A Quick Catch Up: 300 Readers & 10 YouTube Subscribers!

Hello beautiful ones,

I would like to sincerely thank all of you who have subscribed and followed this blog so far. A special thanks as well to everyone who has visited and shared their magical wisdom through insightful and truthful comments. I’m always learning with you, all the way up.

I started out blogging here in the earliest months of 2017, right after a big “dark night of the soul”. My aim at that time was to rekindle my passion for blogging, connect with other fellow human beings, just like yourself, and to express my views on what does it really mean to be a human. If you follow my posts, you probably know that I share the bad, the good, and the ugly of such experience, because I think that’s the only way to integrate ourselves.

I now realise that this blog is not only a platform in which I write up some thoughts and feelings, but is also a mirror of who I am. This blog has been literally my “buddy”, and I’m even tearful as I write these words – what can I do, I already confessed myself as a highly sensitive person here, didn’t I? *haha*.

This buddy of mine has also documented my growth and changes through a period of my life that is now coming to an end. This was a period of incredible ups and downs. I moved to a foreign country, I saw myself alone, and I sat on the floor crying asking for God’s help more than I can remember. And God always came to me, through mysterious ways, believe it or not.

All this to say that I feel humble for hitting today the 300 readers mark on WordPress and even more humble to see that I have also hit the mark of my first 10 YouTube subscribers. Some people will laugh of these numbers, and that’s ok; other people will celebrate with me, because as small as it may seem, it means a lot to me.

When I first started writing here I was craving authentic human connections. As I kept writing I established, however, the most authentic human connection I can ever possibly have: the connection with myself. This connection has been the key to then understand a lot of the things I was doing wrong, or not doing at all, regarding those authentic connections which I was desperately seeking.

My path wouldn’t be the same, nonetheless, if there wasn’t an audience. Contrary to what many people may think, we as human beings naturally crave connection to others because it is through such connection that we understand the world and ourselves at a deeper level. Hence, thank you for showing up. A simple comment, a heartfelt feedback, a word of motivation is what we all need and I have certainly benefited from this here.

Thank you. You have enormously contributed to my wellbeing.

The Powerful Healing Effects of Color

In this post you will learn about what color therapy is, what is the therapeutic effect of primary colors, and how I’m using this knowledge to help my clients and myself.

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I guess it all started when ‘color therapy’ started to come to my head almost every day. Then I also started to follow someone on YouTube whose work is partly related to the use of colors as a healing method. Next I bumped into someone in my department who was wearing a beautiful and colorful headband. It was yellow, orange, pink, and a little bit of blue and green here and there – it definitely caught my eye and, more importantly, it made me smile! And while I was telling my colleague how beautiful her headband was, my mind also whirled around with thoughts:

Isn’t that interesting, the power of colors? I should explore that. It’s such a beautiful way to even positively influence other people’s mood. If that headband made me smile and feel playful, I wonder what other effects colors could have.

So I started doing research. There’s a lot of things on about the psychology of colors, which has been used in Marketing to elicit a specific action from you. I was more interested however on how color could influence our mood and psychological states. Here are some of the things I discovered, for instances, about primary colors:

  • yellow – helps with memory, encourages communication, boosts confidence, and stimulates the nervous system. It is associated with happiness, energy, and optimism;
  • red – elevates blood pressure, stimulates the libido, boosts metabolism, and increases your level of enthusiasm, energy, and confidence;
  • blue – helps you relax and deal with stressful situations, boosts open-heart communication, and enhances your intelligence and intuition

From here I began studying other colors and different tones of color, and I decided to apply this knowledge first in myself, because based on my research I realised I had been unconsciously picking clothes whose colors clearly mirrored and reinforced my low mood. For instances, some of the colors I was wearing everyday included black, dark grey, and dark olive green which are associated with less positive feelings and sensations such as depression and fogginess. Hence, my outside window was a clear reflection of what was going on inside. So I thought I should find a way to reverse this by changing the colors I was choosing to put on myself.

Buying new clothes at this point in time, however, was out of question. Instead I decided to recycle some t-shirts, transform them into fashionable scarfs, and color them based on what I studied about colors and their therapeutic effect. I first created a scarf in blue tones, because I needed to relax and reduce my anxiety levels. Guess what, it worked! Then I decided to create another scarf to induce some calmness allied with some playfulness as well. And guess what, it worked just as I intended, and now I can’t stop making experiments!

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Healing mood disturbances such as anxiety, depression, and sadness with colourful scarfs this Winter, hurray!🌈 This one is called “Strawberry-Mint Delight” and it has the healing vibrations of teal and red-orange🧚🏼‍♀️ Teal promotes analytical thinking (great to let go unhelpful thoughts) and reduces anxiety. Red-orange promotes friendliness, boosts your emotional wellbeing, and induces a general feeling of joy and creativity. Using this scarf will then allow to balance both your creative and analytical brain, while also boosting your sense of joy and wellbeing🧚🏼‍♀️ I used mine today and this is exactly how I felt! As a creative, sometimes it is hard to have the right balance between being creative and analytical. I need this balance in order to get work done✨ If you would like to get one for yourself, send me a PM🧡 . . #healing #anxiety #joy #creative #analytical #mind #balance #wellbeing #chromotherapy #mentalhealth #colorpsychology #style #scarfdesign #hygge #mindthecolor #colortherapy #handmade

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I’m super excited about this creative spur because I believe other people might feel empowered too through connecting with the magic properties of color. The next batch of scarfs will be in pink tones. As October is fast approaching I feel impelled to create some pinkish scarfs not only to raise awareness of breast cancer but also to invite women to accept and re-acknowledge their feminine divine energy. In the meantime, and if you are curious, you can have a look on the scarves that are available so far by clicking here.

Moonlight Makeup (4)

 

Mindfulness Meditation for Beginners

According to Jon Kabat-Zinn:

Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.

I was first introduced to Mindfulness in 2009, when I decided to take a module on Positive Psychology. By that time, few people talked or knew about mindfulness. No one was running or competing to be the best mindfulness meditation teacher and the researchers who were investigating it were on it because they had experienced the benefits of mindfulness for themselves in the first place.

So much has changed. To be totally honest with you, Mindfulness didn’t create much of an impact on me when I was introduced to it – it was a concept easy to embrace and understand at that point in time, living in Lisboa. Little I knew though that a couple of years later I would be conducting experimental research on it as a disguised way to help myself cope with stress and anxiety or that I would even be today teaching it to students and communities in my second language.

For the last 6 years, I have been doing research on Mindfulness, three of them in the UK. My results have shown that mindfulness meditation can not only reduce momentary stress and anxiety, but it can also contribute to a better society by reducing personal prejudiced beliefs and biased reactions. I confess that I particularly love this last aspect!

I deeply believe that Mindfulness can be life-enhancing when embraced at the right time. It can be a powerful tool for both personal and social change. As such, I decided to make a totally FREE mindfulness meditation online workshop for beginners, based on the several workshops I have been leading face-to-face over the last couple of years. My aim is to reach those who can’t travel or attend my classes but still want to learn and know how to start practising mindfulness meditation in their day-to-day life.

Here are some of the benefits you may experience after attending the workshop:

  • lower levels of stress and anxiety
  • greater awareness of your own thinking pattern
  • increased emotion management skills

And there are a lot more which I will share with you in the workshop! If this is something you are definitely interested in, you can book your place for free here.

**UPDATE** You can now watch my introduction to mindfulness meditation on YouTube.

As a final note, I would also like to remember that I do a free meditation class every other week on Youtube – you just have to subscribe to my channel in order not to miss any of them.

Struggling with Anxiety? Try this Meditation Exercise

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We become anxious whenever we feel triggered, and the reason why we get triggered depends on our life experiences and on the way we were raised. While some of us learned how to deal with difficulties and problems in a more balanced way (e.g. seeking and receiving support), others might not have had the chance of growing up with good role models in that matter or might have even faced specific traumatic situations in life that conditioned them into a “fight or flight” response.

The truth is that each person has his or her own triggers. The more conscious or aware we become of our triggers though, the better equipped we become in the future to respond and manage our anxiety or tendency for panic attacks.

Here are some of the feelings we go through during an anxiety/panic crisis:

  • a deep and sudden fear
  • helplessness
  • a sense of being ‘frozen’
  • a struggle to breathe

When we notice that we are struggling to breathe, we start thinking that we are not in control of our body and mind – that’s when we panic for real. In this Meditation Class I will guide you through an exercise that I find helpful to learn on how to deal with anxiety or panic attacks in the future by using the breathe and visualisation.

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How To Put Your Life Together

I’m in the aftermath of some terrible months which have essentially been marked by overwhelming feelings and a deep frustration because most things in my life seem to be stuck and unchangeable. And even though this seems very familiar when thinking about the past few years (to the point that it even became the ‘new normal’), it is certainly not the best way to live for me. So last week I sat down with my laptop and I started typing in a blank page under the title:

“Put Your Life Together”

Even though I’m no longer finishing my PhD in September (had a review meeting last week…), I decided that I can’t keep delaying the changes that I need for myself right now. I have been trying to focus on getting things done as much as I humanly can but the pressure has been so much that I found myself sacrificing my wellbeing again. That in turn makes me feel incredibly miserable and unhappy.

If you follow me on instagram, you might know that I that I have a tattoo on my back which says:

Love yourself. Love your day. Love your life.

And being fuelled by several cups of coffee during the day, working non-stop in front of a computer, and having no sort of positive human interactions are totally incompatible with those three sentences whose purpose was in the first place to remind me of how I should actually live! Instead I have been leading such a terrible lifestyle that I am even ashamed of saying out loud my blog’s URL.

I miss my yoga in the morning, my warm water with lemon, my smoothies and juices, my healthy food, and most of all I miss the overall feeling of being fit (I haven’t done any workout besides walking… and I’m now three sizes bigger because I keep eating to numb my feelings and thoughts!). And it’s because I miss all these good things that I decided it is time to stop letting my current situation (being stuck in this PhD process) overdrive my mood and my wellbeing goals. So while listening to one of D. Carnegie’s audiobooks (“How To Stop Worrying and Start Living”), I decided to put a four-step approach to change in practise on my Google Drive’s blank page:

  1. What needs to change?
  2. What can I do about it?
  3. What is my decision?
  4. What is the next action?

It wasn’t long until I a list of 12 items emerged. From finding a new house and applying for a different job in the local area to buying a gym membership and creating a saving account, the list revealed itself to be quite diverse. Under each item I then started to write a couple of actions that could contribute to the achievement of my overarching goals. I’m not going to share my detailed list, but here are my 12 items:

Put Your Life Together: #TheList

  1. Move house
  2. Change job
  3. Complete PhD thesis
  4. Buy a gym membership
  5. Book a massage
  6. Get a proper bike
  7. Invite JJ, W. and wife to have dinner in the new house
  8. Build-up a nice romantic relationship (forget this item!)
  9. Revamp my blog
  10. Work on my social business plan
  11. Create a saving account
  12. Visit family on a weekend asap

I can tell you that I already started to take action on some of these items. I showed interest in a house back in town, I applied for two jobs that I would sincerely love having, I have been writing up a lot in the last few days, and I also decided to only enjoy my friend’s love-life stories and stop thinking about mine. And… I also got a Thai massage taster today from my friend: actually I spent most of the time laughing because I realised that I’m really in a big physical trouble!