CREATING METHODS OF HAPPINESS, PEACE & SUCCESS

Topics for the ‘Spirit & Inspiration’ Category

 

Things you can do to feel better



There are many things that happen every day that can cause you to feel ill, uncomfortable, upset, anxious, or irritated. You will want to do things to help yourself feel better as quickly as possible, without doing anything that has negative consequences, for example, drinking, committing crimes, hurting yourself, risking your life, or eating lots of junk food.

Read through the following list. Check off the ideas that appeal to you and give each of them a try when you need to help yourself feel better. Make a list of the ones you find to be most useful, along with those you have successfully used in the past, and hang the list in a prominent place—like on your refrigerator door-as a reminder at times when you need to comfort yourself. Use these techniques whenever you are having a hard time or as a special treat to yourself.

 

  _____ Do something fun or creative, something you really enjoy, like crafts, needlework, painting, drawing, woodworking, making a sculpture, reading fiction, comics, mystery novels, or inspirational writings, doing crossword or jigsaw puzzles, playing a game, taking some photographs, going fishing, going to a movie or other community event, or gardening.

_____Get some exercise. Exercise is a great way to help yourself feel better while improving your overall stamina and health. The right exercise can even be fun.

______Write something. Writing can help you feel better. You can keep lists, record dreams, respond to questions, and explore your feelings. All ways are correct. Don’t worry about how well you write. It’s not important. It is only for you. Writing about the trauma or traumatic events also helps a lot. It allows you to safely process the emotions you are experiencing. It tells your mind that you are taking care of the situation and helps to relieve the difficult symptoms you may be experiencing. Keep your writings in a safe place where others cannot read them. Share them only with people you feel comfortable with. You may even want to write a letter to the person or people who have treated you badly, telling them how it affected you, and not send the letter.

_____Use your spiritual resources. Spiritual resources and making use of these resources varies from person to person. For some people it means praying, going to church, or reaching out to a member of the clergy. For others it is meditating or reading affirmations and other kinds of inspirational materials. It may include rituals and ceremonies—whatever feels right to you. Spiritual work does not necessarily occur within the bounds of an organized religion. Remember, you can be spiritual without being religious.

_____Do something routine. When you don’t feel well, it helps to do something “normal”—the kind of thing you do every day or often, things that are part of your routine like taking a shower, washing your hair, making yourself a sandwich, calling a friend or family member, making your bed, walking the dog, or getting gas in the car.

_____Wear something that makes you feel good. Everybody has certain clothes or jewelry that they enjoy wearing. These are the things to wear when you need to comfort yourself.

_____Get some little things done. It always helps you feel better if you accomplish something, even if it is a very small thing. Think of some easy things to do that don’t take much time. Then do them. Here are some ideas: clean out one drawer, put five pictures in a photo album, dust a book case, read a page in a favorite book, do a load of laundry, cook yourself something healthful, send someone a card.

_____Learn something new. Think about a topic that you are interested in but have never explored. Find some information on it in the library. Check it out on the Internet. Go to a class. Look at something in a new way. Read a favorite saying, poem, or piece of scripture, and see if you can find new meaning in it.

____ Do a reality check. Checking in on what is really going on rather than responding to your initial “gut reaction” can be very helpful. For instance, if you come in the house and loud music is playing, it may trigger the thinking that someone is playing the music just to annoy you. The initial reaction is to get really angry with them. That would make both of you feel awful. A reality check gives the person playing the loud music a chance to look at what is really going on. Perhaps the person playing the music thought you wouldn’t be in until later and took advantage of the opportunity to play loud music. If you would call upstairs and ask him to turn down the music so you could rest, he probably would say, “Sure!” It helps if you can stop yourself from jumping to conclusions before you check the facts.

_____ Be present in the moment. This is often referred to as mindfulness. Many of us spend so much time focusing on the future or thinking about the past that we miss out on fully experiencing what is going on in the present. Making a conscious effort to focus your attention on what you are doing right now and what is happening around you can help you feel better. Look around at nature. Feel the weather. Look at the sky when it is filled with stars.

_____Stare at something pretty or something that has special meaning for you. Stop what you are doing and take a long, close look at a flower, a leaf, a plant, the sky, a work of art, a souvenir from an adventure, a picture of a loved one, or a picture of yourself. Notice how much better you feel after doing this.

_____Play with children in your family or with a pet. Romping in the grass with a dog, petting a kitten, reading a story to a child, rocking a baby, and similar activities have a calming effect which translates into feeling better.

_____Do a relaxation exercise. There are many good books available that describe relaxation exercises. Try them to discover which ones you prefer. Practice them daily. Use them whenever you need to help yourself feel better. Relaxation tapes which feature relaxing music or nature sounds are available. Just listening for 10 minutes can help you feel better.

_____Take a warm bath. This may sound simplistic, but it helps. If you are lucky enough to have access to a Jacuzzi or hot tub, it’s even better. Warm water is relaxing and healing.

_____Expose yourself to something that smells good to you. Many people have discovered fragrances that help them feel good. Sometimes a bouquet of fragrant flowers or the smell of fresh baked bread will help you feel better.

_____Listen to music. Pay attention to your sense of hearing by pampering yourself with delightful music you really enjoy. Libraries often have records and tapes available for loan. If you enjoy music, make it an essential part of every day.

_____Make music. Making music is also a good way to help yourself feel better. Drums and other kinds of musical instruments are popular ways of relieving tension and increasing well-being. Perhaps you have an instrument that you enjoy playing, like a harmonica, kazoo, penny whistle, or guitar.

_____Sing. Singing helps. It fills your lungs with fresh air and makes you feel better. Sing to yourself. Sing at the top of your lungs. Sing when you are driving your car. Sing when you are in the shower. Sing for the fun of it. Sing along with favorite records, tapes, compact discs, or the radio. Sing the favorite songs you remember from your childhood.

Perhaps you can think of some other things you could do that would help you feel better.

 

 

A SAMHSA publication

Stinking Thinking can really make you mad



stinkingthinkingAnger triggering thoughts often distort our view of reality.  Here are some of the most common negative thoughts that feed anger and how to get rid of them.

Blaming. The belief that someone else is responsible for a situation and that you cannot do anything about it. By blaming others you discount that you have the power to make choices that impact your situation. You feel powerless, helpless and stuck. You expect someone else to fix it.

  • Instead think– “What can I do to change this situation?” “ I can do something about this”

Magnifying. The tendency to make mountains out of molehills – to make an uncomfortable situation worst. Using words like “awful, terrible, unbearable, horrible, the worst”, provoke an exaggerated angry response.

  • Instead think– “ How horrible is this, really? “  “It’s irritating but I can handle this”

Universal labels. The use of black and white thinking and judgments – seeing a person as “totally evil” or “completely selfish” and ignoring the good bits.

  • Instead think-  “ This is a problem or a bad choice but he/she is not a horrible person.”

 Misattributions. Jumping to conclusions and mind-reading; assigning negative motivations to the actions of others. You don’t ask for clarification or feedback because you think you already know.

  •  Instead think- What else might be going on? Can there be another explanation?

Overgeneralization- The use of “always”, “never”, “always”, “nobody”, “everybody”. Thoughts like “she’s always late” or “he never listens” fuel the angry situation.

  •  Instead think- “ How often does this happen? Are there times when it hasn’t happened?”

Demanding/Commanding- Imposing your own values and needs on others who may have very different values and needs. Feeling that your needs require other’s compliance.

  • Instead think- “ I would rather things were different but I can get through this.” “Not getting what I want is not the end of the world”

By practicing a bit of mindfulness you can turn around your cognitive distortions immediately and hence, get rid of anger.

New Year’s Intentions, not Resolutions



new yearsHow about starting 2014 with a new intention instead of a resolution? If we set an intention rather than a resolution, we open ourselves up to a variety of possible outcomes, some of which might be more useful than what we imagined.  An intention is not as goal directed as a resolution, so there is less chance of getting stuck or fixated on a particular outcome.

 

Things are always changing, so setting intentions allows flexibility while evolving towards the life you desire. Simple intentions often pave the way for rewarding, long lasting changes.

 

Here are some intentions you may want to consider:

 

  • Pay Attention – We live in a fast paced world and for the sake of time, we often overlook what’s really happening around us. Take time to notice when you’re zoning out or rushing through things. This will make a huge difference in your relationship with others.

 

  • Practice generosity– Generosity can come in many forms: offering a compliment, a gift, assistance or emotional support. We all can benefit from a helping hand and unexpected kindness.

 

 

  • Mind the voices in your head– Don’t indulge in negative self talk or thoughts that keep you stuck in the past or worried about the future. Notice them and when they arise, redirect them with happy alternative thoughts. For example, if you are worried on what can go wrong in a situation, change your thoughts to what could go right. Develop a strong, detailed mental image of the good thought and use it any time the negative thought pops into your head. Remember, the mind is a creature of habit- careful what you feed it.

 

 

Note: Intentions arise from love not fear or scarcity. They make you feel inspired, not stressed. They generate a greater awareness and strengthen the Spirit.

 

 

Many blessings and wishing you a fabulous 2014!

How to Recognize and Heal Your Abandonment Issues



AbandonmentIf you’re a woman dealing with abandonment issues, know that healing is absolutely possible.

Abandonment issues show up in many ways. The first step is to recognize where these issues originate. More often than not, it’s the result of having an unavailable parent while growing up. Research shows that females who have an absent or unstable father are likelier to have low self-esteem, more unplanned pregnancies, drop out of school, and face poverty. They’re also more likely to be promiscuous, since they look for other males to fill the emptiness.

But the absence of a dad can reveal itself in more subtle ways too. Women tend to choose romantic partners based on their relationship with their father, so if you didn’t get unconditional love and approval from your dad, it can certainly hinder your romantic relationships. If your dad didn’t show you—on a consistent and frequent basis—that he loved and valued you, that he’d protect you, and you could depend on him, you may lack self-confidence, give too much of yourself, stay quiet when you shouldn’t, and have difficulty saying no. You may continue to be scared that people will abandon you and consistently keep trying to prove your worth

—a fear that can lead to depression, codependence, anger, anxiety, or emotional instability.

If you didn’t have the benefit of dependable daily influence from a caring parental figure growing up, however, you can still break the cycle and become the best woman you can be. The key is to work diligently though your abandonment issues. Therapy will focus on both your childhood abandonment trauma as well as your current relationships. You’ll learn to be compassionate toward yourself about your own feelings and memories of abandonment. You’ll also learn how to separate your fear of the past from your present reality, and how to care for yourself by finding a safe and calm center. Soon you’ll be better able to communicate your needs in intimate relationships and develop stronger trust in—and more nurturing relationships with—other people. In short, you’ll be able to shift from being a victim to having a proactive stance.

Forgiving whoever abandoned you (whether it was your dad or someone else)—and forgiving yourself—is part of being able to recognize when related issues are coming up and taking your life in a more positive direction.