yourhealthharmony

Nutrition for Body and Soul

21 Small Ways to Make Life Simpler

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1.      Breathe. When stressed, lost in a problem or the past or future in your mind breathe with your belly for two minutes and just focus on the air going in and out. This will calm your body down and bring your mind back into the present moment again.
2.      Do one thing at a time. You’ll get better results and feel better and less stressed while doing those things.
3.      Write it all down. Use your mind for better things than remembering what to do. And the mind is often like a leaky bucket. So write down all your great ideas, insights and thoughts before they go missing somewhere and add what you need to do to a to-do list.
4.      Do all your food shopping once a week. You’ll save time, energy and – in my experience – money.
5.      Stop trying to do things perfectly. It will only get you stuck and drain your self-esteem. Go for good enough instead and when you are there you are done. Get things all the way to done this way and then move on to the next thing.
6.      Stop doing what you don’t like doing anymore. Life changes and so do you. If you you don’t like doing something anymore then stop doing that (even if it may take some time before you can do so by for example switching jobs).
7.      Pack your bag before you go to bed. Then you don’t have to get stressed out by that in morning and you are less likely to forget something.
8.      Throw out the things you haven’t used in 1 year. Go through what you have and ask yourself if you have used it in the past year. If not, give it away to charity or a friend or simply throw it out.
9.      Ask yourself simplifying questions every day. Questions like “What is the most important thing I can do right now?” and “What is one small step I can take to simplify this situation?”.
10.     Keep everything in its place. If everything has its own place then it is whole lot easier to keep your home reasonably ordered and decluttered from day to day. This also helps you with your inner stillness as the outer environment affects how you feel on the inside.
11.     Cook more food than you’ll eat. We usually make four or more servings of what we’re about to eat. This cuts down on time that you spend on cooking and you’ll have to do less washing up in general. Plus, it’s good to have portions of food to bring to work to save some money.
12.     Write shorter emails. I tend to write emails containing only a few sentences, usually between one and five. If you focus on keeping it short and focused then you’ll probably discover that this is a good solution in most cases.
13.     Ask instead of guessing. Reading minds is hard. So, instead ask questions and communicate. This will help you to minimize unnecessary conflicts, misunderstandings, negativity and waste of time and energy.
14.     Use a minimalistic workspace. My work space contains a big monitor and a laptop on an adjustable standing desk. I use a comfy chair and there is room for my glass of water beside the computer. That’s it. There are no distractions here. Just me, the computer and the water.
15.     Check everything just once a day. I check my email inboxes, blog statistics, my online earnings, Twitter and Facebook just once a day. I combine all that checking into one small daily ritual at the end of my work day so I don’t slip and go checking it more during the day and waste my energy and attention.
16.     Choose small daily acts of kindness. Instead of small acts of judgment and criticism towards the people around you (and towards yourself).
17.     Stop trying to please everyone. There will always be people who you don’t get along with or that do not like you for some reason.
18.     Don’t make mountains out of molehills. Before you start thinking too much about something and building it up something big in your head, ask yourself: “Am I making a mountain out of a molehill here?” And if you get lost in victim thinking then ask yourself: “Does anyone on the planet have it worse than me right now?”.
19.     Spend 10-15 minutes each Sunday or Monday morning to plan out the week. Write down your plans for the week, organize your prioritized to-do list and get ready for the week before you are in the middle of it all. This will help you to find more clarity, get more of the most important things done next week and minimize stress.
20.     Cancel subscriptions for things you rarely get around to watching or reading anyway.
21.     Spend more time with people that help you to keep things simple. And spend less time with people that drag you down into overcomplicating everything and creating unnecessary drama.

www.food4thoughtwellness.com

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17 Tips for Stressful and Frustrating Situations

How to Stay Calm: 17 Tips for Stressful and Frustrating Situations

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”
Sydney J. Harris

The stress is rising. You’re starting to feel frustrated with situation you’re in. Or angry. Or maybe sad and like you just want to pack up and go home.
But at the same time you also know that you need to keep calm.
To be able to think clearly. To not overreact, make the wrong decision or to not say the wrong thing in a moment of anger, overwhelm or confusion.
I’m sure you – just like me – have been in situations like these many times.
So this week I’d like to share 17 habits and strategies that have helped me to keep calm and to keep moving forward.

1. Just breathe.
This is pretty much always step one for me.
Just take a few deep breaths and focus fully on them to calm down a bit. If you have the time in the situation you’re in then I recommend sitting down for 1-2 minutes to do this. Only focus on the air slowly going and out and nothing else.

2. Then think of the consequences.
If you’re in a situation where you need to reply to what someone just said then follow up your few deep breaths with thinking about the consequences if you reply with overly tough words or if you back down instead of calmly standing your ground.
If you have an email or a phone message you need to reply to then consider taking more time to cool down – anywhere between 10 minutes to the next day – to get yourself into the right headspace before you reply.

3. Remember: It’s not always about you.
If someone attacks you with harsh words in a conversation or via email or phone then remind yourself that this may not even be about you.
He might be going overboard or overreacting because he’s having a bad day with a sick child or just a lot of things going wrong. Or she may lash out because she’s unhappy with her job, marriage or haven’t had a good night’s sleep in a while.
This reminder helps me to not take everything so personally and to think for a minute and calm down instead of being reactive and escalating the situation.

4. Take it just one small – or tiny – step at a time.
If you feel overwhelmed and stressed out then don’t make the classic mistake of thinking you have to do everything at once to solve this situation.
Just focus on making a start. On one small step or even just a tiny one you can take to move forward.
I find that when I approach a situation like this then I rarely get stuck in analysis paralysis and my mind calms down when I know I only have to do one small thing at a time.

5. Question your perspective.
If you feel that you’re starting to get really frustrated, angry or sad about a situation then question your perspective before it goes any further.
Ask yourself:
•       How would I think and feel it if I were in his or her shoes? This one can help you to go from negative emotions to empathy and understanding. And that tends to help to both calm down and to find a solution for the both of you.
•       Will this matter in 5 years? Or even in 5 weeks? This one grounds me and helps me to stop sweating all the small stuff and to not make mountains out molehills in everyday life. And it helps me to once again focus my time and energy on what truly matters in my life.

6. What would someone else do?
Another way to change your perspective in a tough situation is to get outside of your own head a bit.
Do that by asking yourself: what would X do in this situation?
Some good people or characters that you could use for the X and this question are:
•       Winnie the Pooh.
•       Mom or dad.
•       Your calm and wise friend.
Find a person in your life or someone from a book, movie etc. that you truly like and ask yourself what he or she would do to find a new perspective.

7. Cycle fully focused work with 100% rest.
This could be a solution if you’re stressed today.
But it is more importantly a long term solution to reduce stress levels and to consistently put yourself in a better headspace to handle the inevitable setbacks and crises that will happen at work.
You need to clear boundaries for this to work though.
Here are three such boundaries I use in my own life.
•       A start time and stop time for my work day. And that’s 8 o clock in the morning and 7 o clock in the evening.
•       A break every 45 minutes. Usually, after about 45 minutes of work I take a 10-15 minute break. If I have trouble with following that guideline and work too much then I use the alarm function on my smart phone to stick to my work/rest cycle.
•       No work on weekends. I stay away from the work computer except for doing one quick check of my inbox. And I only reply to emails there that are urgent. The rest can wait until Monday. If you use a work phone then leave it at your job. Or at least keep it off and only check the messages 1-2 times per weekend.

8. Remember to keep things extremely simple.
Here’s a reminder that I’ve used more time than I can count: “Keep things extremely simple”.
It used to be at the top of my white board for over a year to remind me to not overcomplicate and to think of situations and solutions in the simplest way I could. Overthinking is a big contributor to stress and to spending too much time and energy on things that aren’t really that complicated.
I quite often sandwich this reminder between first focusing on my breathing and then following it up with focusing on one small or tiny step forward.

9. Ask instead of guessing.
Trying to mindread someone can quickly amplify stress and frustration. Because it’s pretty much impossible to do.
Plus, it can easily lead to a much worse scenario in your mind than what is actually going on in the other person’s head.
So communicate and ask what you want to ask.

10. Be 10 minutes early.
Not much help when you’re already in stressful situation. But a good reminder for tomorrow and next week.
Plan a bit ahead so that you can – as often as possible – let transportation time between meetings and destinations during your day become a small window where you can fully relax and rejuvenate so that you’ll be able to do fully focused work or be truly engaged when you arrive.

11. Reduce your to-do list.
A big or seemingly endless to-do list can cause a ton of overwhelm and stress.
To calm down simply ask yourself: what would I work on if I only had 2 hours for work today?
Then work on that task one step at a time.
This one helps me to quickly find my focus and to get started with doing one of truly most important things when I’m stressed. And it helps me to be selective with what I put on my to-do list for the day and week in the first place.

12. Go for a 5-15 minute laugh break.
When you feel overwhelmed and it’s hard to think then you can take this somewhat odd but effective kind of break.
For maybe 5-15 minutes focus on having fun, smiling and laughing.
Laughing and finding some fun breaks stress and tension. It helps your mind to relax.
You can do this by just spending a bit of time with someone at work, in school or at home that you know you’ll have fun with.
But I also recommend having a small mental or physical folder of things that you know will make you laugh.
For me it’s for example episodes of the Simpsons or comics by The Oatmeal and Jim Benton.
After that break you can return to your work or the situation that you’re trying to figure out with a lighter mind.

13. Take some time for yourself in nature.
A more conventional alternative to laugh breaks is to take a break where you go out in nature and spend some time in silence there to recharge yourself.
I usually take these breaks by going out for a slow walk in our nearby forest where I take in all the sounds, sights and smells for a little while.

14. Ask for help.
You don’t always have to go it alone in these situations. You can ask a friend, family member or even someone you may not know that well for a bit of help.
You might not always get it but you may be surprised at how helpful people can be if you just ask.

15. Just take care of today.
It’s hard to keep calm if you look at all the things you may have to get to done to solve a situation or to overcome a challenge.
That’s why I’ve already shared a few tips that help you to concentrate on a much smaller part of the situation. Such as when you focus on just one small or tiny step or when you ask yourself the question about what you’d work on if you only had 2 hours for work today.
Here’s another one of those tips and habits that help me.
What you do is simply to tell yourself: just take care of today.
Concentrate only on that. Forget about all the tomorrows for now. Narrow your focus and take care of only today.
Tomorrow will come in time and you can take care of it then.

16. Had a setback? Then be your own best friend.
Don’t let a temporary setback drag you down into a thought spiral of defeatism and negativity.
Instead, ask yourself this to keep going on a healthier track even if you don’t feel so good at the moment:
How would my best friend or my parent support me and help me in this situation?
Then do things and talk to yourself like he or she would.

17. Listen to yourself.
If you feel you’re having more trouble than usual with staying calm in several situations and you’re really frustrated in general and drained of energy then listen to yourself.
Step back before you run right into a brick wall and do or say something you really wouldn’t usually do.
Schedule more time to just take care of yourself.
Spend one evening – or a few – in bed and just watch your favorite TV-shows or movies. Take a trip over the weekend and just focus on relaxing and doing what you think is fun or fulfilling. Spend more time out in nature for a few days or a week.

Thank you Zija for these de-stressing tips!

www.food4thoughtwellness.com

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Rosemary Shower Melts!

ROSEMARY

Rosmarinus officinalis

Known as the “herb of remembrance,” Rosemary oil was considered sacred by ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Hebrews. It has been used as a natural remedy for centuries. Rosemary essential oil blends well with Thyme, Lemongrass, True Lavender and Peppermint oils, creating rich aromas and limitless applications.

BENEFITS

With a wide array of benefits, Rosemary oil is very popular among both novice and expert oil users. Health benefits include hair growth stimulation, boosted mental activity, and the promotion of normal respiratory function. It is also used topically in skin and beauty regimens. Rosemary oil is rich in antioxidants, which protect cells from damaging free radicals.

  • Massage a few drops of Rosemary oil into the feet daily, or take as a supplement in an Améo Veggie Cap, to provide your body with valuable antioxidants
  • Add a few drops of Rosemary oil to your daily shampoo, or massage directly into the scalp, to stimulate hair growth naturally
  • Rub 1-2 drops of Rosemary oil into palms and inhale to promote mental clarity and confidence
  • Rub a few drops of Rosemary oil directly onto affected areas of skin to help reduce the appearance of cellulite
  • Diffuse Rosemary, Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Lemon oils in an Améo diffuser to cleanse the air in your home, office or car
  • Dilute 5 drops of Rosemary oil, 3 drops of Peppermint oil, and 4 drops of True Lavender oil with 1 teaspoon of Améo Fractionated Coconut Oil and rub on sore feet after a walk or run

 

With a wide array of benefits, Rosemary oil is very popular among both novice and expert oil users. Health benefits include hair growth stimulation, boosted mental activity, and the promotion of normal respiratory function. It is also used topically in skin and beauty regimens. Rosemary oil is rich in antioxidants, which protect cells from damaging free radicals.

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www.lwalling.myameo.com

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HO HO HO!!!!

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More Food 4 Thought!

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AHHHH…Nothin’ Like a Nice Walk!

Just open the front door and walk…. Couldn’t be better than that!  However, I probably should have gone while it was overcast! HA!

#enjoylife #appreciateyoursurroundings #exercise #smile #breathe #food4thought

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