Sunday, August 9, 2009

Live A More Serene Life

7 Spiritual Steps to Reduce Stress:

1. Alter your routine
Take a different route home after work, and stop to discover a new neighborhood or a scenic spot before you head back to the house. Decompress with a walk or a stroll - you might even go window-shopping. Moving your muscles a bit while you see the world from a different angle is a quick way to create some mental calm.

2. List your concerns
If you're one to awaken nightly with a worry-filled head, try writing down your concerns immediately. Spend a few minutes each evening listing your grievances with the world. Write down everything - especially the small things - like being bothered by a cold sore, a new blemish, or a few new gray hairs. You'll notice that giving yourself a place to vent will make your nights and days go by much more smoothly.

3. Be thankful
Start each day by reminding yourself what it is that you're thankful for. If your body is in good working condition, be grateful for that. If you have many loved ones, be thankful for that. If you enjoy your job, remember that blessing. Embracing thoughts of gratitude leaves little time for negativity.

4. Shift your consciousness
Find the good in everything. Another rainy day? Think of the gorgeous flowers that will result. A smaller yearly bonus due to the economy? Remind yourself that you're lucky to have a job! Simply put, thinking positively makes you happier. Do you tend to get the Monday blues on Sunday night? Flip your thinking, and schedule a regular event on that Sunday night - watch Masterpiece Theater, or have friends over for a weekly scheduled dinner or to play a board game.

5. Use visions of happiness
Gather some photos of that gorgeous beach from your island vacation, or your puppy's adorable face or your best friends - and post them at home or in your workstation. You need only look at them to take you to a happy place in your mind. Hold on to that feeling - and you'll feel your stress melt away. Esther M. Sternberg, M.D., the author of Healing Spaces: The Science & Place of Well Being, suggests choosing a pleasing desktop visual as your computer wallpaper - one of sweeping vistas such as green mountains against a blue sky dotted with puffy clouds, or maybe a beautiful sunset. A nice view, she says, triggers positive brain responses.

6. Change up your play list
Create a mellower playlist by loading your iPod with songs that you find relaxing or inspirational. Music with a slower or meditative beat can move your attention inward - and away from the everyday rush of chaotic events and thoughts.

7. Meditate
Last but not least, even taking five minutes a day to sit still, close your eyes and breath deeply can change your life. Anything that puts you into a gently contemplative state will relax you and take you to a higher level of consciousness.

If nothing else, when life is overwhelming, give your mind, body and spirit a break - even if it's just by making a conscious effort to breathe in and out, deeply and slowly. Directing your attention away from the things that are worrying you is always a powerful restorative during stressful times.

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Welcome to Weight Loss Coach Sherrie's Blog!

I am currently trying a new way of eating (forget about that nasty "D" word!). I am following the "Schwarzbein Principle" and learning ways to focus on creativity and taking care of ME. I am currently in Body Blissmas, a program started by Jill Badonsky. As I learn to focus on healthy eating and being happy and creative, I would like to help you do the same.

Are you currently trying to lose weight?