Managing Stress & Making It Work

Seven No-Cost Stress Busters That Are Worth Your Time

It is saddening that many feel the need to trip out on drugs in order to “cope” with the stress of their day. One single mom defended that spending her last $10 on her fix was important to give her a break from the stress of not being able to make ends meet, to feed her children and take care of them.

Oh, dear, perhaps your choices are leading to your inability to feed your children—$10 can buy a loaf of bead and a jar of peanut butter, and a jug of milk. That’s many meals …

The need to rejuvenate is fully understood. And supported. However, when you look at your options and your resources, there are choices that would serve you better. Spend the money on food to feed your self and your family. And spend some time to refresh your soul. Here are seven of the many ways one can “escape” with a little time, and no money at all.

MOVE. Get in motion. Go for a walk. Dance in your room. Stretch or strike a yoga pose. March in place. Do jumping jacks! This will elevate your mood and help your health. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. They interact with receptors in your brain to reduce your perception of pain. This is a key benefit of regular physical activity. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body. That feeling is often accompanied by a bright outlook on life. Exercise also leads to improved self-esteem.

MIX IT UP. Get a new perspective. Rearrange your habits. Take a different route on errands. Straighten your closet or your room. Step back and ponder the patterns of your life—the daily routines that shape your existence. How could you tweak your routine to make your day more pleasant? A simple adjustment in a daily regimen can make a huge difference in your happiness.

MASTURBATE. Give yourself a hand. Love you. Escape in a moment of personal pleasure. When just thinking about sex, the brain releases dopamine, giving us a sense of pleasure. As we engage in sexual activity, endorphins are released, providing a sense of well-being. Learn to love yourself and you will be more open to love from others.

MAKE SOMETHING. Create a poem. Hum a new tune. Draw a picture of a daydream. Enjoy the journey as you manifest anew. Activities that put you into the “zone” slow your brain waves and stop the constant mind chatter. Whether it is cooking, painting, writing, sewing, gardening, photography, or working with clay, do something imaginative. Let it inspire you and lift your mood.

MEDITATE. Stop. Breathe. Ponder. Pray. And find a supportive mantra to repeat so you have this peace any time of the day. You can repeat a simple, neutral sound such as AUM for several minutes—or use a word or phrase with meaning to you (this can have stronger psychological impact). Close your eyes. Inhale through your nose. Exhale through your mouth. Ponder or say your word or phrase silently as you breathe out. When stray thoughts come by, gently release them. Continue focus on your mantra. Do this exercise for 10 to 15 minutes each day. Mindful self-compassion can relieve anxiety under conditions of chronic psychological pressure.

MELT DOWN. Cry. It can be therapeutic. It is one of the most cleansing experiences you can experience. Deep sobs open your chest and your diaphragm. This releases bound-up energy and helps to free your heart of muscular tension. A good cry will enhance oxygen delivery to your cells. And, crying stimulates release of neuro-chemicals in the brain that promote relaxation. Tears are also considered to be healing—evidence suggest that the nerve growth factor in tears has medicinal functions. In any case, a good cry feels like relief.

MEET UP. Get together with a friend. Swap stories. Laugh. Cry. Communicate your way to a brighter mood through connection. When we feel connected to another, we feel more calm. When a friend expresses support, sympathy, and compassion for your difficult situation, it reduces anxiety. This act of kindness goes a long way to relieve tension and provide a sense of comfort.

There are many more possibilities. Make time for yourself every day. Take a break from the info-stream and the constant press of info. Step back and look at the opportunities to serve your highest and best. Please share how you cope, productively, in times of stress.

 

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A Moving Experience

tableware-555203_960_720The commitment of moving in with your significant other is fun—like breakfast in bed, housewarming parties, or decorating together. It’s a big step for your relationship; also for your stuff. Sort out things beforehand for a smooth move.

First, build a strong foundation for your finances. Financial aspects of your new life together can affect everything from rent or mortgage payments to grocery expenses. Create a plan to manage your debt, expenses, and credit. Then outline living arrangements such as chores. Take these steps to get a handle on matters and smooth out details ahead of time, so you’ll avoid disagreements and hard feelings later.

BUDGET Disclose your gross income and your liabilities, and what you afford for household expenses. Then outline the budget for your combined monthly living expenses. Include these items.

  • Rent (or down payment and mortgage)
  • Utilities- Gas, Electric, Water, Cable, Network
  • Household Insurance
  • Food and Supplies
  • Miscellany – including saving for repair, lean times*
  • Entertainment – hosting a party, decorating

Also figure out when your monthly bills are due to avoid late payments. Track your spending as a couple (apps and online programs can link to your bank and savings accounts, as well as sync yours and your partner’s app accounts for these). Stay aligned with your financial commitments and goals.

ACCOUNT Open a joint checking account, and an attached joint savings account. Savings* is where you keep a minimum of $1000 and aim to have enough money to cover 3-6 months of expenses should an emergency strike. Commit to ante up for share of bills on a certain date monthly or weekly (if one of you brings home a significantly larger paycheck than the other, you might choose to divvy up the responsibility differently).

Maintain separate accounts for personal savings, investments, clothing, cellphone, medical, treating one another, dates, and etc.

CHORES Outline chores. Split them. Be flexible.

ROLES Define roles will each of you play in running the household. If you rent an apartment, both partners should put their names on the lease. If one of you is renting and the other is the owner, clarify responsibilities of landlord and tenant.

STUFF Living together likely means you won’t be able to keep all the stuff you both have so take time together to choose what stays and what goes. Invest in a storage space for personal items that don’t fit in but you desire keeping.
Rearrange your space together.

  • Keep track of furniture and household goods ownership for.
  • For major purchases that are separate, keep them documented.
  • Make joint purchases in both names.

Remain unattached to most things. Focus on what is most essential. Be respectful of one another.

COMMUNICATE Consider how you will manage disagreements. Remain objective when discussing perspectives about spending and saving and sharing. You don’t want to resent your partner because you ended up paying for something you didn’t think was fair. Check in with one another always. Express appreciation to one another for everything.

AGREEMENT  The above outlines your agreement and reflects validation of the importance of your relationship by your willingness to put in writing your rights, responsibilities and obligations to that relationship, and to one another. Be firm and flexible as you commit to the well-being of your partner and your relationship.

Summarize how much each partner will pay for rent, who will cover what household duties, when bills are due, and other space-sharing arrangements. Revisit this agreement whenever necessary, such as when one partner’s income level changes. Revise it as you require.

Merging household and finances can be stressful. With planning and open communication, you can smooth the merger. Should moving in together expand to marriage or children, you may require taking budgeting to another level. Evaluate and re-evaluate finances as a couple under one roof as a practice that will ensure staying aligned.

Designate responsibilities to make sure that one person isn’t taking on more housework than the other. Then move on to the fun of setting up your household. Manage expectations and set up ground rules before sets you up for a smooth move.

Making Relationships Work

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. How do we honor the bonds that bind? John Gottman PhD has spent his lifetime studying marriage.  Based on his findings, he has culled seven essential keys to the success of a harmonious and long-lasting relationship.  Here are the principles espoused from:  Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.

Maintain a love map. Love is in the details. Get familiar with those details. In your memory, create a detailed “love map” of relevant information about your significant other. A favorite movie, a current stress, a life dream. And share yours with them.

Foster fondness and admiration. Choose to see the best in your significant other. Embrace shortcomings with compassion. Show respect for each other. Hold a general positive view of each other.

Turn toward instead of away from one another. Relationships thrive in the day-to-day little things. Let your significant other know you value them. Show it regularly during the daily grind life. Encourage one another. Take time to listen and respond—even if it means postponing an important discussion till you can give it your attention.

Accept influence. Consider your significant other’s perspective and feelings. Make decisions together. Find the common ground. Let your partner influence you and share your influence, too. Honor and respect each other in the relationship.

Solve solvable conflicts. There are two types of problems: conflicts that can be resolved and perpetual problems that can’t. Determine which ones are which. Here are five steps for resolving conflict:

  • Start the conversation without criticism or contempt.
  • Make and receive repair attempts—actions or statements that reduce tension.
  • Soothe yourself and then your significant other. Admit when you are overwhelmed and take a 20-minute break (the time it takes for your body to calm down). When you’re calmed, offer soothing to your significant other. Ask each other what’s most comforting and do that.
  • Compromise. In conflict, always take your partner’s thoughts and feelings into consideration. Find common ground. List non-negotiable points. List what you can accept. Share these with each other. Find agreements, common goals, and feelings.
  • Be tolerant of each other’s faults. Compromise is possible when you accept your partner.

Cope with conflicts you can’t resolve. Manage perpetual problems by moving from gridlock to dialogue. Usually gridlock is due to unfulfilled dreams. It is a sign that life dreams aren’t being respected by each other. Realize  the importance of assisting each other in manifesting dreams. Talk through issues to build understanding.

Create shared meaning. Develop a culture with shared rituals. Appreciate your roles. Outline goals that align direction and vision. Understand what it means to be a part of the relationship.

Wow.  Think about it, this could also apply to friendships, parent-child relationships, employee relations, and etc…  some really helpful concepts.

10 Blessings You Can Give Your Self

Love Your SelfHere are Ten Blessings you can give your self to enjoy love and prosperity in your life. This from a mediation by Moira Shepard.

1. Love Your Body. Show your body kindness and appreciation to create radiant health and well being. You will feel well in your skin. Be at peace in your body. Shower your body with appreciation every day. Understand that your body deserves … Imagine light emanating form every cell of your body. Notice how perfect your body is. Clasp together your hands and give thanks for the body you have.

2. Use your mind mindfully. You become what you think about. If you want love, think kind thoughts. if you want wealth, think prosperity. The difference between the thoughts that help vs the thoughts that harm:  invite an inspiring thought to your conscious mind. Hold it. See it. You are mindfully using your mind. You can be more effectively motivated by joyful thoughts … understand and illuminate the power of your mind …

3. Honor Your Heart. Give yourself permission to feel your feelings. You have every right to feel how you feel right now. You don’t need to hold on to the feeling. Acknowlege it: I am feeling this way right now. Ask yourself: Could I let go of this feeling? Would I let go of it? When? Notice how letting go makes room for joyful feelings to enter.

4. Safely Speak Your Truth. Tell others what you want. Others will respect your feelings when you voice them in a calm way. It is safe. You are worthy. Say what you feel and what you want in a way that is respectful to your self and to others. Realize that it is safe to be you. It’s safe to say what you feel. It’s safe to ask what you want.

5. Do Away With Difficulties. Reduce or remove your problems. Know who you are and you can recognize habits that are problematic so you can drop them before an obstacle builds. Breathe in violet light at the base of your brain. Then at the back of your heart. Finally breath in violet light at the base of your spine. Do away with difficulties.

6. Embrace the Positive. Find and hold on to positive thoughts. Let go of the addiction to pain and negativity. Feel safe. Know infinite love in every cell of your being. Realize that it is safe to feel love, rich, peaceful. Imagine a radiant rainbow lighting up your neurology and every cell in your body.

7. Recognize Your Worthiness. It is as much a part of you as your breath. You are good enough. You are worthy of abundance. Understand and illuminate your worthiness from the highest truth—feel safe in recognizing your worth right now. Imagine violet light illuminating every cell in your body. You are worthy. You have had it all the time.

8. Follow Your Calling. Answer the call of your soul. Your life purpose. Follow your calling and realize the flowering of your life. It benefits you, your loved ones and others. Imagine a golden trumpet playing an irresistible music that penetrates your entire being. Let yourself dance to it. Follow your calling.

9. Nurture Your Self. Beyond the bubble bath, encourage, support and act upon your dreams. Feed, clothe and nurture your body. Give your heart kindness. Let your spirit express creatively. Take care of yourself and the universe will take care of you. The universe follows  your lead. Nurturing your self makes  you more loving, motivated, alive … Imagine a cloud sparkling light with glints of pink and blue, descending to envelop you in a warm embrace.

10. Decide to Have Love and Money. Stand right here right now in the presences of god as the anointed author of your life. You have full authority, permission to have it all right now. Consciously choose to have wealth and love. It is okay with god. You are worthy and ready. Recognize that you are still you. Align with the universe. You have lasting love and permanent prosperity. See it right in front of you. Pick it up. Hold it over your head and let it fill you. Lasting love. Pour it over you and let it drip inside you. Permanent Prosperity. Pick it up and place it over your head. Let it shimmer through the souls of your feet, anchor into the earth.

Enjoy … do a happy dance. Move your body to reset this transformation.

via Moira Shepard moira241.audioacrobat.com/download/Top10WaysToBeLoveAndMoneyMagnet.mp3

 

Life Eternal …

body blessings

body blessings

The human body can do amazing things. It is fueled by thoughts, actions, and by food. To help live the longest life possible, nurture your self mindfully. Here are three key ingredients to a healthy lasting life.

EAT:

Drink warm water with lemon upon waking to awaken, refresh and prepare the digestive system. Consider the daily calorie intake, reduce it by a quarter (for instance, a 2000 calorie demand would be fed with 1500 calories). A lean body is less taxing to its organs.

Divide caloric intake among three meals and a snack or two so that you are nibbling throughout the day. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best between-meal snacks. Lean meats and fish plus legumes and nuts are great sources of protein and essential fats. Fill up on leafy greens and sprouted grains. Indulge in organic produce whenever possible. Chew your food well—taste the fullness of every flavor before you swallow.

Sip water constantly. Infuse it with essential oil (lemon, lavender, orange) or tea to enjoy the pleasure of flavors. Enjoy an occasional sweet treat (preferably made with honey or natural sugar). Fuel this way and you will feel enlightened in many ways.

MOVE:

We are meant to move. To flex the muscles of our being in order to remain strong and alert. Walk. Run. Enjoy a sport. Be sure to balance cardiovascular conditioning, strengthening and stretching.

Yoga is a wonderful option and can help balance body and spirit.

REST:

Pause to reflect. Sit quietly and ponder. Take regular breaks from your work to let your mind float free of thoughts so it may open to enlightenment. Work toward getting adequate sleep each evening. Give your body the time it needs to repair and dream.

Treating your body with mindful moments will help you thwart destructive effects of stress and environment. And, in our dreams, we often work out the answers to the most pressing questions of the day.

Do enjoy a long and wonder filled life. Savor the eternity in each moment. Be grateful for the time you have within your body, here on Earth.

Girls Night Out

Gathering with girlfriends is a cornucopia of goodness.  Here are a couple gems from the treasure of last night’s soiree.

  • Where we met: Figlio’s.
  • What we drank: Michael David Chardonnay and Hahn Pinot Noir.
  • What we ate: Polenta Fries and Calamari followed by seafood dinner plates.
  • How we solved the world’s woes: Collaborative conversation. And hugs.

The topics we covered were as diverse as the days we each have experienced between our memory making moments when we cross paths. Having forged our friendships in college, celebrated careerImages and weddings and children and adventures, we raise our glasses with gratitude for the here and now. And salt.

Two salts we praised for flavor and health benefits were Celtic Coarse Light Gray Sea Salt and Himalayan Pink Sea Salt to add minerals, texture and a pinch of panache to the food we enjoy. Salt Works offers a nice guide to artisan salts and offers a selection online. Or check out the food section at T J Maxx for a deal that makes trying something new so much easier.

Onward, we tackled the almighty question of “what do I want to be when I grow up.” For our selves. For our children. For those we advise. A wonderful resource employed by a few became the curio for us all. Aptitude testing is a great adventure that has helped shaped the career paths for our children (and it is never to late to give it a go). And we enjoy the conversation about our strengths, weakness, hopes and dreams.

So the evening wraps up with hugs and promises to keep in touch until we gather again. Girl friends. Women who are changing the world.

 

The Weighty Issues

Get active and count calories (and make sure your calories count). This is the formula for keeping a fit figure. At every age there are variables to accommodate. For instance, after one is fully developed, calorie needs diminish.  Of course, if pregnant or nursing, calorie needs increase. Hormone changes affect diet needs. At menopause, usually in one’s early 50’s, metabolism takes its greatest hit and muscle loss accelerates.

Keep moving through the aches and pains (as okay with your health provider). Being active may even reduce joint and muscle pain that comes with aging.

Stretching is an important aspect of your regimen at every age. Try it between “sets” when strength training, and notice how your body responds with new vigor.

The “formula” in general includes a varied form of cardio on a daily basis. Variation will help prevent injuries from overuse. It will also keep things interesting. Stick with strength training at least three times a week. If you do more, be sure to vary muscle groups to allow for recovery. And, stretch regularly.

Fold this in to your daily routine and enjoy the energy that comes with fitness. Additional benefits are delivered such as mood enhancement and an increased threshold for pain that comes with endorphins released during a workout. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter produced in the brain during and after exercise, can provide a natural high. Mind, spirit and flesh benefit.

Eat to fuel your body (and do so in a pleasurable way). Fresh foods are best. Searching out seasonal produce helps keep things interesting. And ensure adequate protein. Fish, fowl, and meat can replenish amino acids which are the building blocks of muscle. Beans, nuts, eggs and dairy are also good sources of protein. Again, vary your intake to give yourself a full range of flavors plus nutrients. Make sure every day is filled with FWB’s – Foods With Benefits. Supplement only as needed.

When reducing, trim calories by increasing vegetables proportionate to protein and starches. For support, consider an app such as MyFitnessPal or MyNetDiary.

Make a habit of healthy eating and keeping active as soon as you can. And carry it with you always. It will help you feel good and be well in your skin.

Journaling Your Journey

Through time, we have found the process of documenting our days, our dreams, our hopes, our fears to be calling us. There is a reason. Journaling helps us explore life, live more fully, nurture a deeper understanding.

Whether jotting notes on a napkin and tucking in to your pocketbook or penning devotedly each day in a leather bound book, the process of writing down thoughts helps give clarity. Scribbling an idea helps give it shape.  Recording a dream gives it meaning. Listing desires grows understanding. Noting a goal gives it strength.

There are many ways to begin the process. Begin, though, one must! After 21 days, you will have formed a habit of journaling.

For one year, keep a diary of the day to day events in your life. See how interesting every moment is.

If you wish for guidance, consider a self-exploration journaling experience through One Whole Health. Join the online journaling community and enjoy the weekly topics to help you explore your life.

Another enchanting thought-starter can be found at My Inner World. Here, you can explore a virtual world and glean insights about your self, then track it via your journal.

Whatever path you choose, begin the process. Let the pages of possibilities unfold before you. Enjoy journaling the journey.

7 Rules for a Millionaire Mindset

Found this article to be of interest. First the mindset, then the million. Go get ’em!

“Successful people instinctively follow their gut feelings. Unsuccessful people have let others convince them that they cannot trust themselves.”

1) Know what you want. You must have a targeted goal. Clear and conceivable. One that you could tell someone, and they would be able to follow a route to it.

2) Focus on what you want. Imagine what your life will be like to have had your dream. You keep doing this until you have had it and seen it in so much detail that it becomes something that is now likely to happen. Then  focus on possible routes for getting there. Provide your mind with stepping stones – lots of them – at each step, starting from where you are now.

3) Be grateful for achieving your dream. Trust your feelings of completion and feel thankful for living your dream (as if it is already realized).

4) Wait to be compelled to Act. All creation is done in your mind first. Action steps are about bringing into reality that which you have already have in your mind. Once the dream has been fully designed so that you can see it in your life in every detail then it is time to bring it into reality. And you will know this because the feeling will magically propel you forward.

5) Focus on the step you are on.  You must focus on what you are doing 100% and do it to the very best of your ability. Love where you are now in your life.

6) Listen to your Hunches. These are messages from your subconscious, giving you answers and ideas for progress.

7) Go deeper into your design. Between stages and on your journey, relax during rest stops and daydream further into your vision. Experience your design in greater detail.

These are the basic steps to cultivating and creating the millionaire mindset — the mindset where you just know you will do it.

via How To Become Rich.