10 Stress Busters You Can Do At Home

Stress can tear us up and have an devastating impact on the ones we love as well. Use these 10 stress busting ideas to stay grounded and happy, even in the midst of turbulent times.

gramaphone1. Play soothing music. The concept of what is “soothing” in music is an individual one. I have a daughter who happens to think that AC/DC is relaxing. Now, mind you, she grew up with AC/DC playing all the time, but it was what she found soothing. It really does not matter what you think is relaxing; Rachmaninoff, Rascal Flatts, or Rick Ross; it is what you feel is relaxing that matters. However, you may want to try some classical…it might just open your mind some more.

2. Ban Smoking (and other toxins). Smoking pollutes the air. You do not need me to tell you about all the studies and reports about second hand smoke.

3. Let Some of the Outside In: In other words – open the windows. If possible, leave the window open about one inch at night to help with better sleep. Fresh air is a great way to help create an environment that is conducive to shedding the negative effects of stress.

Salt_lamp4. Get a salt lamp (or some other air ionizer or humidifier): It is not as mysterious as it sounds. Most modern air purifiers are designed to purifier air by generating negative ions. (Science really is a lot of fun, and so…useful!) Personally, I have salt lamps all over my house – there is one in the kitchen, one in the office, and one in the living room.

5. Lighting. Yes, lighting. Whenever possible natural light should be capitalized on. Open the drapes and let in some natural sunshine. If that corner on the far side of the room is always dark, try a small accent light. Even a little directional light at the end of the hall can make a huge difference.

6. Candles: Use candles to help with subdued lighting. While many a smart gal or guy knows that candlelight makes you look your best. However, did you know that watching a flame burn could be a very relaxing act? Candles are also great for focusing. Get a selection of scents and colors that you like. And, remember…always burn candles safely, never leave a candle burning in a room unattended, etc.

thermostat7. Turn Down the Heat: Besides saving you money, you would be surprised how much more energy you have. Just a few degrees can mean the difference between feeling like slugging it on the couch or having the motivation to do something you enjoy! It is a good idea to lower the temperature at night when you are sleeping…you may just find yourself sleeping better!

8. Incense or Oils: Diffusing essential oils is a great way to help lower stress. (See my earlier blog post on some popular and effective oils – can you say lavender?) Incense is also a great way to help make your home more your own personal space.

9. Keep It Clean: If you make your bed everyday then every day you have accomplished something (you made the bed) and, you have the advantage of getting into a made bed. There are many different ways to do it, but whatever way you do it, do it. Here are some hints: The Commercial Method: Get up and do housework during the commercials during your favorite shows – you will be surprised what you can get done in three minutes. The Once A Week Clean Out – Set aside several hours every week to get the housework done…and have kids help, even a 2 or 3 year old can put their toys in the toy bin.

houseplant10. Plant It Up: Put a green plant in each room of the house that has light for it. The plant literally changes the air in the room (photosynthesis and all) giving off fresh oxygen, helping to cleanse the air in the home. Even a small plant can make a big difference.

These are just some of the ideas of ways you can help use your surroundings to lower your stress levels. And, do not stress yourself out trying to do all ten at once; take it a step at a time. The point is that there are a lot of little things that you can do that can help you combat the negative effects of stress. You can make your home your own personal de-stress haven.

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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

Just How Stressed Are You Anyway?

“I am so stressed out!” Whether we are saying it ourselves or hearing it from family members or friends, there are few, if any, of us who have not fallen prey to the deleterious effects of stress. From weight gain, to higher levels of blood pressure, difficulty sleeping, eating disorders and more, stress can really be a detractor in our lives.

affirmative-confirm-checked-check-approve-buttonWondering about how high your stress levels really are? Here is a quick little self-evaluation to help you. If you find that you are scoring high, it is time to make some major changes. We will discuss ideas on what some of those changes should be later. For now, let’s see how high your stress levels are.

Circle the number that corresponds best with how you feel about the statement:

1 – Always  2- Often  3 – Sometimes  4 – Never

1. I find it hard to get up in the morning and go to work: 1 2 3 4

2. It is difficult for me to say no, even when I really want to: 1 2 3 4

3. I have trouble letting my feelings out and hold them in so much I want to explode: 1 2 3 4

4. I get sick with mild ailments like colds and headaches a lot: 1 2 3 4

5. I work my butt off but I cannot seem to get anything accomplished: 1 2 3 4

6. My reactions are often way out of balance with the situation; my friends or family say I am

“emotional.” 1 2 3 4

7. I have a really hard time focusing on activities I enjoy like hobbies or reading a book: 1 2 3 4

8. I feel like my contributions just do not have any meaning at home or work: 1 2 3 4

9. I avoid confrontation like it was the plague and I have difficulties facing conflict: 1 2 3 4

10. I just cannot seem to get enough sleep: 1 2 3 4

Add up your responses and compare yourself to the following:

If your number was between 31 and 40: Your friends probably refer to you as the queen or king of cool. It takes a lot to ruffle your feathers and you tend to take on new things in stride. When stress does enter into your life you tend to “shake it off” with ease. The only caution here is that sometimes you need a little stress to help keep you sharp. Beware complacency.

If your number was between 21 and 30: For the most part you handle stress well and do not let the negative sides of stress get you down. You seem to know where your borders are and what you need to do to stay within them. You should identify some pre-stress strategies to help you through future stress scenarios. It is nice to have tools to fight the stress with!

If your number was between 10 and 20: Okay! We need to get serious. You obviously have some stressors in your life that are really taking a toll on you. In fact, your health may be suffering. It may be time to take an evaluation and look at some readjustments of priorities to lower the levels. Remember, perspective can make all the difference in the world. Reach out – if you cannot lower your stress levels, ask for help!

In my next article, we will take a look at some easy stress relievers that we can do for ourselves!

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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 Top Causes of Stress

CndlFlm_E_308x231_-391x2951. Bereavement – the loss of someone you love and care for is a devastating event that, for many people, changes the entire way you experience your life. Normally associated with a variety of emotions such as regret, anger, and guilt, grieving is a process and we all process it differently. Consider the worst of stressors most people are forced into positions of feeling like there is not anything they can do (helplessness) and suddenly having a whole new set of responsibilities thrown at them.

2. Divorce or loss of a long term relationship. The loss of a relationship can be as devastating, if not more so, than the loss of a loved one. A relationship ending can not only send your relationships in a spin, but it can result in devastated finances, moving home with parents, or having to explain the change to children.

3. Major Illness or Injury. Whether it is a short term trauma or fighting a long term disease over time can be extremely debilitating on our energy and resources and result in serious stress – just when you need it the least. Many people who are ill feel emotionally low. For many worrying about the diagnosis and the results it will have on others around them is a primary stress inducer. Just the frustration of dealing with a prolonged recuperation can induce serious levels of stress.

ring-rings-couple-small-big-male-female-silver4. Getting Married. You would think it was the most wonderful day for the bride and groom and actually it is a serious stress inducer. With all the planning and the emphasis to have the “perfect” wedding, couples subject themselves (and oftentimes are subjected to levels of stress that can build up and make communication difficult.

5. Losing Your Job. This one belongs on the list for most people. The associated issues with losing your job (fiscal instability, perceived lack of respect, having to hit the job market again) can be real stressors. Job loss can also be responsible for relationship problems when a relationship suffers from this level of stress inducing event. Sometimes when we should be reaching out to each other the most we are putting up walls.

6. Financial Problems. With so many people living paycheck to paycheck can be a terrible experience. Having to go to the food bank can be humiliating. Not being able to provide for your family in a viable way is a feeling no one wants to have. Many times it is relationships that suffer the most from financial difficulties.

7. Being a Caregiver for a Loved One. It may be fun and wonderful to take care of a niece, nephew, or grandchild for a while to help out, but the day in day out long term grueling grind of caring for the ill or infirm can wreck havoc. Stress is caused by a variety of factors including fear of something happening to the loved one, fiscal issues, and ignoring your own needs to care a loved one can cause both physical and emotional long term stress.

8. Pressures at Work. Oh yes! Anyone who has felt like their boss was breathing down their neck will relate with the stress that pressures at work can cause. Competition is tough for jobs and people are fearful of having to find another job. Whether it is poor time management, a frustrating boss, a changing case or project, or you are just having a bad week, issues at work can cause high levels of stress.

front-arrow-on-cardboard-box-600x4009. Moving. Anyone who has moved more than from one dorm room to another knows how stressful moving can be. From packing, broken promises (it is said you find out who your friends REALLY are if they are the ones to come help you move), logistical nightmares, and the whole process is just a nightmare for most. No matter how much you plan there always seems to be something that creates some kind of havoc to your plans.

10. Getting Together For Family Gatherings. Do you think that your family puts the “fun” in dysfunctional? Many avoid family gatherings not because they do not love their family, but being in close quarters with them for very long results in frustrations. The pressure is high to appear to be successful and be making your mark in the world gets stronger with each passing year. Little things are often blown up to huge issues when they happen within the confines of the family.

Check back soon for more in my series of Blog posts about stress…if you understand what it is, and where it comes from it is my hope you can lessen its impact 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.org

Causes of Stress

 

stress-man-hand-face-old-voltage-burnout-1Stress comes to us in a variety of ways both negative and positive. A college student may use the stress and worry of passing the test to encourage them to study while a young bride trying to put together her wedding can definitely suffer from not only the stress of getting married, but the stress of putting together the perfect wedding. Whether the stress comes from a negative or positive event, it still can take a toll on our psyche and physical well-being.

What gets your stress meter going on high? Do you pound the steering wheel and sometimes feel as if you are losing your mind as you wait stuck in traffic for hours? Do you spend hours trying to figure out a way to get out of having to attend that school function? Have you suffered a recent loss? Did you know that bereavement – the loss of a loved one – is considered one of the top stressors we experience in our lives?

Most of the time we do not have the ability to control that which is causing stress in our lives. Those who find themselves performing an act of love and sacrifice such as care-giving did not ask for the situation that put them in the position of being a care-giver. However, they can find themselves in a unique position to experience not only the nervousness and fear that comes with caring for someone, but the joys and special gifts that can be experienced when caring for another’s well-being on a daily basis.

The Encarta Dictionary defines Stress as: “1. Strain felt by somebody. mental, emotional, or physical strain caused, e.g. by anxiety or overwork. It may cause such symptoms as raised blood pressure or depression.” The cause of that strain can also be referred to as a Stressor. This definition shows that stress is also something that is very personal and unique to each individual with its very vagueness. What is a big stressor for one person can be no problem for another … stress is a very individualized thing.

counseling-stress-angry-mental-health-depressionWhat is even quirkier is that what stresses you out one day may be something you enjoy on a different day. Stress can be related to depression (long-term feeling of unhappiness) or it could arrive without any warning or symptoms and last for only a few moments. You may have been fine with things when you went to bed, in the morning wake up “on the wrong side of the bed” and have everything build all day so that by the end of the day you are ready to explode.

Change is sometimes difficult for us to accept, especially when it is change we do not want – and that can create high levels of stress. We are at high risk to fall prey to the negative effects of stress when it is related to sudden change. Change that happens quickly can be very stressful, especially when several changes occur at the same time or close together and we are not allowed a chance to recover in between.

A big stressor for a lot of people is the “daily grind,” that step by step, pay the bills, get the kids to school, take care of this, handle that and, oh yeah, in your copious free time you have to figure out a way to pay for college for three! Cell phones, tablets, lap tops, televisions and desk tops keep us connected to the world which can, sometimes, add to our stress.

Take heart, stress can be overcome in a variety of ways. By identifying your triggers – what really stresses you out – and finding ways to deal with it in advance can really bring down the stress levels. Make sure to check back frequently over the next few months to access more articles about how to deal with stress.

(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.org )

Biorhythms

PrimaryRhythmsThink it would be nice to know when you are at the top of your game, or when it is time to take a few extra days making a major decision to make sure you are making a wise choice? A Biorhythms Report can tell you that and so very much more!

You know how some days you just seem to have more energy than others? Well, the belief that our lives operate on cycles has been around for milennia. Hippocrates (as in the Hippocratic Oath – ancient Greek physician) noticed that people went through good and bad cycles – whether people were healthy or sick. However, it was not until the research of the early part of the last century that the three primary internal cycles (physical – 23 days, emotional -28 days, and intellectual – 33 days) were identified.

What Your Biorhythms affect/influence

Physical: covers physical aspects, energy levels, resistance, overall strength and endurance, eye-hand coordination, resistance to disease, vitality, libido.

Emotional: covers nervous system and emotional sensitivity, emotional states, love, hate, emotive feelings, optimism/pessimism, passion or coolness, depression or elation, creativity, feelings.

Intellectual: originates in the brain, memory, alertness, learning ability, reasoning, accuracy of work efforts, responsiveness, theoretical thinking, innovative ideas.

Intuitive: intuitive reasoning, connection with gifts/abilities, days of higher/lower connection with gifts and abilities, ability to solve questions

Secondary Biorhythms:

Passion: love, sexual desire, lust, joy, hatred, anger, enthusiasm, stimulus and impulsion.

Wisdom: judgment, utilizing knowledge and experience, common sense, personal insight, discernment of inner qualities and relationships, understanding of what is right.

Mastery: ability to utilize skills, knowledge and experience in more efficient ways; ability to complete tasks quickly and with a better or more positive result.

I can help you put the knowledge of your own internal rhythms to work for you!

AnnualChartFor a $14.95 e-mail reading you will receive 1 month of info:
*a copy of your chart showing your cycle arcs,
*specific information about each day of the month –
your physical, emotional, and intellectual curves
*a day by day breakdown of your cycles and,
*general information about how you can use your chart for deeper understanding.
(Please provide day, month, year and time of birth – if time is unknown we will use a default of noon.)

Biorhythms Can Help With Your Relationship Too!

For $24.95 you have your choice of one of the following:
One month chart of both primary & secondary cycles
*a copy of your chart showing your cycle arcs,
*specific information about each day of the month –
your physical, emotional, and intellectual curves,
*a day by day breakdown of your cycles,
*a review of the secondary cycle chart and,
*general information about how you can use your chart for deeper understanding.
(Please provide day, month, year and time of birth – if time is unknown we will use a default of noon.)

Or

Three month primary cycles chart
*a copy of your chart showing your cycle arcs,
*specific information about each day of the month –
your physical, emotional, and intellectual curves,
*a day by day breakdown of your cycles and,
*general information about how you can use your chart for deeper understanding.
(Please provide day, month, year and time of birth – if time is unknown we will use a default of noon.)

Or

Romance Compatibility Comparison Chart
*a copy of your chart showing your cycle arcs,
*a copy of your chart showing your sweetie’s cycle arcs,
*specific analysis of you and your sweetie’s chart,
*general information about how you can use your chart for deeper understanding.
(Please provide day, month, year and time of birth for both of you – if time is unknown we will use a default of noon.)