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In a global world and modern societies, spirituality has become a very personal thing. Whether we share a religion with others or prefer to forge our own spiritual path, our relationship with spiritual practice is unique to each of us. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to truly connect with your spirituality.

Life is busy and often chaotic. Whether you’re rushing kids out the door to school, trying to figure out what to prepare for dinner, or stressing about a deadline at work, it always seems never-ending. But our well-being depends on having a fulfilling spiritual life and inner world. Whether you believe in a creator or a spiritual existence beyond the physical world isn’t as important as how you fulfill the need for spirituality in your own life.

A spiritual practice is simply the things that you do to help you deepen your inner world in meaningful and impactful ways. If you are the kind of person who likes to work with spirit guides or other spiritual beings, that’s great. But if you prefer to focus on the here and now, that’s also fine. Having a true wellness practice includes taking time out to nourish your soul, whatever that looks like for you.

Discovering Your Spiritual Path

For those of us who don’t connect well with organized religion, it can be tricky to know how to engage our spiritual sides. We might even spend a few years without much practice at all. Only when we start to feel the lack of spirituality in our lives do we finally understand how much it impacts our well-being.

For true wellness, it’s essential to focus on your inner world and spiritual path. But how do you discover what works for you?

The best place to start is from a place of curiosity. Everyone is different and what works for your best friend might not be a good fit for you. But that doesn’t mean you should pass judgment on something before trying it. Be willing to try new activities, classes, join groups, and read books.

Take different kinds of yoga classes. Show up for support groups where people come together to talk about different spiritual ideas. Join a meditation class. Attend a weekend conference or class to learn something new. Sign up for a spiritual book club or start one with some friends. Get curious about the softer side of life.

Eventually, you’ll start to notice a pattern in the things that you don’t feel connected to and the things that really move you. Over time, you’ll realize the commonalities that link together the things that fill you up spiritually. You’ll start to understand what moves you and why. The deeper you go, the more fulfilled you’ll feel and the more meaningful your practice will become. Let the path unfold organically and you’ll find what works best for your life.

How to Get Started With Your Spiritual Path

If you walk over to the spirituality section at a bookstore, you’ll most likely be blown away by all the different books, teachings, ideas, and vibes. You might get overwhelmed and walk away. Since there are so many people in this world, there are millions of ways to approach the spiritual side of life. There isn’t a wrong way to do it, there’s just what works for you.

The most effective spiritual path involves having teachers, mentors, and inspiring practices balanced with tuning in deeply to your own wisdom. Within each of us is knowledge we often ignore and forget about.

Our mental chatter drowns out the wisdom of our bodies, leaving us feeling confused and conflicted. Balance listening to others with listening to yourself and never participate in anything that makes you feel negative or that feels wrong for you. Always listen to your inner guide.

Here are a few practices to help you tune in and connect with the inner spiritual you.

1. Start a meditation practice.

Many people on the path toward wellness and well-being come across meditation, but often it feels like an enormous undertaking. How does one clear the mind and sit in quiet? There are some really wonderful apps out there for absolute beginners and meditation resistant folks.

Good places to start with meditation include guided visualizations. These meditative practices help to redirect the chatty mind toward a transformative mental experience. You’ll find 20 minutes passes in no time and finish feeling refreshed and calm.

Be patient and know that mindfulness is for life. There’s no race or one right way to do it. Try different things until you find what works for you. Then practice it daily to uncover more of your spiritual path.

2. Relearn to listen to your intuition.

As children, we often made our choices based on our intuition or “gut feeling.” But as adults, we’ve been taught to trust logic and reason over our inner knowing. When you make a choice that goes against your gut feeling, how does that feel? Often, we can feel sick, sad, or even depressed about the choice we made, even if it’s perfectly logical. Sometimes it’s only later that we find out why our intuition was the better voice to listen to.

Take the time during your mindfulness practice to get familiar with your intuition. You can do this through guided visualizations, meditative conversations with your inner guide, or through deep meditation that allows only the deepest feelings to emerge. Find a way that will help you get back to trusting your intuition. You’ll feel more at peace and more connected with your spiritual world.

3. Practice embodiment and present moment awareness.

Being spiritual is often about learning to quiet our minds and listen more to our whole beings. Embodiment practices allow us to get out of our circle-thinking minds and move into the wisdom of our bodies. You’ll become more grounded, centered, and feel connected to each moment.

Take a moment as often as you can to stop what you’re doing, sit down, and close your eyes. Listen to the noises around you and just notice them without investing in them. Feel your skin and how your body feels in the space around you. Do you feel pain, discomfort, cold, heat, or other sensations? Now tune into your internal body. How do your lungs feel? What about your stomach, spine, neck, feet, and other internal sensations?

What does your inner world feel like? Notice your emotional sensations, how your spirit feels, and any intuitive messages that might be trying to get your attention.

Allow yourself to just be in the moment, noticing without judgment. This is a good exercise for calming a panicky mind, de-escalating a frustrating moment, and reconnecting with your inner world in an embodied way.

4. Journaling for more gratitude and spiritual depth.

Commit to a journaling practice to help collect your spiritual experiences, process them, and save them for future inspiration. Writing helps us to better understand our lives and is an excellent way to tune into your inner guide. If you’ve ever found yourself writing down thoughts that you didn’t realize you were thinking, you’ll understand the power of writing.

Journaling doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Set aside just a few minutes every day to do it and keep it consistent. You can use journaling prompts in the beginning if that will help you. Or journal about something specific, such as writing down lists of things you’re grateful for.

Whatever will get you started with journaling will help you dig deeper into your inner world. The more you understand yourself, the richer your spiritual life will become.

Don’t Wait For Perfect

Often we think of spiritual practice and we imagine the perfect surroundings, knowledge, and skills. The thing we forget is that everyone has to start somewhere, even that spiritual teacher you so admire. Don’t wait to get started when everything is perfect. If you wait for the right conditions, you’ll never begin.

Just start with where you’re at now, be patient with yourself, and don’t set up conditions that will hamper your success. Focus on making your spiritual path as easy as possible so you’ll actually do it. Over time, you’ll deepen your practice and find more meaningful experiences. But you have to start somewhere. Connecting with your spiritual path will help you find more well-being in your life which will help you to inspire others.

If you’re ready to help others balance out their own spiritual path, you might be a great fit for our accredited Holistic Health and Wellness Coach certification. We offer unparalleled support and systems to get you started off on the right foot. Contact an admissions advisor today to find out more. 

The post How to Connect with Your Spiritual Path appeared first on The International Association of Wellness Professionals.

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When you’re thinking about improving your wellness, you might not immediately think of your brain health. But after considering the pounds you’d like to lose, the muscle you’d like the gain, you might then think of clearing out the brain fog and increasing your energy. This is one aspect of wellness that’s crucial for breaking through barriers so you can experience the deepest well-being and improve your mindset.

Your brain health is obviously quite important. But what is brain health, exactly?

Brain Health Defined

Generally speaking, it’s having a brain that’s operating in top condition and performance. The US National Institute of Health defines it as “…the ability to remember, learn, play, concentrate and maintain a clear, active mind.”

If you’ve ever suffered from that foggy feeling, you’ll understand the difference between feeling clear-headed and cloudy. When we struggle with our brains’ performance, we often have a hard time remembering things, feel sleepy or unalert, struggle with coordination, and feel strange or apathetic.

Brain fog can really affect our ability to enjoy our days, use our time effectively, and work toward our goals. A sluggish brain can make us feel incapable, frustrated, and slow. Brain health is critical for quality of life and well-being.

Why Brain Health is Important

Our mind is the power center of our entire bodies. Nothing in your body will work if it’s not triggered by actions, hormones, and other messages from the brain. The brain is connected to your spinal cord, which then branches out into all the nerves throughout your body. Messages originate in the brain and then are sent out through the nerves to various tissues and cells in the body.

If needed, those cells and tissues will provide feedback to the brain. Those messages travel back through the nervous system, up through the spinal column, and back to the brain for interpretation. It’s a beautiful system, as long as everything is in peak working condition.

When messages aren’t transferring correctly, feedback from outside the brain comes back wrong, or disease is actively harming the nervous and brain systems, things start to fall apart. Extreme examples of this can be seen in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, autoimmune disorders, and so many other issues.

Common everyday issues with the brain can include:

  • Brain fog
  • Memory issues
  • Mental exhaustion
  • Forgetfulness
  • Issues with paying attention
  • Struggling to focus
  • Issues with mental organization
  • Inability to regulate emotions
  • Feeling distant or confused
  • Mental health issues (anxiety, depression, etc.)
  • Mental disorders (ADHD, bipolar, etc.)

While many of the above symptoms can also be signs of a more serious brain disorder, in a mild state they can also just be a sign of a brain that needs a little help. Everyone struggles with brain fog from time to time. Many of us go through seasons of depression or situations that cause anxiety.

If you suspect that you have a more serious mental issue or something like clinical depression, it’s a good idea to meet with a healthcare professional. For those who just really want to optimize their brain health, read on to find out how to clear the cobwebs and get back to clarity.

How to Assess Your Brain Health

If you’re wondering how well your brain is doing, there are a few things you can consider to help you assess its functioning. There are a few different assessments online to help you find out if you might have more serious brain decline (such as this one), but a general wellness checkup can be a useful place to start.

It can be a good exercise to check in with your brain throughout your day. You might want to keep a little journal to track your observations. After a week or two, you might start to notice some patterns that can help you understand what to adjust in your life.

Daily Check-In

Think about how your brain feels when you wake up in the morning. Do you feel wide awake and ready to take on the day? Maybe, instead, you stumble into the kitchen to load up on coffee. Once you get to work, is it hard to focus and get started? Or maybe you tend to very slowly find your way toward being able to work efficiently.

Around lunchtime, you might feel wide awake and so hungry. So off you go to enjoy a filling meal, another cup of coffee, and some friendly banter with co-workers. Once you’re back at your desk, you might realize that the clouds have moved in. Do you then stare at your computer screen, wishing you could just curl up on the office couch and pass out for a little while?

Once you make it home, do you have the energy for a workout? Does making dinner and settling in with family feel daunting? Perhaps you unwind with a glass of wine, telling your stress levels to take it down a notch. When your head hits the pillow at around 11 pm, you struggle to fall asleep and all your worries from the day circle around in your mind. Then you wake up again, starting the cycle all over again.

If you’ve got any variation of this cycle happening, your brain could use some help.

Improve Your Brain Health

If you’re ready to tackle the issues you’re facing with your brain, we’ve got a few suggestions to help you get started. Work on one thing at a time so you can create sustainable, life-long changes. Within no time, you’ll start to notice clearer thinking, improved cognitive function, and overall well-being.

1. Take a look at your nutrition.

One major factor in brain health is the food you eat. While we all know that a whole food diet is important for overall health, it’s crucial to understand why it helps our minds function better. Foods full of sugar or simple carbohydrates that turn into sugar tend to raise our blood sugar levels in extreme ways. Soon thereafter, the levels of sugar in the blood drops, leaving us feeling exhausted. Insulin levels skyrocketing all day long is also draining on the body and mind.

Choose foods that digest slowly, creating a slow-burning effect in the body. Your brain can better work with this kind of fuel and you’ll ward off that afternoon slump.

2. Eat brain healthy foods.

Improving your nutrition can help ward off the negative effects of food, but it’s also a good idea to add in foods that directly help your brain function better. These are superpowered foods that offer nutrients your brain loves, including:

  • Oily fish (omega-3s)
  • Dark chocolate (antioxidants)
  • Eggs (B vitamins)
  • Berries (antioxidants)
  • Turmeric (antioxidants/anti-inflammatory compounds)
  • Broccoli (antioxidants/vitamin K)
  • Walnuts (omega-3s/vitamin E)
  • Green tea (antioxidants/amino acids)
3. Improve your health and lifestyle choices.

Quitting smoking is essential for brain health, especially as it can cause oxidative stress to the brain which is a key player in mental decline. If you drink alcohol, keep your drinking moderate as too much alcohol can lead to issues with cognitive function and overall health issues. Any other substances should be kept to a minimum, as much as possible.

If you have diabetes or heart disease, stay on top of treatment and lifestyle changes. Your brain will benefit from your attention to these issues. You’ll also improve your overall wellness.

4. Get out and exercise.

Exercise is a key part of brain health, but it doesn’t need to be elaborate. Many of us tend to have a “100% or not at all” thinking when it comes to exercise. Sure, it’s nice to be fit and lean, but that’s not the only thing that exercise does for us. It also helps us to have better mental health by elevating our mood and helping our brains to produce endorphins and other feel-good hormones.

So go take a walk, show up for a yoga class, do a quick 10-min. HIIT workout, or take the dog around the block. Anything you do will be good for your brain and add to your self-care routine, even if it’s small.

5. Take up a new challenging hobby.

The brain loves a good challenge. You’ll keep away issues that lead to dementia by always keeping your brain active. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn a new language and go travel to practice that language. Or perhaps you’ve wanted to play an instrument, but never got around to taking lessons.

Find something that makes your brain hurt just a little (in a good way!) and that brings you joy. Once you’ve mastered that as much as you can, move on to something new. The challenges will keep your brain young, encourage neuroplasticity, and improve your memory and clearheadedness.

Take Care of Your Brain

Our quality of life depends on how well our brain is functioning. Brain health isn’t something to take lightly. When working on your wellness practice, always include ways to improve your brain. Your improved effectiveness at work, happier moods, and ability to connect with others better will make it all worth the work.

If you feel called to support others in improving their brain health and other aspects of wellness, you might be a great fit for our accredited Holistic Health and Wellness Coach certification program. We offer a unique program with robust support and holistic systems. Reach out to talk with an admissions advisor to find out how to get started.

The post How to Improve Your Brain Health in 5 Actionable Steps appeared first on The International Association of Wellness Professionals.

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Our life force is quite literally in our breath. Each breath we take in delivers life-giving oxygen to our lungs, which gets distributed throughout our bodies via our bloodstream. Learning how to breathe properly can make a huge difference in your health.

If you tend to take shallow, unconscious breaths and you’ve never really given your breathing much thought, you would definitely benefit from learning how to breathe correctly. And if you’re already into breathing, it’s always a good idea to refresh your practice and make sure you’re giving it the attention it deserves.

Why Learning to Breathe Properly Matters

A deoxygenated body isn’t a very efficient one. Your cells need a certain amount of oxygen in order to carry out their processes. When they’re starved for oxygen, they’ll do their work sluggishly and inefficiently.

Your brain will especially suffer. You might not have the clear mind that you wish you did. Memory issues, foggy feeling brain, and lack of quickness can all be indications of less oxygenation than your brain really requires.

Your posture and internal organs will benefit from proper breathing, as well. When you fully inhale, your lungs expand to their full capacity, your diaphragm pushes down on your internal organs below it, and your shoulders expand to their proper place. This type of breathing stretches open your trunk in ways that benefit your muscles, bones, and organs.

More Benefits of Proper Breathing

Learning to breathe through your nose means that the air you breathe in will be properly filtered and warmed to the right temperature for your lungs. Many people unconsciously breathe through their mouths, which dries out the throat, doesn’t properly filter the air, and sometimes can bring in too cold or too hot air to the lungs. Mouth breathing can also lead to snoring and sleep apnea, as well as dental issues.

Breathing properly can help you with anxiety, as well. Deep breathing calms the nervous system, triggering hormones that relax the mind and body. Shallow, short breaths are associated with panic and anxious episodes. By learning to deep breathe slowly and properly, you’ll have better control over anxiety and be able to create more calm.

How to Get Started

There are many different techniques that can help you learn to breathe properly. Traditional cultures all over the world have various techniques you can learn. Many of these traditions are paired with mindfulness practices, which give them an extra boost in creating well-being.

Here are a few breathing techniques to try as you find the right practice to help you better oxygenate your body and relax your mind.

Body Check-In

Create specific moments throughout your day when you are reminded to check in with your breath. Some people pay attention to their breathing every time they get a drink of water, go to pick up their phone, see a particular number on the clock, or some other kind of regular reminder. Pick something that works for you, then every time you see the thing or do the activity, check in with your breath. Notice whether your chest or your belly is rising. Then close your eyes and take several slow, deep breaths through your nose and into your belly.

Mindfulness and Breathing

One really great practice to do every single day is to create a mindfulness routine. It’s easy to add in breathing when you’re consciously sitting and focusing on holding space in a mindful way. You can even focus on your breathing as a way to keep your mind empty and quiet. Deep breaths will help calm your brain and relax your body so mindfulness will be an even easier practice.

Proper Breathing Practice

When you’re just getting started on working on your breathing, it can be good to consciously practice breathing. Sit or lie down comfortably and put one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly. Breathe normally and notice which hand is rising. Breathe through your nose and notice how that feels. Try to make the hand over your belly rise higher than your chest. Practice proper breathing daily until it becomes easier and more like second nature.

The 4-7-8 Breath Exercise

This type of breathing pattern comes from Dr. Andrew Weil and deeply oxygenates and relaxes the body. Sit comfortably upright with your mouth relaxed and slightly open. Breathe deeply through your nose for a count of four. Then hold your breath for a count of seven. Finally, gently release the air out of your mouth for a count of eight. Cycle this breathing about four times and practice twice per day. Eventually, you’ll be able to extend the time and develop more lung capacity.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

This breathing exercise comes from Ayurveda, which is an ancient healing practice from India. Comfortably sit upright with a relaxed but proper posture. Take one hand and put the first finger and thumb up to the nostrils as if to pinch your nose. Close the right nostril with your thumb and inhale through your left nostril. Hold the breath momentarily, then pinch off the left nostril and exhale through the right nostril. Switch sides and repeat for 5 full cycles.

Breathe Properly For Life

While it’s common in our modern world to take our breathing for granted and unconsciously inhale and exhale, breathing properly has many benefits that shouldn’t be ignored. When you’re on a wellness path, it’s important to consider all the various ways that your body needs nourishment.

Since our breath is considered our life force (“prana” and “chi” in other cultures), it’s crucial we pay more attention to how we breathe. Try out these exercises and modify them to fit your life. Pretty soon you’ll start noticing a clearer mind, calmer energy, and invigorated body. Breathing correctly is for life.

If you’d like to help others with better breathing and overall wellness, you would enjoy being a Health and Wellness Coach. The IAWP offers a unique, accredited training and certification program. We focus on offering powerful systems and support to make sure you’re successful as a coach for life. Reach out to an admissions advisor today to discuss how to get started with the IAWP!

The post How to Breathe Properly (With Techniques) appeared first on The International Association of Wellness Professionals.

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You’ve probably been to a yoga class or two, or at least checked out a yoga video online. Maybe you have a friend who loves to talk about their weekly yoga class. However you’ve become familiar with the practice, you might not know about all the benefits of yoga. Beyond the cute yoga pants, fancy poses, and trendy photos online, yoga is a far more expansive wellness practice than you might imagine.

Yoga originated in ancient India over 2,500 years ago. This kind of long history and heritage makes it a tried and true practice for many people over a long period of time. Yoga isn’t just the physical flexibility moves you see in western yoga classes, either. It’s part of a spirituality system that’s evolved over many, many centuries.

Yoga can be very physical, but it can also be very meditative. It can also incorporate actions taken during the regular day, as a mindfulness or wellness practice. It’s a sister practice to Ayurveda, another ancient healing practice that originated in India.

How to Get Started with Yoga

Yoga can seem intimidating if you haven’t yet participated in a class and don’t understand what it’s all about. There are so many different styles of yoga, too. How do you pick?

The best part is that there’s a style for everyone, regardless of your age, gender, body type, ability, or background. If you don’t like the first type you try, go to another class and give another style a shot. You’ll find your fit eventually.

It’s a great idea to start with a basic Hatha yoga class. You’ll find a slower paced class that adjusts for different levels and abilities. Some teachers even bring in chairs for those who can’t get up and down on the floor. Don’t be afraid to ask for accommodation in a class that’s designed for beginners and all abilities.

If you’re really worried about being able to do the moves, try out a restorative or gentle yoga class geared toward those with injuries or who need support. And if you’re ultra-athletic, you might enjoy trying an Ashtanga or vinyasa class that will test your strength.

Benefits of Yoga

Once you get going with a regular yoga practice, you’ll start to see all kinds of benefits showing up in your life. Lots of research studies have been undertaken to show how yoga can truly benefit different aspects of health and wellness.

Here are a few benefits of yoga you will look forward to in your regular practice.

1. Greater flexibility.

This is the most obvious benefit that most people are aware of. It’s true that when you get started, you might not be able to do the full moves due to lack of flexibility. But as time moves on, your hamstrings will begin to stretch and other muscle groups will begin to allow you to go deeper into the moves. Flexibility is good for preventing injury and giving you better control over your body. You’ll feel great!

2. Less anxiety and depression.

The mindfulness aspect of yoga can help calm an anxious mind. It can also bring a feeling of greater peace, which can decrease depression. This benefit will carry you throughout your day, bringing a great sense of wellness into your everyday life. You’ll also learn how to practice mindfulness, which you can do at any time.

3. Increases body awareness.

When we move unconsciously, we tend to be more likely to get injured. Yoga teaches us proper posture and conscious movement. Over time, you’ll become more graceful and aware of each move you make. That might make those of us who have a tendency toward being clumsy to feel a lot calmer when moving through space.

4. Releases tension.

Yoga teaches you to calmly lean into specific poses and to breathe while holding the pose. This encourages your muscles to relax and release, which can seriously reduce tension. Going through these moves can help re-teach your muscles how to do their work with less stress. Yoga can also strengthen muscles so they are less prone to unnecessary tension.

5. Helps with sleep.

The calming aspect of yoga, the physical nature of the poses, and mindfulness practice can help you when it comes time to go to bed. This is especially useful if you practice a calming, meditative style of yoga right before bed. If you’re struggling with insomnia or just plain falling asleep, you might want to try a little yoga before sleep.

6. Improves balance.

Many yoga poses depend on you maintaining your balance while holding the pose. This is a great way to strengthen your body and gain greater control of your muscles and coordination. Since falling can cause serious injuries (especially as we age), developing better balance is an important practice to add to your wellness plan.

7. Increases blood and lymph flow.

The various poses in yoga have you twisting, turning, and even going against gravity. This is great to massage the circular and lymph systems, pushing blood and lymph fluid around. From Downward Dog to Headstands, you’ll find a pose that can help create better circulation in your body and warm up those hands and feet.

8. Improves posture.

Each pose that you do in yoga requires proper posture for it to work. That means that you have to consciously think about the way you’re holding your body for almost an hour or more. Over time, you’ll find your posture-related muscles have strengthened and you’re holding your body in better form.

9. Improves strength.

One important way that yoga can help is by increasing your overall strength. Since you’re moving and using your body weight, this kind of strength is a functional type. It’s the kind of strength that will serve you well outside of the yoga studio. You’ll get a more peaceful mind and a great workout!

Get Started with Yoga Today

There are so many benefits that yoga can bring to your life. You don’t need to jump into a difficult yoga class or feel intimidated by yoginis who have been doing yoga for a long time. Find a friendly yoga studio that is more interested in being inclusive to all body types, ages, genders, and abilities. They’ll welcome you with open arms and help you find the class that’s perfect for your interests and abilities. Give yoga a chance and it can help create beautiful change in your wellness practice.

If you’re ready to become a Holistic Health and Wellness Coach, you’ll enjoy the IAWP’s unique program that includes powerful systems and support for your continued success. Reach out to an admissions advisor today to find out how to get started.

The post 9 Benefits of Yoga and How to Get Started appeared first on The International Association of Wellness Professionals.

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You probably remember those moments as a little kid when all time would melt away. You’d be completely absorbed in an activity, lost in the challenge of learning something new that you loved. When someone came to tell you it was time for dinner, you were shocked to realize how much time had passed. In adulthood, it feels so much harder to get in the flow and experience all of that again.

Often, once we become adults we tend to think that maybe getting in the flow isn’t that necessary. It feels hard and maybe even a little bit novel. Our to-do lists are waiting, so we focus on being efficient instead.

But pretty soon, we start to miss that childhood feeling of being in flow. With constant worry, deadlines, and harsh realities circling around in our minds, we start to wonder if this is the healthiest way to live life.

Are you searching for a way to get in the flow and get back to that fulfilling feeling?

Get in the Flow for Wellness

Research shows that people who regularly get in the flow feel more satisfied with their life experiences. This is because flow puts you in the present moment, which is the mindset necessary for true peace. When you’re working from a present moment state of mind, your entire focus is on your task at hand instead of worrying about the future or thinking about regrets from the past.

Being in the present moment causes your stress levels to decrease, your satisfaction with what you’re doing to increase, and your productivity to become truly effective. You’ll feel amazing and get lots done when you’re truly in the flow.

Being in flow isn’t about just one type of activity. Sure, it’s great to be in flow when you’re working. But you can also create the feeling when you’re gardening, vacuuming, playing a musical instrument, or cleaning out the garage. It’s a state of mind that, with practice, you can create no matter what you’re doing.

As mindfulness is becoming more studied, we know that this practice has a lot of health benefits for our minds and bodies. When you get into the flow, you are creating a similar state of mind, which has related benefits.

Learning how to get into a state of flow is truly beneficial for your life, health, and success.

How to Get in the Flow

If it’s been a long time since you’ve experienced flow, you might wonder if it’s even possible to create that state of mind again. It might feel far away and mystical. Luckily, it’s a natural state for humans to be in, so it shouldn’t be too hard to relearn how to do.

That said, be patient, try lots of things, and know that you’ll get there when you finally let go. Trying to always be in control is one of the biggest deterrents for creating flow. So the more you try to force it, the more it will always stay just beyond reach. The only way to create flow is to learn patience and to lean into the process. Flow teaches you how to truly let go.

Here are a few things to help you learn how to create a state of flow during any activity that you want to engage with more meaningfully.

1. Choose a quiet space without distractions.

Flow can’t happen if you’re surrounded by noise and things that can pull you out of the flow state. Choose a time of day and place that will allow you to sink into a meditative mindset. If you get distracted, reset your flow practice and dive back in gracefully and with intention.

2. Avoid multitasking and remove temptations.

In our modern world, there is always a lot going on in our days. We might have a conversation, eat a meal, work on a project for our job, and simultaneously check our phone. Multitasking has become more commonplace and with it comes decreased efficiency and effectiveness. We don’t do anything well when we’re multitasking, and we definitely can’t get and stay in a state of flow.

So turn off your phone and hide it away. Promise yourself to stay off of any website not related to your work. Turn off distracting music. Remove anything that will pull you away from your activity. Allow yourself to just sink into doing one thing and one thing only.

3. Begin with a comfortable body.

If you’re hungry, need to visit the bathroom, or need a drink, take care of these things ahead of time. When your body is in pain, it will prevent you from reaching a true flow state. So do your stretches and care for your body first. A quiet body will allow you to have a quiet mind.

4. Start off with a mindfulness exercise.

One great way to trigger flow is to start off with a few moments of meditation or mindfulness practice. Sit quietly, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. Observe your thoughts without judgment and without investing in any of them. Try to bring your focus to your breath and calming down the mental chatter. Open your eyes and begin your activity with intention.

5. Choose an activity that is meaningful or important.

While we can get into flow states while doing mundane work, it’s helpful to start off your flow practice with something a little more engaging for your mind. Pick an activity that feels really meaningful to you. Maybe it’s an artistic project, or it involves something that will benefit you or others. Or choose something you really need to do for work or another obligation. The urgency of both types of tasks will help you find the momentum to get in a flow state.

6. Choose the challenge level wisely.

This activity needs to feel challenging without being too challenging. You can’t get into a flow state when you are very first learning how to do something. You need a little muscle memory and success behind you first. Once you’ve got a little competence, it will help you get in the zone easier. That said if you’re bored the flow won’t happen either. Make sure the activity is just challenging enough to engage your mind effectively.

7. Focus on the process over the end goal.

It can feel motivational to keep your eye on the end goal. But it won’t necessarily help you stay in the present moment when you’re obsessing over what’s coming in the near future. Instead, get deeply engaged in the process. That’s where the flow state is and that’s where you’ll truly learn to let go. You’ll achieve your goal in one way or another. But flow can’t happen if you’re not rooted in the present moment. Stay there.

Practice Flow and Letting Go

Being in a state of flow can be incredibly beneficial for your life and mind. The more often you create moments of flow, the more you’ll feel rooted in your experience of life. As you work to develop a mindfulness practice, also simultaneously work on creating more flow in your life. The more your ground your mind in the present moment thinking, the healthier you’ll feel and the more you’ll feel satisfied with your life. Happy flow!

If you’re the kind of person who loves helping others achieve states of physical and emotional wellness, you would be a great fit for becoming a Wellness Coach. The IAWP offers a powerful accredited certification program and includes comprehensive and holistic systems and support so that you’ll be successful for life. Reach out to one of our admissions advisors today to get started.

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If you’re into wellness, you’ve probably already brushed up on great nutrition and exercise practices. But you might not automatically think of spirituality when the topic of wellness comes up.

Here at the IAWP, we believe that wellness is a philosophy that encompasses all parts of our lives. We think that a holistic approach to wellness is the one that will get the best and most sustainable results and changes in our lives.

We call this concept the Wellness 360 wheel and it includes various elements that are crucial for wellness and wellbeing.

One of those very important elements is Spirituality.

Importance of the Spirituality Element

You might immediately understand why we include Spirituality in our Wellness 360 wheel, but also feel worried about what this means when it comes to talking to others about it. Spirituality is a delicate subject and you might feel resistance to talking about it with others, especially as a Wellness Coach. But spirituality is one of the core foundations of wellness, so let’s push through and take a closer look.

Every part of our being affects how we feel, the choices we make, and how we move through the world. Spirituality might be one of the biggest parts of that, which means it’s crucial to consider in your wellness practice.

Since we are not just a physical body that operates like a machine, we also have an internal world that is rich and vast. While that internal world might be sometimes elusive, it’s still there are present. It deeply affects how we feel connected to ourselves and the world around us.

It’s also our connection to something greater than ourselves and it’s how we give our lives meaning. This helps to drive our purpose, passions, and mission in life.

Understanding the Spirituality Element

Our physical bodies are the most obvious aspects of ourselves, but they’re not all of who we are. We also have an energetic body or spiritual layer to ourselves that connects to our physical body and impacts our wellbeing. This doesn’t refer to specific religions or personal beliefs, but it is drawing a connection between our physical health and the spiritual aspects of us that exist.

Each of us has a unique way of expressing spirituality and engaging in spiritual practices. This includes the way we energetically interact with the world, the religious or spiritual teachings that guide our views, and the self-care rituals that we use to feel more grounded in spirit.

In holistic wellness, we include discussions on spiritual traditions such as the Chakra system and prana or chi. These systems teach us that we have an energy body and offers instruction on how to keep it healthy. Working with chakras is just one way to connect with your inner world.

There are a variety of spiritual practices that you can incorporate into your life in order to support your wellness. These include practices like meditation, visualization, prayer, and so many other beautiful and healing spiritual practices.

IAWP Student Feature

IAWP Certified Wellness Coach Kate Schenk founded Wild Women Wellness where she supports her coaching clients to go from feeling like they are always keeping up with their to-do list to creating more health and happiness.  Kate recommends practicing meditation and mindfulness.

“This can even be a simple act of taking a peaceful walk out in nature and taking deep breaths along the way,” she says. Kate has gone on to write a book entitled “Supporting Yourself” where she shares more of her personal tools for overcoming inner struggles.

Balancing Your Spirituality Element

It might feel tricky to get started with balancing your Spirituality element, especially if you don’t have a religion or prescribed set of beliefs and rituals. But it’s as simple as making a little time every day for practices that make you feel great. Over time, you’ll find your practices evolving and growing into something that is uniquely perfect for you.

Here are a few tips for getting started with discovering the way that spirituality works best for you.

1. Get connected to something bigger.

Spirituality represent connection and belonging. To be spiritual is to be grounded, clear, and expansive. Get reconnected with your inner world to find out what your intuition is trying to tell you. Let your own inner guide help you find the right spiritual practices for you.

Discover if you feel connected to something greater than you. What does that feel like and how do you conceptualize that feeling? Listen to your soul and take steps to follow its wisdom. Find the practices that resonate most deeply with you and incorporate them into your life.

2. Carve out time for spiritual practice.

In our modern world, it’s easy to get caught up in the rush of life. You might sometimes feel like you hardly have time for breathing. Commit to slowing down and finding more space in your life.

Spirituality grows when you dedicate regular time for it. You don’t need to have an elaborate practice, but it is important to prioritize your commitment to it. Feeling empty inside can lead to lots of health and wellness issues, so spirituality is crucial to work on.

3. Experiment with different spiritual practices.

Stay open to all the ways that you can be spiritual and grow your spirituality. If one thing doesn’t work for you, keep moving instead of giving up. There’s something out there that’s perfect for you. Be respectful of what works for other people and be respectful of your own process.

You might have to combine several things until you find the perfect blend that works for you. Keep your mind and spirit open, then always check in to find out how something feels for you.

4. Do a Wellness 360 check.

Since all aspects of our lives impact each other, there could be other things that are unbalanced. Take a deep inventory of the aspects of wellness you really need to work on. Is there an element in that list that could be impacting your spirituality?

Perhaps your Relationship element isn’t balanced, causing you to feel resentful and overburdened by others’ needs. That could cause you to have far more on your to-do list than is really necessary. By putting into place better boundaries, you could free up mental, emotional, and physical space. This would allow you to now spend more time caring for your Spirituality element.

Support for Others

It can be tricky to discuss spirituality with clients, but as a Holistic Health and Wellness Coach, you’ll have opportunities to explain how it impacts health. If wellness is your passion, you’ll find a way to balance this element in your own life and perhaps help others to do so as well.

If becoming a Holistic Health and Wellness Coach sounds like the right career move for you, the IAWP offers an accredited certification program with unique systems and support for students for life. Contact an admissions advisor to find out if this is the right program to help you start a new career today!

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You might be really into eating organic food, hiking regularly, and using natural products on your skin. Wellness is a big part of taking care of our health, so more and more people are beginning to shift their lifestyles. One important part of getting and staying well also includes shifting your mindset.

At the IAWP, we consider all aspects of a person’s life when it comes to wellness. We take a holistic view that includes elements of life, such as relationships, nutrition, rest, and career. It’s important to understand how each part of your life affects the other parts, which can interfere with your wellness practice. We call this the Wellness 360 wheel.

In this article, we’re going to talk more about one of the elements in the wheel, the element of Mindset.

Importance of the Mindset Element

While it’s definitely important to eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep, there’s more to wellness. One of the elements that are crucial to living a life from a place of wellbeing is Mindset. What is mindset? It’s generally your frame of mind and how you move through the world in reaction to your beliefs.

Your mindset can have a perspective that helps you grow and transform. Or it can be a mindset that holds you back and makes you feel limited in your ability to achieve challenging goals. Mindset will cause you to make unhealthy choices or see yourself as a failure. Or it can help you feel more patience and gentleness toward yourself, as well as celebrate your successes.

Mindset impacts our perception, or how we perceive our lives and the events happening in our lives. The term is simply a descriptor of our thoughts, which are constantly moving and shaping our lives. Our thoughts are things we can’t escape as they are part of the human experience. Thoughts drastically impact how we approach our lives and the choices we make that impact our lives.

Our mindset can cause us to feel empowered or disempowered, depending on how we frame our thoughts and experiences.

Understanding the Mindset Element

At the most basic level, Mindset is all about our mind (or brain) and our thoughts.

The brain is the master controller of our bodies, our perception of self, and how we experience the world around us. The brain is the most complex organ in our body and the one we know the least about. Our brain is constantly changing as we learn new information, practice new habits, or simply age. Our environment and genes also play roles in how our brain develops and changes over time.

We grow new connections in the brain, we repair new ones, and we create and store memories. Just as we work to keep our bodies healthy, we can also work to keep our brains in shape. Having a healthy brain structure and balanced mindset can help us lead long, enjoyable, active lives.

The mindset side of our brain is all about our thoughts. We can’t escape our thoughts as they are ongoing and constant. They can affect how we feel and also how we respond to challenges. Thoughts can also determine whether or not we enjoy special moments or find pleasure in the present moment. They can also impact whether we are open to new opportunities and growth.

The element of Mindset encompasses both the physical health of the brain and the mindsets we use to shift our experience of being alive. Mindset is crucial to a robust wellness practice.

IAWP Student Feature

IAWP Certified Wellness Coach Gill Wall supports her coaching clients with their mindset. “When the mind is completely bogged down with overload, even thinking of the word ‘focus’ can send you into a whirlwind.  If you find it difficult to focus on even a simple task, that can be a red flag the mind needs to unwind.”

Gill recommends learning to say “yes” to you and “no” to others without guilt in order to create the space in your mind and your life to feel more content, confident and at peace.  

Balancing Your Mindset Element

At this point, you should be able to see just how important it is to develop a healthy mindset. Of course, that might sound like a daunting goal. It is something that will take time and patience. But the payoff is beyond worth the dedication. Having a healthy mindset will help you achieve physical health and also balanced experiences of relationships, finances, careers, and so much more. Your mindset really is everything.

To help you get started toward finding balance and healing in your Mindset, here are a few ways to begin to shape and support your mind.

1. Take good care of your physical brain.

If your brain is struggling to physically function, it’s going to be hard to work on improving your mindset. A sluggish brain can’t work on anything other than getting through the day. Start with working on improving your brain wellness.

Omega-3 fatty acids are very nutritious for your brain. Eat oily fish, walnuts, or take a fish oil supplement to get enough in your diet. Consume plenty of protein every day, as it contains all the amino acids your cells need to rebuild themselves.

Lots of fruits and vegetables each day give you antioxidants and the nutrition your brain and body needs. Reduce processed foods, sugars, alcohol, and caffeine. Your brain will thank you.

2. Keep tabs on your thought patterns.

Mindset shifts require understanding where your mind is producing useful thoughts and where it is falling into unhealthy cycles. The easiest way to do this is to keep a journal of your moods, thought patterns, and things going on in your life.

Over time, you’ll start to notice when certain life events happen and then you experience a cascade of thoughts. You’ll figure out where you’re going off track and where you’re doing really well.

Then you can start to notice these patterns in everyday life and make choices that will impact them for the better. Over time, you’ll be able to slowly shift your mindset and create new healthy patterns.

3. Empower your mindset.

Start to pay attention to the times when you are being positive and the times when you are being negative. Get curious about your negativity. Notice how it triggers a cascade of effects that don’t help with your mindset and life.

While affirmations can help you overcome negativity, they don’t necessarily get at the root of your negativity. Spend some time noticing when you’re being negative and then contemplating why you might be feeling and behaving that way. Is there something you want to be doing or saying to someone and you’re not doing it?

Sometimes our negativity is all about not allowing the energy of a feeling, experience, or relationship to flow the way it needs to. If it’s time for you to have an honest conversation with someone about your anger or frustrations, it might be a good time to do that.  Figure out what you need to do to move the energy, then get to work doing it in a safe way.

4. Do a Wellness 360 check.

Take a look at the Wellness 360 wheel and spend some time thinking about how the other elements in the wheel might be impacting your Mindset element. Maybe your nutrition could use some improvement so your brain health is better. Or perhaps you’re in a toxic workplace that isn’t allowing you to take good care of yourself.

Find those aspects that need a little extra help, then work on balancing them. You’ll find that it’s much easier to improve your mindset when you’ve done foundational work.

Keep Working On Your Mindset

Mindset work is for life, as our thoughts, experiences, and health are constantly in flux. Be patient with yourself, as well. Changing your mindset is something that takes slow, consistent movement. You won’t shift it in a weekend or even a month. You’ll always find things going on in your mind that can be improved and balanced.

If you’re passionate about health and wellness, you might be a great fit for becoming a Health and Wellness Coach. At the IAWP, we offer an accredited certification program that trains you to be a Holistic Health and Wellness Coach. Our program offers unique systems and support options to help you find success in your new career for life. Reach out to an admissions advisor to find out if we’re a good fit.

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Walking a path of wellness means more than just taking good care of your body through nutrition and exercise. Though those things are important, we are complicated beings with many needs. At the IAWP, we focus on working with all aspects of wellness, from eating well to spending time in nature, from healing relationships to focusing on your purpose.

Each of these aspects fit into our Wellness 360 wheel and are what we call elements of wellness. Since we place a huge emphasis on a holistic approach to wellness, this wheel guides us through all aspects of learning, living, and supporting others.

One of these very important elements is the element of Purpose.

Importance of the Purpose Element

Many times when we hear the word “purpose” we immediately think of our jobs. But purpose is far more than what we do for a living. It’s an inner knowing that guides us as we move through the world, grow within ourselves, and tells us what we are here to do.

Your purpose can give meaning to your daily life, but also to your understanding of your existence. Having a purpose can help you to rise above challenges in your life and find greater meaning in those challenges. It can make hard things feel more meaningful and the wonderful things feel euphoric.

It gives us the ability to look outside ourselves and our own world, allowing us to see how we can help others. Purpose teaches us how we can effectively make a contribution to our communities by using our unique skills and talents. This is why purpose is so important to your wellbeing.

Understanding the Purpose Element

Most of us struggle to figure out what our purpose is at one or more points in our lives. It’s totally normal and wonderful that you’re sticking with it to figure it out!

You’re probably mulling it over right now if you’re reading this. Maybe you’ve had some hard experiences or some joyful ones and you’d like to share what you’ve learned with others. It could be that your purpose is to share the message of wellness and help others to become healthy.

Purpose is all about knowing and learning more about your passions. Being passionate is the cornerstone of really understanding and identifying purpose.

  • What brings you joy?
  • Is there something that lights you up?
  • How can you uniquely contribute?
  • What can you do to share your gifts?

Having a purpose doesn’t need to be elaborate. It can be as simple as a role in your family or impacting another person’s life. Or it can be as grand as a purpose to change the lives of many people.

When we think of purpose as it relates to wellness, we want to discover if we know what we are passionate about. If we’re not yet sure, then it becomes our task to identify how to discover it. Passion and purpose together bring meaning to our lives, which affects our outlook, our feelings, and our wellbeing.

Purpose is also about feeling fulfilled. When we feel fulfilled internally, we can see how that impacts our overall wellbeing. It might be that we actually feel different or that we smile more often. Or it could be that we have a deep knowing about what we are supposed to be doing every day.

Purpose also represents knowing our true selves. This can be a lifelong journey or something that happens in a moment of deep realization.

IAWP Student Feature

IAWP Certified Wellness Coach Natalia Edelmann shared her personal experience about finding her purpose and following her passion for wellness coaching.  

“Planning is one thing, but taking action is imperative to pursuing your dreams when everyone else is in your way. The thing is, you can’t take action if you don’t have the confidence, but confidence only comes with taking action.”

Natalia recommends setting milestones and breaking them down into smaller steps. And to keep in mind that with every step toward your purpose, a lesson is learned on your journey.  “Shine your light so bright that everyone can see you…because when you shine, we shine brighter together.”

Balancing the Purpose Element

Now that we’ve done a deep dive into why knowing your purpose is such an important part of holistic wellness, let’s look at how you can actually discover it. Just remember that your purpose is a very important part of who you are, so it’s not likely to be something you can figure out overnight.

Sometimes people have lightning bolt types of experiences. They might suddenly have an “aha” moment where their purpose becomes crystal clear. But for the majority of us, it’s more common to uncover it over weeks, months, and sometimes years.

Additionally, your purpose will constantly evolve over the course of your lifetime. A person’s purpose is going to look drastically different when they’re 25 compared to when they’re 65. It’s a really good thing for purposes to evolve as we experience new things, grow, and learn. Just keep working toward living with purpose and eventually you’ll find it.

Here are a few ways to get started in figuring out what your purpose is in life.

1. Get quiet and get clear.

Life is busy, stressful, and overwhelming. Most of us are running ragged, trying to just finish our to-do list before our heads hit the pillow at night. While this is understandable, your purpose won’t be able to make it through the noise enough for you to notice.

You’ll need to create more space in your life for contemplation, mindfulness, and exploration. Whatever way you can do this, it will be worth it. Even if you can just set aside 15 minutes a day for a quick meditation and journaling. Get deep in your heart and intuition, then start listening.

2. Practice your passion regularly.

If you’ve already discovered one of your passions, make it a priority in your life. Practice it every day and devote energy to it. Get in the flow with your passion and let it fill you up energetically.

This practice will help you take action which always leads to deeper self-discovery. Along the way, you’re going to find your purpose and take even bigger actions. Once you reach this point, you’ll start to notice the impactful wellness effects in your life.

3. Make friends with those who have a purpose.

It can be tricky to know what to do to find your purpose, especially if you’re surrounded by others who are facing the same dilemma. Go find some people who really inspire you and have found their purpose in life.

Take them out for lunch or tea, then ask them about their journey to finding their purpose. You might get some great tips that resonate with your own personality and journey. And you’ll make an inspiring friend in the process.

4. Do a Wellness 360 check.

This is an important part of practicing holistic wellness. In order to truly understand what is needed for you to find your purpose, you’ll need to take a look at the other elements in the Wellness 360 wheel. Are there other aspects of your wellness that aren’t in balance? Could it be that those elements are making it hard to work with purpose?

This could be something like struggling with the finances element. This could cause a lot of stress and survival mentality, making the idea of purpose seem like a luxury or far out of reach. Sometimes you’ll need to work on other elements first before you can come back and work on your Purpose element.

Start Living with Purpose

Finding your purpose might be a challenging journey or it might be something that’s already staring you in the face. Stay open to what lights you up and what energizes you. You might already know what your purpose is and you just haven’t noticed it yet. Keep leaning in and just give it some time and keep it a priority.

If health and wellness is your passion, you might find that your purpose is to help others live healthier lives as a Holistic Health and Wellness Coach. At the IAWP, we’ve created an accredited certification training that includes unique support and systems that will help you find success for life. Reach out to an admissions advisor today to find out if we’re the right program for you.

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When you’re working on living a life full of health and wellness, your finances might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But when it comes to true wellness, you have to look at all aspects of your life. Each component of your life experience affects all the others and nothing exists in isolation.

This concept is something we, at the IAWP, call Wellness 360. You can see all the elements that we think go into a full wellness awareness on our Wellness 360 wheel. Each and every element is a crucial piece of the wellness puzzle. In order to be vibrantly healthy, we have to focus on every one of the elements balancing them for true wellness.

One vital element in Wellness 360 is the element of Finances.

Importance of the Finances Element

It might seem a bit strange to include a discussion about finances in a conversation on health. But financial health has a huge impact on our overall physical and mental health.

Financial health is all about our relationship with money. That relationship is so much deeper than just our budgets, financial investments, and spending habits. Money has its own energy that carries a certain weight and can affect us on a deep level.

We’ve all got our own feelings, experiences, and perspectives on money. The messages we were raised with have an impact on how we interact with money, as well. We each have negative and positive patterns when it comes to our relationship with money. It can have a deep effect on our mental health, which can, in turn, take a hit on our physical health.

Financial health is a vital part of overall wellness practice and directly impacts our wellbeing.

Understanding the Finances Element

At the most basic level, our finances are simply about whether or not we are able to take care of our basic needs. Some of us really struggle to pay for basic needs like rent, food, and a car. Others have an excess of money but struggle financially in other areas.

Even if your basic needs are being met, you still might feel the stress of it all if your future is uncertain. If you don’t have the sense that your needs will always be provided for, you’ll spend your days in continual frustration and worry.

How balanced you feel at this basic level will impact your overall mental and physical health at deep levels.

Finances and Childhood

Your upbringing can drastically impact your financial health, as well. If you received negative messages about money from your parents, faith community, neighbors or friends, you might still inadvertently believe these messages. Some of these ideas are probably playing out in your life, affecting your relationship with money.

These could be ideas such as “money is the root of all evil” or that being rich is vain and selfish. It could also include your parents’ spending patterns such as haphazard, impulse buying without regard for future needs. It could include obsessive penny pinching that takes on an unhealthy quality.

Finances and Self-Worth

It could also be an underlying message about worthiness. You might have gotten the message that your personal value was directly tied to money or the things that money can buy. If your family never seemed to have enough, you might have felt “less than” your peers because you were always ashamed of your second-hand clothes. Or you might have been very jealous of the exciting trips and vacations that your friends were able to take, while you were stuck at home.

Money and all the associations with money that we accumulate throughout life have a deep impact on our self-esteem and self-worth. These experiences can directly impact how we spend our money, which jobs we choose, and ultimately how we view life itself. Your mental health might be at stake if your relationship with money is rocky.

Your financial health is crucial for relieving stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health struggles. It is also important to heal your self-worth and to truly begin to see your own self-value. By healing these things, you’ll also directly impact your physical body and mind.

IAWP Student Feature

IAWP Certified Wellness Coach Kim Goeltom understands firsthand the pressure that earning money can have on your health. At one point, Kim had a great job that paid the bills. But it came at a high personal cost. She worked around the clock, hardly ever saw her family, and eventually developed adrenal fatigue.

Today she is thankful for everything that happened to her as it led to her passion and a new career as a Wellness Coach. Now she gets to share the message of balancing all aspects of your life with other professional women, which she loves.

Balancing Your Finances Element

As we can see, finances have a huge impact on our ability to care for our bodies and our minds. For a true wellness practice, it’s important to consider the holistic picture of how we are living. Financial health is a big part of creating more wellbeing and joy in your life.

Here are a few ways to get started in balancing your Finances element.

1. Reconnect with your finances.

If you’ve been avoiding or ignoring all things having to do with money, it’s important to start paying attention again. Your relationship with money can’t be healed if you’re busy pretending like it doesn’t exist.

Do the brave thing and take a look at your bank accounts. Find a simple system that allows you to track your expenses and income. You don’t necessarily have to change anything at first. Just start to pay attention and bring your finances back into your awareness again.

2. Work on financial goals.

After you’ve been paying attention to your finances, you’ll have a good idea of what you need to do to improve. This is when you can start to set goals that will help you achieve better health.

Find ways to create accountability, whether that’s through the way you track your goals or by having an accountability buddy. Surround yourself with positive role models and inspiring financial health experts.

Find ways to stick to your goals and make them a priority in your life.

3. Create rules for your money.

It’s important to decide how you want to use your money. By making rules for yourself, you’ll create better structures and guidelines to help you make better choices.

Determine what is important for you to spend money on. Once you’ve covered your bills and necessities, decide what you’d like to do with the rest of your income. Think about your values and make rules that fit those values.

For example, you might need to decide between two things one month. If you’ve been thinking that you might need a new smartphone, you might actually value buying organic produce more. Or you might instead want to save your money for a career change instead of taking another spring break vacation.

Or you might also just want to do it all, which is also fine. You’ll need to create a roadmap for how to get where you are now to where you want to be.

4. Do a Wellness 360 check.

Think about the Wellness 360 wheel and contemplate how the other elements might be impacting your finances and your financial health. You might notice that your career isn’t headed where you want it to or perhaps you’re just not making enough money to get where you want to go.

You might be struggling in a relationship with a partner that doesn’t have the same financial values or goals that you do. You’ll need to find a way to get on the same page or make healthy compromises.

Each part of the wheel can have an impact on your wellness and especially your financial health.  

Keeping Your Finances Element Balanced for Life

Your finances will always be in flux throughout your life. This means that you’ll need to constantly be developing a relationship with your money. Keep tabs on it without fear or shame, while creating structures and goals to help direct your path. Assess your values and determine how you’ll express those values with your money. Then notice how other parts of your life are impacting your finances. Over time, you’ll develop a healthier relationship with money and a balanced Finances element.

If you’ve always dreamed about helping other people achieve true wellness, you might be the perfect fit for the accredited Holistic Health and Wellness Coach certification from the IAWP. We offer unparalleled support and systems that help you create career success for life. Reach out to an admissions advisor today to find out how to get started.

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Do you ever have that little voice in the back of your head that wonders what others will think of if you do something “big”, “crazy”, “out there” or just different from what you normally do?

Or maybe it’s a slightly different voice, one that just says you shouldn’t go for it because you’ll make a mistake. 

Or you don’t know how it will turn out.

These are common fears that comes up when you’re thinking of making a big change in your life. 

Whether it’s trying something new or letting go of something old – these little voices can pop up in your subconscious and try to prevent you from doing something new.

Or maybe you’re like a lot of people reading this email and you’re thinking of becoming a Wellness Coach but something keeps holding you back.

It’s a sneaky little voice, too because it hides out in the background. Sometimes you can’t even hear it but it’s there, holding you back from what you really want in life.

So what will they think of you?

“They” is usually your family, friends, parents and other people in your life who have known you for years. 

“They” see you a certain way and now suddenly you want to change.  What if you fail? Or what if some people don’t like you? Or what if they finally see you for who you are?

I get it. 

I struggled with “what will people think of me” for years. 

And it still shows up from time to time let me say, though now I see it for what it is.

But  I really had to go deep and work on this to finally get over it.

If you’re like me and you know you’re meant to follow your passion in life, you have to let go of this kind of limited thinking so you can do what you’re meant to do.

Otherwise it will hold you back, keep you small and leave you right where you are.

And worst of all, you won’t be able to share your gifts with the world. Which means so many people won’t get to experience you and what you can help them with.

Now here’s the thing….

That little voice in your head is going to try to stop you from sharing your message, doing something important or making a change because it’s trying to protect you from getting hurt.

But if we allow it to rule our life, then we don’t get to experience all of the amazing possibilities that come from saying “Yes” to our dreams.

Which would be a tragedy, don’t you think?

I see this happen a lot when people in our community are thinking about becoming a Wellness Coach.

They want to take a big leap, do something new, make a change.

But the people in their lives think they’re a little crazy. The little voice starts to rear it’s ugly head and says things like….

Why would you want to give up your steady day job?
What if it doesn’t work out?
Follow your passion in life? That’s a pipe dream!
Who are you to do help others?

So how do you get over these limiting fears that are trying to hold you back?

Here’s a little process I developed that worked for me…..

Step 1 – Become Aware of the Voice

First you have to become aware that the voice is even there.  We all have limiting thoughts running through our mind, whether you realize it or not right now. Sometimes they’re so subconscious we can’t hear them.  Whenever I was about to do something new, I stopped and listened. What was holding me back? What fear was coming through? I wrote it down.

Step 2 – Look Fear in the Face

Once I wrote down the fear, instead of trying to tell myself if wasn’t true, I went deeper. I looked at the fear and said “Ok, so what if that is actually true?”  I allowed the fear to be real for a moment, I gave it a voice and looked it straight in the face.  For a moment it would get a little uncomfortable. And it sounded like this….

“Well, if I do X, people won’t like me. They might judge me. They might think I’m crazy. And I might fail and that would be embarrassing.”

Next on moved on to Step 3…..

Step 3 – Let the Fear be True

Once you look fear in the face and give it a voice, let the fear be true for a moment. What’s the worst case scenario if people don’t like you or judge you or you don’t make them happy? What if you fail trying something new? What does it really mean?

Here’s where you realize that likely the fears are being overly dramatic and they aren’t 100% true. Sure, maybe a few people won’t like your decision, but a lot of other people might. Sure, you might fail, but what if you never try at all?

Step 4 – Weigh Your Choices

Finally remember you get to decide. You can ask yourself which is more important to you. The fact that some people will judge you or NOT going for your dream and playing small?  Which is worse? Usually the answer is clear. And you can move forward confidently.  

So consider this….

Where are you holding yourself back right now in your business or your life because you are worried about what others will think of you?

What little voice is trying to keep you small in order to protect you…but it’s really not serving you anymore?  

Maybe you have that racy blog post you want to write, but are worried what others might say or what comments they’ll leave in your post. 

Or maybe you don’t want to put yourself out there on video because you feel like your family will judge you, i.e. what is she doing now?

Or what will others think if you decide to follow your heart and become a Wellness Coach or start a new career path?

Try out my 4 step process and see if it helps you face your fear head on and then do what your heart says.  Because life’s too short to be held back by our fears.

Looking for more support to move past fear?

Click here to talk to an IAWP Admissions Advisor.

Love, Health & Success,

Suzanne Monroe
Founder, The Int’l Association of Wellness Professionals

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