Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 3

December 20th, 2013

Table of contents for Minimize Holiday Stress

  1. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 1
  2. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 2
  3. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 3

Take advantage of these GREAT tips to reduce common stresses in holiday family gatherings!

(From the archives to help you have a stress-free, enjoyable holiday season!)

[This is Part 3 of a 3 part post.  If you missed Part 1 on tips to deal with “3 types of difficult people,” or Part 2 on “tips to cope with difficult relatives,” you may use the above series link to read them.  The tips in this series are excerpts from 3 different authors. Please use the reference links to read their full articles.]

Dealing with Difficult Relatives for the Holidays by Kate Zabriskie, Business Training Works, Inc., offers these tips to reduce conflicts with your relatives. These are only excerpts. Use the link in the footnotes to read her full article.

1. Whatever the reason is that you are with your holiday crew, you are not obligated to call up feelings you don’t have.

2. Be civil no matter what. The last thing you want is for your negative reaction to overshadow the initial offense.

3. Figure out a couple of ways that you might rein in your reaction ahead of time. [Remember past irritations or confrontations by your relatives and come up with a plan of action or response to keep yourself calm, change the subject, and divert the attention.]

4. Consider journaling [rather than venting your feelings to your friends.]

5. Downtime is the smell of opportunity to difficult relatives. Your holidays will run more smoothly if there are plenty of activities to fill gaps. [games, walks, etc.]

6. Plan an entry and exit time, as well as a date for yourself, if you are going to someone else’s house. Do the same if a group is coming to yours. For example, “Bob and I would like you to come for Thanksgiving. If you could arrive between 11:00 and noon on Thursday that would give us time to get everything ready for you. We’ve also planned a big breakfast for Friday before everyone leaves.

7. Think about inviting more people to your holiday. When there are fifty people in attendance, it is much more difficult for a diva to be a diva.

8. Focus on the kids. Babies and little kids don’t fully understand weird family dynamics. Most of the time, discussions about babies are usually fairly benign.

9. Focus on the less fortunate. If, for example, at Thanksgiving everyone brings a gift for Toys for Tots or some other charity group, part of your discussion will naturally revolve around that.

Use the link to read the full article by this author:

Dealing with Difficult Relatives for the Holidays, Kate Zabriskie, Business Training Works, Inc.

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Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 2

December 17th, 2013

Table of contents for Minimize Holiday Stress

  1. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 1
  2. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 2
  3. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 3

Take advantage of these GREAT tips to reduce common stresses in holiday family gatherings!

(From the archives to help you have a stress-free, enjoyable holiday season!)

[This is Part 2 of a 3 part post.  If you missed Part 1 on tips to deal with “3 types of difficult people,” you may use the above series link to read it.  The tips in this series are excerpts from 3 different authors. Please use the reference links to read their full articles.]

These tips to minimize your stress while spending holidays with the relatives are excerpts from E.K. Tirado’s article, Three Ways to Cope with Difficult Relatives During the Holidays. Use the link in the footnotes to read the full article.

1) Change what you can, and do not fret about what you can’t change. Too many times the cause of our stress derives from our need to change people. Accept the fact that you cannot control other peoples’ actions, but you can control how you react to them. Don’t come to any event with unrealistic expectations.

2) Stay close to the “normal” family member. There is often one family member who you can actually hold an intelligent conversation with…someone you feel pretty good being around. My advice: Hang around with this family member…..often. Finds ways to spend time with that person whether it’s taking a post-meal walk around the neighborhood, or playing a game (or two or three) of checkers. If you have absolutely NO “normal” family members, then invite a “normal” person to attend an occasion with you.

3) Give yourself an important job. “Remove” yourself from the situation by giving yourself an important job. For example,decide that this year you will be the official family photographer. If you’re not much of a photographer, then give yourself another important job like tending to the turkey, making fancy swans with the table napkins, running to the store for last minute food items, Do whatever it is you have to do to keep busy, while still continuing to interact with family.

Lastly, you simply have to accept the fact that you don’t have the ability to change people, they must change themselves. The one person you can change is yourself. You can change how you react to things, how you view things and how you ultimately deal with things.

In Part 3, we’ll post more tips for dealing with difficult relatives!

Use this link to read the full article:

Three Ways to Cope with Difficult Relatives During the Holidays, E.K. Tirado

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Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 1

December 13th, 2013

Table of contents for Minimize Holiday Stress

  1. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 1
  2. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 2
  3. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 3

Take advantage of these GREAT tips to reduce common stresses in holiday family gatherings!

[(From the archives to help you have a stress-free, enjoyable holiday season!)

Since the holiday season is so busy, I’m dividing these excerpts of tips for reducing stress at family gatherings from 3 different authors into 3 brief posts.  “Stay tuned” for Parts 2 and 3!]

These tips by Connie Ragen Green are excerpts from her holiday stress article, Dealing With The Three Types of Difficult People. Use the link in the footnotes to read her full article.

  • The person who won’t stop talking -The best thing you can do for this person is to just listen. See i there are others who will share this listening with you. Try asking them about something that you are also interested in.
  • The person who has to be right -The best way to handle this person is to praise them. They will beam like a young child when you compliment them.
  • The person who has to be the center of attention – Ask their opinion on something. They will enjoy the chance to tell you what they think and may even have some great ideas.

In Part 2, we’ll post tips for coping with those unusually difficult relatives!

Use this link to read the full article:

Dealing with 3 Types of Difficult People at Holiday Time, Connie Ragen Green

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Kindness: Have You Considered Committing a Random Act?

November 12th, 2013

When is the last time you committed the random act of kindness which we all value so dearly?

Gifting someone else’s life with an unexpected, and even undeserved, kindness is living at the peak of human character, achieving one of the most perfect elements of the human spirit. While most anyone believes that random acts of kindness are a part of the ultimate lifestyle and a thing a beauty in life, stress and busyness can prevent you from consistently thinking creatively enough to live out such acts in your own life.

People of great admiration throughout history have challenged us to each live a lifestyle of random acts of kindness.

I’m pasting a few quotes here from both secular and religious authors challenging us to commit random acts of kindness, with links to 2 sites of quotes which you will probably enjoy reading as well.

Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless. Mother Teresa

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profundity. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao-Tse

Remember there’s no such thing as a Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 2

October 29th, 2013

Table of contents for Goals: Where is Your Focus?

  1. Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 1
  2. Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 2

A main principle of success to focus more on your goal than the obstacles that come against you, or even the steps to achieve it. 

(This is Part 2 of a two part post in which we’ll share quotes from historical figures on goal focus, as well as how  focus affects your spiritual goals.  Part 1 of this post covered reasons, results, and benefits of focusing on your goal. If you missed Part 1 of this post, please click here to read Part 1 now.)

For generations, famous literary authors have encouraged people to “focus on the goal.”

Though Ralph Waldo Emerson is well-known for his quote, “Life is a journey, not a destination,” encouraging people to enjoy each day of life as opposed to only allowing oneself to enjoy achievements, he also promoted keeping one’s destination in view.

To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Orison Swett Marden, known for his philosophies on one’s thoughts influencing  life and circumstances, pointed out the determining factor in the success of focusing on the goal:

We advance on our journey only when we face our goal, when we are Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 1

October 25th, 2013

Table of contents for Goals: Where is Your Focus?

  1. Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 1
  2. Is Your Focus on the Goal or the Obstacles? Pt. 2

A main principle of success is to stay more focused on the goal than your present obstacles, or even the steps to reaching it.

I was reminded of this principle while working toward the completion of all the necessary seasonal responsibilities in my garden. I have quite extensive gardens with a large variety of plants, including over 30 antique rose bushes. Though I have always enjoyed gardening, this time of year’s seasonal requirements get very overwhelming as it takes about 3 months to complete due to other life responsibilities. The care and upkeep is probably too extensive for this time in life, but, when we designed and planted it 15 years ago, it was not possible to foresee the changes in career, family responsibilities, and physical energy that would take place in the future. It is a temptation to cause myself continual displeasure by solely viewing all the tasks yet undone rather than staying focused on the end result, or enjoying the present pleasures in my garden during the process of the oiling, fertilizing, pruning, and mulching to reach the goal; my garden will become a healthy, lush one that is a delight to the eyes and a joy to share with friends and family.

Here are some results of staying more focused on the end goal than the present obstacles or process:

1. You will maintain more steady levels of joy and fulfillment, knowing the end of the process will come; you will live the joy of the goal’s future fulfillment.

2. By having a clearer focus of your future goals/objectives, you will be more effective in Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Improving the Quality of Your Decisions

October 18th, 2013

Think of your future…What emotions are you experiencing at the thought of your future?

Take a look at this self-evaluation quote:

Picture your life twenty years from now. Have you ever wondered what your purpose in life is and what your future holds?… Does your current lifestyle predict that you will be happy and fulfilled, or disappointed and frustrated? Think about it. What does your bank account look like? How much retirement money have you set aside? How much debt do you owe? What are you doing to improve your health and well-being? How is your family really doing? The answers to these questions may be an indication that a few changes need to be made.(1- see below “8 Steps to Create the Life You Want”)

Were the emotions you experienced from reading these questions positive or negative? Emotions result from the thoughts you’ve been thinking. As a result, those emotions dramatically impact your decisions.

To improve the quality of your decisions, you must first improve the quality of the words you speak and think about your life.

Controlling the words that you speak and think about your life is a foundational Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Choose Your Thoughts, Choose Your Well-Being

September 27th, 2013

Regardless of the stresses you are facing, you have the power to choose your thoughts and, as a result, choose your well-being.

It may seem an illogical and impossible statement, but it is truth none-the-less.  Regardless of your circumstances, you choose your thoughts, and subsequently, your state of mind and personal well-being.  People throughout history have proven it true, usually in circumstances far worse than what most of us will ever experience.

One of my favorite examples is Dr. Viktor E. Frankl, whom I have mentioned before.  He is an Austrian Jew who was sent to a concentration camp with his family during World War II.

We who lived in concentration camps can remember men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Changing a Poverty Mindset

September 18th, 2013

States of mind or life perspectives are developed in one’s childhood environment and passed down from generation to generation.

I came across a great article on overcoming a poverty mindset by fellow SelfGrowth.com author and business professional, Melissa Zollo. The points in this post are excerpts from a lengthy article. She is a secular author (not religious) but makes many valid points. Please use the link here or below to read Melissa’s full article.

A poverty state of mind will cause you to see, hear, think, feel, and act in alignment with lack.

The Law of Attraction states that your thoughts and feelings create a force field of energy that radiates out from you and draws back into your life people, things, and situations in tune with them. In other words, you become what you believe and feel to be true.

8 Choices You Can Make Today that Will Change Your Habits and Influence Your Life:

Since the direction of our lives is primarily determined by the choices we make each and every day, I am offering you a selection of choices you can make — choices that will assist you in walking the road … the fulfillment of your dreams.

1. Choose a new mental diet. One of the most powerful activities you will ever participate in is uplifting self-talk. Instead of talking about what you are afraid of or worried about, decide to consciously choose words that are consistent with your financial goals.

2. Choose to activate your imagination. [Imagination] assists you to reimage/refocus/rebuild/rethink/ receive!

3. Choose to focus on your dreams and empower yourself. This sounds simple but many people only wish to experience wealth and success. They rarely choose to change their money habits.

4. Choose to plant seeds of hope, happiness, and harmony. You can opt to treat yourself as a Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Seeing is Believing, Or Is It?

September 13th, 2013

How firmly do you hold to the vision of your destiny when circumstances appear to be working against you?

We each want a clear path to our destinies; do you succumb to discouragement and doubt when you are unable to see the full path, or when people and situations keep saying, “It won’t happen!”?

First, it is necessary to be clear about your destiny.

Know your life’s purpose. Along life’s journey to fulfill that destiny, you have a wide variety of needs or goals you desire to reach, such as better health, more successful relationships or communication, freedom from debt, or career changes. These goals are important steps in fulfilling your destiny and the person you are meant to be. To avoid being swayed by doubts or opposition, you must first “know that you know” in your heart what your purpose for being is.

Second, you must determine to believe in your destiny.

No one else can believe it for you – a spouse or a parent – if you are going to withstand disappointments or setbacks. If you believe that this certain path or accomplishment truly is your destiny, then keep in mind Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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From Rejection to Self Esteem Part 2

August 27th, 2013

Table of contents for From Rejection to Self Esteem

  1. From Rejection to Self Esteem Part 1
  2. From Rejection to Self Esteem Part 2

In rejection recovery, realize that negative thoughts cannot be changed without replacing them with positive ones.

This is Part 2 of a 2 part post.  If you missed Part 1, please use the series link above to read it first as Part 1 covers the two initial steps for recovering from rejection.

To overcome the negativity that is overrunning your thought life as a result of the rejection, you must actively make yourself think on thoughts that will move you forward to the productive life you should be living. There are 3 main ways to replace thoughts of rejection.

1. Base your value on God’s value of you. With all the beauty that exists in creation, with all the billions of people, God still loves you and considers you precious and honored in His sight (Is. 43:4). Scripture describes that God saw your unformed body before you were born, already knew all the days of your life before it began, and that His thoughts of you outnumber the grains of sand–because He thinks so often about you. (Ps. 139:15-18) Throughout the up’s and down’s of life, it is essential that you base your value of yourself on the value God sees in you. This is the only way your value of yourself can remain constant. It cannot be based on people because people come and go in our lives, even if it is by death. Your value cannot be based on your career or other abilities because, one day, you will no longer be able to do those things.

2. Be your own cheerleader. This is a self-help tip that I’ve heard Joel Osteen say many times and it is worth repeating. Every day, get up in the morning and be your own cheerleader. Say good things about yourself to yourself! Speak to yourself about God’s value of you. Throughout the day, remind yourself of your value and your abilities. And, it doesn’t hurt to Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Depression Help – 4 Steps to Recovery

June 25th, 2013

Reading Level: Gratifying

Depression is the result of external pressure getting inside and weighing down your thoughts/emotions.

There is a depression that has its root in physical causes, such as a deficiency of certain naturally occurring chemicals in the brain, the 3 main ones being serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Sometimes, in mild cases, these chemicals can be replaced by protein drinks with tyrosine and phenalylanine. I read that the late Dr. Atkins has such a diet available. If you suspect you’re your depression is physically related rather than from circumstancial pressures, you may want to see your doctor for a blood test to determine a proper course of treatment. Probably the most common form of depression, however, is due to allowing the pressure of circumstances to conform one’s thoughts. I’ve mentioned this quote before, “Above all else, guard your heart [mind and will], for it is the wellspring of life (Prov. 4:23).” We must admit to the absolute necessity of controlling our thoughts for the wellbeing of our lives. Another passage says, “For as the thoughts of man’s heart are, so is he (Prov. 23:7).”

Thoughts form our emotions.

The other week I referred you to a new book out, called “Eight Steps to Create the Life You Want.” I quoted the premise for the chapters in this book of how the whole course of one’s life starts with the positive or negative words we speak; those words form our thoughts; our thoughts create emotions, etc. I’ll reference the post below if you still need to read it. The eight steps in this book illustrate how the whole direction of one’s life is altered by words, thoughts, and Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Believe You Deserve to be Well- Part 2

June 4th, 2013

Table of contents for Believe You Deserve to Be Well

  1. Believe You Deserve to be Well- Part 1
  2. Believe You Deserve to be Well- Part 2

What can practically be done about the past failures and guilt?

There are some simple steps you can daily implement to help you move past guilt.  (If you missed Part 1 of this 2-part post, please use the above series link. Part 1 explains what God Himself says about His compassionate, forgiving, uncomdemning nature to help you remove emotional hindrances in receiving the good He desires to bring into your life. This is heavier reading than most posts on this site but should help those of you struggling with guilt, condemnation, and other negative thought patterns that hinder healing. )

First, a reminder– as mentioned in Part 1, to receive healing it is only logical that all habits of a destructive lifestyle need to be left in the past.   Scripture refers to this as repentance, a 180 degree turn around. Otherwise, it is like the continually unsuccessful dieter who starves herself or himself for a couple of days, only to binge for several days thereafter. Next, as also mentioned in Part 1 of this post, just as God’s mercies toward us are new every morning we need to have mercy on ourselves and release the guilt of past failures. If God deems us worthy of such mercy, we can honestly show such mercy to ourselves.

But what about those who are plagued by guilt, not as much self-imposed, but from inaccurate childhood teachings about God that have left them with images of an angry, harmful, unforgiving God? If you suffer from harmful, inaccurate childhood teachings about God, it will take some discipline of focusing on truth to eradicate that input.

On the practical side, many people print out a list of verses such as covered in this article and spend sometimes even months of daily repeating out loud the truth God says about Himself, i.e., God’s continually renewing compassion, graciousness, desire for our wholeness and superabundant life in quality. Another beneficial verse along this line is Psalm 103:10, “He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.” If people have put into your mind as a child the image of God standing over you eagerly desiring to punish you for the slightest mistake, Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Believe You Deserve to be Well- Part 1

June 1st, 2013

Table of contents for Believe You Deserve to Be Well

  1. Believe You Deserve to be Well- Part 1
  2. Believe You Deserve to be Well- Part 2

Whether or Not You Believe You Deserve to be Well Greatly Affects All Aspects of Your Health!

Though it sounds like an absurd question, but medical science has proven that your mental perspective, what you think about yourself and God, has a great effect on physical, emotional, and spiritual health. (This is Part 1 of a 2-part post. It is heavier reading than most posts on this site but should help those of you struggling with guilt, condemnation, and other negative thought patterns that hinder healing. )

For the purpose of example, there is a particular area in the medical field in which the procedure actually brings back to one’s mind past emotional hurts that are causing current physical health problems. Brief, physical treatments are then done which actually remove the pent up emotion from that bad emotional experience which has been stored in the body. During the physical treatment, you are asked to state out loud phrases along the lines of, “I deserve to be healthy. I deserve to be free from allergies” etc. People are then cured of various recurring physical ailments once that stored negative emotion from a past experience was removed from the body.

Believing that you deserve to be well is just as necessary a perspective in the area of faith and the spiritual realm. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Envisioning Your Own Well-Being

May 24th, 2013

Reading Level: Leisurely

Are you your own worst enemy? Check what you believe  your life is destined for!

When you envision your present situation and then the rest of your life, what do you see? Do you see a life of continual lack, illness, struggle, and disappointments? Or instead, do you envision that you are destined for a good life, an effective, satisfying life? There is an old saying, “Be careful what you wish for.” Why do people say that? Because there is great power to your thoughts just as there is in your words. People who believe that they are destined for a satisfying, effective life are more aware of the right opportunities when they present themselves. Such people Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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