'Tips and Techniques' Category Archive

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 Apr 12th, 2006

Don’t worry.

How many times have we heard that ludicrous and totally unhelpful statement? Clearly if we were able to not worry, then that’s exactly what we’d be doing – isn’t it? After all, worry is no fun, no fun at all, and we’d all much rather be having fun than worrying – wouldn’t we?

I would like to introduce to you something that psychologists call a schema. Another word for a schema is a strategy – something that achieves something we want to achieve. Or more accurately something we believe achieves what we want to achieve and frequently mislead ourselves into continuing to believe despite evidence to the contrary – like not achieving what the strategy is supposed to achieve.

Let’s go way back to childhood, where the first schemas develop. Schemas develop by virtue of intelligence and noticing what works. Babies cry. How long does it take a baby to develop a crying schema. I’m hungry, I cry, someone puts food in my mouth. Only at the developmental level of a baby it’s more like uncomfortable feeling that isn’t understood, cry when uncomfortable. And babies aren’t aware of separate people being separate individuals. The whole world is just an extension of the baby. It’s the parents that quickly train the child into those connections with the thing the parent does and that is to make the baby comfortable by noticing whether or not the problem is hunger, pain, soiling, or just wanting to be held. And so the battle starts of the baby learning strategies to get what it wants when it wants and the parent who attempts to socialise the child into eating at regular times, going to the toilet at regular times, sleeping at regular times and getting cuddles at regular times. Sometimes the child wins, sometimes the parent.

So we learn very quickly the schema that crying makes us more comfortable. When was the last time you cried when you wanted something to eat? So it seems reasonable to assume that sometime between babyhood and now you either learned a new eating strategy or modified the old one. And you probably did this because Parent decided that it wasn’t in your best interests to grow up believing that the world would satisfy every one of your needs instantly. And they did this in your best interests because to allow you to grow up with that belief would turn you into a spoiled, selfish, self-centred child with no empathy for others.

We developed other strategies by watching what other people did and emulating it.

There’s something else quite different about young children and adults. Young children are very healthily present-moment oriented – this is why instant gratification makes sense to a child. They aren’t unduly concerned about tomorrow or next week, because what’s going on now is okay and the world is full of interesting things to explore and learn about and develop strategies to deal with. A child’s mind has enough going on right now to keep it fully occupied and entertained.

Until we adults decide to screw that up for them.

Santa will bring you that for Christmas if you’re good!

What a wonderful way to teach a child to worry.

In that simple sentence we teach the child that the future is important. We teach the child that they need to be concerned about whether or not some unknown, hairy old man (a bit like a God is to adults) will approve of them enough to bring them their heart’s desire. We teach them that they have to please someone that they don’t know and will never meet (except perhaps at a Grotto, but then we introduce the confusion of different Santas at different grottos) and have no way of knowing what pleases this person and what doesn’t except that displeasing Mum and/or Dad usually brings the suggestion that Santa won’t be pleased either.

Birthdays are another way we teach children to focus on the future rather than the present. When you go to school. When you go to big school. When you go to college. When you go to University. When you get a job. When you grow up. When you earn lots of money you’ll be able to… When you have babies. When we go on holiday. And maybe even – when you die?

We expose our youngsters to a barrage of future oriented thoughts and suggestions that slowly but surely switch the focus from Now to Then. But we never ever tell them that Now is the only time they will ever experience and that Then is always imagined.

And this is how we learn to worry. We become so focused on what might or might not happen; we become so focused on whether we please or displease others; we become so focused on outcomes… that we forget to experience who and what we are. We forget to experience and enjoy right now.

Now I have to admit that some people excel at worrying. And some people don’t. But most of us seem to have the capacity to do it. It’s just that we don’t all worry about the same things. Some people worry about getting in an aeroplane and others worry about money and whether or not they can pay the bills. Some people worry about going to the dentist and others worry about whether or not to get new curtains.

What you worry about doesn’t matter and while it seems that if you had to choose a worry then where to go on holiday probably would win hands down over waiting for a cancer diagnosis – but if you are worried then you are worried and for you, in your world, with your life circumstances it’s a serious problem because it’s hanging around in your mind and stopping you from enjoying your life and being free and expressive in the way that young child was that we were thinking about earlier.

Having experienced lifelong training in the art of worrying, and having perfected worrying schemas that suggest a worrying strategy is somehow dealing with a problem in a way that is much better than not dealing with it at all, it is insane to suggest to someone that they should stop worrying. Worry is like a virus. Once you’ve got it you get attacks of it all your life. It drops into dormancy for long, or not so long, periods of time, always ready to re-emerge at the slightest sign of Life not moving in just the perfect way you would like it to.

The easiest solution to worrying is just not to do it.

But to someone who has a deeply rooted worrying schema, this seems like an impossibility because the schema itself suggests that terrible will things will happen if you don’t worry. And you know this because if you ever find a moment when the worry isn’t present you soon start to worry about not worrying, because serious things are going on around you and you SHOULD be worrying (while at the same time feeling envious of those who seem immune from worry).

If you’d like to break the habit, then you have to take the risk of not worrying for just five minutes and see what happens. If nothing bad happens and the problem is still there, and you are still there, then you may well survive not worrying for five minutes some other time. And so you teach yourself a new strategy. You see, if you decide not to worry for just five minutes, the schema doesn’t feel too threatened because It’s all about the future and It knows that five minutes is only a short time and that after five minutes It gets control back.

For a specific concern you are worried about right now, get a pen and a piece of paper and write down in big letters at the top of the page
"I am worried about…"
or,
"I am worried… …might happen".

Then underneath write down all the consequences you fear.

Let’s take an example "Fear of Flying".

I am worried about going on holiday because I have to fly.

The plane might crash
I might die
I might panic
I might panic and look foolish
I might feel embarrassed
I might faint
I might fight with the Flight Attendant to get out when she’s closing the door.
I might throw up
I might be too frightened to come home and be stuck
The tyres might explode
The wing might fall off
The engine might catch fire
We might get hijacked

Then on another sheet of paper rewrite the whole lot only this time put them in order of importance with the biggest fear at the top of the list and smallest fear at the bottom. And then on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is total uncontrollable screaming panicking fear, and 1 is feeling calm and peaceful, give a score to each of the items.

Then have a look for a theme.

With Flying Phobia common themes are fear of death, claustrophobia, fear of embarrassment, inability to have any impact on your own destiny for the time you are locked in the cabin, or fear of being different.

The theme is the real problem. That’s what you need to explore either on your own, using self-help books or tapes, or with a therapist whose approach you feel comfortable with.

One other thing… If you are an habitual worrier, then you might consider what you would be doing with your mind should you have nothing to worry about. Consider learning meditation, self-hypnosis, or a new skill or hobby to occupy, or train, your mind so that you are the one in the driving seat and no longer a passenger being dragged along to all the Hells that your thoughts can create for you.

Michael J. Hadfield MBSCH is a registered clinical hypnotherapist. You can experience his unique style on a popular range of hypnosis CD’s and tapes at http://www.hypnosisiseasy.com Here you can also obtain treatment for a variety of problems and explore his approach to health, healing, and hypnosis.

Posted on Apr 11th, 2006

It’s time for part two of the series to reduce environmental stress in your life. In Five Ways to Reduce Environmental Stress - Part One, I shared with you five ways you can immediately reduce stress by controlling your environment. Now I will share five additional ways for you to make a difference in your life, be more relaxed and productive, and reduce stress.

The five ways are as follows:

1. Make the Air Play Fair Control the air humidity in your environment to a level that’s comfortable for you. Too dry or very humid air can produce unpleasant environments. Air humidity can even produce various physical symptoms. Dehumidifiers can take control of the air quality to make rooms feel more livable. You can acquire these portable humidifiers from any department or discount store. Must sure you acquire one with a “quiet” button to reduce the noise when running. If needed, add a few plants to provide a bit of moisture.

2. Lose the Clutter Rid yourself of all the clutter that surrounds you. Improve your time management skills so that you can prioritize what “stuff” is important and what isn’t important. If you are not immediately working on an item, move it out of line of sight. Not only will your environment become more visually pleasing and relaxing, but you’ll avoid the stress of constantly searching for important items among the excess.

3. Get Rid of Static noise Everyday we are experiencing “static” noise. Phones ringing, computers dinging, radios playing, TVs with “talking heads” playing, coworkers interrupting, etc., are all examples of static noises. These noises create stressors that impede our abilities to think and ultimately create work and life solutions. They also can take their toll over time on our moods and energy. Do what you can to reduce background and unwanted noise. Turn off radios and TVs when not using them with purpose. Reduce or turn off all computer noises if they are not necessary. Use noise reduction materials such as partitions, curtains, etc., to quiet your environment. When you can, take a “silence is golden” break in a quiet room to recharge your emotional and mental batteries.

4. Make Your Workspace Work for You Use good ergonomic techniques in your workplace to reduce the risk of repetitive strain injury, eye strain, back pain, and other uncomfortable symptoms. Pay particular attention to your stair, desk, and computer setup since most likely you will be using these items the most. The correct setup of these items will save you years of wrist, elbow, back, and eye pain and strain.

5. Create an Empowerment Zone Create at work or at home a retreat for yourself to reenergize yourself both mentally and emotionally. Not having space for this zone is not an excuse. It can be a private room or your favorite chair or desk. Include items such as plants, books, relaxing music, and pictures to create an environment of peace. Use this area to think and visualize the positive things in your life. You might want to think of future situations in your life and how you will master them for your benefit. Use this area for carrying out important tasks whenever possible.

Go apply these techniques today! Apply what works for you and reduce your environmental stress.

Copyright © 2004 Ed Sykes. All rights reserved

Ed Sykes is a professional speaker, author, and success coach in the areas of leadership, motivation, stress management, customer service, and team building. You can e-mail him at mailto:esykes@stressmanagementarticles.com, or call him at (757) 427-7032. Go to his web site, http://www.thesykesgrp.com, and signup for the newsletter, OnPoint, and receive the free ebook, "Empowerment and Stress Secrets for the Busy Professional."

Posted on Apr 10th, 2006

Life is stressful enough without allowing the physical environment - air quality, lighting, noise, and other controllable factors - to intensify day-to-day stress. Especially in the Fall and Winter is where you experience less daylight and more mood swings.

The great thing about environmental stress is that in most cases we can control what is in our environment that is causing the stress. Take these five steps to eliminate environmental stressors that might cause stress and tension in your work and home life.

1. Increase your activities during natural light. Natural light elevates the mood and helps maintain a regular internal body "clock". Especially during the fall and winter we experience a substantial decrease in natural daylight. If you’re indoors, try working next to a window and allow as much sunlight as possible to enter your space. If you work in an office without windows try buying a natural sunlight lamp (http://www.wackyplanet.com/natsunlam.html). These lamps can help with Seasonal Affective Disorders as they provide a natural sunlight spectrum for health and well being. Prolonged exposure to artificial lighting in any setting can be an environmental stressor.

2. Ban tobacco smoke. Constant exposure to tobacco smoke and its toxins can be a persistent environmental stressor and lead to respiratory problems and other symptoms.

3. Evaluate your furniture arrangement. Arrange your furniture so that you don’t feel cramped. Remember you are more productive in a relaxed environment. Also, is your furniture arranged so that you inviting constant interruptions from visitors? If you can, move your furniture from the line of sight of potential visitors so that you can focus better, accomplish your goals, and decrease stress.

4. Frequently Change Your Ventilation or Air Filters. Your office or home is full of ingredients found in cleaning supplies, upholstery, carpeting, adhesives, and in chemicals. Devices such as copy machines, printers and computers all contribute to poor air quality. Combine that with working in an office building where you can’t open windows it makes the situation ten times worst for the occupants. In extreme cases, individuals may become physically ill from these pollutants, and even moderate doses can cause coughing, a scratchy, burning throat, and other symptoms.

If you are concerned about poor air quality in the office speak with the building maintenance crew and see how often they change the air filters. In most cases, if you explain in a friendly way why you are concerned they will make an extra effort to change at least the filter in your area. Also you can buy a personal air filtration kit at any appliance store to make your life easier. Open windows At home to allow air circulation. Also frequently change your home air filter.

5. "Bring the Green In." This is a term my wife, Joy Fisher- Sykes, uses to say that natural colors make us more relaxed. Color has effect on your mood and energy level. It is generally agreed that blue and green are very relaxing colors. On a personal basis these might not be the colors that relax you. You decide on the amount of color you’re comfortable with and the shades that most appeal to you. For example, bright yellow would tend to irritate me it may work just fine for others because of its brightness. Experiment with colors that will work to minimize stress for you.

Remember, these are all environmental factor that you can change to work for you. Just recognize what works for you and take the first steps to decrease stress.

Ed Sykes is a professional speaker, author, and success coach in the areas of leadership, motivation, stress management, customer service, and team building. You can e-mail him at mailto:esykes@stressmanagementarticles.com, or call him at (757) 427-7032. Go to his web site, http://www.thesykesgrp.com, and signup for the newsletter, OnPoint, and receive the free ebook, "Empowerment and Stress Secrets for the Busy Professional."

Posted on Apr 8th, 2006

Recently I had the great pleasure of hearing one of my favorite bands, Groovelily, perform their original musical theater piece Striking 12 in New York City. Before the show, as the band was warming up, the lead singer/violinist Valerie told us a powerful story. Valerie had recently performed with her father at an event to celebrate his lifetime contribution as a cantor. After the performance, an older woman came up to Valerie and told her about how she had played violin as a child in Germany and how much playing the violin had meant to her. She went on to explain that when her family fled the country during the Nazi regime, she was not allowed to bring her beloved violin with her to America because her family feared it would mark them as Jews. So, she grew up, got married, and raised a family. While she encouraged her son to play the violin (and he grew up to be a musician), she never indulged or rekindled her passion to play the violin again. When the woman finished telling her story, she held Valerie’s hands tightly, looked her in the eyes, and emphatically said, “Keep on playing.”

Every time I hear this story I am deeply moved (yes, I love the band and have heard this fairly recent story multiple times already). I am moved because of my own ups and downs as an amateur musician who can think of a million excuses why I’m not good enough to be playing or how I shouldn’t be “wasting” time when there are so many other more important things to do. I am also moved because I am overwhelmed with the sheer amount of creation, beauty, joy, and passion that is missing in this world each day because so many people have abandoned their passions and joy for the much more “important” and “serious” business of life.

Take a moment right now and consider:

  • What activities did you love to take part in as a child, teenager, or young adult? Do you still partake in any of these or related activities?
  • What did you dream about most wanting to be when you grew up?
  • What are you doing when you feel the most joyful, passionate, or in the flow? When was the last time you spent time doing this?

If you’re like most people I know, you’re probably laughing because it has been so long since you’ve done any of these things that you don’t even remember or you’re muttering a number of excuses as to why you can’t be doing these things. Some of those excuses might sound like:

  • I don’t have time
  • There are more important things to do
  • It’s impossible to do now that I have a wife/husband/mate, career, kids, house, etc.
  • There’s no way I can ever have what I dreamed about, it was only a fantasy. After all, I’m middle aged, overweight, and out of shape and certainly not going to become an NBA, NFL, WNBA, Broadway star, or rock musician in this lifetime, so why bother at all.

Well, what if you could have and do what you most enjoy? What if you could get in touch with the essence of what you really wanted and then go and do THAT? For instance, perhaps what really appealed to you about becoming a rock musician was making music and sharing it with others. You could achieve that dream at any age. Pick up an old instrument you used to play and begin to take lessons again. Learn something new. Volunteer to share your music with kids, the elderly, or a church group. Another example could be that you loved the spirit of competition and physical challenge inherent in the dream of playing professional sports. Well, you can have that too! While you might not be the next Lance Armstrong or Serena Williams, there are many ways to get physically fit and be competitive in sports at any age. I’ve seen athletes in the Masters division of different sports play with more heart and competitive spirit in their 70s, 80s, and 90s, than many young professional athletes exhibit. I personally know people with demanding careers and families who regularly compete in triathlons and cycle, run, or walk untold numbers of miles each year for charity. If they can do it, so can you.

My point is – you deserve to have joy, passion, and play in your life. Yes, life can be serious at times and we all have responsibilities, but you owe it to yourself to really live a little and give yourself the gift of something just for you. You’d be amazed at how just a little bit of time spent regularly on something that feeds your soul will yield results ten times over in the other “more serious” parts of your life.

This month, go in search of your long lost violin. Dust off your guitar, tennis racket, paintbrushes, or writer’s pad. Give yourself permission to rekindle the passion, find the joy, and PLAY.

Posted on Apr 7th, 2006

What is stress?

Our body is subjected to constant changes in the environment that affect us both physically and emotionally influencing the way we feel, behave and react in various situations. This weathering that the body undergoes under varied pressures of life is stress. Although stress is the root cause of many common health disorders, it isn’t always harmful. Increase in stress upto a certain level boosts productivity. Stress can motivate an individual to win a race or perform well academically. This is positive stress which encourages the individual to improvise and achieve goals which he would not have accomplished otherwise. But when the level of stress overwhelms us and exceeds a certain limit, different biological responses are triggered resulting in increased heart rate, headache, elevated blood pressure, insomnia, muscle tension, rashes, ulcers and accelerated breathing which might lead to life threatening health disorders. Major trauma like death of a loved one, events like losing friendship, having a baby, credit card debts, high electric bill, relocation to a new town, academic failure, loss of a job, marriage, falling hair, rush-hour traffic, annoying boss or neighbor, parenting teens, chronic illness, heavy responsibilities, performing before a huge audience or a new relationship- all can produce stress which bring about negative effects on the body. So, no stress as well as too much stress, both are harmful. One must find the balance and utilize stress for his benefit and improvement.

Stress and the Exercise Connection

Researchers are working around the clock to gain command over stress or fight it more efficiently. Since it is detrimental to health, relationships and life as a whole, it is essential for every individual to take charge and manage stress. To beat stress and make life more relaxed and peaceful, there is no alternative to exercise.

Exercise is fun.

Identify what activities you enjoy the most and try to include them within your daily routine. Exercising builds up your physical reserves and helps you fight stress more efficiently. You should exercise at least four times each week for thirty minutes each session. Any time best suitable for you can be the time for exercise. Simple repetitive exercises like cycling, swimming, jogging, walking, hiking, racquet sports, dancing, skiing and aerobics are some of the best known stress busters. Doctors of patients of depression often recommend these exercises to free the mind of tension. You should rejoice in any kind of exercise activity otherwise it will feel like a chore and gradually you’ll abstain from it. Remember to warm up and cool down before and after you start your exercise program to avoid injury. Gentle stretching exercises are considered best for the warm ups and cool downs. Exercises help you sleep better and start a whole new day with new vigor and an enhanced feeling of self-esteem.

Shape up and build confidence.

Shed those excess fat, control weight, tone your muscles, increase flexibility, rejuvenate skin and radiate confidence through exercises. Ward off stress while exercising moderately at a comfortable pace and slowly speed up to improve stamina and efficiency. Burning calories fuel you up with new vigor to energize the body throughout the day. When you are full of confidence you trust yourself and accomplish those goals you thought were impossible to achieve.

Stay healthy.

Poor health is one of the leading causes of stress. Regular exercise improves blood circulation and promotes oxygen supply to the vital organs of the body thus strengthening the immune system, lungs and heart which in turn fight diseases more efficiently and the body becomes less vulnerable to various health conditions. Exercise boosts liver functions, digestive activities, metabolism, intestinal movements and kidney functions thus keeping constipation, diabetes and arthritis at bay. Exercise makes you feel better and live happier.

Change your focus.

A daily exercise regime keeps your mind off of the mundane routine and stressful thoughts and channels your energy for productive purposes. You mind stays alert and occupied with the potentials of the brighter side of life. Combat stress and enjoy the beauties of life.

Indulge in restful exercises.

Do whatever is good for you. Take positive steps to reduce stress. Laugh aloud with friends and family, go for an outing or just soak in the tub with some aromatic oils or rose petals. Determine the stress causing elements and be creative in finding solutions befitting your hectic schedule to not let them hamper your life. Sit by the fireplace and quietly watch the dancing flames, stroll on the beach and soak in the sun while enjoying the beauty of the sea, gently pet your favorite animal, lie in the backyard in a hammock, sit by the lake, watch the sun go down behind the pine trees, look at the star-studded night sky or simply play with your kids. Keep your mind engaged with matters other than business or family if they bring about stress in your life.

Try the deep relaxation/meditation techniques of Yoga.

The rewards of yoga are endless, both physically and mentally. Practiced for centuries, yoga, whose other word is meditation, massages the internal organs as well as energizes the soul. Essentially, regular exercise of yoga can magically treat stress and various health disorders. It stimulates the muscles in the various body parts in a non-strenuous manner and brings about flexibility in those areas which were never so much worked upon before thus lubricating the joints, ligaments and tendons comprehensively. Muscles are admirably toned by gentle stretching and massage which facilitates blood circulation in the entire body. This, on the other hand, detoxifies the body by quick elimination of wastes from even the farthest corners of the body thus keeping a myriad of infections and health disorders at bay. Active blood circulation also means efficient transport of nutrients which attributes to prompt healing of wounds, delayed ageing, a boost in stamina, improved digestion, dodging disability, enhanced breathing, rejuvenation of skin and radiation of confidence. You will discover a new vigor in life. Most importantly, the goal of yoga is to attune body with mind and soul.

Many yoga exercises are easy and have a magical effect on the students performing yoga. Regular practice of yoga will relieve you of physical pain and stress giving you a positive outlook towards life and enlightenment of soul. It is the exercise of the body as well as the mind. Thousands have been aroused by yoga’s magical touch and have benefited from it. In essence, the centuries old healing process of yoga will transform your life at the spiritual level.

Practice these moderate exercises.

Workplace is the main culprit source of stress in most cases. So, here are some workplace stress busting exercises that are very easy to follow routinely-

1. Deep breathing:

Inhale deeply. Fill in your lungs with as much air as possible, then exhale. A fresh dose of oxygen will recharge your batteries.

2. Neck roll:

Roll your neck clockwise and then anti-clockwise 10-15 times each way. This relieves tension around the neck and shoulder regions. The same can be achieved by looking left, as far back as possible and then looking right the same way. Repeat 10 times.

3. Rub:

Gently give yourself a neck and shoulder rub. Find yourself revived.

4. Bends:

Stand up with feet 1 foot apart. Lift your arms. Gently bend backwards and forwards, left and right, 5 times. This stretching exercise is great for the back muscles which get easily strained because of sitting at the same spot for hours.

5. Chest stretch:

Stand tall with feet 1 foot apart. Lift and stretch your arms straight and forward. Slowly inhale to the fullest while moving your arms to the sides. Keep arms at the same level. Hold for 5 seconds. Exhale and bring the arms back together to the front. Feel the relief.

6. Hand stretch:

Interlock fingers. Extent arms forward at shoulder height and palms facing out. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times. This stretches shoulders, hands, wrists and upper back and relieves tension around them.

7. Back stretch:

Stand tall with feet 1 foot apart and hands on the waist. Twist your upper body and turn back as much as possible. Hold for 5 seconds and come back to the starting position. Repeat with the other side. This is particularly good for stretching the middle back.

Any exercise is stress relieving. Actually when we exercise, the brain releases endorphins, that are natural painkillers which give a sense of being healthful thus enhancing the overall mood and of course, that will make you sleep better. So, start exercising and get rid of stress sooner than later.

Posted on Apr 6th, 2006

Stress is the ‘wear and tear’ our bodies experience as we adjust to our constantly changing environment.

These 10 tips below can be applied your life and all of your relationships as it pertains to school, work, family, your significant other and friends. My hope is that you find positive ways to help manage all stress that you are dealing with.

1 - Manage Your Time Effectively: Keep a To Do list or daily planner and make sure to include time for yourself and time for stress reduction activities.

2 - Take a Break: Schedule several short breaks throughout your day to help minimize your stress. Get up and stretch, read a book, go for a walk or simply call a friend.

3 - Minimize Interruptions: When focusing on something important, make sure to block off a period of time when you can work without being disturbed or distracted.

4 - Eat Healthy Foods: Try to avoid foods high in fat, sugar and sodium. Be sure to snack on something healthy and do not skip meals because this will lower your energy levels.

5 - Exercise: Regular physical activity is one of the best ways to deal with stress. It releases endorphins and gives you a natural high. Try walking, bike riding or simply exercising in the comfort of your own home.

6 - Think Positively: Instead of focusing on negative thoughts, focus on the positive things in your life and say to yourself at least one positive thought each day.

7 - Learn to Say NO: Don’t feel guilty when you have to tell others no. Taking on additional projects or work for others when you are busy will only cause you more stress.

8 - Put Stressful Situations in Perspective:: Will it matter a month from now? What about a year from now? Is it something that you can control? Ask yourself these questions when you are faced with a stressful situation.

9 - Get Enough Sleep: Studies show that most people need between 6-9 hours of sleep, but most people give up sleep when they are under stress to finish more work. Be sure to get the proper rest so that you can energize your mind, body and spirit.

10 - Find Someone to Talk to: Talking to your friends or family can help because it gives you a chance to express your feelings. However, problems in your social life or family life can be the hardest to talk about. If you feel like you can’t talk to your family or a friend, talk to someone outside the situation. This could be your priest, minister, a therapist, your family doctor or a coach.

Aurelia Williams is the mom of four busy children, a Personal Life Coach and the owner of Real Life Solutions, which is an informational site that also offers products, articles and a great newsletter. You can also hear Aurelia daily on the WAHM Talk Radio show, she is the Resident Life Coach.

Posted on Apr 1st, 2006

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

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

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

But peace continued to elude her until just last week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We’ll see . . .

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

Posted on Mar 25th, 2006

The simple pleasures are sometimes the sweetest.

Here are twelve affordable pleasures to help you slow down and taste the sweetness of the simple life.

1. Take a walk out in the world and pay attention to the signs that summer is on its way.

2. Go barefoot whenever possible.

3. Eat fresh fruit with each meal. Spring and summer bring such delightful fresh and healthy foods.

4. Dab some energizing essential oil behind your ears so you can enjoy the aroma as you go about your day. Try lemon, basil, bergamot, sweet orange, peppermint, eucalyptus, tangerine, or any floral blend.

5. Invest in some quality cotton sheets and breezy cotton pajamas. Fold up the flannels and put them away until next winter.

6. Send a bouquet of bright spring flowers to someone, anonymously.

7. Make a habit of buying simple things that make you feel as though you live in the lap of luxury: fresh raspberries, a silk eye pillow, homemade soap.

8. Ride your bike to work.

9. Plant something beautiful.

10. Choose a fresh floral perfume from your local cosmetics counter. Request a sample, or buy the bottle.

11. Sip a chai and browse the bookstore for a "beach book"…a simple, absorbing story that you can enjoy without thinking much at all.

12. Think of your own simple pleasures, and continue to enjoy one each day.

Susie Cortright is the founder of Momscape.com as well as Momscape’s Online Scrapbooking Magazine and Momscape’s Organic Living Channel - all of which celebrate the simple splendor in our everyday lives. Visit her site today to subscribe to her free weekly newsletters featuring fresh new ideas and inspiration.

Posted on Mar 16th, 2006

Stress has always been a part of our lives. In this hectic time, people lead an increasingly stressful life. Experts state that a little stress can be good; it keeps you sharp and ready to move forward, and is sometimes vital for achieving optimum performance. However, medical research has determined that prolonged stress is very bad for the body, and can block the body’s natural ability to repair, regenerate and protect itself. Over 90% of disease is caused by stress. Stress is both a physical and psychological response. It can lead to chronic disease, obesity, insomnia, deteriorating relationships, depression, and more.

Stress is such a powerful and harmful force that it is vital that you learn effective stress management techniques to live a successful, happy, and healthy life. We must remember that we will always come across inevitable factors that cause pressure and anxiety on us. What we do not know is that it is not really the problems that are difficult to deal with, but our attitude towards them. So basically, the cause of stress is your attitude toward these things. What, then, is an effective way to deal with stressors?

Below are 5 great tips to handle stress.

1. Identify what makes you stressful and uneasy. Making a list of your stressful experiences is useful. Immediately deal with the issues that you can change, for instance waking up earlier for work in the morning, not leaving things till the last minute, and delegating tasks in case you are taking responsibility for everything. Forget about the issues that you cannot influence like being stuck in a traffic jam or not getting into the elevator because there is no room for you.

2. Calm down. A few minutes break would do you good. Wash your face, breath slowly and deeply, and notice if there is tension in any part of your body and release it. You can also listen to relaxing music, or call a friend. Releasing your inner feelings to a friend is healthy option.

3. It will pass and it will be over before you know it. Remind yourself that the stressful event will end sooner or later can make you see the positive sides of things. At the same time, calm down your emotions and think of what is the best thing to do rather than take your energy away from what needs to be done.

4. Know yourself. Ask yourself: What triggers your anxiety? If for example it is your job, then maybe it’s time for you to reconsider whether it would be best to find a less stressful job. You can also make your job more tolerable by allowing yourself to get that needed vacation or leave.

5. Learn to use your relaxation response. Just as we all have within us the stress response, we also have an opposite response, which is the relaxation response. A person should elicit that on a regular basis. The relaxation response involves two steps. Repetition, the repetition can be a word, a sound, an expression, or a repetitive movement. The second step is to ignore other thoughts that come to your mind while you’re doing the repetition, and come back to the repetition. The technique should be used once or twice a day for about 15 minutes. Sit quietly and choose a suitable repetition, like a prayer, the sound Om, or the word love, or calm. Or you can do a repetitive exercise, for instance yoga, jogging, Reiki. Additional repetitive activities are knitting or handicraft. When you incorporate this into your everyday life, you become calmer and better able to handle the stressors. Practice makes perfect and the more you practice relax your mind, the easier it gets.

The true causes of stress are not the problems or negative experiences that you encounter in your life; but your attitude toward them. So, the trick is to change your attitude and to develop a relaxed state, because you cannot be stressed and relaxed at the same time. It is important to understand that what we focus on, we energize. The more you continue to think about the factors that cause your stress, the more energy you give it. So it is vital to let go and focus on relaxation instead. Consequently, you’re less likely to be upset by a stressor, and thus less likely to have its harmful effect occur. Eventually, it is your choice. You could either continue to react in the same stressful way, or you could choose to improve your life by changing your attitude and becoming relaxed. There’s no other way around it.

Mona Khalaf is a Reiki master teacher. She is certified in Vibrational medicine, certified NLP Master Practitioner, and life coach. Find out how you can improve your life on all levels by visiting her website at: http://reikihealingpower.com

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