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Monthly Archives

February 2011

Chew Yer Food!

By | stress acid reflux behavioral changes | No Comments

There is an epidemic of heartburn these days, and although on one hand, there is much to be upset about, the source of this health problem is found within. While there are many causes of acid reflux, the primary reason is that so many people swallow their food WITHOUT chewing. The mouth, specifically the teeth and saliva, begins the digestion process before the “foodstuff” (an actual nutrition term) is passed down into the stomach where the remainder of digestion primarily takes place. The stomach secretes hydrochloric acid to break down these food particles (particularly proteins), but if the food you consume is inhaled, whizzing gently by the teeth, then the stomach has to secrete much more acid and here is where problems ensue. Interestingly, when questioned, some people indicate that chewing in front of others doesn’t look “polite”. Others say that swallowing, rather than chewing, makes holding a conversation easier. Still others say they don’t have time! The consequence of repeated bouts of acid reflux can burn the lining of the throat and even the mouth. Speculation suggests that acid reflux may be a precursor to throat cancer. Stress is a precursor to poor eating habits. The take home message is this: Chew your food before swallowing (experts recommend 20 bites before swallowing). Chewing your food also allows you to actually taste it, something the Slow Food Movement highly recommends.

Stress Tip for the Day:
Do you suffer from heartburn, more commonly knows as acid reflux? Have you ever woken at night to a backwash of acid moving up from your stomach? If so, are you aware of how well you chew your food? Wolfing down food is just another symptom of a stressed society, where people feel they cannot afford the time to eat a relaxing meal. Instead they multitask, shortchanging their health! Not Good! Eating on the run (including inhaling your food) may seem convenient, but in the long run, it may be just one more factor leading to an early demise. There are also some foods to avoid like chocolate (see links worth noting below ). Even if you don’t suffer from acid reflux, it’s always a good idea to chew all the food you place in your mouth. Physicians are all too quick to write an Rx, but please consider some alternatives. In addition to chewing your food, there is a great herbal remedy (from Gaia Herbs) called Relfux Relief (I make no money promoting this product!)

Links/Books/Movies Worth Noting:
Acid Reflux, obviously, is a lot more complicated than space here allows to explain, which is why I wanted to include some links with more information:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=fightdz&dbid=14
http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/foods-that-cause-acid-reflux/
http://www.rodale.com/topic/acid-reflux

Quote for the Day:
“I would like to find a stew that will give me heartburn immediately, instead of at three o clock in the morning. ” — John Barrymore

Photo for the Day:
Based on today’s theme it seemed only fitting today to have a photo of wolves. Wolves are great to look at, but please, don’t imitate their eating behaviors (wink).

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 Art of Subtraction: Good Time Management Skills

By | Life coaching skills, Time Management | No Comments

With the waves of technology hitting our personal shores there are so many things that can “steal” our attention and precious time. Yes, it’s fun to see what’s been posted on YouTube or Facebook. Yes, answering emails has become a chore. Yes, the new Ipad is a sensation (particularly with color), but all of these activities take time, and there is only so much time in the day. No app is ever going to change this. It has been suggested that these e-toys are so alluring that people are taking them to bed to play/use. Despite all the advances of technology, one thing that technology hasn’t done is add more hours to the day. We still only have 24 hours, 8 of which we are essential for sleep. People, in an effort to have more screen time, are shaving off minutes, even hours off of precious sleep time. Not Good! One of the first rules in time management is to see where precious time is slipping away. Experts call these acts, “time robbers,” because they steal quality time away from family, friends, jobs, marriages and personal time. Procrastination, while still a time robber, has taken a back seat to tech time (also known as screen addictions). Life imitates art as people become cast members of TRON falling into cyberspace and not being able to get back out easily. The art of subtraction suggests to start cutting back on those things that steal time away from you each day. Rather than adding something new to the mix and feeling choked at the end of the day, be emboldened to subtract something that is stealing time from your life and quality of life.

Stress Tip for the Day:
Time to start subtracting. What are your time robbers? Who are your time robbers (yes, they can be people too!) The average person watches 20-30 hours of television a week (that’s almost a full time job!) Do you multitask (eat dinner while checking email or talk on the phone while surfing the Internet)? Take inventory of your life and see what are the real time robbers in your life. The make a plan to create heathly boundaries to pull the reins in on your life.

Links/Books/ Movies Worth Noting:
There is no shortage of information on the webs about time management.
Here is one of many links:
www.uic.edu/orgs/wisest/initiatives2/…/Time%20management%20tips.pdf

Quote for the Day:
“I am definitely going to take a course on time management… just as soon as I can work it into my schedule.” – Louis E. Boone

Photo for the Day:
Not a photo, but a powerful image of trying to control time. 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.

Lyme Disease and Stress

By | Lyme disease and stress | One Comment

On a recent trip to Burlington, Vermont, I happen to reunite with a friend I hadn’t seen in about 20 years. After smiles and a bear hug, we sat down to talk and got caught up on our lives. “Stress,” she said, “Boy do I know stress!” I quickly learned how my friend’s life had been consumed with an assortment of maladies. In an effort to get to the bottom of the problem, she was sent to a Lyme Disease specialist in Connecticut (smart move). In a matter of days the diagnosis came back positive. Lyme Disease, a bacterial infection thought to be carried and transmitted by deer tics, can mimic a great many health related problems, including fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and a great many others. In fact, Lyme Disease is called “the great imitator disease.” Having Lyme Disease is VERY stressful! While your body is fighting this bacterial infection, unrelenting waves of fatigue are draining to mind, body and spirit. It can become a vicious cycle, because stress (specifically cortisol) can decrease the efficiency of the immune system, thereby making it harder to combat and rectify the problem. According to Dr. Mercola’s website, Lyme Disease can be spread by mosquitoes and other insects, not just deer tics. Lyme Disease is now recorded in nearly all 50 states.

Stress Tip of the Day:
Do you feel lethargic and don’t know why? If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, rheumatoid, Crones Disease, arthritis or any other disease that involves aches and pains (or if you know of anyone who has), consider having a test done for Lyme disease. Since Lyme disease is extremely “under reported” it’s likely that your physician may not think to test for it, unless you ask. Even then, consider finding an expert on Lyme Disease (starting with physicians in Connecticut, who know this disease well).

Links/Books/Movies Worth Noting:
Information is your best asset in learning what may be the cause of a specific ailment. The Internet is chock-full of information. Here are some recommended web sites.
http://www.medicinenet.com/lyme_disease/article.htm
http://www.canlyme.com/patsymptoms.html
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2001/07/25/lyme-disease-part-two.aspx

Quote for the Day:
“It is not a rare disease, it is epidemic. It is not just tick-borne; it can also be transmitted by other insects, including fleas, mosquitoes and mites — and by human-to-human contact. Neither is Lyme usually indicated by a bull’s-eye rash; this is found in only a minority of cases. And, except when it is diagnosed at a very early stage, Lyme is rarely cured by a simple course of antibiotics. Finally, Lyme is not just a disease that makes you “tired and achy” — it can utterly destroy a person’s life and ultimately be fatal.” — Dr. Mercola

Photo for the Day:
It seemed only natural to include a photo of a deer today since the primary carriers for Lyme disease are thought to be deer tics. From what little research I have uncovered, this disease was initially diagnosed in Lyme, CT, hence the name, though cases have been reported in all 50 states. This mule deer was photographed outside my front door last year.

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.

Thursday Morning Humor

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

In a stress filled world, people can take themselves WAY too seriously. Every now and then it’s important to add some humor to the mix and lighten one’s emotional load. Here are some jokes to get you on your way. Enjoy!

This is the bell curve of life:
At age 4 success is… not peeing in your pants
At age 12 success is…. having friends
At age 16 success is…. having a driver’s license
At age 20 success is…. having sex
At age 30 success is…. having money
At age 50 success is…. having money
At age 60 success is…. having sex
At age 70 success is…. having a driver’s license
At age 75 success is…. having friends
At age 80 success is…. not peeing in your pants!

A lesson in high finance
A gentleman walks into a bank in New York City and asks for the loan
officer. He says he is going to Europe on business for two weeks and
needs to borrow $5,000.

The bank officer says the bank will need some kind of security for such a loan. So the gentleman hands over the keys to a new Rolls Royce parked on the street in front of the bank. Everything checks out, and the bank agrees to accept the car as collateral for the loan. An employee drives the Rolls into the bank’s underground garage and parks it there.

Two weeks later, the gentleman returns, repays the $5,000 and the interest, which comes to $15.41. The loan officer says, “We are very happy to have had your business, and this transaction has worked out very nicely, but we are a little puzzled. While you were away, we checked you out and found that you are a multimillionaire. What puzzles us is why would you bother to borrow $5,000?” The gentleman replied, “Where else in New York can I park my car for two weeks for 15 bucks?”

No $#%! Sherlock!
“Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson go on a camping trip. After a good dinner, they retire for the night, and go to sleep.

Some hours later, Holmes wakes up and nudges his faithful friend. “Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”

“I see millions and millions of stars, Holmes” exclaims Watson.

“And what do you deduce from that?”

Watson ponders for a minute.

“Well, astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Hourologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful, and that we are a small and insignificant part of the universe. What does it tell you, Holmes?”

Holmes replied: “Watson, you idiot, it means that somebody stole our tent.”

• Stress Tip For The Day:
Try and find one thing humorous today… and every day! If these jokes didn’t do the trick, you can start with these two video clips below…

• Links/Books Worth Noting:
Here are some links to some funny video clips. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vx6i4G7LfM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_MaJDK3VNE&feature=player_embedded

• Quote for the Day:
“Don’t knock on death’s door. Ring the door bell and run like hell. He hates that.” —Anonymous

• Photo of the Day: I took this photo while on a trip to Turkey last summer, outside the entrance to the ancient Greek city of Ephesus (I think they’re missing a comma!) 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.

Earth Songs Documentary Wins Award

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

I am elated to announce that Earth Songs received the Award of Excellence at the Indie Fest of 2010. The statue arrived in the mail today. Much better than a statue, however, are some of the accolades from viewers of Earth Songs that I would like to share with you.

For those of you in the Boulder area, there will be a command performance screening on April 8th with live music from some of the musicians who recorded tracks for the films score, (contact me for details at brianlukes@cs.com)

“Dear Luke, Thank you so much for this beautiful Earth Songs DVD. I am really enjoying it. As a stage IV cancer patient, it brings me lots of healing and relaxation.” —Sue, Q.

“Dr. Seaward, I thought you might like to know that Earth Songs Meditation is included as part of our Wounded Warriors program with the US Army and extremely well received among soldiers with PTSD and TBI. On behalf of the US ARMY, thank you very much for this wonderful Rx for relaxation.” — Roddy S.

“Hi Brian – I am a hospice volunteer and do Comfort Touch for patients and their families. It is gentle touch of the hands and feet. Recently my patient’s wife played your DVD “Earth Songs” during our Comfort Touch session. She indicated it was being played in hospitals and for hospice. He speaks very little. My patient was totally mesmerized with the DVD. He watched the DVD during the whole session. Between Comfort Touch and the DVD he was very calm and relaxed. It worked very well. The images are beautiful and the music very calming and relaxing. I also use this for myself at the end of the day and find it very relaxing and calming after a very stressful workday. Thank you for producing such beautiful DVD’s for people in a very difficult time in their lives can help them deal with illness and transitioning. They are also very good for stress reduction. Namaste” — Pam Morgan

For those of you who might to take a peek at the trailers, please clink on (or cut and paste) the link below.

http://www.brianlukeseaward.net/earthsongs.html

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Love From A Distance

By | healthy boundaries, healthy life coaching skills | One Comment

During dinner with a good friend of mine last week, the conversation turned to her family. I was quickly briefed on the status of her three grown stepchildren, the youngest of whom has serious anger issues and problems with substance abuse. Years of family counseling appeared to provide no relief from the quagmire of conflicting personalities and childhood wounds. Without going into details, the level of toxicity over the holidays reached epic proportions and took it’s toll on everyone. It was at this point in the conversation I brought up the idea of healthy boundaries and the concept of “loving from a distance.” It could be argued that one reason for our earthly existence is to resolve issues in an effort to form and keep healthy relationships. Simply stated, we are here to learn to love unconditionally (this is no small task). But what happens when somebody wears the label of victim and sabotages all efforts for a healthy relationship with violence, abuse and childish behavior? Enter the concept of “Love from a distance.” Loving from a distance means to maintain a loving relationship yet with strong boundaries. Strong physical boundaries allow the space for healthy emotional boundaries. Once these physical boundaries are in place, this might include sending cards and short letters rather than any kind of get-togethers. Loving from a distance means keeping your heart open, but protected so than no harm may enter. You cannot disown your family when alcohol, drugs, in-laws, violence or other factors become toxic to your heart space, but you can keep a healthy boundary and express love from a distance.

Stress Tip for the Day:
Find 5-10 minutes today and sit quietly focusing on your heart space. Breath in and out as if the inhalation and exhalation originate from your heart rather than your mouth or nose. As you exhale, send a thought and feeling toward someone whom you feel has become toxic to your emotional environment. If it helps, imagine a rainbow from your heart to their heart. Learn to send love from a distance with those who’s close proximity becomes a toxin to the spirit.

Links/Books/Movies Worth Noting:
Here are a few links with some great information on healthy boundaries:

http://serenityonlinetherapy.com/healthyboundaries.htm

http://www.livestrong.com/article/14718-building-healthy-boundaries/

Quote for the Day:
“Appropriate boundaries create integrity.” —Anonymous

Photo for the Day:
While hiking the Inca trail last year, I took this photo of a man looking down over the valley to the next range of mountains. Talk about “from a distance.” 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.

Empowerment: Don’t Give Your Power Away

By | Uncategorized | One Comment

Athletes, movie stars, debutantes, politicians. We live in a celebrity culture where names and faces repeatedly grab the headlines, often as a distraction from more important news. An interesting poll was taken recently of young people who were asked what profession they would love to have. The majority responded by saying “working for a celebrity,” to be near the excitement. They might want to aim their sights a littler higher, in fact, much higher. In stress management circles, there is an expression we use that states: “Don’t give your power away.” It means that rather than focusing on the importance or notoriety of others, take time to cultivate your highest potential. Giving your power away goes well beyond celebrities. People often give their power away when angry, giving credence to the expression, “He who angers you, conquers you.” Empowerment is a component of self-esteem. Empowerment is the cultivation of your inner resources to accomplish personal goals and reach for the stars (rather than reading about others who did themselves.) Empowerment, as a stress management skill, is in short supply these days because people eagerly give it away. Learn a lesson from the wisdom keepers…don’t give your power away.

Stress Tip of the Day:
Are you someone who gives your power away? How many of your conversations center around the lifestyles of celebrities? How much of your time and energy is focused on professional sports or the Hollywood elite? Polititicans even.? Spending time with tabloids and talk shows might be entertaining, but are you giving your power away to the celebrity culture? Does your self-esteem need a booster shot? Time to take stock of your life and redirect your energies inward. It’s time to step up to meet your highest potential. It’s time to reclaim your personal power and use it accordingly. The world needs heroes, not celebrities.

Links/Books/Movies Worth Noting:
Her are a few links about the topic of empowerment:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empowerment
http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/treatment/empower.htm

Quote of the Day:
“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.”— Mahatma Gandhi

Photo of the Day:
The “Rocky pose” is the pose of victory, success, empowerment. It is the moment of euphoria when a goal is achieved. This truly is empowerment. I caught this moment while doing some winter hiking with a friend recently …. 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.

Name Your Joy!

By | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Calamta Olives on pesto cover pasta. Sharing a great conversation with close friends. Walking the beach at Hanalei bay, Kauai. Surfing the waves in Hawaii’s north shore! The scent of balsam pine needles. An early morning cup of Earl Grey tea. Downhill skiing at Copper Mountain. A cold coffee milkshake on a hot summer’s day. The Big Dipper. Discovering a new piece of great classical music. A friend of mine who is a massage therapist in the Chicago area begins each massage session with her hand on the client’s shoulder speaking these words: “Name your joy!” She confided in me once that nearly every person who comes in for a massage cannot name anything! She said, “If you cannot name your joy, how can you live it?” Joy and happiness are considered the positive emotions. Eutress is the good stress that by and large, we don’t get enough of. The best definition of emotional well-being suggests that it is the ability to feel and express the full range of human emotions, and to control them, not be controlled by them. Today many people ARE controlled by their emotions, primarily the stress emotions of anger and fear. This is not good! Living your joy may seem like a simple activity, but it truth, it’s a frame of mind, and one that you can adopt in the blink of an eye! Name your joy!

Stress Tip for the Day:
OK, so… start naming your joy. Begin by making a list of all those things that bring a smile to your face and a glow to your heart. Include one from of each of the five senses and be as specific as possible. Make sure that several of these items are free (meaning they don’t cost a lot of money). When you get done (be sure to include at least 10 things), post this list somewhere where you can see it regularly (e.g., computer, cork board, bathroom mirror, fridge, etc.). Naming your joy is the first step to living your joy!

Links/Books/ Movies Worth Noting:
I have already mentioned this book, but it is so good, it bears repeating… The Geography of Bliss, by Eric Weiner. It’s a great read about the pursuit of happiness. And… its funny.
I had the pleasure to see the movie, The Return Home, over the weekend. Based on the book, The Long Walk Home, which I also highly recommend, it depicts several men’s survival story in their attempt to escape from a Siberian prison during WWII. AMAZING!

Quote for the Day:
“Praise is the sound that joy makes.” — Matthew Fox

Photo for the Day:
One of my many joys is surfing in Hawaii. This isn’t a photo of me, even on a good day (I simply took this photo) but seeing other surf in Hawaii also brings joy to my heart. 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.