'Relaxation and Peace' Category Archive

Posted on Sep 29th, 2006

How can we eliminate stress? That is one of the most common questions asked in the twenty first century with one of the most elusive answers!

Well, in order to eliminate stress we should first realise what it is and where it comes from.

A typical dictionary definition explains stress as: “a force exerted when one body or body part presses on, pulls on, pushes against, or tends to compress or twist another body or body part.”

Well when we experience stress in our lives it often feels as though an external (or sometimes internal) force is pressing against our lives. This causes a great deal of anguish and frustration to the person suffering which mainly comes from unwanted harassing thoughts and negative emotions. These thoughts and emotions cause imbalance, to a greater or lesser degree, within the mind which if persisted in will eventually cause an imbalance in the body!

So when connected to people we can give a clearer definition of ‘Stress’ as “a state of heightened emotional and mental imbalance caused by internal or external forces in one’s life”.

So what internal or external forces can cause this emotional and mental imbalance in one’s life?

At first this appears to be an almost impossible question to answer. There can be numerous causes of stress. They range from the more trivial – having a bad day at work – to the more serious – dreading an impending catastrophic event. However, if we look at all the apparent causes of stress closely we can see the root cause, which is always the same! What is it? Well it’s very simple.

Stress is caused when we want things, situations or people to be different from they are! Basically, it’s when we want things to be the way we want them to be but they just don’t change. Remember the dictionary definition of stress - “a force exerted when one body or body part presses on, pulls on, pushes against, or tends to compress or twist another body or body part.” We are desiring things to be different and when they stay the same (regardless of our actions) we experience stress. Our force of ‘will’ i.e. our ‘wanting’ the situation to change is exerting force on the situation. However, the situation remains the same and you know what happens when two forces in opposite directions collide - the stronger force wins! In such situations it is our desire that becomes compressed or twisted.

Ok, now we know that stress has its roots in ‘desire’ it becomes much easier to find a way to eliminate it.

Many mystical and religious traditions have told us that in order to achieve enlightenment or attain our fondest dreams we need merely achieve a desire-less state! Unfortunately not many tell us how to do this! Many tell us that in order to have something we must first stop wanting it!

This seems a strange concept but it does have solid foundations. If we desire something to the point of stressing ourselves about it, then our behaviour becomes grasping and we have little or no chance of gaining that which we desire.

Fortunately though, there is a simple effective way of eliminating such grasping desires from your life called ‘releasing’. This technique is not new but it is highly effective and little known in the western world.

Let us look again at our new definition of stress and how we can use it to eliminate stress on the spot in any situation. Our definition states that stress is “a state of heightened emotional and mental imbalance caused by internal or external forces in one’s life”. So how do we use this? Well firstly, the next time you experience a feeling of stress (try to pick a time when you are only slightly uptight until you get the hang of this), stop what you are doing for a moment and ask yourself “what do I want to be different in this situation/person/event?” – you are identifying your thoughts behind the stress.

Then, once you have identified these thoughts, ask yourself “how does that make me feel?” – you are identifying the emotions behind the thoughts.

Let’s take an example. You are at work and the boss wants you to get all your work finished by 5 o’ clock but you know that this is impossible but feel a mounting pressure to succeed at the task. You find yourself rushing around doing ten things at once all the time feeling more and more stressful. So, you ask the first question - “what do I want to be different in this situation/person/event?” The answer may be, “I want my boss to stop putting me under pressure”. - You have identified some the thoughts behind the stress.

Next you ask “how does that make me feel?” The answer to this may be “I feel unappreciated!” – You have identified one of the feelings behind your thoughts.

Now for one moment stop trying to suppress that emotion and fully feel it. Allow yourself to delve into that feeling and experience it and then ‘let it go’. Imagine it is a spent force escaping through your stomach. Do this several times, as it takes seconds to perform. Within a few repetitions you will start to feel your stress ease away effortlessly. Keep asking the questions as there may be several reasons behind your stress or you may need to ‘release’ a particularly deep-seated emotion a few times before it is gone. Try it, you may just be surprised at the results!

Personal Development - The best personal development products reviewed. Read the review of the most powerful self improvement tool we have ever tried - ‘releasing’.

Hypnosis - Dedicated to bringing you the best information regarding hypnosis & NLP.

Attention E-zine Editors:
You may use this article on your Website or in your e-zine royalty free, as long as you publish the complete article along with everything in the resource box. You must also post this message. Thank you.

Posted on Sep 28th, 2006

My interest is in bringing wellness to life and overwhelm inhibits wellness. Some people are naturally good at managing their lives. Others appear to lack simple self management skills so their effectiveness is reduced and their stress levels are increased. This latter group are often impulsive, they fail to plan, they are disorganised and they are frequently overwhelmed to the point of stasis and eventually they manifest physical illnesses as a result.

This article gives tips and techniques which, when adopted into the lives of the serially overwhelmed, will assist them to organise themselves, their lives and their possessions thereby freeing up time, energy and mental capacity; ensuring they have the best chance of enjoying Wellness for Life.

1. When feeling overwhelmed resist the temptation to initiate large changes in your life. When you are overwhelmed you are not in the right frame of mind to make important decisions.

2. Free up some time for you. This is thinking time, relaxation time or planning time.

3. Find a cleaner, an ironing lady or a babysitter anything which buys you a little more time and energy

4. Eliminate energy drains in your life. These may be situations, people or your own procrastination

5. Reduce your expenditure and save extra money. Even if money appears to be the root of the overwhelm it is important to build a reserve even the smallest sum saved each week is better than nothing

6. Resist the temptation to set yourself new goals. Focus on reducing the current situation of overwhelm to immediately improve quality of life before taking on any new challenges

7. Give yourself permission to put yourself first. Delegate tasks where possible at work and at home

8. Make a commitment to leave your place of work at a reasonable time every evening. This will allow you time with your family and friends and time to relax. You will find that you will get more done in less time as your commitment to leave at a specific time will make you more focused and more productive during the working day

9. Arrange fewer meetings. These may be business or social. Do not cram your calendar full of appointments allow yourself some buffer time to catch up

10. Recognise that there is more to life than your career or your work. Avoid the trap of investing too much of your time in work searching for something that cannot be found there - your life

11. Ensure you get enough sleep. Tiredness is the shortest route to feelings of overwhelm

12. Eat a balanced diet and eat regularly. It is essential to provide fuel for the body if the body is to supply you with sufficient energy for the day

13. Always take your holidays from work. Resist the temptation to accept payments in lieu (even if it’s offered). You need this holiday time to recharge your physical, emotional and spiritual reserves

14. Recognise that the acquisition of more is a myth. Having it all is not all it would appear to be - it does not bring happiness, instead it brings high levels of stress and lots of responsibility

15. Make friends with yourself again. Get to know yourself again. What makes you tick? Start a journal, choose a journal which pleases you, something which gives you pleasure. Use your journal to start a dialogue with yourself. If you find it difficult to get started, think about acknowledging the things you’re most grateful for or most afraid of or most challenged by

16. Book an appointment with yourself one evening every week. Make this a regular date and use the time for self care. Write the appointments in your diary or Mark your calendar - this is a non-negotiable date

17. Make your health a priority. Do not wait until illness strikes before you start taking care of yourself. Prevention really is better than cure

18. Take care of your emotional health. Know what makes you feel good and build it into your day

19. Take care of your relationships. Spend time with people who are important to you

20. Take care of your spiritual well-being. This will mean something different for everyone from regular religious worship to meditation or simply spending time close to nature

21. Have fun. Having fun is not frivolous it is just as important as the time we spend working. Use your journal to explore where and how you are bringing fun into your life

22. Be generous with your “self”. This is not a large request for action or a large time commitment. Demonstrate a generous spirit in small ways perhaps by holding a door open for someone or assisting an elderly person with their shopping anything which will encourage a smile in return

23. Slow down. Be aware of your whole body throughout the day. Avoid the temptation of just residing in your head. Keep your attention on the here and now. Talk more slowly, write more slowly and walk more slowly

24. Get your priorities straight. Look at where you are spending the most of your time and ask yourself if this makes sense. Define your priorities and arrange your diary around them

25. Acknowledge that you have no power to manage time. You can only manage yourself and the way you use time

26. Be aware of how often you agree to something when you would rather not. Put space between a request for your time and your response

27. Take daily breaks and allow yourself to just be. Practise doing nothing just for five minutes and teach yourself how to be still instead of always been busy

28. Identify what is sapping your energy. Procrastination often takes more energy than action

29. Deal with money problems. Acknowledge all debt and work out a realistic repayment plan. Avoid incurring further debt as debt and the worry caused by debt is one of the biggest energy drains

30. Deal with anything that has been left incomplete or unresolved from the past. These issues hold you back and leave no energy available for the present

31. Identify the people who continuously drain your energy. Either re-negotiate the basis of your relationship with them or ease them out of your life

32. Handle all outstanding communication. Return phone calls, e-mails and letters which may be outstanding

33. Maintain your home. Get on and do those niggling jobs which are annoying you. Fix the door which regularly sticks, replace the washer in the dripping tap and clear out the old newspapers and magazines

34. Sort through your clothes. Clean, repair or alter any you are keeping. Clothes which are worn out, no longer fit or are no longer required should be cleared out and either given to a charity shop, a good friend or binned

35. De-clutter your home. Go through cupboards, outbuildings and the loft. Creating physical space will also permit mental space

Donetta Harrison is building http://www.wellnessforlife.info, an information resource on all aspects of wellness in all domains of life, to encourage individuals to take responsibility for their health and wellbeing in order that that they may live life to the full. More Information from wellnessforlife@stressmanagementarticles.com.

Posted on Sep 27th, 2006

Some men may experience the fear of being alone. There are many ways to overcome this fear, however the main thing is to remember that there is nothing wrong with being alone. In addition, here is a short list of techniques that a guy can use so that the fear of being alone doesn’t become a major issue in their lives.

The first step is to find an activity that you enjoy and where you can meet a lot of people. For instance, joining a group activity such as a volleyball group, women’s club, or making Crafts can be a great way to meet people. Doing something that you like to do will make you happy and will increase your chances of making friends.

Spending time with animals can be a great source of companionship. Whether you have a dog or you go to your local shelter, spending time with an animal or pet can help us to feel better. Animals can be of good company to all of us whether we are alone or not.

Helping others through community service can be of some help. There are many people out there who could benefit from your time and talents. Helping others can give you a source of pride and accomplishment and also can lead to friendships.

It isn’t fun being alone, but sometimes there are worse things. For instance, imagine that you are married or stuck in a relationship that you can’t get out of and also makes you miserable. Not only do you have to live with this person, but there is no way to get out of the relationship because of various financial or personal reasons. As a result, you are stuck living with someone that you can’t stand and makes you depressed every single day of your life. With this viewpoint, being alone doesn’t sound that bad.

For those of you who believe in God, spending time with God and praying to him can help us in our lonely situation. Spending time with God and asking God for help in our time of loneliness can be of great comfort. You never know how God will work in ones life. Ask him for help and trust that he will help you.

As a Layman, the important thing is to do something constructive. Sitting around and doing nothing will not make things any better whether its dealing with the fear of being alone or something else. Take it one day at a time and stay committed in trying to solve your problem.

Stan Popovich is the author of "A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear” an easy to read book that presents a overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to: http://www.managingfear.com

Posted on Sep 26th, 2006

We are a nation of stressed out mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandparents, wives, husbands… you get the idea.

It’s easy to get caught up in the spiral of everyday life and forget to honor your spirit and body. Studies have shown that stress causes or exacerbates ailments such as strokes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, etc.

But do any of these facts, slow you down?

Chances are the answer to the question is “no”. Unfortunately, many people do not take the time to unwind, until it’s too late and they are lying in a hospital bed.

Stress reduction techniques vary. Below are four easy stress management techniques:

• Take five minutes out of your day and sit by yourself with your eyes closed. If you are a busy parent, student or working stiff like the rest of us, it may prove difficult, but it’s important that you find some time for yourself.

The five minutes can come at the end of the day, right before you go to sleep. This is also a great way to unwind before bedtime.

During these 5 minutes, think of happy thoughts. A vacation that you enjoyed or a good joke – anything that makes you happy and content.

• Take time to treat yourself to the good things in life. Visit your local day spas or take a nice vacation. Life is short and as the saying goes “you can’t it with you”.

• Designate a relaxation day, every three months. This is only four days per year out of 365 days. Use this day to get a therapeutic massage, a facial or manicure. Take your husband, mom, sister, best friend with you or get them a gift certificate so that they can also enjoy the experience. This is an especially wonderful gift, if they have a special occasion coming up such as an anniversary, graduation, new birth, mother’s day or valentine’s day.

Delia Galley writes about stress relief techniques. Visit http://www.dayspafan.com to find your local day spas.

Posted on Sep 25th, 2006

The next time you feel stressed and overwhelmed, take a deep breath, and start singing!

Research has proven that breaking into good old-fashioned song can release ‘pleasure’ hormones, called endorphins, which have been proven to reduce the harmful effects of stress on mind and body. And although bursting out with your favorite song may not always endear you to your co-workers, it’s guaranteed to break the monotony in the workplace!

Doctors believe that singing is valuable aerobic exercise, encouraging better posture and deeper breathing. Using singing therapy as a relaxation technique, a depression treatment, stress and anxiety management, and even a treatment for serious mental health problems is a growing movement in health care. Singing causes endorphins to flow, stimulating good feelings throughout the body as it stimulates brain activity.

I believe that singing can be a literal lifesaver when it comes to the effects of a hectic life style, or in cases of chronic depression. Innately, we all love to sing. As babies, it was our earliest form of communication. I’ve seen people’s lives dramatically change when they express themselves in song. It’s really powerful.

At my studio in Midway, Utah, I also work with Parkinson’s patients who often experience vocal challenges, and I find that with any chronic condition there tends to be depression. With voice and singing therapy, my Parkinson’s disease patients not only have fun, but also overcome their communication problems. Patients leave each session in a great mood, and just love what singing does for them on so many levels!

So, the next time you’re feeling that it’s time for that mid-afternoon nap, remember that singing encourages deep breathing, which brings more oxygen to the brain, and can be a healthy alternative to a potentially unhealthy caffeinated drink. Do something good for yourself! Singing is fun, beneficial to health and heart, and doesn’t cost a penny! Here’s some good advice: sing more,stress less!

©2006 Beth Lawrence is the only expert in the country teaching The Integrated Voice™ method, a holistic approach to voice coaching and therapy honoring the connection of body, mind and spirit. Beth is the CEO of Viva La Voice!, a company offering private voice coaching; classes/workshops in the performing arts, and music camps for women. To learn more: http://www.VivaLaVoice.com

Posted on Sep 24th, 2006

The truth is you may not always be able to eliminate stress. Since life is filled with potential threats, stress is inevitable. If you can’t always eliminate it, then at best you can eliminate what you can and learn to live with what you cannot eliminate. You are capable of minimizing the magnitude of the stressful reaction upon the body.

You must evaluate your life as it is. If you are feeling stressed or if you are stressed out, take a moment and examine what may be causing your stress. List the stressors you can control, along with a coping strategy for each. By listing these, you may find that you can move some of these into the can-control category. Also try to generate a new way of looking at the situation; it may open up a new avenue for growth.

While drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and food may offer temporary relief, they can easily increase the problem. A change in your daily routine or environment can effectively reduce you stress and improve you coping strategies. The following are examples of effective coping strategies:

1. Relax: It’s important to unwind. Each person has his or her own way to relax. Some ways include deep breathing, yoga, meditation, and massage therapy. If you can’t do these things, take a few minutes to sit, listen to soothing music.

2. Make time for yourself: It’s important to care for yourself. Think of this as an order from your doctor, so you don’t feel guilty. No matter how busy you are, you can try to set aside at least 15 minutes each day in your schedule to do something for yourself, like going for a walk, or calling a friend.

3. Sleep: Sleeping is a great way to help both your body and mind. Your stress could get worse if you don’t get enough sleep. With enough sleep, you can tackle your problems better and lower you risk for illness. Try to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night.

4. Eat right: Try to fuel up with fruits, vegetables, and proteins. Don’t be fooled by the jolt you get from caffeine or sugar. Your energy will aware off.

5. Set limits: When it comes to things like work and family; figure out what you can really do. There are only so many hours in the day. Set limits with yourself and others. Don’t be afraid to say NO to requests for your time and energy.

6. Plan your time: Think ahead about how you’re going to spend your time. Write a to-do list. Figure out what’s most important to do.

7. Don’t deal with stress in unhealthy ways: This includes drinking too much alcohol, using drugs, smoking, or overeating.

8. Exercise: Research shows that physical exercise is the best tension reliever. It is an important remedy for stress. Nothing eases stress more than exercise. Exercise not only improves your health and reduces stress; it also relaxes tense muscles and helps you to sleep.

Anna Brandy an expert of the alternative medicine industry and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise on Vaginal Yeast Infection Cure. More info: http://www.symptoms-yeast-infection-treatment.com/

Posted on Sep 23rd, 2006

Stress can be caused by a number of situational factors, but if you find you have constant stress in your life on a regular basis, it could be due to your own personality traits. Fortunately, these traits can be changed with three simple strategies to manage stress.

First, consider whether or not you are prone to perfectionism. Overly critical parents or teachers during your youth may have caused you to strive for complete perfectionism, which is not necessarily a good thing. Most perfectionists are frustrated and have high stress levels. Many are procrastinators because of the overwhelming effort it takes to do something perfectly. Of course, some professions demand perfectionism, such as surgeons and rocket scientists, but for most of us, perfectionism is misdirected energy.

Instead of demanding perfectionism from yourself and others, learn to focus your energy and leave well enough alone. Consider whether a task, job or action can be considered "good enough" without the need to be perfect. This strategy will remove a great deal of pressure off your shoulders and lower your overall stress level throughout your life.

Next, practice letting go. Learning to let go is more of an art than a science, and it’s best practiced in small, manageable steps. Again, if you have a tendency towards perfectionism, don’t expect yourself to change (or be perfect and being not-perfect) overnight. Give yourself some space, and start with baby steps, gradually working your way towards being more relaxed.

If you are a perfectionist in most areas of your life, take inventory of your life and see where you can afford not to be perfect. For example, maybe the laundry can be folded a little sloppier than usual, and maybe the garden doesn’t have to be completely free of weeds at all times. Recognize that certain tasks require more attention to detail than others, and use good judgment in determining what areas of your life can handle your "letting go." The less you feel you need to control completely, the more stress you can remove from your life.

Finally, get yourself centered. This doesn’t mean you have to take yoga five days per week or meditate for an hour a day, but it does mean you have take some time to unwind. Make a list of five ways you can relax on a weekly or daily basis and post the list somewhere you can see it regularly. Do whatever helps you unwind–grab a glass of wine after work with a few friends, read a book, take a bubble bath, go for a walk outside, etc.

If your life is supremely hectic, you may be able to unwind by simply getting five quiet minutes alone once a day. Whatever it takes for you to find a quiet place and unwind is necessary to relieve stress and return to a normal state. These three strategies can help you manage stress, focus your energy and get back on the path to success.

For more than 15 years, Amy Scott Grant has harnessed the power of public speaking and coaching to help people like you improve their use of time, set and achieve powerful goals, reduce or eliminate stress and find balance their lives. For more free information related to stress reduction, visit New Success at http://NewSuccess.org For a fool-proof, guaranteed method for eliminating stress in your life permanently, check out The Success Method at http://TheSuccessMethod.com

Posted on Jul 11th, 2006

Meditation, relaxation and visualisation are the standard recommendations for reducing stress, and they are all beneficial and useful to us in many ways, however, they are not so easy to put into use when stress strikes with it’s disruptive companions frustration, overwhelm, confusion, anxiety etc in full attendance.

Here’s something simple you can try to diffuse stress quickly and easily, anytime and anywhere.

1. rub your forehead with both hands in vertical lines from your eyebrows to your hairline for a few moments

2. about an inch above each eyebrow you will find a bump – rest your fingertips there lightly and hold

3. take a deep breathe in and lighten the pressure of your fingertips until they are touching those points very softly

4. breathe deeply again and allow yourself to sink into how you are really feeling right now – focus clearly and specifically on the one thing that is mainly causing you stress, or anxiety

5. allow yourself to think the truth of the matter, hold the points and breathe and remain that way for a couple of minutes

6. concentrate on the area you are holding and feel for pulsations under your fingertips as the blood flow, previously diverted by stress, is restored to your forebrain. Now you can begin to think clearly again as you feel stress drain away and find yourself in control and able to choose how you wish to respond to what’s at hand.

What many of us don’t realise about stress is that although it is often triggered by our mental states and emotional responses it is in fact a physiological occurrence. The body responds directly to every impression we feed it be it real or imagined; it makes no difference to the body. If you tell it you are stressed it will respond immediately by sending the majority of the blood from your forebrain to your chest for faster breathing and the more efficient pumping of blood through your heart and to the muscles of your legs for whatever action they may need to take.

When you consider this automatic physical response it’s easy to see why we don’t always think well under stress. This simple technique tells your body to stand down and encourages the blood flow to return to the brain for clear thinking and decision-making.

Try this for:

- diffusing stress on the spot and stopping it from accumulating

- easing worries

- regaining control of your resources and having access to your full capacity for dealing with any given situation.

- preventing the digestive disorders associated with stress developing. (Use this before eating to make sure that your digestive system is ready and willing to receive the goodness from your food in a calm and efficient manner.)

- relaxing and clearing your mind before sleep

- inducing a feeling of calm from which you can then step deeper into a meditative or relaxed state

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 Jul 10th, 2006

Imagine driving down the road. You are driving with a great amount of anticipation, on your way to an important destination, a place you have always wanted to go.

Now notice that on either side of the road there is a ditch big enough to swallow your car.

Now imagine what your journey would be like if you kept your eyes only on the ditch. Perhaps you glanced at the road every few miles, but mostly your eyes are focused on he ditch. It’s likely that you would end up in the ditch and not make it to your destination.

Silly way to drive, huh? Then why do we live that way? It sure seems that is what many of us do when we start out to achieve important goals.

Ditch thinking

I call thinking this way ditch thinking. Focus on the ditch long enough, and you will wind up in the ditch, wondering how you got there.

Today let’s look at some signs and symptoms of ditch thinking, and then how to get out of the ditch and into destination thinking.

How to Do Ditch Thinking

Focusing only on everything that could go wrong. While it’s important and valuable to think ahead and anticipate what problems might lie ahead, it’s foolish to focus only on the obstacles.

Complaining about the ditch. “Look at that ditch! It just shouldn’t be there.” “It’s just too big not to notice it.” “I just can’t drive with that ditch over there.”

Instead of the old biting off more than you can chew, it’s thinking about more than you can chew. “Wow, I bet that ditch will be there the whole entire trip. I wonder if the road will get smaller and the ditch get bigger?”

Procrastinate. Put it off. CONvince yourself that you really will do it later.

Making excuses for yourself. To rationalize really means to believe rational lies.

Making problems obstacles instead of challenges. I’ve never pursued a goal that didn’t have it’s share of challenges. If you turn them into obstacles you are blocked. A challenge is simply that: a challenge to see if you really mean it when you say you want to achieve something.

Blaming others.

Here are seven words guaranteed to drive you into the ditch, “we’ve always done it that way before.”

Listening to and then believing all the naysayers who say it’s impossible, you can’t do it. Remember that at one time it was considered impossible to fly, communicate by phone, fax or email, etc. etc. In each case, and in so many more, someone chose to not believe in the impossibility.

How to Do Destination Thinking

Begin. Simply begin.

Celebrate your progress. It builds momentum.

Break the journey down into small enough parts to make it manageable.

Focus on where you want to go.

Be creative. Creativity is simply the ability to look at something that has always been there and seeing something that has never been seen before.

Remind yourself regularly, even daily, about why you are pursuing this destination. An important enough why makes the how a whole lot easier.

Enjoying the trip. Even if it’s only the satisfaction of hard work, finding ways to enjoy the trip keeps you going.

Focus on what you will be able to do, that you can’t do now, when you achieve the goal.

Asking the question, “In how many ways can I accomplish want I want and enjoy the trip?”

Follow ditch thinking and you end up in the ditch. Follow destination thinking and you are much more likely to arrive at your destination.

It really can be that simple.

Visit SecretsofGreatRelationships.com for tips and tools for creating and growing a great relationship. You can also subscribe to our f*r*e*e 10 day e-program on how to enrich your relationship today, from relationship coach and expert Jeff Herring.

Posted on Jul 9th, 2006

When was the last time you took a day just for yourself? If you’re a small business owner or anyone else for that matter, you answer is probably never. I first learned the principal; of Extraordinary Self-care Day at a workshop given by my friend Terri Levine the author of Work Yourself Happy. Essentially an Extraordinary Self-care Day is taking one 24-hour period where you take care of yourself. You do no work at all. I know, I can hear your protest. I protested too when I first heard this idea "But you don’t understand, I have to check my voicemail, I have to return phone calls, I have to answer my emails and on and on." I protested in my very best entrepreneurial voice. The truth is any of us can take a day for ourselves without consequence. Believe it or not, the world will keep spinning. Calls will wait as will email.

This is a day just for you. If you normally do the cooking on your Extraordinary Self-Care Day, you will refrain from making meals. Trust me your family will not starve. Obviously if there are small children or infants that depend on you, you would have to modify this. Overall try to do nothing that is related to your normal work. This is a pampering day just for you.

The first time I did this, I discovered just how my work relates to things that I do on any given day. Most of my reading was centered on business topics. Being an entrepreneur and self-employed, I was convinced I had to be working all the time. I was wrong. Kicking and screaming, I embarked on my Extraordinary Self-Care Day. I took a walk, read part of a novel, took a luxurious bath in our soaking tub (something I never used to do) and just hung out and took care of myself. What a concept!

It’s been a year now and my Extraordinary Self-Care Day has become an integral part of my life. I not only feel better, and am having more fun, I have my life back. Doing this regularly has enabled me to put my work back into perspective. I no longer work seven days a week and I no longer do email throughout the day.

The interesting thing is that because of my taking this time to nurture myself, I’m actually more productive. Because I’m taking better care of myself I have more clarity and I’m able to better focus on the task on hand. Because I am taking better care of myself, I am more creative and productive. Most of all, because I am taking better care of myself, I feel better and have more happiness, after all isn’t that what it’s all about?

So your assignment, if you choose to accept it, is to schedule one 24-hour period, sometime within the next 10 days, when you can give yourself an Extraordinary Self-Care Day and then go and do it. Once you’ve done this, see how you might be able to do this weekly and when you feel really ready, schedule an Extraordinary Self-Care Day for what would have been a normal work day.

© 2004 Jim Donovan — PO Box 1147, Buckingham, PA 18912 — (215) 794-3826

Jim Donovan is the author of "Handbook to a Happier Life, a motivational speaker and coach. For a no cost bonus product & more, visit http://www.JimDonovan.com

If you had all the information and tools you needed to live your dream life, would you use them? Yes? Click here ==> http://www.jimdonovan.com/ebookoffer.html

« Prev - Next »