Holiday Mantra


With all of the stresses inherent in this holiday season, it is important to remember to create a positive memory to carry with you the rest of your life. Some years ago I wrote an article regarding holiday stress and depression. Gayle reminded me of the most important concepts to keep in mind. She said, "the preparation for the holiday IS the holiday." Regardless of the past, you can create new positive memories for a pleasant, fun and memorable holiday season. So try this mantra; relax and have fun.

Quote for the Day


"Action may not always be happiness, but there is no happiness without action." What action have you taken today toward your own happiness? I like the hummingbird as a prime example of going after the nectar for nurturance and fulfillment. Take a look within to find your sources of nurturance, fulfillment and life nectar.

Worry Can Sprial Out of Control


In Scientific American Mind, the Nov/Dec 2009 issue, Victoria Stern discusses "Why We Worry." Mostly, "people agonize about matters that rarely occur. Worriers nonetheless often report that they believe that overthinking about a possible negative event prevented it from taking place."

When your worry begins to spiral out of control, try the following:
1) Identify productive and unproductive worry.
2) Keep an appointment with your worry.
3) Learn to accept uncertainty.
4) Reframe your worry.
5) Put worries in perspective.

According to Stern, "fretting can tax the body and promote cardiovascular problems. Worry is associated wit an elevated resting heart rate and low heart rate variability." So in essence, worry is activating your fight or flight system, taxing your immune system and much more. In the next blog, we will discuss how to neutralize worry.

Practical Tips to Manage Stress


The key to stress management is life balance along with perception. If you think something is stress, then it is. Your beliefs about things determines their meaning to you. For example, It you believe you bring bad luck, then you will always be on the lookout for evidence of this belief. However, if you believe you can handle whatever comes your way, your will feel in control and manage stress better. Here are a few tips to consider;
1)Examine your priorities,
2) Maintain relationships with old friends that give you comfort(via phone, visiting or even facebook,
3) Limit your exposure to bad news. In other words, don't watch the news or watch shows that focus on only negative or horrific situations,
4) Exercise regularly. Yoga, walking, running, weight training or a martial art all help,
5) Have fun,
6) Get social,
7) Sleep well,
8) Challenge yourself to learn something new,
9) Volunteer in an area you find meaningful and
10) Don't sweat the small stuff.

Work on gratitude and find the good in what you do. Stress will become manageable. Travel to places you dream of so your dreams can come true.

The Science of Happiness


Datcher Keltner has published a new book, "Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life." The new science of happiness can be cultivated in various ways. Some examples:
1) Experiences of reverence in nature or of being around those who are morally inspiring improves people's sense of connections to one another and their sense of purpose in life.
2) Meditating on a compassionate approach to others shifts resting brain activation to the left hemisphere, a region associated with happiness and boosts immune function.
3) Talking about what we are thankful for boost happiness, social well-being and health.
4) Devoting resources to others, rather than indulging in materialistic desire, brings about lasting well-being.

According to Keltner, "our capacity for caring, play, reverence and modesty is built into our brains, bodies, genes and social practices. Give some of these methods a try to see how these positive emotions cultivated affect your happiness quotient. Science is now proving our capacity for happiness.