How an elastic band can help you cut negativity

Category: Article or Blog
Published: Tuesday, 04 August 2015
Written by Sarah PJ White

If you want a happier, healthier life, you need to limit and ultimately cut out the negative thoughts that run through your head. Often though, this is easier said than done! This is where the humble elastic band comes in handy.

Negative thoughts love having company. It’s really easy to start off with just one and, before you know it, you’ve downward spiralled on a helter-skelter ride of negativity. Have the same thought several times over – and you have a full-blown, newly created habit.

Changing your focus

It’s a lot easier to break a negative thought before it gets to the habit stage. You simply have to change your focus onto something more positive. You can stop straight after the initial thought, as you’ll often recognise that the thought itself isn’t best serving you.

However, if the habit is already formed, it’s a lot easier to repeat the spiral ride of negativity, before you’ve even noticed you’re on it. This is when it becomes more difficult to break the habit.

Using the band to reprogram your thought processes

Once you notice the negative thoughts you can ask yourself – is this thought helpful to me right now? If it is trying to draw your attention to something you need to address, then deal with the issue and appreciate that the thought has served you well. If however, the thought is just worry and noise – you need to consciously decide to break the thought pattern.

To do this, you need a short, sharp distraction to break the pattern. Often, mentally stating ‘STOP’ will suffice, as it brings your attention to the fact you don’t want this thought. However, you may need to bit more stimulus to draw your focus onto something else.

This is where the elastic band comes in handy. It literally snaps your focus to the present – breaking the pattern of negativity that’s running in your head. You wear it on your wrist and snap it sharply, whilst you’re stating ‘STOP’. You attention will then instantly break from the negative thought pattern and onto your stinging wrist!

The band snap is only half of the solution

We’re looking to reprogram the negative thought patterns, not just alert ourselves to them – and this is why you need to follow the band snap through. Spend a minute or two thinking positive thoughts. Look to turn the negative thought into a positive one. You could also follow it up with a positive, calming affirmation too. The idea is to calm your mind and retrain it to think loving, positive and calming thoughts.

How do you feel?

Category: Article or Blog
Published: Tuesday, 04 August 2015
Written by Sarah PJ White

Ask anyone how they want to feel and you’ll get various answers, ranging from calm through to happy, elated or ecstatic. Most of these answers will be given, without a pause for breath or time to think about the response. However, ask those same people how they feel at THIS moment in time – and they’ll have to stop and think, before giving you an answer.

We are all searching for positive emotions. We all want to feel them, we strive to find them even – but in reality, on a daily basis, we’re not even connecting with our emotions.

We learn to push emotion and feelings down

Life is seen as something we ‘strive’ at. We aim our focus and goals on a long-term end result that’s connected to a feeling we want to experience – without taking the time to connect and experience our feelings NOW!

We’re taught to ‘keep a lid’ on our feelings’, to ‘man up’ or ‘stop being so sensitive’, to bottle our emotions and only let them out at a ‘later date’. If you’re female and show your feelings you’re often seen as ‘sensitive’ or, worst case ‘an emotional mess’. If you’re an emotional led male, you’re seen as ‘soft’ or ‘weak’.

It’s these negative comments and how ‘embarrassed’ other people act around an emotionally-led person that leads up to ‘play safe’ and keep our emotions ‘in check’.

Our emotions ARE important

This then causes our further problems, as our emotions ARE important. They’re our GUIDANCE system. They help us ascertain what we do and don’t want – sometimes even when our logical brain hasn’t registered the reasons why!

At our core, we all want to feel the best we possibly can feel. Whether we call that love, happiness, contentment – we just want to feel GOOD.

Our emotions help us illustrate how we are feeling to others, via our resulting body language. This helps us to connect better with other people, as well as understand them better.

We are constantly LOOKING for happiness when, in reality we FEEL it – if we let ourselves experience the emotion behind it. We need to bring our emotions from the background and make them part of our main focus.

Learning to connect with your emotions

So how do we better connect with your emotions? Start by taking the time to ACKNOWLEDGE them. ACCEPT the emotion you are experiencing – don’t try to rationalise it.

Throughout the course of each day, check in with how you FEEL. Give the feeling a name – whether it’s frustration or anger, happiness or contentment – and identify WHERE you’re feeling it.

PLAY with your emotions. You can give them a colour and/or shape, and see if you can expand or contract them.

Finally, TALK about emotions. They’re an integral part of us humans, so learn to get COMFORTABLE with them.

Spend this week listening to your emotions and getting comfortable with how you're feeling - you'll notice such a difference in your mood and your outlook!

Image courtesy of Romolo Tavani/Dollar Photo Club

Think you can’t meditate?

Category: Article or Blog
Published: Tuesday, 21 July 2015
Written by Sarah PJ White

Meditation. It’s something we think of as quite simplistic, but also something a lot of people often struggle to implement. When it comes to the art of meditation, we often think of it as just that – an art form. Something reserved for those who can naturally do it and those who have studied this form of art.

However, meditation DOESN’T have to be difficult and it doesn’t have to be something that is studied for years before you can do it.

Our expectations of meditation

Think of meditation and the chances are you’ll think of the following:

  • A monk or revered person
  • Silence and stillness
  • A quiet, still, silent mind
  • Peace
  • Sitting for hours
  • Candles and incense
  • Being without or abstaining

It is these preconceived expectations of meditation that are often our real problem. They can cause a block around our ability to actually carry out the act of meditation. And it is these expectations that are actually stressing us out more – as we believe there is a right and wrong way to meditate.

Why we meditate

The definition of meditation is this: ‘The act of meditating’. Nothing more, nothing less. Meditation is contemplation, thought, deliberation, musing and reflection, to name a few synonyms. There is nothing mentioned in that definition about who has the ‘right’ to do it, how it is completed and what it relates to – other than the act of ‘thought’ itself.

So stop and think for a moment.

What you’ve just done is meditation in its simplest form.  See how easy that was? You thought about one specific thing for a split second and let your thought just be there.

Meditation can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. It is giving yourself time and space to have a moment of deliberate stillness.

The different ways to meditate

There are five different forms of meditation technique, as evolved from Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism and, as you now know what meditation is in its simplest form, you can look to expand your knowledge and experience of it.  The five forms can be described as:

  • Mindfulness meditation – concentrating on your breathing and focusing on nothing else. You can easily do this whilst sitting and/or standing.
  • Heart-centred meditation – focusing on your heart chakra, whilst breathing slowly. Imagine the colour green or pink and feeling behind it.
  • Reflective meditation – this is more about disciplined thought. It’s focusing on a theme, question or general topic and analysing and reflecting on it.
  • Concentration – focusing on nothing and letting thoughts that enter your mind drift away, without giving them any focus. This is the basis behind all other meditation techniques.
  • Creative – focusing on a quality such as love, forgiveness etc. and allowing those feelings to grow inside you.

So why not let go of your preconceived ideas around meditation and give one of these five a go?

As with anything, meditation gets easier over time, especially as you learn to focus on one specific thing. It’s about acknowledging your thoughts and, without judgement, just letting them go and bringing your focus back to your initial point of focus. Try it – and see how much easier it can be for you!

Learning to Relax and Meditate is a workshop I love to run. Find out the next dates and reserve your space by email:

Or you can buy my Yoga for Beginners DVD direct from my website

Image courtesy adamr/

Are you letting yourself be happy?

Category: Article or Blog
Published: Monday, 27 July 2015
Written by Sarah PJ White

We all want to be happy. Who wouldn’t? We constantly strive to find happiness around us, in the work we do, with our family and friends, and in our lives generally. We even look for happiness, by buying nice things to adorn ourselves and our homes, as well as going to new places and experiencing new sights and sounds. All of this is just great… but are you actually LETTING yourself be happy?

Avoiding what’s good for us

You see, we all look for outside factors to make us happy. The things we buy, the people we hang around with and the places we visit, are all our attempts to FEEL happy. But often we miss the obvious – happiness is a state of BEING. We can feel happy any time we like.

The problem is we often AVOID those things that actually make us happy! We may know that listening to music and dancing around our living room makes us feel happy. The same may apply to gardening, painting or laying on the summer grass and staring up at the night sky.

But when was the last time you LET yourself do those things?

Or did you just not do them, because you were afraid of what others might say or how you may look?

The feelings around happiness

It was all so much easier when you were a child! You could run around, play, imagine and do whatever FELT good to you. As adults though, we feel we have to play the part of an adult. That may include being ‘sensible’ and ‘grown up’ or ‘acting your age’. So we learn how to push down those things that make us happy – and the associated feelings of happiness.

As an adult your life is now so busy. If you want to feel happy, you want to go straight for happy! Yet there are so many feelings associated with happiness – and these feelings escalate and grow into happiness – if we let them.

But we often don’t have the TIME to slowly get there. We don’t always remember that smiling lots can lead to feelings of happiness or that having a quick sing-along to a song can raise our spirits – and if we did this over several days, we’d feel happier more of the time.

Start being happy!

So what makes you happy? What makes you smile and what makes you feel lighter and inspired? Make a list of those things and commit to doing at least one every day. At the end of each day review what made you smile, the things that made you feel good, great and fantastic!

Give yourself permission to do what FEELS good, without worrying how it will look or what others will say. Do a little of this every day and you’ll soon start flexing that happiness muscle!

What have you got on your happiness list? What simple things can you implement to start being happy?  Share on the facebook page.

Do you want to find more happiness in your life? Check out the Finding Your Joy Programs to take your happiness into Joyful Living.

Image courtesy of Syda Productions/Dollar Photo Club

Listen to your intuition

Category: Article or Blog
Published: Monday, 13 July 2015
Written by Sarah PJ White

We all have a wealth of knowledge and experiences inside of us. Often we will know, at a soul level, what we need to do and say, what direction we need to go in and what decision we need to make. It is this knowing that we all our intuition.

Otherwise known as a ‘gut feeling’, ‘sixth sense’ ‘instinct’ or ‘a general knowing’, our intuition is our inbuilt guidance system. It understands us at a deeper level than we often understand ourselves. It instinctively knows what is right for us and it always wants what’s best for us… so how can you tune into your intuition?

Start by giving yourself a break

Sometimes you just need to give yourself a break and relax. You cannot force your intuition to give you an answer – especially when you’re trying so hard to make a decision or choose a direction. Step outside (both literally and metaphorically!) and breathe. Give yourself the time and space to get calm, centred and relaxed. It is only when you give yourself permission to stop, that you can hear and feel the guidance within you – the fog will clear and the answer to your dilemma or question will rise to the conscious part of your mind.

It is then that you will feel as though the weight has been lifted from your shoulders. The answers will come clearer to you and you can actually hear that little voice of guidance inside.

Write it down

Another great way to get connected with your intuition is to journal. It isn’t a coincidence that the vast majority of successful people keep a journal or diary. Writing down your thoughts and feelings is a great way to connect deeper with yourself. Not only does it give your intuition a voice, it also enables you to be totally honest with yourself too – as there’s no fear of upsetting anyone else!

Writing in a journal is more than just keeping a diary – it’s a way of ‘free writing’. Free writing is where you write the thoughts, feelings and emotions you’re having without any rationalisation or logic involved. You’re just writing down the first things that come into your head – without questioning them in any way.

Learn to trust yourself

As mentioned above, it can be really difficult to trust in what you’re thinking and feeling, without letting rationalisation and logic get in the way. We’re bought up to be rational and logical, to be ‘sensible’.

But intuition is the gap between instinct and reason. It isn’t logical or rational and, most times, it cannot be explained. It’s that inner knowing that something is just ‘right’ for you, so learn to trust that feeling.

Stop dismissing and ignoring it – learn to listen to those flashes of inspiration; that deep feeling of ‘just knowing’. Don’t be afraid of it either, as fear will prevent you from taking action – and that is the last step towards tuning into your intuition – always take action on it!

As you listen to your intuition it may start to say things you are not expecting! If you want to learn more about journalling or listening to your intuition The Joy Journey is a great place to start click here to find out more.

Image courtesy of cescassawin/