Ellie Peterson Speaking

3 Proven Ways to Enhance Your Mental Health: May Mental Health Month

10 Tools for Mental Health

Published May, 2016

Mental Health America offers ten proven tools for maintaining your mental health. Meditative Movements, a new exercise technique, incorporates three of them. Stay positive, get physically active and take care of your spirit. Healthy living means you are able to cope with everyday stressors and hassles with a calm confidence. By practicing this program, you can learn how to exercise your own personal power in a new way so you can be in control of your own health and well-being.

1. Stay positive by changing any unhealthy self-talk. My life started changing when I became aware of the impact that my thoughts were having on my current life situation. Over time, I came to understand that my repeated, destructive self-talk was causing an overall unhealthy state of being in me. Because I internally repeated, accepted, and identified with toxic thoughts like "I am useless, I am not good enough, and I am a failure", I was essentially destroying myself.

That is why each Meditative Movement uses a positive affirmation as a way to easily change any unhealthy self-talk. The affirmations begin with the word "I" so that you take ownership of the thoughts you think. Based on what you need for that day, a centering or energizing affirmation follows. As a twenty-three-year-old divorced mother of three small children, the "I Can Meditative Movement" helped me get through the day. It was a simple way for me to redirect my negative, harmful thinking.

To be mentally healthy you need to feel all of your emotions including anger, fear and frustration. There are releasing Meditative Movements to give you the inner space to process them. For example, the "I Release Frustration Meditative Movement" allows you to release that energy in a positive way.

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The Perfect Equation for a Life Lesson

Life Lesson: Learn Something New + Overcome Fear Equals Inner Satisfaction

Published March, 2016

When our garage roof needed repair my three children and I took on the task of reroofing it. Why you ask? You can bet so did my children. My response to my 15, 13 and 10-year-old kids was that their education costs took a big chunk of the budget. As a single parent, it was exciting to save money on something I thought we could do. How difficult could reroofing be? Lay one shingle down, then another.

As "Ellie-from-the-deli", making $10 an hour and teaching fourteen workout classes a week, I was doing all I could to meet our financial obligations. So I had my motivation. Reroofing the garage seemed like a simple enough task except for the fact that I was afraid of heights. No way would I have attempted my house roof because of the sharp incline plus I'd heard of people breaking body parts after falling.

This was the perfect equation for a life lesson: learn something new + overcome a fear = inner satisfaction.

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Are you your own best friend today?

Written by Paul Batz

Competitive golfers are encouraged to journal about their thoughts in the heat of the battle. The most common trap is negative self-talk. Sports psychologists say 'beating you up' is the job of mother nature and your opponent: your job is to be your own best friend, so you can stay positive and keep your best golf possible.

Can we agree sometimes it's hard to avoid beating ourselves up? We're all living in the same movie..it's easy for unpredictable plot twists to trigger the negative self-talk. That's why I'm so pleased to introduce you to my coach: Ellie Peterson.

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Thanksgiving Family Tradition Could Become a Corporate Tradition

Published December, 2015

The music rings in my ears, as a ring passes through my fingers. The Swedish Ring Game, a Thanksgiving family tradition, is better than the apple and pecan pies for dessert. When I was a little girl, my Mother would tie the turkey's legs together with 3 inches of string to keep the stuffing inside. After dinner, more string was needed for the Ring Game. My Dad would slowly count the seated adult family members; then quickly add up all the energetic moving youngsters. Gauging the amount of string needed for thirty-five people was an art.

Then my Dad would take his smooth wedding band off his finger and place it on the string. As he tied a knot, squeals of joy and excitement filled the air as the children anticipated the ensuing fun. Chairs were rearranged to flank the sofa and create a circle. The middle of the circle was free from any furniture.

Whichever child got to Dad first was now waiting in the center of the circle. As the family members gathered and sat down, they grabbed a hold of the string and placed it between both hands. The child in the middle, the guesser, sat down as well and closed her eyes. Then the singing and the passing of the ring would begin.

Here is a recent video of family playing and the Swedish and English versions of the RING GAME song.

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Thoughts Scare Me, Not Halloween

Halloween Witch

Published November, 2015

Halloween was one holiday I shunned as I was growing up. Trick or treating for candy was its only redemption. Because I found daily living scary enough, I did not enjoy seeing witches, skeletons, bats, dismemberment, zombies, blood and death. Hearing haunting noises exemplified the frightening, horrifying thoughts that were swirling in my head. Having my fears validated by the Halloween reminders accentuated my unease in life.

Today Halloween does not elicit these same responses. Although I still have disturbing thoughts, they no longer have the same power over me. Just last evening, I was having a quiet meal alone and thoughts continually bombarded me. It was as if I was helpless to defend myself. What kind of thoughts you may ask. Well, they ranged from you aren't capable of living a healthy life to life is too hard and it doesn't make sense anymore.

At any age when you have scary thoughts, what options do you have?

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Explore Meditation Practices

Ellie Meditating by River

Published October, 2015

The earliest written records of meditation, around 1500 BCE, come from the Hindu traditions. Today meditation is being practiced in our Western culture because of its physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits.

Mindfulness meditation is the practice of being in the present moment fully. The meditator's mind expands in an openness to embrace each unfolding moment. As the meditator deepens their practice, they gain more wisdom, truth, compassion, and interconnection with all things. These insights guide the meditator in living their daily life in ease and love.

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Recovery & Healing from Addiction

Recovery Road

Published September, 2015

September is Recovery Month. Minnesota Recovery Connection (MRC) states, "Recovery is a life-long journey." Can you join MRC vision of a world where recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs is understood, promoted, embraced, and enjoyed and where all who seek it have access to the support, care, and resources they need to achieve long-term recovery?

Let's all say yes. Whatever role you are playing relative to the world of afflicted addiction: the addicted one, parent, sibling, co-worker, friend, child of the addict, you can bring healing to everyone impacted.

May you dedicate this month to expanding your awareness of recovery. Remember, healing starts with yourself. As you explore, ah, ha moments show up so be ready to take more responsibility for your own health and well-being. This healing requires education, practice and patience. As you grow, you can learn how to let go of blame, resentments, anger and fears which are the obstacles to your own happiness and wholeness.

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