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    Emotions Might Be Stored in Your Hips—Here’s How To Release Them

    I’ll be honest: Yoga is not my cup of tea. With my Type 1 personality, I get frustrated over whether I’m doing the poses correctly and have a hard time getting behind the slow pace. But when I do give it a try, I can’t help but let out an audible “ahhh” as I release pent-up emotions with each hip-opening pose. There’s no denying the strong mind-body connection we all possess, and the hips are the window to our emotions.
    Whether or not you realize it, you can hold onto experiences, stress, memories, and trauma in different parts of your body if they’re not processed. This can include the hips, jaw, neck, and shoulders. The good news? I tapped into the know-how of experts to learn why emotions get trapped in our hips. I also learned how to work through releasing them. Spoiler alert: Hip stretches are life-changing. Let the healing begin. 

    How and why do emotions get stored in the hips?
    We can all attest to how our emotions manifest physically in our bodies: butterflies in our stomachs, racing heartbeats, tightness in our chests, rosy cheeks. But why do we feel a significant release when we focus on the hips? “The hips are often referred to as the ‘junk drawer’ of the body because they have the unique ability to store quite a bit of unprocessed emotion,” said Megan Sherer, a licensed holistic therapist.
    “The deep muscles of our hips are closely connected to the adrenal glands, which are responsible for processing our fight-or-flight emotions. They are also our biggest stabilizing muscles and can often clench or become tight in moments of emotional activation or trigger. The tissues in our hips hold onto the unprocessed emotions from these moments as a way for the subconscious mind to remember to avoid that same trigger in the future,”  Sherer explained.
    Considering the hips are the largest joint in our bodies, they bear a lot of the weight—literally and figuratively. They are integral to how the entire body functions. “[The hips and glutes] are responsible for not only the complete movement of our legs in the hip joint, but also for muscles relative to walking, breathing, digesting, and sexual activities,” elaborated Leah Ehinger. Ehinger is a somatic therapist, yoga instructor, and trauma-informed personal trainer.
    “The hip area is associated with your sacral chakra, which holds our creative and sexual energy,” described Sarah Donner, a holistic health coach and founder of Siva Wellness. “Your sacral chakra is believed to be a big part of our emotional world and how we relate to others. When we do not express our wants and needs, the sacral energy can get stuck and cause physical pain on top of an emotional one.”
    That said, you can let go of trapped emotions in a variety of ways. Mind-body practices such as yoga, mindfulness, breathwork, and meditation can help release emotions. Stretching can help with this too.

    Stretches to open the hips 
    1. Pigeon Pose
    From your hands and knees, bring one knee forward toward the corresponding wrist. When you’re ready, extend the opposite leg out behind you, pointing your heel up toward the ceiling. As you inhale, lengthen your spine, draw your belly button to your spine, and open your chest. On your next exhale, slowly walk your hands forward as you bring your chest toward the floor. Then, repeat on the other side. 

    2. Low Lunge 
    Begin in the Downward-facing Dog Pose. Step one foot forward between your hands. Make sure your knee is bent at a 90-degree angle and stacked over your heel. Lower your back knee to the floor and slide the foot back until you feel a nice stretch in the hip and thigh. Keep the hips low and level. As you inhale, engage your core, lift your chest away from the thigh, and extend your arms overhead. Then, repeat on the opposite side. 

    3. Lizard Pose
    Start in a Low Lunge. Then, inch your front foot out to the side, creating a wide lunge. From there, take your back knee off the floor and plant your hands or forearms on the floor beside your front foot. Keeping your chest forward, navel in, and back leg extended, hold the pose for 10 seconds. Then, repeat on the opposite side. 

    PSA: Stress Can Mess With Your Vaginal Health More

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    7 Rituals That Can Give You an Immediate Happiness Boost

    There’s something magical about this time of year: the nostalgia of back-to-school vibes, crackling fires, pumpkins taking up residence on every doorstep, crisp weather, and foliage so beautiful you’d think it was fake. I love fall, but after the initial excitement of pumpkin-flavored drinks and sweater weather wears off, the shorter days and chilly temperatures can leave me feeling physically and mentally drained. If this is the case for you too, you’re not alone. As the season changes, it’s natural for our moods to shift too. Experts have confirmed that a decrease in daylight can affect our sleep, energy levels, and social ability.
    While it’s important to take steps to protect your mental health all year round, the change in seasons may require extra support to prevent the fall and winter blues from setting in (if you struggle with mental health concerns, it is always best to consult with your primary care provider or a licensed therapist or counselor). This year, I’ve decided to make a commitment to protect my mental health by engaging in rituals that support me in a positive way. Ahead are seven wellness rituals you can implement now for a happiness boost that will last the entire upcoming season.

    1. Pick up a new hobby
    As the weather outside turns frightful (pun intended), we spend more time indoors. And if you’re anything like me, this means you tend to spend a lot more time mindlessly scrolling, making you feel less energized. As you cozy up inside this fall, consider putting down your phone and picking up a new hobby. Hobbies help to relieve stress while providing a creative outlet. As an added bonus, hobbies can also allow you to connect with people in your community who share your interests and even perform better at work. So whether it is picking up an instrument, learning to knit, or trying a new workout, there’s something for everyone to try this fall. 

    2. Spend time in nature 
    Summer might be ending but it doesn’t mean your hot girl walks have to. Regardless of the season, it’s been proven that spending time in nature boosts mood, eases stress, and helps increase confidence. Bundle up in your favorite fall layers to enjoy walks or workouts outside. And if you’re looking for more ways to reap the benefits of nature, consider taking advantage of fall-themed activities, such as hiking, apple picking, corn mazes, and pumpkin patches.

    3. Try a new recipe
    I could go on and on about how much I love to cook and bake in the fall. Call me basic, (cheugy?) but I will take all the pumpkin and apple-flavored foods. When it comes to fall cooking, I feel like the possibilities are truly endless to create comforting and nourishing meals. Take this as your sign to try out new fall recipes. By making it a point to try a new recipe each week, you create intention, inviting purpose and something to look forward to, which can be energizing and inspiring. Better yet, invite your friends over to cook together or consider starting a monthly cookbook club and take turns hosting. 

    4. Find something to look forward to 
    Having something to look forward to can not only increase happiness, but also make you feel more creative and productive. But that doesn’t mean you have to go on a luxurious vacation or plan a huge party. This fall, try planning experiences with your friends or family, such as a Halloween costume party, pumpkin carving contest, football watch party, or Friendsgiving, to help build anticipation in a positive way. And on a smaller scale, take the time to make your morning cup of coffee or work outfit exciting, which will also give you a happiness boost.

    5. Do a fall clean
    You’ve heard of spring cleaning, but what about fall cleaning? Much like the leaves falling, the changing season is the perfect time to let go of what’s no longer serving you. Consider this your moment to go full Marie-Kondo-meets-The-Home-Edit and clear away items you no longer use, wear, or need. Check out local organizations in your community to see if there are ways for you to donate old items or organize a clothing swap with friends. And aside from physical objects, fall is also a great time to check in on your inner self and reflect on the current year and the months ahead. Are you meeting your goals? What habits are you looking to form? What behaviors are no longer serving you? Dive in to make the last few months of the year the best ones yet. 

    6. Bring the outside in
    As we spend more time indoors, it’s easy to start to feel a little stir-crazy. We know that spending time in nature is great for our mental health, but did you know having elements of nature in your home can have similar effects? Some studies have found that interacting with indoor plants or incorporating natural elements in a room can help reduce stress and anxiety. Luckily, fall decor leans heavily on natural elements (dried flowers, wreaths, pumpkins, etc.), so those fall essentials you’ve been eyeing may be more than just cute decorations. If pumpkins and gourds aren’t really your thing, try moving your desk chair next to a window for more sunlight exposure, adding indoor plants and pictures of the great outdoors to your space, or burning scented candles or using diffusers that smell like the outdoors to help improve your mental health. 

    7. Prioritize rest 
    When the days get shorter, it’s natural to feel more tired. You shouldn’t push through it or get down on yourself for feeling less energized and productive. Take a cue from nature and use this time to prioritize rest–physically and mentally. Getting enough sleep is proven to help strengthen our immune systems, which is something we can all benefit from this time of year. Make it a point to create a consistent sleep schedule that works for you, and if your sleep is already in check, find other ways to protect your energy this season. That could mean choosing your commitments wisely, spending less time mindlessly scrolling, or cultivating more self-love. 

    This article is not meant to used as treatment for seasonal affective disorder. If you think you may be experiencing seasonal affective disorder, talk to your doctor, get in contact with a therapist, and/or talk to a close friend or family member. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or actions, get help immediately. 
    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)Crisis Text Line: text CONNECT to 741741

    5 Habits of the Happiest Women I Know More

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    5 Habits of the Happiest Women I Know

    When it comes to seeking happiness, we fall into the trap that buying the next big item, taking a vacation, or getting a promotion will be what finally gives us the satisfaction we are looking for in life. Although today’s advertising makes a strong case for material items, happiness is not a tangible thing but a choice that we make every single day. And the happiest women I know are always choosing people, things, and situations that keep them feeling their best. If you’ve been searching for happiness in life, relationships, money–you name it–try adapting some of the habits ahead and watch how quickly your life brightens up. 

    1. They say “no” to things they don’t want to do without guilt
    We’ve all been there: Your friends are making plans to do something that sounds more like a chore than a good time, but the guilt of saying “no” feels worse than actually participating. If you find yourself doing things you don’t want to do simply because you don’t feel comfortable saying “no” or you experience major FOMO when your friends do something without you, it’s time to adopt a new way of thinking. The happiest women prioritize themselves by skipping any event, outing, or situation they don’t want to be a part of, and they do so without feeling bad. They don’t worry about whether or not others are hanging out and having fun without them because they don’t attribute their worth to their social presence. If you’re constantly doing things you don’t want to do, start practicing the art of “Thanks, but I’ll catch up with you later!” and see how much happier you become.

    2. They take care of themselves and prioritize their health
    While not everyone is a gym rat, runner, or health food connoisseur, staying active and living a healthy lifestyle are factors in our overall happiness. The happiest women I know stay well-rested, well-nourished, healthy, and hydrated because those things play a major role in mood. Getting movement in, eating healthy and nutritious food, keeping up with your mental health, and drinking plenty of water are all things that contribute to our overall wellbeing and happiness but are often pushed aside when we spend too much time being sedentary, drink too much alcohol, eat junk food, and put off doctors’ appointments. By prioritizing health and wellbeing, you can feel good inside and out.

    3. They don’t take things personally
    The happiest women I know rarely take anything too personally. If you often find yourself worried about whether someone is mad at you or overthinking something you did or said, it’s time to take a page out of the happiness playbook and start taking things way less personally. When someone gives them an attitude, the happiest women I know chalk it up to the person having a bad day, not because of something they did or said to upset them. If their friends don’t answer their calls, they assume it’s because their friend is busy, not because they’re mad at them. By adopting this “innocent until proven guilty” mindset, the happiest women I know are saving themselves a lot of unnecessary heartaches and hurt feelings. If you tend to take things personally, try reminding yourself that other people’s behavior is usually attributed to themselves, not to you. You’ll be happier in no time.

    4. They address their problems head on
    Uncomfortable conversations, tough days, and difficult situations may seem easier to avoid than deal with, but the happiest women I know don’t shy away from facing their problems. Whether sharing feelings with their partner or crossing off a major item from their to-do list, truly happy women conquer the things that would otherwise weigh on their minds. Running from problems doesn’t solve anything; happiness is the result of a truly calm mind. By addressing your problems head-on, you’ll spend less time dwelling on them and more time enjoying life. 

    5. They don’t compete with anyone but themselves
    Most importantly, the happiest women don’t compare themselves to others and aren’t in competition with anyone but themselves. With constant social media use, unrealistic beauty standards, and the constant pressure to do more, it’s no wonder we fall prey to the comparison game. However, the happiest women I know only strive to be better than they were yesterday. Instead of competing with the women around them, they use their successes as inspiration and celebrate them without jealousy. If feeling less-than is something you struggle with, try reframing your mindset and see how much more happiness you find in your life. 

    5 Daily Non-Negotiables of Women Who Are Always Confident More

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    6 Easy Habits I Do Every Day That Have Made a Huge Difference in My Stress Levels

    In 2022, you don’t need to be a fortune 500 CEO or Olympic athlete to feel overwhelmed by stress; 55 percent of Americans say they experience stress daily. This means stress has become so ingrained into our lives that it is now the norm and a feeling most of us believe is normal instead of something that needs to be identified and fixed. But just because it’s common doesn’t mean it has to (or should) be accepted. Stress can take a serious toll on the body, and if we’re not careful and don’t take steps to monitor our stress levels, it can lead to some pretty scary health risks. 
    I’ve had my ups and downs dealing with stress, and when I was 26, I was diagnosed with interstitial cystitis, a condition known to be influenced by stress levels. Until this point, I had unknowingly let stress control my life, and now it was controlling my body. I wasn’t willing to continue living with that, so I decided changes had to be made. Today, I can gladly say that stress no longer controls my life, thanks to a few simple daily habits I’ve incorporated. Spoiler alert: They’ve helped heal my body and lower my stress levels. 

    1. Move your body
    There are a lot of reasons to move your body on a daily basis aside from just the physical benefits, and reducing stress is one of them. When we move our bodies, we release endorphins, help to regulate our emotions, provide oxygen to the brain, and show our bodies we value them. Moving your body doesn’t have to mean working out every day. It can mean going for a walk, doing some light stretching, or engaging in an activity you love, like paddle-boarding or dancing. Once you shift your mindset from “I have to work out today” to “I get to move my body today,” this habit can become something you look forward to instead of something you dread. 

    2. Regulate your emotions 
    If you’re anything like me, you didn’t grow up learning how to talk about your emotions and feelings. It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I actually leaned into the power of expressing my emotions in a safe environment. We deal with a lot as human beings, like the ups and downs that come with relationships, work, and personal development. That’s a lot to keep inside, which is why it’s important to express what we are feeling, whether it be through therapy, journaling, or talking to friends or family. Regulating emotions allows you to let go of people and situations that no longer serve you and the stress that comes with them. 

    3. Meditate
    Meditation has had the biggest impact on my stress levels (and I was a skeptic at first). After researching and learning more about the different types of meditation, I found a daily routine that works for me: I switch between breathwork, guided meditations, sound baths, and silent meditations. Everyone is different, so finding a meditation method that works for you can take some time, but the most important takeaways I have learned are that there is no wrong way to meditate, and sticking with it is key. Whether you meditate for five minutes or 20, your body will thank you.

    4. Limit caffeine intake
    I have always been sensitive to caffeine. I’m that person who gets jittery and can’t fall asleep at night when I have a cup of coffee. Yet, I still give in to my craving from time to time. Caffeine affects everyone differently, and if you’re like me, you’ve had to change your relationship with it. These days I switch between coffee, green tea, and matcha, which provides a better balance for me. I sometimes add coconut water to my coffee to help with its dehydrating effect, but I never drink coffee on an empty stomach or after 3 p.m. Now, coffee in the right amount and scenarios don’t make me jittery or fluctuate my stress levels. It just brings me joy (as all coffee should). 

    5. Get enough sleep 
    You’ve probably heard celebrities like J.Lo and Jennifer Aniston say the secret to their healthy skin is lots of water and a good night’s sleep, and who are we to argue with them? According to the Sleep Foundation, adults aged 18-64 should get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Sleep affects every part of our bodies, from our brain and cognitive skills to our energy levels throughout the day. Personally, I am much more irritable on the days that I get under seven hours of sleep. If we are constantly not getting enough sleep, it puts a strain on our bodies, leading to higher stress levels.

    6. Talk to your doctor about a B-12 supplement
    Yes, stress and fatigue can also have to do with nutrient deficiencies. Supplements can be a great aid when you’re not getting enough natural vitamins from your diet. With that said, I always recommend talking to your doctor before taking any new supplements. As someone who sticks to a mostly vegetarian diet, which doesn’t often contain foods with a lot of B-12, it made sense that I was deficient in it and why I felt a significant reduction in my stress levels once I started taking it. Studies have shown that there is a link between vitamin B-12 deficiency and energy levels, so it’s no surprise that I had more energy after taking the supplement. The best part? My stress has become much more manageable. 

    I Grilled a Life Coach and Her Tips Will Transform Your Anxiety More

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    3 Manifestation Techniques Our Wellness Editor Swears Transformed Her Life

    Welcome to The Everygirl Podcast. Whether you’re looking for insider secrets from successful women that have your dream job, are interested in expert advice to transform your health and feel your best, or just want to be entertained and laugh along with us on your commute, we’ve got you covered.

    If you’ve been on the internet anytime in the past year, you’ve probably seen the word “manifestation” float across your feed a few times, and if you’re confused, you’re not alone. From TikToks with bizarre visualization techniques (no, I’m not going to picture my crush sleeping and whisper that they should marry me in their imaginary ear) to Instagram posts confusingly explaining the law of attraction, it’s hard to know what manifestation really means, and even harder to know what it can do for you.
    The Everygirl Wellness Editor, Josie Santi, has been studying and practicing manifestation techniques for nearly two years, and shares everything she’s learned on this week’s episode of The Everygirl Podcast. Recommended by wellness experts, thought leaders, and life coaches, manifestation can be boiled down to defining your dream life and then taking action in order to achieve that dream life. As Josie says, it’s about thinking of your current desires as insight into what’s meant for your future. In Episode 5 of The Everygirl Podcast, Josie shares a comprehensive explanation of what manifestation is (and what it is not), as well as tips to start practicing it and work toward your dream life today. Read on for three of Josie’s favorite journaling prompts for manifestation she shares, and tune in to the episode to hear more.

    1. “Future You” Journaling
    This method just may be the simplest form of manifestation journaling to incorporate into your everyday life. “Future You” journaling involves picturing how your life would go if you were to approach every situation as your highest self. Josie recommends treating “Future You” journaling like a diary entry for the best version of yourself, as if you were currently living that life in the present, even if your life RN looks totally different. Time to drown out the voices of anyone who has ever called you spacey, because this prompt really is daydreaming in diary entry format.
    As you journal, ask yourself how your highest self would show up in their day-to-day life. On the podcast, Josie explains that this practice is not only limited to one single day or week in your life: you can Future You journal before everything from a big presentation at work to sitting down to do your taxes to identify how your highest self would show up in specific situations (and then to actually show up that way!). On the other end of the spectrum, you can Future You journal about aspirational, exciting events that you are manifesting into your life; no scenario is too big or too small for this exercise.

    2. Gratitude Journaling
    One of the key points in the episode is that gratitude for your current situation is essential to manifesting a life that might be even more fulfilling in the future. Since the law of attraction is all about being grateful for things you want to manifest as if you already have them, practicing gratitude for the life you’re currently living can ensure that you are bringing in as much of that positive energy as possible.
    According to Josie, gratitude is one of the aspects of manifestation that can be the easiest to skip, but is arguably the most important. This is what separates manifestation from simply wanting or wishing: gratitude fuels the abundance mindset that is essential for manifestation. Josie suggests journaling about things you want more of in your life that you are already grateful to have in the first place. For example, if you’re manifesting a deeper connection with someone in your life, take time to journal about how thankful you are for your current relationship with that person, or if you’re manifesting greater wealth, feel gratitude for the ability to pay your rent or get coffee a couple times a week, etc.

    3. Highest Self Journaling
    Similar to Future You journaling, Highest Self journaling involves tapping into the everyday habits of your highest self, the version of you that you hope to manifest–instead of visualizing the situation as your highest self (like Future You journaling), you are identifying who your highest self is, which is why this exercise is especially helpful for beginners. Who does your highest self surround herself with? What does her career look like? What does she wear? What’s her morning routine like? These are the questions that will help you paint a mental picture of the person you know you are capable of becoming.
    Josie explains that highest self journaling can help you tap into a specific, easy-to-visualize version of yourself that you can carry throughout your life, showing up as that girl with each decision you make. It’s sort of like constantly asking WWBD (What Would Beyoncé Do) except instead of Beyoncé, it’s your own best possible version of yourself. As Josie says, this is one of the best ways to identify habits that will help you step into your highest self and dream life that you can implement as soon as you put down the pen. More

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    5 Daily Non-Negotiables of Women Who Are Always Confident

    I came into this world with certain attributes that took no effort: my almond-shaped eyes, my obsession for anything peanut butter and chocolate, and my more-than-I-care-to-admit muscular calves (thanks, Dad). Confidence, on the other hand, is a trait I can say, without a doubt, I was not blessed with from day one. In fact, self-esteem is an unfamiliar feeling I struggle with. But confidence is a learned skill that takes practice, much like riding a bike or mastering a new language—something I gleaned from Jessica Chang-Irish, founder of Jessica Chang Consulting and a coach who trains women to speak and carry themselves more confidently.
    So how does Chang-Irish define confidence? “Confidence isn’t about being self-assured all the time,” she stated. “Rather, it’s a practice of self-awareness, acknowledging your value and gifts as well as your insecurities, and having the courage to break through those insecurities and do the hard things anyway—whether it be getting a new job, putting yourself back out in the dating scene, or recovering from an injury. Being a confident person also means being vulnerable. Confident people aren’t afraid to be vulnerable because they know they’re still valuable while being human and imperfect.” 
    It turns out, even confidence pros who exude major boss vibes have to work on their self-confidence every. single. day. Ahead, Chang-Irish’s daily must-haves to finding your inner power and confidence. Hint: They’re not your average tips. 

    Meet the expert
    Jessica Chang-Irish
    Speaking with Confidence Coach
    Jessica Chang-Irish is an Emmy-award winning news reporter turned public speaking coach who empowers women looking to build their influence through in-person or on-camera speaking. By combining her experience on camera and in marketing, she helps women who feel nervous about public speaking by equipping them with proven strategies and frameworks to boost their speaking skills and confidence.

    1. Remember your “why”
    Knowing your “why” (AKA your purpose) is the first step in tapping into your confidence. Why do you get out of bed every morning? Why do you do what you do? “Your why is your Northstar to turn to when you feel unsure or you’re being tested,” Chang-Irish explained. Author and speaker Simon Sinek agrees that when you start with your why (versus how and what you do), you have the ability to inspire those around you and yourself.
    Think of your why as your mission statement. It doesn’t just have to apply to your career— it could be for your personal life too. Then, write it out. You can start with: “In everything I do, I believe …” Chang-Irish shared hers: “In everything I do and everyone I work with, I believe each and every person is capable of finding their voice and shining in the spotlight, and that I can empower and equip them to become a more confident version of themselves.” Once you’ve jotted down your why, post it up somewhere you frequent every day as a friendly reminder (think: your desk, fridge, bathroom mirror). 

    2. Surround yourself with a tribe of like-minded women
    Let’s face it: We’re our own worst critics. I don’t think twice about complimenting a stranger for her on-point ‘fit, but when it comes to myself, I nit-pick and dwell on my imperfections. Enter: friends or mentors who can empathize with you but don’t let you wallow in the “what ifs” and all-or-nothing thinking. Oh, and they give you a good kick in the butt to keep at it. Chang-Irish pointed out that your tribe could comprise of your friends, sisters, cousins, co-workers, or even communities on social media who share your interests. Be intentional about building your circle—each person may bring something different to the table, but they all should help you stay aligned with your purpose and your most authentic self. 

    3. Pay attention to your inner voice
    PSA: What you tell yourself matters. Whether you realize it or not, your self-talk can make the difference between gaining confidence and standing in your own way. The seemingly harmless narrative—”I’m not good/smart/pretty enough” or “I can’t”—you’ve been telling yourself creates your reality. On the flip side, fostering an optimistic monologue in your mind boosts your self-confidence and bids negative emotions adieu. In fact, people who can master positive thoughts and beliefs are more confident, motivated, and productive.
    “It’s up to you to develop your own inner voice of encouragement,” said Chang-Irish. “Or maybe you’ll find that voice in someone from your tribe. When you hear that voice of doubt in your head or feel the fear rising up, rewrite those limiting thinking patterns and remind yourself that you can do hard things. When you practice shifting your inner voice of doubt to a voice of encouragement, your confidence will flourish.”

    4. Prepare for the important interactions you’ll have 
    Think back to your college days or an interview you recently had. How confident were you walking into a final or your dream company and having put in the effort to study and do your research? My guess is way more confident than had you not prepared. In the same vein, laying the groundwork for the important conversations you’ll have in your day ahead will set you up for success and give you the opportunity to flex your confidence muscles.
    “Whether it’s a date, meeting, job interview, or networking event, think about what you’ll say in the five to 10 seconds you have to introduce yourself, how you’ll keep the conversation going, and what’s in it for the person or people you’re talking to,” Chang-Irish recommended. “While that first impression catches their attention, how are you going to keep their attention? One of the best ways to do that is to ask them questions. Do your homework about the person or people you’ll meet and come up with questions about their interests that genuinely interest you.”

    5. Listen to podcasts that fill your soul and lift you up
    Much like your tribe reminds you of your purpose and worth, the right podcast can be just the friend or voice you need for your daily dose of confidence. And, sure enough, there is no shortage of motivational podcasts that are just a tap away. Chang-Irish’s go-to’s are  “Oprah’s Super Soul,” “The Marie Forleo Podcast,” and “How to Fail With Elizabeth Day,” where you can expect open dialogue and sage advice from industry experts and celebs. And did you listen to The Everygirl Podcast yet? The episode with confidence coach, Regina Bonds, has such great insight into truly loving yourself and showing up as your most confident self. 
    Adding a few inspirational programs to your queue will not only give you a shot of self-belief but also a reprieve from the usual suspects—the “nevers,” “what ifs,” and “can’ts” (ruminating, who?). So go ahead and take that podcast out for a spin (read: walk) and get ready for an extra pep in your “hot girl” step. 

    This Easy Daily Habit Changed My Confidence More

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    I Grilled a Life Coach and Her Tips Will Transform Your Anxiety

    Racing thoughts, pounding heartbeat, heaviness in my chest, the all-consuming, sometimes debilitating sense of fear—just some of the unnerving ways anxiety shows up like an unannounced, unwelcome guest. If you’re one of the 40 million adults in the U.S. who experience anxiety like me, said symptoms are hard to shake off. While it may be comforting to know we’re in good company, having a handful of coping mechanisms at the ready to work through bouts of anxiety can make all the difference. Because–let’s be real– sometimes no amount of logic will cut it. I turned to Alana Warlop, a psychotherapist and life coach, to get the lowdown on her anxiety tips for reclaiming your calmness when it strikes. We got this. 

    Meet the expert
    Alana Warlop
    Life Coach
    Alana Warlop is a spiritual psychotherapist and transformational coach who has guided countless women into next levels of leadership and impact. From traditional transpersonal therapy to utilizing breathwork and meditation, she has spent much of her life learning what it means to heal and experience a life beyond limits.

    What is anxiety exactly?
    Sure, I could try to pinpoint the all-too-familiar ways that anxiety manifests itself for me, but it looks different for everyone. For some, it’s constant, and for others, it’s triggered by a stressful situation (looking at you, health scare) or creeps up out of nowhere when everything was coming up roses. Putting into words what anxiety really is can help us identify and take control of it, no matter the person. “[Anxiety is] a crafty way of distracting your attention and holding the energy of your awareness hostage in a never-ending search for a ‘solution’ that alleviates the discomfort that you are experiencing,” explained Warlop. “We perseverate in hopes that we can find a logical reason why we feel hurt, depressed, judged, shamed, guilty, blamed, or self-critical. And, if we know why, then we think the reasoning will justify our feelings and they will settle.” Warlop warned that that approach rarely works, and if it does, it’s only for the short-term.
    But why doesn’t reasoning work, you ask? “Anxiety is a product of stuck, stale, or stagnant emotional energy and incomplete trauma patterns pent up in the nervous system,” Warlop elaborated. “Emotions and traumas that are unresolved stay stuck in our bodies and build in their power to hijack the limbic and nervous systems, which control our behavior above and beyond any logic you could ever muster.” Long story short, at the root of it, anxiety is the mind’s natural defense against having to feel or experience something painful. While you should always talk to your doctor or therapist if experiencing anxiety, Warlop lets us in on some hacks you can try to not only manage anxiety but to heal from it so it doesn’t get in the way of living your best lives. 

    Tips to help during moments of anxiety:
    Bring awareness to your breath
    There is no shortage of “take a deep breath” memes floating on the world wide web, but it’s for good reason. The practice has become the go-to method in times of stress, and Warlop emphasized that it’s one of the best things you can do when experiencing anxiety. “Feel the breath move in and out of the body so that the attention from the mind goes into the body,” she instructed. “Let the body know that it is safe to experience all that is there and then ask, ‘What am I afraid to feel?’” 
    Warlop also suggested moving your attention to the heart: “Imagine breathing a beautiful, warm, golden energy into the heart space with every breath. Let this light grow in size and calming power inside you. This will also move you forward into soothing yourself, instead of wasting energy searching for a solution to an unanswerable (and, most of the time, made up) problem or insecurity.”

    Feel your feelings
    Having feelings is as natural and involuntary as breathing, but Warlop clarified that feeling is simply a physical sensation and anything beyond that are stories and perceptions that we attach to the feeling. “We are conditioned to think about our feelings instead of actually feeling them, so many people I work with have no idea that they don’t actually know how to feel feelings without telling stories and attaching meaning to them,” she stated. On the other hand, shifting your focus from what’s going on outside of you to your internal experience of your senses, energy, and emotions (AKA “felt sense”) will bring your awareness to the present moment. The result? There is nothing that you cannot truly feel, and allowing yourself to really feel everything that comes along with anxiety will help kick it to the curb.

    Don’t judge your thoughts
    I’m no stranger to thoughts taking over my mind and spiraling further into an anxious episode. You know, like “What if things don’t work out,” “Nobody likes me,” or “I’m not good enough.” Warlop advised giving myself space to be curious about those beliefs and distracting myself from them, rather than reacting to them: “Carry around an essential oil you love to smell when you can start to feel yourself going in the direction of repetitive and worrisome thoughts. Brush your fingertips along the skin of your arm or face, and focus on the pleasant sensation. Put on calming music and focus on the sound frequencies.” In other words, tap into all of your senses—sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing—to instantly bring you back to the present moment.  

    Take care of your basic needs every day
    PSA: Anxiety is the body’s way of letting you know that it is in distress and needs more care. Call it self-care or creating a solid, foolproof routine, but prioritizing basic health and wellness habits is Warlop’s non-negotiable. If you’re not catching enough Zzzs, I’ve got (bad) news for you: Lack of sleep makes the list of top culprits of anxiety. Warlop suggested forgoing your daily nightcap or the next episode in your Netflix cue and letting your body reset. “7-9 hours of sleep, good nutrition, nature time, and working out are essential in shifting the inner landscape,” she stressed. “And for added bonus points, try meditation. Consistent meditation is a game-changer in resetting your nervous and limbic systems.”

    These tips are not meant to serve as treatment for anxiety disorder. If you are struggling with anxiety, please reach out to your doctor, a therapist, or another trusted professional for support.Crisis Textline: text CONNECT to 741741

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    The Journal Prompt You Should Try Tonight, Based on Your Enneagram Type

    The Enneagram test can be an enlightening tool for self-discovery. Knowing your type gives you insight into what motivates, challenges, and fulfills you, as well as how you experience life’s ups and downs. If you want to delve a little deeper, pairing journal prompts with your Enneagram type is one of the best ways to process and reflect on your thoughts, emotions, and experiences from the day. By exploring your unique personality traits through journaling, you can gain a better understanding of yourself and the world around you. Kick off your inner dialogue with one of these journal prompts recommended for each Enneagram type.

    Describe in detail an emotion you felt today.
    Type Ones strive for perfection in everything they do and often boast a strong sense of self-discipline. Although this type experiences the same range of messy human emotions as everyone else, they may not freely express their anger, sadness, nervousness, or even joy for fear of judgment. Tap into those feelings with a journal prompt that invites you to describe an emotion with as much detail as possible. What provoked this emotion? What did it physically feel like? How did you react in your words or actions?

    How did I take care of myself today?
    Empathetic, selfless Twos are all about taking care of others, but they have a tendency to brush off their own needs. Making time for self-care isn’t always high on their to-do lists, so this journal prompt encourages Twos to reflect on moments throughout the day when they prioritized their own well-being. It could be as simple as describing a nutritious meal or the feeling after a long, steamy shower. Make a list of the ways you put yourself first today, as a reminder that your nurturing nature should extend inward as well.

    What value did I contribute to the world today?
    The Achiever’s basic desire is to feel valuable and worthwhile, and they often seek this feeling through personal accomplishments. The challenge for this type is to separate their self-worth from the attention of others and other exterior signs of success. Instead of focusing on specific achievements or tasks on your to-do list, consider the value you brought to other people or your environment today. Perhaps you made someone’s day with a small act of kindness, or maybe you simply tended to your houseplants and contributed to the growth of new life. Practice finding the value in your daily doings, no matter how insignificant they may seem.

    Describe your day using as many sensory details as possible.
    Type Fours can be highly emotive and introspective, which means they tend to spend a lot of time in their heads. Rather than ruminating on your feelings, challenge yourself to focus instead on the concrete details of your day. Think through something you did that day in terms of what it looked, smelled, sounded, and physically felt like. Aim to describe things exactly as they are, without exaggerating or minimizing. The goal is to practice being fully present in whatever state you’re in.

    How did I step back and unplug today?
    With their intense focus and unquenchable curiosity, it’s easy for Type Fives to get preoccupied and distracted from daily life. If you’ve ever gotten lost in a book or fixated on learning a new skill, you know what I’m talking about. For this journal prompt, think about what you did today to unwind and give yourself a mental break. This could entail cooking a favorite meal, chatting with a friend, or simply going for a walk. Jot down both the feelings and physical sensations that came along with this activity.

    What is the best thing that happened to me today?
    A Type Six is prone to worst-case scenario thinking. Craving safety and security, they have a habit of running through all the “what ifs” in a situation, fixating on problems that haven’t appeared yet. If you feel that anxiety creeping in, flip your fear-based thinking and focus instead on the best thing that happened that day. Did something turn out better than you expected? Did you solve a problem that was stressing you out or find a moment of unexpected joy? Describe the good in each day as a reminder that your anxious thoughts aren’t always your reality.

    When did I feel most present and grounded today?
    Busy-body Enthusiasts thrive on adventure and excitement, but while they’re flying from one activity to the next, they may forget to pause and enjoy the moment. This journal prompt invites you to slow down and think about how you managed your attention that day. Tune into the times when you felt wholly present and grounded in the current moment. What were you doing? Who were you with? How can you bring that same mentality to your interactions tomorrow?

    How did I practice openness today?
    Self-reliant Type Eights prefer to take charge of themselves rather than yield to others. Always wanting to be in control of the situation, they often struggle with vulnerability. Instead of shying away from it, hone in on that feeling and consider how you opened yourself up to others today. Did you accept help when you needed it, share something that made you feel vulnerable, or simply choose to listen before speaking? Did it make you feel stronger or less so?

    How did I show up for myself today?
    The Peacemaker’s agreeable nature means they’re more likely to go along with others than stir the pot by standing up for themselves. They tend to tune out their own needs and wants as a way to keep the peace, which can end up creating more problems in the long run. For this journal prompt, turn your focus inward and consider how you participated in the world around you. Did you assert your own opinion, advocate for your needs, and lean in instead of zoning out? If you struggled with this today, how can you do better tomorrow?

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