Thursday, October 24, 2013

Free your mind

Free your mind

and the rest will follow,

be colorblind,

don't be so shallow

(before you read me you

gotta learn how to see me)

Lyrics from the song
Free Your Mind | En Vogue

~ Free Your Mind | En Vogue ~

Well, we are into week #2 of our water well system being out of commission which has meant no running water all this time.  Talk about missing something that is a normal part of everyone's day.

To compound the situation, The Captain is sick!

As I was going through one of my old blogs this morning, I found this post so ironic as I am struggling to keep from going over the edge with the major inconvenience of having to deal with all these bottles of water.  The way things are done on a routine basis is all turned around.  I tried to enter this latest life challenge as a new adventure, but I am getting to the point where I can't fool my mind into thinking this is an adventure.  In reality it is a major hassle that is getting on my last nerve.

So . . . maybe I should prepare a bowl of popcorn to combat the blues!

Seriously, the following post includes some awesome methods for handling those stressful times in life.  Wish I would have run into this post before I started teetering on the edge!

Originally published on January 18, 2008

On the path to my quest for happiness, the best thing I did for myself was take the time to figure out what I was doing WRONG in my life since it seemed like I continued to spiral out of control time and time again. Yes, I have also had to deal with the death of my spouse, but I was not handling life well at all . . . and I know I will continue to stumble here and there because it is human nature. The difference is that I understand myself better and the way I handle difficulties.

I ran across an article that touches on a lot of what I have discovered in this year of self-awareness and I thought it was worth sharing with others having a difficult time with stress, depression or even a mild case of the blues . . .

Feeling good physically works on the mind too . . . exercise does help combat depression or a case of "the blues" . . . and here are some other psychological strategies that help us attain that peace within.

Feed your "brain" with low calorie foods with lots of crunch, like apples, carrots and celery . . . I eat a bowl of popcorn every day just because it is one of my addictions. Through the years, I have learned how to make a healthy version with a microwave popcorn popper . . . I never used the bagged microwave popcorn since I want to control what goes into it. It fools the brain and works as a release that helps deflect the binge of "stress-eating".

It is important to not use food to bring comfort, remember that it's mainly a source of fuel. An extra slice of cake won't solve anything . . . it will just make you feel guilty later. This is the one that I was really guilty of since I quit smoking last year and had to deal with that too . . . and the desire to eat everything in sight. Finally . . . I can say I have a handle on this too.

Avoid excessive stimulants like caffeine or guarana . . . I prefer not to practice what I preach with this one . . . although I have started substituing hot tea instead of drinking coffee every day, all day . . . and I have cut down the amount I take in each day . . . but I must have my caffeine!

Breathe right . . . Slow it down . . . allow your diaphragm to fully contract, feel the breath through your entire lungs, breathe out and exhale the air completely. When I feel stress starting to creep in, I take a time out, clear my mind and breathe . . . I close my eyes and envision the waves crashing onto the ocean and the sound it makes. When I have serious time . . . I have a CD of ocean sounds that is supposed to help with sleep, and it helps on those days I need to free my mind since I am such an intensive thinker that lets the stress creep in.

Everyone has their way of letting off steam . . . discover yours and recognize when you need to take a time out before the stress gets too out of control. My greatest stress reliever is energetic music and dancing . . . for others it is a hot steamy shower or a soak in a hot bubble bath in candlelight . . . discover the way that works for you and change the quality of your life. No sense running around stressed out if you can find a way to free your mind from it.

Do you feel yourself making the same mistakes over and over again? The most important thing I did for myself last year was invest time in myself . . . self-knowledge . . . recognizing patterns and understanding why. To break the mold, step out of the story to review it from an outsider's perspective . . . I've done that by blogging about the journey into my new life. Give yourself a reality-check to find the root of the problem and re-evaluating the situation. Although I know it didn't seem like it, I have really listened to the feedback and comments I received from my friends and have slowly made incremental changes.

Whatever you do, be true to yourself . . . take the HONEST approach with an open mind, finding negative characteristics about yourself is just part of the journey to finding your authentic self and making those changes that are necessary to stop the vicious cycle. Listen to what others have to say with an open mind . . . someone may say the one thing that clicks for you and makes a huge difference in your perspective.

Free your mind . . . and the rest will follow!


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