How the Angry Birds Movie Helped Me Beat Procrastination

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Have you ever procrastinated doing a task because it felt so boring, monumental, and time-consuming?

If you just nodded your head, then I know I’m in good company. I, myself, have a project at home that I’ve been avoiding. It’s going through all the bins of old clothes in my basement to make room for my new home office. Every time I think about it, I cringe knowing that it is going to take all afternoon. These days, I am extra mindful of what I do with my time. I have a full schedule, and I don’t want to spend my time doing something that doesn’t make me happy. After all, the overall mission of my company, Ultimate Healing Journey, LLC is to inspire and inform busy people on how to use happiness skills to help them reach their goals.

A Playdate
This past Saturday, my son, Maxwell, and his friend, Aaron, had a playdate. Aaron’s mother and I took them out for lunch and then we saw the movie Angry Birds. For 11-year-old boys who enjoy playing online games, this movie was a great hit! As a parent, I loved spending quality time with my son and his friends. And as a positive psychology practitioner and coach, I was interested in how the characters used their strengths and talents during the course of the movie.

Angry Bird
The main character, “Red,” who was this red looking bird with thick bushy black eyebrows was a grunt and a loner. He disliked being liked or showing any positive emotions. As the movie evolved with its twists and turns, Red used his courage, determination, and anger to lead the bird community who have turned against him. Without giving away too much of the plot for those you of who haven’t seen this movie, the good guys, in this case the Angry Birds, won and saved the community from the bad group of green pigs. Interestingly enough in this day of anger management and stress reduction, this movie used the opposite to feel better. It used anger in a positive way as the driving emotion to herald courage, clarity, and creativity to save the day.

Ride Home
The movie was a big hit for my 11-year-old companions that afternoon. It brought on an interesting and lengthy conversation on various video games they play during the ride home. By the time we got home, Max and his friend were still immersed in their talk. They both asked to have an extra 30 minutes together to trade their game cards. Because Aaron lives 5 houses down from ours, both mothers consented to this extra time together.

Timer
When I got home, I decided to put the timer on for 30 minutes to remind me to pick Max up. As I prepared a cup of tea for myself, I wondered what I was going to do with myself while I waited. That’s when I got the idea to get “angry!” Just as the angry birds used anger as their driving force to get the job done, I will use it as well to help me tackle what needed to be done. I will sort through the old clothes in my basement. Having less than 30 minutes to start this project seemed less intimidating to me because I knew that it wasn’t going to consume my whole afternoon.

I Got Angry
Noticing that my 19-year-old son, JT, was in the kitchen playing a game on his computer, I decided to add more fun to what I was about to do. I declared to my unsuspecting teenager that I was going to get “angry!” He gave me a quizzical as look he turned back to his game. I kept repeating to myself.
“I am going to get angry!”
“Yes, I am!”
“I’m angry.”
With a smile on my face, I was ready and excited to for what I used to call ‘mission impossible’. I got giddy about using anger to motivate myself and begin my own game against time, my kitchen timer that is.

Pumped with Adrenaline and Anger
I decided to further challenge myself by setting a goal of filling 3 trash bags full of clothes that I would give away for donation. I went down my basement stairs pumped with adrenaline and anger. As I opened bins of old clothes, I kept saying,
“I’m angry.”
“Oh yeah, I am angry.”
“Yup, I AM ANGRY.”
I couldn’t have been any happier playing my version of this online game! Each bin of clothes became easier and easier to go through because I wasn’t approaching my old clothes with nostalgia. I approached them like a gamer who had little time to win this obstacle.

I Won!
And it worked. Using play helped me win over my procrastination. By the time my kitchen timer went off, I was so engrossed in filling my 3 trash bags full of clothes that I asked my son JT to get Max for me so I could finish up what I had been postponing for that last few months. I felt like a winner! By the time my sons got home, I had 3 bags of clothes at the bottom of my basement stairs ready for donation and I had fun doing it.

Play Saved the Day
Adding the elements of fun and play to what I was doing helped me become more effective and efficient. As I’ve mentioned in my book, The Happiness Result, experts like Dr. Stuart Brown, researcher and founder of the National Institute for Play, have found that play can help us become more creative, optimistic, productive and so much more. In fact, play can save the day by helping you search out new solutions to your problems as it did for me.

Here’s how you can create your own winning game to overcome procrastination.

1. Play — Decide how to playfully to approach a specific project. I used my inspiration from the Angry Birds movie to power up and get excited.
2. Time — Decide on how much time you want to dedicate for this. I recommend giving yourself no more than 30 minutes. Any longer might feel too overwhelming or too time-consuming.
3. Celebrate — Celebrate your accomplishment. Recognize that you are much further along than before you started. This will give you more motivation to do it again. Remember, you’ve taken the hardest step, which is the first one.

If you are interested in more ways to gain more time, more love, more health, and more success, stay tuned for information on how to get my new book, The Happiness Result — coming out this summer! You will learn 7 simple techniques to help you create an awesome life. If you have any question or want to learn more about our services visit, contact us at  INFO@ULTIMATEHEALINGJOURNEY.COM today.

Mindful Moment


Are you becoming more and more absentminded lately?


Multitasking

My answer is “yes.” This has become a busy and fast paced world, and many of us have taken on a habit juggling and struggling. According to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, when we are multitasking, we are paying attention only partially from one task to another. A study conducted on multitasking while driving showed that the driver’s attention decreased by 37% when he/she listened to sentences while driving. How many times have we listened to sentences either from the radio or another person in the car? This important study shows that multitasking is not as efficient or safe as we once thought it was.


Les Miserable

Multitasking spreads our energy thin. Chronically multitasking can make us feel overwhelmed, out of control, and overly tired. When this happens, concentration and clarity become a challenge. A negative ripple effect of unhealthy habits arise such as mindlessly eating comfort food in front of the TV to “veg-out,” consuming endless cans of high energy drinks in order to “pull an all-nighter,” and a taking anti-anxiety medications to counteract the guilt and worries of not getting enough done.

While some people thrive under this fast-paced and demanding lifestyle, their mind and body will eventually show signs of “wear and tear” in the form of chest pain, depression, obesity, gastric reflux, etc.  There is good news! With mindful awareness, we can turn this misery into magnificence.


Mindful Moments

I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t tell you that I don’t multitask—the truth is I still multitask. But after many years of making mistakes that cost me more time to correct, I’ve decided to become more purposeful in my multitasking. I’ve learned to only do it when doing simple tasks. And it works. While it did take some time for me to get rid of the temptation to multitask, the results have been profound. I went from multitasking everything to multitasking with some things.  I made mindful choices that made my day more enjoyable and effective.


What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness in a nutshell is purposefully paying attention and becoming aware of what you are doing at that very moment. It’s a way of noticing (without judgment) the thoughts in your mind and emotions that you are feeling. Mindfulness also provides a time, however short it may be, to quiet our mental chatter. The more we apply this simple practice, the more we will feel calm, confident, and in control in the midst of our busy day.


Try This

Here’s a mindful practice that will help you begin to cultivate this positive habit – learn to do less and get more done. I call it Mindful Moment: Take 5 & Take a Break

  1. Close your eyes.
  2. Take a deep breath.
  3. Imagine you are in your special place.
  4. Let go of your tension.
  5. Enjoy.

I recommend that you do this practice for about 5 – 10 minutes a day in order to feel your tension release. The more you release and let go of you stress the more you will be able to make mindful choices towards a healthier and happier day.

Gratitude & Mindfulness Experience. More on the program


Need Help?

Contact us for more support in cultivating mindfulness in your life. Email us at info@ultimatehealingjourney.com to begin your journey towards health and happiness. You don’t have to do this alone. We are here to guide you towards your highest and best goals.

Easy Motivation Tip

Have you ever had a day off that you filled with lots of activities?

I recently had one of those days and I had such a fantastic time doing everything on my list, including a task that I have been putting off for the last 3 weeks.  That task was switching my winter wardrobe to my summer one. I don’t know what it was about this particular task, but I always feel like I have to be in the right mood to do it, otherwise I’ll be spending half the day trying on all the clothes, losing track of time and feeling guilty for not making any progress.

On my day off, I challenged myself to get as many things checked off my list and completed as possible. And that was exactly what I did. I checked everything off including my long awaited wardrobe switch that I had been neglecting.


WOOP

Here’s what I did. I applied Dr. Gabrielle Oettingen’s technique called WOOP (Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan.)  Dr. Oettingen’s and her fellow researchers found that when positive plans are visualized along with the obstacles, people are more likely to become motivated to take action towards the direction of their goals. They found that positive visualization was not enough and that adding the perceived obstacles into this equation allows the person to become more prepared to overcome the obstacles they felt were keeping them from going forward.

woop

I did it!

Here’s how I applied WOOP to help me tackle my wardrobe switching task.

  1. I determined my “wish.” It was to switch my winter wardrobe over to my summer wardrobe. I visualized what it would be like when it was done.
  2. My “outcome” was to have my favorite summer clothes ready to wear and to donate a bag of clothes that I hadn’t worn in a long time. I also visualized what this would look like and got very excited about it.
  3. My “obstacle” was lack of time. I challenged myself and decided to make it easier and fun for me in order to make the task less monumental.
  4. My “plan” was to make a game out of it. I decided to just spend 1 hour doing this and to try to get as many clothes donated as possible during that time. I did this so that I was less likely to try on clothes after clothes after clothes and lose track of time.

I decided to give it a go and it worked! Not only did I get motivated into doing this seasonal task, I had fun doing it.  It felt good knowing I was doing something that I’ve been meaning to do, and lastly I was able to get 2 bags of clothes instead of one ready for donation.

The WOOP technique is easy and effective. Next time you just can’t get started doing something that you’ve been meaning to do, I suggest you try the WOOP technique.

If you feel you need extra help to reach your goals, contact me for coaching so that we can create solution-focused plans to make your dreams come true.  Email me at info@ultimatehealingjourney.com today.

Simple Stress Reduction Technique

Here’s a simple stress reduction technique that is perfect for any age, I call it the Dirty-Water-in a-Plastic-Bottle technique.

I recently demonstrated this technique to a group of 6th graders that I’ve been teaching mindfulness based learning to in Boston, MA. It was actually great timing that I did this because the school had just finished their first week of standardized testing. All the kids’ (and the teachers’) energy levels were so high from preparing and performing, that the stress level in the school was palpable. Needless to say, the last thing that my students wanted to do that day was to sit down and learn about mindfulness from me. Those kids were “done” with learning that day. That’s why it took me some time to get them to listen to my lesson, which incidentally was on stress. Between you and me, I was getting stressed too because I could not get them to simmer down. I felt my level of control over the class slipping out of my hands quickly!

Super-dee-duper Contraption

Just when I thought it was hopeless, I changed my lesson plan by taking out my super-dee-duper stress reduction contraption sooner rather than later. I needed a way to hook them onto my lesson and it did the trick! When I took out the plastic drinking bottled filled with a water and soil mixture the class stopped and asked what I had in my hand.

I thought to myself, “Yes, you got their attention!”

“Don’t stop and keep talking!”

I told them what it was and why I brought it. Some of the kids were “grossed out” while others were intrigued. I explained to them that this murky bottle of water was like our minds sometimes. It is filled with the mixture of positive and negative thoughts making it difficult for us to pay attention and to feel calm and in control of our actions. Furthermore, I told them that the key to decreasing our stress and seeing solutions more clearly is becoming mindful to our present state and knowing how we are feeling. I reminded them that mindfulness was all about paying attention and being aware of what’s in front of us, around us, and within us. Moreover, I emphasized that the best way to start feeling better, especially from the week they just had, was by allowing things to settle down (like the dirt in the bottle) and using the power of our breath to reduce our stress.

Letting It Settle

With this in mind, I shook the bottle of muddy water while the whole class watched the muddy vortex swirl around in the bottle. While we watched it swirl around and around, I had them participate in a deep breathing exercise. I encouraged them to continue the deep breathing exercise until we noticed that all the dirt had settled at the bottom and that the water had become clear. This became a powerful visual aid because they were able to see that by becoming aware of their stress, they could stop engaging with the stressor and start deep breathing exercises to regain their sense of self control. This Dirty-Water-in-a-Plastic-Bottle technique that I taught them made them feel relaxed, and they were able to concentrate more on the rest of the class. It really worked!

This technique is perfect for anyone as a way to reduce stress.

Mindfulness is...

Cheap and effective reminder

The Dirty-Water-in a-Plastic-Bottle technique is a great recycling project to do and possibly one of the simplest stress reduction techniques to use.

Here’s what you will need:

1. Empty clear 16 oz plastic bottle (remove label)
2. 16 oz of water
3. Soil (glitter or small plastic confetti would be a great substitute for the dirt if you don’t have any around)
4. Super Glue (permanent strong glue)

Directions:

Add items 2 & 3 into the empty plastic bottle. Dry the opening of the bottle, apply super glue, and twist cap tight. Allow the glue to dry for about 1 hour.
It’s that easy! You now have a homemade stress reduction tool that will surely help you and others feel better during those chaotic and overwhelming days.

Enjoy!

How about you?

Is stress leaving your feeling stuck and unable to move towards the life of your dreams? Contact me at Debbie.ultimatehealingjourney@gmail.com for coaching to help you gain more clarity, and confidence to move towards the life of your dreams.

 

Spring Clearing Detox

Happy spring week!

I love this time of the year because it symbolizes new life and new beginnings. One of the best activities to do this season is a Spring Clearing Detox. This will surely help you shed some old heavy habits that have  been weighing you down and keeping  you from moving faster towards the life of your dreams. Unlike the standard detoxification formula that cleanses the impurities from our physical bodies, my Spring Clearing Detox technique clears out the impurities from our energetic bodies. In a nutshell, this technique gets rid of old limiting beliefs and thought processes that are making us feel overweight, overwhelmed, and overly tired carrying our work-life burdens. It’s that simple.

I started doing this many years ago when my old New Year’s Resolutions were not lasting and resulted in me feeling frustrated. It made me become more critical of myself and created a ripple of poor choices and not-so-happy moments in my life.  I felt terrible! That’s when I decided to make simple and small changes.  I started evaluating what wasn’t working right and the patterns that created those not right moments. Once I identified them I made a conscious effort to do one thing that would stop the pattern. Pretty soon I started to see my life turn around and my dreams manifest. It was great and my Spring Clearing Detox exercise was born!

Ground Hog Day

It’s not too late to honor your 2015 promise to yourself to look good and feel good. The best way to start doing this is to take inventory of some old habits that are just making your life like the movie Ground Hog Day. Every day is the same and you can pretty much predict what people are going to say and when things will happen.  I tell my coaching clients to just start with one habit and work towards eliminating it. It’s amazing to witness them as they move from feeling stressed and stuck to successful. New habits start to form and pretty soon the habits become natural and simple for them to be incorporate into their lives.  Eventually the new habits allow them to create a happier and healthier life.

4 Steps to begin your own Spring Clearing

Here’s how to begin a clearer approach to living an abundant and awesome life.

  1. Ask yourself what habit has been keeping you from moving towards your true happiness.
  2. Determine what it is. (Key here is to start with one habit.)
  3. Ask yourself what one small thing you can do to start bringing more awareness to that habit.
  4. Determine a simple positive habit that you can replace it with that will add more joy and meaning into your life.

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Ready to give it a try?

Spring clearing is tossing out an old habit that’s keeping you from growing. This technique is perfect for anyone who has been feeling stuck in one area of your life and want a way to start moving things forward. This technique has been one of my secrets to automatically manifesting and creating my heart’s desire. Not sure of what habit to get rid of and need coaching for consistent support and guidance to reach your goals? Contact me at Debbie.ultimatehealingjourney@gmail.com today so you can start moving towards the direction of your dreams.

Cheers,

Debbie Lyn

Let’s get physical

 

Healthy and Happy March to you!

I don’t know about you but I am so excited that this new month has finally arrived. It’s been such a cold and snowy winter in the Boston area that it seems like everyone, including me, has gotten “cabin fever.” It really made me appreciate the warmth of the sun and being outside for just a few minutes so I could clear my winter blues away.

Physical activity can boost our mood

Did you know that experts say that doing any physical activity can actually help boost your mood? It’s true and it does work. Every time I would start feeling low or down, I would start doing a physical activity such as de-cluttering my workspace, walking to the post office, or even walking on the beach. Of course your physical activity (notice I am not saying the “e” word that ends with “cise”) will depend on your health and activity tolerance.

An inspiration

I coached a group from the Boston Senior Home Care’s Stronger for Life Program recently and they were a wonderful inspiration to me! They are so determined to reach their goals to lose weight and to increase their endurance. They do their physical routine in their apartments, hallways, and stairs. They did not let the cold harsh winter ruin their goals of becoming stronger for life.

What an inspiration they were!

As for me, walking around my neighborhood, shoveling, making snowmen has become my winter sport. I’ve also found snowshoeing to be a wonderful way of getting out and having fun in the cold weather.

Debbie snow-62596

How about you?

What have you been doing this winter to help you lift your spirits? Please share it with us. Just remember, anytime you start feeling the blues coming on, it’s always best to recognize it so that you can make the choice to shift from that state to be better one. What better way to make a positive shift than to start getting…physical. Have fun!

Need coaching?

Have you been feeling stuck and stressed not knowing what to do to move closer to your dreams and goals?

Has there been a goal that you have been wanting to achieve but just don’t know how to start?

Are you finally ready to serve your own needs instead of others for a change?

Contact me at info@ultimatehealingjourney.com so  we can get you moving towards the direction of your dreams.

 

Bueller…Bueller…Bueller!

 

Happy February, and I hope that 2015 is being kind and gentle to you.

Here in Massachusetts, we have just been visited by Juno, the blizzard that gave us over 30 inches of snow. My teenager and 4th grader have been celebrating their “no school” days. Do you remember being young and finding out that there was no school that day because of severe weather conditions? Those were the days when we got a “free day off” from our usual routine. Ahh…

I think that we, as adults, deserve to give ourselves a “Ferris Bueller’s day off” day to just kick back, relax, and be care-free.

When was the last time that you did this for yourself?
How did you feel when you did it?
What did you do that made it fun and fantastic for you?

“Life moves pretty fast.” ~ F. Bueller

Yes, I know that you’re busy, but who isn’t these days? It’s all the more reason why we need to take off our ‘grown-up’ hat and just be a kid again! It’s one of the ways we can slow down to enjoy life! Work will always be there and our schedules will always be full of activities. It’s important to be more proactive in setting aside time for ourselves for self care. We need a mental break so that we don’t have a “mental breakdown.”

ferris bueller

Here’s your “hall pass.”

Many people get so stuck on the hamster wheel of their work-life schedule that they forget that they have the choice to get off it. So, here’s my suggestion for you. Create a virtual “hall pass” for yourself to get out and do something that you love. You don’t have to have someone with you do to this. In fact, it might be better for you to just go ahead and take your “pass” and run with it without having to think and talk yourself out of it.

You get an A+

You will find that when you do this, you will want to do it regularly. Why not? It’s very important that you work yourself into your own unique schedule in order to truly have the productivity, positivity, and prosperity that you strive for. Routinely giving yourself much needed time off from life is a self-loving and self-nurturing way of ensuring that you do live a healthy and happy life. In other words, giving yourself permission to enjoy life will result in more success in both work and life than you can ever imagine. You will get an A+ for the effort that you put into this routine break. Danke Schoen! <wink>

If you need support in ways to help you reset time so that it’s on your side in order to live a healthy and happy life please contact me at info@ultimatehealingjourney.com

Thank Your Stress Away

Hello there!

Here’s a quick guide to use anytime you feel stressed throughout the day.

My mother’s recovery from her double cancer surgery inspired me to create this technique.  Two years ago—just about one month after celebrating being breast cancer free for 5 years—my mother was diagnosed with endometrial cancer and lung cancer. It was one of the worst years of my life, seeing my mother undergo so much physical and emotional stress from her diagnosis and myriad of hospital tests and surgeries.

As a nurse, I knew how extensive and painful her surgeries were going to be. As a daughter, I was afraid of losing my mother and worried about my father who always relied on my mother. While I did my best to be supportive and strong, “the nurse,” for the rest of my family and relatives, I had moments where I would just break down and cry. Ironically, that year the source of my strength, besides God, was my mother. I felt so much better every time I saw my mother. I recall how she would laugh at herself when her hair was growing back and I remember the countless of times I heard my mother say “thank you.” One of the most memorable times that we as a family said “thank you” was when she got the results from her endometrial, lung, and thyroid biopsy (yup, they found a suspicious area there too) that all of her cancers were not related. This meant that they were not a metastasis from her breast cancer.

During each of her surgeries that summer, I would hear her say, “thank you” when she woke up and was able to get up from her bed by herself. She would say “thank you” when she would have enough strength to walk from her bed to the bathroom all by herself. She would say “thank you” when she had a restful night of sleep without bone pain that was caused from her chemotherapy. Her days were (and still are) filled with thankful moments from morning to night. She uses gratitude to fuel every action and every thought.

My mother naturally used gratitude as a way to become resilient and to thrive after that long, hard summer.

Next time you feel stressed or scared, try this technique that I call, Thank Your Stress Away.

thankyourstressaway

I hope you enjoyed this technique. Please share it with friends who might benefit from it.

Need extra support in managing your work-life stress? Contact me at info@ultimatehealingjourney.com.

Cheers!

Debbie signature

Vlog Quick Tip: It’s Play Time For The Busy Mind

Hi there,

Debbie Lyn Toomey, here with a nice quick tip to help you gain more by doing less.

Do you have a big project and seem to be stuck? And you feel that working extra hard and putting in more hours will do the trick but it’s leaving you feeling frustrated and irritable? I know the feeling all too well. I’ve been there and done that and realized that all work and no play made me lose my patience with those around me and feel more stressed throughout my day. I’ve good great news for you! Here’s a way to turn your frown upside down. When you get that way declare that it’s playtime. Yup, playtime! Try this fun mini-mental break.

Simply grab a toy or any fun object and play. Studies have shown that playing is a creativity booster.

According to psychiatrist, clinical researcher and the founder of the National Institute for Play, Dr. Stuart Brown, playing is anything but trivial. In fact, according to him it’s is as important as the food that we eat and our sleep. Dr. Brown defines play as “any kind of purposeless, all-consuming, restorative activity and is the single most significant factor in determining our success and happiness.” Interested in more about his research findings and more on the power of playing? Pick up his book called, Play, How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul.

Are you interested in how to hack into your creative juices? Simply look around you and find something that can give you that mini-mental Zen moment. Don’t have anything around? Think again! How about taking scrap pieces of paper and doing the old fashion “paper toss” game into the trashcan? Do you have a pen and paper? You got the makings of a great doodle art in front of you. Think back to when you were younger. Ask yourself what fun activities you liked to do. Did you like to draw? Did you like sports? Did you like to sing or dance? Did you like to exercise? What can you do in the context of your environment that can allow your bright ideas to shine while you play?

Here’s some playful items so you can start collecting items for your “office toy box”: crayons, colored markers, some construction papers, Playdoh, yo-yo, a slinky, pinwheel, beach ball, kaleidoscope, deck of cards, rubber bands, etc.. If you have room in your office try mini golf set, mini basket ball hoop, exercise ball, puzzle, etc… You are only limited by the size of your imagination – and your office space of course.

Need a team building exercise for your next meeting? Why not pull out your magical mental toy box and bring fun, communication, and creativity into everyone’s day. You’ll be happy you tried this “fun”-tastic tip.

Interested in learning more unique tips and techniques from us? For more fun, simple, and quick ideas to add more balance, health, and harmony in your day, sign up for our free one page download on called 5 Quick Steps to Efficiency & Enjoyment today.

The best way to show us how you like our post is to let us know. Post your comments and “share” it on FB, “tweet” it, and “subscribe” on our Health & Happiness channel on YouTube.

Thank you in advance!

Cheers,

Debbie