Think Positive – Learn to achieve your goals

I often speak to people who say “I can’t run to save my life”.

Well I’ve got news for you sweetheart, if you were being chased by a wilder-beast and running was actually going to save you, you’d be sprinting for the hills!

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Does negative thinking limit our ability to achieve new goals? Barbara Fredrickson certainly thinks so.

Fredrickson is a a positive psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina, who recently published a landmark paper on the impact of positive thinking on achieving your goals. She studies how positive thinking affects your work, your health, and your life and if her paper is anything to go by, thinking positive can make all the difference.

Thinking Negative is Limiting

Have you ever thought that maybe you are afraid to fail? Negative emotions and thoughts are based around fear. When you feel afraid of trying something new, it’s generally because you are scared about the outcome. Not knowing what can happen makes us uncertain and because of our fear of failing (and what that might mean long term), we limit our opportunities. When you say “I can’t do that” you cement the negative thinking in your mind.

Positive Thinking Gives You Opportunities

Happy thoughts don’t vanish as soon as you might think. Actively thinking positive opens you up to try more things. When you think positive you physically relax and you become less concerned about the outcome of a situation. In fact thinking positive is a great way to stay ‘in the now’. No one knows what the future will be bring, so instead of being afraid, focus on enjoying right now. Thinking positive about a new goal can give you confidence and help you relax.

See Your Glass Half Full

See Your Glass Half Full

How Can You Turn Negative Into Positive?

It can be hard to stop the negative thoughts and focus on the positive, especially if you’ve made a habit of negative thinking! The easiest way to turn your thoughts around is by doing the following things.

1) Be aware of your thoughts – it’s your brain, you get to decide how much energy you spend thinking positively or negatively. It might seem hard at first, but actively addressing negative thoughts and reshaping them into a more positive attitude can help change those bad habits. It takes time to get rid of a habit, but just like quitting smoking, you’ll be healthier in the long run!

2) Surround yourself with people who enjoy life – they say we are a sum of the 5 people we spend the most time with. Make sure those people inspire you to live a happier life and achieve the things that make you feel positive. Hanging around with negative Nancy’s all the time is draining and long term their negative thinking will hold you back.

3) Meditate – Fredrickson‘s research shows a clear correlation between people who meditate and positive thinking. Meditation also has the added bonus of relaxing you, decreasing stress and helping you be more mindful.

4) Play and Create –  Spend some time each week in an activity that brings you joy, whether it’s painting, drawing, running, surfing or playing on a swing set. Setting time apart to have fun will keep you feeling happier and keep those positive thoughts flowing.

5) Be kind to yourself – we are often our own worst enemy. It’s hard enough to deal with negativity from the outside world when we are filling our own minds with it every day. Remember, you are the first person to hear your thoughts, thoughts become words and words become actions. So think as you wish to be. 🙂

6) Embrace the bad days – everyone has bad days when it gets pretty tough to deal with negative thoughts. Give yourself the time you need to wallow, but remember, negative thinking is self indulgent thinking. Give yourself a time limit to get all your grumbling out and then wake up the next day ready to start afresh.

Whatever your goal, learning to run, draw or play the guitar, positive thinking will help you get there. Thanks to people like Fredrickson we now know that it does make a difference, so smile and give, whatever you’ve been afraid of, a go!

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India Reinartz – Duck Dive Diva

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As a surfer and yoga instructor, India Rineartz is passionate about health and wellness. She’s going to be joining us on Ola Niña to share her tips on how we can live, eat and surf better.

I met India in Playa Gigante, Nicaragua where she lives and works as a yoga instructor. As we discuss her home, she smiles:

“Playa Gigante is a gorgeous little fishing village, surrounded by jungle and close to lots of waves. It’s a third world country and there are always issues that come with that, but I love it here.”

It is here, in this beautiful setting, that India and her friend Carly started their wellness center, Papaya Wellness, 2 years ago.  As well as running regular yoga classes and yoga/surf retreats, the girls spend time working with the local community.

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“We educate the local women on health and exercise. We run fitness and yoga classes weekly, which are free of cost. We run health workshops a few times a year to educate the village women about balanced diets using healthy local produce”.

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India believes that education is the best way for local women and their children to maintain good health in years to come.

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“What we learn mentally and physically manifests in our lives and our health. We use this to help improve their lives and the lives of their families.”

After living in Nicaragua for 5 years, India has seen a lot of change.

“We’re living here. It’s a mutual thing, we are friends with the locals, we give to each other it’s the only way to make growth sustainable here and give local women more opportunities.”

When she isn’t teaching yoga or motivating the local ladies in a cross fit class, India is surfing.

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“My favorite break here is Colorado’s (a chunky beach break) because it’s constantly challenging me. It’s always pitching me over the falls no matter how confident I am. It’s very humbling”.

Despite being known as one of Playa Gigante’s best female surfers, India didn’t grow up surfing. She was born in Jamaica and later moved with her parents to Canada, where she grew up and went to school. She caught her first wave at the age of 15.

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“It was at Chesterman’s beach out in Tofino, on the West Coast of British Colombia. I was wearing a 5ml wetsuit. My uncle lent me his old school 10ft bomby board (it was 80’s splash retro colored). It was built for Waikiki outer surf breaks. I would haul that board around with me on local buses, in taxis, anywhere I could get them to let me.”

“The first time I paddled out it felt natural, it was exciting and challenging and I was hooked straight away. I stood up and I was hooked.”

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“At first I surfed by myself, my parents would take me down and wait on the beach for me. Then I was taught by this total babe, who was 10 years older than me, his name was Adam and I had a crazy crush on him.”

“After that, I would surf the south island, close to Victoria every weekend, with some for my best girl friends. We had little surfer girl posse, we called ourselves the Blue Crushing It Team. [Laughs]”.

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Part of the reason India now teaches yoga is because she feels that surfing and yoga create a similar peace of mind.

“I got into yoga, not necessarily to teach, but to get away and learn about myself, my body and my journey. I found it helps me reflect, it’s a different experience to surfing but ultimately it’s same energy. It’s really positive and after I finish my practice I feel strong, focused and grounded. “

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It’s also the reason she now runs her own wellness center.

“Because I love what I do, I put my energy into teaching people. The focus yoga and surfing give me, helps me move forward with my goal of bringing people a transformative experience at Papaya Wellness.”

When it comes to how she feels right now, India is a bundle of positivity. Her love of surfing, yoga and health have given her focus to keep creating positive change in rural Nicaragua through the things she loves.

“I feel charged, able, empowered and motivated as a single woman creating a sustainable business here. I want local women to be a part of the process. It feels right and it feels real. I feel alive because I know I’m creating change for the better.”

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Apart from being a ripping surfer and a yoga goddess, India is just generally an enjoyable person to be around. We hope you enjoy her input into Ola Niña and that you can one day make it to Nicaragua to surf with her and the other women at Playa Gigante!

Swim with Turtles in Tullum, Mexico

There’s many cool things to do in Mexico, other than drinking Margaritas and lounging on the beach. If you are heading down south and looking for adventure, skip Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Instead, park your booty in Tullum. Although still touristy in high season, Tullum has a relaxed vibe and maintains some authentic Mexican charm (unlike Cancun and Playa).

 Tullum is the closest town to Akumal beach, where you can swim with one of these cute critters for free!Image

Swimming with Turtles in Akumal
There are many, many turtles chilling out in Akumal beach and if you decide to go, it will take your breath away. During breeding season (April-May) the bigger turtles come to feed in the area and are simply enormous!

Akumal is a small beach, about 10 kilometers away from Tullum center. Get there early to avoid the crowd and swim within the designated zones (marked by bouys). It’s quite touristy, so save your dinero and hire snorkelling gear in town (shouldn’t cost you more that $70 pesos for the day).

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Getting There
Catch a collectivo bus (local bus) from out the front of the bus station. It will cost you $20 pesos each way and will give you a good opportunity to practice your spanish! When you get off at the bus stop, it’s a 5 minute walk down the road towards the beach. Otherwise,  you can catch a cab $100 pesos one way.

Things to Remember
It is rumoured that this area is to be turned into a marine park as it is a hot-spot for turtles during breeding season. This is bad news for thrifty travellers who don’t want to pay to swim with the marine life, but excellent news for the turtles and the locals. The large influx of tourists has meant that the environment is slowly suffering from the impact.

If you go, be friendly to our flippered buddies. When swimming, it is recommend that you keep a 2 metre distance from the turtles and don’t chase or touch them.

If you go to see them, keep the turtles happy and healthy, you will have an incredible time!

NB- $70 pesos = $7 U.S or $5 AUS