imconfident

I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.

You can control the stress in your life

Stress has become a normal way of life for many people and sometimes it can be good for us.  It can provide us with the energy to overcome obstacles but too much stress can cause life-threatening health issues.  Everyday people die from stress-related illnesses such as heart disease and high blood pressure.

It isn’t possible to eliminate all stress from our lives, however we can learn how to control it.  We need to determine what is causing the stress in our lives and learn how to minimize or eliminate it.

When you feel stressed, try using the following STRESS method to analyze what is happening.

S – Stop what you are doing.  Don’t allow your emotions to control you.

T – Take note of the situation in your journal or notebook if possible and outline what is causing the stress.  If you aren’t able to write it down, keep a mental picture of the situation and write it down as soon as you can.

R – Review your notes.  Do this later on in the day when you are not so emotional or you won’t see the situation clearly.

E – Evaluate your reaction.  Was it proper, logical, realistic?  Was it necessary?  Did it help or hinder the situation?

S – Situation – can it be changed, minimized or eliminated.   YES___  NO___   HOW? _______________________

S – Set-up a plan of action for the next time this situation comes up.  Write it down to help you remember it.

Every day, write down your stressful situations in your journal or notebook using the STRESS method.   Seeing these situations written down will help you see any patterns and understand where the problem areas are.

Determine what situation causes the most stress in your life, how you normally react and what the outcome is.  Then you can consider ways to make positive changes so you can feel less stressed the next time it happens.

You CAN control the stress in your lives!

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Men, celebrate the women in your life. Women, celebrate yourself.

Many women don’t ever consider how awesome they really are.  We focus on all our weaknesses, flaws and imperfections.  We don’t think we accomplish enough.  We don’t think we do things good enough.  We are always striving to be better and we fail to see ourselves in a realistic way.

Think about how an average day ends for the average women with a family.   After completing a hard day of work or taking care of the home and kids, she is preparing supper for the family.  After everyone has been fed, the dishes are done and some family members head out for evening activities.    Younger children are sent to their rooms to do their homework while the dishes are done and the house tidied up.  Laundry is put in the washer and the pets are fed.  Lunches are prepared for the next day.  The last of the milk was used at supper, so mom runs out to the store.  The gas is almost empty, so she stops to get some gas.  Then she remembers that the kids have no lunch money and she has to run to the bank.   She gets home just when her husband comes in from his meeting.  He sits down and turns on the TV to watch one of his favourite shows.  Mom likes the show too but has a few things to do before sitting down with him.

After paying some bills and checking her emails, mom makes a couple of coffees and sits down with hubby to relax for a few minutes.   When the show is over, mom tells her husband she is tired and going to bed.  The news has come on, so he quickly mumbles, ‘Good-night” and remains sitting.

Mom goes into the kitchen.  She rinses out the coffee cups, puts away the dishes that are now dry,  takes meat out of the freezer for tomorrow’s supper, checks the breakfast food situation, gets the coffee pot ready for breakfast and lets out the dogs.  Next she goes to the laundry room, takes the clothing out of the dryer and folds it into a basket.  She takes the clean laundry into the bedrooms and puts it away.   She picks up any clothing that has found its place on the floor and puts it in the laundry hamper.   Then she goes back and lets the dogs back in.  She checks their water and gives them a treat.  Then she goes into the bathroom, brushes her teeth, washes her face, puts on face cream, brushes her hair, cuts her nails and tidies up the bathroom.  She sits down at her computer and checks her daily to-do list, crossing off items that have been done and adding any new things that have come to mind.  She writes a new grocery list for things to pick up the next day and notices a note from her daughter’s teacher that hasn’t been read.  She reads the note, writes a reply and puts the note with her daughter’s lunch bag.

Finally, mom goes around and checks to make sure the doors are all locked.  As she passes through the living room, her husband says, “I thought you said you were going to bed an hour ago?”  Wife smiles and mumbles, “I did”.   Hubby replies, “Well, it’s been a long day and I’m tired, so I’m going to bed’.  And he did.

Do you get the point?  Women don’t think they accomplish much but they really accomplish so much and we need to celebrate this.   It doesn’t matter if you are married, single, living with someone, or living alone, women tend to try and accomplish more that we can possibly do and then we beat ourselves up for not doing enough.   We need to celebrate our accomplishments big or small and celebrate others around us.

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Get yourself off your mind

When we think about ourselves constantly, it causes a lot of problems.  If we are thinking about ourselves in a negative way, we will dwell on our imperfections and flaws and spend our time feeling miserable and unhappy.  If we are thinking about ourselves in too high a regard, we will develop an ego that is hard to keep fed and we will have unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others.  In both cases, relationships will be very difficult.

Seriously, we have to get ourselves off our minds if we want to be a happy camper and have good relationships.  This means that we have to start thinking about someone else or something else other than ourselves.  This doesn’t mean that you are not important but it does mean that your problems do not define who you are and you will never find happiness until you can stop focusing on yourself.

Research shows that doing good deeds is very beneficial.  It helps us physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  Helping others actually relieves stress and we can sure use some stress-relief in this stress filled world!  Stress is killing us and we need to start doing something that will help improve our health.

Start reducing your stress by getting yourself off your mind!  Don’t focus on your problems: past, present or future.  It won’t help you!  Focus instead on what you can do to make someone else’s life better and take action.   I did and it certainly improved my life!

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Busy?

When you ask people how they are doing today, the answer is often ‘busy’.   Many people spend every waking hour involved in so many activities that they are exhausted by the end of the day.   Between work, home, children, meetings, events, shopping and various other things, there is basically no time left for any down time.  I spent most of my adult life being ‘busy’ all the time, thinking that the more I did, the more valuable I was.  What was the result?  Burnout, stress, frustration, unhappiness, depression!  Everything we do has consequences and we have to make sure we are not wasting our precious time on unimportant things.

Keeping busy is good for our health but we have to make sure that we are busy doing things that will add value to our lives.  When I was trying to be a ‘super-woman’ I did get a lot accomplished but the things I was doing didn’t account for much.  Working long hours gave me more money to spend on stuff but it didn’t give me more time to spend with my children.   Filling my time with meetings and other events helped me learn things but also gave me a lot of unnecessary stress.    I missed a lot of the important things by keeping myself so ‘busy’.

I now fully know the importance of living at a slower pace and I try very hard to take the time and enjoy life – not just rush through every day.  However, lately I’ve slipped back into being too ‘busy’.  Thankfully it is only temporary and by the New Year my life should be slowing down again.  My working hours have increased and we are also moving to a new house that needs renovations.  Once we get everything fixed up and our stuff moved in, we will be able to take it easy again.  I’m hoping that we will be all settled in by Christmas so we can enjoy the blessed season.

My posts will likely be a bit sporadic until my life gets back to normal (whatever that is) and I have some time to sit and think.  So if you ask me how I am doing in the next few weeks, the answer will be ‘busy’!!

 

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Too busy to enjoy life?

When was the last time you stopped from your busy schedule to relax and just enjoy life?  Was it yesterday, last week, last month, last year?  Do you even remember?

People today are so busy running around taking care of the family, the kids, the work, the house, the pets and a variety of other activities, that they are so worn out at the end of the day and still haven’t completed everything they wanted to.  Our to-do lists are getting longer and longer but the days don’t get any longer.   Every day has only 24 hours but we try to cram as much as possible into those hours and are never satisfied.

When are you going to start enjoying your life?    I’ve heard a lot of excuses and used most of them myself.

  • ‘I’ll start tomorrow.’  Well, we all know this won’t work because tomorrow never comes, so you can say this every day for the rest of your life.  Why not start today!
  • ‘When I get everything caught up.’  This doesn’t work because nobody ever finishes all the things they have to do.  Even if you manage to complete one task, there is always another one waiting to be done.
  • ‘When my children are grown up and move out’.  How do you know that your children will move out and if they do, maybe they will come home again.  Besides when your children have homes of their own, there will be different things to spend time doing.
  • ‘My spouse/friend/boss expects things of me.’  People will always have high expectations of you, especially if you continue to do things for them.  Being helpful is great but learn to say ‘no’ so you aren’t wearing yourself out.

Using excuses to continue rushing through life is not helping you at all.  Being too busy is harmful to your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.  It can cause stress and all sorts of health issues.  Your body is important and if you don’t take care of it, nobody else will.

You may love your work but are you getting any pleasure out of what you are doing?  You may love your family but do you allow enough time to stop working and enjoy each other’s company.  Consider the things you do and start cutting back on what you do each day.   Try to organize your tasks so that you aren’t wasting time doing things that are unnecessary and unimportant.

Look around at other people and see what they are doing.  I’ve noticed that people who are rushing around often wear a frown and a worried look on their faces.  I’ve also noticed that people who are relaxing and chatting with someone are smiling and happy.    Being too busy is certainly not the way to happiness.

If you have been busy for so long that you can’t even think about what you can do to enjoy yourself, here are some suggestions:

  • read a good book
  • take a nap
  • listen to some classical music
  • sit and meditate
  • laugh
  • go to church
  • take a walk
  • play a game
  • do a puzzle
  • go fishing
  • plant flowers
  • talk to your spouse
  • exercise
  • ride a bike
  • watch a funny movie
  • write a story
  • visit a friend
  • watch the sunrise or sunset
  • write a love letter
  • bake cookies
  • go for a picnic
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Write it down

pencil and paperDo you have a habit of forgetting things?  I’ve always had a problem with short-term memory and I struggle to remember the simplest things.  Names, phone numbers, appointments, a medication, a location can become lost in the busyness of the day.  My mind constantly races from one thought to another and I get distracted easily.  Focusing on one thing at time is really hard.

In order to combat this problem, I’ve found it very helpful to write things down and I know from research that this has been a proven way to help organize your thoughts.

You can write your thoughts on a to-do list, in a journal or day book, on a calendar, on sticky notes, in your computer or on your phone.  Use whatever method or combination is best for you.

Writing things down has many benefits:

  • you won’t forget to do something
  • you can organize your thoughts
  • you will have less stress
  • you can analyze your words and make necessary changes
  • you can eliminate any unnecessary tasks
  • you can focus on what is important
  • easier to understand your thoughts

If you have trouble remembering or organizing your life, try writing things down for the next 30 days and see if it helps.  I’m sure you will notice some positive changes.

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De-stress your life

Cmas mouse and candy caneChristmas can be a stressful time of year.  People rush everywhere trying to get things done and by the time Christmas Day comes, they are so exhausted and stressed out that they don’t even enjoy the holiday.

Stress is a normal part of life and can affect us in a positive or negative way.  When stress motivates you in a positive way, it can fill you with positive energy.  However, when stress motivates you in a negative way, it can literally suck the life right out of you.

Since it isn’t possible to eliminate stress from life, it is important that we learn how to control it.   It is important to determine what causes the stress in your life and learn ways to minimize or eliminate it.  When you are stressed, try the following STRESS method:

  • S top what you are doing.
  • T ake note of the situation in your journal or notebook.  Outline what is causing stress in your life.
  • R eview your notes.  Do this later on in the day when you are not so emotional or you won’t see the situation clearly.
  • E valuate your reaction.  Was it proper, logical, realistic?
  • S ituation – can it be changed, minimized or eliminated.  Yes  No  How?
  • S et-up a plan of action for the next time this situation comes up.  Write it down to help you remember it.

Every day, write down your stressful situations in your journal or notebook.  Use the above STRESS method as a guideline.   Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What situation causes the most stress in your life?
  2. How do you react in this situation?
  3. Is it possible to change, minimize or eliminate this situation?     Yes      No    How?
  4. Could you change your reaction to the situation?         Yes      No     How?

Try to figure out what causes you the most stress during the holiday season and make some positive changes.

  • check your to-do list and cross out anything that isn’t absolutely necessary
  • spend less money on presents and spend more time with your family and friends
  • get help putting up decorations
  • share in meal preparation and cleanup
  • get rid of any grudges that you have about anyone
  • lower your expectations about a perfect Christmas
  • show love to everyone you meet
  • relax and enjoy yourself during the holiday season

 

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Are you too busy?

people with clock facesSociety keeps pressuring us to do more with our time.  If we have spare time, there must be something wrong with us.  Many people literally try to kill themselves by adding more and more pressure to their lives, trying to do as much as they possibly can.  Stress-related illnesses are on the rise and people don’t seem to be slowing down.  There are only 24 hours in a day, but some people seem to have time to accomplish a lot, while others accomplish little or nothing.   It all depends on how well you organize your time.

Are you too busy doing things that are not really important?   Are you planning your time so it includes recreation and leisure time?  Do you spend time with your family and friends?

  • If you can’t spend some time every day with your family, you are too busy.
  • If you can’t spend some time every day with your spouse, you are too busy.
  • If you can’t spend some time every day with your children, you are too busy.
  • If you can’t spend some time every day with yourself, doing some alone time, you are too busy.

Make sure you aren’t too busy to spend time with your loved ones.  Time will not wait for you to catch up and you can never regain any lost time.  Spend it well!   The clock is ticking! Your life depends on it!

 

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Are your problems heavy?

How heavy are your problems?  Do they burden you down and make you feel exhausted?  We think about our problems over and over again until we feel the pressure and pain of stress.   Most of us don’t even realize that we are carrying such a heavy weight around with us.

man with burden

I heard a story about a lecturer who was talking to a group about stress management.  He asked them how much a glass of water would weigh.  Of course it only weighs a few ounces.  But  if you held that glass of water for a period of time what would happen?

  • if you held the glass for a few minutes, nothing would happen
  • if you held the glass for an hour, your hand and arm would start to hurt
  • if you held the glass for 24 hours, you would probably have a lot of pain, your hand and arm would become numb or paralyzed and you might have to go to the hospital

So why would you have so much pain when the glass didn’t weigh very much?    This is because the longer you hold on to something, the heavier it becomes.  The same goes for our problems.  If we hold onto them for a long period of time, they will cause unavoidable pain and stress.  If you think about your problems all day, day after day, they will end up paralyzing you and you won’t be able to do anything.

How can we avoid having pain and stress?   If you are holding a glass, the answer is simple.  Just let go of the glass and put it down.  If you are holding onto your problems, the answer is simple but harder to do.   Just let go of your problems and put down your burden.  Don’t keep carrying your problems around.  Try to resolve them if you can.  It will take some time and effort but if you are persistent and patient, the results will be positive.

hands outstretched with hears

Give your stress wings and let it fly away. ~Terri Guillemets

Let go and let God.  ~Unknown

Inner peace can be reached only when we practice  forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past,  and is therefore the means for correcting our misperceptions.  ~Gerald Jampolsky

There’s an important difference between giving up and letting go.   ~Jessica Hatchigan

Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head.  ~Ann Landers

Think about any attachments that are depleting your emotional reserves. Consider letting them go.  ~Oprah Winfrey

Ask yourself this question:  Will this matter a year from now?  ~Richard Carlson Ph.D

Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.  ~Herman Hesse
 
Let go. Why do you cling to pain? There is nothing you can do about the wrongs of yesterday. It is not yours to judge. Why hold on to the very thing which keeps you from hope and love?  ~Leo Buscaglia

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