrying about what people say, how others are going to react, or if you’re doing the right thing at every turn. It’s going to cause you to lose your mind if you’re always worrying about the little things. When you know your purpose, you know what you’re doing is right and you don’t care one wit what others say or how they react.

You are doing what you are meant to, you’re following your heart and showing the world that your passion is worth fighting for. There is nothing more satisfying than completing something you’ve worked so hard to achieve, especially if that something is what your heart has been pulling at you to follow. Go after it!

Health

Health

Image by silviarita from Pixabay

Like most, if not all things in your life, your health is important. Really, it is! You may not want to think about it, but if you’re not healthy, you won’t be able to stay in the harmony you’ve created. So, let’s talk about it quick.

Exercise

Yeah, no one likes to hear that they have to exercise, (trust me, I’m one of them) but it’s true. Even though I have a hard time sticking with any one exercise program, I always feel better and feel like I get more done when I’ve work out. If you want to get to the technical side, it’s a way to boost your mood since your body releases endorphins that create a happy mood.

Not only will you get stronger, more flexible, but your able to clear your mind while you exercise to create better flow in that mass we call our brains. It’s so full of stuff that’s important and things that aren’t, that they are starting to mingle together and this is a great way to untangle them.

The Mind

Your thoughts and how you think through problems are also important to every day life. Keeping your mind sharp and your thoughts free of negativity will help you create harmony within yourself, but more of that below. Exercise the mind along with the body so they can work together, not against each other.

Communication

Communication

Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

With Yourself

Another thing you don’t want to happen is to finish the Reeces because then you would be out completely and that is just not right! (I’m joking… maybe) Anyway, I lost my thought, but it’s back.

Have you ever thought Wow, I’ve gained a lot of weight. Man, that was stupid of me. I should really start wearing makeup, I might be able to hide some of those blemishes? What you say about yourself is only harmful to one person… yourself! Learn to love who you are. You should only want to exercise to feel better and stay fit, not because you’re trying to fix your weight. You’ll never stick to it that way.

What you’ve done may have not have been right, but use it as a learning experience and as for the third thought, really, do you need makeup? You were born with no makeup and you were beautiful. If you don’t want to wear it, don’t. You’re still beautiful.

With Others

Now, there are those words and phrases you say to others and as with yourself, you have the choice to voice them or not. Though thoughts hurt just as much. The words you say to others not only hurt you, but the people you’re speaking to or about. Those relationships you have with others, whether close or just passing smiles on the street are important to you and your growth as a person. You need others around to show you compassion, to learn from, and to love. Yes, there are times when you need to be on your own, but you can only do so much to lift yourself up. Those around you will do the same if they are treated with respect. You will receive the same when showing your considerate side.

Your thoughts and how you use them with words and actions are a powerful force. Whether you are using them for yourself or others, they can harm or empower, crush or lift. You get the picture. Thoughts you use against others and yourself should not have the chance to surface. By taking breaks when needed, exercising, and generally thinking before you speak, you should be able to clear your mind enough to bring forward the person you truly want to be. One that lifts up and empowers, not one that crushes and harms.

When your mind is clear of all the frustrations, anger and other bad emotions, you let the light shine on your words. Let your words work for everyones benefits!

How to Gain Harmony Within Your Life

Friends

Image by Мария Ткачук from Pixabay

People

This one may be obvious, but those you talk to and those you interact with are looking for positivity within their day. Why not provide that small bit? Why not give them some positivity, something to brighten their day instead of bringing it down or not doing anything at all. You’ll be surprised by what you’ll receive by just giving someone a smile or a polite greeting.

If you feel you could do more, why not give someone an encouraging word or if you see them struggling and know how to help, do so. Don’t just walk by knowing they are going to continue to struggle. Not only will you feel good about yourself, which helps you, you’ll feel good about helping another and that helps them. See win-win, but don’t look at it for the benefit of you. Look at it for the benefit of the other and by default you will gain happiness and harmony with those around you.

Work, Home, and Play

Your work is part of your life, so why you feel you don’t have balance between these two is a bit mind boggling. It’s part of your day and yes, you can bring work home, you can also bring home to work in your words and actions, but that is life. Keeping them separate is just going to cause more stress. Why not work as if they are one and the same. Schedule work as part of your day, as it is part of your life.

Try not to talk about the two in their prospective areas if you want, but sometimes it’s necessary to gain a different perspective on a particular situation. Talk about it with those of your family and your co-workers. If they agree to leave the two separate, then try your best to do so. Otherwise, lean on those you trust for advice, jokes, and more. It’s not worth your frustration to keep the two separate when they are two very important parts of you.

As for play, well you need this in your life to relax and have fun, to release the stress of work and home life. Make sure you have enough in your day to keep the flow of things going smoothly. Find others that will make you laugh, that will brighten your day, and those you can hang with after work to give you some time away from home and work. Your family is a great resource for this. As spring comes around, my kids and I create a list of all the things we want to do during the summer months. Let me tell you they can come up with some pretty awesome things! Go ahead make a list and mark them off as you complete them. Plan them into your schedule and have fun!

Electronics

Here is another area you may need to find harmony with. We use electronics all the time, sometimes all day. You may not think about it, but how long are you really spending on your electronics. I have to admit, since playing Rise Of Berk ( I love HTTYD!) I’ve spent a lot more time on my ipad than usual.

Not only that, but I bet you’ve lost a lot of face to face contact with others, and I mean the in-person kind, not the FaceTime kind. Have you ever seen the ad where everyone is on their phones walking and there is a small child trying to walk though them. The child then stops and watches as person after person falls off a cliff because they are too focused on their phone. The child then sits down and cries for those who forgot the personal relationships and fun without electronics.

Perhaps you feel you need to schedule time to get off the electronics each day and spend time with friends or family. Or maybe you are just fine with how you are with your electronics and you like the solitary life you are living, who knows, but I encourage you to Think. Think about those connections you once had or if you were born with a phone attached to you, think of what it would be like to spend the day without one. No, it’s not devastating and you’re not going to miss anything you can’t catch up with later. Spend some time with others face to face and you may just find that you enjoyed their company and you may not have even thought about checking your FB, Twitter, or Instagram notifications. Go ahead, give it a try. I dare you!

Final Thoughts

So if you really take the time to think about it, harmony is how you create it and what you do within your life to keep ahold of it. No matter what you do, seek out the balance between the things you love (and/or need) and learn to live.

Spring Break

(Spring) BREAK

March and April bring a whole new perspective to the word ‘break’. As the days wear on and things are now becoming mundane and ordinary we feel underwhelmed (or overwhelmed), uninspired, and are in need for the chance to refresh our minds and bodies. To calm the raging monster within that’s telling you it’s time to take a break from life and just relax and rejuvenate your soul.

Why You Need A Break and Why They Matter

 

working hard

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There are times when your mind and body are no longer in sync with each other, when you may be just going from day to day, doing the same things. You’re not as excited for the things you used to get pumped about and in order to get that exhilarating feeling back, you need to relax and let go of the things that are attacking you at the moment. You need to let them slide away to leave you with a clear mind.

You and your body need rest and relaxation to refresh not only yourself but your mind as well. Running on like the energizer bunny is only going to create a cranky, irritated soul with resentment and overwhelm. As with sleeping, you and your body need time to just do nothing for very little; to do something that doesn’t take a lot of thinking and something you consider fun. Not only do you need to relax, you need to preoccupy your mind with things that don’t relate with work, the house, or anything else you normally stress over.

Signs It’s Time to Take a Break

Other than just feeling like you need a break, there are signs that tell you it’s time to step away and get some much needed R&R.

Frustration

                                                                                                                                                                                          Image by punttim on Pixabay

Overwhelmed

One of the first ones, is the feeling of overwhelm. Perhaps you are trusted to do more at work, but you also have to worry about the house, the kids, and anything else that comes along that needs your attention. And although you may have a system down to take care of each item, you feel like you’re falling apart. Trust me, I have had that feeling. One minute you’re rolling along a smooth road, everything is getting done and you’re getting ahead, then something comes along and now your road is bumpy. Everything is starting to pile up and your sense of accomplishment is now a sense of dread.

Tired/Insomnia/Irritable

As with overwhelm, that smooth road brought excitement, accomplishment, and the strength to keep moving forward, but that bump you hit (who knows what that was back there) is now bringing you every other bump you would have not otherwise noticed. With all the bumps and divots, you are now feeling tired all the time. You’re no longer sleeping well and you dread getting up in the morning to even do basic things.

Things begin to irritate you, those tiny things that should be brushed off as natural habits or actions are now getting on your nerves to the point you may be snapping at those you care about. That is not the way you want to live your life, right?

No Motivation/Ambition/Unfocused

That speed racer that was forging ahead at full steam, is now searching for any reason to not continue with what has to get done. Your motivation, ambition and focus to complete tasks and get ahead seems so far away that you’ll never catch up with the trailing rope behind the train of tasks. Your mind is wandering to all the things around you, rather than those that are right in front of you, and your attention is taken up by all the little things that could be put off for another day. What once felt like an easy ride has now turned into one of struggle and a fleeting grasp at the rope. One you may not have the strength to pull yourself back up to the train.

Mistakes/Regret

When you’ve run yourself to the point where you are making small mistakes all the time, ones that you regret, but can’t really control. (You could if you weren’t suffering, but when things reach this point, it’s nearly impossible to control.) That’s when you know you need to take a break. Speaking from experience, I’ve been so overwhelmed, tired and unmotivated that I began making small mistakes that just added to the pile that was growing, which caused more mistakes, more regret and a lot of frustration. Continuing as I was, was not an option. I needed a break!

Health Concerns

This could just be eating more of your favorite junk food, or maybe you skip a meal because you’re just not hungry. Perhaps you pick up a bad habit, like smoking or drinking to make yourself feel better or to take the ‘edge’ off. (That is not going to help, trust me and it may cause further health problems) When you start making bad health choices like eating a lot or nothing at all, you refuse to get even a walk in and your body is reacting to the stress in unusual ways; that’s when you know there is something wrong and you NEED a break.

If you get this far, I urge you to take a really hard look at what you are doing and fix it. This is not where you want to be, trust me. Yes, I’m speaking from experience. I was so overwhelmed, letting everything get to me that I barely ate anything for weeks and ended up in the hospital because my body was reacting to no nourishment. I knew I needed a break and it resulted in me leaving my job. Now, I don’t suggest you leave your job, but for me it was the right decision. When your health is declining, you need to take a moment and think about whether you just need a break or you need to leave in order to get better.

 

Ways to Take a Break

The first thing you need to do is decide if you are in need a shorter or longer break. That is something you need to decide, I can’t tell you which you should choose. You should have in inkling of which you should do.

Break

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Now let me list all the ways…

_____cations

These are all the, you know, vacation types. Vacation. Staycation. Play-cation. Whether you need to get away, you want to stay in the area or at home, or if you want to do something to have fun. Do what you deem best.

Relax

Create a list of all the things you find relaxing and do them all. Take a bath, read a good book, take a nap, walk in nature, listen to soothing music, you get the picture here. Whatever you find relaxing, go for it.

Activity

Though you may not find it relaxing, there are those of us who need to move or do something. Find a way to expend the energy that is still relaxing, like taking a hike, playing a board game, fly a kite or even coloring with crayons! I love to color with my kids! That is something that is relaxing for me.

Motionless

Here is where you will sit still or hardly move, but I promise you’ll still find it relaxing. Try star gazing, watching the clouds, or even meditating or getting a massage. You never know how relaxed you’ll feel after watching the clouds as the roll by.

No Electronics

I know, I know, your whole life is on that device, but we are trying to get you to not stress and to relax. Those notifications can live without you for a short time. If you let those around you know that you’re going to be unavailable for a time, they should get along fine without you. Turn them off and find out just how much quiet and relaxation you can enjoy.

Events

Going to events or attractions can be relaxing as well. Places like the aquarium, the zoo, farmer’s market and museums can bring you peace while learning and seeing something new or what you haven’t seen in a long time.

Final Thoughts

Everyone looks forward to spring break, but have you thought about what you NEED and what kind of break you should take? If you’re like me and need some much needed R&R, try some of the things from this list. May you find peace and relaxation when you need it most.

Know of any other ways to relax and rejuvenate your mind and body? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear them! 

Calm

Calm

As we move into spring (hopefully sooner rather than later), we think of ways to calm our souls from all the activities of the holidays. Yes, I know it’s been a few months, but everyone needs some time to rejuvenate and center themselves. Calming your mind and body is essential to life, but first…

Wiki

  • Peaceful, quiet
  • (Of a person) Especially free from anger and anxiety
  • (Of a place or situation) Free of noise and distraction
  • (Of Water) With few or no waves on the surface; not rippled
  • Without wind or storm

Dictionary

  • Not showing or feeling nervousness, anger or other strong emotion
  • (Of the weather) Pleasantly free from wind
  • The absence of violent of confrontational activities within a place or group
  • Make someone tranquil and quite; soothe.

 

Being calm or taking the time to calm your body and mind can be exactly what you need to start living a better life, release stress, and tension. So, I’m sure you’re asking how you can calm yourself enough to get the results you’re looking for. Well, read on, my friend, read on.

Ways to practice Calm

Physical

The act of moving your body and muscles to release tension and produce the calm your looking for.

Exercise

Exercise

Exercising may not be what you think would calm you, but it does. Pushing yourself in an exercise releases endorphins, which boosts your mood naturally. Now if you want to do something a bit more physical in your exercise like kickboxing or punches, you can take out some frustration in a safe way to calm what’s raging within.

Yoga

Yoga

The number one exercise that people use to recenter and calm themselves. The smooth, flowing motions of these exercises can be used to relax the muscles and the mind, release the days tension and help you to refocus your thoughts.

Sleep

Calm Sleep

Your body’s way of rejuvenating and regenerating your mind and body. Making sure you’re getting enough sleep is essential not only to your bodily health, but also to your mind. It needs that time to relax completely and be ready to face another day.

Mental

Your thoughts and mind need calm just as much as the rest of your body.

Refocus

Focus

Taking some time to refocus your mind and thoughts on the things that are important allows you to discard and/or place on the back burner the things that are of little priority. Sit in a quiet area and relax yourself. Think of the things that are important to you and how you can accomplish those things.

Meditate

Meditate

As with yoga, this can relax you and calm your mind enough so that you are a functional human being. Sitting or laying down with a clear mind can help you calm your muscles and your mind. There is not greater feeling than rising from a well rested meditation, knowing that you are now ready to face whatever may come your way.

Other

Aromatherapy

Calm

Scents and snell are a power tool and using them to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere is one of the bests. If you have a favorite scent, use it or find another that promotes relaxation and a sense of calm. Use it around your home, or even in your office with mini diffusers. Stay calm all day long and keep fight the good fight.

Music

Music is also another powerful tool. Choose something that isn’t loud and obnoxious, something that is going to help you relax your mind and your muscles.

Limit/avoid the Harmful

Things like stress, and those things that will cause stress should be limited or avoided; things like caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, stressful confrontations, etc. Yes, I know avoiding or limiting these things can be hard, but you can do it.