Tuesday, November 16, 2010

3 Easy Stress Busting Tips

Thanksgiving is the official kickoff of the holiday season. It seems like we no sooner get dinner cleaned up when the Christmas shopping starts. For many of us, this is an extremely stressful time as we try to fit the holidays into an already tight schedule. So, let’s tackle this early so we can make the most of the holidays and really enjoy them. Here are 3 really easy stress relieving tips that can really make a difference:

One of the simplest and easiest ways to blow off steam and gain a new perspective is to take a walk when you feel stressed. Being outside removes you from the stressful situation and allows an opportunity to reflect. It also releases endorphins which always makes us feel better.

If you can’t leave the situation then use your breathe to help manage your stress. Getting more oxygen into your body and releasing physical tension are two ways that breathing exercises can benefit you. They are free, easy to do and can be done anywhere or anytime. Here is an easy breathing exercise that works wonders:

• Sit or stand in a relaxed position.

• Slowly inhale through your nose, counting to five in your head.

• Let the air out from your mouth, counting to eight in your head as it leaves your lungs. Repeat several times. That’s it! Do this a few times to release tension and you will feel good as new.

Mental Break
If you can steal away a few minutes of peace, visualizations are a wonderful way to restore peace of mind. They're easy to do, and can relax you physically as well as mentally. Think about that last great vacation at the beach or mountains, message, hot tub soak or whatever put you into a relaxing mood. Go there mentally again to relive that wonderful feeling.

So get ready for the holidays with these easy stress buster tips. Use all three as needed to make a difference in your outlook. How do you relive stress? Share your stress buster tips, the more the merrier!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Easy Way to Get Your Attitutde of Gratitude

November is such a great month for reflection. It’s an ideal time to start a gratitude practice or reinforce the one we already have. I started my gratitude practice after I was diagnosed with breast cancer and can’t begin to tell you what a difference it has made in my life. The good news is, you don’t have to face adversity to begin a practice of gratitude; you can start that today. I promise you, you will be amazed at the change your life will take.

If you get into a routine and follow it daily, you should see a change in your attitude and outlook between weeks 4 and 6. I was never one for a daily writing routine so it was difficult for me in the beginning but I stuck with it and to my surprise I actually look forward to writing in my gratitude journal. Here are some easy tips to get you started:
  • Select a pretty notebook size spiral journal as your gratitude journal. Pick something that will make you feel good every time you open it. I find the spiral type works best for me.
  • Write in it first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening. I find doing it at the end of the day is a nice way to reflect back on the day.
  • Keep your entries short and sweet, 3 to 5 works well. Be sure to use your journal for gratitude entries only and nothing else. You will enjoy reading back on the entries at the end of the month.
Sometimes we don’t start journals because we don’t know what kind of entries to post. The very essence of a gratitude practice is finding everyday ‘small’ things to be grateful for. Let me get you started by sharing a sample post from my gratitude journal:
  • Enjoyed a wonderful dinner with Shawn (my son) tonight, don’t get to see him much since he moved out. It’s always nice being together.
  • I’m grateful for my automatic washer and dryer, it makes doing laundry a breeze. I remember hearing stories from my grandmother how she had to do laundry.
  • Modern medicine is wonderful, that Tylenol I took for my headache really did the trick.
As you can see, it won’t be very difficult to find things in your day to fill your gratitude journal. When we become thankful for the very things we take for granted, things start to come into perspective. You may not be able to get together with your son, doing laundry could take a lot longer and be much more involved and you may have to live with that headache. How’s that for perspective?

Combine this practice with giving thanks before you get out of bed each day (something short and sweet that starts the day in the right way) and you are well on your way to a more fulfilled life.

These are the basic practices that transformed my life into an attitude of gratitude; I hope they help move you in that same direction. I would love to hear about your progress and from those with tips to share from their practice.

Gratefully Yours,