Let go of the FEAR

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Fear can keep us up all night long, but faith makes one fine pillow.                                  -Phillip Gulley

My little girl woke up in the middle of the night frustrated, tired and immobile in her determination to not listen to any type of reason, to understand her feelings, or to talk about what was truly going on in her young mind. She has always been a wild thing, free in her choices, stubborn in her will and determined in all that she is. I wouldn’t change her because there is so much I admire–I love her spark, her sass, her leader mentality, but there are times when you hit it square on and you are the opposing side and you find yourself unable to talk her off a high point. That is where you find yourself dealing with fears and worry head on! I desperately try to put myself in her shoes to try and understand what she is thinking, why she breaks into emotional tears or why she holds on to a negative situation with an unyielding spirit. It scares me sometimes, but then I try to find the love, to break through the anger with a hug that can almost break the spell. She may fight back, but then you hold that love like a wounded bird that is trying to break free. You know if you hold on long enough, it will realize you are trying to do your best to take care of its needs. She will then emotionally break, her will allows the fears and worry to be free & she gives in to the love that is given.

My daughter has had a lot of anxiety, fear and worry weighing on her little mind lately. She is afraid of the possibility of moving, her best friend just moved away, her beloved teacher is leaving for the rest of the year, the homework she doesn’t understand…her fears may seem small, but to her they are as big as anything we can fathom. Lately I have been trying to read and understand what, if anything, I can do to make her journey a little easier, to ease her anxiety and worry, to set aside the fear and bring peace to her in any way. Last night was no exception. She was worn down, tired, but in a negative place, constantly saying no to any loving suggestion to help her return to sleep. I finally had her jump our my bed & told her we needed to let her worries float away. I suggested we watch a darling youtube video that did just that.  Me, my husband and our little girl laid in bed and watched SOULPANCAKE: Pop your Problems http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcHXiBdyt94  it was a darling example of letting your worries go. We all felt better when it was over. Thanks SoulPancake!!

Here are some other ideas for letting go of worries:

Understand your amazing brain: Watch Jill Bolte Taylor (Harvard expert on the brain experiences a stroke & what she learned from it–amazing). I listened to her talk to Oprah about the part of our brain that is in charge of language, self talk, all ego—she described a peanut size part of the brain is what causes negative chatter & how we need to remember that you can change your thought in a second. You cannot have a negative and a positive thought at the same time, so switch it!! WOW. Aha.

Let it go: Pop it! (like SoulPancake) or set it ablaze. Write down your worries, fears or frustrations, make a fire in your backyard fire pit or picnic area and throw your worries into the fire and allow the smoke to take them away.

Talk about it: Talking about concerns helps take some of the power out of the negative feelings. If you talk about your worries, fears and anxieties it can become less powerful.

Write it down: Write your feelings of worry and fear down in a journal. Get your thoughts out onto paper to help you sort out your feelings, so you can begin to understand.

Walk your talk: In some situations you may need to walk yourself through a fear or worry. You may need to replay over and over in your mind, “I can do this” or “I will be okay.”

Walk or run it out: Exercise is always a good solution to help rid any type of stress, including worry and anxiety. Take a walk, go for a run, get some type of movement that will increase your feel good endorphins and give you a natural boost.

Relax: different relaxation techniques like visualization  help in any situation. A good visualization: Imagine yourself floating along a still lake with your arms spread out, floating on the water and you look up to the blue sky—let go of every worry. Focus on the float. Quiet your mind in some type of relaxation, whether its visualization, meditation or prayer.

Breathe deeply: When you are in the midst of stress, anxiety, fear or worry your body tenses and we often hold our breath or begin to breathe faster. Take a deep breathe. Begin to slow your breath and allow the worries to fade as you breathe out…letting go.

The reality: understand that most of your fears are just a product that your thoughts create. (thoughts that are generated from that peanut size part of your brain). Decide and make a conscious choice—what thoughts will I follow and believe are real. Where is your focus? Is it real or fear based.

Face it: What could you do today to face a fear or conquer a worry that you hold on to? I came across a fun site of someone who was facing a fear every day for a month. Each day they would do something that scared or challenged them on a personal level. What did they learn??  as soon as you go ahead and face a fear–it vanishes. Fear just cannot stand in the light of your confidence and go beyond it. It gets scared. (personal-development-is-fun.com) I thought that was a great reality.

Remember the good: Stress and worry are not all bad. There are times when they push us to make necessary changes in our life. This is when stress and anxiety are healthy and beneficial. Remember—there is always something good held in everything we do. There is always something to help us learn and grow. Have faith in that!

Hope these tips will help.

Have a beautiful weekend.  -Heather

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LOL. 12 ways to get you LAUGHING!

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Something to think about…A child laughs 600 times a day at the age of 6. An adult 47 times a day. A depressed person 6 times a day.

One thing I have noticed in any stressful situation is how laughter can take a moment of tension and make it melt away. It has this amazing power to change things, to ignite the body with something positive, to shift a connection with others and lighten a mood. You can’t feel stressed, anxious, angry or sad when you are laughing.

When there is ever a tense time in my marriage we notice it, we swing from one end of the spectrum to the other—in extremes. I either cry and want to run or get giddy and laugh at EVERYTHING! I have been trying to handle this in-between jobs situation with more light heartedness, to affectionately tease my husband when he needs me to “retool” his resume and not take it personally.  I begin to talk in another accent, like I am his personal assistant from another country, emphasizing key phrases and “major accomplishments.” It makes things lighter, because the very thought of starting over and beginning again with another career can be a bit unsettling.

I was feeling a bit worried and anxious how my husband would be feeling yesterday morning because a potential position fell apart after a poor recruitment situation. I started the morning off blaring over the loud speakers Kelly Clarkson’s song “Stronger” (What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger) Everyone at my house laughed!! It lightened the mood of the whole morning.

Laughter makes you feel better, it makes everything better!!

So here are some great ideas I dug up to make laughter part of your day!! This is for you and me. Just LAUGH!!

Watch a funny movie or TV show: Here are some links to different top movie lists.  Complex Pop Culture lists the top 50 movies http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2011/03/the-top-50-funny-movies/     Here is Ranker.com’s list of their top 50 http://www.ranker.com/crowdranked-list/the-funniest-movies-of-all-time

Watch some funny youtube videos: lately I have LOVED anything SOULPANCAKE. They have some fun, inspirational and funny videos. Another good laugh is Laugh Out Loud–they do prank type videos and those are always fun to watch. There are even compilations of funny videos and pranks, so just do a search on Youtube for funny videos & you’ll find a lot.

Go to a comedy club and LOL

Have a fun game night with friends & have them bring a few of their favorite jokes or stories. Shared laughter brings more connection and is great for relationships.

Check out the humor section at your local book store. Find something that is funny to you.

Go to a “Laughter yoga” class: Here is a good link to get you started with Laughter Yoga International  http://laughteryoga.org/ & then find an organization near you.

Play with children: Children are the greatest example of play and laughter, so emulate them, have fun and enjoy your moments with them. Yesterday I was taking care of my sister’s two kids. We sang songs & made up songs & just started giggling and giggling at our crazy songs. It was good to laugh.

Do something silly: Photograph crazy, distorted pictures of you and your family together, When you go on a walk put some thought into it—walk like an egyptian, a chicken, disco, etc. Make a silly breakfast like green eggs and ham, Dance all the time & everywhere, Make silly faces & name them, Talk in a silly voice (from another land, like a alien, like the cookie monster, like a robot, like Mickey Mouse)—these may seem too silly, but some of these are actual psychological, neurolinguistic programming techniques–Have fun with it!!

Make time for some FUN! Go bowling & turn it into a bowling for pennies (or dollars) game, do miniature golf with your left hand, maybe have a karaoke night where everyone has to sing like they are from another country…make opportunities for fun, for laughter.

Bring humor into your conversations: Ask people, “What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you?”

Have good ways to deal with stress: because stress stops laughter, it is the enemy to happiness, it slows it down & can be a big barrier for a good laugh or a good feeling.

Try to not take yourself so seriously: don’t be afraid to share embarrassing moments, find something funny about a bad situation, surround yourself with things that make you smile (funny screen saver, fun picture of your family, playful toy on your desk, etc),

Hope these ideas help you in your pursuit of LAUGHTER!! Do something fun this weekend and truly enjoy yourself and those around you.

Cheers to you. Heather