08 Oct

There is Power in Positivity: 4 Things To Get You Started


There is great power in positivity. Whenever I ask a client what they want to see more of in their life, they seemed stumped.  We are very good at knowing what we don’t want, finding the negative and wanting to dwell on it. It seems to be human nature, the idea that if we can just go over the negative stuff we can find the answer.

The answer really is identifying what brings us joy and spending our day identifying the positive and trying to focus on an abundance of just that.  Let’s face it, being positive has never made anyone feel worse!

Learned optimism is something you can teach yourself. A quick Google search shows that on any given day our brain makes about 35,000 decisions.  Now imagine if those decisions were focused on the positive. We could choose the decision that brings us more joy, the one that makes us feel happier.

Make a Conscious Choice

Every morning when you get up, set your intention for the day.  Is it going to be a good day or are you going to choose stress and negativity? Start by remembering what you are grateful for and that can guide you in setting your intention. It might be that you are grateful for the beautiful fall weather.  That might mean that your intention is to enjoy every moment you get to spend in it.  Maybe park a bit further from the office or step outside for lunch.

Embrace Positivity

Find out what positivity is all about.  Add a few positivity pages to your Facebook likes.  This will populate your Facebook feed with good things when you check it.  You will start to notice that those negative headlines disappear and are replaced with new ideas and ways to be positive.  We like to follow Happify  because they share tips and thoughts to help us bring more happiness into our life. Positive Energy + is another  great page that is filled with inspiring quotes and positive media stories.

Choose You

One of my favourite blogs is Positively Present.  Dani’s tips are simple, honest and very practical. In her article on making positive life choices, she suggests listening to your instinct and doing what is best for you.  How often do you do something that doesn’t feel right but you do it anyway? It may not be the best decision for you but it is the easier choice that won’t ruffle any feathers.

Do Something You Have Never Done Before

Make it fun, do something that you wouldn’t normally do.  Attend an auction, volunteer at a food bank, go see a car race, have your eyebrows shaped, take a cooking class, speak in front of a large group……the list is endless but it has to be unique to you.  If you are one to put everyone before yourself then focus on doing something for you, if you never step outside your comfort zone then take a leap or if you are stuck in a rut and never do anything different then think outside the box. Ask a friend who knows you well for some suggestions and you will be well on your way to a more positive and happier you


21 Feb

Nothing Negative Can Come from Positive Self Talk

Let’s face it, nothing negative can come from positive self talk.  Being kind to ourselves or extending a supportive friendship can only bring good things into our life.  All too often I hear people say things like “I should have”, “it was probably my fault”, “I’m just not good at that”, “I need to try harder”.  Would you tell a friend that they didn’t try hard enough when their new project didn’t work out?  Or would you say “you’re right, you weren’t good enough”, when their marriage breaks down?  “I’m not enough” is a negative mantra that can often loop in our our brain and keep playing.

Be your Own BFF

Being your own best friend means that you are just right exactly the way you are,  flaws and all.  Friends have that way of embracing our quirkiness and seeing through our false bravado in times of need. They give us positive messages about ourselves and make us feel good, happy and appreciated.  Enjoy who you are and give yourself some quality time.  If you can’t think of things off the top of your head that are great about you then try a little exercise.  Ask yourself what you value in a friend?  What are some qualities that your favourite people have?  Write down the ones that could apply to you. Tell you that you’re funny, authentic and kind, and spend a bit of time hanging out with you. Learn to enjoy your own company and just be with yourself.

Clear space for the positive

Banish those negative thoughts as they no longer serve you.  Even amongst the most dire of circumstances there can be found a positive moment.  Choose to reach for the alternative to the negative because there is always another option.  This idea may take a bit of practice but when that negative thought creeps in, stop, then think about what possible positive thought could be applied to the moment.  You can choose to see a huge snowfall as terrible and catastrophic or you can slow down to enjoy the beauty of it, grab a tea and take a bit of extra time to get to work.  Practice this step regularly and you will find there is less room in your life for the negative thoughts.

Talk to Yourself

Now this might seem a bit strange but I do it all the time.  On more than one occasion I have found myself chattering away saying “you can do this” when faced with difficulty during my day.  Tell yourself out loud that “you’ve got this” or “you’re a rockstar”.  The more we hear these words the more our brains take them in and they become our truth. Whatever your mantra, practice this. You can talk to yourself in the shower or in the car on the way to work or wherever works for you.  Say it loud and be proud about it because you are pretty awesome!


17 May

How to Use Mindfulness Everyday


This month I was lucky enough to be able to attend a Mindfulness workshop.  The workshop didn’t teach me any earth shattering new ideas but it did make me a better therapist.  I am at a time in my life where my mind is very busy with a number of things that are quite frankly out of my control and not of my creation.  Taking a day to be with other like minded professionals in a positive environment and practice mindfulness was quite frankly a fantastic gift!

I left feeling relaxed, void of negative thoughts and thinking about how I could use it more in my own practice with clients.  Fast forward a bit and I now have an arsenal of handouts, apps and links to provide clients with the tools they need to be mindful.

It only seemed to make sense to share a little of my research with everyone.  The number one question is where to start?  Start small and build from there.  There is no right or wrong, no judgement.  Freeing your mind from judgement if only for a minute is a much kinder way to treat ourselves. Take a look at Three Simple Mindfulness Practices You Can Use Everyday.  

Try a 3 minute body scan which will help ground you and be more present.  My new favourite is a 5 minute Chocolate Meditation, it is wonderful and calorie free!  It does make me want to go find chocolate though.

If you find yourself wanting to know more about Mindfulness and Meditation we have a very good collection of resources on the Lidkea Stob Pinterest page.  On our Meditation board you will find links to additional meditations, articles on the benefits of meditation  and a few tips on how to get started. Our Mindfulness board has explanations of mindfulness and activities your can try such as a mindfulness walk or mindful coloring pages.


10 May

Let’s Talk About Sleep

Wordle21Sleep is a powerful thing.  If it is restful and restorative we wake up feeling like we can conquer the world, or at least the busy day ahead of us. At times when we don’t get enough or we have poor quality sleep, we can feel exhausted and less confident about our own abilities.  The day seems to drag on and all we can think about is crawling under the covers at the end of our day.

There are a number of things that can impact the quality of our sleep. A busy mind, menopause and stress are the top three that people often talk to their counsellors about.

Perimenopause or menopause is something that is whispered about in the lunch room.  The change in hormone levels can bring hot flashes, irritability, anxiety and insomnia.  Interrupted sleep at this time in a woman’s life is very common.  Author Sheryl Kraft, Is Menopause Playing Havoc With Your Sleep? addresses the fact that there is no one size fits all solution. We are all uniquely different and trying different solutions will help you have a more restful night.  Suggestions she makes are to avoid caffeine after 2:00 p.m, keep your bedroom dark, incoporate some exercise in your day and eat a high carbohydrate snack such as a whole grain cracker with a small amount of healthy protein before bed.

If after trying a few of these changes you do no find success you may wish to speak to a naturopathic doctor and they will listen to your specific concerns and will tailor a plan just for you.  Many benefit plans now cover naturopathic appointments.

A busy mind is common in menopause and also when under stress.  In an article from Pick the Brain they provide 5 Strategies to Empty Your Mind Before Bed.  Keeping a notebook beside your bed can become a nighttime ritual that will help you prepare for your new day tomorrow but also to free yourself from the perpetual “to do” list.  Write down what is on your mind whether it is your grocery list or the things that might be bothering you. Think about them and then release them for the day and you can pick them up again the next day if you need to.

In 12 Ways to Shut Off Your Brain Before Bedtime they suggest practicing relaxation exercises.  Visualization exercises, meditation or a short evening yoga practice can help set the stage for sleep.  If stress if still a barrier to catching the rest you need, then seeing a counsellor to help explore what the issues further and create a plan together.

Try making the last thought before bed one thing you are grateful for from your day.  Set your intention to be a positive one for the next day.

Tools to Help Sleep

Yoga Nidra for Sleep, A 22 Minute guided meditation for sleep.

Bedtime Yoga for Deep Sleep,  6:36 minutes of bedtime yoga flow that can done on your bed.

Yoga for Better Sleep, 10 minute yoga routine for better sleep.

Into Sleep, A 10 minute guided meditation from Quiet Mind Cafe to promote a deep restorative sleep

Free Guided Meditations from UCLA Health, Try the mindful body scan

Naturopaths in Niagara

Dr. Stephen Tripodi, ND  Optimal Wellness Niagara

Dr. Jane Lauermeier, 905-935-6460

Dr. Laura Imola, WIN Health Solutions

Dr. Charlene Kush, Niagara’s Elite Wellness Spa

02 May

Believe in the positive


Every day we make choices on how we are going to respond to things.  It can be a change at work, something someone said or just a fleeting thought.  We decide whether to think positively or negatively.  Sometimes when we are anxious or feeling down our minds go to the negative thought more readily.

In counselling we look at the concept that for every negative thought there is a positive one.  What would the outcome be if we chose to believe in possibilities and opportunities?  When we close the door on a negative thought we open the door to options.  In a Huff Post article they took a look at the science behind positive thinking.  A negative thought can take over your life but positive thoughts create positive emotions such as joy and contentment.  This sounds like a much better option.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to see Dr. Wayne Dyer speak.  His positive energy and motivation is something I will never forget as it seemed to linger with me for weeks after seeing him.  His book Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life is still a mainstay on my recommended reading list.  He asked audience members to think about their dreams and aspirations and what was holding them back.  One audience member said they wanted to start their own business but she couldn’t do so for financial reasons.  His response was to suggest that the barrier was a mental construct, a barrier that stopped her from achieving her dream.  What if she were to say “I am going to start a business” and just believed in the possibility?  Two ways of thinking….one a dead end with the only option being failure and the other with the power of possibility.

If you aren’t sure where to start, take a minute from your day and think about something that didn’t go well or made you think negatively.  Stop and think about what the alternative positive  thought might be and write it down.  Do this every day for a week and take a look at your list at the end of the week.  Was this hard or did it start to come easier as the week went on? Keep a note book by your bed or jot it down on your phone.  The idea is that your brain will start to welcome the changes in thinking and you will find yourself making room for the positive and what a wonderful way to believe that things can be different.

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