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Monthly Archives

January 2011

Light Pollution and Sleep

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The cover story of the National Geographic magazine several months ago was cause for alarm. Not only does cit night light block our view from the stars and cause havoc with migrating birds, it affects humans as well. City lights that illuminate the night skies for miles on end are thought to be related to disrupting our circadian rhythms and the growing epidemic of insomnia across the country. Perhaps equally at fault is the amount of time spent in front of computer screens (be it laptops or smart phones). From the science of sleep we learn that as light (natural light, that is) diminishes and ambient temperatures drop, the sleep hormone, melatonin, increases in production and secretion producing drowsiness for a good night’s sleep. When light (and temperature) don’t decrease, this will affect the role of melatonin, and hence our quality of sleep. Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland, a pea sized part of the brain, located in the center of the head. For eons, the pineal gland (often called the third eye) has been associated with sleep. Although as of yet, no formal research has been done, there is speculation that abundant computer screen time in the night hours also throws off the delicate balance needed for the pineal gland to do it job properly.

• Stress Tip For The Day:
If you, like so many others have a hard time getting a good night’s sleep, consider making your bedroom as dark as possible. Also consider not using your computer 1-2 hours before bedtime (same with the cell phone). These and other factors (such as removing the TV from the bedroom, not using your smart phone to bed, etc.), contribute to a good night’s sleep are collectively known as sleep hygiene, something we can all improve upon.

• Links/Books/Movies Worth Noting:
Here are some links of interest including the article from the National Geographic magazine:
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/11/light-pollution/klinkenborg-text

http://blog.wellnesstips.ca/blog/?p=27

• Quote for the Day:
“Life is too short to sleep on low thread-count sheets.” ~Leah Stussy

Photo of the Day:
While I was looking for images for this bog entry (a picture I took of the Milkyway was runner up) this photo off the web seemed to really drive home the point of night sky brightness.

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.

Stress & The Dangers of Cell Phone Use

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Did you ever hear about the numbers of policemen who contracted testicular cancer from the use of radar guns to catch speeders? It’s true. Radiation from these “guns” caused big problems. Years ago, Dr. Robert Becker came out with a landmark book called Cross Currents, where he espoused the dangers of power lines and their connection to cancer. Since the advent of cell phone technology many experts have noted the possible dangers of cell phone use with brain cancers and other health-related problems. While preliminary research was conducted by the cell phone companies with “no apparent danger,” new research suggests other wise. Here are the facts: Cell phones emit an ELF micro wave that is incompatible with the harmonics of human physiology. These micro waves destroy DNA, RNA and mitochondria. When this happens cancer isn’t far behind. Initial symptoms include headaches, insomnia and general fatigue. There is a HUGE experiment going on with cell phone use, and sadly there is no control group for this data collection. While cell phones surely promote convenience, the real question is at what cost? Specifically at what cost to your health. Cancer isn’t always deadly these days, when caught in time, but it is surely expensive. The biggest concer is the number of children who use cell phones. The human brain doesn’t completely form until age 25. One cannot ignore the danges of micro wave energies at close range to the human brain!

• Stress Tip For The Day:
If you have a cell phone, consider using it for emergencies only, not for prolong phone calls. Use your landline phone for all other calls. If you don’t have a landline, consider reinstalling one. Cordless phones are considered equally bad. Texting may be better than cell phone calls, but radiation is radiation. Do your best to minimize your exposure to cell phone radiation. Become educated on this matter (see links and book list below).

• Links/Books Worth Noting:
There are two books I HIGHLY recommend plus one article on this topic which I think should be required reading by everyone:
1. Cross Currents, by Robert Becker
2. Disconnected, by Devra Davis
3. Dangers of Cell Phones, by Christopher Ketchum
http://www.gq.com/cars-gear/gear-and-gadgets/201002/warning-cell-phone-radiation

• Quote for the Day:
“With the advent of our electrified modern life, we and all other living creatures on this planet are flooded in a sea of radiation never before encountered in our evolutional history.” —Devra Davis.

• Photo of the Day:
This photo scan is from an article in US News and World Report.

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.

1,000 Things Went Right Today!

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It is very easy to dwell on the negative. The ego loves to find fault within and without. Negativism abounds everywhere in the form of complaining and whining these days. Perpetual negativism quickly becomes a label you wear on your forehead: I am a victim! Victim consciousness is rampant in our society, but for every complaint there is a bright side to look at. There is a silver lining to every grey cloud. Yes, there is much in the world that is positive, much in the world to celebrate! All it takes is looking at the world through a different pair of lenses. One of my colleagues, Ilan Shamir, has turned his advertising executive skills toward making the world a better place. One of his slogans is this “1,000 things went right today.” It is his effort to turn people’s attention away from the negative and focus on the positive. GREAT IDEA! Ilan’s idea is that nothing should be taken for granted, and he’s right. We have much to be grateful for, much to be appreciate of. Gratitude is a perception that is easy to adopt. Give it a try.

• Stress Tip For The Day:
Can you think of 1,000 things that went right today, or even yesterday? Can you thing of ten things that went right? Sure you can. Make a list— start with 10 things. Start with the obvious: breathing (some people cannot do this easily), walking with two legs, having three meals to eat, having a roof over your head. Add to this list things you ARE grateful for. It shouldn’t be hard. At the end of each day before you lay your head on the pillow, come up with ten more things that went right today. Take nothing for granted. Let this be the lens in which you choose to see the world.

• Links/Books/Movies Worth Noting:
Ilan has started a company called Your True Nature. Here is a link to his site.
http://www.yourtruenature.com/

• Quote for the Day:
“ Every situation has a good side and a bad side, each moment you decide.” —Anonymous

Photo of the Day:
I was in New England last weekend, clear up through yesterday speaking at several conferences. The weather was quite cold; 20 below zero a times (by comparison, I came home to temps in the high 50’s). Despite the cold, I went out with my camera on day because I saw these beautiful red berries on a tree and just had to get a better look. 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.

Vitamin H: Humor Therapy:

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Once again, we will skip the theory and move straight to the application for today. Enjoy:

Since seniors are texting and tweeting more and more there appears to be a need for a STC (Senior Texting Code). If you qualify for Senior Discounts this is the code for you.
ATD ~ At The Doctor’s
BFF ~ Best Friend Farted
BTW ~ Bring The Wheelchair
BYOT ~ Bring Your Own Teeth
CBM ~ Covered By Medicare
CUATSC ~ See You At The Senior Center
DWI ~ Driving While Incontinent
FWB ~ Friend With Beta Blockers
FWIW ~ Forgot Where I Was
FYI ~ Found Your Insulin
GGPBL ~ Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low!
GHA ~ Got Heartburn Again
HGBM ~ Had Good Bowel Movement
IMHO ~ Is My Hearing-Aid On?
LMDO ~ Laughing My Dentures Out
LOL ~ Living On Lipitor
LWO ~ Lawrence Welk’s On
OMMR ~ On My Massage Recliner
OMSG ~ Oh My! Sorry – Gas!
ROFL-CGU ~ Rolling On The Floor Laughing-Can’t Get Up
SGGP ~ Sorry, Gotta Go Poop
TTYL ~ Talk To You Louder
WAITT ~ Who Am I Talking To?
WTFA ~ Wet The Furniture Again
WTP ~ Where’s The Prunes?
WWNO ~ Walker Wheels Need Oil
GGLKI ~ Gotta Go, Laxative Kicking In
NCDCWPH ~ Never confuse denture cream with preparation H

• Stress Tip For The Day:
Find something today that makes you laugh. Remember the quota of optimal laughs per days is 15, so once you find something funny, keep looking for the other 14.

• Quote for the Day:
“I usually lump organized religion, organized labor, and organized crime together. The Mafia gets points for having the best restaurants.” ~Dave Beard

• Photo of the Day:
I found these guys texting at a ski resort on Seniors Day, perhaps some of the items from the list above?

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.

Ireland Calling: 2011 Trip to the Emerald Isle

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Ireland is a country rich in culture, history and music, yet there is a mystical essence that cannot be described in words. It must be felt in the heart through the landscape, the music, the stories and the land itself. It is this essence that we will capture on the Spirit of Ireland Journey. Not just a simple vacation to a pretty place, the theme of this journey is one of healing; healing the energetic ley lines (meridian points at various Celtic sacred sites, known as “faerie lines” in Ireland); helping to restore the healing energies of these sacred sites and offering compassion in action through daily meditations and reflections. We will visit and hold healing ceremonies at the Drombeg stone circle (County Cork) to the Poulnabrone Dolmen in the Burren region of County Clare and a great many sacred sites in between. We will also enjoy the beauty of the Irish culture and the spirit of Celtic traditions found in the music—LOTS of great music! The southwest region of Ireland is renowned the world over for its stunning beauty and Celtic charm. People often say that traveling to Ireland is like stepping back in time to a land steeped in rich culture, history and spirituality; a less rushed lifestyle in a magical setting, where people meet you with a smile and a twinkle in their eye. Nearly everyone who went last year said this trip was a “life-changing” event in their lives and the friendships forged will last a lifetime. Who Should Come? Any and all people interested in a spiritual adventure to the Emerald Isle, specifically those who wish to travel with like-minded companions and healers interested in participating in a magical journey of Celtic spirituality, Celtic music and Celtic history. Our local tour guides are the best in Ireland and know exactly how to create the magical alchemy we desire for a most memorable experience. You don’t have to be of Irish heritage to enjoy this trip, but those who claim Irish ancestry will be smiling for years to come. Space is limited to 22 beautiful like-minded souls.

• Stress Tip For The Day:
We have just a few coveted spaces open for the 2011 Spirit of Ireland trip (nicknamed Ruins, Runes and Tunes), and we would love to have you join us… Not only will this trip be a great vacation retreat, but a chance to unplug from the world (as you know it) and even practice some stress management skills with your host (e.g., guided meditations, music therapy (Celtic music, of course), guided imagery, support groups, etc, etc….really!) Consider joining us….and start packing your bags…

• Links/Books/Movies Worth Noting:
All the information you need about this year’s trip can be found on the link below:
http://www.brianlukeseaward.net/tripstoireland.html

And…here is a partial list of recommended movies to get you in the Irish mood:
1. Waking Ned Divine
2. Ryan’s Daughter
3. Into the West

4. The Secret of Roan Inis
5. My Left Foot

• Quote for the Day:
My Godmother, Pat O’Connor, passed along this Irish Blessing for today’s quote:

May the sun always shine on your window pane,
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain,

May the hand of a friend always be near you,
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you,

May your blessings be many to the sunshine above you

May your life bring you gladness and always, God love you.

Photo of the Day:
One stop on our tour is to St. Brigit’s Well, an earthen spring recognized with healing qualities of the spring waters that dates back over a thousand years. Celtic lore recognizes the sacred feminine, and St. Brigit symbolizes this, just one aspect of our healing journey.

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.

Stress & Memory

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Have you noticed how easy it is to forget things these days? When the mind is overwhelmed with sensory stimulation (and these days, who’s isn’t?) short term memory is compromised, sometimes greatly! Simply stated, everybody, regardless of their age, seems to be having beaucoup “senior moments.” Experts suggest that technology doesn’t really help much with memory retention. People who use GPS devices often become too reliant on them for second and third trips to the same place, rather than committing the route to memory. Google, the bottomless pit of information, makes retrieval so easy that people often fail to remember what they looked up knowing they can return to look it up again. Spell check is has made everybody lazy spellers. And…anyone who has lost their cell phone call tell you the horrors of not committing phone numbers to memory. As it turns out, memory, particularly short-term memory, is one of the first casualties of stress. When the mind is focus on fight or flight, even at the unconscious level, this is where all one’s attention is really focused. Everything else is deemed useless. So, when you combine a stressed lifestyle with abundant use of technology, it would stand to reason that one’s memory can be greatly compromised. This in turn, can create more stress, and the cycle just keeps turning. Memory, more specifically, memorization, is just one facet of mental well-being: The ability to gather, process, recall and communication information.

• Stress Tip For The Day:
How is your memory these days? Is your youg life filled with senior moments? Time for some mental gymnastics! To keep a sharp mind, make it a point to work on your short term memory: Memorize people’s phone numbers. Memorize your credit card number. Memorize lyrics to a new song or a favorite poem. There are stories of people in survival situations who tapped into the power of memorization (e.g., mathematical problems, violin concertos, etc.) and credit this skill with saving their lives. The brain is the mind’s first organ of choice, so take good care of the grey matter between your ears, including avoiding toxins like Aspartame and MSG. Fish oils (Omega 3’s and 6’s) are really good for brain cells, too. And the latest research suggests that regular cardiovascular physical exercise is excellent, not only for physical health, but mental well-being as well; including improving memory.

• Links/Books/Movies Worth Noting:
If you have an interest in learning more about improving memory, please check out these websites:
http://helpguide.org/life/improving_memory.htm
http://curiosity.discovery.com/topic/memory/10-ways-to-improve-memory.htm

• Quote for the Day:
One of the first things I had to memorize in school was Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken. I can still recite it 45 year later…, so in honor of all the great teachers who taught (and teach) memorization as a form of mental well-being, here goes:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Photo of the Day:
With another group trip to Ireland scheduled in June (16-26), Dan (our musical troubadour) and I are going to learn some new Irish ballads (and that will require some strong memorization skills, believe me!) In honor of this feat, today’s image is a photo of the rocks of Slea Head on the Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, Ireland. 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.

Practice The Golden Rule

By | From Fear to Compassion, Life Coaching Tips for stress Management | No Comments

Love your neighbor as yourself. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Treat others as you wish to be treated. Bestow compassion on all individuals. The Golden Rule is considered to be the “golden standard” of human behavior; a lofty ideal, but hardly unreachable. There was a time, not long ago, where The Golden Rule was taught to all people, from all countries, all religions, all languages; taught by parents, taught by preachers, taught by wisdom keepers. There are many people today, particularly young people, who have never even heard of The Golden Rule. Today the Golden Rule has been replaced with the slogans: “Every man for himself,” “He or she who shouts loudest is right” and “It’s all about me!” Enter the age of narcissism. In light of the recent shootings in Tucson, AZ last weekend, human behavior, particularly uncivil behavior, is finally being questioned in the media (well, in some corners of the media). One person to champion the practice of The Golden Rule is British Theologian, Karen Armstrong. Karen is a recent recipient of the TED award. Her goal: to create a charter of compassion. Her reason; to move the global community out of despair and narcissism toward compassion and community building.

• Stress Tip For The Day:
As young children, our hearts are open to a loving world. As we mature into adulthood, we learn to close our hearts as a means of protection. Yet, that which protects in the short term fosters selfish and narcissistic behavior in the long term. Simply stated, it is ego that derails any effort to practice The Golden Rule. The stress tip for today is to reopen your heart and domesticate the ego. To do this effectively, you must first ask yourself what thoughts, perceptions, attitudes and beliefs (right or wrong) have narrowed the passage of compassion that streams from your heart space. Practicing The Golden Rule means taking the high road with human behavior. It means treating others with respect. Everyone! The first step when taking the high road is opening your heart.

• Links/Books/Movies Worth Noting:
Here are two links highlighting Karen Armstrong and her efforts to re-introduce The Golden Rule to Humanity.

http://www.npr.org/2011/01/10/132809627/concrete-ways-to-live-a-compassionate-life

http://www.ted.com/talks/karen_armstrong_makes_her_ted_prize_wish_the_charter_for_compassion.html

• Quote for the Day:
“Jesus said, love your enemies. He didn’t say don’t have any.” —Joseph Campbell

Photo of the Day:
Today’s photograph, a butterfly, is a symbol of transformation, rising above mediocrity to our highest human potential.

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.

Food Energy: Is Your Food Really Dead?

By | stress and nutrition | No Comments

I was over at a friend’s house one evening for dinner and the topic of food preparation came up. It was noted how much of our food is “processed” these days. Someone made a comment regarding the energy of food, and we all took notice. Fresh fruits and vegetables are considered to have vital energy; there is vitality to the taste, more importantly, the nutrients. The same cannot be said for processed food, which not only strips the vitamins and minerals, but often the “vital energy” of the food itself. Take instant potatoes as an example. While these certainly contain calories, the vital energy is gone. Dead food! The same can be said for nearly all processed and packaged foods. The term often used is “empty calories.” Fresh foods are nutrient dense and energy rich. It is for this reason why nutrition experts suggest to only shop around the perimeter of the grocery store. The shelf life of fresh foods and veggies isn’t very long, because the vital energy doesn’t linger. Conversely, processed foods can have a very long shelf life; weeks, months, even years in some cases. Dead food! These days we place more attention on the convenience of food, and taste (fat, salt and sugar) rather than on the energetic qualities of food—to our own detriment. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that as the quality of food decreases in our country, the incidence of chronic diseases increases. At what point does convenience undermine one’s health? In the words of Ben Franklin, don’t be “penny wise and pound foolish.”

• Stress Tip For The Day:
When you shop for food, do you shop primarily for convenience? How much of the food that you buy is processed foods, junk foods, comfort foods? How many meals do you “prepare” rather than nuke in a microwave? Perhaps the real question is: How dead is your food? How empty are the calories you are eating? These are important questions to ask yourself when you consider your own health habits. Tonight (and perhaps as often as you can) make a meal from scratch! Join the slow food movemen— from preparation to eating. Invest in your health!

• Links/Books Worth Noting:
For more information please check out these links:

http://www.whfoods.com/foodstoc.php

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=george&dbid=81

http://www.goodhealthinfo.net/food_and_energy.htm

• Quote for the Day:
“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.”— Julia Child

Photo of the Day:
A photo of fresh potatoes. I learned years ago that potatoes are the number one veggie eaten in America… as French fries in fast food joints. There are so many other ways to enjoy potatoes. Give it a try!

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.

Detachment: Cutting Your Losses

By | Life Coaching Tips for stress Management | No Comments

Wisdom keepers the world over remind us to detach from our expectations. Many words or phrases are used to encourage us to practice this ageless wisdom: release, cleanse, let go, detach, and cut your losses. The ego can become very protective of our ambitions, occasionally sabotaging our best efforts. The last thing the ego wants to do is let go. The ego lives under the illusion that holding on is where the strength is. Often the ego holds on to the point of choking the human spirit. Cutting your losses begins with an objective look at the situation and taking stock of all gains and losses. Often, the ego hangs on to losses as a means of control. An example might include holding a grudge, seeking revenge, staying in a toxic relationship or prolonged grieving. Expectations, perceptions, attitudes can become dead weights around the neck. Dead weights make you sink. Learning to detach from an emotional situation is a skill, and like any skill, it takes practice. Cutting your losses (a term often used in the business world, but aptly applied to one’s personal life) means dump the dead weights around your neck and swim to the surface. Cutting your losses is the first step toward emotional freedom. As the expression goes, “How can our dreams fly when they are tethered to the ground?”

Stress Tip for the Day:
Step outside yourself for a moment and take a good look at yourself— as objectively as you can (try to see yourself as a stranger or colleague might see you upon). Are there things in your life that you are holding on to that have become deadweights around your neck? Are there things you are holding on to that in all honesty, are casualties of a bruised ego? Begin to make a list of things in your life that you are a little too closely associated with. It might be your house, a job, a financial decision, perhaps even a (toxic) relationship. Weigh the pros (gains) and cons (losses). Pick one aspect of your life and begin to lighten the load. Remember this sage advice: Nature abhors a vacuum. Whatever you let go of, will often be replaced by something of equal or greater value.
And, as the expression goes, pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

Links, Books & Movies Worth Noting:
I googled the expression ‘cutting your losses” and came up with a host of different links, including the following: If these might be of interest, take a peek.

http://www.paulstips.com/brainbox/pt/home.nsf/link/11122006-If-you-find-yourself-in-a-hole-the-first-thing-to-do-is-stop-digging

http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/knowing-when-to-cut-your-losses-and-call-it-quits/

http://www.examiner.com/la-in-los-angeles/5-steps-to-cutting-your-losses-a-dead-end-relationship

Photo for the Day:
Today’s photo was taken a few weeks ago on Hanalei Bay, Kauai. Enjoy!

Quote for the Day:
“Sometimes walking away is avoidance. Other times, walking away is salvation. It’s always best to know the difference.” — 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.

New Beginnings: Two Steps Forward

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It’s natural to want to make improvements, if not major corrections, in our lives. The climb for self-improvement to reach our highest potential is as old as time itself. Making changes is not always easy, however. It takes a strong idea coupled with desire, will power and foresight to see the desired outcome. Much of stress management falls in the domain of “behavior modification,” changing negative thoughts and behaviors into positive ones, which in turn, promote optimal health and wellbeing. The start of each year is ideal for making a course correction in our lives, but there are countless times to initiate positive behavior changes, such as the start of each month, the start of each week, even the start of each day. As the expression goes, “there is no time like the present.” Often, people who are ready for a change, want a complete life-makeover. Yet, changing many behaviors all at once can be a recipe for failure. Experts suggest making one change at a time until it becomes second nature. Then move on to and conquer the next goal. These days making positive healthy lifestyle changes also requires healthy boundaries and perhaps a frequent unplugging from cultural norms that do nothing to assist you in your efforts (e.g., television ads that use subtle unconscious messages to derail one’s best efforts). You can do it. Take a deep breath, and place one foot forward with your eye on the goal. Keep moving, even if it seems you are taking baby steps. This is how dreams are achieved.

• Stress Tip For The Day:
Eating habits, finances, sleep habits, technology habits and relationships; the directions for positive life changes are many, leading people to become overwhelmed quickly. So pick one, just one. Where do you feel like your life needs the biggest correction factor? Take a moment and then see yourself having accomplished the goal. Creative an image in your mind of how you wish to be; a new and improved you. As the expression goes, “As if becomes as is.” If need be, ask a few close friends to give you moral support. Remember, even if you feel like you are backsliding occasionally, this is all part of the process. Two steps forward…..

• Links/Books/Movies Worth Noting:
Having just watched the movie, The King’s Speech, I felt compelled to list it here as a recommendation, if nothing more, as a personal reminder that the quest for self-improvement isn’t always quick nor easy, but the intangible reward of success is the sweetest taste of life’s victory. I highly recommend this film. Best of luck with your goals and aspirations during the start of this auspicious year.

• Quote for the Day:
“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” —Anonymous

• Photo of the Day:
This photo was taken at sunrise in Florida on January 1, 2011, a nice reminder that each day is a new beginning, bringing us closer to our highest potential. 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.