gratitude

  • How Gratitude Affects The Human Heart & Rewires Your Brain


    That got me right in the heart. My heart is full. I just felt in my heart that it wasn’t right…


    More than just words, there’s actual evidence that we feel things in our heart – particularly when it comes to gratitude!

    Today I want to tell you about the fact that gratitude can literally change your brain, and that it’s usually our heart sending signals to our brain instead of the other way around. The people who choose to write letters of gratitude every single day have been found to have significantly better mental health, even up to 12 weeks after they stop doing it 😱

    Our society tends to feed us the subliminal message that we need to buy more things in order to be happy, which can breed an insatiable desire to buy more and more things in the hope that one day we’ll have enough to feel grateful for (if this sounds like you, then read Declutter, Destress, Buy Less on Kindle). So, if gratitude isn’t your go-to emotion then you can be forgiven – and you’re definitely not alone!

    Gratitude is totally subjective and the very same thing has the power to make one person feel like they have everything and another feel like they have nothing. And that’s because it’s never really about the item in question at all – it’s all about how we perceive it in our brain. Some research from UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Centre said this:

    Having an attitude of gratitude changes the molecular structure of the brain, keeps gray matter functioning, and makes us healthier and happier. When you feel happiness, the central nervous system is affected. You are more peaceful, less reactive and less resistant. Now that’s a really cool way of taking care of your well-being.

    It’s no secret that intentional gratitude practice, such as writing down 3 things you’re grateful for each morning, has the power to start changing your mood. If you’re someone who already has a regular gratitude practice, then hopefully you’ve noticed some of the benefits. And if you keep your gratitude journal private like I do, then you’ll also know that there’s no need to share the things that you’re grateful for with anyone else in order to start feeling better.

    The benefits of gratitude practice grow over time, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t wake up feeling like a different person after the first few days – it will take a little bit of time before the neurological effects of gratitude changing your brain start to show (ref). With each additional day that you feel grateful, you are rewiring your brain to search for the positives rather than the negatives in your life.

    There are countless studies on the benefits of gratitude and they all point to the same fact: gratitude is good for you. Really, really good for you. Robert A. Emmons at the University of California and Mike McCullough at the University of Miami ran a gratitude study which involved splitting their study candidates into 3 groups. The first group had to keep a journal of things they were grateful for, while the second had to journal what was hassling them, and the final group had to write a neutral account of what had happened that week. After 10 weeks of doing this, the grateful group reported feeling 25% better than the others, and had done 1.5 hours more exercise (ref).

    There are so many ways that we can access these benefits, including:

    • 🙏🏽  Writing in a gratitude journal
    • 🙏🏽  Saying thank you and expressing how much we appreciate our loved ones
    • 🙏🏽  Noticing what we’re grateful for throughout the day as good things happen to us

    Now, About That Heart Of Yours…


    At the Institute of HeartMath, a group of experts across multiple fields from cardiology to psychology found that it’s our heart which feels these positive emotions like joy and gratitude; and THEN tells our brain about it. Not vice versa. For those of us who aren’t working at the cutting edge of science, it’s most likely that you’re used to the idea of the brain doing all the thinking – but we really are feeling joy in our physical heart!

    When we’re full of positive emotions such as love and gratitude for our life, our heart beat changes as if it’s typing out a love note to the brain. Fun fact: the heart creates the largest electromagnetic field in our whole body. It’s no surprise, then, that as I always say – your heart centre is your manifestation station! There are 4 ways that our heart communicates with the rest of our body and it’s via the nervous system, pulse waves, hormones and electromagnetic fields.

    HeartMath research has demonstrated that different patterns of heart activity (which accompany different emotional states) have distinct effects on cognitive and emotional function. During stress and negative emotions, when the heart rhythm pattern is erratic and disordered, the corresponding pattern of neural signals traveling from the heart to the brain inhibits higher cognitive function. This limits our ability to think clearly, remember, learn, reason, and make effective decisions. In contrast, the more ordered and stable pattern of the heart’s input to the brain during positive emotional states has the opposite effect. It facilitates cognitive function and reinforces positive feelings and emotional stability… – HeartMath.org

    Our body is our best intuitive device for giving and receiving messages to our brain, the people we love and the Universe. When you make the decision to start rewiring your brain with gratitude, it’s a decision which will have a lasting effect on your neurological wiring and can improve your whole experience of the world – which is all there really is because your experience is unique to you.

    Living a heart-led life is so important for our happiness and wellbeing which is why at Millennial Manifestor I always say it’s one of the 3 pillars of successful manifesting – live in your purpose, follow your heart, and then manifest with joy and ease.

    Choosing to find what we love in our life instead of what we’d like to change will always lead to success – whatever the outcome – because we’ll find that the joy of gratitude can never be changed by our external circumstances. Start small, start now and just think to yourself –


    What do I have to be grateful for…?


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  • How To Overcome Writer’s Block To Share Your Message

    The struggle is real.

    Anyone who has ever written anything wordy – like an essay, dissertation or book – will know the frustration of writer’s block. It’s something that we will all face during our writing career, no matter how brief it may be!

    In the last year that I’ve been writing full-time, I’ve faced this debilitating demon on many occasions. Like most people I respond with procrastination, ie, checking Instagram and chatting away on WhatsApp; but this only leads to even more frustration that I’ve whittled away precious time without getting any closer to my word count goal…

    So, how do we overcome it?


    ✎ Start with a strong morning routine


    Y’all know I love my mornings. But there’s a reason that I get up at 5am every day, and it’s because I have a solid morning ritual which I know for a fact makes me more productive. My highlights include: meditation, writing a gratitude list, journalling, exercise, and planning the day ahead.

    Obviously you don’t need to get up that early if you don’t want to, but starting your day with intention and prioritising your mindset will set a strong tone for the day ahead – before everyone else tries to set the tone for you. Taking control of your day from the very beginning creates a pattern of being proactive rather than reactive, and ensures that you’re starting off on the right foot before your pen touches paper.

    If you would like to get up earlier, then you need to watch my Mornings For Winners video and download the printable guide underneath ↠ watch the video | free download


    ✎  Eat consciously


    Often the most obvious ones are the easiest to miss – but there’s a reason why they’ve made a name for themselves. Sugar highs and caffeine crashes can plunge us into an energy sinkhole if we aren’t careful with what we put into our mouth on writing days.

    Personally, I try and save “treat” foods for the weekends because I know that if I have a bag of sweets (my fave!) during the week then I’m writing off the rest of the day in a creative sense. It’s very hard to bounce back from a sugar crash, and it’s easier to avoid one altogether.

    Find a workday diet which works for you and fuel a productive mind with foods which will release energy slowly throughout the day.


    ✎  Give yourself less time


    If we have the luxury of extra time then we’ll use it to daydream and find other things that we’d rather be doing.

    Yet, when there’s something that we have to get done by a certain time then we can magically squeeze it into whatever time pocket is available. This is Parkinson’s Law.

    We will always utilise the full time that we have available for a task, so even if you didn’t have much time or much to write, then you would probably still manage to finish the job and meet your deadline.

    Having too much time can indulge the writers block. Whereas having less time forces you to overcome it; and if you don’t like what comes out of you the first time, then you can always reword it later – but at least you’ll have something on the page!


    ✎  Set a daily word count (a realistic one)


    As with everything in life, if you don’t know where you’re going then it’s very difficult to get there…

    In the same vein as the tip above, if you have a tight deadline then there’s less room for writers block because you literally have to get something written in order to finish the work on time. Writers block can just mean thinking that we haven’t got anything “good enough” to write down, but actually if we were forced then we could string a few sentences together.

    Setting a daily word count ensures that you have to continue writing in order to meet your target, and with only a certain number of hours to do it in – you won’t have the chance to succumb to writers block.

    The best way is to write down what you can come up with in that moment, and then iterate, iterate, iterate later through your edits. By then, you might have the inspiration flowing to swap it for a better sounding sentence instead.


    ✎  Change your scenery


    A change of scenery can move enough energy to shift your writer’s block.

    We will all get bored if we’re in the same spot for too long, so writer’s block can be a symptom of too much time spent in one place. When I’m feeling fed up or stifled, I will move into another room or even snuggle up in bed with my laptop if I’m feeling cold, ill or sleepy. If you are creative too, then it’s likely that your surroundings affect you so make sure that you’re somewhere which makes you feel open and inspired.

    Going out to a coffee shop or library is my favourite way to break up a day, especially if I get sick of seeing housework to-do’s out of the corner of my eye. Co-working spaces are great too and have the added bonus of meeting likeminded freelancers and entrepreneurs. Change your scenery to change your flow.


    ✎  Leave your phone in another room


    This tip is the golden egg…

    I don’t know about you, but my phone is my biggest distraction. By far!

    The only way that I can be sure not to reach for IG or FB when my writing flow pauses for a hot-second is to keep it in a different room. Preferably on a different floor. It’s the only way to stay distraction free!

    Laptops connected to the internet come with their own distractions too, of course, but there are so many useful tools available now. You can limit what you see on social media to add your own content without getting tempted into clickbait news articles. Some of my favourites are the “Remove recommended YouTube videos” Chrome extension and the “Kill News Feed” Chrome extension for Facebook.

    Et voila! 

    Hopefully by implementing some of these tips you can feel distraction free, creatively inspired and full of beans in an environment that you love.

    Writer’s block can be hard, but we all have our own important message for the world – and if your purpose is greater than your predicament then you’ll always find the tools that you need within. When you’re feeling blocked, just try to get something down and then come back to it later to edit and re-edit if you need to.

    There really is no limit! Other than the ones that we put on ourselves.


    ☽ ☆ ☾

    These are the tips that I use every day to overcome my writer’s block. Do you have any of your own which haven’t been mentioned?
    If so, let me know in the comments – you never know who it might help!

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  • How To Make A Killer Vision Board

    To consciously manifest means to consciously decide what you want to create before doing anything else.

    This is why having a vision board around you all the time is SO important to: A) keep what you are working towards at the top of your mind, and B) help you send a clear energetic message to the Universe of what you want to have in your life.

    Recently, I have been feeling like the vision board that I created just over a year ago no longer resonates with me as my desires have matured, and of course – some of the things that were on there have now been received! So it was time for a 2019 update & these are the exact steps that I took and would recommend to anyone else about to put their vision onto paper…

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    Creating a vision board should feel like a fun process where you can really step in to the mood of dreaming up a magical new life for yourself. Therefore, I encourage you to give yourself a whole morning/afternoon and set up a creative workspace with candles/your favourite tunes and anything else that will make you feel good! By being in this positive zone while setting the intentions for what you will create, you are already starting the initiation process for your new manifestations.

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    No-one says that you need to have a boring white vision board like everyone else, so I recommend buying an A2 piece of card in your favourite colour. Last year my vision board was pink (my favourite colour) but this year I just went for orange because it was what felt good at the time. As always, just go with whatever feels good for you.

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    I always find that my creative juices flow best when I write by hand, so I encourage you to brainstorm a list of the things that you would like to have. Think about your timeframe too – is this vision board for the next year, 5 years, or a mix of both?

    It can also be productive to group your desires into segments. For example, I made a section for where I want to live, what I want to own, and what I want to achieve in my career. If you want to manifest more money into your life, then I recommend writing out a cheque for the exact amount that you want and adding it to your board. You can print one here 💵 or from the bottom of this page.

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    Now it is time to move over to your computer and start scouring the web for photos of everything that you’ve brainstormed. Save all of the photos which resonate best with you into a single word document. Resize the images until they look like a rough fit for your page, and then squeeze them on as few pages as possible to save your printer paper.

    A fun thing to do at this point is to print off a few pictures of yourself too. Then you are able to add your face right into the scenarios that you would like to feature in in the future! By seeing yourself as already being there on a regular basis, your brain will become more and more comfortable with the idea, and it won’t feel so distant from your tangible reality. By repeatedly envisioning yourself in situations which may seem worlds away now, you are starting to create your new normal.

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    At last it is time to get hands on! Send your word document to the printer and cut out all of the images that you have collected. Place them onto your A2 piece of coloured card (no sticking yet) and see how they all fit together. Are there some which should be bigger, or smaller? Most likely there will be, so go back to the drawing board (aka computer) and resize them as needed.

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    Yes, this is a repeat of the last step. After your 2nd/3rd/4th print, do the pictures look the right size? And does your face fit properly into the scenes? Do they all fit onto the A2 page, and does it feel like it’s starting to come together? When the answer is YES, then move onto Step 7.

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    When your positioning feels good – grouped or ungrouped – it is time to secure your dreams with pritt-stick. No pressure though, because you can easily peel them off and move them around if you change your mind.

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    When I’m in the stationary store, I also like to buy letter stickers so that I can add some inspirational words between my images – such as the name of the place I would like to live, or the personal qualities that I will try to embody.

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    You should be just about there with your vision board! How does it feel? Hopefully it paints an accurate picture of what you would like your future to look like.

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    Now you just need to decide where your vision board will fit into your life. Mine lives on the wall next to my bed so that I can see my dreams before I go to sleep and as soon as I wake up. This is also next to my meditation corner, so I can focus on all of the images and be grateful for them in advance during meditation.

    I hope that your new vision board delivers you everything that you ask for, and most importantly, makes you feel more inspired than ever to go out and chase your dreams. When the images on your board walk into your life as tangible objects or situations, then please don’t forget to tell me about it – I would love to know and celebrate with you! 🏆

    + Don’t forget to print off your cheque from the Universe for your money vision ↠ download & print yours here

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  • What’s Your Ayurvedic Body Type?

    Our body is the living tool that our soul needs to deliver our gifts into the world.

    If we can integrate the legacies of our ancestors with the medical marvels of modern science, then we have the potential to enjoy a holistically healthy life where all parts of our being are working in tandem. As I wrote on my Instagram this week…

    “Our body is an instrument that our soul is always playing, but sometimes our ears aren’t listening so we wind up dancing to the wrong tune. Our mind, body & spirit all need to be nurtured together, as one, because when one part gets tuned out – the others lose direction.” (see the post here)

    Ayurveda translates to “the knowledge of long life” and is a set of medical practices originating from South Asia. Understanding our Ayurvedic Body Type enables us to improve our wellbeing by illuminating our metabolic make-up so that we can make our food and fitness decisions accordingly.

    To begin understanding our Ayurvedic body, we need to think in terms of the 5 elements (space, air, fire, water, earth) and the 3 Dosha’s. Ayurveda says that we are most likely to experience discomfort and ill health when our Dosha (aka body type) is out of balance and not having its specific needs met.

    So, I’m guessing you’re here because you want to know your own Ayurvedic Body Type? Read on to see which Dosha fits you best…

    Dosha #1 – VATA: The Marathon Runner

    These slim and slender folks are naturally lean, with visible joints and an unpredictable appetite. Vata’s are prone to digestion issues and intolerances, as well as dry skin and hair which can be brittle and/or frizzy. These are high energy individuals who love change and are lively and enthusiastic, struggling to keep still and always on the go – they will walk fast through the crowds just to get to where they’re going!

    This high octane energy means they are able to lose weight easily, but the downsides are that they become anxious under stress and are textbook worriers. They are also likely to be light sleepers who can be easily awoken at the slightest noise, and their moods can be fleeting and unpredictable. This is due to the Vata body type being ruled by the element of Air.

    You can also tell when you’ve been touched by a Vata as their hands and feet are likely to always be cold and icy to the touch – therefore they are the most likely to crave the sunshine and warm climates!

    Dosha #2 – PITTA: The Athlete

    Pitta’s have a medium build with a naturally muscular frame. To fuel this powerful body, they are very unlikely to skip meals and are predisposed to have an appetite for most foods. Their hair is likely to be thin, fine or they may go grey earlier than others.

    As Pitta’s are ruled by the element of Fire, you may want to take cover when they are under stress as they could become irritable, intense and aggressive. This fiery nature serves them well in competitive sports which they are likely to enjoy and excel in, and they will perform any activities they are assigned with determination and purpose.

    Unlike Vata’s, Pitta’s are usually warm to the touch and may even look slightly flushed – possibly because of the fire burning inside of them! For this reason, they may prefer to steer clear of hot climates and hide in cool temperatures to regulate themselves. Pitta’s are usually adept at managing their weight, particularly when they use exercise.

    Dosha #3 – KAPHA: The Coach

    Kapha’s are built with a sturdy frame and take great pleasure in eating – but can skip meals easily as they have slow digestion. This is particularly true for breakfast, because they are long and deep sleepers who take a long time to liven up in the mornings. Their skin is likely to be moist and oily, and their hair is likely to be thick and wavy. Of all the body types, Kapha’s are the most likely to encounter weight gain issues in their lifetime.

    Kapha’s take life at a leisurely pace and will usually walk as such, seeking out activities which can be completed at their own leisure or for the sole purpose of seeking joy. They may also learn slowly, but once knowledge is imparted it will be deep and long lasting. As stressful situations disrupt their pursuit of pleasure, they become withdrawn or depressed when in their midst. Their driving purpose is to nurture and support others, which is where they contribute enormous value due to their easy-going and caring nature.

    Their least favourite weather is a wet and rainy day, as they are already ruled by the element of Water. You may not know it though, as their moods are mostly steady and stable which only adds to their calming influence!


    YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED THAT YOU HAVE SOME VATA, PITTA, AND KAPHA ELEMENTS…

    This is normal, and the unique mix of these Dosha’s within us is known as our constitution. The ratio of each Dosha in our constitution provides an optimal blueprint for our health. For example, Vata’s should steer clear of foods which can irritate their digestion such as dairy & gluten, while Pitta’s should avoid a sedentary lifestyle where they are not able to let off steam through movement. Health problems will arise when Dosha’s are unbalanced due to unwise diet and lifestyle choices, as well as being exposed to stress and emotional trauma – all of which upset the natural state of equilibrium your constitution craves.

    Each Dosha governs particular physiological realms and some of the following issues could arise from living a lifestyle out of balance with your Dosha’s needs:

    Dosha #1 – VATA

    Governs: Movement, Communication, Creativity, Flexibility, Nervous System

    Signs of Imbalance: Fearfulness, anxiety, isolation, loneliness, exhaustion and burnout, blocked communication, unusual movements such as tremors & spasms

    Dosha #2 – PITTA

    Governs: Nutrition, Metabolism, Intelligence

    Signs of Imbalance: Fiery and reactionary emotions like anger, frustration and jealousy; criticism, inflammatory disorders affecting the organs and tissues

    Dosha #3 – KAPHA

    Governs: Joints, Skin, Immunity, Love, Compassion

    Signs of Imbalance: Attachment, greed, possessiveness, stubbornness, lethargy, resistance to change, stagnation


    Hopefully by now you can see elements of yourself within these 3 Dosha’s! Understanding your Ayurvedic body gives you an ancient insight into your strengths and challenges, and can help to improve awareness of your physical body.


    Do you think you know someone who is definitely a Marathon Runner, Athlete or Coach? Share these Ayurvedic body types with them to see if you are right!

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