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Three Steps to Create Positive Change

Three Steps to Create Positive Change

With the amount of stress we experience on a daily basis, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and negative. Here’s how to overcome negative beliefs and create lasting positive change.

1. Change Your Subconscious Programs

This is likely my favourite topic as it is so profound and important in your life yet so many people don’t fully understand it.  Let’s take a step back and review why subconscious programming is relevant to life and health. In the first seven years of your life, you are in what is called a theta or hypnotic state. You are being influenced by your friends, family, school teachers, neighbours, classmates, etc.  Their behaviours, personalities, mannerisms, actions and words are being embedded into your subconscious mind.  These formative years of your life are effectively forming a program about people, the environment and life that you will go on to reference when you become older.  Everything you learn in those seven years is being unconsciously stored and categorized. I will use the analogy of a computer. Think of your subconscious mind as software with all the programs, applications and intelligence. Now think of your body as the computer hardware, which is the physical infrastructure. The hardware is more or less a shell that is only really valuable by the software/programs that are played in it.

It is very important to understand the difference between the subconscious and conscious mind.  They are both very different and independent of one another but there is some common ground in specific situations that you encounter.  Most people believe that they are interchangeable and that one influences the other.  The conscious mind in physical terms is the neural tissue right behind your forehead called the pre-frontal cortex. The conscious mind represents who you are as an individual and entity.  The conscious mind is the creative mind and it contains your wishes, desires, aspirations and every hope and dream you want to pursue.  It is the mind that says, I am going to go out today and find my dream job. It gets your mind all excited and ready to enter the workforce in hopes of finding your desired role. It really creates and describes what you want to do and achieve. A great benefit of the conscious mind is that it can learn in many different ways such as watching a presentation, reading a book, listening to podcasts, going to conventional schools, or coming up with your own creative ideas from brainstorming. The real differentiator is that the conscious mind is creative by nature whereas the subconscious mind is more habitual and relies on the habits you have developed. Try and think of the conscious mind as being used when someone asks you what you are doing for the weekend.  You will invariably pause, think about it and then respond.  You are using the creative side. Now think of the subconscious mind as the mind that is used when you are driving the car.  You are sitting in the car talking to your friend, listening to the radio, daydreaming, etc. yet you still get to your destination somehow. Your subconscious mind is driving your car. It is like you are on autopilot. Your subconscious mind also helps your heartbeat and assists with various other physiological functions.

As described, the subconscious mind learns from the programs or information embedded in the first seven years of your life or by changing your state of mind when you’re older through theta state programming. The subconscious mind captures everything like snapshots of movies and images and the conscious mind is not really alert or aware during your early years. So the first way the subconscious is programmed is from ages 0-7 but also through habit and building new paradigms when you are older.  When there is a stimulus that enters your mind, your conscious mind will absorb it and then your subconscious mind will decide if this new information matches what is stored in your programs. Is there a connection and does it correlate with what you have learned in the past?   Another major difference is the conscious mind changes easily and frequently depending on the stimulus you see and think about during the day, while the subconscious mind is more hardwired into your brain. As mentioned, the subconscious controls your walking, heart rate, and various physiological functions so you don’t want to be changing that. Why would you want to relearn how to ride a bike, walk down the street or relearn how to drive to work every single day? That is why once you learn how to ride a bike at the age of five or six, you never have to learn it again as it is built into your subconscious programs. Here is how you can reprogram your subconscious mind later in life if you don’t like the person you have become or want to overcome an addiction.

Hypnotic behavior happens in “Theta” state. Humans are in this state primarily in the final two hours before you go to bed. You are also in this state 30 minutes after waking up. One final time is just after meditation. These are the best times to do the following, but these can be used throughout the day as well:

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a) Use affirmations like these:

I am a genius and use my mind, talents, gifts and abilities to produce value.

I am living a life of divine purpose and destiny.

I am emotionally, mentally and psychologically sound.

I am focused and driven to create the life I want and deserve.

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b) Focus on positive mental images in order to achieve a particular goal.

c) Meditation. This stills the mind and your brain becomes more receptive and a fertile ground for whatever you want to implant.

d) Positive Self-Talk. We spend more time talking to ourselves than any other person. Our self-talk dictates our mood, behaviour and decisions.  Your subconscious mind believes whatever you tell it.  It cannot differentiate between what is real or fake.

e) Be specific about what you want to change. For example, if you want to be free of addiction and have abundance into your life, then do not say, I don’t want this addiction or problem.  It does no good to say do not, don’t, can’t, or won’t because the subconscious can’t decipher negative connotations. It will interpret your words as I want this addiction and I want to be broke. It is important to consider the difference and how your words and perspective should be cultivated.

f) Find successful people and emulate what you like about them. Mentors are valuable in your development and when you practice their methods you can move forward more productively. This will save you time and effort because they have spent years and decades working through similar problems.

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g) Be humble and open to new ideas that generate a positive response. People gravitate towards humble and caring people. It also shows self-confidence.

2. Develop A Great Morning Routine

As we mentioned earlier, the morning is a great time as the sun is shining and you are still in theta state. You mind is open and ready to receive what you provide it.  Here is a brief review of my routine and then some tips to help you with your day.  My morning routine actually starts the night before as this is where I prepare my mind for the night and the forthcoming morning.  I spend the last 45 minutes before bed in a warm, epsom salt (magnesium based) bath with theta state music as this is where you can change your subconscious programs to what you desire while also preparing your brain for sleep. Once you step out of the bath, your body temperature drops and this increases the production of melatonin, which is your sleep hormone. It is the perfect ending to a long day.

I typically wake up between 5 and 5:30 a.m and read motivational quotes or scripture from the various books I have by my bedside or bathroom as I prepare for the day.  Expressing gratitude and love is imperative to put your mind in the proper state.  You have to be thankful for what you have and what is about to come. This will last for about 15 – 20 minutes and then I get ready for an extensive day as an entrepreneur.  This will take about 20 minutes as well at which time I have breakfast.  Being a functional medicine practitioner, I am aware of how important breakfast and the quality of food you consume is.  I will have a banana and apple with almond butter on them followed with a custom blend tea that has lemon drops and coconut paste in it.  The MCT (medium chain triglycerides) oil in coconut paste is excellent for your brain and hormones.  I will then consume some protein in the form of eggs (as I am not sensitive to them) or chicken. As the great quote goes; “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  Taking the time to build in proper routines will create repetition and then positive patterns that form the basis of your programs.

Here are a couple of valuable tips to make your morning more productive and build the systems so you can achieve what you desire:

  • Stimulating the nervous system by having a cold shower or going for a dip in a cold pool for one minute. When the body’s external temperature drops drastically and suddenly in this way, inflammation decreases and the brain experiences a rush of endorphins.  You can change your system by creating a rapid change in temperature.
  • Gratitude and deep breathing. When you slow down and take 10 minutes for yourself, you can tune in and listen for that quiet voice that tells you what your purpose is and how you should be setting up your day.  When you are grateful, you can’t be angry.  They are polar opposites and you can’t be both at the same time.  This time will allow the proper energy to flow into your body and this is a time when you can align your heart’s rhythm with your brain waves.  Having them in sync creates harmony within your body and allows you to align with your wishes and desires.

3. Leverage momentum and celebrate the victories 

What keeps people moving towards their goals and dreams is to break their day down into 15, 30 or 60 minute increments.  I work a great deal with depression and anxiety patients and I tell them to only focus on the next 15 minutes, get through that and then focus on the next 15 minutes. If you look at the day as one monumental task, you will never get through it or even start. I call this “chunking” as you are simply setting a plan and then getting through the required blocks.  Once you accomplish a small task, you start to feel good and then you have momentum on your side.  Momentum is a powerful thing in both directions.  It can help you achieve some incredible feats that you thought were impossible.

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The second point is that most of us don’t take time to celebrate our victories.  We are so busy running through life that we barely stop and enjoy our family or success.  Celebrating your victories makes you feel good and allows you to reflect on what you did well and how you can replicate that again. It also allows you to recharge and energize the body for the next project you wish to pursue.  When you do this, you start building patterns and pathways into your physiology which will then become embedded into your subconscious programs.  Once you have built positive, emotionally driven programs, you will naturally want to resort back to that feeling time and time again. It is a wonderful place to be. To actual make lasting change, you must feel it deep down on the inside of you.

Mike Daciuk

www.mikedaciuk.com

info@mikedaciuk.com

Interactive Body Balance on Itunes

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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