Do you find yourself feeling anxious or stressed? Maybe life isn't the way you expected and you aren’t sure how best to cope. Do you find yourself needing goals and a path toward the future? I know I have answered yes to these questions at different times in my life. Who hasn’t? These are typical life issues many of us struggle with daily.
Through my own life experiences I have found that there is always hope, and always an answer to our worries and concerns. The answers may not be what we want to hear, or we may not know how to find them, but they do exist. In our struggle with life issues we tend to either keep them to ourselves for fear of embarrassment or ridicule; or we turn to trusted friends who most likely also struggle with similar life issues. Few of us turn to professional help. Why?
Until recently, the only professional help available to us was to see a mental health counselor. There is nothing at all wrong with this option! But, the prospect of seeing a counselor can be intimidating, expensive, and mis-understood. Unfortunately,, mental health continues to be stigmatized. I wish it weren’t…Write comment (0 Comments)
Maybe it’s just me, but it appears that anger is the main emotion of our time. Yes, there is kindness, and I do meet people who are not angry; yet, of the people I meet, more display anger than who display kindness. I don't think my experience is abnormal.
In a study conducted a year ago, researchers Okuda, et al. discovered that 7.8% of the Americans they surveyed, 34,000 adults over the age of 18, found an overall prevalence of inappropriate, intense, or poorly controlled anger. That percentage may not seem high, but round out the numbers, and for every 34,000 adult Americans, 3,000 of them exhibit poorly controlled anger. (“Prevalence and correlates of anger in the community: results from a national survey.“ April 2015)
Why is there so much anger? We see it in the streets, in demonstrations, on social media, etc. I have my theories, but the focus of this article is not on the why, or the origin, of the anger. Rather, I write this article on anger from the perspective of mindfulness. In mindfulness we are urged to remain in the moment, non judgmentally. Following that suggestion, I don’t necessarily need to understand why…Write comment (0 Comments)
“All we have is the present moment. Focus on it; don't miss an experience by living outside of the current moment.” - Chris Shea
This time of the year, between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, is expected to typically be a time of joy, family gatherings, and the celebration of traditions. This is a time of the year when I reflect upon my childhood memories; memories filled with awe and wonder as the world seemed to be magical. Unfortunately, this time of the year is also one of increased stress due to all the activities we feel we need to do. Our wish to make this time of the year "perfect" increases our expectations, many of them unreasonable, causing us to overwork in our planning efforts.
"Preparing Christmas" Norman Rockwell
As a child I fondly recall watching the animated Christmas specials and reading all the Christmas books I could find. All of those stories not only have a positive ending, most of them depict a time of perfection. In these stories families gather and get along with each other, the house is majestically decorated, the dining room table set to rival the fanciest restaurant. My favorite American painter, Norman…Write comment (0 Comments)
Have you, like me, ever dreamt of becoming an Olympic athlete? As I watch the current Olympic Games the talents of the athletes never cease to amaze me! Knowing that I will never be a member of an Olympic team, yet I realize that I can still learn much from these Olympic champions. Their example of persistence and training encourages me to do the same in my daily life.
Jim Ochowicz, who competed in the 1972 Olympic Games and coached the 2000 and 2004 USA Olympic men’s professional road racing team, said in a 2008 Forbes interview: “People don’t know the process which [athletes] undertake in their individual sports to reach the Olympic level. You get there by sticking it out. There [are] a lot of people that try and give up.” This quote inspires me!
In life, here is what we can learn from Olympic athletes so that we can achieve greatness in our personal lives:
When I was a young child I was petrified of thunderstorms. Whenever a storm approached I would find a place to hide, plug my ears and pretend there was no storm. In fear I needed to stop reality. I was told by my parents that thunder couldn’t hurt me, but it sure sounded like it could. I was also told by my parents that the sound of the thunder was only the angels bowling in heaven, and although that conjured a comforting image, the next lightning bolt immediately stole away what little comfort I had. I am told, although I do not remember this happening, that I was nearly struck by lightning when I was quite young. The story goes that I opened our old metal refrigerator door just as a bolt of lightning entered the house. I was saved, but probably mentally scarred from the event. Was that experience the cause of my fear?
Fear is a normal reaction built deep within our brains to aid in survival. When we feel threatened we will either flee or fight. As a young child experiencing storms, I chose to flee. As I grew into my teen years, still afraid of storms,…Write comment (0 Comments)