Category Archives: relaxation techniques

Let Go of Worry

Let go of worry, of what you can’t control, and be mindful of the present moment.

Let go of worry. Worrying doesn’t help you to deal with a problem, it only makes it more difficult to find clarity.

Let go of worry. Worry and Fear dominate the thinking of so many people today. It is tragic that how negative thinking can take hold of us, dragging us down into despair.
“Worry is fear in disguise. And fear will eat you from the inside out if you let it.” ― Jim Butcher
Worry is helpful if it prompts us to take action and resolve a problem, but it can become destructive when we find it hard to let go, and our minds become engaged with worst-case scenarios.
Sometimes, there are real reasons to worry; the rising cost of living, public-sector cuts, job insecurity. But there are many instances when we all become distressed for no logical reason, which has an impact on creating anxiety.
Everyone worries from time to time. But for some people, “worry is a way of life”.
The college student who spends half of his time worrying about radioactive fallout knows nothing of real living. Sure he can try to realistically improve the situation. He can write his congressman or organize a group to discuss the problem; but when he buries his being in worry, this is only self-destruction.

The young mother whose thoughts are full of anxiety about her children is also wasting her time. Not that she shouldn’t teach them about life’s dangers, not that she shouldn’t try to protect them from crisis, but after that, why the self torture? It won’t help
Let go of worry, of all these worries about the events that might happen in the future, or about things you can’t change, and more, you can justify if you wish. You can tell yourself you are only realistic, but you are really not.
When we substitute worry for living, we must take responsibility for it. Because it is really up to us; we can let go of worry and make our days inspiring, or we can make them miserable.
Still if you haven’t been able to let go of worry, and have wasted some of your life moping, don’t blame yourself for it. You are not perfect, no one is, and self-blame will not help you. Just read what I have to say and see if my ideas won’t help you to live more meaningfully.
“I vow to let go of worries and anxiety in order to be light and free.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Practice positive thinking in order to let go of worry. It allows you to focus on your strengths and accomplishments, which increases happiness and motivation. This, in turn, allows you to spend more time making progress, and less time feeling down and stuck. We all encounter roadblocks from many sources in our lives, but we can overcome them only if we adopt positive attitude toward ourselves, and if we see ourselves as someone we like, as someone with whom we would like to be friends.
If you want to let go of worry, you must understand, first the incredible power of your mind; for good or bad. It is not easy to comprehend that in a world of superhighways and skyscrapers, of atomic energy and astronauts speeding through outer space, it is the simple concepts and images in your mind that can make you happy or miserable. You must understand that, though we seem to hear mostly the negative, there are two sides to the coin. Even within the many confines of civilization, the human being may still be free and happy.
“A positive attitude gives you power over your circumstances instead of your circumstances having power over you”

The following tips provide practical suggestions which can help you to shift into more positive thinking patterns, and let go of worry:

  1. Remind yourself of the things you are grateful for: Always concentrate on the little joys that happen in your life throughout a day. Allow these moments of delight carry you over the ones with distress and hopelessness, and record them in a gratitude journal. This exercise will help you to open your eyes and have more appreciation for what you have in your life and help you to let go of worry.
  2. Detach yourself from negative thoughts: Thoughts can be very powerful in generating negative and distressing feelings. And distressing feelings can in turn be a strong driver for negative and unhelpful behaviours which discourage us from living our lives according to our values and priorities. Therefore it is useful to develop the ability to stop, step back, take a deep breath and examine our thoughts to determine their accuracy or helpfulness. In this way we are able to accept, listen to, follow those thoughts that are accurate or helpful; and reject those thoughts that are inaccurate or unhelpful..
  3. Take good care of yourself: Exercise, proper nutrition, and getting enough sleep make it easier to maintain a positive attitude. A healthy diet creates a nourished body and mind and sustains high performance in everyday life. And being physically active regularly increases energy levels, reduces stress and promotes health. Getting the appropriate amount of exercise benefits our mental health and mood. It promote releasing the body’s feel-good hormones, lowering the stress hormone, and making it easier for us to let go of worry and negative thoughts.
  4. Change your perspective: Everything is energy, our thoughts begin it, our emotions amplify it, and our action increase the momentum. Energy flows where we focus our attention. We have a choice to direct or focus our thoughts on either positive or negative. So what happens when our thoughts become negative, repetitive, distorted, and intrusive? Naturally, they turn destructive; they affect us, they impact our results, our success, and our health. There are ways to deal with them: The first way is to send STOP command to our mind to interrupt the progression of those destructive thoughts, and then SWAP them by positive thoughts. Always keep a list of positive, happy, healthy, constructive thoughts, and swap away. And the second way is as Dale Carnegie, has explained in his book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living book: “First ask yourself: What is the worst that can happen? Then prepare to accept it. Then proceed to improve on the worst.” So, ask, accept and proceed.
  5. Nurture your relationships: When we nurture our relationship with our loved ones, it can contribute to far greater happiness than any money or material things that we could possess. We are all on this earth for a limited time. Spending time with family and friends, listening to them, laughing with them, hugging them, supporting them and being there for them is worth more than anything else we could ever give. Love and affection can have many positive effects on our mental health and mood. Studies have shown a decrease in stress hormones in people who feel a sense of support and a bond with someone, even by phone or email.
  6. Increase Your Social Activity: People have a huge impact on our lives. Surround yourself with happy people, who will uplift and encourage you. Their positive energy can affect you in a positive way, and decrease your loneliness. “Surround yourself with people who make you happy. People who make you laugh, who help you when you’re in need. People who genuinely care. They are the ones worth keeping in your life. Everyone else is just passing through.” – Karl Marx
  7. Relax by giving yourself some time: For most of us life can get busy and pretty full sometimes. So always make sure to set aside some time every day to relax reading a book, sitting in the garden with the sun on your face, or doing meditation. You’ll find that your feelings of anxiety subside and you let go of worry. Go to bed early at night time, so you can feel your best and fresh the next day after having enough sleep.
  8. Smile: Smiling to others and ourselves is a gift of love. It triggers happy feelings in the brain, reduces stress and help us to let go of worry and negative thoughts. A deep inner smile spreads like a relaxing medicine, making us responsive to transforming negative energy into positive. Smile therapy lowers the stress hormones and produces hormones that relax muscles, reduce pain, and stabilise mood. But even if you don’t feel like smiling, can you fake it till you make it? As even a surface smile tricks the brain into releasing happy hormones. So never underestimate the power of a smile. Use yours and you’ll find it helps you to disperse sadness, dissolve stress, and uplift your mood.
  9. Live in the moment: To live in the moment, or now, means being conscious in the present with all of our senses. Joy is often about living in the moment, being absorbed in what we’re doing, not grieving on the past or worrying about the future. By grasping each moment of our life, we will be able to prolong its value and make it more meaningful. It doesn’t mean that we don’t need a plan, a goal or prepare ourselves for the future. We can decide what we really want and go for it, but still enjoy each moment as it unfolds. Worry and fear are most often experienced when we are inactive and thinking about the future. By being fully present and engaged, putting our hearts and souls in something we do, we are able to let go of worry and replace destructive thoughts with the rush of pure excitement. When we become positive and optimistic in the present, we open the possibility of a positive and promising future. “You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you” – Dan Millman


How to Stop Worrying

How to Stop Worrying – “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” ~ Leo F. Buscaglia

Worries are those nagging thoughts about something you fear might happen. They are kind of thoughts which come into your mind and make you feel discouraged and anxious. The next thing happens, you actually start believing in those thoughts and feeding them with more arguments. Which in turn get you into a deeper state of confusion and sadness. Next thing you know, you find yourself there in that deep mud hole. You look around and all is doom and gloom. As Arthur Somers Roche said:  “Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained”

How to break the worry habit before it breaks you:

  • Block all negative thoughts from coming into your mind in the first place by keeping busy. If for some reason they do come in- address them right away. “What are the odds against this thing’s happening at all? What can I do to prove that this is not true? Be a lawyer arguing against that negativity. You can write all your thoughts down and counter argue them on paper or you can talk them out with someone you trust.
  • Co-operate with the inevitable. When Sir Henry Fawcett was a young man of twenty-five, he was blinded in a hunting accident. He had just graduated from Cambridge University as one of its most brilliant students and the world seemed like an apple rip for the picking. His own comments on the accident are: “Before twenty seconds had passed, I decided that not even this would hinder me from achieving the highest for which I was intended.” But he went on to become a professor in Cambridge. This man of faith refused to use this incident to build a tower of fear.

By fighting against the inevitable, you are using up a lot of  the energy you require for the more important areas of your life, and by not allowing yourself to let some things go, you will end up constantly tense and stressed out.

“For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  • Dwell on positive things, and positive ways of happy living. We spend hours and hours dwelling and ruminating on the negative and fearful things in our lives. We worry about what could go wrong, instead of focusing and paying attention to the rational, the positive and the good. If you study and relive your past experiences, analysing them, and “getting in touch with your feelings”, you will only reinforce those feelings. If you want to get away from a problem, you should not focus on it.  Focus on what is rational, the positive, the beautiful, and the nice. When you got worries out of your system you can feel the quiet tranquillity. You can see the beauty, the wonder.

“Your life will follow your expectations. What you expect is what you will get. If you dwell on positive thoughts, you will move in that direction; if you continually think negative thoughts, you will live a negative life” ~ Joel Osteen

Ways to cultivate a mental attitude that will bring you peace and happiness:

  • Fill your mind with thoughts of peace, courage, health, and hope, for “our life is what our thoughts make it.”
  • Get past your enemies instead of getting Even with them. “Let’s never try to get even with our enemies, because if we do we will hurt ourselves far more than we hurt them” ~ Dale CarnegieRegardless of how you have been wronged by others in your life, and how justified you might believe you are in seeking revenge, it’s important to remember that life isn’t a game and simply getting even doesn’t mean you’ve won the battle; it just means you’ve lost your self-respect. As Martin Luther King Jr said in one of his quotes: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
  • Don’t expect gratitude. If you go around expecting gratitude, you are headed for a lot of heartaches. There are thousands of people who are ill from neglect, ingratitude and loneliness. They longed to be loved but the only way that they can ever hope to be loved is, to stop asking for it and to start pouring out love without hope of return. If you want to find happiness, let’s stop thinking about gratitude or ingratitude and give for the inner joy of giving. “Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting”
  • Find yourself and do not imitate others. As it says: “envy is ignorance” and “imitation is suicide”, you need to find your true self, and be yourself. We all have a built in set of personal values. If we lose touch with those values we lose touch with our authentic self. When we violate those values we violate our relationship with the person we really are. In order to be yourself, you have to identify those values and make every effort to live by them. We can only be the person we were meant to be, by connecting with our true self and by feeling comfortable with who we are.
  • Forget our own unhappiness, by trying to create a little happiness for others. “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared” ~ Buddha

Doing things for others, whether small, unplanned acts of kindness or regular volunteering – is a powerful way to boost your own happiness as well of those around you. Kindness and caring also seem to be contagious. When you see someone do something kind or thoughtful, or you are on the receiving end of kindness, it inspires you to be kinder yourself. In this way, kindness spreads from one person to the next, influencing the behaviour of people who never saw the original act. Kindness really is the key to creating a happier life. “When you are good to others, you are best to yourself.”

“Life laughs at you when you are unhappy. Life smiles at you when you are happy. But, Life salutes you when you make others happy” ~ Charlie Chaplin

  • Count your blessings, not your troubles. “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow” ~ Melodie Beattie

Counting your blessings, acknowledging and appreciating all that you already have in your life is a powerful technique that works as an antidote to worries. Noticing what is right in your life instead of worrying about what could go wrong in your life, make you feel happier and in peace with yourself. Always be satisfied with what you have and be determined to get what you want. Life has many ups and downs, but in any given situation if we analyse what we possess instead of what we have lost, we realize that God loves us and HIS blessings are always with us.

“The more you recognize and express gratitude for the things you have, the more things you will have to express gratitude for.” ~ Zig Ziglar

 


Living A Simple Life

Living a simple life – With the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, we can often find ourselves yearning for a quieter, simpler way of living.  If your life has come to resemble an endless race to the finish line, take a look at the suggestions below to bring a greater sense of calm, simplicity and peace back into your life.

1) Less is more.  It’s amazing how much “stuff” we can accumulate in our homes because we think they’ll contribute to our lives.  It’s true that we gain enjoyment from material possessions, but the more we accumulate the more burdened we often feel.  Eventually we find ourselves living under a constant cloud of confusion, scattered thoughts and stress.

Begin immediately to clear out the material possessions you no longer need or want, and donate them to a local charitable organization.  This will accomplish two things:  first, you’ll feel lighter and less cramped in your home; and you’ll also feel good about giving these items to people who need them and can actually use them.

“The greatest step towards a life of simplicity is to learn to let go.”   Steve Maraboli

2) Pare down your activities.  An active life is good for you, but not if it leaves you feeling stressed and fatigued!  Most of us take on much more than necessary as far as obligations and even recreational activities are concerned.

Take a few minutes to think about the things you do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.  Do you really need to do all of them?  Have you taken on responsibilities that really aren’t yours?  Are you spending time on activities you no longer enjoy?  Make a list of at least a few activities or obligations that you can eliminate, and then go ahead and do so – even if you have to pare them down gradually.

“People who use time wisely spend it on activities that advance their overall purpose in life” John C. Maxwell

3) Spend time in silence. There are times when you are so used to doing everything in a hurry that you don’t notice how fast-paced your life has become. A deceptively simple way to live a life of simplicity and ease is to shut out the mental and physical “noise” of your busy life on a regular basis.  Sitting in silence for just a few minutes can drastically reduce your stress levels and leave you feeling calm, centred and happy.

If you live near a park or natural setting, you can even boost the effectiveness of this activity by spending time in nature.  While not completely silent, natural settings have soothing sounds like running water, singing birds and wind sighing through trees – which automatically trigger feelings of peace and well-being. Find fulfilment in the simple things in life by spending time with friends, or building something with your own hands. Intrinsic rewards will improve your motivation and overall satisfaction with your life

“In your silence, when there are no words, no language, nobody else is present, you are getting in tune with existence” Osho

4) Identify your values. Think about the things that are important to you that influence the way you act and ultimately the person you are. These are values. They are a guiding force in decision making. Identifying your values can be a challenge, but it is worth the effort.

To identify your values, think about the times in your life when you were the happiest, most proud, most fulfilled and satisfied. Make a list and determine what you valued about those situations. Perhaps you value the creativity, adventure, loyalty and hard work each of these situations provided. Maybe you realize that you value your family the most. These will be a driving force in everything you do. If you want to live a simple, peaceful life, then you might value serenity, resourcefulness, stability, and health.

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind a faithful servant.  We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.”  Albert Einstein

5) Align your activities with your values. Take part in activities which are in harmony with your values and desire to live a simple life. You are more happy and satisfied when your activities are in line with your values. Refuse offers to events that conflict with your intent to live peacefully. Make a decision to live a value-driven life. When you know, what your core values are, you have an incredibly powerful tool to access your ‘sacred gift.’  By naming a value, you can quickly step into what that value means to you; what it really feels like when it’s present in your life.  And, you can use these feelings as energetic pointers when making decisions, big and small; decisions you know will lead you to a meaningful and happy life. This is what living a value-driven life is all about.

“Living in a way that reflects one’s values is not just about what you do, it is also about how you do things”

6) Live in the present moment.  As humans we tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the past or about the future. We think about what was and what could have been. A wandering mind is an unhappy mind. The key to solving this problem is simplifying your thoughts and staying focused on what you are doing at that moment. You have to realize that the present time is all there ever was and probably will be. By doing visualization exercises to imagine yourself in a simple, peaceful, stress-free environment, and Engaging in conversation or exercise you will be able to help quiet your mind and stay focused in the present moment.

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”  Eckhart Tolle

7) Practice empathy and compassion to create peace. Each human being exists within the context of interrelationships that include other human beings, all living beings and the natural world. The ability to appreciate someone else’s struggle is an important skill to develop. You know how you would like to be treated, so use that as a guide when trying to treat others. As Lou Holtz says: “Do right. Do your best. Treat others as you want to be treated”. Practicing empathy and kindness is the core skill for what psychologists call “pro-social” behaviour – the actions that are involved in building close relationships, maintaining friendships, and developing strong communities. It appears to be the central reality necessary for developing a conscience, as well.

“You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Lee, Harper

When it comes right down to it, living a simple and peaceful life is about learning how to slow down, connect more deeply with your inner self and live a conscious life.  Whether you do that by simplifying your surroundings, calming your schedule or enjoying a quiet respite each day, the result is the same – having a simple yet meaningful life and a happier and more peaceful you!

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”  Aristotle


Change your thoughts and you change your world

Change your thoughts and you change your world.  / Norman Vincent Peale

In life, you are always filled with choices. You may opt to have a pessimist’s view and live a self-defeated life or you may decide to take the optimist’s route and take a challenging and fulfilling life.

So why nurture an optimist’s point of view? And why now?

Optimism is an outlook in which we view the world as a positive place. In doing so, we realize that a wonderful life is worth loving. Optimism has been linked to positive mood and good morale; to academic, athletic, military, occupational and political success; to popularity; to good health and even to long life and freedom from trauma. Sometimes, we get caught up in the trap of negativity and we may feel that everything is working against us, we might feel overwhelmed and out of control, but it doesn’t mean that we have to let them control our feelings. It is all a matter of choice whether we want to make optimism a habit of our life.

Here’s how optimists are in action and researches that back up why it really pays to be an optimist:

  • Optimists always expect the best, they believe that bad events, which will last a long time and undermine everything they do, are their own fault. The truth is that optimists are confronted with the same hard knocks of this world too. What differs them is the way they explain their misfortune. They tend to believe defeat is just a temporary setback, that its causes are confined to this one case.
  • Optimists tend to focus on and plan for the ‘problem’ at hand. They view negative experience in a way that can help them to learn and grow. Such people don’t get frazzled by bad situation, they perceive it as a challenge and try harder. They won’t say “things will never get better,” or “If I failed once, it will happen again”. Positive expectancies of optimists also predict better reactions during transitions to a new environment, a sudden tragedy and an unlikely turn of event. If they fall, they will stand up. They see opportunities instead of obstacles.
  • People respond positively to optimists. Optimists tend to make things happen, instead of waiting for things to happen. They are less dependent on others for their happiness. They don’t find need to control or manipulate people. They usually attract people towards them. Their optimistic point of view towards the world can be contagious and influence others around them.
  • Optimists typically maintain higher levels of subjective well-being during times of stress than others who are less optimistic. In contrast, pessimists are likely to react to stressful events by denying that they exist or by avoiding dealing with problems. Pessimists are more likely to quit trying when difficulties arise.
  • Optimists have Perseverance, which is the key to success. They just don’t give up easily, they just keep on keeping on, as they are committed to their goals. This ability leads them to unexpected discoveries and expands their knowledge, both about themselves and about the field of their endeavour. They are also known for their patience. Inching their way one step at a time closer to their goal or elusive dream.
  • Optimists are healthier and live longer. Numerous studies support the belief that people with positive perspective tend to be healthier and enjoy longer lives than those who are generally gloomy and cynical about the future and always expecting the worst in every situation. As having a positive outlook can cause a measurable increase in the body’s ability to fight disease, an optimist tend to age well and get to outlive those prone to negative thoughts.

So why not be an optimist today? And think positively towards a more fulfilled life. Why not look forward to success in all our endeavours? Why not be resilient? Like everybody else we are bound to hit lows sometimes but we don’t have to just stay there. We can carry ourselves out of the mud and improve our chances of getting back on the right track. And why not inspire others to remove their dark-coloured glasses and see life in the bright side?

Our thoughts not only create our reality, they also influence the reality of those around us. Let the currents that flow through us be those of positivity and love. Choose thoughts that reflect of what we want to see and experience in the world. Be the reflection of our dream life and watch it manifest before our very eyes.

“Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words. Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions. Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits. Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character. Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny”


Give Yourself Permission To Live A Life

Give yourself permission to live a life – Most people around the world have sacrificed their passion or creativity in order to fulfil their responsibilities. So often in our lives we lose touch with our inner selves, with how we feel and what we truly desire in our lives. Then we start asking ourselves questions like:  How will it be when I get to the end of my life? How do I feel about the life I lived? The feeling of anxiety that will come next is just normal. Then we will feel confused because life had felt so good. We were happy, had a successful marriage, beautiful kids, and a job that we reasonably enjoyed. We feel that we had everything and yet something is missing. This missing part keeps us from being happy and completely satisfied with our life.

We have to realize that there is no fairy dust that will make our life what we want it to be or a magic spell that will bring us the feelings that we desire. We have to accept that only we have the control and the power within us to make the choices that will serve us best. We are the ones who have to take the first step and give ourselves permission to apply positive changes to our life and create a new happy and more fulfilling life for ourselves.

Here are top ten shifts in perspective that can help you move your life to the next level. This self-improvement article will assist you in breaking through that missing part to create the life you really want.

  1. Give yourself permission to dream. When was the last time you caught yourself daydreaming and appreciated it? You probably had no problem dreaming, when you were a kid. What happened to your ability to imagine and dream about what you want and who you want to be? How often do you allow yourself to be who you are? To dance when you want to dance? To sing? To say, I love you first?
  2. Stop looking outside yourself for happiness. Look inside. People often believe something outside of themselves will make them happier. The truth is, external elements bring only temporary happiness. Once you have enough money to pay your bills, have lost weight, or have fallen in love, your happiness subsides and you begin looking for the next external element to make you happy. Increase your self-awareness. Get curious about who you are at the core. Cultivate and nurture a relationship with yourself. Learn to love yourself, and you will automatically receive the love and appreciation that you desire from others.
  3. Cover the basics. Take the time to address your personal needs. How can you focus on thriving in your life if you are in survival mode? Set up that meeting with a financial advisor, get your space organized, clean up the details that are wasting your energy.
  4. Embrace your past and move on. Learning to accept your past will help you move forward in your life. Let go of things in your past which are lingering around and are causing you stress. Shift from “why it happened” to what I want to do about it now. Asking “why” is not a very empowering question. Asking what or how I want to proceed can be much more powerful and produce forward movement.
  5. Remember that you are not alone. Life can be very overwhelming sometimes but you have to get yourself into the habit of reading regularly. When was the last time you read a book or an article about self-improvement? Everything you read fills your head with new bits of information, and you never know when it might come in handy. The more knowledge you have, the better-equipped you are to tackle any challenge you’ll ever face. Read more self-improvement articles. They might help you figure about some things that are puzzling you.
  6. Remember gratitude. Count your blessings. Being grateful is a choice, a prevailing attitude that endures and is relatively immune to the gains and losses that flow in and out of our lives. When disaster strikes, gratitude provides a perspective from which we can view life in its entirety and not be overwhelmed by temporary circumstances. Yes, this perspective is hard to achieve, but it is worth the effort. Make a list of what is working right in your life? Set aside a bit of time every day to acknowledge what or who you are grateful for. The more you practice gratitude, the more you attract things into your life to be grateful for.
  7. Follow your passion. You still have your passions though it has been a while since you may have felt it flow. Make a commitment to yourself today to become aware of your passion, follow it and live it completely free as you let go of your fears and worries. It doesn’t make sense to say, “I don’t know what my passion is.” What does make sense is to say, “I haven’t yet cultivated a passion, I should really focus down on a small number of things which can help me to find my deep passion that drives me into a fulfilling career.
  8. Take action and take a risk. All the inspiration in the world is not enough to make you move your life to the next level. It takes inspired action to do that. When you’re taking inspired action, you are in the zone. You are flying along like a high speed engine and everything just flows. You will accomplish more in a relatively short amount of time than you ever realized was possible. You will work harder than ever, but it doesn’t feel like work.
  9. Keep breathing. You probably forget to take deep full breaths. We have all learned to constrict our breathing in response to stress. You can’t stay calm unless you control your breathing. We need oxygen, not only to live but to gain energy and be healthy.
  10. Have fun. Do something that you enjoy. Take a walk at lunch and enjoy the sunshine on your skin. Listen to some soothing music for five minutes (with your eyes closed). Take yourself to an art museum or schedule a whole day out in nature. Give your spouse an extra-long hug and kiss when you see them tonight. Incorporate some fun in your day. It makes life a lot more enjoyable!

Always look over the little details of your life… like a child’s laughter, a friend’s hug, or a stranger’s smile… to love someone and be loved by someone… enjoy them… They may be small, but when you look back in your life, you’ll realize that those are the things that made your life colourful and worth living for.

“Give yourself permission to take action on feeling good and creating positive changes in your life, because you deserve it. We all do!”


Practice Kindness

Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty. / Anne Herbert

Kindness is inspiring, powerful, courageous and wise. It’s also disarming, compelling and transformative. Being kind is a vital way of bringing meaning to our own lives as well as the lives of others. Being kind allows us to communicate better, be more compassionate, and also to be a positive force in people’s lives. Kindness has its true source deep within us, and while some people are innately kind, it’s something that everyone can cultivate by choice. In any given moment, the kindness we offer to ourselves or to others affects what happens in the very next moment. The more we practice, the better we get at it.

Here are some simple ways to practice kindness:

  1. Smiles are powerful and contagious. Don’t hesitate to smile warmly at friends, family, colleagues and even strangers. Never stop smiling! God smiles on us each and every day. His love has no depth, his mercy no end. His arms are open wide, just step into them.
  2. Send hand-written thank-you notes to the people in your life who have helped you through your difficult times and had an impact on the life you have created for yourself. Receiving a hand written thank you notes delivers a special meaning and it is a personal touch.
  3. If you use public transport, be the first one to offer your seat to an elderly person or a pregnant woman when it is busy and there is no free seats left.
  4. Pay it forward can add a tremendous sense of meaning and dignity to our lives. Simply put, it feels good to give to others, whether we get back or not. How about when you are in a coffee shop next time, you could buy a coffee or cake in advance for the next customer that comes in. Imagine what a nice surprise that could be to that person when they discover that a kind stranger has paid it forward for them.
  5. When you see a homeless person, think about a way to help them. May be you could bring them some water, buy them some food, or give them some warm clothing, sleeping bags or blankets when the weather is cold. You could spend some time with them, listen to them and talk to them.
  6. Care for others genuinely around you. Most people who care for others in a selfless manner do so because of a genuine desire to help and improve the world around them.  Being caring allows you to have empathy for others and to live a life based on affection, love, and compassion for the people around you.  Being caring means providing a listening ear, noticing when someone needs help, and helping your community without asking for a reward
  7. One of most basic needs of human being is to understand and be understood. Although we hear with our ears, many of us don’t necessarily listen to what is being said. We don’t get the chance to listen when we are too quickly reacting, judging, providing solutions, and disagreeing. When we listen to others well, it makes them feel accepted, understood, important, valued and validated. Listening benefits the listener as well. It helps build trust, avoid misunderstanding, and above all it’s a true gift which we can share to uplift people.
  8. Ask elderly neighbours if they need anything doing. The best course of action to begin with is to make yourself known to an elderly neighbour and ask if there’s anything you can do to help. Getting older might mean that they have trouble carrying out simple jobs, that you could manage with little effort, and they will really appreciate your offer.
  9. Tell your loved ones that you love them regularly. Sometimes, it gets taken for granted that we love our parents, siblings, friends, spouse or our children and though they’re really important to us, we simply don’t use “those words” in normal conversation. Love is a positive energy that makes us feel good when it is received or shared. If we want to feel good all the time, we should release this energy often by expressing our love. When we express love, we make the other person also feel good. That person too, as a response, expresses love and we receive more of this positive healing energy.
  10. When a thought of generosity arises within you, act on it. Don’t hold back. This is important. Giving doesn’t have to be involved with material things. It could be sending flowers, a compliment, a word of encouragement, sitting with someone in time of grief or sadness. The Law of Giving is really simple:  if you want more joy, give joy to others.  If you want love, learn to give love.  If you want happiness, help others become happy.  And if you want to become wealthy, learn to help others become materially affluent. Our potential for wealth is not shown in our bank account as much as it is in the attitude of our heart.
  11. If someone is struggling with money problems, find a way anonymously to help them if you can. If not anonymously, out in front.
  12. Stop complaining. It never makes anything better, it doesn’t serve any purpose besides draining your energy and the energy of others around you, and it makes friends and family screen you out when you call, or run in different direction when they see you coming. So choose to reject negativity and be positive instead.
  13. Compliment others. Compliments should come from a place of genuine desire to make other people feel better. I know you’ve received a compliment before that has made you feeling good about yourself. Don’t you want to spread the love and give that kind of feeling to others?
  14. Always speak thoughtfully. You have the power to contribute something meaningful or hurtful. Choose your words carefully as they can be remembered years later. Always speak good words, or words that reflect who you really are. Being kind doesn’t mean that you can’t make your point or send your message across. Being kind will show that you care, regardless of the message. By sharing your compassion, you might change how someone feels about themselves or a situation.
  15. Think of the people in your life and be there for them when they need help. Sometime we are so caught up in our daily life and so focused on our own agendas that we forget about others ‘needs  and our effect on them.  If you want to be a more caring person, then you have to appreciate the people in your life as much as you can and make a habit of taking the time to help a friend or a loved one in need. If a friend or a family member is having a hard time, make sure they know that you are there for them and are available to talk and help.
  16. Spend some time with a senior citizen living on their own. Older people are especially vulnerable to loneliness and social isolation, and it can have a serious effect on their health. Someone who is lonely probably also finds it hard to reach out. There is a stigma surrounding loneliness, and older people tend not to ask for help because they have too much pride. You could always volunteer helping them. You could spend some time with them, listen to them and get them engaged in conversation, and make some difference in their life.
  17. Give Blood. Donating blood is a simple thing to do, but it can make a big difference in the lives of others.
  18. Encourage someone to pursue their dream. Be a haven of positive thoughts and outlooks to someone to achieve their goals. Provide them support and help them persevere their dreams when they’re looking down.
  19. Always say “Please” and “Thank You”, to keep you humble, to make you fully appreciate your blessings, to make you feel more optimistic, and to encourage you compassion, kindness and love.
  20. Always show special kindness and compassion to those who suffer. Be considerate toward people in need. By showinng compassion, not only you help others, but in essence, you help yourself too.  By doing good to others we receive positivity, contentment. and peace.  In this sense, the various forms of the Golden Rule are clearly based on the concept of compassion.“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion” – Dalai Lama

Kindness is one of the greatest gifts you can bestow upon another. If someone is in need, lend them a helping hand. Do not wait for a thank you. True kindness lies within the act of giving without the expectation of something in return.

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” / Lao Tzu


Stress Management

Stress management is life management; if you take control of your stress, your life will thank you for it. “Shereka Dunston“

Stress is defined as the experience or anticipation of adversity in our goal-related efforts, a normal psychological and physical reaction to the ever-increasing demands of life. We experience stress when there is an imbalance between life demands being made on us and our resources to cope with those demands. Coping with life demands, and carrying the problems that may or may not belong to us can scratch away the little joy and happiness that we can carry once we head out that door.

The level and extent of stress a person may feel depends a great deal on their attitude to a particular situation. An event that may be extremely stressful for one person can be a mere hiccup in another person’s life.

So how can we reduce our stress? There are several ways to manage stress, and eventually remove it out of your life:

  1. Acknowledge stress is good

Make stress your friend! Based on the body’s natural “fight or flight” response, that burst of energy will enhance your performance at the right moment. I’ve yet to see a top sportsman totally relaxed before a big competition. Use stress wisely to push yourself that little bit harder when it counts most.

How you think and act can transform your experience of stress. When you choose to view your stress response as helpful, you create the biology of courage. When you choose to connect with others under stress you can create resilience. Now I wouldn’t necessarily ask for more stress in my life, but you can see it as another access to your compassionate heart and to your pounding physical heart to give you strength and energy.”

  1. Avoid stressed people

Overly stressed people are infected with stress germs and they spread them around indiscriminately. Soon, before you know it, you are infected too!

Protect yourself by recognizing stress in others and limiting your contact with them. Or if you’ve got the inclination, play stress doctor and teach them how to better manage themselves.

  1. Learn from the best

Try to make yourself into the type of person you want to be. So model calm people, people who seem to naturally handle stress well. When people around you are losing their head, who keeps calm? What are they doing differently? What is their attitude? What language do they use?  What are they saying to themselves?  Are they trained and experienced? You might observe them or, sit them down and have a chat with them. Ask them how they handle things that seem to stress others. Learn from the best and copy what they do.

  1. Practice Breathing, Really heavy breathing

This is something I’ve learned from a gym instructor: You can’t stay calm unless you control your breathing. You can trick your body into relaxing simply by using deep breathing techniques. Focus on bringing your breaths into the bottom of your stomach and then push the air out completely.

  1. Stop Obsessive Thinking

Take a few times throughout the day where you can sit comfortably and visualize your scary thoughts in a less threatening way. You can use humour to downplay those thoughts to less frightening thoughts. Use positive self-talk that reassures you that you would never carry out the thoughts you think. You have the power to DO or NOT DO anything you want. Remind yourself that it’s okay that those thoughts are there. Do not resist them…. accept them as just “thoughts” and nothing more. They cannot hurt you or make you do anything you don’t want to do. Most of these thoughts never happen, so why waste all that energy worrying needlessly?

  1. Identify Your True Sources of Stress

It’s easy to identify sources of stress following a major life event such as changing jobs, moving home, or losing a loved one, but pinpointing the sources of everyday stress can be more complicated. It’s all too easy to overlook your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that contribute to your stress levels. Sure, you may know that you’re constantly worried about work deadlines, but maybe it’s your procrastination, rather than the actual job demands, that is causing the stress. Until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it, your stress level will remain outside your control. Knowing what causes you stress is powerful information, as you can take action to make it less stressful. Do you need to learn some new skills? Do you need extra resources?

  1. Be Smart About the Three Fundamentals of Energy

What are these three fundamentals? Getting enough sleep, eating healthy and exercising a couple of times a week.

Sleep deprivation, poor diet and no exercise affect your body both in the short term and over time leading to chronic health problems which can impact the quality of your life. Lack of sleep increases your appetite, affects your memory and ability to learn, and shortens your attention span. I know, these things are very obvious but worth mentioning as it’s often ignored as a stress management technique and when you manage these three areas in a good way in practice then that makes a huge difference for your mood, energy, outlook of life and how well you can handle stress. So listen to your mother and don’t burn the candle at both ends!

Having stress can be a total hardship, but that should not prevent you from finding the inner peace of mind that you have wanted for a long time. Connecting with others that share the desire to create more inner peace and give back to the world can increase your feelings of purpose, and in turn, inner peace. Consider enrolling for a prayer group, yoga or meditation class. There are number of online groups, for people that want to pray, meditate, or exercise their practice of choice in order to gain inner peace and focus on positive intentions to benefit others. Volunteering is another way to make you feeling more content and less stressed. By focusing your attention on others, your inner self will shift from being self-centred to becoming more giving and generous. Peace isn’t a passive state, but a state where the mind, heart and body are in balance as you’re actively living life.

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”  Buddha