You can live well this new year

You can live well and prosper. It’s easy to start right now. Close your eyes for a moment.  Take a breath. Scan your body. How does it feel? Tense anywhere? Breathe into those areas. Open your eyes. Make a point of paying attention to your body today. Celebrate this new awareness.

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We can’t do our best work when we’re stressed

We do our best work when we’re not stressed to the max. It’s the times we have balance in our lives that we shine. The best ideas often come to us when we’re taking a break – like while we’re working out or in the shower. It’s no coincidence. Spending too much time working without a break is not healthy for us. So how can we change our behaviors? Start small. Take a one minute break whenever you think about it. The first step is building awareness. If you even begin to think of taking a break, as a possibility, that is a wonderful sign. Try these small one minute breaks as an experiment. See what happens. What do you notice, what do you feel? This is your first step towards being the best you can be.

Pets can reduce stress

Sandy's Thoughts

Socks and Inti

We all have such busy lives. One way to reduce stress is to love a cat. It’s good for you. It’s good for the cat.

Let me count the ways… (Scott, 2015)
1. Cats can improve your mood. Think of how restful a cat’s purr sounds. Feel her soft fur beneath your fingers. Petting a cat is beneficial for both you and the cat.
2. Cats can help fight loneliness by providing unconditional love.
3. Cats can help reduce blood pressure.

The health benefits of owning a cat is backed up by scientific studies. Researchers extracted data on 3,435 Americans aged 30 to 75, from the second National Health and Nutrition Examination Study that took place from 1976 to 1980. 2,435 of the participants were current or former cat owners, while the remaining 2,000 had never had a cat. During the 10 year follow-up period, the cat owners had a…

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Stress Relief During Times of Change

dreamstime_xxl_19083524We all experience life changes from time to time. Whether it’s moving, getting married, divorced, or having kids, life is far from static. Change in itself is stressful. So how do we cope during times of change?

First, keep it simple. Take things one step at a time. Need to do laundry and make dinner and feed the dog and watch the baby? Pick one thing to keep yourself from getting completely frazzled. What can you delegate to others? Can you get some help around the house? Maybe you can ask your partner or family member to help by feeding the dog today. Ask yourself, how can I get just one thing off my plate right now? The more we focus, the simpler things become, and the less stressed we feel.

Express Your Needs and Be Your Best Self

Do you ever feel like you give, give and give without getting anything you want or need in return? Always saying yes and agreeing with what others prefer?
 
Take a few minutes and think about the past 24 hours. Have you expressed what you wanted or needed? Or did you just go along with what others wanted? Think about it. If you haven’t expressed your needs to others explicitly (e.g., by telling them verbally or in writing) then take a step towards doing so.
 
In the next 24 hours, express something you need at least once to someone. Take the time to care for yourself and see how you feel.
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What is Ayurveda? How can it help me?

Overview
Ayurveda is a holistic approach to health that leads up to wellness. It originated in India thousands of years ago and differs from traditional medicine as many of the Ayurvedic herbs, treatments, and practices heal the body before disease arises, rather than after. Ayurvedic medicine aims to prevent and treat illness by keeping the mind, body, and consciousness in balance. This can be achieved through proper nutrition, lifestyle and herbal remedies.
 
Each of us is unique. In Ayurveda, we each have different combinations of the doshas which represent our physical, mental and emotional characteristics. There are three doshas:
 
Pitta:
Pitta is rooted in fire and is primarily related to digestion. When in balance, pittas exhibit intelligence and vitality. Out of balance pitta can result in anger and agitation.
 
Vata:
The primary elements of vata are air and ether. When vata is in balance, there is creativity. When out of balance, there is fear and anxiety.
 
Kapha:
Considered the water element, kaphas express love and forgiveness when in balance, and insecurity when out of balance.
 
The doshas can get out of balance when we experience stress, strained relationships or have an unhealthy diet. In Ayurveda, the goal is to bring you back into balance.
 
Where to begin
 
If you’re interested in exploring Ayurveda and what it can do for you, find an Ayurvedic practitioner in your area. In Ayurveda, information is gathered about you by reading your pulse, examining your nails and tongue and so on. To locate someone near you, visit the National Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine at http://www.niam.com
 
If working with an Ayurvedic practitioner is not an option for you, then you can try the basics, such as practicing yoga, meditating, and eating a vegetarian diet (or at simply eliminating red meat) and reducing the amount of toxins you consume by choosing fresh, organic foods when possible. To learn more, visit The Ayurvedic Institute at http://ayurveda.com

Think in Shades of Grey

dreamstime_xxl_43329047Sometimes all we see is the black and white of a situation. Either something went well, or it was a complete failure. Thinking in those extremes is tough. We always win or lose. We don’t give ourselves the opportunity to think in shades of grey. That is, maybe we didn’t do something perfectly, but we did a good enough job and got the task done.
 
Rather than focusing on how we didn’t do the task perfectly, we can choose to focus on how we got it done. There’s always an accomplishment or lesson learned. We just have to look for it by thinking in shades of grey.