Archive for April, 2006

Posted on Apr 5th, 2006

For last few decades, every author or speaker on management and self-help has said something about time management. Allocate time, analyze the work pattern, list out the priorities and assign time limits. After all time is life, and one must try to get maximum out of time.

What every one is advising is to streamline the life like a machine. Decide to achieve goals, allocate time, and try to achieve the best in that much time. What about life and living? If these people were to advise the lions in Africa, they would have prepared a time chart for hunting, relaxing, eating sleeping and so on. The lion would have got bored and run away from that consultant. The lion enjoys life on his own terms. He does what gives him joy and forgets the rest. This desire to get best out of time is taking a big toll on very young and old alike around the world. In India, parents give very little free time to a child to be him/her self. It is either school, or classes or homework or a hobby teacher. Everything is structured for a young child. He/she must live life like that and forget the joy of exploring life and enjoying it. Sometimes I wonder that if a time management is appointed to analyze the relaxation patterns and give advice on how we should relax, they will make our life hell. What about creativity? What about enjoying life, the nature, the nights and the sunsets? What about living?

I don’t say that time is not important. I don’t say that time should be wasted. But I do say that we should not live like machines. We are not made to do like that. We fail to enjoy the pains and pleasures if we live a very structured life. We get stressed. And the stress may at times so overwhelm us that despite all the time management, our performance will suffer beyond repair. No inventive or original thinking can be done in given time. Ask a scientist to sit on a chair and think of a good idea in the given time. He/she will fail without doubt. The mind works and produces best results when allowed to be free of the artificial shackles.

Please manage time, please dont waste time in useless ways of working, but please enjoy your life. Do new things, think, imagine, daydream and watch the stars. We are after all human beings and not machines. Please dont get stressed by these theories of time management. Get the best out of them and enjoy.

The author CD Mohatta writes on life, management, motivation etc for ecards and desktop downloads. You can view his messages in free desktop wallpapers, free greetings and love and romance ecards.

Posted on Apr 5th, 2006

We all have many things to do within the hours of each day. With so many opportunities available, it is hard to not over do it and put more into our schedules than we can handle.

Not only are we over scheduled, there are always many unforeseen situations that come up in life that we have no control over: loss of employment, accidents, health problems, loss of a loved one, daily unplanned events, and more. Because of these situations, we can become stressed, angry, frustrated, feel rejected and depressed which can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart attacks, headaches, loss of sleep, indigestion, stroke and more. We will always have these types of situations - a part of life - but we can learn to avoid stress as we become aware of what is causing it or fueling it and by choosing to face the situation instead of reacting to it.

Does nutrition and what we eat have anything to do with stress?

It actually has a lot to do with it in the way it is handled and managed. When we get so involved in life’s activities, we often times forget about eating well. In fact, we usually tend to grab high-calorie, high fat, empty-nutrition foods, turn to sweets or caffeinated beverages, or even forget to eat at all. This actually creates more stress on the body because we are lacking the vital nutrients to function properly and our blood sugar levels fluctuate. Thus, we become depressed, lethargic, lack energy and concentration, and even experience mood swings.

Why do we have a tendency to crave the empty-nutrition foods while under stress? Our brain has a way of needing balance and while under pressure it makes us do something that will release neurotransmitters that will cause us to relax. Usually the quickest and easiest way to achieve this is by indulging on pleasure foods: candy, pastries, sodas, fried foods, etc. The smells, taste and textures actually excite the chemicals within the brain that will give us this short-term satisfaction. With this instantaneous gratification, we continue to do it over and over again.

However, we must keep in mind that in order for the body to function properly (physically, mentally, and emotionally), it must be properly fueled. Just as an automobile must have good fuel to perform properly, so must our bodies. Our fuel for high energy and performance comes in the way of nutrients from good quality foods. If we have diets of highly processed foods (white flour, white sugar, high fats and salt) with little nutrient value, then the body cannot function to its capacity, becomes stressed, over loaded, and it becomes sick and diseased.

If we will include the following suggestions in our daily eating and drinking habits, we will be much more capable of handling stressful situations.

1) Think of the foods God gives us in their whole food form: raw fruits and vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, whole grains, legumes (beans and peas). These all have a higher nutritional content than processed foods. They are naturally high in fiber and provide the right balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. We must have good nourishing foods at every meal for the body to have the nutrients to perform properly. As we do, we are able to think and react logically to the pressures and situations that we face. What we eat really does make a difference in how we act and think!

2) Take the time to eat and chew your food properly. Good digestion of foods ultimately begins in the mouth as the saliva breaks down the chemicals in the food in conjunction with the chewing process. Onto the stomach, the digestion process works for your body to get the nutrients and energy it needs from the food you eat. Give yourself at least 20-30 minutes to eat a meal, sitting down and relaxing while your body goes to work and does its job.

3) Think and prepare ahead so that, in this fast pace world, you always have good nourishing foods to grab in a moment’s notice. Easy-to-grab foods are: fresh fruits such as apples, pears, and bananas (which all come “pre-packaged”), raw nuts (you can carry these in a baggie in purse and car), fruit leather, dried fruit and raw nut mixes, whole grain rolls and crackers, whole grain health bars, etc. Of course, you will find many of these in low and high quality brands, so read labels and choose those minimally processed. There is a lot you can grab on the run that has good high quality nutrition. Take the time initially to plan, purchase and prepare.

4) What we drink is just as important. Drinks such as alcohol, sodas, coffee, hot chocolate, and most fruit juices (frozen, bottled) are dehydrators and de-energizers. What we really need is good pure water! Every function in the body greatly relies on water. Lack of water causes us to become dehydrated, which restricts the activity of all these functions. Our best body’s performance comes from having a clean system. Good, pure, distilled water is our best cleanser, therefore cleansing and energizing to the system.

5) Set aside time each day to exercise. Exercise is the absolute best medicinal cure for those times that you start to feel stressed or avoiding it altogether. It is necessary for the body functions to work optimally, and within 20-40 minutes, exercise can easily correct stressful situations.

6) Turn on peaceful music to soothe, calm and relax you. We all need times of relaxation throughout the day. Also take time to meditate and focus on worthy goals, your blessings, and the peaceful things of life. Watching the flowers and grass sway in the breeze is so relaxing to the soul (so much more than television). These exercises help put life into the perspective of what’s really important and help avoid unworthy thoughts and feelings.

We cannot just simply eliminate all the pressures of life. Yet we can learn to manage and eliminate the effects of stressful situations by applying principles of good nutrition, eating, and drinking in this manner. Focus on the real whole foods and pure water and you can expect the body’s best performance!

Erleen Tilton Author, Speaker, and "Master Body Mechanic" Start today on your "new body" overhaul with a free 15 minute phone consultation! Nature’s Healthy Choices http://www.erleentilton.com http://www.healthandnutrition.blogspot.com contact@stressmanagementarticles.com 480-326-5233 phone 480-988-9045 fax

Posted on Apr 4th, 2006

If you say, “I can’t relax”,
If you are not able to allot any work to anybody and do all the work yourself,
If you often wake in the morning to find your clenched hands,
If you habitually sit on the edge of your chair,
If you become irritable when you have to sit still and do nothing,
If you are always in a hurry,
If you always catch your train and bus at the last minute chasing them,
If you always sit with your subordinate till the job is completed,
If you find it hard to listen anybody and wants yourself heard always,
If you are always impatient with everybody and with everything,
If you become irritable when interrupted,
If you stick to details and not just start the work,
If you worry at every thing,
If you get upset when things go wrong,
If you always have the feeling that somebody is watching you,
If you are too to sensitive to criticism,
If you are unhappy whenever people disapprove some of your actions,
If you think that you are indispensable,
If you want yourself to be the best, always, in everything,
If you are not able to forget and forgive the injuries caused by others to you,
If you are not able to appreciate the sense of humor you find around you,
If you are not able to allow other people to alter, modify, add, delete some of your plans,
If you are not able to devote some of your time in reading a poetry, enjoying the nature,
If you habitually take your food standing, running and without tasting it, If you habitually away from your family,
If you are not able to participate any social events or service activities or functions,
If you do not have time to pray or to go to the temple,
Then my dear friend, I can tell who you are!
You are too tense to live in the world!

If you choose, acquire and encourage good habit of being able to relax body and mind at will, you can release the tension. You have to say ‘No’ to the list given above, then and then only you will become relaxed! You can live one hundred years enjoying the worldly comforts if you are relaxed. The world itself will become a paradise for you!

S. Nagarajan is a vehicle body engineer by profession. He has written more than 1300 articles in 16 magazines and published 18 books. He is revealing Eastern Secret Wisdom through T.V. Programmes, magazine articles, seminars, courses. His email address is: snagarajans@stressmanagementarticles.com. His articles on Yoga, laughter, efficacy of mantras and sound, Hypnotism, Tele Kinesis, Power of Prayer, Vastu and Feng Shui, Auto suggestion, Success Formula, Out of Body Experience etc are regularly appearing in ezinearticles.com. So far more than fortyfive articles have been published in ezinearticles.com.Please visit his website http://www.santhanamnagarajan.com.

Posted on Apr 4th, 2006

The results are in, the clinical trials have spoken. Drinking relieves stress–drinking green tea, that is. There’s something in green tea that helps us relax. And it may start turning up in other foods soon.

The legendary benefits of green tea–weight loss, cancer prevention, immune system boosting, and more–have put green tea on everyone’s top ten superfoods list. Now the teacup’s relaxation effect has been proven in the lab.

An amino acid called theanine (or L-theanine) is responsible for green tea’s magic. First discovered in 1949, theanine is found almost exclusively in tea leaves. (It’s also found in one type of mushroom–but who wants to relax with a plate of mushrooms?)

Clinical trials testing the relaxation effect of theanine produced remarkable results. Japanese researchers found that human volunteers became more relaxed about 30-40 minutes after taking up to 200mg of theanine. That’s six cups of tea to you and me.

Once the theanine is flowing, a couple of things happen. Your brain waves start to shift into the alpha range. That’s a good thing. Alpha brain waves occur when you are relaxed and peaceful, but still awake–like after a massage or a hot bath, or during meditation.

At the same time, theanine increases the GABA levels in your brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter that is linked to dopamine and serotonin levels. This complicated-sounding chemical cocktail results in a relaxation effect. And what’s more, theanine also lowers your blood pressure. Well, OK, the blood pressure part is only proven in rats. But testing continues.

So if you’re stressed and anxious, relax with a few cups of green tea. You should begin to feel relaxed and alert in about half an hour. Theanine won’t make you drowsy, but if it happens to be bedtime, studies have also shown you’ll sleep better and awake more refreshed. By the way, if you’re already relaxed when you start, it doesn’t matter how much theanine you get—you won’t get any more relaxed.

If you would rather get your theanine in a pill, you’re in luck. Supplements containing theanine are readily available. One of the Japanese firms heavily involved in theanine research went beyond simple green tea extracts and developed Suntheanine, which is a synthesized, ultra-pure theanine. A company spokesperson stated there is “a tremendous opportunity for designing foods and medical foods targeting relaxation and the reduction of stress.”

I’m not sure what they have in mind, but the possibilities are wide open. More than 50 food items containing Suntheanine, including ice cream, candy, and beverages, are currently sold in Korea, Japan, and Europe. In America, it’s only available in supplements right now. But I’m looking forward to seeing it in something that goes with my cup of tea. Relaxation muffin, anyone?

Art Turner is a writer, musician, and creator of Relaxation Emporium, where you can learn more about the relaxation effect of tea and other ways to reduce stress.

Visit Relaxation Emporium.com

Posted on Apr 3rd, 2006

Yes there is blame here, blame for all the “ideas” that float around our minds inducing stressful feelings from subjective moral and social standards. I was asked the other day to run a class on “Thinking outside the box” what a joke! I asked who built the BOX. What is the box? Where did it come from? Who does it restrict? Wow! What a load of limiting thoughts and we had not even got started.

What those limiting metaphors people because the whole of limiting psychology relies on them to keep you in a constant state of stress. “They” seem to believe that society in general works better under pressure. They seem to think that unemployment is a “bad” thing. All this causes stress, all this causes us to think in ways that promote the feelings that we are in constant fear of consequences of our actions. Even the word consequences have negative connotations why?

No this is not a political rant but a quick introduction to wake you from a slumber pattern that induces stress almost everyday in one form or another throughout your life. The reasons are plentiful the solutions are almost never given.

The difficulty many people have when it comes to reducing stress is that they pit their “will” against a very big opposition. This opposition is made up of the media, perceived social acceptance, religious dogma and most powerful of all, your own subconscious.

Almost all the books relating to stress reduction involve attempts to “think around” the problems that cause stress in the first place. And there is a deadly assumption there, that it is a “problem” that causes stress.

That sort of advice and pseudo attempts to reduce (not combat, we avoid war metaphors since they imply defeat before we start) stress serves in increase the very situation we are trying to avoid! So let me help to dissolve the idea of stress in ways that you can relate to and re-program your own subconscious.

I have listed two basic approaches here that will help the idea that stress is…Ok I’m going to use a war metaphor here…but only to show you why it works.

Let’s assume that stress is an enemy and you are defending against it. It has more guns than you it has more troops (thoughts and feelings) than you. So what are you going to do? Well personally I’m going to stick my hands in the air and spend the rest of the war in a camp; point is I’m not in the fight anymore.

Now let me translate that for you in terms of “non-conflict” language.

TIP ONE; I will assume that you work in an office where other people are also working with you. Go get a letter, memo or report of some description…got it…good. Now place it down where you can read it. Now focus on one FULL STOP DOT. Keep your eyes fixed on that full stop dot for the next five minuets at least. Sounds crazy? Maybe but just do it (don’t “try” it…DO it). Over then next five minuets you will feel your self starting to dissolve the stress, amazing what such a small dot can do eh? Oh and while your at it your not allowed to feel guilty ok.

TIP TWO: For this you need to go sit somewhere that is going to be peaceful for you, no interruptions no disturbances.

Now you have to separate the stressful “thoughts” from the “feelings”. So have a think about “what” stresses you first, then explore the “feelings” it invoke within you. Now remember I mentioned that (limiting, conflicting war metaphor above) here is where it has relevance. Once you have separated the thoughts from the feelings I want you to “give up”. That’s right mentally put up your hands and surrender to those feelings. Reduce the conflict, don’t attempt to fight it accept it fully and without judgment on self or others.

It is important for you to be absolutely non-judgmental here towards your self and other. You are going to spend the next ten minuets in total non-judgmental mind-state and when was the last time (if ever) you did that?

It is not your place during this simple exercise to list or think that your feelings are right or wrong, they are simply your feelings…they are neutral ground. They are your feelings and they need to be totally accepted by you. Once you have done this you will notice that the “conflict” within you has ceased simply because in all honesty IT DOES NOT MATTER ANYMORE.

This is not to say you do not care or have been irresponsible because to say any of those things or anything else for that matter would be judging yourself and you’re not going to do that…are you…anymore.

I do hope this has or will help some of you and for those who feel it would not work for them…Take note…The practical application of this article is a THOUSAND TIMES MORE POWERFUL than the words it took to explain it.

Jason Rife has spent years as a sales manager, copywriter, NLP expert and hypnotist. Has consulted on TV documentaries in the UK and Mexico and runs http://www.artofnlp.com and http://www.nlplogy.com subscribe to the newsletter and read many more NLP related articles for FREE. His best selling E Book “How to get a pay rise” appears on the above sites. An expert in “covert-hypnosis” you can be sure to get more for less from his original and exclusive work on the mirrored sites above. Why not book a training session with his unique stlye of demonstrative classes.

Posted on Apr 3rd, 2006

I had tea with my dear friend Billy on Friday. She had just returned from two weeks in a small town in Mexico, where her daughter surfed and she rested. It was the first time in a very long time that Billy allowed herself a deep rest. She was telling me how depressed she had been since coming home because she couldn’t understand why her life at home felt so different than her life in Mexico. "I want to bring that feeling home, I don’t want to lose it," she said.

I remarked, "You can certainly look at what you are doing at home that no longer serves you. You can jettison what drains your energy. Being away offers us perspective to see what isn’t working. But I also believe you experienced a true retreat, the deep replenishment of rest, and it is the rare person who gets enough of that. You can’t bring that home, but you can grasp the need to give it to yourself in the future –- and not every ten years but every month, every season, every year."

When we do get to rest, we become ravenous for more. We start to think about how to change our lives to get more –- Billy was plotting to buy a house in Mexico. But while some change at home can be vital I think the real message is: we need retreats, we need deep rest and we just don’t give ourselves permission to get it. We allow ourselves some, yes, but with conditions. Perhaps shorter than we really need or with people along that don’t really allow us to rest or by going to places that don’t replenish us.

Sigh.

EATING YELLOWSTONE

My daughter and I visited Yellowstone National Park last month on our way back from a week of horseback riding in the Windriver country of Wyoming. By the end of our Yellowstone day, we were exhausted from the heat and the sheer overwhelming force of the land and we were also sad. Over dinner we talked about how we had overheard one man remark, "I’m not stopping to see that moose. We’ve already seen one moose. I’m only stopping for a bear." Yellowstone majesty and mystery felt like something to check off his list of been there, done that. I didn’t feel sad because of him though, I felt sad because I had felt traces of that the same feeling in myself during our day. “Let’s ring the most we can from this day, let’s consume Yellowstone! Let’s not leave until we have seen every animal on the park service’s map — let’s eat everything on the menu.”

I had to keep reminding myself to follow Lilly’s lead, to linger, to poke, to explore, to get away from the crowds and off down a shady trail, and to know we could spend the next ten years walking and looking and never know this place — bison may walk down the middle of the highway and yet they will always remain an untouchable mystery.

As Lilly and I strolled around the geysers in the twilight, I mused about why people are often so irritable and frayed when they travel. Sure we are tired and hot and out of our comfort zone. But could it be that we know what we yearn for, what we pine for, and we aren’t getting it? A yearning for deep soul rest and deep soul connection with those we love, and yet what we often end up with is more busyness and more distraction, snared by habits of consumption to move farther away from the mystery of our heart’s desire.

Sigh.

THE PACE OF GUIDANCE

God is making it abundantly clear to me lately that the only way I can live, let alone move forward with my projects, is to rest, listen and trust spiritual guidance, MOMENT BY MOMENT — not just for the big decisions. I must, as Christina Baldwin says in her book The Seven Whispers, "Move at the pace of guidance."

What my guidance is telling me, that even after taking a month off, I need more rest. That as much as I am chomping at the bit to get going, I have to move at the pace that feels right and that pace, in this moment, involves more rest. Guidance is also telling me that the black and white world of extremes I love to inhabit — that I either lay perfectly still for three months in a 19th century sanatorium OR work 10 hours a day — is faulty. I can move forward AND rest but only by listening.

An example of what that looks like today: I went to sleep last night with fantasies of all I would get done today. Up at 6, writing on the novel, exercise, clean the study/guest room, finish notes on a friend’s novel, edit this newsletter, sign books for the store sale, visit with parents, weed, do something fun with Chris and Lilly, maybe go see Winged Migration with Lil tonight. I wake up this morning and already the to-do list train has left the station, and my soul is the caboose. My jaw is tight before I’m even finished washing my face.

This is not moving at the pace of guidance.

Catching myself during my morning meditation, stopping, relaxing my tense body, loving myself, accepting that I am doing it again, and then asking, "What do I most need to do right now?" is moving at the pace of guidance. The fact that I have to do this four times before noon is also moving at the pace of guidance. Or as C.S. Lewis writes in Mere Christianity, "It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other, larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind."

I am at the end of a long, long learning cycle; a cycle in which the lesson has been to listen and act on what I hear, with no guarantees. I have thought in the past that if I listen, I must do it perfectly and then the results would be perfect. What a horrible burden and a load of crap. If there is evil in the world, it takes the form of perfectionism. Sometimes I’m listening to Divine Guidance and sometimes I’m listening to my wily, tricky ego, and sometimes I’m listening to my morass of sticky neuroses. How can I really know unless I listen and see what happens? In the past, I bounced between the twin poles of "But listening hasn’t been 100% reliable" and "But I can’t listen now, I have too much to do/have to make money/people need this done now." What I’m sensing — and I could be wrong, remember there are no guarantees — is that if I disregard what I hear these days, I will grind to a halt faster and suffer more, than ever before. It’s like the spiral on this learning has grown very small and I get almost instant feedback if I push the river, if I insist on my agenda, if I stay invested in my way.

I wish I could say this is all exciting and spiritually satisfying but mainly, at least today, it feels scary, far too slow and tedious.

Sigh. (But with a smile.)

Jennifer Louden is a best-selling author of five books, including the classic The Woman’s Comfort Book and her newest Comfort Secrets for Busy Women. She has appeared on numerous TV and radio programs, including Oprah. She’s also a certified coach, creator of learning events and unique life balance products. Her upcoming retreat with Master Coach Molly Gordon is on how to “do” change with grace and confidence. Visit http://www.comfortqueen.com/retreats

Posted on Apr 2nd, 2006

True or false, Moving is stressful?

Before you answer that, here’s a snapshot from my family’s recent moving experience:

The moving truck is almost empty. A large, heavy 4- drawer file cabinet, and a portable dishwasher are all that remain. Unfortunately, the truck needs to be moved forward a few feet in order to unload these items. I stand behind the truck, prepared to signal the driver.

As he climbs up into the driver’s seat, I hear a rumbling sound and look up to see the portable dishwasher (the key here being portable, i.e. on wheels!) rolling down the truck bed, gaining speed as it heads directly towards me. Temporarily disconnecting from any intelligence, my initial reaction is to try and stop this dishwasher speeding towards the edge of the bed. Sanity returns at the last second in the form of a voice in my head yelling, "Move you fool!" and I jump out of the way as this seventy pound appliance flies out of the truck and lands with an impressive crash on the ground beside me.

Was our move stressful? Absolutely. Did it have to be stressful? Absolutely not!

When friends and family heard we were moving, their response was universally something along the lines of, "Oh, I hate moving." "Moving is so stressful." Or "Good luck. You’ll need it!"

I’ve moved quite a bit in my life and no one’s ever said to me, "Oh, you lucky dog. I just love moving." Or, "Moving is so much fun! Can I come help?" Last time I checked, there was no commandment saying, "Thou shalt be stressed out when thou movest," yet we act as if there is some Universal Law that inextricably weaves stress into moving process.

While moving certainly holds the potential for stress, overwhelm, and, conflict, this potential has become so firmly embedded in our collective belief system that it feels like an unavoidable truth. A thought that has been repeated enough times by enough people for long enough, becomes a collective thought pattern. Eventually, these patterns become so ingrained in our way of life that they become a part of our collective belief system. As I prepared for the move, my inner coach kept reminding me that I had the power to create an easy and stress free moving experience. That wise inner voice told me that I was under no obligation to accept the collective belief regarding moving. I was free to create my own belief, and have that belief empower and create my own experience.

I listened to that voice. I heard what it was telling me. I wholeheartedly agreed with it.

And I was unable to extricate myself from the powerful pull of the collective belief system. As a result, the move was very stressful, culminating in the near disastrous dishwasher incident.

The Law of Attraction encourages us to stop believing that what we have always gotten is what we will always get. Instead, we are encouraged to start creating a new experience. Write a new script. Design a new set. Take creative control.

Is it easy? No. Is it possible? Absolutely.

The thoughts, emotions and energy that we send out into the world create our experience. In theory, we have the ability to control our thoughts, emotions and energy, therefore, in theory, we have the ability to control our experience. Simple right? Simple perhaps, but not always easy.

Our physical reality is filled with collective beliefs - "Moving is stressful." "You have to work hard to get ahead." "Just wait until she hits the terrible twos!" - These collective beliefs hold great power and most of the time we allow these beliefs to determine the tone of our creative energy. Because of that, we usually create by default. We continue to get what we have always gotten because that is what we believe we are going to get.

But we can take control of our creative energy. We can learn to consciously direct the flow of our thoughts, emotions and energy in order to create an experience aligned with our desires. It’s not always easy. In fact, to do it consistently is probably one of the most difficult tasks you will ever confront. However, the rewards for even just trying are immeasurable.

Our moving story does have a happy ending. After our move I was able to rest and review my thoughts and actions. I was able to shift my focus back to ease and regain a measure of conscious creation. When I caught myself dwelling on the things in our new house that bothered me, I shifted my focus to the positive aspects - the increased space, the ample light, the high ceilings, the proximity to my office and the town square. Even though we were still in boxes, I let myself bask in the feeling of being settled into our new home, knowing that by resonating in that feeling of settled, the actual, physical settling of the house would happen much more smoothly and quickly.

And this past weekend I witnessed the fruits of my deliberate creation. We had a wonderful, efficient and fun weekend of unpacking, organizing and settling in. Friends and neighbors came by spontaneously to help us and play with our daughter while we got stuff done.

Edward Mills, MIM, is a life coach, teacher and speaker, empowering people to more joyfully and abundantly share their essential gifts with the world. You can sign up for his monthly ezine, Evolving Times, at his website: http://www.edwardmills.com or blog: http://www.evolvingtimes.com

Posted on Apr 2nd, 2006

‘No I don’t agree’, said Rick as his face turned red and he started to clench his fist in anger. Without warning, he flung his mobile phone across the table and nearly hit Stan.

‘I’m so shocked and angry with him for embarrassing me in front of the others, he used to be such a nice fellow’, Stan recalled.

‘He was the kind of person, always cheerful and willing to help another friend and go the extra mile for others.’

‘It’s frightening to see the transformation’, I commented.

‘So what exactly happened to him?’ as I continued.

‘Tell you a secret, but please do not tell others, as I don’t want to frighten them.’ said Stan.

‘Ok I promise.’

‘You see, he was having some financial problems, and to make matters worse, the company caught him moonlighting and warned him to stop or face the sack.’

‘So I guess he couldn’t handle the pressure.’ I said.

‘Yeah and he is currently on psychiatric medications to control his condition…’

Do you see how stress can really mess with your mind?

It is no joke, but stress, if left untreated, could really change and transform a person for the worse.

With the increasing stress of modern society, we are constantly faced with pressures, deadlines and have had to make multiple decision at any one time.

Learning to manage stress is not something that you decide you might need, it is absolutely essential that you learn to manage stress.

The difference between a person who is capable of handling stress and someone who is not, is determined by their response to stressful situations.

So what determines the response?

Let me tell you, it is all in the mind.

You see, our mind is a powerful matter that actually controls all our thoughts, and our thoughts in turn will dictate our actions.

The secret to managing stress, is in training our mind.

I’m going to let you in on a secret of the mind, which once mastered will enable you to cruise through life with the calmness of a Zen master…

Once upon a time, two Zen monks were walking along a mountain trail; they reached a stream and met a lady who wanted to cross to the other side.

The older monk volunteered to carry her on his back. After they got to the other side, she got off, thanked the monk and they parted.

Throughout the rest of the journey, there was complete silence as both monks kept walking…finally the younger monk could not stand it anymore, and asked "Master, I thought we are not supposed to have body contact with the opposite sex?"

The older monk turned and gave a surprised look and said, "I have already let her go after we crossed the stream, why are you still carrying her?"

In life there are bound to be ups and downs, when things do not work out to our desire, most people will begrudge and get stressed over the same old issue…you must learn to Let Go.

That’s it, learn to let go. Think about it, it can be easy and it can be not, this simple yet profound concept will help you go a long way.

Of course there are many other areas and stress management techniques which will be covered in future. I will talk about areas including: Progressive muscle relaxation, Aromatherapy oil, Power of positive thinking, Positive affirmation, Creative visualization, Meditation technique, Breathing exercise, Relaxation exercise and Relaxation music.

We will also explore the concept of brain wave and its relation to stress including: Alpha brain wave, Binaural beat, Silva Mind Control and Stress Hypnosis.

I’ll talk to you soon.

James Tan has dedicated his life to exploring the human mind’s potential in stress management areas after suffering a fatal auto accident, which has been the turning point of his life.

His website http://www.stress-relief-and-management.com contains various tips and advices, including a newsletter ‘Taming the Monkey mind’ and a free 28 part ecourse of stress managing tips.

Posted on Apr 1st, 2006

I have a friend named Sarah who is absolutely amazing. She works full-time, has three children, volunteers for an agency that assists seniors, is a competitive runner, and insists upon a neat, well-kept home.

I don’t get to see her much, of course.

The past few times we visited, she spoke about trying to find “balance” in her life. She decided to be vigilant about leaving work on time so she can spend more time with her children. And she began getting up a half hour earlier so she can get the house in order to her satisfaction before leaving for work. She is grateful for her volunteer time and her running time, because they provide meaningful outlets for her energy and creativity.

But peace continued to elude her until just last week.

She had a bit of a breakdown. A project went haywire just before the deadline, and it was the night of her daughter’s first dance recital. She made it to the second half of the recital, but unfortunately missed her daughter’s performance. Frazzled and upset, she began to weep, so she slipped out of the audience and into the lobby, where her cell phone rang. It was the agency she volunteered for. She had forgotten that she promised to be a greeter at the agency’s open house that night.

When she fell into bed that night, she remembered that she hadn’t gone for a run in three days.

The next morning, she picked up the phone and called a life coach she knew of. Actually, she had been on this life coach’s mailing list for the past several months, and sometimes even found time to read the messages.

During the first session, the life coach worked with Sarah to help her determine her values and their priority. Sarah was frustrated because everything continued to emerge as the highest priority, which she knew was illogical. But she couldn’t be persuaded to rank anything in her life higher than anything else.

Sarah explained to the coach that what she sought was balance. She wanted to keep everything in her life, and she wanted the coach to help her fit it all in more easily.

Then the coach provided her with a startling analogy, and this is the whole point of this article:

Suppose you have to carry a 100 pound bucket of water up a hill. You carry it in your left hand, and to offset the load, your body naturally veers way over to the right. Why? Your body needs balance to carry that bucket up the hill.

Let’s say you’re given an additional 100 pound bucket of water. Now you have a bucket of water for each arm. You’re balanced, right? Now go up that hill!

Can you carry 200 pounds of water up that hill? Some of you can, but most of you can’t. I don’t think I could! And even if you could, how far up the hill could you go? How high of a hill could you climb? And how long would you want to continue?

What Sarah was seeking was a way to distribute the load evenly. What she didn’t want to face was that the load was too heavy. No matter how evenly distributed it could be, it would still be too much.

During her second coaching session, she admitted that her children were her top priority. She always knew they were, but didn’t want to state it because she felt it would mean having to give up other things that were important to her. It was also important to her that her children see that she had a life outside the home. She felt that one of the best things she could do for her children was to role model this for them.

Her next priority was her job. She loved her work and hoped to move up the ladder in her career.

Running came third, and her volunteer work came next, and then having a tidy house came in last. That’s not to say it wasn’t important to her, but when forced to rank her priorities, she admitted it was at the bottom of her “top” list.

She resigned from her volunteer commitment, decided to run three days a week instead of five, and hired a cleaning person to come to the house once a week.

This was all just last week. This week, she’s talking about lowering her standards of tidiness around the house, just a little bit.

We’ll see . . .

Holly Zenith is a professional woman by day and a netpreneur by night. Her mission is to help women move forward in their lives and make their dreams come true. Please visit her at http://hollyzenith.com/sq.html

Posted on Apr 1st, 2006

Living in the modern world is tough enough without the heartbreak, insecurity, and trauma of splitting from your spouse. Divorce adds a multitude of worries to your already-hectic life: waiting for the outcome of the process; not being sure where you will go or what will happen afterwards; legal bills and other possible financial woes; dealing with the children’s reaction to the situation; the annoyance of having to relocate; and the awkwardness or embarrassment of having to explain to everybody you know that your marriage is no more.

"The loss of a loved one — whether through geographic relocation, divorce, end of a friendship, or death — often triggers feelings of bereavement, abandonment, depression, insecurity, fearfulness, and sometimes anger," says national stress-relief expert Susie Mantell, whose award-winning relaxation audio, Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace, is physician-recommended for stress, sleeplessness, pain, depression, and PTSD. "All of those emotions cause stress on the body-mind-spirit that can be harmful, so we must, at those times, summon support from others (friends/family/health-care professionals we can trust), muster all our inner resilience and resources, and put ourselves in emotional ‘intensive care’."

The stress generated by divorce may seem unbearable at times. But what really matters is not how much stress you have, but how you deal with it. You must take care of your physical self, since how you feel physically affects how you feel emotionally (and vice-versa); you must also learn how to adjust your mental attitude to overcome stressful periods, either through outside stimulation and activities or through your thoughts.

The following basic remedies are useful places to start to help ease yourself through any tense times.

Caring for your Body

One of the most basic ways to keep your energy and spirits up is to take proper care of your physical health. This may seem like simple common sense, but for many people, it takes a lot of willpower to sidestep old habits or persevere with new routines. You’ve probably heard the cliche, "you are what you eat." The quality and variety of food you take in directly affects your body and your emotions, so improving your diet is a vital step. Ask your doctor to recommend a nutritional specialist who can work out a plan based on your needs and goals. If finances permit, book a week or two at a health spa like Canyon Ranch rather than going on a booze-cruise for your vacation: you’ll learn what your body needs to help improve your spirits — and your quality of life.

"Make sure to get professional advice, such as recommendations and approval from a doctor," advises fitness expert Teresa Taylor-Dusharm, the operational director of Advocate Health Care’s prevention-focused product lines. "Work with fitness professionals who can advise you on what levels to work at." If done safely, exercise can be a tremendous benefit to your mind, body, and soul. "Some relaxation exercises are good for your mental and emotional state, whereas other exercise has physiological effects that return your body to a healthy state."

Beneficial Mind Games

Now that you’re meeting your body’s needs for proper nutrition, exercise, relaxation, and sleep, it’s time to start working on your mental and emotional fitness. "Your attitude creates stress, so you need to revise your attitude to decrease the stress in your life," says L.A.-based psychologist Andrea Brandt, Ph.D., who runs an intensive weekend retreat workshop on anger four times a year. In order to start taking action to reduce stress, you need a positive attitude to move forward. "Energy follows thought. If your thoughts are positive and upbeat, you’ll have more energy. But if you see through the lens of the glass being half-empty rather than half-full, your energy will be low."

In order to keep your issues from driving you crazy or affecting your health, you should list your priorities. Take care of what needs to be done or dealt with right away — and save less urgent tasks and problems for later. Get organized. Clear your desk of all non-priorities so that only immediate concerns are showing. This way, you will make steady, forward progress instead of getting stuck in a worrying tailspin; focusing your mind on the problem or task at hand will block out thoughts of the others further down on your priority list. Professional Help

If your anxiety has gone beyond the point where you’re able to help yourself, you should seek professional assistance — from a medical doctor if stress is pushing you toward ulcers and heart problems, or from a mental-health professional to help you work through your issues.

Dr. Brandt suggests seeking help "when the things you’ve been doing don’t work and you need an outsider’s viewpoint: somebody with a fresh perspective who can help you see your issues in a different light." If you had a broken leg, you would seek professional help to fix it. The same is true for a broken heart or spirit. A professional can help you get on the right track to inner peace or health.

"You want to have a balance between articulating or expressing your feelings and living your life normally," adds Bernstein. "If that balance is missing, it may be time to be evaluated by a social worker or therapist." She recommends seeking help "if you start to become a victim of your emotions and are not voluntarily in charge of expressing them. If you have sleep disturbance and feel fatigued every day, if you’re crying at a lot at inopportune times, or if you’re very easily angered. Workshops are another way to do some healing work. There are many personal-growth workshops in every area that offer help with stress management."

Facing the World Again

Ultimately, your ability to withstand stress depends not so much on how much of it you have in your life or what’s causing it, but on how you cope with it. "Remind yourself that there’s really no such thing as stress," says Dr. Dyer. "Stress is an illusion — it’s a matter of how you choose to process every event. Every situation is an opportunity for you to make something positive out of it. You have the choice to avoid dwelling on thoughts that weaken you: such as how much you dislike a person, or thinking about bad things that are happening to you. If you fill yourself with shame, anger, hate, or anguish, you’ll have low energy. But high energy — or energy of light — defeats stressful actions."

Above all, don’t abandon hope. Keep a positive attitude about yourself and where you’re heading. "Where there is life, there is always hope," says Mantell. "Hope has great power. You do need to make realistic plans, but sometimes you have no idea what is truly possible. So it’s a good idea not to put too many limitations on what you hope for. Hope makes all things bearable, and somehow gets us through the most stressful moments of our lives. And if we are very lucky and hope very hard, we just might see ourselves make some remarkable changes over time."

For more information on divorce please visit http://www.lifeaftermarriage.com.

Kelly Kennedy is the Communications Specialist for MindComet Corporation, a full service marketing agency for Fortune 500 companies and international conglomerates. Kelly specializes in public relations strategies focused on personal finance. Kelly has been author to hundreds of articles focusing on finance. She also acts as a contributing author for a wide variety of websites and newsletters. Kelly holds a Bachelors degree in Marketing from the University of Central Florida.

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