Achieve Clarity Improve Performance

Have you ever experienced a day when you are subjected to challenge after challenge after challenge? Have you noticed that within the challenges you lose focus, you become distracted, irritable and your performance for that day declines? How about this, are you a business owner that has been experiencing more challenges since the decline of the economy? Has these challenges caused a reactionary response which in turn has caused the company to lose its overall focus?  Has this caused you or the company to exhibit a scattered behavior? If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, I am here to tell you that you are not alone.

When we are thrown off our game plan due to an unexpected challenge, it is easy to get distracted and lose focus. A natural response to a challenge occurs in one of three ways, you address the challenge, you procrastinate leading to a more complex challenge or you do not address the challenge at all. It does not matter which way you respond to the challenge the mere fact of its existence will distract you and once the distraction occurs you will lose complete focus and will not be able to perform at your best. Now I understand that there are people out there that say “when a challenge comes their way, they step up to the plate and deal with the challenge,” that the challenge actual makes them improve their performance and I say yes but you are still distracted by the challenge. And that goes for the business owner too.

The best way to avoid distraction from the challenge and to make sure your mind stays focus is to have clarity. Clarity can be achieved in a variety of ways and allows the mind to experience peace. When there is clarity, there is not chaos. The two can not exist together within the human mind. The mind is either clear or not. The mind is either at peace or not. The mind is either focused or not. It is within the state of clarity that our minds are able to be focused and operate at its best. It is within this clarity that we are able to deal with the challenges that may come our way without getting distracted and becoming overwhelmed. Clarity allows us to operate with efficiency and purpose and is one of the key ingredients that allow us to perform at our best.

As our society becomes busier, more stimulated and technology advances, it will become very important to have a mind that is clear that will allow us to maintain a focused state and keep up with the demands of daily living.

So how do you get this clarity that helps you to stay focused and improve your performance when challenges come your way? It is very simple and the solution has been in existence for centuries and is practiced throughout the world. The solution is Meditation.

Meditation is a beautiful way to bring clarity to your mind and peace and harmony to your body. When your mind is at peace your body will follow and your performance will improve. Harvard researchers found that people that meditated were better able to control a specific type of brain waves called alpha rhythms.  These brain wave activity patterns are thought to minimize distractions. Research showed that meditation increases the alpha rhythms which make you better at focusing, in part by allowing you to better regulate how challenges that arise will impact you.

So now you may be asking how do you meditate and how am I going to find the time to do that? Meditation does not require a lot of time and can be done almost anywhere. However it is best to meditate in an area where you will not be disturbed during the time that you are meditating. All you need to do is to take 5 minutes out of your day to begin this practice. You can do it in the morning, mid day or evening. Find a quiet place to sit where you will not be disturbed. You can choose to set a timer for the time you allotted to do this practice to assist you without interrupting the meditation by opening your eyes to check the time.  The easiest when to begin to meditate is to close your eyes and focus on your breath or to say a mantra such as OM or a word such as peace. If your mind begins to wander simply allow the thought to complete itself and bring your attention back to your breath or the mantra. When the timer goes off, simply open your eyes and sit still in the moment, thank yourself for taking time to do this healing practice. Know that meditation is a true gift to yourself that will benefit you in so many ways such as more clarity, peace, focus and improved performance.

So go ahead and improve your performance by bringing more clarity into your life no matter what curve ball may come your way. Your mind, body and spirit will thank you.

Rochele M. Lawson, RN,MA,AHP,CMS


Telltale Signs of Too Much Stress

If we feel unequipped or powerless to manage our circumstances, we experience stress. People and situations that leave us feeling angry, anxious or fearful trigger stress. Other common stressors include financial worries, troubled relationships or feeling pressed for time.

In small doses, stress can be positive, according to the experts. If stress motivates us and energizes us, this can be positive however chronic stress can have the opposite effect. When stress hormones such as cortisol flood the body, your heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels all increase. Stress has been linked to depression, chronic pain, acne, trouble sleeping and a weakened immune system.

Women are more likely than men to report high stress levels, although both sexes experience stress at equal levels. This can translate to more headaches, stomach distress and intense emotions.

Other signs of unhealthy stress include: overeating or loss of appetite, forgetfulness, lack of focus and trouble getting things done, feeling easily irritated or tearful, tiredness and general aches and pains.

If stress is disrupting your life, take action. Talk with your health care provider about positive coping tips to restore calm to your days and peace to your mind.

Visit www.rochelelawson.com  to download the free ebook on”21 Tips to Instantly Reduce Stress”.

You can also visit: http://www.freegiftsfromrochele.com to download 4 free gifts that will help you manage your stress.


Sweet Dreams

What you eat can affect how you sleep. Try these tips and remedies to ease yourself into sleep.

Soothing Herbs: Recent research has shown that certain herbs have a calming effect, and they may help with insomnia. Talk with your doctor before you take any herb for sleep.
• Lavender – Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a hot bath and soak right before bed to calm your mind and body.
• Valerian – Try a liquid extract of this sedative herb. Follow the dosage suggested on the bottle. It can take a few weeks to take effect.
• Passion Flower – Drink tea infused with soothing passionflower, this will help calm down the mind and body and allow you to relax into a peaceful slumber.
• Nutmeg – Drink warm almond milk with some nutmeg. Nutmeg has a sedative effect on the mind and the warm almond milk is nourishing to the body.

Sleepy Time Snacks: While its not a good idea to eat heavily close to bedtime, if you’re hungry in the evening, a small snack can be calming. The best snacks contain both a carbohydrate and the amino acid tryptophan, a natural sleep inducer. Foods rich in tryptophan include dairy products, soy milk, legumes such as chickpeas and lentils and nuts and seeds. Carbohydrates make tryptophan more available to the brain, which is why carbs make you drowsy. Suggestions- natural almond butter with whole grain crackers, low-fat cheese with apple slices or a small bowl of whole grain cereal with almond milk.

Caffeine-free afternoons: Caffeine is a mild stimulant that increases central nervous system activity for hours. So avoid all sources of caffeine, however if you must have some caffeine avoid it at least 6 to 8 hours before bed. Coffee is loaded with it but other foods such as chocolate and energy drinks contain the stimulant as well. It is suggested that avoiding natural stimulants including drinks containing guarana seeds, kola nuts and yerba mate.

Hormone producers: melatonin is a hormone secreted by the body that regulates sleep patterns. You can get this in a natural form from food. Tart cherries, grapes and walnuts contain melatonin so go ahead and eat a handful of these goodies to induce your sleep hormones and have a healthy nourishing snack at the same time.

Mellowing minerals: Studies show that even a marginal magnesium deficiency can excite the brain, preventing relaxation at night. Good sources of anxiety-fighting magnesium include leafy green vegetables, wheat germ, oatmeal, pumpkin seeds, black beans and almonds.

May the quality of your sleep improve as you bring these holistic solutions into your life!


Rochele M. Lawson, RN,AHP,CMS


Bringing Mindfulness to Eating

We all occassionally sit down to eat and gobble up our food so fast that we either can’t remember what we ate or if we completely chewed up our food before swallowing. Many times we are eating on the run, talking or watching television while eating or simply just doing other things and not totally focused on the ritual of eating. All of this rush, rush can began to wreck havoc on our digestive system and we may began to develop conditions such as gas, bloating, constipation, acid reflux, hyperacidity and so on. If you have experienced any of the above symptoms, I am offering you a simple but often forgotten solution.  Mindfulness.

Bring Mindfulness to your ritual of eating. Being mindful encompasses not only what you do while your eating but it starts with what you select to eat and how you prepare it to eat. When selecting foods to eat try to select the freshest foods possible, next prepare the food with the proper amount of seasoning and pungent herbs and spices to add flavor without adding calories. The herbs and spices should add to the food and should not take over the essence of the food but compliment it’s taste. And lastly when eating, eat without any distractions, no television or radio and minimal talking. Try eating at a table and if that is not possible it is a must that you eat sitting down. Prior to eating you should give thanks for the food you are about to receive and the ability to be able to eat it. Once you began to eat, slow down and chew eat bite at least 20 times noticing the texture and true flavor of the food. During the eating ritual really take time to connect with your food instead of gobbling each bite as fast as you can. By taking time and being mindful while you eat you allow your body to prepare itself for the nutrients it is receiving as well as facilitate a smoother digestive process. Another benefit to being mindful while you eat is that you will begin to feel full faster as your brain catches up and connects with your stomach. The feeling of fullness will allow you to eat less and which can be an assistant in keeping the waistline in check.

Eating is a very sacred experienced and should be enjoyed without being rushed. The mindfulness that you can practice while eating your meals will allow you to connect and enjoy this sacred experience as it is meant to be. In the very fast moving society that we live in today, bringing mindfulness to your eating may be the only time that you truly get to sit and relax and enjoy the present moment before you.

Wishing you much health and wellness!


Rochele M. Lawson,RN,AHP,CMS