When asked to evaluate your mood or “attitudinal climate”, do you have a vocabulary for your “state of mind”.   Do you have a glossary of adjectives at your disposal…energetic, harried, frantic, tired, happy, productive?  Take a brief inventory right now!  What is your energy level, low to high?  You can use a scale from 1-10.  Do you feel focused or diffuse, melancholy or present?  Do you feel you have the ability to alter or to change your state of mind?  If so, do you do this through: positive self-talk, a quick telephone call to a friend, a walk?   Have you used a fitness class, a yoga session, a guided relaxation tape or a simple breathing exercise to shift your attitude? All of the above are viable alternatives.

The most direct method is to simply follow your breath.  Through breath awareness, we enhance our well-being.  We, in effect, create a ‘youth enhancing moment’ by just simply giving attention to our breath, i.e. by taking a slow, conscious breath.  Two mind/body principles are activated here:  breath centering and introspection.   At the end of the yoga classes I teach I remind my students:  “In any moment throughout the day you can inhale and receive:   energy, vitality, peacefulness.  And, in any moment throughout the day you can exhale and release: tension, fatigue, fear.”

Our limbic system responds to our thoughts.  Popular Deepak Chopra, MD, author and “Mind/Body Guru” points to the studies that indicate that when we have sad thoughts we dispense sad cells throughout our systems.  Sad cells can adhere to our liver or other internal organs.  We once assumed that our mind contained our thoughts and emotions.  Now we know that our mind is a non-local point; our intelligent systems communicate holistically.  If our limbic system is flowing with ‘good hormones’ those happy cells are floating and adhering to our organs – we feel a strong sense of wellbeing.  If we are centered on ‘fight or flight’ thoughts, the opposite is true.  This stress contributes to the aging process.  It is the continued exposure to the adrenal hormones such as cortisol that weakens our system.  There is a reason you feel good when you laugh, when you smile, when you remember that special moment of intimacy or of success!  Good hormones are released into your system and bathe your healthy cells.

By employing simple mind/body techniques, breath-awareness, centering and introspection, we not only witness our state of mind, but more powerfully, we author that which we choose to focus upon.  I have developed a simple exercise to keep my attitude in the healthy zone.  When I react to another person, even in my mind by being curt or negative I simply create one or two more positive responses. For example, if another driver cuts me off, I may react by glaring at this driver and saying out loud “ You Jerk!”   Next, I check myself and say quietly to myself, “Please be careful!”   You get the drift- very different underlying meaning here.    I use this for thoughts too.  I may think as I walk by and catch a glimpse of my thighs in the window and indulge in self-criticism, “Your thighs look big!”  Next I substitute a self-acknowledgement, “All of the cycling I have been doing is making my thighs look strong!”

Exercise does enhance our state of mind; a simple walk can change our attitude almost immediately.  The increased breathing, the simple range of motion movements, even the change of scenery, can all lift our spirit.  You can create these youth enhancing moments by employing your active imagination.  Try adding some active imagination to your walk.  Think back to a peak experience.  Many years ago I met and talked with Kevin Costner.  All I need to lift my attitude quotient is to remember the details of that experience.  His eyes, his smile…I can do that now!

Or see or “feel” yourself exactly where you want to be – at the apex of a desired accomplishment for instance.  Imagine how that would feel!  How are you holding your body, what expression is on your face, who are you with?  Can you imagine yourself on the Ellen Degeneres Show?  Or better yet, exposing your talent, product, book to the hundreds of thousand viewers of Ellen’s show?  See yourself right now laughing and sharing your ideas and expertise with Ellen!  I must note that if you do not like to be on stage you would not find this a pleasant experience; being in the national spotlight would produce the opposite.  Remember a roller coaster to one person is a joyful experience; to another person it is fear on wheels!

Give yourself permission to develop and to own your dreams!  We know that our emotions are powerful generators of energy.  If we are passionate about something, we create. Energy is not static.  Each time we think about something we lay down a layer of energy.  That is why it is often stated that what we think about, we create.  See or feel yourself being drawn to your desires.  Deepak Chopra tells us  that when we desire something we have the mechanics to create our desire.

Think back to a positive memory or imagine a desired attitude.  Hold this thought while you do the laundry, drive to work, stand in line at a retail store.  Create your own ‘Youth Enhancing Moments” and enhance your life by adding this dimension to your inner world.  Be the author of your own well being!  By simply focusing on attributes that you want to live with on a regular basis: strength of purpose, self-knowledge, patience, love, ease, laughter, you will draw these attributes into your life.

I have created two products to assist you in this process:

First is the  E-MOTION MIND BODY FITNESS relaxation

a 16 minute guided meditation- a virtual power nap guaranteed to renew and refresh you so that your attitude is rebooted.

Second is Yoga Walk

a guided walking experience drawing you into all of your senses and your active imagination.

So make yourself smile right now – fill your mind with positive self-talk, with pleasant experiences or memories.  Imagine, play and say “No” to self-judgment and to self-criticism.  Be your own best friend!

Whispers of the Breath Diva:

Our sense of Self can be our treasure, can be a territory to explore, can be our friend.  By your thoughts and actions, you create an expectancy.

What are you drawing to yourself?

What are you inviting into your Life?

In this moment I can inhale and author my Life!

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