Purposely practice misfortune to free yourself from fear

Even if you don’t consider yourself a particularly fortunate person, you likely have more than you think you do. If you have the time and the means to read blogs today, you are a fortunate person. It is possible to get so comfortable in our good fortune that we lose sight of how fortunate we really are. We may not be wealthy, but we are comfortable with where we live, our cars, our laptops, our iPhones, indoor plumbing, electricity, and running water. We are so comfortable having all of these conveniences that we live in fear of losing them. What if these things weren’t available to us as readily as they are today?

What brings this subject to mind is my car, which is becoming a rather prolific source of blog fodder lately. It has had a vibration, been noisier than usual and a rather alarming clunking sound has gotten worse over the last week. It has gotten to the point that I was a little afraid to drive the thing. It had to go into the shop. I have no backup vehicle. I live on the outskirts of a small city where a vehicle is a necessity if I need to do any sort of regular daily errands. Luckily we live within walking distance of the school, but the city center and all of my kid’s activities are a 20-minute drive away. Writing all of this down illustrates how incredibly fortunate we are. Today, however, I will be practicing misfortune. Continue reading “Purposely practice misfortune to free yourself from fear”

Get More Done and Feel Better With Meditation

How much more do you get done in a day when you are happy? I’m talking free of stress, free of fear (just another word for stress), and free of anxiety (again, stress). Don’t you feel more willing to get up and get out? When I’m happy, I’m more apt to get my workout done, get the laundry started, clean up the living room, plan fun stuff to do…but when I’m negative I don’t want to do anything. An object in motion tends to stay in motion, an object stuck on the couch in a funk tends to stay on the couch. It’s a cyclical system that feeds back on itself.

How do we break the cycle? I don’t know about you, but I want to feel better and get more done today. In a word: meditation. Now before you think I’m going all new-age kookie-dooks on you, hear me out.

Continue reading “Get More Done and Feel Better With Meditation”

Shoulding on the Holidays, Part 1: Guilt

Welcome to holiday season pregame. Otherwise known as the week of Halloween. I absolutely love this time of year. I love the festive feeling, the events, decorating the tree, Christmas music, buying gifts, wrapping gifts, turkey dinner…I could go on. I even like dealing with the Elf on the Shelf. Having a little girl in the house makes everything that much better. I do understand that not everyone likes this time of year, though. For many, the holiday season spells added stress and anxiety. I heard someone just the other day say that they were already dreading the long checkout lines and crowded parking lots. My mom has given up on most of the holiday traditions because “It’s a lot of work and what’s the point?” Many people experience a sharp let down when their high expectations of the holiday didn’t turn out exactly right. Others merely tolerate the season with a “meh”, or more appropriately a “humbug”, attitude. If this is supposed to be such a joyous season, why do so many people find it so miserable? How can you enjoy the season and hopefully inspire joy in others at the same time?

Continue reading “Shoulding on the Holidays, Part 1: Guilt”

Compassion

In view of recent tragic events, I want to address the feeling of helplessness and anxiety that many people are feeling. It is easy to believe that the world is a scary place where travel, gathering in crowds, and letting our kids walk down the street are acts of courage. There is a wide disconnect in our culture. Rather than reveling in our sameness we admonish our differences. Finger pointing and blame are things adults take part in. Not just any adults, but the very people whom we elect to lead us! A dark cloud looms over us like an ominous harbinger waiting to drop the next tragedy. What can we do to help? First, just asking that question helps. Second, initiating small acts of kindness helps those around you which produces a ripple effect. Third, don’t worry about what you can’t control.

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Four Simple Solutions to Overcome Stress and Anxiety

Why is the topic of stress so important? Well, who isn’t stressed these days? We are overscheduled, overworked, and overstimulated, we lack time in nature, we lack connection with people around us, and we are so used to being this way that we call this stressed-out state normal. According to the Whitehall II study (1), which followed the lifestyle and mortality of a large number of civil servants in the UK, stress is the number one predictor of total mortality. This study looked at mortality due to several causes. Tobacco use was the biggest predictor of death in those who died of cardiovascular disease, but the largest factor in total mortality was stress. What this means is, you could do everything else right – your diet and exercise can be spot on, you don’t smoke or consume alcohol or eat red meat – but between you and your friend who does all of the bad things and none of the good, you will still die first if you are stressed out all the time and she isn’t.

Continue reading “Four Simple Solutions to Overcome Stress and Anxiety”

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