'General Articles' Category Archive

Posted on May 18th, 2006

Life doesn’t always go as planned. Stuff happens, and things can soon build into the proverbial mountains from molehills if we let them. Here are some pointers for keeping buoyant in the face of adversity.

1. Get Some Perspective When problems occur, be specific about them. Speak with someone you know can help you be calm and objective, or take a few minutes to write your thoughts in a journal; anything to get them outside your head for some objective review can really help.

2. Put Negative Events in Quarantine Keep them separate and don’t let them spread. Negative events can be highly contagious! They have the ability to turn everything around them negative too, given half the chance. Don’t let them. Put them in isolation and make sure they stay there.

Here’s an example: Sally had some friends over for dinner; she spent ages planning, shopping and cooking. The meal was great, and everyone was happy and impressed with her efforts, but when it came to serving dessert, she dropped it – all over the table – splat!

Here’s where quarantining comes in very handy. The dessert incident could have ruined everything, but why should it? Everything else had been fine. Is it appropriate to let one incident get retrospective power over everything that had happened before?

Sally was disappointed and upset for a moment, then she shrugged and said, "Grab a spoon!" and everyone ate the desert from the table right where it had landed. The mess got cleaned up and everyone had fun.

3. Play with Time Will it matter in a week, a month, or a year? If not, let it go, why wait to feel better about it. If you can do it then, why not do it now?

4. Don’t Let it Get Personal Whenever you can don’t let it be about you. If two drivers honk their horns at you on the way to work, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are a bad driver, and it certainly doesn’t have to be a bad omen for your day – unless you let it. Keep in mind all your smooth and honk free journeys and let them balance things out for you.

The Dangers of Drama There’s a Chinese proverb that says: "You can’t prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair."

When we allow the little things to mushroom and unfold into a drama, we are inviting unnecessary stress and emotional suffering – for ourselves, and for those around us.

Keeping problems contained and in perspective saves us from getting stressed and helps us find solutions from a calm and clear point of view.

Ananga Sivyer is a contributing editor and health consultant for LifeScape magazine and the author of the self-help workbook: The Art & Science of Emotional Freedom

For more articles likes this or to sign up for her free "Energy Points" E-zine, visit her web-site at: http://www.ananga.net

Posted on May 17th, 2006

According to a study conducted by the American Heart Association, the ability to laugh is a good indicator of heart health. Their study of 150 patients support the fact that laughter has the potential to improve heart health by as much as forty percent.

There are so many funny things in the world, it’s amazing we ever frown. I made an effort yesterday to catalog all of the hilarious moments throughout my day. I gave up after an hour; there were just too many. I laugh easily, but it takes a lot to get a true belly laugh out of me.

You know the kind. It starts with a chuckle, a deep noise in the back of my throat. Then it grows into bursts of sound from the mouth, punctuated by an occasional gasp for air. Finally, the entire body is shaking, yet all noise has ceased. Typically, when I reach this point, I have tears rolling down my face, I can barely breathe, and there’s no way I could speak if I tried!

Yesterday I had one of those moments. A totally out of control laughing experience. As usual, it was a result of my own behavior. I was in my martial arts class, learning a new sparring combination. I’ve attended classes for the past year, so I’m no longer completely inept, but I still have my moments. This happened to be one of them.

Picture a woman of small stature stepping up to a man who is at least a full foot taller. She takes a defensive stance, her feet solidly planted, fists raised in front of her head for protection. He gives the signal for her to start, she steps back, cocks her fist and fires off a roundhouse punch at his head. He moves to block, unnecessarily as it turns out. Her hand continues it’s forward trajectory, coming around as roundhouse punches are apt to do, until it connects with her jaw.

Stunned, she rubs her face. That was not the intended target! She looks at her clenched fist for a moment in confusion, then looks up to see her partner shaking with laughter. Unable to resist, she joins him. It seems funnier by the moment and soon the laughter grows to a point of no return. Five minutes later, I had to excuse myself from the training hall to use the restroom and make some attempt to regain my dignity.

Physical comedy has always brought me to tears. I love reading a passage in a novel, or watching a scene in a movie, depicting some action with unintended consequences. I fully enjoy laughing at these comedic scenes, largely because I can picture myself easily doing the same! Falling, tumbling, tripping, you name it, I’ve done it. If I could do it on cue, I would be famous.

Laughter is a great stress reliever. After a good laughing session, muscles are relaxed and your mind is clear. Most of us spend a great amount of time being serious so we need the comic relief laughter provides. Life is full of funny, you don’t have to look hard to find it so open your eyes and laugh that stress away! Your heart will thank you for it.

Sonia Fischer is an author on http://www.Writing.Com/ which is a site for Creative Writing.

Posted on May 17th, 2006

Energy from emotional and physical stress has a tendency to spread into your immediate environment. It can take away the feeling of sanctuary you need in order to relax and unwind. The good news is that you can get rid of that accumulation of negative energy. You can create a haven that you will feel happy, secure, and productive in. The following suggestions should help.

Let’s first define what your personal space is to you. It could be your entire home, apartment, bedroom, or even just the corner of your dorm room. For some, especially busy moms; the bathroom is the best space to retreat to for a few minutes of serenity. Whatever space you claim as your own, that’s the area we want to focus on.

Now we need to get a grip on any unnecessary clutter. Those ever-growing piles of papers and miscellaneous things to do won’t get any smaller until you take some action. Make a date with yourself, even if it’s only for 15 minutes a day and go through each and every item. Would you REALLY miss it if you didn’t have it? If your answer comes short of a very definite YES, then pitch it, recycle it, or donate it. You’ll be amazed at how much lighter and free you’ll feel once this is done!

When the de-cluttering process has been completed, get out your dust cloth and mop. Clean up all the spider webs and dust bunnies. Pay attention to windows too. Having a cleaner space will help you breathe easier and is a much healthier environment for body, mind, and soul. Please make sure you spend a little extra time in heavy traffic areas and the corners too.

Now that everything is nice and tidy, ask yourself what you have in your space that you enjoy looking at. Maybe it’s a beautiful view outside your window, or pictures of your family. Being able to focus visually on your favorite things will help encourage Happy Thoughts. Try to have at least one small item for this.

What about the lighting, is it harsh, or too dim? That is easy to adjust with either higher or lower watts of light bulbs. I’ve found 60 watt works the best for me, but you might want super bright 100 watt, or very dim 40 watt. It’s a matter of personal preference and is also very inexpensive to adjust to what you like the best. Nothing beats natural light through a window during the day, but you don’t have to have a window to get the same effect. There are even light bulbs that offer a natural lighting feel in a room, though they are a bit more expensive. Candlelight adds some elegance and is excellent at burning away stressful feelings in a room. It also helps with aromatherapy; we will talk about that more a little later.

How does your space sound? Is there an accumulation of outside noises that distract you from being at peace? Sometimes running a fan or a white noise CD is the perfect block to outside noises. Try different types of music to enhance the ambience in your room. New age and classical music both have regenerative properties that work wonders on your mental state. I would suggest staying away from the television, especially during high stress times. Newscasts, soap operas, “real TV”, to name a few, will increase the levels of negativity in your environment. If you are set on the TV, try to pick the most positive programming you can find.

Aromatherapy is a vital element in creating your peaceful space. The part of your brain that detects smells is closely linked with the limbic part of your brain, which is your emotional center. Smells can evoke memories, good ones and bad ones; they can leave you feeling happy, sad, and every emotion in between. Aromatherapy goes back as far as Hippocrates, the Greek father of medicine, who strongly recommended the use of aromatic essential oils for their relaxing properties. A few relaxing, stress-relieving scents include:

· Cedarwood
· Chamomile
· Sage
· Rosemary
· Geranium
· Jasmine
· Lavender
· Lemongrass
· Orange
· Rose
· Rosewood
· Sandalwood
· Vanilla

You can use candles, incense, air fresheners of every different sort from sprays to plug-ins, or potpourri. Try a variety of types and aromas to see what works best for your own moods.

We have touched a little on how your room looks, sounds, and smells. These are important elements to consider in providing yourself with a mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy environment. You may want to think of the colors that are put in your room, the furnishings and how you arrange them. The temperature may need to be adjusted with fans or electric heaters. These ideas will set you on the way towards creating a peaceful sanctuary for yourself. What else can you think of to help yourself feel comfortable and relaxed? Get creative and have fun. Before you know it you’ll have your own piece of heaven on earth!

Tracy Togliatti is a Holistic Practitioner specializing in Energy Psychology and Reiki. She offers a free service at http://www.happyher.com/advice/index.shtml

Posted on May 16th, 2006

Visualization is one of the most powerful techniques you can use to achieve success. It is a technique that is used by most of the top achievers in every field, not only to achieve success, but also to solve problems.

Here is a simple four-step visualization technique that you can use to help solve almost any problem:

1. Decide with absolute conviction that a solution to your problem already exists. Your job is to find it.

2. Break the problem down into its component parts. If you prefer, use a separate piece of paper for each segment of your problem or situation, or use your computer as a “dynamic scratch pad” to jot down everything that comes to mind.

Your goal is to define, as completely as possible, everything that you know about each aspect of the problem.

3. Take a “mental walk” around your problem. Imagine hanging it from a hook in the center of the room, then walking slowly around it, viewing it from all sides. To help you consider your problem from many different perspectives, try asking yourself some open-ended, thought provoking questions, such as:

• How is this situation similar to others I’ve faced before?

• How would someone else solve this problem?

• What experts could I call upon to help me solve this problem?

• What are some excellent sources of information on this topic or related areas?

• If this problem involves another person, how does he or she view this situation?

4. Review your notes and brainstorm possible solutions. Just as virtually any object appears to be different from various angles, so will your problem or solution.

This four step process will reveal areas where you need more information, as well as potential solutions to part or all of the problem. As you record your thoughts and insights, patterns will begin to emerge.

Follow every lead as far as you can; don’t reject any idea at this stage, no matter how ridiculous it may seem initially. As Nobel Prize winning chemist Linus Pauling said: “The trick to having great ideas is to come up with a lot of ideas, then throw out the bad ones.”

What this unique exercise does is to get you moving. When you get into action, your perspective changes and solutions that may have been hidden from you are now suddenly obvious. Obstacles, when seen in a new light, are often much smaller than they first appeared.

As with most things in life, barriers that once seemed insurmountable often evaporate when they are subjected to rigorous scrutiny by a determined achiever with a positive mental attitude.

Copyright(c)2006 by Joe Love and JLM & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

Joe Love draws on his 25 years of experience helping both individuals and companies build their businesses, increase profits, and achieve total success. He is the founder and CEO of JLM & Associates, a consulting and training organization, specializing in personal and business development. Through his seminars and lectures, Joe Love addresses thousands of men and women each year, including the executives and staffs of many of America’s largest corporations, on the subjects of leadership, self-esteem, goals, achievement, and success psychology.

Reach Joe at: joe@stressmanagementarticles.com

Read more articles and newsletters at: http://www.jlmandassociates.com

Posted on May 15th, 2006

Have you ever watched children walk along a curb, or along the railway ties lining the local playground? They walk with their arms straight out, placing one foot in front of the other, as they teeter from side-to-side. They have to stay focused in order to keep their balance. As adults, we also need to focus on balance in our lives or we may end up falling off - not off a curb or a railway tie, but off our path in life.

I know what you are thinking: "Who has time to think about balance? I have enough to think about. I have to work, clean the house, do laundry, be a good friend, volunteer at church, parent my children, and find time for my marriage." I understand. However, I would like to encourage you to take a few minutes to read this article - and maybe to reflect on what balance would look like for you.

Personally, I need a little from all areas of my life. It is important for me to exercise and watch what I eat, and it is also important for me to have fun and express my creativity. My career as a life coach is my passion, and I am also passionate about spending time with my family. My church nourishes my spirit; spending time with my husband every day nourishes our marriage.

Finding balance in life is different for everyone. Some of us want to slow life down a little and lighten our load. Others may love the fast-paced lifestyle of the "Energizer Bunny," as they go-go-go. It is important for each of us to think about how we want to spend our lives and about what is most important to us as individuals. If you find yourself driven by circumstances and not exercising your power of choice, you are probably living "out of balance". For instance, how often to you hear yourself say, "I can’t, I have to, or I need to…?" Are you giving up your right to choose? Do you insist on doing things a certain way without ever asking why or looking for a better way?

Balance in our lives enables us to make choices that are right for us - for the right reasons. We learn to say "no" to things we don’t want to do. Or to change our attitude about those things that really must be done. We become willing to look honestly at what is not working in our lives. For some, it may be as simple as handing over household chores to a housekeeper in order to pursue a hobby. Others may find that seeking out a biking partner helps motivate them to exercise. Keeping balance may require saying no to a child’s extracurricular activity to make time for a family night. Trying out new ideas one at a time can help each of us achieve the balance and fulfillment that may be missing from our lives.

It is important to remember that balance is a process and is constantly changing, just as our lives are constantly changing. Balance is not some static goal that we achieve and then move on. We achieve balance in the moment, understanding that in the next moment everything may change.

Look at the balance in your life over time. If life seems smooth and fulfilling, you are probably on the right track. If, however, your road through life seems bumpy and you are often unhappy, making changes to help you move towards greater balance could be the answer for you.

Lori Radun, CEC - certified life coach for moms. To

get her FREE newsletter and the special report "155 Things Moms Can Do to

Raise Great Children", go to

http://www.true2youlifecoaching.com

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

Posted on May 6th, 2006

All of life can be stressful at times but sometimes things occur that create extreme stress. We might include divorce, loss of a loved one, physical illness, financial collapse, mid-life crises, natural disaster, depression and anything else that takes us far beyond the usual levels of life’s hardship.

Sadly most of us are not prepared when extreme stress comes crashing through our door. We have not learned the skills that help us survive and/or transform the difficult emotions, thoughts and physical reactions that always travel with painful life experiences. Frequently we react with shock, confusion and a pervading feeling of being lost and alone. Too often, we weight-challenged individuals use food as our major coping mechanism and feel helpless to manage our eating until the stress abates.

The reality is that life and its hardships spare no one. Sooner or later things happen. I am clear that trying to insulate ourselves from those occurrences will only make life more difficult and will keep us fat and afraid of being completely alive. I don’t want to live that way, and I assume you don’t either. Here are some tools that have made a great difference to me.

Managing Extreme Stress: Survival Techniques

I have listed 2 very powerful guidelines below. They have been tested and proven useful in the most difficult of situations. Please give them serious consideration.

1. EMBRACE THE PAIN

Contemporary American society has a very clear attitude about pain: If you are in pain, get rid of it as fast as you can. The problem is extreme stress often causes pain that no medication can take away. What then?

What if the pain has some very specific messages for you? Messages that could change your life for the better. Messages that have the answers to some of the most persistent problems of your life. If this was true (and it is), then maybe it’s best that your pain does not go away until you hear what it has to say. Maybe your pain is aware of this and is actually helping by refusing to disappear.

Imagine that your suffering has a shape or a form. Maybe it looks like a demon or an ugly rat. Whatever image works for you. Imagine that this "thing" is sitting in a chair across from you and that you can communicate with it. Ask it some questions. "Why are you in my life? Why don’t you go away? Do you have some kind of message for me?" Then imagine that it can answer you and listen to what it says. Allow it to talk, even if it says weird things at first. Then respond with more questions. Pretty soon you will have created a dialogue that will reveal some amazing things about you and your suffering.

If you are willing to do this exercise 5 or 6 times over the course of a week, you will achieve a new level of insight into your life problem and your pain. Take the risk. You have nothing to lose.

2. TREAT DESPAIR AS A SACRED SPACE

Among 12-steppers there is a phrase that has come to have great significance. "Personal bottom" is used to indicate that moment at which an addict reaches the lowest point in his/her life. This painful experience is the point at which many addicts decide to go for help. As bad as it is, it is the beginning of the healing process.

You need not be an addict to reach your "personal bottom." Extreme stress can drive anyone to despair and desperation. If you are at or near that point, you will find this thought helpful: Despair is more than an emotion. It is an energy that can break through your resistance to positive change. It can open your ears to the voices of support that you have been, until now, unable or unwilling to hear. Despair can drill a gaping hole through the densest defenses and bring the toughest of us to our knees.

But, it is on our knees that we finally reach out to a Source greater than ourselves. It is because we are on our knees that we ultimately find healing. Despair has driven us here. It seems nothing else could. Thank God for despair. It has preformed a holy, sacred task. It has brought us a special gift that no other life experience could offer. If you are in despair, give thanks and open your heart to its gift.

I think these two are enough for today. God bless you and be obvious to you on your journey, in hard and easy times as well.

Matthew Anderson, D. Min., is a counselor, organizational consultant, seminar leader and the author of books and tapes that can help you overcome your obstacles to well-being. To learn more about Dr. Anderson, click here.

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Posted on May 5th, 2006

We make up stress for ourselves. We do it with our thoughts. It naturally follows that our thoughts can eliminate stress.

There is no stress in the universe. There is a flow, a give and take, harmony, natural laws of attraction. All of these can be put to use to manage our personal flow, particularly when that flow seems to be clogged with worry and fear.

Deadline Stress

Where do deadline’s come from? We make them up, so we can unmake them. The major times I experience stress is when I’ve decided something should happen by or at such and such a time and that isn’t the universes plan at all. It always ends up that I’m the one that has to change. We impose deadline on ourselves all the time. We make appointments too close together, we agree to do things we should have declined to do. “No” is a great stress relieved.

In business it is a good plan to under promise and over deliver. That way everyone is pleasantly surprised.

Stress Over The Behavior Of Others

We worry about our children, our parents, our friends. We want them to make the “right” choices. But whose “right” are we talking about. A major cause of stress over others is that we want control, we want it to be done our way which happens to be the way we would be comfortable doing it.

Everyone must walk their own path. Everyone must make their own choice. That is how they learn. That is how they deepen their experience to guide them in future choices.

As we embrace a belief that there is only one energy and each of us is an expression of that infinite energy, then we know that no one is alone. Each of us is a part of a wholeness so great it is unimaginable. We are guarded and guided every step of the way.

What To Do To Release Stress

Detach yourself. Put it in perspective. Are you really going to get sick because of certain papers on your desk that need something done to them? Do you choose to ignore your own need for rest or nourishment because you very much want to have a vote in what someone else is choosing. When someone you love is sick or making what you perceive as dangerous choices, move into trust and faith. Release them to their highest good and know the outcome will be perfect.

Non-attachment does not mean not caring. It means releasing it to its only natural fulfillment. If I put out an idea at a meeting I can be very attached to it’s acceptance as the way things should be or I can put it out and let it take the form the group needs for it to take. It may be embraced, it may be tabled, it may be dropped. I offer the idea because it was an intuitive nudge from my inner wisdom. Period. I have offered and I release it.

Non-attachment does not mean you don’t help. But first you need to ask if they person wants your help or advice. Sometimes in our good intentions to assist we actually are sending the message “You can’t do that, you’re not good enough to do that.” A very disempowering message to send.

How Do You Change Your Vibration When You Are Under Stress?

Without going too deeply into the Law of Attraction, we can basically say that like attracts like. When we are vibrating to worry and angst we will definitely attract more of the same. To move from stress to peace we must change our vibration. There are definitely things we can do.

  • Consciously let go of any concern about the result or outcome.
  • Align yourself with wholeness
  • Trust
  • Practice non attachment
  • Stay in the “now,”
  • Don’t worry about “what if.”
  • Under promise and over deliver.
  • Say “no.” Choose only activities that nourish and satisfy you.
  • Let go of the need to control – a situation, another’s actions, an outcome.
  • Ask someone to help you hold your faith steady (friend, spiritual counselor).
  • Allow circumstances to unfold at their own pace. You cannot force a flower to bloom.
  • Exchange fear for trust. Fear contributes to your negative thought.
  • Trust your fundamental beliefs to hold you. Remember that you are a contributing member to a Universe of Love. You are innately whole and serene.
  • Move from your head to your heart by consciously breathing in wholeness to fill your body.
  • Know that everyone is part of one infinite energy
  • Understand that even when souls choose to leave the planet “early” they have chosen their gift of departure in advance.
  • You are only responsible for your own thoughts and actions. (That should keep you busy enough!)
  • Lower and eliminate stress by changing your thoughts and awareness.
  • Look at the situation from another viewpoint.
  • If you like the results and experiences you are doing, keep doing them.
  • If you find areas you desire to change, simply change your vibration by changing your thought.

Your Own Path

My favorite new thing to do is to pick out qualities I want to experience at the beginning of each day. Flow, clarity, peace, serenity, discovery, insights, completion, awareness. The next day when I journal I note what has manifested.

You make your own stress. You can unmake your own stress. Watch your mind and monitor it. Thank it for it’s worrisome, negative, you-can’t-do-it thoughts and in their place put your alignment with the natural flow of the universe, trusting and knowing that when you listen to your inner wisdom each choice will lead you in the perfect direction.

Practice non-attachment. Allow things to happen at their own pace. Watch the natural unfolding of miracle after miracle around you.

© Cara Lumen 2005 WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this blurb with it: Cara Lumen is a metaphysical philosopher and author of The Winds of Change Teleclass series, a personal journey of vision and possibility. To learn more about this compelling series, to browse in her library of insightful articles and to sign up for her FREE e-magazines visit http://www.caralumen.com

Posted on May 4th, 2006

It isn’t easy keeping your sense of peace when everyone and everything around you is going crazy. Short of completely isolating yourself from the whole world, within a perfectly peaceful environment, what do you do? This article is going to explore quite a few tools that will help you formulate your very own Stress Reduction Plan. This plan will help you keep your cool even when those around you are losing theirs, and quite possibly blaming it on you!

If you’re like me, you work hard at maintaining a desired level of peace and serenity within your life. Then, it can easily be blown in one incident of having to deal with other stressed out people or places. You might find yourself blowing your cool over something inconsequential such as an irate driver, or a longer than preferred line at the store.

When your stress levels soar, you could end up resenting other people or yourself for losing that nice peaceful feeling you were just starting to enjoy. On top of that, it can be frustrating to have to start over again in getting back the serenity you worked so hard to maintain in the first place. Now you’re stressed about being stressed. It can be a vicious, hard to break, cycle. Luckily, there are positive steps you can take to change all that!

Let me first assure you it’s perfectly natural to find yourself getting stressed out along with the people you’re around, or the environment you’re in. Studies show that one negative person can bring down a whole room full of positive people. The same holds true for how one stressed out person can raise the stress levels of those around him/her. There is also the energy in an environment, caused by people, or the environment itself that is a very powerful force to deal with. The more sensitive you are to energy, the more susceptible you will be to energy given off by other people and places. We will talk about how to deal with that in a little while.

I feel the first thing we need to do is put it firmly in our minds that Stress Happens! In all of our efforts to remain calm and peaceful, it’s easy to forget that stressful events in and of themselves are not what does the damage to us. Whether its good or bad stress, coming from within yourself, or from other people and places, it completely depends on how you process the stress that ultimately determines how it will end up affecting you. Cultivating acceptance can help immensely. That is the first, and very important, part of our Stress Reduction Plan.

The next step of the Stress Reduction Plan is to practice staying in the Right Here, Right Now, present time. Staying with the immediate will dramatically decrease feelings of anxiety and fear. You will be aware of the energy going on around you, so you can be alert to stressful energy and deal with it accordingly. You will also be able to face the stress head on before it turns into another tension headache or sleepless night.

One thing that helps me stay mindful of focusing on the present is to practice, practice, and practice some more! Be mindful of how your body moves, feel how your eyes are moving as they read this article, how you are sitting in your chair, how the air around you feels on your body. Listen to what is going on around you, the hum of the computer, or outside traffic passing by; birds singing, whatever you can hear, really take time to hear it. Use all of your senses to experience everything that is around you at all times. Practice these things throughout the day as you accomplish your daily tasks and see if it helps you too.

The third step we are going to take in creating our Stress Reduction Plan is to make a list of your Stress Hot Spots. Perhaps it’s trying to get ready for your day, especially if you’re getting kids to school and significant others off to work. Maybe it’s rush hour, or suppertime, or the end of the workday where things are the most chaotic and apt to take you out of your Happy Place. Really take some time to create a list of all the different areas of your life where stress is going to be inevitable.

Once you have a list of your “Stress Hot Spot” times, ask yourself these questions for each item listed:

· Are there ways you can lessen the impact of that stress for yourself and others? (Maybe it’s as simple as waking up 10 minutes earlier to avoid the morning rush).
· Can you ask others for help?
· Can you allow other people to keep their own feelings of stress in this situation without feeling you’re abandoning them if you don’t join in by getting stressed out yourself?
· Are there any items that you are procrastinating about that might make stressful times even more stressful for yourself or others? How can you correct that?
· Can you find any humor in it at all? There’s usually a lighter side of every situation and looking for that can really help when things start getting too heavy.
· Do you have time for a quick break, before, during, or after the stressful event?
· What others strategies might help Stress Hot Spot times go as smoothly and enjoyably as possible?

Part of creating your list might be to request a team or family meeting to help brainstorm suggestions to alleviate the stressful areas you all share together. This will help improve everyone’s stress level and peace of mind!

After you answer all the questions, add the suggestions you came up with to your Daily To-Do list. It also might be helpful to post some reminder signs around your house or office to keep you aware of what you’re working towards.

Another important part of keeping your cool is to release being judgmental. For example, that excruciatingly slow driver probably isn’t really a bum out to ruin your life. They might be having any number of personal crisis situations going on. You never really know what’s going on in other people’s lives, and most likely they’re not thinking about what’s going on in your life either. Think about when you have been the most challenged in your own life and how wonderful it would feel if others gave you patience and understanding. Maybe you can teach those others a lesson by being the patient, understanding one first. You will feel more control of yourself and your day as well!

Speaking of being in control, Free Will offers us the wonderful blessing of being able to consciously accept or reject stress coming from others. For example, if your boss or life partner is exhibiting high stress symptoms, you can allow them to keep their own stressed energies without becoming attached and absorbing those energies yourself. Allow other people to own their own negative feelings or stress, and allow yourself to stay attached to your own feelings of peace and serenity. You can still be there for the person without experiencing their negative or stressful emotions with them. I can guarantee that you will be a bigger help to them, and to yourself, when you are coming from a center of peace than if you are a stressed out wreck waiting to happen!

Another wonderful thing about Free Will is it gives you the ability to consciously create your environment. If you walk into a room that has negative or stressful energy, imagine positive and peaceful energy filling up the room as well. This will help you from being overcome with the bad energy and help others in the area by drawing out more of their positive energy. It’s a simple scientific equation that like attracts like. In keeping with that equation, the more positive feelings you give out, the more will come back to you. Play with this idea for a while and see how effective it can be.

Of course, unless you are completely enlightened, there will be times that stress gets the best of you. When you get anxious or afraid, allow the feelings to flow through you without fighting with yourself over them. It really is okay to have those, or other not so pleasant emotions from time to time; it’s how you act on them that determine if they are going to be beneficial or harmful to you. Always remember that you have Free Will and can make choices from a place of serenity no matter what situation you find yourself in.

I hope these ideas help you keep your cool even in the most challenging of times. If you would like more specific tools in regard to your own unique lifestyle, I would be more than happy to talk with you about it. Also, I would love to hear from you if you would like to share how these tools I’ve mentioned work for you in your life, or have any other suggestions or questions. Please contact me anytime at http://www.happyher.com/advice/contact.shtml

Tracy Togliatti is a Holistic Practitioner specializing in Energy Psychology and Reiki. She also offers a free advice service and free email Reiki lessons at http://www.happyher.com.

Posted on May 3rd, 2006

Sleeping pills have been the traditional remedy for insomnia and are consumed at a rate far more terrifying than mind changing illegal drugs.

Alternative medicine has hit the market at a similar speed where Godly Peace has been smothered beneath a blanket of suspect spirituality. Lifestyle changes have attacked us all in dramatic ways. Many have been forced to try anything that even looks like providing a peace that will give a tired body just enough power to survive the next day.

True and deep tiredness from a solid day’s work enjoys the reward of a good night’s sleep. Try a simple, free and highly successful remedy that could appear as a ‘joke’ to some but once tried, used every night.

After the shower and probably while still in the bathroom take a few moments to empty your mind following the rules contained within God’s Word.

Recall every negative experiences that may have tried to take root through your thoughts during the day. Speak to these as you would an uninvited intruder to your home, eg "I command all confusion to be washed off this mind", and " I command all negative feelings to be cleaned out of this mind." Finish with, " Thank you for causing the storm to be still"

Verbalize these phrases at least 7-8 times; by this time you will notice a growing peace with a preparedness for bed.

Now, very importantly refill your mind with the PEACE that flows like a river. eg, "Thank you Lord for filling this mind with a Peace that flows like a river", or "Thank you that I will sleep satisfied and untouched by every evil."

Once this ‘habit’ becomes as basic as the shower the sleeping pills will become a thing of the past whilst the new Peace passes all understanding.

Copyright 2006 Patricia Little

Patricia Little is a writer and the editor of a re-released classic ebook- it will show you how to get the best of health and wealth out of all your future years. For more go to ==> http://www.Young-at-Sixty.com.

Remarkable "How I Became Young at Sixty" brings renewed vigor to your body, and hope to your mind. You Can Get your Free ebook "How I Became Young at Sixty" by going to http://www.Young-at-Sixty.com/get-your-f-r-e-e-ebook.htm.

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