Break Free

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Break Free from doubt.

Break Free from fear.

Break Free from negativity.

Break Free from debt.

Break Free from sickness.

Break Free from pain.

Break Free from addiction.

Break Free from confusion.

Break Free from worry and stress.

Break Free from poor decisions.

Break Free from weaknesses.

Break Free from poverty.

Break Free from past mistakes.

Break Free from guilt and shame.

Break Free from old routines and habits.

Break Free from your enemies.

Break Free and know that WE are BIGGER than OUR circumstances.

Break Free and understand that the POWER to change and improve OUR lives starts with US.

Break Free and prosper.

Break Free and claim peace of mind.

Break Free and experience happiness and love.

Break Free and see your life in a new way.

Break Free and nurture your strength of mind, body and spirit.

Break Free and go into this new day full of PURPOSE and a NEW understanding.

May the spirit of the Lord show us the way.

Give us the courage, wisdom, guidance and strength to see this process through.

Break Free, Break Free, Break Free.

 

Walk into this new day with your head up as we believe and work on our breakthroughs one day at a time. You are not alone!  Trust and believe that you WILL overcome each and every obstacle in your life. In the name of Jesus, AMEN!

Have a blessed day friends. Thank you for stopping by.

Music Reflection Mondays #22 – Relaxation Tips

Welcome back to Music Reflection Mondays!  I hope all is well with each of you.

We all know Monday is the start of the work week and for many it could be a very taxing day.  The good news is, at the end of it all we have an opportunity to unwind, clear our minds from the all the stress and issues of the day.  It’s almost like pressing the reset button to refresh your mind. 🙂

Pondering on everything that went wrong during the day would only further stress you out and could even trigger a headache maybe even loss of appetite.  We don’t want that! How we go about releasing that tension and clearing a path in our minds so we can actually de-stress and start tomorrow with fresh eyes and a cool and clear mind is critical.

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Image Credit: Pixabay.com

There are many things you can do but not everything will work for everyone and some techniques are more effective on some people than others.  Some relaxation tips include:

  • Long bath with soothing music
  • Listen to music on your way home
  • Exercise while listening to music
  • Deep tissue massage
  • Art therapy – getting in touch with your creative side can do wonders for relieving stress and increasing your happiness.
  • Dancing
  • Aromatherapy
  • Yoga
  • Deep slow breaths
  • A visit to the spa for some pampering 🙂
  • Getting adequate sleep is crucial
  • Talk about what’s troubling you – it’s healthier for you to share your thoughts and feelings than to have it bottled up inside.  If you don’t the pressure will continue to build until your mind and body can’t take it anymore and negatively releases it. I pity the poor soul who walks into that hurricane.

Try the different options until you find something that works for you.  It is easy to say “leave work at work” but when stuff happens that leaves you emotionally charged long after work it is easier said than done.

I have found that getting my mind and body into the music I’m listening to helps me clear my mind and it works for non-work related issues as well.  I sing along and that takes my mind off whatever is bothering me. A long shower, an occasional spa visit, aromatherapy,  a good night’s sleep and talking to someone can make a big difference in how you feel.

Some music I enjoy include:

Have a wonderful night and feel free to make your music suggestions in comments below. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by.

Health and Wellness Fridays : Self-control

Hello and welcome back to Health and Wellness Fridays!  Hope you all are having a wonderful Friday. Tonight,  I want to talk about the challenges most of us have in exercising self-control especially as it relates to our eating habits.

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Let me first start off by saying that this is an area I personally struggle with.  I know all the right foods to eat and all the unhealthy foods to avoid and yet in spite of all of this knowledge and wisdom – it can be really tough to walk away sometimes.  I know for a fact that I’m not the only person with this issue but let’s keep the focus on me. I don’t want you guys feeling bad or guilty. So just hear me out. 🙂

Self-control means that not only do we have the POWER to control ourselves, our choices and our decisions but that we actually USE that power in our best interest.

I believe we all have self-control the challenge is applying it to the areas of our lives that we have relinquished control – for some it is their finances, others their relationships, and so many other areas but mine is junk food. 🙁

Do I have self-control? Yes! Is it effectively applied to every area of my life? No. Food is one of the most challenging areas for me. Sure, I have the good stuff like my fruits, veggies, nuts, multivitamins, and so on but I also have occasional fries, fried chicken, pizza,  and Chinese food from time to time.  I know what I have to do and yet there are times when I decide to just throw it out the door and just have what I want and not necessarily what I need.

Do I love myself enough to do better? Yes!  So what’s holding me back from committing fully to the process?  Let’s find out.

  1. Cravings – old habits where you can’t help but want what you want even after you’ve implemented new habits.
  2. Enablers – the people around me who love the same stuff I love so it’s easy to fall back into it.
  3. Self talk – where I convince myself I’m in control and I walk into an establishment leaving self-control at the door as the aroma of food fills the air.  He better not watch me crossed eyed when I’m walking back out with my fast food in tow he can pout all he wants.  🙂
  4. Emotional eating – if I am feeling stressed out  you could believe that I am going in search of my comfort food KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) or a good BBQ. It does help to be honest but I do feel guilty after so all I end up doing is transitioning from one emotion to another.
  5. Not eating on time.  This is a major factor in me making poor food choices as I let my sense of smell and sight along with my hunger pains determine what I eat and how much.
  6. The belief that because I make healthy food choices most times that  I can have occasional ‘feel good food’. Life is just too short for diet rigidity.

All of the above factors make self-control over eating habits more challenging.  How do we overcome them?

  1. Eating on time. I try to add little snacks like yogurt, fruit or even nuts to help me not feel so hungry as I’m often stuck behind a desk.
  2. Try to monitor my stress levels and try to distract myself with music to take my mind off of whatever is attempting to throw me off.
  3. Monitor the self talk. If I feel like convincing myself to go through the drive thru I would try to give myself reasons why I probably shouldn’t go – the line is just too long, the chicken might not even be fresh or the fries might be hot.  It works most times.
  4. As for the enablers, I just started saying NO especially if I already indulged once or twice for the week then anything after that is a no. I end up talking down their cravings as well. Of course, they’ll be a little disappointed and I’ll probably have to provide an alternative but at least we saved ourselves from overindulging.
  5. Cravings – I try not to stifle my urges entirely because food makes me happy. I have made an effort to regulate how often I would indulge for the week and month and try to stay within or under that goal making sure not to exceed it. Example, I might have KFC 2 -3 times for the month rather than 2-3 times for the week.
  6. Being honest with myself about what my weaknesses are and trying to put things in place to improve them for the betterment of ME.

Self-control is inside of each of us we just have to tap into it meaningfully. We all stumble from time to time and that’s okay. We need to support and encourage each other especially in areas of weakness – so let’s pick ourselves up and keep pushing forward. When we give up on ourselves self-control walks out the door.

Our health and wellness is just as important as those other areas of our lives that we apply self-control to if not more so.  It is there to protect us but it can’t work if we don’t use it.

Have a wonderful night and an amazing weekend.  Thank you for stopping by.

Health and Wellness Fridays- Laughter

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Friday Greetings to each of you!!  🙂 Although it has been raining all day and most of the night I am happy to report that I’ve been blessed with another day and opportunity to share this earth with each of you.  I hope you’re all having a wonderful day so far and that you choose to make the most of it regardless of the obstacles that try to throw you off your game.

Today we’re going to be taking a closer look at the benefits of laughter to our overall health and well-being.

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Does laughter have any affect on our well-being?  Let’s find out.

Some benefits of laughter include:

  1. Reduce stress hormones
  2. Boosts immune system
  3. Regulates blood pressure
  4. Increases blood oxygenation
  5. Enhance your mood making you feel better
  6. Releases endorphins – the body’s natural painkillers
  7. Help burn additional calories
  8. Help you cope better during challenging times
  9. Helps improve your sense of humour
  10. Works out the stomach muscles
  11. Improves heart health
  12. Improves memory
  13. May even fight off cancer
  14. Promote creativity
  15. Laughter increases connection with others

Some of us often think that if we or others are laughing then we or they are not taking life seriously.  The truth is, there will always be something going on in the world that we don’t like or agree it.  However, there will also have good things and people as well that should be celebrated and enjoyed and not overshadowed by all of the negativity that can suck the joy right out of us.

Just take a look at the possible benefits to be gained from such a simple act as laughing.    No sign up fee.  No membership fee. Laughter is the easiest and most affordable element we can add to our everyday lives to make even subtle improvements to our overall health and well-being.

Now back to my earlier question, “Does laughter have any affect on our well-being?”  Yes, I believe it does.  When I look around it is almost impossible to miss the visible differences between people who laugh nearly everyday and those who are barely able to crack a smile.  The major differences would include: their uptight physically and in their interactions with others; their bodies seem tense all of the time and some may even be labelled as unapproachable.

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I’m almost certain that if we took a closer look at their blood pressure and stress levels their scores would probably be higher as well and they may not even know it.  Most of us don’t realize until it is too late and we’re forced to go the doctor or the hospital.  Don’t allow the pressures of life to stifle your laughter.

Okay, so we’ve seen the benefits of laughter but there can be some side effects also.  Let’s take a look.

  1. Sore muscles. Have you ever laughed so hard and long that your muscles hurt? The joke or moment was hilarious but your poor muscles paid the price after. That was actually your muscles getting a workout.  The pain is short-lived but the funny memory would live on.   🙂
  2. Persons in recovery from abdominal surgery in particular as well as any other area of the body that may be impacted by laughter should be cautious and if possible try avoiding laughter as this could be painful at least until after they have fully recovered.

At the end of the day, life has its complications from time to time but laughter is not one of them.  Smile, laugh and live each day enjoying every moment where and whenever you can.

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Have a blessed day and a wonderful weekend!  Don’t forget to laugh. 🙂

 

Sources:

 

The ‘Bounty’ Approach

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Are you familiar with the paper towel brand known as Bounty? They use the slogan, “The Quicker Picker Upper”.  It is often used to show how well and how much it absorbs when compared to other brands.

Are you going through life behaving like a Bounty Paper Towel?  You know, absorbing everything and holding everything in.  Bounty is great for cleaning up messes and a lot of other things too.  However, adapting the ‘Bounty Approach’ to our everyday lives and issues is not healthy physically or mentally.

The reality is, even a sponge will spill the excess liquid when it can’t hold any more.  The human mind and body is no different.  So be weary of how much and what you allow yourself to endure.

Listen! You can’t control or fix everything or everyone.  The only real control we have is over ourselves.  So don’t suffer in silence, don’t overload and burden yourself with things you really have NO control over.  See it or them for what they are and find a way forward.  Talk to someone.  Pray about it.  Write about it. Sing about it.  Find a healthy and safe way to express what you’re feeling so you can truly smile and laugh again.

The load or burden you carry would feel so much lighter.

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Have a wonderful evening.  Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

Health and Wellness Fridays – Stress

Welcome back to Health and Wellness Fridays!!! 🙂  Today I am going to focus on a topic we all struggle with from time to time and that it is called stress.

What is stress? 

I think the most basic way to describe stress is by saying that it is triggered by anything in your life (good or bad) that you have little or no control over that you can’t but help but obsess about.  It has the power to motivate you and call you to action if you channel it properly or it can negatively affect your health and other areas of your life.

Some situations or life events that can trigger stress include:

  • Marriage
  • Job loss
  • Death of a loved one
  • Financial problems
  • Illness
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Work
  • School
  • Children
  • Divorce

Signs and symptoms of feeling highly stressed 

Please note that when we’re highly stressed the symptoms would vary from person to person because we all cope differently. Some people might present only one or two symptoms while others might present all if the stress is really bad.  Let’s take a look.

Some physical symptoms include: aches and pains, chest pain, diarrhea or constipation, nausea, loss sex drive and headaches.

Some cognitive symptoms include: constantly worried, inability to concentrate and memory problems.

Some behavioural symptoms include: loss of appetite, over eating, problems sleeping, withdrawing from others, display nervous habits such as pacing or nail-biting and increased consumption of alcohol, cigarettes or drugs to help relax.

Lastly, some emotional symptoms include: moodiness, anger, irritability, depression and anxiety.

In life, it is hard to avoid stressful situations sometimes and as such the best thing to do is learn and know our own limits.  Once we’ve determined what we can and cannot handle – the next step is finding healthy ways of coping in stressful situations.

How to cope in stressful situations?

  • Exercise in any form can not only lift your mood but serve as a temporary distraction allowing you to disconnect the negative thoughts that help fuel the stress.
  • Stay connected to your friends and family – these relationships can do so much to help you relieve stress. Talk, laugh, catch up on the positive don’t allow the temporary situation to steal your joy.  The more you feel to withdraw from others is a sign that you need them even more.
  • Engage your senses – sight, sound, taste, smell, touch, or movement. Music works for me find something that works for you.  Maybe you need to join a dance class, maybe cook a lovely meal, maybe you need to use your hands to get creative, get a back or foot massage whatever it takes to get a smile on that lovely face and calm your mind. Do it!
  • Watch what you eat – a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, high-quality protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, can help you better cope with life’s ups and downs.
  • Get adequate sleep – the body needs sleep to recuperate so that we’re able function at our best.  Inadequate sleep can cause irrational thinking.
  • Take a few slow and steady deep breaths
  • Assess the situation – that is, (what’s within your control and what’s not within your control)
  • Address what you can and get help for the rest

Remember, this too shall pass!    Stress is not all bad, it is how we choose to handle the situations that determine how we come out in the end. We may not have control over every situation but we do still have control over how we let it affect us.

Stay blessed and not stressed.  Have a great weekend.

Thanks for stopping by:)

Health and Wellness Fridays: Lifestyle

Welcome back dear friends to Health and Wellness Fridays! 🙂 Thank God we persevered and made it.  After a long, hectic week Fridays just seem to make everything easier.

This week my post is a little different to what I would normally do.  Why you ask?  Well, health and wellness is not just about what we eat but also how we care for and treat our bodies as well.

It is important that we not only nourish our bodies with food but also do things that help care for our bodies.  I’m a firm believer in “prevention is better than cure.”

Here are some things we can do to help care for our bodies outside of eating properly.

Getting a proper night’s rest – did you know that the average adult between the ages of 18 -60 years needs about 7 or more hours of sleep per night?

Get active – it is important to get your body moving so running, dancing, swimming, walking, cardio exercise, cycling, tennis whatever form you choose it is a step in the right direction.

Knowing when to stop and rest – this is sometimes easier said than done at times but the body gives us signs when it is tired and sometimes we ignore them.  It is important that we get proper rest to ensure that we are able to function at our best both mentally and physically.

Get regular check-ups.  We don’t have to wait to become ill to visit our healthcare provider.  Schedule a check-up to make sure that you are truly performing at your best.

Maintain proper oral hygiene. Visit your dentist. Taking care of our teeth would be cheaper that ordering new ones. 🙂

Have your eyes tested to ensure that they are healthy and functioning properly.

Read and research the ingredients of the products you use.   Some of those ingredients found in everyday products research has shown can do more damage than good.  Click here to learn more.

Find healthy forms of relaxation for both the mind and body.  Some people use yoga, meditation, music, others even have a spa day while some take up sports.  Whatever helps you relax and find peace of mind, body and spirit do it.  We all face stressful situations in life some have more than others but not having a healthy way to cope can result in you becoming ill or worse resulting in a nervous breakdown if not addressed and handled properly.

Reduce and end negativity – we sometimes underestimate how toxic negative people and negative thinking can be on our overall well-being.  Take control of your life. Be the pencil and eraser, add what you want and remove what you don’t.

Last but by no means least believe that YOU are worth the investment.

These are just a few of my suggestions.  I know life can be hectic and it is difficult to keep track of everything all the time.  I fall short sometimes but I don’t let it get me down I just get back on the path and keep moving forward and that’s what you should do as well.  Beating ourselves up about what we didn’t do does not make it better.  Instead focus on what you are going to do to make it right.

Our bodies can only give back what we put into it.   If we give it 20% it would give back 20%, if we give it 60% then we get back 60% and so on. Create a balance between what you put into your body and how you care for it externally as well.    The time, effort and resources we invest now may help us in the future by reducing our risks for various types of diseases and illnesses.

Health and Wellness is therefore a lifestyle.  What we choose to do and not do in regards to our health and overall well-being has consequences in both the short-term and the long-term which consequences are you prepared to live with?

Thank you for stopping by.  Have a great night and a wonderful weekend!:)