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Monthly Archives

April 2010

Playtime is Essential to Life

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Do you remember, not too long ago, when people (like Walter Cronkite) assured us that with all of this new technology, we would have LOTS more leisure time? Well, do you have more leisure time today? Most people don’t, perhaps for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the ball and chain known as technology (e.g., cell phones, email, twitter, etc). Sadly, many people bring this stuff with them on vacations, never fully separating from work, never fully engaging in play. NOT good! Playtime is essential for our health, no matter what age you are. Playtime is essential for your right brain as well. Balance is the key!

• Stress Tip for the Day
Today’s stress tip invites you to take some time to engage the right side of your brain and play. A game of scrabble, a jigsaw puzzle, ultimate frizbee.. (exercises in the link below) you decide, but whatever you decide, go play!

• Links/Books Worth Noting:
This link will show you some right brain exercises (play). Enjoy!

http://www.urbantulsa.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A25597

• Quote for the Day:
“You’re never to old to live a happy childhood.” Tom Robbins (author)

Photo of the Day:
I just returned from a short photo expedition to Sanibel Island, FL where I spent some time photographing dolphins. Dolphins really know how to play. Enjoy

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Monday Morning Humor

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Once again, we will skip the theory today and cut to the chase of humor therapy: The following are real headlines (watch those misplaced modifiers) observed in various newspapers across the country over the years. Enjoy!

Homeless Man Under House Arrest
Tiger Woods Plays with Own Balls, Nike Says

Statistics show that teen pregnancy drops significantly after age 25

Tornado Rips through cemetery, Hundreds dead

Man Struck by lightening faces battery charges

Condom truck tips, spills load
Missippi’s Literacy Program Shows Improvement

New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group

Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Space

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Experts Say
Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers

Drunks Get Nine Months in Violin Case
Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over

• Stress Tip for the Day
Take time lighten up today and not take yourself so seriously. Look for the humor in life (there is lots to take note of). If you wish start collecting funny jokes, headlines, cartoons and such into a notebook (I call this the tickler notebook) so you can revisit it when hear stress knocking at the door.

• Links/Books Worth Noting:
Here are some more headlines some of which I couldn’t print (what were they thinking?), but you can view them here:
http://www.bannedinhollywood.com/20-unintentionally-funny-news-headlines/

• Quote for the Day:
“Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.” — Mark Twain

Photo of the Day:
This photo was sent to me… let this be a warning…when you feed the ducks—Beware!

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Happy Earth Day!

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Today, please hold a vision for the earth; a vision of clean fresh waters running through all streams and rivers; a vision of pristine oceans teeming with abundant life where all species of fish are plentiful (Whales too!); a vision of clean air that invigorates the spirit of all humanity; a vision of vibrant healthy rainforests that continue to thrive; a vision of humanity than lives sustainably, correctly using resources that add to the concept of sustainability; a vision of our precious, healthy blue orb of planet spinning delicately in the cosmos and all life on her living in harmony. Please hold this vision in your heart and mind, with the intention that all of this is true in this “now” moment. Make a promise to yourself to return to this vision once a day, every day and let it guide your thoughts and actions to live life more sustainably. Remember, this is the only planet we have… every day is Earth Day!

• Stress Tip for the Day
Get outside today. Hug a tree. Breath in some fresh air. Visit a rose garden. Walk into a floral shop and buy some fresh cut flowers. Lay on your back and look up at the clouds taking shape. Eat an organic meal at lunch and Dinner if you can!) Check out the Milky Way tonight and the constellations Orion and the Big Dipper (Northern Hemisphere) or the Southern Cross (Southern Hemisphere). Give thanks for living on such a wonderful planet. Despite all its problems, it’s still a beautiful world.

• Links/Books Worth Noting:
When you get a chance, pick up the book, Blessed Unrest, by Paul Hawken. It’s a book about the environmental movement and it will lift your spirits…

And if you want, check out this really cool movie trailer about the healing power of nature, it too, will lift your spirits (so I am told):

• Earth Songs Documentary Introduction
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3JxqyCvZVk

• Earth Songs Meditation (song: Prairie Moon by Michael Hoppe)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swE5aYurZcg

• Earth Songs Movie Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_ktYuzEv8E

• Quote for the Day:
“We can and we’ve GOT to better than this!” — Theodore Driesl (Dr. Seuss)
when asked about leaving the world in a better place for our children.

Photo of the Day:
While flying up to Juneau, AK last week, I had a stunning view looking east of the Pacific North West in all its splendor. The skies were clear, the mountains looked pristine and the aura over the earth’s horizon was a sign (to me at least) that all is not lost on Planet Earth… we can each make a difference. I hope you agree. Please… make every day, Earth Day!

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

The Stress of Racism

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Stress is often defined as a “perceived” threat (real or imagined) to mind, body, spirit or emotions. When people express “racially” motivated views and perspectives, they are expressing a form of stress (specifically fear, anger or both): They clearly feel threatened. Hearing so many people today describing President Obama as a foreign born Muslim (not to mention a socialist, a communist, and every other name they can muster up) is the “new code” for racism. People who carry signs saying they “want their country back” is also code for racism, despite their claims not to be racist (Freud called this denial). And because it’s not PC to be racist, this form of stress now surfaces in many other ways, such as current Tea party political activism). Racism takes on many forms of behavior, all of which are abhorrent! Sadly, this behavior only promotes and perpetuates more stress for everyone involved: the attacked and the attackers. It could be said that anyone who has an ego is prone for threatening perceptions towards others who are different (Jung referred to this as the Shadow). In the Eastern culture they have an expression which bears repeating… “Domesticate your ego!” Racism may be as old as humanity, but if we are ever going to evolve as a species, we all need to domesticate our egos to eradicate racism from the world. And there is no time like the present.

• Stress Tip for the Day
Take a look deep into your heart and examine your stress-prone thoughts/behaviors regarding race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. Ask yourself why you feel threatened by people who are different than you? Why is your ego reacting to these differences? Examining your heart is only the first step… resolving these threatening perceptions is the essential next step. Learn to domesticate your ego or it will poop all over the place.

• Links/Books Worth Noting:
Let there be no doubt, racism is quite stressful to those who experience any kind of it. Here are a few websites with more information.

http://www.miller-mccune.com/blogs/news-blog/evidence-links-stress-racism-3619/

www.rivier.edu/journal/RCOAJ-Spring-2007/J88-Crocker.pdf

• Quote for the Day:
“Racism is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.” —Abrham J. Heschel

“Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away, and that in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.” — Martin Luther King

Photo of the Day:
Martin Luther King dedicated his life for equality for all people. In the words of Gandhi, “His life was his message.” Here is a photo of MLK. May this serve to remind us that we all have a dream and must work each day to see it realized, including the elimination of racism.

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Mental Health Week

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Dear friends, family and fans,
I am presenting/attending a conference in Juneau, Alaska and will return to this blog on April 19th. Have a great (mental health) week, and please feel free to check out any of the archived blog entries. As I often say, “stress management is simply common sense, but common sense isn’t too common when people are stressed.” Review never hurts!

Photo of the Day:
This photo was taken on Hilton Head Island, SC a few weeks ago while attending the American Journal of Health Promotion Conference. Very relaxing… enjoy!

Quote for the Day:
“We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and mystery.” — H. G. Wells (1866 – 1946)

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Mental Health Week

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Dear friends and fans,
I am presenting/attending a conference in Juneau, Alaska and will return to this blog on April 19th.Have a great (mental health) week, and please feel free to check out any of the archived blog entries. As I often say, “stress management is simply common sense, but common sense isn’t too common when people are stressed.” Review never hurts!

Photo of the Day:
This photo was taken on Hilton Head a few weeks ago while attending the American Journal of Health Promotion Conference.

Quote for the Day:

“We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that

each moment of life is a miracle and mystery.” — H. G. Wells (1866 – 1946)

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

A Half-filled Glass: Stress and Optimism

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Chronic stress can seem like a dark cloud that looms over our heads, but to borrow a phrase, every grey cloud has a silver lining. Research studies reveal that having an optimistic outlook on life not only helps us navigate around the potholes in the road, an optimistic perspective helps boost the immune system. Good thoughts and feelings are correlated to the release of neuropeptides that enhance our health. So, it’s in our best interest to balance the negative thoughts with positive one and perhaps add a few additional pleasant thoughts for good measure. There is a theory that suggests that a prolonged pessimistic outlook is nothing more than prolonged grieving, and while grieving is certainly healthy, prolonged grieving isn’t. Lance Armstrong didn’t win seven Tour de Frances with a negative attitude. Rosa Parks didn’t take a seat on a bus that one famous day because she was a pessimist. Nelson Mandela didn’t become the President of South Africa with an attitude of resentment. We would do well to learn from these role models.

• Stress Tip for the Day
Take inventory of your thoughts several times today and discern if there is a healthy balance between positive and negative thoughts. Work to find the balance with your emotional thought process. One thing that helps find this new (healthy) balance is to start counting your blessings (an attitude of gratitude) with all the things going right in your world.

• Links/Books Worth Noting:
The field of positive psychology is exploding with research that supports conventional wisdom. Here are just two of hundreds of links that may be of interest:

http://stress.about.com/od/optimismspirituality/a/optimismbenefit.htm
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/positive-thinking/SR00009

• Quote for the Day:
“No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.” Helen Keller

Photo of the Day:
I went out for a whale watching boat ride while vacationing on the Cape last year. We saw over 20 whales that day and I think its fair to say that everyone on the boat saw the glass as completely filled. Is it time to fill your glass?

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Water! Water! Water!

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When I taught a nutrition and health course at the University of Colorado over a 12-year period, the topic of water (the essential nutrient) came up quite often. Our drinking water, while currently plentiful, is not pristine these days. The most recent issue of the National Geographic magazine is dedicated to the topic of water (with the state of our world’s water supply a looming stressor).
The following are some highlighted (sobering) facts from the issue:
• 2.5% of the Earth’s water is fresh. About 2/3’s of that is frozen. The rest (@1%) is liquid surface water (lakes, rivers, streams) and ground water (aquifers).
• 2/3’s of the Earth’s fresh water is used to grow food.
• American’ use about 100 gallon’s of water at home each day. People from developing nation’s, if lucky, use between 3-5 gallons/day.
• 46% of the world’s population do NOT have water piped into their homes.
• Women in developing countries walk an average of 3.7 miles/day to get drinkable water.
• Global warming is contributing to glacial melting/recession which will become problematic as communities that depend on glacial runoff eventually become denied of their water sources.
• Currently one out of 8 people world-wide lacks access to clean water.
• 3.3 million people die from water-related health problems per year.
• Public utility water filtration systems typically don’t remove increasing amounts of pharmaceuticals flushed down people’s toilets.
• It takes 1,857 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. It takes 2,900 gallons of water to produce one pair of blue jeans.
• Experts predict that within the next twenty years, half of the world’s population could face water shortages. UN experts suggest that future wars will be fought over water supplies/rights.

• Stress Tip of the Day:
Pay close attention to the amount of water you use per day (e.g.,drinking water, showers, toilet flushing, lawn sprinklers, etc.). Consider getting a high quality water filter in your kitchen and never throw unused medications down the toilet (bring them back to the pharmacy!)

• Links/Books Worth Noting:
I think it’s in everyone’s best interest to read the entire issue of National Geographic this month. Take time to become educated on the topic of our planet’s water supply.
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/04/table-of-contents

• Photo of the Day:
When I traveled to Chile for a photo expedition a couple of years ago, I was mesmerized, not only by the Torres del Pines massif range, but the stunning glacial lakes in the area. Enjoy!

• Quote for the Day:
“Water has become a highly precious resource. There are some places where a barrel of water costs more than a barrel of oil.”
— Lloyd Axworthy, Foreign Minister of Canada,1999 – News Conference.

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Friday Morning Humor

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Once again, we will skip the theory and go straight for the application. Have a great weekend!

COURT EXCHANGES: These are excerpts from a book called Disorder in the American Courts, and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place.

ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
WITNESS: Yes.
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget.
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?
___________________________________________
ATTORNEY: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo?
WITNESS: We both do.
ATTORNEY: Voodoo?
WITNESS: We do.
ATTORNEY: You do?
WITNESS: Yes, voodoo.
____________________________________________
ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
____________________________________
ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He’s 20, much like your IQ.
___________________________________________
ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shitting me?
_________________________________________
ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
WITNESS: Yes.
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: Getting laid!
____________________________________________
ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
WITNESS: Yes.
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
WITNESS: None.
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?
____________________________________________
ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death.
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.
____________________________________________
ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard.
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I’m going with male.
_____________________________________
ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.
______________________________________
ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.
_________________________________________

ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
WITNESS: Oral.
_________________________________________
ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM.
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.
____________________________________________
ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?
______________________________________

• Links/Books Worth Noting:
Dewitt Jones is a celebrated photographer who has had his work featured often in the National Geographic magazine. This is an inspiring video to lift your spirits. Enjoy!

http://www.rumormillnews.com/celebrate.html

• Photo of the Day:
Still riding the high from my mental health day on Tuesday, here is one more photograph of a snowboarder flying off of the half pipe at Copper Mountain as the ski season draws to a close this year (sigh). Enjoy!

• Quote for the Day:
“If you don’t get a lawyer who knows law, then get the one who knows the Judge!”—Anonymous

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.