Archive for awareness

Effective Steps for Managing Anxiety

100_2838Have you ever been in a situation that brought on sweats, rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath? You probably weren’t having a heart attack but an anxiety attack. If you suffer from anxiety disorders, learning to manage it is the first step to overcoming it.

Anxiety is characterized as extreme reactions to fearful situations. When someone follows you into a dark alley, those anxious feelings of a racing heartbeat and sweaty palms gives way to heightened senses and a rush of adrenalin that can save your life. This is the fight or flight syndrome.

In the case of frequent anxiety, the fearful feelings are dread of a particular situation and not the situation itself. Getting caught in traffic can cause an anxiety attack over what might happen when you get to work late. Starting a new job can bring on anxiety attacks. You don’t know anyone and fear of that unknown can send you into a panic.

Everyone experiences panic or anxiety in small ways. Like the fight or flight example, it can save your life. In new situations, we get panicky but when the outcome we fear fails to materialize, the anxiety stops. For someone with chronic anxiety, this is not the case.

Every situation that brings anxiety is not life-threatening. More than likely it is an extremely stressful situation that has brought on the anxiety as a way of dealing with it. Unchecked anxiety of this type can lead to depression.

If you suffer from anxiety attacks on occasion or a more frequent anxiety disorder, there are steps you can take to keep your anxiety under control.

1. See a professional. This is always a good first step. Self-diagnosis of any type of physical or mental condition is unwise and can be dangerous. A professional psychologist can help you understand your anxiety and prescribe medication or other effective techniques.

2. Get a good night’s sleep. During the sleep cycle, your body repairs itself. You feel more rested after several hours of restorative sleep, reaching the REM stage. Most people need eight hours a night which varies within an hour or two each way.

3. Exercise on a consistent basis. Exercise helps you to use oxygen more efficiently. It helps to get more oxygen to the brain. It also increases focus which may help you see solutions to problems rather than simply worrying about them.

4. Meditate. Meditation is more than chanting mantras. Yoga is an exercise that involves quieting the mind and controlling your breathing. Simple mediation such as taking 5 minutes to clear your mind everyday can work wonders in the fight against anxiety.

5. Manage the worry. When you feel your pulse start to quicken, count backwards from ten. As you count, focus on the situation. What has actually happened? Resist the urge to read anything more into the situation.

6. Avoid alcohol. You might think that the glass of wine is relaxing your tension but alcohol is a depressant. In anxious situations you could rely too heavily on it and gain another problem in the process.

7. Find some relaxing activities. Stress can rob you of your energy. On a regular basis, do something you like such as gardening, painting, reading or listening to music.

Anxiety can come into your life at any time. It’s normal. When the anxiety becomes frequent you could be at risk for more serious conditions. If you feel your anxiety is starting to take over your life or increasingly causing you problems, seek professional help immediately. There is no need to suffer this terrible condition in silence.

Share some tips that have worked for you.

Grads- Words of Advice

Open Your Eyes

Just for today look at the world through the eyes of forgiveness!

Success to Significance – Celebrate What’s Right with the World – Dewitt Jones

What’s Hiding in Your Mind?

eye close upWould you consider yourself to be a fearful person? Most people would probably answer no to that question, yet fear is one of the most common hindrances that people struggle with today.  The reason for this discrepancy may surprise you:  fear can easily disguise itself as seemingly logical beliefs, thoughts and feelings so you may not even realize it’s there.

Rather than using the word fear to describe their feelings, many people might choose words like doubt, concern, worry, anxiety, uncertainty, hesitation, apprehension, procrastination, distrust or unease.

Ultimately they mean the same thing as fear. There is a thought, feeling, belief, or possible outcome that makes you feel uncomfortable or threatened and you will instinctively avoid things that make you feel that way.

Here are some common fears that could be hiding in your mind:

Fear of Failure

If you have ever held back on a goal or avoided taking action that would lead to a positive outcome, you may have been fearful that you might fail.  Fear of failure can be subtle because our minds can come up with endless excuses why it’s not a good time to take a risk right now, or how the odds don’t seem to be in our favor, and so on.

Fear of Success

It’s hard to believe that anyone could be afraid of success (isn’t success usually a good thing?) but it’s far more common than you might believe.  Most often it’s not the success itself that people fear, but rather all of the responsibilities and uncertainties that come along with success.  If you worry that you won’t be able to handle these things, you will resist putting yourself in a position where you would have to face them.

Fear of Rejection

Fear of rejection is usually related to low self-esteem, but may show up in subtle ways.  You may lash out at others when a possible rejection is imminent; sabotage relationships so you can be the one who rejects the other person instead of them rejecting you; or you may simply withdraw from social interaction to avoid the possibility of being rejected at all.

Fear of Not Being Good Enough

This is another fear that is connected to self-esteem, and it often affects everything you do in life.  You may avoid making changes to improve your life; settle for a dissatisfying job that pays less money than you are capable of earning; or continuously sabotage your goals.  If you don’t believe you deserve to have better life circumstances you won’t allow yourself to create them.

Once you have identified one or more of these fears, you can begin diffusing them with mind and body techniques that will calm your emotions, relax your body and get your thoughts flowing in a positive direction again.  For most people this will be an ongoing process because our minds become conditioned to respond to fear stimulus and it will seem to happen automatically for some time.  However, getting into the habit of addressing the fear in new healthy ways should set a new pattern to minimize the conditioned responses and even eliminate them over time.

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Alternatively download the new Free ebook22 Powerful Tools To Transform Your Fear Into Happiness, Peace and Inspiration. Crammed full of valuable tips, exercises and ideas – it could be the most important ebook you read this year.

Self Growth – This Too Shall Pass

ProvsToday I am selling my deceased parents house. This was a retirement home for them–not a house I ever lived in. If there is an emotional connection to this closing it would only be because it wasn’t done sooner.

I’ll be glad to close the book on this saga–it wasn’t a happy series of experiences. Yet, it does cause a nagging feeling about some situations that could have been handled differently. Not regrets so much as evaluations from a different heart.

The more time passes the more such events (deaths, job losses, moves) become internal growth rings rather than external turmoil. Criticism folds into itself and evaporates leaving just a misty hint of what all the fuss was about. It’s time to go.

Rest in peace.

Success Tips for Growth – 7 Factors to Focus ON

698517_dancingAre you seeking ways to nurture your personal growth? Continuing education, conferences, DVD/CD programs and coaching are all great ways to improve yourself—but don’t neglect looking inside yourself first.

The difficult questions and the best answers lie within you. If you’re committed to self-development review the following key factors and note where you might be falling short.

Be Responsible – Ask yourself if you own up to every action, every word and every thought you make. Do you give away responsibility with language peppered with “There was a lot of traffic. . .” or “There’s nothing I can do about it.”

Tell the Truth – This isn’t so easy, is it? Tell the truth walks hand-in-hand with being responsible to form a base of integrity. For one full day, pay attention to every slight falsehood you utter.

Show Up – Are you “present” in each moment and with each person you encounter?  Show up for yourself, your kids, your clients and everyone else. This doesn’t mean that you give yourself away or spread yourself too thin.

Work Hard – Working smart usually doesn’t come until after you’ve worked hard to get smart enough to work smarter!

Be Coachable – Keep your ears wide open and your mouth closed. Ask for and listen to feedback. Act accordingly.

Play Well with Others – Self explanatory. You don’t have to be friends with everyone but you do need to know how to get along with others.  Everyone does not think the same way that you do. Learn to communicate in the way others want to be communicated with, not just the way you like to communicate.

Don’t Get Sick – “Well, that’s not in my control” . . . I can hear it now. Practice good health and take care of your appearance everyday. Do the things you know are good for and let go of the habits that are killing you. Start by adding one good habit and release one harmful habit, rather than trying to change everything at once. If you do get sick, take immediate steps to get well quickly. Avoid making others ill—wash your hands frequently and stay home if you need to.

Get Real – Practice getting truthful with yourself and you’ll develop awareness. Awareness is the ability to see yourself and your intentions before you act. This alone will change your life.

Personal growth is a life-long process. Embrace the challenges and go with the flow rather than fight change.

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Personal Growth – Getting Focused

hand-sign-2b6I’ve been changing my habits lately and learning how to focus on a single project rather than multi-tasking (a false notion if there ever was one). Personal growth is often a second attempt at childhood lessons that failed to stick. The following story is a case-in-point.

With nine people sharing a single bathroom, I was grateful for two things—my turn and hot water.  The hot water pipes in our little cape cod ran through the furnace instead of through a water tank which meant a continuous supply.  That was the good news.

Unfortunately, it also meant only one source of water (tap, toilet, shower) could be used at once. In-other-words, you couldn’t take a shower while someone else was trying to flush the toilet without expecting an icy blast or a scalding burn mid-shampoo.  It was just foolish thinking.

Even if you thought you had planned your timing perfectly, it was likely you would be met with surprise. You just never knew when a sibling (probably male) would barge in to use the facilities even while you were attempting to bath (in answer to those of you who were wondering how,  if there was only one bathroom, could the shower and toilet be employed at the same time – that’s how.)

Anyway, putting your efforts into a single task for a concentrated length of time (try a kitchen timer) really does make a difference in productivity.

Try it. It’s not foolish thinking.

Why Confidenced is So Important

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Confidence is often the first thing we notice about someone. We might think its body parts that get attention (and sometimes that’s true) but confidence has more impact.

Confidence is the energy that tells the world you are self-assured and self-reliant.

Confidence is not arrogance.  Arrogance is about self-importance whereas confidence is about making others feel important while retaining a high level of self-respect.

Entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants and small business owners need a high level of confidence to succeed. A sense of overall confidence keeps you going when faced with challenges.

Confidence is having freedom from doubt…and that’s sweet!

Intuition–The Decision Making Difference

The best decision making involves three elements–logic, common sense and intuition. 1108003_say_what1

Most decision making involves weighing the pros and cons related to possible outcomes. While this involves both logic and common sense it fails to consider the most critical factor-intuition.

Insight, Instinct or Intuition. Call it what you will but without involving the natural ability of our minds and bodies to indicate what’s most important we fail to honor who we are. Intuition is the barometer for what feels right and what we know without knowing why we know.

Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, examines how choices can be made in an instant and why the best decisions are often those that are unexplainable to others.

Here are five things to practice if you want to add insight to your decision making:

  1. If you regularly make a pros and cons list, practice adding a third column labeled “what I know” to prompt your inner knowing.
  2. Give yourself permission to practice and to be wrong. Information overload can easily confuse a feeling or message.
  3. Carve out quiet time. Meditation sounds like work but ten minutes of quiet, non-activity time sounds like relief. Release the pressure to quiet your mind.
  4. Practice being present rather than trying to quiet your mind. This practice works well while you’re performing a mundane task.
  5. Don’t dismiss anything you feel or hear or see or smell. Notice what comes up first. Take note of it–write down any images that flash. Ask for more clarity. Become a student.

Imagine that you already know the answer. Have some fun with this practice-don’t make it another item on your to-do list. Our sixth sense has a sense of humor, go ahead and enjoy it.
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