We did it!!!

We did it! We got the property to create our dream retreat center for Black Rose Spiritual Center!!!
Here’s where we will be moving the center to; be sure to check back for retreat schedules and workshop offerings, soon!
House1 house6 House14 House53

Alternative Healing for Stress

shadow-flower-lightIf you have been keeping up with my blogs, you have had a chance to find out what some of the biggest stressors that we face in life are, and taken the mini-evaluation on your stress levels. Now, we are going to look at what you can do to combat stress and, hopefully, reduce its negative effect on your life.

Modern medicine does have a lot of ways to help you reduce stress and if you scored really low on the test you should consider discussing your stress levels with your doctor. Stress can cause all sorts of negatives in our body and our energy. A little stress can help keep you on your toes and helps to motivate you, but when the stress becomes detrimental and over-powering it is time to start dealing with it and get help when needed.

There are some basic life style changes you can make to help reduce stress in your life. If you are afraid of forgetting things – keep a list of things to do. If you find yourself always running out of time – get a calendar and start blocking out the time you have to do things, it will help you develop better time management skills which will help to reduce your stress levels. And, believe it or not, no is NOT a dirty word.

If you find yourself getting stressed, keep a tally of how many times you say yes and how many times you say no during the day…this is a good way to empower yourself that NO is an acceptable response to someone’s request. Many people who feel stressed out often feel isolated and unable to communicate their feelings to others. Working or your communication skills can help you cross the bridge and be more honest with yourself to know when to ask for help.

dandelion-back-light-flower-nature-sunNot all of us can afford to take days off, got to a specialist, or spend an extra two days in bed. However, there are things you can do to help deal with stressful times in your life. There are two basic paths you can take to deal with stress: If you choose the path of modern medicine (and that is not a bad thing), there are medications and counseling to help you get through. While the help can be solid, many of the medications used have some difficult side effects and many people do not like to use them for that reason.

In alternative therapies there are a range of choices and practices to choose from. From reflexology to reiki, alternative therapies are gaining more and more acceptance and are often used in conjunction with western medical practice. Acupuncture, osteopathy, acupressure, herbalism, hypnosis, meditation, yoga and more are available to the individual to help lower stress. Of course not everyone can afford the services of these wonderful professionals, so here are some things you can do for yourself:

Meditation: No, I am not saying you have to turn into a Buddhist Monk and sit on a cushion in the Lotus position chanting Om-manna-padre-om. Meditation is purposeful thinking. You can meditate while dancing, while walking or running. Meditation can be as easy as picking one thing to think about and focusing on that for a while. You can find more information about different types of meditation at: http://www.drnikki.com/dr-nikki/meditation-modes/

murano-italian-bottle-glass-ornament-decorationAromatherapy: For far more than just covering up the smell from last night’s fish tacos, aromatherapy can do a lot to help improve your mood, relax and relieve some of the stress. Essential oils are the best, and you can depend on scents like lavender, clary sage, chamomile, sandalwood, bergamot, and rosewood to help you relax and release the stress building inside.

water-lily-white-aquatic-plant-water-flower-lakeSelf-Massage/Hydro Focus: Yes, it does sound funny, doesn’t it? Well, it is actually a real thing. Try using a loofah sponge in the shower and gently rub the skin and using a soft pressure take the time to really experience the cleansing. Like the water running down the drain, mentally imagine the stress leaving your body, gently scrubbed away with that gentle massaging motion. Take your time and focus. This stress-buster is great to share with your sweetie!

Stress sucks! There is no other way to put it. However, we can take action ourselves to knock back the stressors in our lives with some counter-stress strategies and treatments. Check in later this week for more on how to lessen the stress in your life!

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Holding doctoral degrees in Divinity and Theology from the Esoteric Interfaith Theological Seminary, Dr. Nikki Judge is the executive director of Black Rose Spiritual Center.  A gifted spiritual reader she has helped nearly 175,000 people in her career. Along with a good book and a purring cat Dr. Nikki enjoys getting out in the sun and fresh air of western Montana.  You can visit her at www.YourSpiritualGrowthCenter.com

Reducing Stress and Hints on Preparing to Destress

lavenderLife is stressful enough without us giving it any additional help. Sometimes without even realizing it, we are accentuating the stressors and not giving ourselves a chance to unwind and lower the stress levels at least some. Here are some things to consider when you feel that life getting out of control and you start feeling like you are “stressed out!”

Easy Ways to Create a De-Stressing Ambiance

➽ Let Some Fresh Air In – If you can, get outside and enjoy the fresh air. If you cannot get outside, open a window and let some of the fresh air in. Deep breathing exercises can help with relaxation!

➽ Aromatherapy – Scents are a very strong mood setter. To ease anxiety and help you unwind, geraniums and lavender are great to have fresh in the house. Try a small potted plant in a window where the breeze will let the scent fill the room. Another way to change the scent of a room is to put a few drops of a floral essential oil on a tissue.

➽ Soothing Sounds – Put on some relaxing music, getting one of the small desktop fountains are a nice way to bring the soothing sound of running water inside, listen to recordings of nature sounds such as birdsong, summer rain, ocean surf, or any of the variety of nature sounds that can be relaxing.

➽ Visualizations – Envision a place that is relaxing for you…a beach, a glade of a forest steam, your own room, whatever it is that relaxes you, take a quick break by just envisioning yourself there! Some people become so adept at this that just a few seconds of visualization can provide hours of relaxation.

There are also some quick and easy ways to cut down on the stress levels at home. Here are four simple ways to help make your home your own stress free zone.

➽ Maintain Your Space – There are very few people who like doing housework. However, most of us do appreciate the additional relaxing comfort of knowing that we have our personal environment under control. Get the whole family involved…even a 2 year old can pick up toys and put them in a toy box. You do not have to go for full out spick and span clean, de-cluttering and generally keeping things in order will do a lot to help keep stress under control.

➽ Get the Poisons Out – Try replacing chemical household cleaners with some of the green, safe for the environment, cleaners. It is not only better for the environment, but the lack of exposure to toxins helps many people feel better, relax more, and even sleep better.

➽ Serenity Time – We all have our own idea of serenity. For some have their home being Grand Central Station with children running to and fro and all sorts of hubbub – that is what keeps them grounded and feeling serene. Others need the opposite and find serenity in quiet meditation or just sitting in a quiet room. Whichever helps you feel serene, do you best to create that in your own living space.

➽ Down Time – Needing some peace and quiet for ourselves where no one is asking/demanding anything of us is important. Without it we tend to lose our balance. Taking some time for yourself every day can sometimes seem a challenge, but with practice you will find you can find that “down time” place within yourself easily.

Not all these stress reducer ideas will work for everyone, take the ones that work and use them and discard what does not work. Some people have no problem staying focused and grounded in a household that is constantly on the go go go; others need to shut out the world for an hour before they become human again. Some of these ideas are sure to hit a home run and help you gain more control and stress a whole lot less.

Check back soon for another stress-busting article.

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Holding doctoral degrees in Divinity and Theology from the Esoteric Interfaith Theological Seminary, Dr. Nikki Judge is the executive director of Black Rose Spiritual Center.  A gifted spiritual reader she has helped nearly 175,000 people in her career. Along with a good book and a purring cat Dr. Nikki enjoys getting out in the sun and fresh air of western Montana.  You can visit her at www.YourSpiritualGrowthCenter.com

10 Daily Ways to Keep Stress Under Control!

Stress is a part of the modern lifestyle. For most of us it is a struggle and a juggle to keep up with kids, job, spouse, family, boss, and friends; not to mention housework, the never ending laundry, and, oh yeah, we’re supposed to have that “fun” thing too. Many of the ways to combat stress in your life may sound so basic and practical, but it is having the basic and practical solid within you that allows you to be strong and take the rougher patches in stride. Here are my Top 10 Daily Ways!

checklist1. Make your list of priorities for the day – I recommend you do this the night before; having it written down will help you release and relax. In addition, the added benefit is that you are able to plan your day to keep it under control.

2. Keep track of your sugar and/or caffeine intakes for a week. Are you ingesting more than you thought? Well, the sweets are not going to help your body’s stress reactions; it is going to make them worse.

sleep3. Keep a regular sleep cycle. This is important to both your physical and emotional health. The average adult needs 7.5 hours of sleep per night. Beat insomnia by going to be at the same time each night; go ahead and create a “go to bed” ritual where you specifically release the stressors of the day. Make your list for the next day before you go to bed so that you can let it go and not have it worrying you. Put away the computer/tablet/smart phone at least an hour (two is better) before going to bed. Sleep is how we regenerate and our bodies and minds need the “down time” for healing and regeneration.

4. Just What Are You Eating? The old phrase “you are what you eat” is very true. A healthy and well-balanced diet that includes fiber, green vegetables, lean proteins and fruit is important. Eating healthy keeps your body healthy and a healthy body can deal with stress better than a sick one. The body has autonomic natural responses to stress – the flight or fight reaction – that uses the body’s natural energy for what is seen as a need to protect. Eating healthy helps fight off those negative effects.

5. No is Not a Four-Letter Word: Especially for those of us who are natural givers, no sometimes seems like a word we should never use. Understanding what our boundaries and capabilities are is important. Sometimes a firm no is needed…just because someone asks a favor does not mean you have to grant it – especially if it would be to your detriment. And, if a friend cannot understand you saying no, are they really a friend indeed?

perspective6. Perspective Is Important: Sometimes we can get too close to a situation, or we are a part of a situation and because we are too close we cannot really see what is going on in the wider perspective. Taking a step back or asking the opinion of someone who is totally outside of the situation can help us see things in a different way which allows us to understand the situation better.

7. Speak Up: While it may be a nice ego boost to do it all yourself, you do not necessarily have to. Frequently sharing the load is something that feels a little scary. It is hard to put yourself at risk and reach out. However, asking for help is more often a sign of strength than a sign a weakness! If you need help, ask for it.

8. Avoid Known Stressors: We cannot always control our environment, but many times the very thing that stresses us out the most is something that can be avoided altogether. If you cannot avoid the situation, taking it on a step at a time makes success easier to manifest. If you know driving in rush hour traffic stresses you out, join a carpool and let someone else do the driving while you chip in for the gas. Look for other ways.

exercise9. Move It! That’s right, I said move it. Take a short walk, do some easy stretches, offer to run an errand, take the stairs down to the next floor or up to the roof. Burn off the stress and frustration by a little mild physical movement. The movement will help your body deal with some of those “fight or flight” reactions.

10. Make A Plan: A simple 10 minute distress plan can make a huge difference in your life when stress comes to call! I’ll be sharing some suggestions and ideas in my next post about how you can make a “de-stress plan” to help you push through the stressors with as little negative impact as possible…but whatever you do, have a “de-stress plan” that works for you!

Check back soon for more info on how to beat back and manage stress!

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Holding doctoral degrees in Divinity and Theology from the Esoteric Interfaith Theological Seminary, Dr. Nikki Judge is the executive director of Black Rose Spiritual Center.  A gifted spiritual reader she has helped nearly 175,000 people in her career. Along with a good book and a purring cat Dr. Nikki enjoys getting out in the sun and fresh air of western Montana.  You can visit her at www.YourSpiritualGrowthCenter.com 

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