Friday, April 12, 2019

A Visit to the Park Improves Emotional Well-Being

Emotional Well BeingSpring is in the air in most areas of the country, and we can’t help but be drawn outdoors to enjoy a break from the icy chill of Winter! We know from studies and experience that getting outside can be a refreshing break from “cabin fever” but now we know that it might be easier than you think to enjoy the benefits.

The University of Alabama Birmingham conducted a study at three urban parks in Alabama that regularly have visitors. The study participants reported that they felt better after spending as little as 20 minutes in the park – even if they weren’t being physically active. An excerpt from the University’s report says:

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Is Your Stress Level Too High?

StressThe demands of life can at times be overwhelming, making it nearly impossible to avoid stress. Although brief periods of high stress are a normal part of life, many people endure unhealthy levels of prolonged stress leaving them vulnerable to mood swings, physical symptoms like headaches and stomach discomfort as well as serious disease.

If you have experienced a prolonged period of high stress you may have become habituated to it and therefore consider it normal and even tolerable. In order to avoid becoming accustomed to high levels of stress I recommend that you monitor your stress level on a regular basis. This self-assessment can be done in three steps:

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Three Simple Tips to Help Balance Your Life

Balance your life“There just isn’t enough of me to go around! It’s our busy season at work and it’s impossible to keep up with my job demands on top of my family responsibilities. It feels like I am headed for a break-down!”

When your life seems out of control and you’ve got endless demands tugging at you from all directions, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, fatigued and just plain stressed! You know you need to do something to preserve your health and your sanity, but what can you do?

Believe it or not, balancing your life does not require massive changes. You don’t have to quit your job, abandon your family and escape to a remote retreat in order to feel peaceful and happy. In fact, true balance is something that starts WITHIN YOU first and foremost, no matter what else is happening in your outer life circumstances. Attitudes, habits and choices will determine the balance you achieve.

Below you’ll find three simple ways to begin building a greater sense of inner peace and harmony.

Quiet time – One of the first things we tend to sacrifice when we’re busy is our personal time. Instead, we devote all of our energy and attention to caring for others, multi-tasking, meeting responsibilities and “being productive.” Over time this depletes our energy and we begin to feel more and more burdened by our responsibilities.

To live a more balanced life, quiet time for yourself is not a luxury – it’s a necessity. You may believe that you don’t have any time available for yourself, but something amazing happens when you consistently MAKE time. You will find yourself feeling happier and more energetic and your focus improves – and you still get plenty done! Just a few minutes spent sitting quietly in prayer, meditation or reading

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Counseling or Coaching? Getting the Right Kind of Help

counseling or coachingA new year often inspires us to evaluate our lives, which frequently makes us want to change whatever is not working well or build upon what is. It can be helpful to bounce your thoughts and feelings off of someone else who can offer perspective and help you discover what is – or isn’t – within your power to change.

Since the 1980’s there has been a growing interest in the field of Coaching. There are several different types of coaching, e.g., Executive, Personal, Career, etc., and each serves a specific function related to helping someone achieve desired results. With the rise of coaching as a profession have come questions concerning the differences between the practice of coaching and counseling. Let’s look at these two different services in an effort to help you decide which one is right for you – counseling or coaching.

What is Coaching?

According to the International Coach Federation, coaching is an ongoing relationship between the professional coach and the client, which focuses on the client taking action toward the realization of their vision, goals or desires. Coaching uses a process of inquiry and personal discovery to build the client’s level of awareness and responsibility and provides the client with structure, support and feedback.

Most coaches have some formal coach training and are either certified or in the process of being certified by training programs accredited by the International Coach Federation. Coaches are trained to listen, to observe and to customize their approach to individual client needs. They seek to elicit solutions and strategies from the client; they believe the client is naturally creative and resourceful. The coach’s job is to provide support to enhance the skills, resources, and creativity that the client already has.

Coaching clients are often high functioning, solution-focused individuals who are seeking

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Give it a Rest: The Importance of Taking a Break

When I think about resting, something rather strange occurs. At first, I begin to imagine lounging on the couch, watching golf and (inevitably) falling asleep. But just as I begin to enjoy this image, I am yanked back into reality with the thought that dozing off to a lullaby of polite clapping and hushed announcers is just plain lazy.

Rest

This kind of internal scolding is a culturally-driven, knee-jerk reaction many of us have because we have grown up in an environment that values Type A drive and workaholism. “I do, therefore I am.” We have come to believe that our worth is found in our productivity, and our value to our employers is achieved in tireless, devoted activity with no thought of our own needs.

The good news is that the tide is turning, and workers today are less likely to be plagued by guilt if they grab a quick nap mid-afternoon or take a short walk outside to clear their minds, and some companies actually endorse activities that refresh their employees. This is because research has shown that those physical and mental breaks actually improve productivity.

Ferris Jabr, in his article, “Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime”, sums it up well:

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Spring is a Great Time for a Fresh Start

I can only imagine how desperately the residents of the eastern states are longing for the snow to melt and the air to warm up. I grew up with “real” winters, but have been in Arizona long enough to forget just how stuffy and stifling it feels to live in a house that’s been shut up tight for months. Here in Tucson, we didn’t have to struggle through massive snowstorms or debilitating cold, but there is still something about Spring that energizes us to say, “Out with the old; in with the new!”

A Fresh StartWhat are some of the things in your life that need a fresh start, a do-over or just a one-way trip to the trash can?  Here are some things we all need to clean out from time to time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Secret to Aging Well

Aging Well

If you ever suffer from insomnia and find yourself watching late night infomercials, chances are you have been tempted by products that are “guaranteed” solutions for aging well.  Many people today are obsessed with trying to discover anti-aging secrets in nutrition, exercise, skin care, strong relationships, and the list goes on, in an effort to stay young – or at least young at heart.

Recent research conducted by the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Hamburg, Germany, reports evidence that suggests if you want to age well you may need to learn how to effectively let go of regrets.