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.

Controlling stress

Signature:baed3687aecc9fc02b05e033f52ab04b5ac34144c6f0702c4e0cfe36f9d34041Since it isn’t possible to eliminate stress from life, it is important that we learn how to control it.   Stress can actually give you positive energy, which can benefit you on your journey to becoming more confident.  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.

What situation causes the most stress in your life?

How do you react in this situation?

Is it possible to change, minimize or eliminate this situation?     Yes      No    How?

Could you change your reaction to the situation?         Yes      No     How?


Stress should be a powerful driving force, not an obstacle.  ~Bill Phillips

Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness.   ~Richard Carlson

For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.  ~Lily Tomlin
Give your stress wings and let it fly away. ~Terri Guillemets

Stress is an ignorant state.  It believes that everything is an emergency.  ~Natalie Goldberg, Wild Mind

There is more to life than increasing its speed.  ~Mohandas K. Gandhi

God didn’t do it all in one day.  What makes me think I can?  ~Author Unknown

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. ~William James


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Altruism has significant health benefits

1 handAltruism is an “unselfish concern for the welfare of others”.   It is an ethical theory that was coined in the 19th century by Auguste Comte and it is antithesis to egoism.  Altruists believe that everyone has an obligation to help other people and they do unselfish acts of kindness to create happiness and relieve pain.

Volunteering is a form of altruism.   It has been proven that volunteering is a good way of helping yourself.   If you are feeling unworthy or think your life has no value, it can be very therapeutic to help someone else.  By putting the needs of others ahead of your own and focusing on their problems instead of your own, it can help you find a sense of purpose and direction.  Helping someone else to heal is a survival tactic that can provide healing from your own challenging and possibly tragic life events.   You can forget that your world is falling apart around you when you are busy helping build up others in need.

Scientific studies show that volunteering and doing acts of kindness can result in significant health benefits, both physical and mental, for those who perform them.   Here are some of the possible benefits:

  • stress relief
  • stronger immune system
  • decrease in physical pain
  • decrease of negative emotions
  • increase in positive emotions
  • calmness, improved emotional well-being
  • release of body’s natural painkillers
  • increase in self-esteem

When you see a smile on someone’s face, especially a child, and you realize that it is because of your act of kindness, it will bring warm feelings of contentment to your heart and this small, caring action is making the world a better place.

Don’t spend your time feeling sorry for yourself or being depressed and lonely.

Don’t spend your time wondering why people can’t be nicer to each other.

Don’t spend your time wishing the world was a better place.

Step outside of the self-imposed box that you have put yourself into and take action.  Find a local organization that interests you and volunteer some time.   Doing good for others will help you overpower any feelings of depression or loneliness, as I well know.  Once you become involved in an organization, you will soon begin to understand why so many people are interested in volunteering their time, talents and money to help others.

Let’s all try to make this world a better place by doing acts of kindness.  What have you got to lose?   Probably loneliness or depression.  What have you got to gain?  Better physical, mental and emotional health.




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Pick your battles

clip book4Life can be very frustrating and full of annoying problems.  We can become stressed out over the smallest things and forget about what is really important in life.   Time is often wasted on petty arguments and silly situations that don’t matter much at all.  They may seem huge to us at the time, but when we really stop and think about them, we often wonder why we gave any time to them at all.

I like the book series, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”.   This is a series of books by Richard Carlson.  He was an amazing person who figured out how to live a meaningful life and became interested in writing books.   His first attempts were unsuccessful and he was about to make a change in his career until the day he got an unexpected surprise.  He was asked to be on the Oprah Winfrey show to discuss one of his books, “You can be happy, no matter what”.  This projected him onto a new course and he became an overnight success.  In the months that followed, Richard wrote several books including his first “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, and it’s all Small Stuff”.

Richard Carlson died in 2006, leaving behind a loving family and a series of books that are read by millions all over the world.  If you have read any of his books, you will see how simple life can be if we just cut out all the little, silly things that we obsess and worry about.  Life is way too short to waste our precious time on small things.  There are so many important issues that need our attention like being a good example to our children, treating others with kindness and doing what we can to help people in need.  Pick the battles you fight in life.  Make sure they are important battles and don’t waste any more time on silly things that don’t matter at all.   Remember, our lives are all valuable and everything we do impacts this world in a positive or negative way.  Be positive and be proud!


Time for a vacation

carry suitcaseIt’s been over a year since my last vacation and I really need a break.  Life is pretty hectic for me at times and I’ve been feeling the stress.  My week is filled with work, writing, reading, cooking, cleaning, babysitting, attending church, small groups and running around doing errands.  Just the typical female who tries to do way too much.  I keep forgetting there are only 24 hours in a day and I have to take time out to sleep.

Today I’m flying to Los Angeles with my family to visit my sister for a couple of weeks.  It will be an interesting flight.  My 18 month old grandson is going and he is a very active child.  Los Angeles has nice weather this time of year and you can still go out some days in a t-shirt, shorts and sandals.  My sister lives just a few miles from the beach and I can walk down to sit in the beautiful white sand and watch the waves roll in.   Some days you can even catch some surfers.

I’ve been struggling as to whether I should take my laptop with me so I can do some work and write some blogs, but my ‘practical’ self won over my ‘stubborn’ self and I decided to leave it home.  If I am near someone else’s computer I may just write a quick blog, but if not I’ll be taking a break for the next couple of weeks.

Looking forward to some warmer weather.  I love Canada but I sure don’t enjoy the cold winters.

Blogging again soon!!

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Taking time for yourself

Young Woman Sitting and Holding a Cup of CoffeeStress is a terrible thing.  It affects your physical, emotional and mental being, causing all sorts of problems for your mind, body and soul.  There are numerous physical and mental illnesses that result from stress and sometimes we don’t even realize what is happening until it is too late.

We often forget to take care of our own health in the busyness of everyday life.  Family and work life is demanding and we struggle to get everything done.  Stress can be building over a period of weeks, months and years before we even realize what is happening.  Then burnout happens.  We start to break down physically, emotionally and mentally.   Not taking the time to care for ourselves, will result in the need for others to care for us.

Everyone needs to take time away from the everyday stresses to relax, rejuvenate, replenish, and restore their mind, body and soul.  Wellness is important to wellbeing.  Getting completely away from the environment that is causing you stress is the best way to recover.  Find a quiet place where you can relax.  There should be no distractions, no phones, no TV or radio, just the sounds of nature.  Water is especially soothing.

Spend at least 30 minutes a day by yourself reading or meditating.  Don’t feel like you are neglecting your responsibilities, you are taking care of yourself so you will be able to handle them.  Let your family and friends know that you are not hiding, but need some time out from stress.  Suggest they do the same thing. Then take a few days once or twice each year to really work on your personal wellness.

Going on a trip or to a cottage is a great idea.  This could be your journey to self-discovery.  Here are some suggestions for what you can do while you are there.


  • find a comfortable place to sit and focus on something that is calming to you – a word, an idea
  • try to keep your mind quiet and let go of any negativity and busyness
  • if you can be near water, this can be very helpful – waves, waterfall
  • sunrise and sunset are perfect times – listen to the sounds of nature
  • walking while meditating will help make you more aware of your body and is beneficial to your health
  • listen to a relaxing tape or CD while you walk


  • certain activities can be very relaxing and are good exercise for your body
  • Yoga is a popular form of relaxation
  • Hiking and Biking will benefit your health – pay attention to the nature around you


Doing something you like is fun and relaxing.  When was the last time you put together a jigsaw puzzle, did a crossword or played solitaire (not on the computer).  There are many things that you can do to eliminate stress and promote wellness

  • ·Handicrafts, scrapbooking, painting
  • ·Reading is a great idea – read some self-help books or learn something new – stay away from romance and adventure
  • ·Watch some old movies or listen to soft music

These are just a few suggestions.  There are many more things you can do.  What are some things that you would like to do?

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In today’s world, young people have huge issues about beauty and body image.  Did you know that about 2/3 of all females avoid participating in some activities because they feel bad about how they look and almost half of all males are unhappy with their looks?  There is so much pressure on young girls and boys to be physically perfect and this creates all sorts of problems – stress, anxiety, depression, addictions, eating disorders, and so on.

All you have to do is read a magazine, turn on the TV or look at a computer to see images of ‘beautiful’ people living ‘perfect‘ lives.   These unrealistic images of beauty become reality, especially for our young people and they become obsessed with their looks, losing all sense of their own unique identity.

Body weight has become a major issue and even though only 19% of teenage girls are overweight, about 67% think they need to lose weight.  Stats show that 80% of girls have dieted by the time they are 18 – but listen to this – 40% of girls have dieted by the time they are 9!!!  This just about blew me away!!!    What is happening to our young people?

We need to start promoting healthy living to our younger generation.  How?  By becoming a positive role model and setting a good example.

Are you confident in your own abilities and do you have a strong self-esteem about your own body image?  This will have a positive effect on those around you.  Or are you constantly dieting, criticising your own looks and obsessed about your clothing?  This will have a negative affect on those around you.

Make some positive changes in your life and then consider becoming a mentor to someone in our younger generation.  There are so many young people who don’t have any positive influences in their lives and they are desperately struggling to find out who they really are.    Try to make a difference in someone’s life and you will find it very rewarding!

Dove has put together a lot of ideas on how to start discussions with young people.  Visit their site for some great ideas