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Thoughts for the day

After studying stress management for over thirty years, I have some simple but life altering techniques, observations and realizations I hope to share with you.

We all have the power to transform the natural stress that comes from living into energy capable of improving our physical and spiritual health.

Secret number one is that the essence of life is transformation. These simple words hold the key for changing your life for the better. Join me and see if it is not so.  These are thoughts for the day that can transform your life and the lives of others.

Cherish your pets and the lives of all animals.  They are gifts to us and can be dear friends.

 

Remember to look for all those blessings we take for granted.  The breeze in the trees, the sound of singing birds, the laughter of a child, these are all blessings we can enjoy!

Look at your surroundings as if you were a visitor.

Love.  Do a kindness for someone.

“Humble beginnings or wealth from the start, what truly matters are things of the heart”.

Take your family for a walk, or just do something spontaneous for fun together.

Don’t keep yourself in a prison.  Take a break from your electronics and refresh the memory of talking to a real human, or sitting in the sunshine!

Take a breath.  Stretch.  Smile.

Make a point of actually playing with your children while they are small. Catch a fish, catch a ball, catch precious moments that are only there for one short period of time.

Watch the sun rise as darkness lifts, watch the sunset.  How many times have you left to see the stars at night or revel in the full moon?  Not enough in a lifetime for me.

If you can’t leave – take a mental vacation.  Even if it’s just for a minute or two, visualize a favorite place.  Listen to the sounds of nature.  Take a breath and use your mind to renew your zest for life.

Cherish the earth.  It is our home.

Cherish your body.  It is the only place your Spirit has to live!

Don’t let the sour expressions or negative attitudes of people affect your day.  Do not forget to laugh.  It is healing!

Thank your Creator for the multitude of every day  blessings we take for granted!  Sacrifice a bit of your time for someone who needs help, or a hug!

It is a choice.  Let your light shine through and be grateful for small miracles.  Start a cycle of sharing smiles and positive thoughts.

YOU CAN DO IT!  CREATE a wonderful day.  If you have made poor choices – you are the only one that can make a move onward and upward.  Love yourself too!

 

 

 

Verbal Abuse

We all grew up believing that physical abuse was the thing that hurt the most but if you have ever experienced a verbally abusive relationship, you know that words can feel as though they are literally killing your soul. They will also stay active in your minds for years if left unattended.

Physical abuse can leave visible marks, the kind you can see and show someone else so they understand what’s happening to you. People can see damage being done to you. Abusive words don’t leave visible marks of any sort.  Verbal abuse can be so cunning and insidious the damage is done before you even realize what is being done to you. There are no scars, no visible signs of hurt to show someone to ask for help.

Verbal abusers pick their victims. Most of the time they keep the abuse behind closed doors with no witnesses. The abuser’s public image is so totally different than the one they show to their victim. If anyone is going to look foolish or petty, it will be the victim who seeks help from family or friends.  They only see the “good” side of the abuser.
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Verbal abuse isn’t just shouting profanities; it is finding a sensitive spot and working on it.  Joking about a tender subject when the abused person reacts (as the abuser expected) telling them that they “are too sensitive”, some other negative put-down remark to further demean.

A person who has been verbally abused may believe they are worthless, not capable of the simplest tasks, not worthy of living on this earth. When it comes from a parent, it is particularly devastating. Many times an abused child grows up and becomes the abuser, although they don’t necessarily recognize their actions as being abusive.

All relationships are going to have times of arguing some harsh words. That is a normal part of a normal relationship as it evolves. In a healthy relationship it leads clearing the air of issues that needed to be dealt with; it leads to healthy conversations and a resolve.  Both partners say they’re sorry, they both admit to their mistakes. They may even apologize.

Abusers may apologize, although most don’t, but even with apologies they won’t stop the abuse. Even if they say they’re sorry, they aren’t sorry enough to stop the abuse.

Think about this, if your spouse or boyfriend, or family member were being abusive to you, would you accept it knowing that your son or daughter will probably be abused, and ultimately will learn from you that abusive behavior is acceptable?

You need to learn what you can do to break the legacy of abuse within your family. Get counseling for yourself and your children even if your spouse denies there is a problem.

Life is too short to spend it being verbally or otherwise abused. If you saw it happening to your child would you allow it?

Many verbal abusers are delightful, charming people in public. They treat their spouse or partner with such respect that people often think they “are the perfect couple”. They save their abuse and cruelty for a private audience.  Know this: verbal abuse escalates. Verbal abuse can and sometimes does, turn physical.

Many people are obviously verbally cruel and abusive. Others are subtler.

Physical abuse may leave injury for a time, but more often than not, the injury heals.  Verbal abuse it is often more seriously damaging to your self-image. Verbal abuse is cruel and scars your soul.

Many people never discuss verbal abuse. Indeed, some do not even recognize that they are being verbally abused.  Quite often the person being abused makes excuses for the abuser.

“…..really doesn’t mean to hurt me.”

“I don’t want to break up.  I have children.”

“…..will stop because he/she loves me.”

Verbal abusers are usually quite sensitive to outsiders finding out about the abuse. No one outside the home may ever see the side the abused person knows only too well

Why do intelligent, warm men and women permit verbal abuse?

During the courtship period, everyone is on his or her best behavior. The verbal abuse is slight and probably few and far between. Since everyone wants to believe the best of their lovers, they overlook obvious verbal abuse. Chemistry adds to the capability women have to overlook the first subtle signs of abuse.

Then they marry or move in together. And the abuse starts…

One of the most devastating effects of living with a verbal abuser is the change in self-esteem. As the abused person begins to internalize the criticism and believe it’s valid, self-image sinks lower and lower. They start feeling worthless, incompetent, and unlovable.  After all, when someone who knows them so well thinks they are so worthless and unlovable, then “it must be true.”

If the woman does challenge the abuser, he might turn on the charm and even make her doubt her instincts. This lowers her self-confidence even further.

Abusers have stock answers when challenged.

“What’s wrong with you, making such a big deal out of nothing.

“Come on, honey, I was drunk…..

“Honey, I love you but sometimes you…”

“I had a bad day at work…” or “I had a bad day with the kids”

“You know I didn’t mean anything I said. I’m the one who loves you more than anyone else in the world loves you–remember.”

If you are in a verbally abusive relationship, start by acknowledging the abuse. This is not an easy thing to do. Outside help may be necessary because family, friends, and relatives are often under the spell of your mate and don’t offer belief or support.

Make plans to create a better environment for you.  Don’t stay too long, though, because every time your self-esteem sinks further, you lessen your chances of actually leaving

Do you wonder if your relationship may be abusive? Ask yourself the questions below. If you answer ‘yes’ to more than a few, you may want to take a closer look. These things are universal traits of an abuser.

Does your partner:

Ignore your feelings

Disrespect you?

Ridicule or insult you then tell you it’s a joke, or that you have no sense of humor?

Ridicule your beliefs, religion, race, heritage or class?

Withhold approval, appreciation or affection?

Give you the silent treatment?

Walk away without answering you?

Criticize you, call you names, and yell at you?

Humiliate you privately or in public?

Roll his or her eyes when you talk?

Give you a hard time about socializing with your friends or family?

Make you socialize (and keep up appearances) even when you don’t feel well?

Seem to make sure that what you really want is exactly what you won’t get?

Tell you are too sensitive?

Hurt you especially when you are down?

Seem energized by fighting, while fighting exhausts you?

Have unpredictable mood swings, alternating from good to bad for no apparent reason?

Present a wonderful face to the world and is well liked by outsiders?

“Twist” your words, somehow turning what you said against you?

Try to control decisions, money, even the way you style your hair or wear your clothes?

Complain about how badly you treat him or her?

Threaten to leave, or threaten to throw you out?

Say things that make you feel good, but do things that make you feel bad?

Ever left you stranded?

Ever threaten to hurt you or your family?

Ever hit or pushed you, even “accidentally”?

Seem to stir up trouble just when you seem to be getting closer to each other?

Abuse something you love: a pet, a child, and an object?

Compliment you enough to keep you happy, yet criticize you enough to keep you insecure?

Promise to never do something hurtful again?

Harass you about imagined affairs?

Manipulate you with lies and contradictions?

Destroy furniture, punch holes in walls, and break appliances?

Drive like a road-rage junkie?

Act immature and selfish; yet accuse you of those behaviors?

Question your every move and motive, somehow questioning your competence?

Interrupt you; hear but not really listen?

Make you feel like you can’t win? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t?

Use drugs and/or alcohol involved? Are things worse then?

Incite you to rage, which is  “proof” that you are to blame?

Try to convince you he or she is “right,” while you are “wrong?”

Frequently say things that are later denied or accuse you of misunderstanding?

Treat you like a sex object, or as though sex should be provided on demand regardless of how you feel?

Your situation is critical if the following applies to you:

You express your opinions less and less freely.

You find yourself walking on eggshells, careful of when and how to say something.

You long for that softer, more vulnerable part of your partner to emerge.

You find yourself making excuses for your partner’s behavior.

You feel emotionally unsafe.

You feel it’s somehow not OK to talk with others about your relationship.

You hope things will change…especially through your love and understanding.

You find yourself doubting your memory or sense of reality.

You doubt your own judgment.

You doubt your abilities.

You feel vulnerable and insecure.

You are becoming increasingly depressed.

You feel increasingly trapped and powerless.

You have been or are afraid of your partner.

Your partner has physically hurt you, even once

If you feel your relationship may be verbally and emotionally abusive, talk to people you trust. Talk to clergy, call your local battered women’s shelter, educate yourself, and seek professional help. Do not allow verbal and emotional abuse to escalate to battery!

HOW DEBILITATING STRESS IS?

Unmanaged, it is life threatening!

The corrosive hormones sent coursing through the blood, and the aggravations not managed well in life, over the years, (University of California, San Francisco study) triggers damage at the cellular level.  The damage is LIFE ALTERING.  Some of the loss includes depression, heart disease, obesity, rage that causes heart attacks, loss of relationships and family, and the list goes on!

STRESSES never end.  They are a part of life. Whether they are good stresses or bad ones, stress is a part of all our lives, and will be until the day we breathe our last breath.

That is why we absolutely must practice “breathing and relaxation” techniques.  – It’s like using a muscle – when you use it, feed it, exercise and stretch it, when you pay attention to it, your muscle becomes stronger, and healthier, and refined in shape and size.  We ARE creatures of habit.  We need to exercise our ability to create new stress management habits.

You can change

You can change your response to any stress by changing your thoughts.  No matter what you have been through, or experienced, changing your thoughts can alter your way of handling and dealing with events.  You can do this by replacing certain thought patterns with other thought patterns.

Whatever thought patterns dominate your thinking will determine not only your future thoughts, but also the very quality of your life experience.  Therefore, what you think is extremely important!

A product of your environment

Your thoughts are often a product of your environment. The people around you, the physical environment around you, the things around you (TV, books, newspapers, magazines, movies, the internet), all affect the way you think.

You can change the way you think by changing those things around you and your relationship to those things. You must be willing to do it.

No one method of an application of techniques to manage stress will handle all stress, but once you will find your own path, and begin to achieve your goals, you will FEEL BETTER. You will accept the challenges of life’s stresses with a new perspective.  It will happen!

You must switch negative thoughts to positive ones; changing from “I can’t” to “I can.”  You must be willing to try change, and willing to repeat what you are learning until it becomes a natural part of you that clicks into gear without even trying.

There are many modems of learning techniques.  This site is one, and there are hundreds more available.  Join a class to learn techniques, buy a video and watch it faithfully, find a personal consultant, meet with family members experiencing similar difficulties, or join a group seeking the same goals.

Any step you take is WONDERFUL!   A baby step is better than no step at all.  This is YOUR LIFE!

The HERPES Virus and STRESS


What can you do about it?

If you think H1NI is a potential pandemic, then about Herpes. One in four Americans lives with the herpes virus.Herpes is for life. There is no cure.  It can be overwhelming.

The psychological cost can be staggering.  Many people feel that they “brought it on themselves.”  This self-blame can cause depression, which many times, is a side effect of the disease anyway.  It can cause low self-esteem and so many other intense emotions, which in turn create a great deal of stress.

This STD (sexually transmitted disease) happens – remember, to one in four Americans.  You are not alone.

One of the problems manifested with having herpes is that the majority of people don’t realize how common it is now-over fifty million people in America alone.

The virus can remain dormant for years.   Many people aren’t even aware they have it until they pass it on to someone else.

Another fact that may surprise you is that 70-80% of people have Oral Herpes.  This can, by the way, be passed to the genitals during oral sex.  Sadly, a baby or young child can receive a kiss from an adult who carries Oral Herpes virus.

Herpes is forever.  This is sobering and true.   The virus stays in the nerve cells beside the spinal cord at the base of the pelvis for life.  These facts alone can cause terrible stress.

Now,  to what you need to do.  When you have an outbreak, please abstain from sexual activity.  Even if you don’t have any blisters, you could be shedding virus that is contagious.
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Another truth about the virus is that even if you are very careful, nothing short of total abstinence from skin to skin contact will prevent the possible spread of the virus.

With all this information it is no wonder the Herpes virus causes staggering stress amongst the population.  There is also a form called neonatal herpes – herpes passed on to a newborn child.  This is a “cause” that has had too little attention!

It is itchy, painful, leaves hardened crusty spots, and it worsens with age.  Staggering facts – but facts you CAN and MUST deal with in order to be in charge of your stress management.  You can do it!

The first step is to accept it.  You have it.  Now you have to begin to manage it in your daily living.  Take a breath.  Slow down a bit. Many people find when they activate stress management techniques, the breakouts are less frequent.

Ultimately, if you feel you can’t handle the stress alone (and many people simply can’t) – find a support group.  Friends, family, or social support groups can be very helpful.  Sharing with others gives mutual understanding, love, validation and most importantly, hope.

IMPORTANT

Having a form of the virus myself (shingles), I spoke to my pharmacist yesterday only to find the reason I could not get generic Valtrex was because there is some glitch in the manufacturing of some of the ingredients. He told me he has no idea when generic will be available, and other non-generic medications are very expensive.

He did give me a couple of alternatives though!  A wise and experienced man, I do heed his words.  IF you find you can’t get the generic equal then here are two alternative moves.  THIS IS NOT A GUARANTEE…. but this pharmacist, who has been in the profession over thirty years, said he has had enough feedback to know sometimes these work magnificently.  There has to be alternatives in these tough economic times, and here they are:

1.  This works particularly well if this is your first outbreak.  Tagamet 200 mg. liquid.  3 Tablespoons – 3 times a day.  Two

tablespoons at bedtime.

Interactions with this drug may occur with the following:

  • amoxicillin (Augmentin)
  • anti-depressants (Elavil)
  • anti-diabetic drugs (Micronase, Glucotrol)
  • aspirin
  • benzodiazepine tranquilizers (Valium, Xanax, Librium)
  • beta-blockers (Inderal, Lopressor)
  • blood thinners (Coumadin)
  • calcium-blockers (Cardizem, Calan, Procardia)
  • carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • chemotherapy drugs – some
  • chlorpromazine (Thorazine)
  • cisapride (Propulsid)
  • clozapine (Clozaril)
  • cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral)
  • digoxin (Lanoxin)
  • fluconazole (Diflucan)
  • ketoconazole (Nizoral)
  • medication for irregular heartbeat (Cordarone, Tonocard, Quindex, Procanbid)
  • metoclopramide (Reglan)
  • metronidazole (Flagyl)
  • narcotic (Demerol, morphine)
  • nicotine ( Nicoderm, Nicorette)
  • paroxetine (Paxil)
  • pentoxifylline (Trental)
  • phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • quinidine (Quinidex, Quinaglute)
  • sucralfate (Carafate)
  • theophylline (Theo-Dur)

THERE IS NO GUARANTEE HERE, but if your prescription cannot be filled, then it is worth the effort to at least give it a try.It is very reasonable.

2. Three tablespoons of coconut oil a day.  Now this is not very palatable so you can also cook with it.

AGAIN – NO Guarantees here.

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Management of your stress can be your best friend if you have Herpes or Shingles.  Often a breakout will occur during more stressful times.

Learn to breathe, take specific stress management courses, join a support group, or join a yoga class. SLOW DOWN!  You can only do so much in one day, so no matter how you would like to control things, no matter how busy your schedule is, use your INTELLECT.  When you are overwhelmed, take a breath, take a walk, take a class, hug someone, pet your dog, divert your attrntion from the problem and take a time out!  It’s your life, and with this particular disease, YOU REALLY NEED TO TAKE CARE OF YOU!

Panic Attacks


Panic attacks are common. You are not alone. It is anxiety in action.

People who suffer from panic attacks are experiencing the actual physical sensations of the fight/or fight response.  A panic attack can be seen as a set of unexpected physical symptoms, and then a response of panic or fear of the actual symptoms.

Symptoms may include hyperventilation, pounding heart, fear, dizziness, panic, an adrenaline rush and breathlessness.

The symptoms can be misinterpreted as a heart attack or other physical conditions and the misinterpretation can cause the attack to continue.

When some sort of danger is perceived or anticipated, even if not on a conscious level, the brain will put the sympathetic nervous system into action, releasing energy and getting the body primed for action.  This flight/flight response is automatic. It is your body responding to what it perceives in the mind an an emergency situation

Even after the danger has passed and your sympathetic nervous system has stopped responding, you are likely to feel keyed-up or apprehensive for some time.  Those chemicals are still floating around in your system.  You must remind yourself that this is perfectly natural and harmless.

To stop a panic attack you need to follow these simple steps (thought it may not seem simple at first) if you do it JUST ONCE it will be easier the next time, and the next.

1.  Slow down your breathing.  Take deep and complete breaths.  Remind yourself you are having a panic attack and that relaxing the body and your thoughts are first steps to physical control.

2.  Stop the negative thinking.  If you just shout the word “STOP” loudly inside your head, you actually interrupt the emergency message of the preparation your brain in sending to the adrenal glands.  Stop the negative and scary thoughts and think; while you are breathing slowly,  “I am in charge here.  I can stop this. ”

3.   Encourage your power with coping statements: ” I can do this. I have gotten through many tough times.  I am fine.  Everything is okay.” Repeat as many times as need be for you to create new thought brain cells.

4.  Accept the fact that your feelings are important and you had a reason for the fear causing the attack, or some variation of fear.  Try to identify the reason.  Listen to your thoughts but keep your emotions in proportion to the situation.  Keep an appropriate perspective.

FEAR

What is Fear?

Fear translates simply into “anticipation” of something bad happening. It is the emotion that makes you feel within that danger lurks close by, and is a threat to you, whether it be physical pain or something else.

Fear can be a positive emotion that reminds you to take care of yourself. Keep in mind, however, fear without restraint that becomes habitual, is dangerous and serves no purpose in resolving anything.

Listen to your feelings, take good care of yourself, and keep your emotions in proportion to the situation by keeping an appropriate perspective.

Being fearful of the future is pointless.  No one can know what will happen ten minutes from now, not even the very next moment.  A better approach to seeing the future would be to anticipate the good that you desire in your life and the lives of those around you.  It is a choice.

No matter what stress you are dealing with at the moment, life can change radically, and without notice. What you have feared may happen you may never see in reality.  Over ninety percent of what you fear will never come to fruition.

Do not look for things to happen.  Let them present themselves to you in their own time. It seems we often choose to be overrun by negative emotions, old limited thought patterns and fear, which gives way to negative reactions to circumstantial appearances.

Visualization

The ability to visualize with colorful and vivid images, rich imagination and detailed action are natural skills of childhood.  Somewhere along the path between childhood and becoming an adult many people are so overwhelmed with life itself, and so plummeted with “information and responsibilities” that the skills are tucked somewhere in the back of the mind.

Visualization skills can be very useful in empowering people to overcome

obstacles in their lives.  FEAR is at the forefront of the list that can be a major obstacle to progress. .  When fear is corralled you will find everything will improve.

The Whole thing Resolved

Whatever it is that keeps you hanging on to the negativity and fearful emotions – STOP IT!

STOP paying attention to the things you DON’T want in your life! Worry is simply the habit of focusing on what you do not want.

Divert your own attention to what you WANT your life to be.

Turn in the opposite direction. Turn from one course to another.  Distract, deflect, reallocate to a different purpose.

Free yourself from your prison.

You can demonstrate any kind of life you choose, but the rules of expression are this:  Build a consciousness for the thing you desire.  Then, of course, you must be will to exert the effort, (consistently), that is necessary to bring that life forth.

Bathing and Stress Management

Bathes are not strictly for women.  They are for all of us.  People of all ages spend money and time going some place to swim, or sit in a hot Jacuzzi.  Water is one of our most underrated and underappreciated gifts.  You bathtub is perfect for a light workout, water therapy and RELAXATION.

It’s cost effective and readily available without a reservation!

You will need these things for your productive, healing and peaceful bathing time:

1.  Music.  You must have music.  Make sure you are “electrically” safe, or not hooked to any electricity at all is preferable.  Use your Ipod, portable headset and player, a radio, or whatever you have, and make sure your music flows with your natural heart rate.  It should feel gentle and soulful. Music that is simpatico with your heart rate will enhance your relaxation.

2.  A candle, or a few candles, safely placed in areas to enhance the ambiance.  If you don’t have candles then simply try to make the lighting in the room soft for your eyes.

3.  Find a fragrance to capture within the room.  Try flowers, incense, and a splash of your favorite perfume or cologne to reward your sense of smell.

4.  You need a small cervical pillow with a waterproof cover – or simply a large towel rolled to place at your neck for comfort and support.

5.  Bubble bath, oil or whatever will nourish your skin.  Your skin will cover you all your life.  Keep it supple.

6.  A body sponge, pumice stone and / or wash rag.

7.  Epsom salts to add to your bath water for helping muscles and ligaments.

Set the scene while you run a hot bath.  Grab two soft towels and plan on twenty or thirty minutes alone.  Make a “do not disturb sign”.  Make your bath a reward in the comfort of your own home.  Only you and your family should have bathtub privileges.  Let the guests use a shower.

Now you are ready for this “stress management magic to begin

1.  Step into the tub (after it’s clean, of course), and when you first start drawing the hot water for your bath.  As the water fills the tub, sit down and paddle your arms side to side so the temperature stays even throughout the tub.

2.  When the tub is filled (I personally love a bubble bath), lean back on the towel or pillows and begin these easy stretches and movements.  Lift one leg slightly, and rotate you ankles in both directions.  Point and flex toes and then flex them, pressing them towards your chest.  Lightly massage the leg and foot and then alternate to opposite sight.  Repeat the movements.  As you are doing these things slowly breathe in and out.  Make the breaths deep and long, and relaxed.

3.  With hands in the water clench your fists.  Open the fingers wide and stretch them as far as you can.   Wiggle the fingers. Pull the water through your fingers.  Visualize how light the water is and yet how powerful.  You too can be “light in thoughts” yet powerful…if you manage your stress effectively.

4.  Remove the pillow and gently place your neck on the highest point of the tub itself.  If you need to, slide down in the water a bit.  Slowly, with mindful breathing, rotate the head from side to side.  Do it several times.

Next, press your chin towards your chest.  Hold it for a few moments and release.  As you do this note the stretch for your spine. Youth depends greatly on the suppleness of the spine.

When you decide to finish the bath, use warm water to rinse, splashing it first of the face and then the body.  It will be stimulating for your circulation and finish the cleansing part of the bath.  (Of course you have already soaped down and washed this body you live in!)

Be creative in the water and enjoy the healing properties and the time you have to simply concentrate on YOUR BATH!