Tag Archives: happiness

How to Deal With Stress in a Large Family

StressIn my last post, I walked through how to prevent stress in a large family. But some days, despite best efforts, family members experience stress. Kids feed off of the stress from their parents and siblings, so in a big family stress can spread among family members quickly. Parents can use stress management techniques to enable the family to combat stress and avoid the negative health effects prolonged stress causes.

 1. Interact with your loved ones.

Spending time with family members helps you avoid overreacting to the stressful situation, helps calm your nervous system by being around others who make you feel safe and loved, and releases hormones to reduce stress. Taking a moment to chat with your child about his day or playing a game with your daughter can help you, your child, or both manage stress.

 2. Play stress management games.

While physical versions of these activities are preferred, online versions can be a great tool for your kids (and you) to manage stress -check it out here. Online Zen gardens, creating kaleidoscopes, and playing with stress balls can be a fun way for your family to play and reduce stress at the same time. You can involve your whole family in a game, such as getting everyone to paint on an online easel and then share what they created.

 3. Go for a walk.

Exercising with a short walk offers many health benefits, particularly stress reduction. After a few minutes outside focusing on something other than the stressor, stress levels go down. Take a solo walk, or gather your whole family to spend time together outside.

4. De-Stress after work.

Be intentional about de-stressing after work. Don’t carry stress from work home with you, it can set a stressed out tone for your family in the evening. Moms and dads should take time to meditate, do an essential oils massage, or whatever they need to reduce stress after a long day.

With large families come a number of people who can become stressed. Using stress management techniques helps decrease the stress in the family member and keeps the stress from spreading. Play around with different techniques to see what works for your family, and remember a low stress family is a happy healthy family!

8 Reasons You Should Probably Try Meditation

CoachMeditation may not be the easiest habit to form, but it could be one of the most rewarding. Meditation has the studies behind it that prove it’s good for you to do. From personal experience, I can tell you that although it was definitely a struggle at first, meditation is something I began to look forward to. I noticed a difference in my mood, the way I reacted to work stress, as well as my general stress level. But if you don’t want to take my word for it, check out eight great reasons that studies show meditation is good for you

1. Lower your stress levels. Much like yoga, meditation helps to relax your nervous system. This helps to lower the level of cortisol in your system, and that’s a good thing. When you’re sympathetic nervous system is constantly engaged your body takes a beating. In today’s go-go-go world, it’s pretty common to live in a constant low-level stress state. Meditation gives your system a break

2. Sleep better. If you meditate before bed, it can help slow down the busyness of your mind, allowing you to fall asleep easier and stay asleep

3. Be more creative. Calming your mind, your body and your nervous system can help you focus, bringing greater clarity of thought. When you’re focused you’re freer to be more creative

4. Improve your mood. If you’re less stressed and are sleeping better, then you’re two steps closer to feeling better

5. Get a better handle on your emotions. When you meditate on a regular basis, you learn how to watch thoughts and emotions bubble up without engaging with them. This extends into your everyday life, so when you encounter life’s little obstacles, you’re less apt to react without thinking first

6. Improve your memory. Research proves that regular meditation can thicken the brain’s cerebral cortex due to increased blood flow. Learning, memory and concentration take place in the outer cortex, so meditating can help improve all three

7.Be your own fountain of youth. Every time you stress about something, cortisol is released and your body pays for it, becoming a little bit older. Lowering your cortisol level isn’t just good for your stress level, is also helps to save brain cells. High levels of cortisol can kill off those precious cells leading to cognitive issues. So in the same way it helps you better your memory, it also helps maintain the life of your brain cells and cells throughout the rest of your body

8. Increase your overall health. Better mood, healthier brain and restful sleep…it’s no wonder your overall health will improve. But that’s not all; studies also show that meditation can have a positive impact on your heart, as well as other organs throughout your body.

This is just a brief overview of some of the wonderful affects meditation can have on your body and mind. And maybe best of all—it’s free! All you need is you. So if you’d like to be calmer, happier and healthier, why not give meditation a try?

Finding Your Happy

at-home yogaHappiness

If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you’ve probably heard a teacher say that deep down inside we are nothing but love and happiness. I know I’ve heard that countless times, and while I always wanted to believe it, I never truly felt that in the core of my being I was a happy person. I had struggled with depression on and off for too long to feel like I was anything but a sad person fighting my way into the sunlight.

I’m not saying that I am not happy these days; I’ve worked hard to get to a place of happiness, stability and self-awareness, but there was always a part of me that felt like all of that was a fragile state. At any moment the dark chemicals in my brain would take over again and shatter the balance when I’d be least expecting it. But then I went to India.

It was a trip I didn’t necessarily want to take, it was one I felt like I had to take. I didn’t know what was in store and what I learned in those two weeks is hard to describe. But there was one day, one moment even, which changed everything.

It was the second morning of our stay at the Govardhan Eco Village. Three pilgrimage groups had come together to do sunrise yoga in a gorgeous wooden yoga shala lined with giant windows that looked out into the mountains that surrounded us. Kirtan was being sung; the sun was rising over the mountains and shining in through the windows, taking the morning chill out of the air. And there I was—in India.

In that moment, I took in the sounds, the smells and the energy. There was no work stress, no money stress, no everyday life stress—there was just love. There was music, love, support and happiness pouring out from everyone around me and filling the room. And as hippie as that may sound, I felt it wash over me and ignite every cell in my body. I was alive and completely free. I felt light and happy—completely happy. Before I knew it I was crying tears of joy. That morning and that feeling will stay with me forever.

It wasn’t until I got home and was talking about that morning that it dawned on me: I am not a sad person trying to be happy, I’m a happy person who just needed to clean the dirt off of the lens (albeit, a lot of dirt). Knowing, feeling and truly believing that there is a core of utter bliss inside me, whether or not I am able to find it on a daily basis, changed what I thought I was made of deep down. It completely changed my perspective on life.

Now, I’m not saying everyone needs to hop a plane and go spend two weeks in India. What I am saying is that, for most of us, there is something in this world that makes us truly happy, that allows us to tap into that core of love and happiness each one of us has inside. There is something out in the world that makes you feel connected and alive. There is something that will help you clean off your lens.

I encourage you to find what that is. And if you don’t know, or it takes sometime (or help) to find, know that it’s okay. It took me 35 years, several medications, various hobbies, entirely too many drinks and trips all around the world to find my inner peace. But finding it, finding my footing in this world was worth every second of the struggle.