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How to foster your true yourself

Working on happiness as a coach, I have quickly discovered that to be happy, you also must be authentic with yourself.

What does this mean?

Be true with yourself and the others

When you are not authentic with yourself, you feel as you are not at ease in your own mind, in your own ethos, in your own life. And, if you dig a bit into yourself, you can easily find that this is actually quite a basic truth.

If you tell a narrative to you and to the others, that is not yours, that is not aligned with what you really feel and who you really are, this will have consequences.
On your mind, and on your body. And, people will notice that, too!

Confidence, and happiness, come from telling the truth. First of all to you. When you look at your image in the mirror, do you feel that ease that arises from living and behaving as you really are? If not, start being honest you.

Start to foster your true yourself.

Foster your true yourself – Dai Hara Kizendo

This will immediately let you know that you are enough, and that your unique set of emotions, thoughts, feelings, needs, are ok. You are ready to live your life despite pressures, stress, and mistakes.

More: if you are not true with yourself, how could be reliable in a relationship, being it a personal or a professional one? Everything that is not true will hamper your relationship and will make it unsustainable.

D you know which is the cause of this behaviour? Fear.

At a certain point of your life, you will have developed the idea that if you really showed who you really are, we would have been rejected and criticised.

So, you probably started censoring your feelings, and started adopting the ones you thought could be more likely to be liked and accepted.

Brené Brown, in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection writes that “authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be and embracing who we actually are”.

She then suggests that we need to do is embrace who we are, accepting the idea that we are allowed to be imperfect and vulnerable. And, in accepting our vulnerability, we actually become stronger.

10 practical ways to foster your true yourself

Here I list 10 easy ways to embrace the real yourself. Start practice these little tasks everyday, and you will discover how effective they are:

  1. Let go of all the false thoughts, behaviours, and attitudes you may have developed or adopted.
  2. Start telling what you really feel and need and act correspondingly.
  3. Start making small steps towards your true yourself, follow your passions, your dreams, your ideals.
  4. Make your choices not basing them on how much these choices are popular, but on how they resonate with your values AND taking into account both the effect these choices will have and your higher goal.
  5. Act in a way that represents clearly your ethics and values.
  6. Cultivate your ideas and your feelings. Don’t simply mimic other people values and goals.
  7. Start being open, kind, and grateful. Don’t play the blame game.
  8. Accept the fact that you cannot be liked by everyone.
  9. Learn how to set boundaries, and how to say no.
  10. Practice awareness, compassion, engagement.

Start understanding yourself

Dai Hara Kizendo allows you to better understand yourself through the regular practice of meditation and mindfulness.
This lets your authenticity to grow and settle.

Remember that being yourself is a journey, that needs daily steps to go on towards our goals. You must develop a true interest in discovering who you really are, and expect to spend some time before being able to get rid of all our false behaviour. A constant practice, anyway, is the best way to get results since day one.

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How stress hurts us

Welcome to April!

Very probably, with the arrival of Spring you start to become aware that you’re overstressed due to work.

According to recent studies from the American Institute of Stress, up to 65% of professionals state that workplace stress is the cause of their distress.

As you certainly know, stress has a negative impact both on our minds and our bodies.

Some of the signs that your mind/body system is overstressed are:

FREQUENT SICKNESS

If you feel like you’re constantly battling against a lot of not well-defined illnesses, stress may well be the cause. This occurs because stress takes a great toll on your immune system, leaving you more subject to infections.

Different clinical studies show that people exposed to chronic stress have weakened immune response to the flu vaccine, and that stressed adults are more prone to respiratory infections and experience 60% more days of symptoms than the people who are not stressed.

CHANGES IN LIBIDO

Many people experience changes in their libido due to stress and anxiety.

A study showed how high levels of stress are associated with lower levels of sexual activity and satisfaction in women and men.

TIREDNESS AND INSOMNIA

Stress also causes a very negative effect on your sleep. When you are overstressed, the cortisol levels in your blood become unbalanced, thus reversing the normal patterns. This means that you will be unable to fall asleep quickly, you will have troubled nights, and then you will wake in the morning tired.

YOU HAVE INTESTINAL PROBLEMS

Our guts are our second brain, so it’s no surprise that when we are stressed and anxious, they undergo a lot of negative side effects.

These range from a feeling of having knots in our stomach, intestinal inflammation, digestion difficulties, irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, and more.

EFFECTS ON OUR BODY

Stress puts our amygdala, the oldest part of our brains, in a permanent state of alert, putting us in a fight or flight mode. When this mode is active, we partially lose the control of our rational brain and we become more uncontrollable and unpredictable. Fight or flight hormones are released in our body, and they increase our blood pressure, heart rate, and alter our muscular tension and respiration. All these things are designed to let us be prepared to cope with an emergency.

We can feel the adrenaline being pumped in, and our heart start beating quicker and with more strength, and sometimes it can miss some beats while we experience hyperventilation.

EFFECTS ON MIND

Stress and anxiety, as everyone has easily experienced, have a very negative effects on our brain. When the amygdala takes control of the situation, we become unable to access memories, information, focus control.

This is because our body goes into a survival mode, shutting off all functions that aren’t necessary for survival.

To help solving all these symptoms, Dai-Hara Kizendo offers a vast range of solutions, starting from meditation, passing through relaxation and mindfulness practice, and arriving to physical exercises.

Meditation in English, in Nuremberg

I am really proud to announce that from April there will be a new meditation course in Nuremberg, for all people who speak in English.
The idea is to offer the chance to learn, practice and get advantage from the benefits of meditation to all the people in the Nuremberg Area that are not perfectly proficient in German.

A Facebook group has been started at the address: https://www.facebook.com/groups/meditationinenglishnbg

In the group you will be also able to come and speak about meditation, mindfulness and relaxation techniques, and find useful daily suggestions.

The meditation course is one of the different offers that Dai-Hara Kizendo is going to promote in the next months, both in person and online. So, stay tuned and follow the blog!

Meditation is more than focusing

If you ask many meditation and mindfulness practitioners about their experience, they will probably tell you that they start bringing their attention to the sensation of breathing, then try to keep their focus on it, moving their mind back to the breathing when it wandered.

This continuous practice brings to a strengthening of the ability to focus and to regulate attention.

By repeated practice, your mind will learn to faster detect its wandering, thus activating the needed action set that brings the thoughts under control. This process allows a meditation practitioner to improve the balance between the frontal cortex rational stimuli and the call of the wild by the amygdala.

What does this mean in terms of one’s daily practice?

That meditation is not just keeping your focus.

The frontal cortex, one of the part of the brain, that evolved more recently than others, manages rational, executive thinking and control. So, we can say that the frontal cortex is the part of the brain that thinks, so that collects and create connections between facts, coming up with decisions, abstract thoughts and conclusions.

The amygdala, on the contrary, is the oldest part of our brain, the one responsible for basic emotions and is responsible to manage the fight or flight answers. The amygdala is about 100 times faster than the frontal cortex, and this explains why fear and anger come so quick, while the rational response arrives later.

So, the amygdala and the frontal cortex are often in opposition, and you experience this in your need to continuously keep a balance between full emotional and full rational modes. As you know for sure, it’s easy for things not to be perfectly and easily balanced.

And when things go out of balance, more than often it’s the amygdala that wins, forcing the frontal cortex and other parts of the brain to work with reduced efficiency, so that the body can react to the perceived dangerous stimulus with full force.

Some clinical studies made in Italy and Denmark in 2012 by Chiesa, Serretti, and Jakobsen using functional neuro-imaging seem to confirm that mindfulness training helps in controlling the amygdala, by lowering its sensitivity to external stimuli.

This means that the control is not performed by logical brain on the emotional one, but it’s the amygdala that is trained to deal better with stressors and life events.

Coming back to focus. If meditation were only keeping our focus on breathing, it would be just concentrating. Not that concentrating is negative! When we learn how to develop and use attentional control, we learn what to pay attention to and what to ignore. The act of concentrating is performed, at brain’s level, by the frontal areas, like the anterior cingulate cortex, and it’s a function that appears to be lined to working memory. So, it’s an amazing skill to develop, but for what we have seen, it’s just a part of how meditation works.

Meditation adds metacognition to focus. Metacognition is the practice of observing our own thoughts and/or feelings. It’s a practice that involves attention regulation, of course, but also awareness about thoughts and feelings, instead of what we feel through the senses. So, it’s something more than redirecting our mind to the act of breathing. It’s keeping note of what our mind is doing.

Why is this important to meditation practitioners? Because when you start observing your thoughts you quickly learn that they are just thoughts. And, being just thoughts, they of course bring with them a series of emotions and feelings, but you learn to understand that these emotions and these feelings are yours.

So, to tell it with different words, your thoughts are your personal, individual, exclusive, subjective response to a stimulus. You can take note of how they rise, how they impact on you, how they stop being relevant. You can see that each thought creates a ripple effect, so other thoughts come out, and you can learn when and why this happens. But, at the end of the day, these thoughts are not necessarily true for anyone else than you. They have the importance you give them. Just that, and no more.

So, you will learn that your thoughts, the ones that you are used to build your judgement on, are deeply biased. They are biased by who you are, by your empathy, by your emotions, by your experiences. And, learning to filter out your biases helps you taking better decisions, living a more empathic life, and reduce the levels of stress and anxiety.

An unbiased decision, or a decision whose bias is known to you, lets you develop the ability to choose your response to each thought and emotion. So, you will not just react. You will be able to choose the most appropriate response to each situation and no longer being at its mercy.

Dai-Hara Kizendo teaches you how to meditate, how to practice mindfulness, how to live a better life through easy to follow steps and exercises.

Free from time tyranny

Let’s admit it: many people are bound to the idea that their busy, hyper-scheduled agenda is what defines their lives, so that there’s little left out of that.

In this way, these people are not only losing their life, but they are also losing the contact with the people they love and they are loved by, they are losing the intimate bound with what really matters.

But, you can live free from time’s control and learn how to get a healthy relationship with your agenda. I am not telling you to cancel all of your meetings, appointments, events. What I am suggesting you is to better consider what time represents to you and your existence.

In his interesting Full Catastrophe Living, Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn traces out a 7 points reminder to help people coping with stress using mindfulness.

Jon Kabat-Zinn is an American professor medicine, creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is also a Zen Buddhist practitioner, who had teachers as Philip Kapleau, Thich Nhat Hanh and Seung Sahn, and is one of the founding members of the Cambridge (MA) Zen Center.

Professor Kabat-Zinn points out that time is nothing but a convention that our minds set up to get help in organise our experiences when we store them in our memories. So, even if it’s useful, time has no absolute reality, as Einstein discovered in his theory of general relativity.

So, keeping that in mind, that time in nothing but a tool created by thought, you can start living as much as you can in the present, disregarding the past, as you cannot interact with it any longer, and the future, as you are still not living it.

Adopting this point of view, you will start concentrating in the here and now and will break the chains of time.

Living requires patience, acceptance, and letting go, to select 3 out of the 7 points of the book.

Patience, to allow our mind to understand that each thing in our life has its own way to unfold, and we usually cannot do anything to change that. Patience is also a form of wisdom, that allows us to accept the moment as it is, instead of fulling our entire life of stimuli fearing the unknown.

Acceptance is needed to see the things are they are in the present moment, without projecting them in the future or confronting them with the past. We often lose a lot of time trying to deny and resist what already happened. Intentionally accepting the present is the first step towards healing.

Letting go implies identifying and removing from our mind all those things that create an useless bound. Often we find ourselves bound to an idea of success, of career, of money that is not an healthy one. We get caught in activities and thoughts that make us anxious, nervous, that make us feel less self-confident. Cut those ideas, and start living better.

Take some time to meditate each day, this is one way to achieve mindfulness. Dai-Hara Kizendo offers some different practices and exercises to meditate and address stress and anxiety.

Meditating simplifies your life by clearing your mind. Freeing your mind, you will find that you can find all the time you want and need for the feelings, the thoughts, the activities that really matter.

Understand yourself, and remember that your life is yours, and that you are the one who is responsible for your well-being.

Next on this site: meditation

In today’s life stress, anxiety, tiredness can negatively impact on the quality of our being. Often, we don’t know how to deal with these feelings.

Meditation can be the right solution: it helps relaxing, addressing stress and anxiety, increasing self-confidence.

Dai-Hara Kizendo has developed a series of tools based on meditation, mindfulness, and gentle physical activity, that will help you getting immediate results. No previous experience is required, and all the exercises can be done everywhere, at any time.

On this site you will find meditation tips, exercises, and practices. Follow us now not to lose the opportunity to life a happier, more relaxed life!

Meditation to manage stress

Stress is one of the biggest problems in today’s life of many people.

A research performed by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD), shows that one of the most relevant factors in employees sickness is chronic stress.

Various researches and studies have clearly shown that when an employee is
stressed, s/he is also less engaged, produces less, and is often absent from work. Only in the USA, the consequences of stress-related illnesses cost businesses the incredible sum of $190 billion a year.

Scientist agree in recognizing the benefits of meditation, relaxation, and mindfulness practices in personal and professional environments.
Meditation, in particular, has been proved as having long lasting effects on its practitioners when dealing with stress levels.
So, science suggests that adopting a life style change that brings to the adoption of meditation and relaxation practices can contribute to an healthier, happier life.

Investing in one’s wellness, both mental and physical, and in one’s business environment wellness, is a wise choice, that is no longer acceptable to delay. Meditation, relaxation, and mindfulness can be easily adopted by anyone, in every place, at any time, and those who decide to invest on it, quickly discover the wide range of associated benefits in their personal and professional life.

These benefits go from a better mental health, increased levels of morale, better communication and participation in groups, to a better goal setting, more concentration, clearer planning and execution. All this is possible thanks to the positive effects meditation has on emotions, brain’s physiology, and body stress reaction.

Our mind and our body are bound, and as negative patterns impact on both, thus positive behaviours create a positive spiral of increased resiliency and wellness. Of course everyone is aware that, even if we try, we cannot separate our personal stress reaction from a “business-related” one. When we are stressed, the effects ripple both on our personal and professional lives.

Through meditation, we can build a healthier mind, understanding how our body reacts to stressors, and nurturing a conscious awareness of how each stressor could be controlled so that its impact on us is limited or eliminated.

Dai-Hara Kizendo meditation practices, when specifically aimed at managing stress, focus on awareness, relaxation and breathing. These kind of exercises can be done everywhere, at any time, by everyone, even those who never tried meditation before. With our method you will start reconnecting your mind and your body, understanding yourself and your reactions to stress.

With these tools, you will connect your body to your mind, creating the right attitude to address stress, relax, and live better.

Soon, basic courses on Udemy

Great news !

I am working on a series of basic courses for the Udemy website. These courses will cover the real roots of the Dai-Hara Kizendo Syllabus.

The subjects will cover (but will not be limited to):

  • Intro to meditation
  • Relaxation
  • Breathing
  • Basic ki development

 

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