Archive for April, 2006

Posted on Apr 20th, 2006

No matter how enthusiastically we embrace the concept of simplifying our lives, things have a way of getting complicated.

Perfect example: My family sold nearly everything and moved to Mazatlan, Mexico to explore living with less stuff and more fun. And it’s been working beautifully. It’s amazing how much less there is to worry about when, well, you have less.

Here’s my favorite equation:
6 people (4.5 drivers) x 0 cars =
0 car insurance/maintenance/gas/worries
about being on the road

Now, that’s some beautiful math.

Still, despite the simplicity of our daily routine, we all find little irritants to magnify.

In fact, we laugh every day about the ridiculous things we find to stress about. It’s as though we NEED a bit of agitation–or we’re still weaning ourselves from the go-go habit–so we stir it up from the dumbest things. And precisely because we have so few of these little stressors, they are easy to see–and laugh about.

We joke about the fact that the thing my husband is most likely to get stressed about is the possibility that the door-to-door water bottle delivery guy–who comes on Tuesdays and Saturdays–MIGHT come a day late, necessitating a block-long walk to the corner tienda to pick up an extra bottle.

Bottled water is important, as our tap water is not drinkable here in Mexico. In fact, there are days when it comes out brown–which does wonders for a load of white laundry, let me tell you.

Now, it is true that one time the water bottle delivery guy missed a Tuesday delivery. And yes, we ALMOST had to to get water. ALMOST. But not quite. We had enough.

Whew. That was a close one.

Another classic example: when we run out of coffee. If Tom notices that we have no more grounds in the bag in our freezer that morning, he makes a loud mental note that goes something along the lines of: "Dang it! We have to remember to get coffee today."

Several times during the day, he’ll say, "Okay, after lunch, maybe we can go out and get coffee" or "Let’s pick up some coffee on the way to Spanish class."

The place where we buy coffee is El Faro, a corner-facing storefront at which you walk up and get your espresso or ground coffee at the counter.

It is located approximately 50 yards from our front gate.

Now, to be fair, Tom still has plenty of Real-World worries. He is, after all, the father of four teenage

daughters. He runs a company–virtually–with hundreds of customers/vendors. He has college bills to consider, kids scattered around the globe, and a fair number of extended family issues that arise.

But the daily stuff that used to fill our minds

and suck our energy? That’s gone. Or, if not

gone, then replaced by trivial things like worrying

about the water guy.

The value of simplicity is that it leads to clarity. It’s as though you’ve got a big soup pot on the stove. You can fill it will all kinds of things, concocting a thick stew. Or, you can simmer a broth and add a few carefully chosen ingredients.

Now, the stew is rich and hearty. It’s also thick and you’ve got to keep stirring it or else

there is going to be something burning

on the bottom. It’s so thick, in fact, that you

can’t really see everything at once–just whatever

you happen to stir up toward the top.

The broth, on the other hand, is clear. You can see right through it to every chunk of potato. It is simple to see that nothing is burning on the bottom. You don’t have to do a lot of stirring because it’s all right there, easy to watch.

The stew has its advantages, sure. It’s more complex and meatier. But it’s also very time-consuming, both in preparing the ingredients and in maintaining (stirring) it.

The broth is clear and simple. It’s very satisfying in a different way, because you can really appreciate the flavors of the few things you’ve added. It’s easy to make and takes no stirring.

So, the question is: are you cooking broth or stew?

If you’re looking for clarity, consider the value of going for the broth. It makes life so much easier.

We’re seeing our soup quite clearly these days, and we’re appreciating every tasty bite. When the "coffee" potato or the "water guy" potato shows up, at least we can see it for what it is and there’s no danger that it will stick to the bottom and ruin the flavor of the whole pot.

Consider simplifying your soup, and you’ll be creating room for clarity, comfort and comic relief–and plenty of time to remember to get coffee.

Maya Talisman Frost has taught thousands of people how to pay attention. Her playful, eyes-wide-open alternative to meditation has inspired too-busy people in over 100 countries. To read her free tips and tricks for practical awareness, visit

Posted on Apr 20th, 2006

Of all the four letter words available to us in the English language, "work" can be one of the most distasteful.

You may be reading this over your morning coffee, getting ready to start the work week. If you are one of the most fortunate among us, you get to do something for a living that you truly enjoy.

You have a career.

Or you may be in the group that does something for a living, just to put bread on the table.

You have a job.

Whether you have a job or a career, the vast majority of us spend the majority of our waking hours working.

Handling the many stresses of work can be an exhausting experience. One of the most difficult sfressors of work cart be dealing with professional relationships. Whether you are dealing with a boss, a co-worker or an employee, relationships at work can be a tremendous source of stress.

Let’s take a look at two different ways of handling stressful relationships in the workplace.

One of the most useful distinctions to make about a work relationship is the difference between dolphins and sharks. Let me explain through the use of a metaphor. When you go to the beach, it’s usually fairly safe to swim in the water with dolphins. Swimming with sharks, on the other hand, is a very dangerous activity. The trouble is, sometimes when you’re in the water it can be very difficult to tell the difference between the dolphins and the sharks.

In the workplace, dolphins are the people you can trust. Sharks are the people that, at best, you can’t trust and, at worst, you have to protect yourself against.

Dolphin traits

• Do what they say they will do.

• Can be confided in.

• Are team players.

• Their behavior matches their words.

• Take responsibility for mistakes.

• Can be trusted.

Shark traits

• Fail to follow through.

• Can’t be confided in.

• Are out for themselves.

• Their behavior doesn’t match their words.

• Blame others.

• Can’t be trusted.

The most dangerous kind of shark is the kind that behaves like a dolphin. If you will allow me to mix my animal metaphors, I think I can explain what I mean.

There is the story of the beaver that was getting ready to cross the river. Just as he was getting ready to cross, he came upon a scorpion who wanted a ride across. The beaver refused, saying the scorpion would sting him and he would die. The scorpion denied this and promised he would not harm the beaver, if only he would take him across the river. The beaver, being a good-natured and trusting chap, allowed the scorpion to crawl on his back and he swam across the river. Just as the beaver reached the shoreline, the scorpion stung him and got off. As the beaver lay dying, he asked the scorpion why he broke his promise. The scorpion replied,

"I’m a scorpion - that’s what I do."

And so it can be with some work relationships.

Visit The Article Guy for more leading edge tips and tools for writing articles that bring you prospects, publicity and profits. You can also subscirbe to our monthly Article Empire Tips Newsletter. You are also invited to visit my Express-Start Article Writing Program for more information on the next article writing tele-seminar.

Posted on Apr 19th, 2006

Stress arrives in numerous forms. Stress can show up in a more primitive “flight or fight” form which is normally temporary, and usually occurs when we are scared by something and the body gets ready to either take a hike or stay and fight. For instance, watching a scary movie might frighten us and make us jump in our seats. This, however, is temporary and in a couple of moments, the mind takes over and tells us that it is just a movie and there is nothing more to fear or do. Then there is the stress that we all know and think of when we hear the word ‘stress’. The stress of our everyday lives –be it trying to meet deadlines at work or at school, family responsibilities, or just the daily grind of ‘trying to get ahead’ in life that many of us face. This particular kind of stress may hang around for days, if not months and sometimes years!

This type of stress is a veiled killer, and may lead to bigger risks of numerous health conditions. Although our bodies were made to tolerate the temporary “flight or fight” reaction to stress—we were not created to endure stress over long periods of time, as it slowly degrades our health and vitality. Stress over a long period not only decays our ability to react to stress, but also our ability to perform our normal daily tasks. A perfect example that most of us are familiar with is the effect of stress on our immune systems. The more stress we take on, the easier it is for us to get sick and catch a cold or flu, as our immune system is depleted by the constant stress our body has undergone.

Now, this is where a group of herbs that are utilized throughout the world can help us—they have been called “adaptogens”, and are normally herbs that are taken to aid the body adapt to and endure stress. Dominant in this group of herbs are the ginsengs. There are two key types of ginseng, Asian ginseng and American ginseng. Herbalists, like myself, think of Asian ginseng as being warming or having a “yang” quality, while American ginseng is thought of as cooling, with a more “yin” quality.

Siberian Ginseng as an Effective Anti-Stressor

Eleuthero (officially known as “Siberian Ginseng”), in contrast, is generally thought of as neutral, so it can suit more body constitutions. As a matter of fact, the Soviet scientist who is a lead researcher in the attributes of Eleuthero, named Brekhman, has stated that Eleuthero has a wider range of activity compared to the two ginsengs. Eleuthero is becoming widely accepted today as an anti-stress agent, as it has been the subject of over 1,000 scientific studies! The studies are demonstrating that Eleuthero is able to support the body in times of both chronic and acute stress. It not only helps the functioning of the body, but also the mind, as is a mind/body method to helping us deal with stress.

Eleuthero has held a long traditional use in Chinese medicine as both a tonic and a preventative herb, as it was considered to increase longevity, improve health, the appetite and memory. As Eleuthero gathered little attention from Western scientists until fairly recently, most of the studies have been conducted by Soviet scientists; Soviet studies involving over 2,000 healthy subjects have deduced Eleuthero to have the ability to:

1. Promote human performance in times of difficult physical conditions

2. Boost work output and mental alertness

3. Improve the quality of this work output in both a mental and physical level

In addition, Eleuthero may help with easing a troubled mind and amplify our ability to get a good night’s sleep, improve our mood outlook, and sense of wellbeing. Eleuthero is recognized as having a gentle stimulating effect on people, and can augment overall energy levels, but it does not have the normal side effects of caffeine. Eleuthero increases energy without caffeine or ephedrine stimulants. Other areas for which Eleuthero has been established to be favorable in studies are in promoting cardiovascular health, immune function, longevity, athletic performance, respiratory health, normalizing blood sugar, promoting visual acuity and hearing, and normalizing cellular growth.

Many people equate the workplace with stress. Eleuthero has the capabilities to not only help us to adapt to that stress, but also to boost our performance, focus, and resistance to states that can keep us from work. The Soviets have been famous for their study of Eleuthero under different work conditions, such as workers at car factories, seamen, and telegraph operators. In the case of the telegraph operators—a job that needs not only focus, but a fast reflex-the operators worked for five minutes in intensity, and the number of errors they made was recorded. Whereas the control group showed about a 30% increase in error rate, the Eleuthero group showed a 30% decrease in errors.

Lastly, Eleuthero has either a calming or energizing effect on the person depending on the individual. It is known to give a gentle stimulating effect that is different than caffeine, and will not cause “shakiness” or the “jitters.” Eleuthero’s ability to swing in either direction depending on the needs of your body truly make it a first class adaptogen.

Judy Phillips is the founder of Jash Botanicals, a manufacturer of physicians grade herbal extracts and medicinals. A naturopath and herbalist with over 25 years of experience, her passion for producing herbal formulas of exceptional purity and strength grew from a dissatisfaction with mainstream herbal products. She is an author of various natural health topics, from detoxification to dietary modification, and works to assist the expansion of knowledge to individuals in search of natural treatments. offers a wide range of informative articles, including a monthly newsletter and a natural health blog.

Posted on Apr 19th, 2006

This one is for all those folks who are in what is called "the helping professions." Although I am sure I will leave someone out, and my apologies in advance, this list includes teachers, doctors, nurses, guidance counselors, therapists, psychologists speech pathologists, and emergency personnel.

This category simply includes any profession in which caring for others is part of the job.

Whiloe all jobss can be stressful at times, there is a special kind of stress that affects those in the helping professions. Simply stated, there is an emotional cost to caring. There is a certain weariness that all of us struggle with from time to time.

The feeling I’m talking about was once called burnout. In recent years, Charles Figley, director of the Psychosocial Stress Research and Development Program at Florida State University, has coined the term "compassion fatigue."

This concept seems to capture more clearly what people in the helping professions can sometimes experience.

According to Figley, "Compassion stress is the discomfort and preoccupation with clients or customers who are stricken by suffering or misfortune. And `compassion fatigue,’ a form of burnout, is the inability to function effectively as a result of being overwhelmed by compassion stress."

Or as one colleague aptly put it, "I’ve got the fatigue; I just don’t have the compassion right now."

Signs and symptoms of compassion fatigue

• Preoccupation with work. You just can’t stop thinking or talking about it.

• Sleep difficulties.

• Overwork or avoidance of work.

• A sense of futility about your work. "It doesn’t really matter." • Anxiety and depression.

• A feeling of weariness about what you do.

What you can do about it

Here’s a partial list, from Figley and myself, on what to do about this special kind of stress.

• Be gentle with yourself and take good care of yourself.

• Remind yourself about, and talk about, your successes. This can help provide the proper perspective.

• Re-evaluate your expectations and signs of success.

• Remind yourself why you chose this profession in the first place. Recall the passion and commitment it took to get where you are now.

• Set proper limits to separate home and work issues.

• Exercise regularly.

• Consider the possibility of getting out. As someone once said, "If it’s hurting you, it can’t possibly be helping someone else." If you can’t get past the hurt, it may be time to move on.

• Spend time with supportive people.

• As much as possible, vary and expand what you do.

I guess the bottom line is that while you are taking care of others, it’s crucial to remember to take care of yourself.

And I’ll close with this story: A man is walking on the beach one day and notices thousands of starfish being washed ashore. Against overwhelming odds, he begins throwing them back in. A stranger walks up and says, "Why are you doing this? You’ll never get all these back in the water; you’re wasting your time. What does it matter anyway?"

The man picks up another starfish, throws it back into the water and replies, "It matters to this one."

Visit The Article Guy for more leading edge tips and tools for writing articles that bring you prospects, publicity and profits. You can also subscirbe to our monthly Article Empire Tips Newsletter. You are also invited to visit my Express-Start Article Writing Program for more information on the next article writing tele-seminar.

Posted on Apr 18th, 2006

In this article I write about how we need to chill out, relax and to live a stress-free life. For many years I did not live life this way and found myself constantly worrying about what other people thought of me. This was not exactly a happy period in my life and after a lot of hard work and determination, I have managed to turn my life around. I now do not care at all what anyone else thinks of me.

I had always wanted to be popular, liked and part of the in crowd. I bent over backwards to achieve this and often did and went to places that I did not want to go to, just to please other people. You should not bow down to peer pressure but I certainly did. I am not really sure why I craved this attention but I seemed to have a need to be liked. I was constantly paranoid that people were talking behind my back and laughing at me.

I lived life like this for quite a long time and was basically being a fool as I was often depressed. I needed to get myself out of a rut and sought inspiration from books, newspapers and television.

I was now twenty-two years of age and had achieved very little in life up to this point. In one of the newspapers I read, there was an article in the letters page which had been sent in by a woman who was in her seventies. It was quite a funny letter and she wrote about how she loved being old. She mentioned that she can now stay in bed all day if she wants to and does not care what people think of her. If she is invited to a social occasion which she does not want to attend, she will say no without feeling any sense of guilt. She wrote that for the first time in her life she does not care at all what people think of her and lives life doing exactly what she wants to do. She ended by saying that she felt free for the first time in her life and that she had never been happier.

I thought about what she had written and realised that I also felt trapped. I did not want to wait until I was in my seventies to be set free, I wanted freedom now. I had to change my attitude to life and I decided to stop trying so hard. I no longer go to places I do not want to go to. If people call me boring I do not care, I reply, boring but happy. I now feel that I am stronger mentally than I ever have been and I am also happier than ever before.

I have looked at myself in the mirror (a bit weird) and have thought about how I live my life. I think I am a decent person, I try to be kind to everyone I meet, I do not cheat and I work very hard to achieve my goals. I actually for the first time in my life, quite like myself, therefore if other people choose not to, that is fine by me.

In conclusion life is to short to waste worrying about what other people think of you. Make the most of life, learn to like yourself and relax, worrying about something does not help anyway, it makes situations even worse.

Good luck in your quest for happiness and freedom.

Stephen Hill helps to promote a number of websites including:

stuttering treatment

phobias help

free poker tips

Posted on Apr 18th, 2006

Are you ready for some ways to refuse to feel miserable and feel good?

Let’s check out some key approaches to feeling good.

Have you ever noticed how some people seem to stay happy no matter what happens around them, good or bad? At the same time, have you noticed that some people rind a way to be unhappy, no matter what happens around them, good or bad?

How do these folks look at and experience the same world, and come up with completely different emotional responses?

One of the major differences between people who are consistently unhappy and those who are consistently happy is the matter of focus.

There are always enough negatives around us on which to focus. But at the same time, there are always enough positives on which to focus.

You can learn to change your focus

What I have noticed is that the people who stay consistently happy have changed their focus to thepositive in fife.

Am I saying that we should, never feel bad? Of course not.

What I am saying is this:

There is a difference between feeling appropriately and usefully angry, sad, scared, etc. and feeling inappropriately and destructively unhappy most of the time.

The people who have learned to change their focus have been able to ask themselves some very useful questions, such as:

How much of this do I want to feet?

How long do I want to fed this way?

What is good about this situation?

What can I learn from what is happening?

How can I prevent it from happening in the future?

How can I make this work for me?

Two other key questions seem to orient these people toward the positive in life.

What am I looking forward to in life? This is a key question for people who struggle with depression. It’s crucial to have something, or many things, to took forward to.

What am I grateful for in life? People who approach life with an attitude of gratitude seem t0 be consistently happy.

It you recognize ymrself in any of the ways of feeling miserable, you might want to try a little experiment. For just a day or two, try shifting your focus by asking yourself some of these questions.

Visit The Article Guy for more leading edge tips and tools for writing articles that bring you prospects, publicity and profits. You can also subscirbe to our monthly Article Empire Tips Newsletter. You are also invited to visit my Express-Start Article Writing Program for more information on the next article writing tele-seminar.

Posted on Apr 17th, 2006

Like fall leaves whose deep green begins to display spectacular kaleidoscopes of color, our lives are constantly in the process of change. Sometimes we plan change, other times our lives are unexpectedly on a new course. Where is change in your life? Have you been thrown a curve ball? Do you want a change? Maybe you are about to enter a new phase of your life? A new job? A new direction? A new relationship? Whatever the change is, transformations bring surprise, excitement, opportunity, and challenge to our lives. Wherever change is present in your life, these steps will help handle your fears and finish your course!

1) What Do You Want?

Before you embark on this metamorphosis, you need to know which destination you really want. Too often we wander aimlessly because we haven’t figured out where we want to go. How could you plan a vacation to Hawaii if you didn’t know you wanted to go there? Close your eyes for a minute and think about what you want. Where do you want to end up? Shut out the unwanted thoughts, the advice from others, and just listen to your heart. What is it telling you? Take two minutes and write down anything that comes to mind. Hopefully you have an answer now, but if not, that’s ok. Sometimes it can take longer to really figure out what it is we want.

2) Make Your Plan Real

Now that you know what you want, see it, write about it, and talk about it in every sense of the word! Visualize your actions, your environment, and your future. Surround yourself with models for success through pictures and friends. Then, write down for yourself exactly what it is that you want to accomplish. Finally, tell supportive individuals about your plans.

3) Prepare For a Journey

Change can more often be likened to a marathon, than a quick sprint. Mike came to me wanting to make a career shift. He spent a few months researching options, while also making a physical and mental shift for the change that was about occur. After he told his boss he was leaving, part of him wanted to change his mind. This is natural. He decided to stay with it and stick to his plan. A year after beginning this process, Mike made the change he always dreamed about! Did he think about quitting several times? Of course. Change is hard! But he was prepared for the long journey!

4) Change Your Belief System

Our own beliefs are one of the biggest hurdles between us and success. How many times have you thought to yourself? I’m not good enough. I can’t make money. I’m too afraid. I don’t think I can do it, etc…. These self beliefs hinder our progress. Now, write down your ultimate goal for yourself. Then, ask, do I believe I can do this? Do I have the resources to do it? Am I capable of doing it? What beliefs are limiting me from what I want to do? What is telling me I can do this? Now that you know where you need to change your beliefs, you may want to elicit some support to help you.

5) Find Tools to Help You

Changing our lives can be a long and difficult voyage made easier by finding tools to assist you. Here are a few ideas. Start a circle of support with group members who also want to make similar changes in their life. Find a good book, like Changing for Good, by James Prochaska. Or, you may discover using a coach is very helpful.

Now is the time to push fears aside, tell your limiting beliefs to quiet down, and begin focusing on your vision of your dream! By using these steps, your transformation will be one filled with vibrant colors and opportunity.

About Carrie:

Carrie Silver-Stock, MSW, LCSW is a personal and professional life coach.

Life coaching is designed to improve professional or personal lives, successfully make career transitions, and help you live your the life of your dreams. For more information, visit

Posted on Apr 17th, 2006

This article may be published if the resource box is left intact. It would be appreciated if you would notify me when you do at Total words 697.

An excellent way of being recognized as an expert in your field is to speak in public. Unfortunately most people are terrified at the thought of it. They may also be afraid of using improper grammar, or forgetting what they wanted to say.

Some speakers sound like they have something to say, and some sound like they have, to say something. I believe this is the key to overcoming your fear. If you focus on getting your message across it will take your mind off being in front of all those people. Write out what you want to say on a wordprocessor and check the grammar. Speak it out loud several times. Record it and listen to how you sound.

One of the difficulties of public speaking is learning how to use notes. What works for one may confuse others. Some speakers put the notes on cards they hold in their hand. This works best if you are going to roam with a wireless microphone. Others write it out. If you go over it enough, you can memorize most of it. The main purpose of notes is to remind you what comes next. Sometimes you can write down a word or more for each point you wish to make. Seeing the word will remind you of the rest of it. If you are going to be behind a podium stand, you can print it all out and put it in a notebook. Keep your finger on the paragraph you are on and move it to know where you are. If you forget what is next, you already have your finger on it.

A little fear can be channeled to emotion that will emphasize points. The trick is not to be paralyzed by fear. Take several deep breaths before you start. This will help to calm you down.

I overcame my fear in High School plays. The first time I got up in front of people; I couldn’t hear my knees knocking for my teeth chattering. I did, however, manage to say my lines. We presented the play on Friday night for rehearsal, and again on Saturday, but many came each night. After the first night I tried to reason why I was afraid. I thought, “Either I can do this or I can’t, and I know I can, so why all the butterflies?” I decided to go out there and do the best I could and not worry about it. I had such a ball that I wanted to be in more plays.

Ask yourself why you are afraid. The usual reason is just panic clouding your mind. Almost everyone can talk. That’s all you have to do in public speaking. If you are not a professional speaker, no one expects you to be a great orator. The main thing is to get your message across in a manner that can be understood. Pronounce your words slow enough and loud enough for everyone to understand them. Most people have trouble understanding someone speaking fast. Take your time. Talk in your normal tone and place emphasis on important things to get your point across. You can make gestures with your hands to emphasize points. Some speakers lean forward slightly for this purpose.

Speak into the microphone so that you can be heard distinctly. Speaking too close will pop your p’s and too far will result in not being heard. Different setups may require different distances from the mike. It is best to test it before anyone else arrives.

Lynn Bradley is the author of the book, “Climbing the Heavenly Stairs.” The requirements of salvation and the steps after conversion are given. Learn how to fit in with your congregation and live life to the full. Discover what Jesus said about accomplishing seemingly impossible things. Learn more by clicking on the following link.

Posted on Apr 16th, 2006

Stress is defined as an importance, significance, or emphasis that produces negative effects on the body and mind. In today’s world, with cell phones, beepers, computers, email, and other techie jargon, the stress of both work and family life has increased tenfold. It is important, even for someone who is not on a weight loss journey, to understand the effects of stress on dieting.

Let us start by understanding what science has to say about stress. According to modern day science, when the mind is pressured under stress, the body’s adrenal glands release stress hormones that speed up the body. During this release, your blood sugar levels and your heart rate increase in order to supply glucose (cool energy molecules) to your muscles in case they will be exerting themselves strenuously.

However, there is a problem with this naturally occurring phenomenon. These stress hormones are made by our body to supply our muscles with a jolt of energy, commonly known as adrenaline, in order to make us react to dangerous situations such as running away from a burglar. The fact is that such situations rarely arise, and the stress hormones begin to work against you. Since most modern day stresses stem from interpersonal conflicts rather than predatory attacks, the energy resources used by the stress hormones do more than just tire you out.

When you are experiencing any form of stress, stress hormones stimulate various parts of the body such as the immune system and the body’s energy reserves. However, as soon as the stressful event passes, these hormones can suppress your immune system in order to recharge the body’s “battery”. It is due to stress’ tendency to suppress the immune system that has led researches to conclude that stress lowers the body’s resistance to disease. Here are some of the common ailments that may result from constant stress:

* Allergies

* Depression

* Fatigue

* Headaches

* Herpes Recurrences

* High blood pressure

* High cholesterol

* General susceptiveness to any disease (weakened immune system)

As seen above, stress contributes greatly to ill health and disease.

To find out how stressed you are, click here to take a free stress test.

Get a free diet blog today! Also, view some of the best weight loss websites in our diet links section.

Posted on Apr 16th, 2006

Whether it’s induced by too little time, too much to do, family commitments or disagreements at work – stress is the buzzword of the decade. From headaches to ulcers to heart disease, everything can be blamed on this syndrome that has taken over today’s men, women and children. Try the following relievers the next time stress has got you down:

Take a day off. Use a vacation day for a day to yourself. Resist the temptation to pack it full with all the things you “should do” to catch up. Instead do something you really enjoy. Take a road trip and crank the music, read a good book or have a movie marathon.

Give up always being right. Of course it would be wonder-ful if everything always went out way – but that just isn’t possible. Have cooperation as your goal and let confron-tations slip away. Remember that always being right equals more chances for a fight. Let go of high expecta-tions and encourage give and take in all aspects of your life.

Give up the guilt. Guilt is a learned emotion. After parents, teachers and adults hound us with “shoulds” and “coulds,” we learn to feel guilty and hold many of our mishaps against ourselves. While some guilt is necessary to keep a conscience, most of us carry around far more than our share. Learn to let go of the guilt, it doesn’t of-fer any benefit and hurts no one but yourself.

If you find you cannot let go of the guilt, then indulge in it. Take twenty minutes and think of everything you want to feel guilty about. Get wild with it. Make everything your fault. Then take a deep breath and let it go. After giving in to the guilt, work on letting go.

Ask for help. When there is too much to do, call a friend and ask for help. Create a help list before you need it. Ask friends or relatives if you can call on them should you find yourself in a bind.

Squeeze ten minutes out of your sleep time to awake each morning and lay quietly. Think about the day ahead or day-dream a little as you collect your thoughts.

Breathe. One of the quickest combatants for warding off stress is a few deep breaths. Place one hand on your stomach and focus on breathing from your stomach instead of your chest. Close your eyes and inhale for the count of ten. Then, exhale for the count of ten. Repeat five to ten times for a quick escape from stress.

Learning to successfully deal with emotions from our past, as well as dealing with new emotions arising from current situations, is key to living a balanced life. Invest time into nurturing your family’s base asset – you.

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