Archive for May, 2006

Posted on May 11th, 2006

Life is challenging. We all know that. On a good day the challenges make life exciting and fulfilling, but on a bad day those challenges just wear us down.

One way of effectively coping with the many challenges that life throws every day is to come up with a bottom line gut check rule to apply to those challenges. It can help you put life, and all its challenges, into perspective.

Most days I am living the American woman’s dream. I have not one but two fulfilling careers plus a husband, child, and home. I have a great balance of fulfilling work that I can (mostly) complete while my child is in preschool or asleep so I am able to spend lots of Mommy time baking cookies and constructing complicated train layouts plus volunteering at school. However that dream is pretty fragile and it only takes one miscalculation to turn into a nightmare. Snow days, sick days, or overlooked school holidays can throw everything into disarray and heaven forbid if I get too sick to work the hours I need to keep my frail vessel afloat.

I know there are many people much more stretched than I am. Many of them are my friends, my co-workers, my clients, and my students, so I see it first-hand and know how lucky I am that even though my juggling act requires delicate balance much of the time if I drop a ball here or there it bounces without anything being broken. I know plenty of people balancing those twirling plates and we all know how that can end up!

One way I have managed to move from the twirling plates to the rubber balls is through careful prioritizing. Not every unexpected event has the potential for catastrophe and your stress level will go through the roof if you treat it as such. Placing the unexpected in its proper priority can give you perspective and give you more control over your life.

You are the only one who can do this though. No one else can tell you what is important. I find it useful to have a bottom line gut check rule to help me prioritize when life gets hectic and challenging.

My rule is pretty simple — How much will this matter when I’m dead and gone?

For me this means that when it comes down to dealing with urgent matters my child comes first. When I am dead and gone I don’t ever want him to remember being neglected or ignored or untended. I’m pretty sure (with as much insight as anyone can have into a 5-year-old’s mind) that he knows he is the most important person in the world to me but there are times when I have to stop myself from whirling off to attend to other plates.

In truth, the rule means that people always come first for me. Obviously in some order of rank. My husband comes before my students who come before my clients, for example. But I hope to be remembered for the lessons I have taught. I know I don’t have a prayer for being remembered for my housekeeping skills. I bet you can guess where vacuuming falls on my priority list. I don’t like living in a messy house and I like a well-cooked meal more than most people, but I’m pretty sure when I’m sitting at the pearly gates that I won’t look down at Earth and wish I’d kept my house cleaner. I do know for sure that I don’t want to look down (or back) and wish I’d been a better mother or teacher. So that’s how I prioritize!

You don’t need to use my rule. Probably the world would be dull if everyone prioritized just th e same. Another good rule that I sometimes employ when dealing with interpersonal conflict is — What would Jesus do? If you have studied the Gospels then you can have a pretty good shot at answering that question in most instances and you could probably make your corner of the world a much better place for it.

So now, before life spins out of control again (denial is not a bottom line) spend a few moments thinking about your own bottom line. I bet you find that gut check rule will help you work through the challenges throws your way. Good luck and good day.

You can enjoy more inspirational articles by Deanna Mascle at http://dawggone.net, http://justfolks.net, and http://officialwisdom.com.

Posted on May 11th, 2006

Does your schedule leave you feeling frazzled? Do you find yourself spinning your wheels, running form work to soccer practice to dance class to your parent-teacher conference to the grocery store, then back home to cook dinner? Maybe then you spend a few quality minutes with your husband and children, and possibly squeeze in a little laundry? By the time you fall (fully clothed) into bed, are you out before your head hits the pillow? Between taking care of our families, our homes, and our jobs, many of us don’t know whether we’re coming or going. But we all know someone who seems to be able to do everything without breaking a sweat. You know the one. She’s Ms. Perfect, the mom who makes the rest of us look bad. She works full time, has 2.5 perfect children, and a loving (handsome AND successful) husband. She heads all the committees and bakes cookies (from scratch) for the whole neighborhood every time anything resembling a holiday pops up on the calendar. Oh, and somehow she has time to volunteer at the local soup kitchen every Saturday. And, on top of this, she always manages to look amazing! You despise her, right? Of course, who wouldn’t? But, wait. Let’s hold back the green-eyed monster for a moment and ask ourselves a question. How does she do it?

No matter what you may think, she’s not superhuman. She just manages to stay organized and focused on her goals. She schedules her time wisely and sticks to it.

So, how does an average Jane learn to do this? Don’t worry; it’s not as difficult as you might think. You, too, can have it all! All it takes is a little practice and perseverance. It might be hard to believe, but there is hope for the proverbial chicken running around with her head cut off!

Anne Morrow Lindbergh once said, “Lost time is like a run in a stocking. It always gets worse.”

The simple steps outlined below present a basic blueprint of time management that will help you to stop losing time and start shunning that stress. Give it a shot and you will be amazed at the results.

1. Where is your time going? You probably have no idea. The first step to organizing your day is to get a clear idea of exactly what you’re doing. How do you do this? In a small notebook, sketch a timetable. Divide it into three segments: morning, afternoon, and evening. For five days, carry the notebook with you. At the end of each time segment, record your activities and the amount of time spent on each. You may find it’s more accurate if you record after each activity. For example, a morning segment might begin like this: Sleeping in, 30 minutes. Shower, 15 minutes. Getting ready (clothes, hair makeup), 45 minutes. Getting kids ready, 30 minutes. Breakfast, 10 minutes. Commuting, 45 minutes…and so on. At the end of five days, take a serious look at how your time is spent. Could you be doing more, or are you doing too much? You might be surprised to find that you spend more time procrastinating and preparing to get things done than actually doing them.

2. What are your priorities? The next step is to determine exactly what you need (and want) to accomplish. Take a few minutes to list your day to day responsibilities and goals. Give each a rating from one to three, three being most significant. Use this rating to determine what’s worth your time and what may not be. You may find that some of the things you thought were priorities actually aren’t that important. Don’t be afraid to say “no” once in awhile. You’re not the only one who can organize that committee or host that party. When it comes to your home and family, you are allowed to ask for help. Delegate chores to your children or spouse, or even hire outside help if necessary.

3. Be a list maker. According to J. Robin Powell, PH.D., author of The Working Woman’s Guide to Managing Stress, list making alone can reduce stress levels. Each night before you go to bed, make a simple list of what you plan to accomplish the next day. Don’t go overboard. It’s important that it is actually possible to accomplish your goals. You will be able to sleep easily knowing that you are already organized for the next day. You can also keep a working list of more time-consuming projects, such as organizing closets or painting the bathroom. Make a point of completing one project from this list each week, and be sure to update it often.

4. Plan, plan, plan. Get an appointment book small enough to fit in your purse and carry it with you wherever you go. Use it to plan daily, weekly, and monthly activities. For your day to day matters, plan like activities together. For example, plan to run all of your errands in one afternoon. This will help you to avoid running in circles. But, remember to be flexible. Expect unplanned interruptions or events, and be willing to change your schedule on occasion to focus on what’s important. And speaking of focus, try to avoid skipping around. You may end up with a lot of unfinished projects. Staying focused will help you to stay on track and take care of business, giving you a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.

5. Get organized! Adopt that old motto, “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” Be sure your home, your car, and your office are as orderly as possible. Organization promotes a sense of well being and helps you to feel more in control. Bear in mind, it takes time to make time. Time spent organizing is an investment in you. If you find that things are already out of control, schedule several evenings or a weekend to do a good once-over to put everything in order. Throw out or give away what you don’t want or need, then organize the rest. After that, do a little each day to keep it together. You’ll thank yourself.

6. Last, but not least, keep that positive attitude! Don’t allow yourself to dwell on how little time you have; instead, focus on what you’ve got to do. Shun the stress! You don’t have to be on a strict schedule without time for leisure. A big part of effective time management is to remain flexible and set aside more time for you.

Just think, in a few short weeks, you can change your life by making a few simple changes. Furthermore, the next time you see Ms. Perfect, you won’t feel defective. You can just smile and nod, knowing that you’ve learned her little secret.

Angela Atkinson lives in St. Louis, Missouri and has two beautiful sons. She has been writing for 25 years and recently became a stay at home mom, which allows her full time access to both of her passions, her family and her writing. You can contact her at angieeigna@stressmanagementarticles.com.

Posted on May 10th, 2006

Fear and anxiety are closely linked, but quite different. Fear is focused, anxiety is diffuse. Fear is health promoting and protective: it keeps us from jumping off cliffs. Anxiety can destroy health and increase our vulnerability: it shortens our breath, narrows our blood vessels, and interferes with the functioning of the immune system. Fear is useful energy; it calls to our courage. Anxiety is useless; it promotes feelings of insecurity, helplessness, weakness.

Notice the difference in yourself between fear and anxiety. Whenever possible, find the fear hidden in your anxiety and let it call forth your strength and power. The following remedies can help you make this transformation.

Bach flower remedies are easy to carry and use. A dose is 1-4 drops, taken as needed. One or more of the following may ease your anxiety:

  • Aspen (anxious about the future)
  • Mimulus (anxious about the past)
  • Red Chestnut (anxious about the safety of others)
  • Elm (overwhelming anxiety)
  • Rock Rose (anxiety that escalates into panic)

The smell of roses has been used for centuries to ease anxiety. A touch of rose essential oil on the seam of your sleeve will wrap you in calming fragrance all day. To magnify the effect, have a massage with rose-scented balms. Even one massage can cause a marked decrease in anxiety for weeks afterwards.

Yoga postures, yoga breathing, and quiet, focused meditation are excellent ways to tonify (and soothe) the sympathetic nervous system. Regular practice alleviates anxiety, often permanently. If you feel so anxious you think you might burst, try the lion pose:

  • Open your mouth very wide; even wider!
  • Stick your tongue out; even further.
  • Open your eyes really wide; bigger.
  • Rotate eyes left, then right.
  • Breathe deeply and exhale fully up to ten times.
  • Keep the shoulders and the forehead relaxed.

This pose unblocks the throat, releases facial tension, relaxes the breathing muscles, and relieves anxiety.

Stinging nettle infusion strengthens the adrenals: relieving anxiety and building focused energy. Depleted adrenals often over-react, giving rise to sudden sensations of anxiety, fear, and nervousness. Use bulk herb, not tea bags, not capsules.

  • Put one ounce by weight (about a cup by volume) of the dried nettle herb in a quart jar.
  • Fill the jar to the top with boiling water and cover tightly.
  • Let steep for at least four hours; overnight is fine.
  • Strain herb out and drink the remaining liquid.

Oatstraw infusion is another favorite of those who want to feel less anxious. Preparation is the same as for nettle infusion; remember to avoid tea bags and capsules. The taste of oatstraw is softer and more mellow; you will enjoy it warm with a little honey. Green oat tincture is much more powerful than oatstraw infusion. It is especially useful for those whose anxiety is combined with excessive nervous energy. Or try a hot bath with lemon balm or oatstraw; an ancient remedy for bad cases of the “nerves.” Ahhhh…

Motherwort tincture is my favorite calmative. It is not sleep inducing nor mind numbing. A dose of 10-20 drops can safely be taken as often as every ten minutes if needed, to calm and soothe sore spirits. "Like sitting in my mother’s lap," one satisfied user commented. Motherwort tea tastes terrible and is not very effective; likewise the capsules are not useful. Motherwort tincture can be taken every day if you wish, but you will find that you don’t need it as you have used it for a while.

A dropperful of St. Joan’s/John’s wort tincture is the remedy to reach for when you are on edge and feel like anything will push you over it. The dose can be repeated safely several times an hour if needed. This nerve-nourishing and nerve-strengthening herb relieves the immediate anxiety and helps prevent future distress as well.

Herbal tranquilizers are safer than prescription tranquilizers, but are best reserved for occasional use. Valerian is the best known. Because its action can be quite strong, it is best to begin with a five-drop dose, which can be repeated every 10-15 minutes until you are calm (and probably asleep). To avoid addiction, use valerian root as a tea or a tincture, not in capsules, and take it for no more than three weeks. Skullcap tincture is less addictive and often more effective. The dose is 10-20 drops of fresh plant tincture or 1-2 dropperfuls of dried plant tincture. Skullcap can also be sleep inducing, but it is rarely habituating.

Exercise is a ready remedy for overwhelming anxiety. If you feel like running away from it all, running or skating or walking briskly might be the very thing to do. Fifteen to twenty minutes of heart-pounding exercise will use up your excess adrenalin and “eat up” your stress.

Extreme fear or anxiety may lead to hyperventilation. If you are breathing rapidly and shallowly and feel spaced out you can:

  1. breathe into a paper bag until normal breathing resumes or
  2. hold your breath (you can actually put your hand over your nose and mouth) for a count of 20; then breathe out as slowly as you can.

Calcium keeps the nerves steady. A glass of warm milk is an old wives’ trusted ally for relieving anxiety. Stinging nettle is an excellent source of calcium when brewed as an infusion; one cup can contain as much as 500 mg of calcium. Oatstraw infusion is also loaded with calcium, with one cup containing up to 300 mg. Soy beverage can have the opposite effect - that is, it may increase anxiety - due to its ability to disrupt thyroid functioning and interfere with calcium metabolism. One herbalist who consumed large quantities of soy "milk" and soy protein bars wound up in the hospital with an irregular heartbeat and severe anxiety. If you think you are lactose intolerant, drink no more than four ounces of milk at a time, or use yogurt instead of milk. (Yogurt is generally free of lactose.)

Of course, you don’t want to do all these things at once! But you could join a yoga class, use nettle or oatstraw infusion daily, and have a bottle of motherwort or skullcap tincture handy for times when you are exceptionally anxious. By working with strengthening herbs and exercises, you not only relieve the bothersome symptoms but also improve your overall health. That’s the Wise Woman Way.

Legal Disclaimer: This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner with a specific formula for you. All material contained herein is provided for general information purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. Contact a reputable healthcare practitioner if you are in need of medical care. Exercise self-empowerment by seeking a second opinion.

Susun Weed
PO Box 64
Woodstock, NY 12498
Fax: 1-845-246-8081

Vibrant, passionate, and involved, Susun Weed has garnered an international reputation for her groundbreaking lectures, teachings, and writings on health and nutrition. She challenges conventional medical approaches with humor, insight, and her vast encyclopedic knowledge of herbal medicine. Unabashedly pro-woman, her animated and enthusiastic lectures are engaging and often profoundly provocative.

Susun is one of America’s best-known authorities on herbal medicine and natural approaches to women’s health. Her four best-selling books are recommended by expert herbalists and well-known physicians and are used and cherished by millions of women around the world. Learn more at http://www.susunweed.com

Posted on May 10th, 2006

Are you looking for more calm satisfying experience with you daily life?

Do you get frustrated with yourself at the end of the day because you’ve gotten stressed, unfocused or agitated?

Are you tired of getting over emotional and worn out.

Whether you are experiencing one or all of these feelings here are my 5 best tips on reducing the unwanted feelings so that you will feel calm and satisfied with yourself each day.

1.Catch yourself when you exhibit a feeling of behavior that you don’t like and change it.

At first you may not notice the feeling until after you have gone through it, that’s fine.

Think about how you would rather have felt.

Think about how you would rather have handled yourself. Decide how you want to do it next time.

As you continue with this process each day you will find that you will notice more easily what you are doing throughout the day.

You will begin to catch yourself earlier and earlier as you do this.

Eventually, you will be seeing yourself while you are doing it, then stop yourself.

At some point you will be able to notice before you even begin to feel and react in the undesirable way.

Here is where you will actually begin to change the way you react to the situations in your life and change your behavior.

2. Stay centered all day by refocusing throughout the day.

Develop the habit of paying attention to your mindset as the day goes on.

Several times a day, step away from what you are doing to get re-centered.

Sit down close your eyes and take several long slow deep breaths while imagining the tension washing slowly out of your body.

Notice your breathing getting slower and calmer.

Just think about your breath.

Try to keep from thinking about anything in particular.

It’s ok to not be actively thinking for a while!

3. Watch out for your expectations.

You are setting yourself up for failure, upset and frustration when you set too many standards as to how you think things should be.

Think about what leads you to getting upset?

Why does it set you?

Notice that you decide how many things should be, based on your own outlook and desire.

The things others do that are not to your liking, even the things you do that don’t match your expectations.

Ask yourself, really how important is it that they be exactly that way?

Ask, who am I to insist that they are that way?

Does it matter that much?

Is it worth getting myself worked up about?

Choose which expectations are really important for you to hold on to and which ones are not.

Holding on to many expectations just complicates your life, with constant judgment.

Simplify your life and reduce the stress!

4.Delegate.

This applies to your personal life as well as at work.

Most of us think of delegating as a workplace skill, but it can apply personally as well.

We are all very busy these days with our activities and duties.

Trying to fit it all in and get it all accomplished can lead to tension.

For various reasons, many of us have developed the habit of thinking we must do it all ourselves.

Take a look at your situation.

Think about it, really, how important is it that everything must be done perfectly to your standards?

Are you sure there are not other people who can assist you.

Are the other people in your life pulling their weight?

Many times we get into habitual ruts that don’t need to be as they are.

Look at what has been, with the eye of reducing the pressure on yourself.

5.Accept other people as one.

As you think of yourself as different and separate from the rest of mankind, you unknowingly create thinking and behavior that separates you from others.

This kind of separate thinking leads us to think we are superior to others which leads to judgment then selfish thinking and behavior.

We are then having an internal battle with others, which brings on fear, competition and comparison, ending in frustration and anxiety.

Look to discovering how to see yourself as one with all of mankind, not as separate.

Focus on what we have in common rather that the relatively small uniqueness.

Copyright 2005 John Halderman

John Halderman is a writer, speaker and trainer, dedicated to helping people with getting real results with their personal development efforts. He supports strategies, methods, tools and information that actually bridge the gap between information and effective results. Go to http://www.activepersonaldevelopment.com for free information and newsletter.

Posted on May 9th, 2006

We often hurt ourselves far more emotionally than we do physically or mentally. Bodies can heal; thoughts can change; but emotions rooted in the damaged past or the feared future can harm us for a long time. There are 5 poisonous emotions. To manage them, we need to employ the power of reason and a range of emotion-healing techniques.

1. Anxiety. The word "anxiety" comes from an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning "to choke". Its effects are indeed choking. They can suck the life out of us and lead to fear, panic, and depression.

The key to managing anxiety is Acceptance.
* attack your worries with the power of reason. Ask yourself whether you have any real reason for your fear.
* write down what it is you fear. Get it out in the open. Get familiar with it.
* once you have explained and defined your fear, imagine the very worst that could happen to you and accept it. Do this calmly, but be sure you do it.
* when you have accepted what could happen to you, you no longer have to fear it. Instead you can take steps to prevent the worst scenario happening.

2. Anger. Anger is one of the emotions that can literally kill us. It is one of the seven deadly sins; it fuels aggression and violence.

The key to managing anger is Ownership.
* if you tend towards blowing your top easily, put a time out on your anger trigger. Use a breathing space formula: count to 10, say the Lord’s Prayer, recite a piece of verse.
* if you are angry because of frustration, try to look at the blocks which are stopping you from getting what you want
* own your anger. Don’t blame others for how you feel: not "you make me angry!" but "it makes me angry when…"
* once you own your anger you can make choices about more appropriate responses. You can recognise when anger wells up in you and divert it to an area called the "defusing zone"
* let your anger go. Visualise it being dropped in a wastebin, thrown into a fast-flowing river or jettisoned into outer space.

3. Resentment. Resentment of others is a stressful emotion because it locks us into the past and condemns us to re-live a time of pain and suffering. Often our hatred continues when those who are the object of our hate have moved on.

The key to managing resentment is Forgiveness. Here are some ways to learn how to forgive:
* own your hatred. Don’t blame others for how you feel. Not: "you made me hate you" but "what you did was so awful that I find myself hating you."
* recognize that hatred cannot hurt anyone else except you
* resolve to let go of your hatred by an act of forgiveness. Announce the words "I forgive…(you)". If you like ritual line-drawing, send a bunch of flowers or small gift.
* do the same when you fall out of love with yourself. Stop punishing yourself for not being perfect.
* think of people who have had real cause for resentment, perhaps due to the loss of loved ones in tragic circumstances, but who have been big enough to forgive
* make sure your resentment is given a proper burial and move on with the rest of your life.

4. Inadequacy. Inadequacy is the feeling that somehow we are just not good enough. It is thought that the vast majority of people suffer feelings of inadequacy at some time or another. This is made much worse by a world which promotes images of other people who appear to be better-looking, more successful, more happy and more loved than we are.

The key to managing inadequacy is a strong self-image based on a proper sense of your value and not on false values such as money and success.
* stop assessing your worth as a human being by comparing yourself with others who you think of as more successful
* accept that there will always be some people who at any time appear to be better than you and some who appear to be worse
* say to yourself: "I am me, you are you. We are unique human beings; there is nobody else like us in the world;
* create a strong self-image of the person you want to be. Work towards being that person.
* count your blessings often
* devise your own definition of success. Ask those you love and who love you if you are a success in their eyes.

5. Guilt and Shame. Guilt and shame arise when we compare ourselves with an idealised belief of how we should have behaved. We fret over mistakes; we panic when we don’t do what we should do; we feel miserable when we come in way down the track.

There are two keys to managing guilt and shame; one is Confession and the other is Letting Go of the past.
* don’t harbour secret guilt feelings. If you feel guilty, admit it. Tell the person; say you’re sorry.
* don’t feel you’re alone. No human being is perfect, we all make mistakes. * don’t punish yourself needlessly. If you have made a mistake, don’t exaggerate it; instead work to put it right.
* recognize the need to own up to your guilt and let it go.

Manage these 5 poisonous emotions and you will manage your stress and lead a more productive, harmonious and balanced life.

(c) Eric Garner, ManageTrainLearn.com.

If you enjoyed this article, why not sign up to our FREE 10-day Leadership Skills e-course? All you have to do is send a blank email to leadership@stressmanagementarticles.com and you’re under way. For lots of other FREE training resources, visit our website at ManageTrainLearn now. Manage: to get it right! Train: to stay on top! Learn: to be a success!

Posted on May 9th, 2006

A common fallacy that people sometimes create is the mistake of "burning bridges." We’ve all been there before. The heat of an argument, a small confrontation or even a simple statement can suddenly kill a relationship without aforethought. The worst part being that we often burn the bridges to the ones we care for and/or love.

Whether it’s something you or someone else has intentionally or inadvertantly said or done, in a split second, the friendship or partnership bridge has been burnt forever. By the time you realize it, it’s too late to go back and undo what’s been done.

So how do we avoid burnt bridges? Below are a few tips on avoiding this destructive human behavior:

Communication skills. Often more times than naught, lack of tact or quick ill-thoughts can land us into hot water. Perhaps we didn’t quite comprehend what was being said, or maybe we didn’t read all the black & white - and by that time, we’ve jumped to a conclusion and we’ve gone and done "it" - we’ve burnt the bridge.

Education. It truly helps to educate yourself on the subject matter or conversation before making invalid assumptions based on a broad overview. Unless you’ve completely researched a topic, do not attempt to add your "two cents" worth. This will only make matters worse.

Attitude & Response. Okay, someone has said something or presented you with something that you don’t necessarily care to hear or see. Did it come directly from that person? Was it intended to maliciously harm you? Before you spin the anger wheel out of control, carefully reflect on this person. Would this person intentionally anger or attack you personally? If not, rethink your positioning before you respond or make accusations. This is a definite "bridge burner." And remember, a little honey is a lot sweeter than vinegar.

Listening Skills. One time or another, we’ve sat in conversation, daydreaming or pondering other thoughts. Somewhere in the middle of the conversation you’ve caught "part of the story." Completely off-guard, you’re offended and can’t understand why your counterpart is seething at you. Listening skills are the dynamic foundation of any relationship. If we only catch half the words then we’re guilty of being inattentive.

Burnt bridges are extremely hard to repair. The only recourse is to truly be apologetic and "mean" what you say to the person you’ve offended. Hopefully, your friend or partner will find it in his or her heart to forgive you.

The most important advice someone once gave me was "…be careful about the bridges you burn…you never know when you have to cross back over…" This proves true in most cases. Avoiding simple communication errors by collective listening, clear understanding, education, attitude and proper responses can prevent destruction of a relationship. In this precious life, we only have a little time to be the best person we can be - and burnt bridges should never be a part of our vocabulary.

Burnt Bridges: Can they be Avoided? © 2004 - All Rights Reserved

by C. Bailey-Lloyd/LadyCamelot

About the Author: C. Bailey-Lloyd - Author of "Somewhere Along the Beaten Path"

Feel free to visit Media Positive Radio — Providing a positive and uplifting listening experience - All the Time! Featuring the finest music from Independent and Mainstream musicians all focusing on the power and greatness of every individual as well as the collective power of unity and brotherhood.

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Posted on May 8th, 2006

***** Stress Is The Life Killer

Stress is the greatest problem for people in the modern world, and it’s much worse than just health problems such as heart attacks that are brought on by too much stress for way too long.

Stress impacts EVERYTHING.

Stress kills our libido, our enjoyment of life; stress causes disturbed emotions of anger, rage, sadness and depression; stress makes us clumsy; stress causes us to make mistakes and worst of all, stress makes us think stupid thoughts (we become "stress stupid") and it cuts off the internal flow to our creative and innate talents and abilities.

It is clear that we ALL need to de-stress, whether we are teenagers who suffer from acne and migraines as a result of stress, men and women in "anger management", authors who suffer from writer’s block, business people who burst a blood vessel, or parents at home who aren’t enjoying their kids but end up screaming at them instead.

So how do we de-stress, and urgently, and FAST?

***** Why Stress & Meditation Are At Odds

Many hold that meditating and meditation is the answer to stress. Meditating and meditation is the act of entering into altered states of consciousness, to widen our conscious awareness and to re-connect with the superconsciousness of our energy mind (subconscious mind, subconsciousness).

This does not happen when we are stressed - a person under stress is like a TV that isn’t tuning properly. Everything is disturbed, mad, doesn’t fit together, there is no clarity.

Trying to meditate when you are stressed is like trying to be romantic with a pick axe embedded in your forehead - try as you might, it’s not going to work very well if ever at all.

So we have the classic Catch 22 and another big stressor to add to all of that stress - a stressed person is TOLD to relax and go away and meditate, but they can’t meditate because they’re way too stressed!

***** Why Hypnosis Is The Best For Stress

Long before a person who is under a lot of stress can even BEGIN to enjoy harp music to relax them even further, they need to be made to slow down into other states of being, and for that you need HELP.

"A good talking to" by a sympathetic other is the most NATURAL way of getting rid of stress invented by human kind, and it even exceeds physical touch approaches in high stress situations; it precedes them too. We "talk" a potential suicide victim DOWN from the top of a building, not massage them off; we "talk" an angry man with a gun down into lowering it, we don’t pat him on the back.

That is exactly where hypnosis comes in to help with stress.

Hypnosis is DESIGNED to assist people to ENTER INTO AN ALTERED STATE of meditation - that is the first purpose of hypnosis, and its speciality.

Often people get confused by the "instructions" or the content of hypnosis - the post hypnotic suggestions for change that take all the attention, but it is the fact that hypnosis brings people into the restful meditative state where they even become RECEPTIVE to suggestions, ideas, visions and new thoughts is where the power of hypnosis to heal the mind actually lies.

***** From Hypnosis To Meditation - Breaking The Stress Loop

"Going into trance" is something that we learn and we are taught when a hypnotist talks to us, and talks us down from the stress of the thoughts that fly here, there and everywhere, into a relaxed state of clarity, and peace, where your body is at ease and mind healing can finally begin.

THE MORE HYPNOSIS YOU DO, THE BETTER YOU GET AT RELAXING.

It is a learned skill that gets ever better with practice.

So my recommendation to combat stress, and to learn how to relax and EVENTUALLY to be able to meditate successfully, which then leads to being able to control one’s own stress levels in the real world and to be able to relax and de-stress even in the middle of a stressful situation, is to DO HYPNOSIS - and LOTS OF IT.

Rather than to hopelessly try and "find inner peace" so necessary for mind healing without guidance, do hypnosis inductions. This is as easy as sitting down in a chair, putting on the headphones and letting the hypnotist do their job.

Hypnosis CDs, mp3s and tapes are readily and freely available; there are MANY free downloads and trial downloads available.

Try many, and if you find a hypnotist that YOU GET ON WITH, someone you find relaxing to listen to and who can make you feel safe, relaxed and you can feel your stress begin to drain away as they speak with you, you have struck "Anti-Stress Gold".

Now you have a tool to help you break out of the stress loop. Use this hypnotist to de-stress you regularly and as often as you possibly can.

You will find after a few repetitions that you LEARN TO LEARN TO RELAX and HOW YOU DO THAT.

Now, you are ready to start meditating on your own.

***** Anti-Stress Meditation In The Moment

When you are out and about in your daily environment and you notice your stress levels rising, remember your hypnotist and what they said, just for a moment. Find out if you can feel your stress beginning to flow away. Even if your stress abates just a little bit, you can know that you are now on your way - you have started to learn to control your states of being, your states of mind.

This is the beginning of a new stress free life.

Life will ALWAYS be stressful.

We need to learn to be able to notice when we’re stressed, and to step back from that into the clarity of altered states.

That is what hypnosis teaches you, teaches you easily, and just for the listening, no willpower required at all.

When you have learned the basics of relaxation, THEN and only THEN are you ready to begin to meditate on your own, or to use meditation devices that require these basic skills of knowing how to shift state in the first place.

***** Hypnosis, Stress & Meditation - In Conclusion

Using hypnosis for stress relief doesn’t mean that you should only look at hypnosis programs designed for stress alone. Remember that what you want to learn is the skill of altering your states of being, so that you can also then meditate and get all the health benefits from that; but more importantly even still, so that you can de-stress yourself in REAL LIFE.

You can choose ANY good hypnotist, and ANY good hypnosis program that excites you, in a double benefit, because it is not the CONTENT, but the hypnosis skills themselves you need to learn to put an end to being in stress states all the time.

You can choose intelligence enhancing hypnosis programs; mind healing programs; performance programs, health programs - the CONTENT is irrelevant and just the icing on the cake.

Hypnosis is a WONDERFUL and incredibly USEFUL tool for dealing with the human mind, for healing the mind, and for getting our thoughts and conscious mind under control.

Explore. Find a GOOD hypnotist who can teach you the life saving skill of going into trance, and you get control not just of your stress, but of your entire WORLD.

===========================================

Dr Silvia Hartmann is an international energy therapies trainer, hypnotist and author of "Project Sanctuary". For many free stress relieving hypnosis mp3 downloads and other mind healing resources, please visit http://starfields.org.

Posted on May 8th, 2006

Music is the key to a thousand emotions. We associate music with the places we have been, the times we have experienced and the people in our lives. Music is all around us. There is no denying the effectiveness of music, so why not use it to affect our own emotions and enhance our personal environment? Relaxing music, relaxation music, meditation music… call it what you will. There is no question that it can help us to shape our environment effectively and can be changed to suit or influence our mood.

In todays society, wherever there is radio, television, cinema or the internet, we will be exposed to music. Music is all around us and is a commodity so important that is used by virtually every company on the planet to sell us their products and services. Very often we are completely oblivious to the sounds drifting out of those in-store speakers or the impact and drama of an action-movie soundtrack placed in a car advert. Music is a complex language that can convey any emotion or conjure a response from any audience. At the same time music is simple and universally understandable.

We are used to others using music to influence our emotions and therefore decisions. However, we rarely use music’s benefits to help ourselves. Relaxing music or relaxation music (also marketted as meditation music or yoga music) can be used to relieve stress, unwind after a hard day at work, promote good sleep or as a focus of concentration during yoga or meditation. As a composer, the idea of music for relaxation has fascinated me. For a long time, I have researched the benefits of music for health and wellbeing. Music is just a part of relaxation, but can be the key to calm and relax mind and body.

A good habit can be built; find a quite room, put work worries to one side and allow yourself time to unwind - dim the lights, light some candles or incense or whatever you find calming. Close your eyes and focus on the sound of your breath. Take in the same amount of air and breathe longer breaths but less often. Relaxing music is a great focus for an exercise like this or any relaxation technique. Listen to relaxation music at a volume level that is high enough to mask any background noise but not so high as to be overbearing. In a busy workplace or home, headphones are useful.

The music should not be too distracting and should be carefully composed to be easy to listen to. Music should be upbeat but also interesting and different enough to capture the imagination and become a suitable focus for relief. Nature sounds enhance the experience as this helps you to imagine a place of peace, calm, tranquility and serenity. It is best to use music written specifically for relaxation, although you could use any music that you find particularly relaxing. This technique is most useful if it can be practiced for a significant amount of time - more than half an hour. However, it can be effective if used for just a few minutes at break times.

Martin Mayer is a media composer and owner of Sounds That Soothe, producing music to calm and relax.

The new CD, "Silver Streams" is available now - instrumental pieces developed to relieve stress and aid the body in relaxation. Over 55 minutes of warm orchestral movements and original nature sounds, inspired by the beautiful views of the Peak District, England.

Posted on May 7th, 2006

The art of making a balance between career and spouse is a problem that almost everyone faces in every country. Often, this problem torments a couple to the extreme point of getting divorce. In this article I am going to mention some strategies that may help you to make a balance between your career and your spouse. I know it will be very difficult to follow and implement all of them. Still, the more you will try the better result you will get. After all, it is very important to shine in both the fields- in the office and home.

Accept it as a Serious Problem
This is perhaps the major mistake that most people do. They do not try to discover the problem in the first place and even after their husband or wife draws their attention, they just ignore it. Two reasons are commonly behind such ignoring. Firstly, they may grudge in their heart or openly that whatever they are trying hard in their office it is only for their future and couple life. The second reason is related to the blame game. They may feel that if they accept the accusation of their spouse about neglecting couple life they will accept guilt and they will lose their honor. Refusing to accept it as a problem will only deepen the crisis further. Instead of pacifying the pain of the spouse it will only increase. So, whenever your husband or wife complains about it, the first thing you should do is to accept it as a problem even if you feel that you are 100% right. The worst thing you can do to endanger your marriage is to take this problem casually as it would only increase the grievance of your partner.

Talk about the problem
In the second step, try to talk about the problem. This can surely go a long way to pacify the tension in home because then your spouse will feel that you are giving importance to him/her. Try to explain your condition in office. At the same time, listen to his/her complains very carefully. It is a reality that not everyone is a good communicator. If you feel that you and your spouse are not very good in talking about a problem then you can go to a marriage counselor. However, it is very important to remember that you must be attentive and sincere to listen to what your spouse says.

Try to Find a Middle Ground
Finding a middle ground is very difficult but not impossible. Try to think of the ways that can help both of you to come to a satisfactory compromise. If possible talk to your office and get more time for your home. Weekends can be the best resource for this matter. If you have any habit of going to stadium or hanging out with your friends then leave them and try to give uninterrupted and undivided attention to your spouse in the weekends.

Do not try to buy out your spouse
Many men do this silly mistake of trying to buy out their wives with expensive gifts. A new car or a diamond necklace is always welcomed by 99% women but can never be an alternative to the love and attention of their husband. If you can really please your wife by giving expensive gifts instead of your love and dedication, you are perhaps among the unluckiest men in the world.

Do not get addicted to your career and money
There is a clear distinction between dedication and addiction to your career. Dedication in this case means doing your work honestly and sincerely. Addiction means focusing on the career totally at the expense of everything else. Money is perhaps the most important thing in life but all problems arise when we make it as the only important thing. Think of your first days with your spouse after marriage. Think of the things that can make your spouse happy and try to act that way.

Never Take Marriage as a Habit
We are always so eager to train ourselves in a way that we can adjust to the changing scenario and condition in our office. Every year, we are joining a seminar or participating in a new training course so that we can become more skilled workers. Why should you not do the same thing for your marriage? Like office, marriage needs everyday effort. When you are late in office everyone gets annoyed from you no matter what excuse you come up with for your delay. The same way, your spouse will get hurt if you neglect him/her. Like attending a seminar, every year take your spouse to a new place and have a time like your honeymoon. A marriage dies when the husband and the wife take it as a habit and take each other for granted.

There is no point in excelling in career at the expense of marriage. Following the above mentioned 6 strategies will help any person to make a balance between career and marriage. However, only reading is not enough- there must be a determined resolve to act.

I am a Reseacrher and Freelance journalist here in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Right now, I am writing my M Phil thesis on ‘Role of English Language in Information Technology Sector of Bangladesh. I am a Member of Editorial Board of the leading ICT Magazine of Bangladesh, Computer Bichitra . Besides this I have some past expereince of Teaching English Language in the UNiversity level and also being a Research Assistant for MBA department in a University. I have been writing in newspapers and magazines for the last 10 years and I have published more than 400 artilces, featuures, reports, interviews, and tranlsations on various topics. My blog: http://write-translate.blogspot.com. Here you can find a lot of materials about literature adn freelance writing.

Posted on May 7th, 2006

We all go through periods in our lives when we feel like it is spinning out of control and we don’t know what to do about it. It may be because of an unexpected tragedy that rocks us to our core and causes us to re-evaluate what is most important to us. It could be because we are going through a more positive, yet stressful, experience by choice, like planning a wedding or moving to a new and exciting place. Or it could just be because we have a hard time saying no and have too many commitments. Whatever the case may be, we can all relate to the experience of feeling out of control. But how do we get that control back? The following are three sure-fire strategies that you can apply today to begin to get a sense of control and feel some peace of mind.

Take a few minutes to just stop and breathe. This is perhaps the most powerful way of gaining control in the moment that you can do. I even suggest that you sandwich your day with this practice. Before you get out of bed in the morning take just five minutes to breathe. Just focus on your breath. This technique is very calming. You are going to be tempted to start thinking about all you have to do that day or whatever worries are on your mind, but go back to your breath. You can think later, but for now, just breathe. A calm mind will be much more efficient than one that is hopping from thought to thought. Do it again before you go to sleep. Are you having trouble sleeping? This can help you calm your mind so you can get some rest and be more efficient the next day. Use this technique throughout the day whenever you start to feel that “pumped up” feeling. You will immediately begin to feel more in control and at peace.

Prioritize. You can prioritize for the day, for the week, for your life, or even for just the next moment. Sometimes that is all we can handle. Any level or depth of prioritizing will help you gain control. Prioritizing means choice. You choose what is most important to you at any given time. You always have the power to choose. Even when events happen to you that are out of your control, you can choose how you respond to them. In that moment you prioritize your thoughts and feelings. You may say that you can’t control your feelings, and this is true to a degree. You may not be able to control your initial reaction, but you can choose how you will think about a situation, which will eventually lead to how you feel about it. As you begin to feel as though you are gaining control, you can then begin to prioritize for the long term. The more you think about and decide what is most important to you, the more you will operate from a place of conscious choice. As you do this, you will have more feelings of control and peace.

Focus on doing one thing at a time. I know in this day and age of multi-tasking we think we can’t get enough done if we are not doing more than one thing at a time. But is this really true? Have you ever noticed that the things we do with only half our attention, we often have to do over? Generally, when we give our tasks the undivided attention they truly require, we can get more done more efficiently. Just try this for a day and see what you can get accomplished.

What are you willing to begin today? Commit to at least one strategy, notice the effects, and you will want to incorporate all three. Applying these strategies during stressful times will help you gain a sense of control in your life. If you also begin to practice them in your daily life any time, you will begin to discover what it feels like to be at peace. Isn’t this what most of us are ultimately striving for anyway? I guess the key is to stop striving and breathe, prioritize, and focus. I guarantee that over time, the accumulated effects of these changes will dramatically change your quality of life and give you peace.

Teri Thomas is a spiritual life coach who’s mission is to help you connect with spirit and design your life around your deepest priorites. Are you ready to find that "something more" you’ve been looking for? For more resources on helping you begin the journey of finding it go to http://www.livingspiritually.com

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