Sunday, June 24, 2012

3 Steps to Calm Down Fast

The worst time to make up your mind on a specific matter is when you are calm or during an emotional times where your mind is not thinking straight. Your mind can calm down in minutes, but of course, depending on the situation you are suffering, it could take more time. But no matter what, a decision you will take in your state of anger will not turn out to have the outcome that you have wanted.
As a main rule, your decisions cannot be rushed. You need to be calm before taking any step forwards or any decision, no matter how small or urgent it is.
But how can you calm down to take a decision when you are at an angry state?

There is a simple method to calm down temporarily. It does not take much time or effort to work, but it does take a lot of concentration.

• Breathing:
As strange as it might seem, breathing will always help you calm down and grab a hold on your temper. Even in the hardest situations, the ability to breathe slowly and allow your anger out with the breath that you exhale will change your mood almost instantly.

- Press your palms together in front of your face and close your eyes.
- Inhale until your lungs are full while raising your hands up until they are all the way up.
- As you inhale, move the muscles of your stomach; sucking it in and pushing out in a way that would make you feel comfortable.
- Slowly exhale out of your mouth while moving your arms away; extended to either side and down.
- Repeat the same process until you feel calm.

The whole process should not take more than a minute.

• Relaxing:
Relaxation will help you get a stronger grip on your mood. It will set your mind free of the stress you might be going through. The mean to relax will take more effort than releasing your anger temporarily.

- First of all, you need to get in a position where your body is comfortable. The stress your body will put on you might change the course of your relaxation.
- Either close your eyes or stare into a still object or wall.
- Imagine a white sheet of paper, or whatever that resembles emptiness in your mind.
- Begin drawing on that sheet something that will keep you calm as long as the drawing is still and at the same time expanding.

This process will take a little longer but it will put you in a right set of mind for the next and final step.

• Imagining:
The final step could be taken in two different approaches.

- First, close your eyes and start imagining the situation.
- Do not look at the situation from your position, but rather from above. Imagine it as if you're watching a football match with two teams competing for the win.
- Try to see who has the right; whether it was your party or the other party.

- Look at where you are headed. The decision you are making will depend on it.
- Take all the roads to imagine how the decision will affect them. If it was a yes or no question, then see where you might go with either answer.

At the end, all of this would not take more than ten minutes if the situation was too big. You cannot think right when you are angry or emotional. You have to calm down and relax before rushing into decisions.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Add to Your Knowledge Stress Management Strategies

Add to your knowledge Stress Management Strategies

Do you believe that God put us here on this earth to stress?

So, what is stress? Stress according to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language is a mentally or emotionally disruptive or disquieting influence; distress.

You see, our minds react to information received about a situation from our senses. When the mind perceives a threat, it activates a response and equips the body to proceed with that course of action. It can occur in an instant, often before we are conscious of the threat. The mind shifts into gear to deal with the threat so that it may restore us back to our stress free state. If we believe that we do not have control of the situation then we may experience anxiety or panic attacks.

Depression is bound by the works of God. Depression is not happy

Understanding how to relax your mind can help add days to your life. Learn how to refocus your thoughts to that place of refuge when your thoughts come from a coward; it can and will bring peace to your situation. Recognize the power that you have over these mentally or emotionally disruptive or disquieting influences by allowing yourself time to meditate each day and make peace of mind your first priority. Regular exercise, meditation, progressive relaxation, deep breathing and yoga are excellent ways of managing stress in your life especially for those who are at high risk for heart irregularities.

Managing stress can help reduce the development of serious physical conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, stomach problems and even cancer. It can also help to overcome psychological issues such as clinical depression, anxiety and panic disorders.

In a recent article, I read where this person would make the sound of the ocean with their breath. Whenever they focused on their breath, it would calm them to make that deep, resonant whisper sound the way they were taught in yoga class. They would direct their breath at the back of their throat, and listen to the sound of the force and power of their own breathing, there inside their head. They went on to say however, that breathing will only get you so far.

There are many different ways of applying stress management strategies to your life and you will find that each person has their own special way of managing stress. For example, if you are experiencing mild stress, you can drink herbal tea. Some health food stores carry tea that provide herbal stress relief and you may be able to find them available in capsule form as well. Keep in mind however, it is best to consult a doctor before taking any herbal medication especially if you are taking prescription medicines for other ailments; there are some herbs that you should not drink or eat as they may cause a harmful interaction with each other. It has been noted that herbal remedies are more effective when you have a healthy diet, regular exercise and complete rest. And remember to smile. Smiling works wonders.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Should You Lie Down or Sit Up to Meditate?

No doubt, life can be stressful and tiring these days. So, it should be no surprise that a common question I receive from my meditation students is this: "Is it O.K. for me to meditate lying down?" While you certainly can get benefits from meditating lying down, there are several important reasons why I encourage sitting upright. In this article, we'll explore the often-overlooked, powerful benefits of upright, seated, meditation posture.

Now, before we begin, let me say that I recognize that, for some people, sitting upright is not an option. Because of illness or disability you must lay down. Let me be clear that I advocate meditation first and foremost as internal training that can be done lying down with many positive results.

However, for those able to sit upright, I highly recommend it for a variety of reasons. Not only do I recommend sitting upright, but I recommend doing so without back support-at least for as long as you can without strong discomfort. Here's the posture I recommend and why:

I suggest sitting on the front edge of a chair, couch, or bed with the soles of your feet firmly on the ground and parallel to each other. In other words, you'll be sitting upright without back support with your feet flat on the ground. You can then rest your hands on your thighs or cupped in your lap.

Imagine a string attached to the top of your head gently drawing your spine upright. Tuck your chin slightly to lengthen the back of your neck. Place the tip of your tongue up to touch the roof of your mouth or touch it to your gum-line behind your upper teeth to relax your jaw. Smile slightly with lightly closed lips. Relax your shoulders down. Soften and relax your hands.

Sitting in this posture has several powerful effects:

1. You will strengthen your spinal and core muscles. Not only does this help your posture, it also provides mental-emotional strength. It gives you a "strong backbone" which strengthens your will and the power of your conscious intentions.

2. You'll align your spine and relax tension in the muscles not needed to hold you upright. As you learn to sit upright in good posture, you'll learn to relax your neck, jaw, shoulders, abdomen, and back muscles that may be tight from chronic stress.

3. You'll strengthen your vital energy. Sitting upright in good posture facilitates nerve conductivity through your spine, blood circulation, deeper, freer breathing, and vital energy flow through your core and throughout your whole body.

4. Sitting upright in good posture encourages alertness, paying attention, and present-moment awareness. It will facilitate you shifting into a meditative state. In contrast, if you're lying down, you're much more likely to lose focus and/or drift into sleep.

O.K. so sitting upright without back support has many powerful benefits.

Yet, most people will find it challenging to sit upright without back support for any extended period of time. Yes, it does take some conditioning and practice to reach the point that you do not feel achy and tired in this position. However, if you find it impossible to sit upright for even just a minute or two, you're likely better off lying down and taking a nap. You might just need some rest.

If you are up for meditating, here's what I suggest:

Begin your meditation practice by sitting forward on the front edge of a chair that has back support. Go through the posture cues mentioned above to relax, come into good alignment, and become present in your body. When you begin to get tired or have pain in your neck or back, first recognize and accept that discomfort. Put your attention right into the center of it. Imagine that you are breathing in and out of that area. Consciously let go of the tension as best as you can. Then return to the cues of your particular meditation practice.

If you continue to experience discomfort or it gets worse, gently slide back against the back support of your chair for the remainder of your meditation session. Stay as relaxed and upright as possible as you rest against back support. The amount of time that you are able to sit forward in an unsupported position will naturally lengthen as you continue to practice. Eventually, you'll find that the upright unsupported position is the most comfortable way to sit. In addition, the benefits of this posture will give you even better results from the time and energy you put into meditating.

Enjoy your practice!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Question for Men: How Do You Handle Stress?

Women support each other under stress. How can men handle it more effectively?

Lets start with some basics: Stress affects both men and women. But growing evidence suggests that women do a better job of getting support from others, and in general, they manage stress more effectively. Take a look around you in the workplace. With more women at work and in management positions, which sex does the better job of supporting each other? Hint: Would you be surprised to hear at work, "Let's meet at lunch and talk about it, girlfriend." Thought not. Yeah, guys sit down together too, but how often is it for emotional support.

In this era of seemingly unending financial and job uncertainty, how do men reverse the trend and begin dealing effectively with stress? The first steps are to recognize that you are stressed and then to figure out where the stress is coming from.

Your major stressors

According to recent studies, men are stressed most by the following:

Money. Duh! Who is not worried about the economy and our personal finances during these difficult times? Are you carrying these worries around like a piano on your back?

Work. The logistics and politics of our jobs have become far trickier as businesses cut close to the bone and ask for more effort and accountability from each employee.

Family expectations. Your spouse and children are depending on you to maintain the status quo. You can handle it in most cases, but stress and its effects-including irritability, anxiety, and depression-are the price you pay.

Marriage/relationship difficulties. Not smooth sailing between you and your S.O.? You can push it to the back of your mind when you leave the house, but relationship stress affects you all day long, unless you do something about it.

Health. Has your health been slipping over the years? This is often one of the areas you can address effectively-and it helps reduce stress in the other areas.

Not enough downtime. How much time do you give yourself to simply chill? Or are you stuck in your man cave wrapping up unfinished business after dinner? Read a good book. Watch a favorite show with a spouse. Walk or run in the woods. Take the bike out. Do you plan vacations, or do you get away briefly as an afterthought?

Sex. Is the physical intimacy in your marriage or relationship a stress reducer or does it add stress?

Little stuff. Taken together they add up, don't they? Your commute, the leaky faucet, household chores (which become harder to outsource as you look to save money), finding time to pay the bills and balance the checkbook-the list goes on.

How to cope-and thrive!

Most men experience stress from some of the areas listed above. The question is: what do you do about your stressors? How do you get unstuck and jump off the stress merry-go-round you ride on each day? Here are some healthy, tried-and-true ways to do it:

    Solve your financial problems. People worse off than you are taking big steps. Make a plan. Reduce expenses. Share the management of your finances with your partner. Put your plan down on paper and reserve a time-Saturday morning, Wednesday evening, doesn't matter-to spend a specific period of time, no more, no less. Get help from your bank, your creditors, or a well-respected credit counseling service. You will be surprised at how much they will cooperate and offer realistic solutions.

    Develop a new interest. There's an adage in the business world: "If you want something done, give it to a busy person." Make yourself busier by finding time to do something for the pure passion and enjoyment. Take a course at one of your community resources. Join a meetup group. Whether it's hiking in the woods, writing that story you always thought you could write, joining the local sports enthusiast group-think outside the box and try new ways of bringing energy into your life. There's a payoff to doing something just for yourself. It makes your work and home obligations seem less daunting by changing how you think about them.

    Exercise. That thought that you have? That there's just no time? Let me tell you up front: that's a self-deception. Making it a top priority to exercise will reduce stress, increase your energy, and lead to a "take care of business" attitude that will get you moving in other areas of your life. Walk, jog, bike, get to a gym-whatever it takes, because this is a big one.

    Eat right. Recent studies have shown a correlation between weight gain and stress. Are you numbing yourself against the stress with thoughtless snacking or overeating at meals?

    Sleep. Get the sleep your body needs-7-8 hours a night. Sleep heals you both physically and psychically.

    Get yourself checked out. Research has shown that men delay doctor visits more than women, often waiting until major symptoms arise. Get to thd doctor now, find out what toll your stress has taken, especially on blood pressure and your heart. Follow a good plan to reverse the trend.

    Kick the habits. Smoking, drinking, gambling. Don't be fooled. They may provide an illusion of temporary relief. But in the long run, they add stress. Develop a plan to quit your self-destructive habits.

    Get help. If you continue to be dogged by stress and need help to implement the steps listed above, talk with a counselor or therapist to isolate and work your underlying issues. With experience in stress management and the symptoms that stress can lead to-such as anxiety and depression, I can be an ally.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Nature's Healing

People these days are stressed. They have so much on their plates that they are beginning to break down. The effect that stress has on your body can manifest into many different sicknesses. Stress can lead to anxiety disorders, heart disorders, emotional and psychological problems. There is a way to alleviate this stress; just by taking a walk, lying on a blanket on the grass or sitting in a chair by the river. Nature is a drug-free way to relieve stress. Let me just explain to you why.

Nature is filled with things that naturally relieve stress. The sun produces energy that flows through you, creating a warm relaxing sensation. This is true because the warmth relaxes your muscles, and eases tension. The sounds that occur in nature are also proven to induce a relaxing state of mind. I know this because they make machine to recreate these sounds for use to relax you into a restful state. However, there is no substitute for the real nature. Sitting by the river listening to the water lapping against the banks in a rhythmic pattern, can put your body a peaceful rhythm as well. Haven't you ever just sat and listened to the rain fall, it was calming, wasn't it? That is what nature is all about.

Smells can also play a role in the as well. Walking through a garden filled with fragrant flowers releasing their beautiful scents is euphoric. Smelling these types of smells causes your brain to release chemicals that naturally relieve your stress. The smell of just clean, fresh air can make you feel open and clear. Just as easily; seeing the amazing changes and beauty in nature can put your chaotic mind at ease. Watching the wind blow through the leaves of the trees, the sway of the branches gives you a sense of the power of nature.

So why are we so stressed? If everyone knew the secret to a less stressful life was right outside the door, wouldn't we all be peaceful? Give it a try; next time it rains just stop and listen. Go to a park and walk, take in the scenery. Grab a blanket, lay in the yard, and close your eyes, listen, and feel. Find solitude somewhere in nature, because your mind and body are begging you for a break from stress. The answer is way too easy to make excuses, just try it.