Laughing Matters

 

A good, hard laugh does more than just make you feel good. It also lowers blood pressure and reduces your level of cortisol, your body’s stress hormone. In addition, laughing increases endorphins, your body’s natural pain killers. Laughing even activates T cells, an important component of your body’s immune system.  And get this — it can even tone your abs!

It’s really not so hard to make yourself laugh.  Have you ever begun laughing just because someone else is laughing even though you had no idea why they were laughing?  This is because laughing is contagious.  So one way to make yourself laugh is to seek out other people who are laughing or even a video of other people laughing.  Or you can look at silly cartoons or caricatures. You can also read a funny book or a comic strip.  Have you ever tried a “stare-down” with another person to see who laughs first?  It doesn’t take long for both people to burst out laughing.  If all else fails, you can just try forcing out a laugh in a physical way — sometimes this is the jumpstart you need to start the laughs rolling.  There doesn’t have to be a reason for the laughter.  Just let it happen.

Of course there are times when a situation we are experiencing is so serious that we need to allow ourselves time to grieve our losses and heal emotionally.  But even then, we may need a “break” from our seriousness.  Humor can be a very effective coping technique that gives our bodies a reprieve from the stress we experience when we encounter difficult times.  And like crying, laughing is cathartic, purging us of emotions that can overwhelm us when suppressed for too long.

So next time things are get too serious, don’t hesitate to lighten up with a good belly laugh.  It’ll do you good!

 

Diana Blake
Certified Professional Life Coach
New Leaf Coaching, LLC
443-832-3373
www.newleafcoaching.net

Write it Out

Even the best relationships are bound to have moments of tension and if we’re not careful, the way we handle these situations can harm what we have worked so hard to achieve. Acknowledging the other person’s feelings in addition to voicing your own can go a long way toward healing a rift.  It’s usually best if you can speak openly and honestly about your feelings face-to-face.  But what if you’re afraid you’ll become too emotional to discuss the situation rationally or you find you are interrupted too often to get your point across?  Try writing a letter!  Letters can be an excellent way to communicate when you’re upset because 1) writing can help you sort through your feelings and clarify them and 2) writing lets you express your point of view without interruption. You can give your letter to the recipient to be read later in a non-stressful environment.  Or you can actually read the letter aloud to the other person, requesting that you not be interrupted until you are finished.  The silent treatment can make matters worse and does not allow the relationship to grow.  Experience the power of the pen!

Diana Blake
Certified Professional Life Coach
New Leaf Coaching, LLC
443-832-3373
www.newleafcoaching.net

Creating Change in the New Year

The beginning of the New Year can be an excellent time to make changes in your life!  And resolutions are a great way to get the ball rolling.  Give yourself the very best chance of succeeding with the changes you are seeking with the following tips.

Don’t overwhelm yourself

Though we may want and expect immediate change, we are less likely to succeed with our resolutions if they are dramatic.  Just as habits form over a lifetime, new behaviors will need time to take root.  Start small and set reasonable goals for yourself that you believe you can attain and work your way up.  Think of your goals as seeds that will need time and nourishment to grow! 

Focus on what you want

When we want to change something, we often focus on ridding ourselves of a particular behavior or situation.  But it can be far more motivating to focus on what you want than what you don’t want.  In other words, we simply find it more inspiring to do something positive than to avoid something negative.  For example, instead of trying not to overeat, we can strive to create healthy and satisfying meals.  Instead of trying to stop overspending, we can aim to create a sensible budget and adhere to it.  Focus on the positive and take it from there!

Be specific

According to a recent psychological study, people who are explicit about their resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who aren’t.  Small successes can be strong motivators for us to continue our quest.  But being vague about our resolutions makes our successes vague.  So maximize your feelings of success by being super-specific about what you want to achieve and make sure you recognize and celebrate each and every small success!

Need a little help getting where you want to go?  Consider working with a life coach to create the changes you are seeking!  Learn more at www.newleafcoaching.net.

Have You Tried Cupping?

cuppingHow Cupping Works

Cupping is a practical way to drain fluids and toxins from various areas of the body, break up adhesions and lift and pull connective tissue, increase blood flow to stagnant muscle tissue and sooth the nervous system. Cupping is done by creating negative pressure inside a small one-to two-inch cup (approximately). When the cup is placed on the skin with suction, it pulls the skin up into the cup, and the negative pressure produces its therapeutic results. Practitioners may use a pump or a flame heat to create the suction.

The History of Cupping

Cupping has a long history and was first practiced in China and then in Egypt. From Egypt, cupping was introduced to the Greeks and eventually Europe, and was even used in America in the late 1800s. In fact, breast cupping for lactation dysfunctions has evolved into the breast pump we are familiar with today.  There is an age old tradition of using cupping to improve the physical condition.

Surprising Uses of Cupping

Cupping can be used for fibromyalgia patients, to reduce post-injury scar tissue, for chronic pain and post-surgery adhesions. Cupping is commonly used for bronchitis and asthma. In fact, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, cupping was done regularly in households across the country to treat these conditions, as well as for chest colds and flu.

Furthermore, cupping is used regularly in traditional Chinese medicine for digestive conditions and diarrhea, shoulder pain and frozen shoulder, headaches and migraines, infertility and menstruation problems, colds, acne, insomnia and soft tissue injuries.

Styles of Cupping:

There are two styles of cupping: moving and stationary. To perform moving cupping, oil must be applied to the skin before the cup is placed in order to allow for the cup to slide. Once the cup is placed, the practitioner will glide the cup up or down along the muscle pathway, breaking up adhesions and lengthening tissue by “pulling” it up and along. Stationary cups can be left on the body from 5 – 15 minutes. The stationary cups allow congestion and stagnation to break up and drain through the skin.

Both stationary and moving cupping are an excellent method of draining inflammation from the body by bringing it to the surface so that it can dissipate more readily.

NOTE: Cupping is relatively safe, if done by a trained practitioner, but it may leave dark circles on the surface of the skin as seen on the Olympic athletes in the competitions and even on the red carpet runway on the backs of celebrities. While harmless, these marks can appear quite disturbing. They may take as long a week to clear up

Rosemary is a detox specialist with 25 years of experience beginning with Asian bodywork therapies such as acupressure and shiatsu, she has received certifications in metabolic NAET, lymph massage, colon hydro therapy, to be included in her detox services along with ionic foot bath, and far infra red sauna at Nourishing- Journey.

Are you caught in the undertow?

underwater-1150045_1920I know this has been a rough year and the last few days have been very difficult for many.  I’d like to offer a (hopefully helpful and very humble) spiritually based perspective… an approach in dealing with these times of intense 3-D polarity to find our way to internal peace.  Take it or leave it – I just hope it helps in some way.

Why focus on internal peace instead of the external situation?  Internal peace spreads into external peace when those around us learn to follow our example.  When we hold that energy, it provides space and permission for others to do the same.

I was in meditation about all of this, and a vision of a wave came to me.  As I analyzed the wave, I observed that the wave could be really great if we are riding on top and seeing all of the beauty and the bigger picture of all-that-is.  Compassion and wisdom thrive in that space.

I also noticed that if we are pulled into the undertow of that wave, it can get chaotic, confusing and difficult very quickly and then it takes everything we have to keep from drowning.  This is where our limited earthly 3-D perspectives and judgments rule our experience.

Do you ever wonder how other really wonderful people can have such dramatically different points of view?  Well, it’s because we have all had very different experiences and have individual perspectives.  Literally, no two people see the world exactly the same way.  Some perspectives are more extreme than others, but they are all just points of view… mine, yours, theirs… we are creating a group consciousness that has become quite chaotic.  This is because we are putting our collective and individual energies into the undertow.

The word undertow means: any strong current below the surface, moving in a direction different from that of the surface current. Higher consciousness, compassion and peace flow in one direction on the surface, and that which prevents it flows in the undertow.

I truly believe that tough things happen for a deep and ultimately beautiful purpose.  Chaos is sometimes necessary to spur growth and healing, and it seems that the more healing we need, the more chaos is needed to stimulate that healing.  It doesn’t mean that we need to get caught up in the undertow of the chaos and we certainly don’t need to add energy to it.  We can keep putting our energies to the surface and rise above the chaos the best we can, helping others to do the same.

So, I encourage everyone to take a look at ways in which you are being caught in the undertow.  How are you responding to this chaos?  Are you adding chaotic energy by swimming in the under-current or are you helping to neutralize the chaos by rising to the surface?  We all have triggers on some level – pay attention to your triggers.  That is what needs healing inside of you.  This life seems to be more about what the triggers are bringing up to heal than it is about the trigger itself.  And, now is the perfect time for this healing to occur for and within all of us.

Let me know if I can help in any way – I am here for you.  Energy work is a powerful way to heal the triggers that are being experienced.  Meditation and exercise are also helpful, depending on how you prefer to process things.  Remember, the undertow doesn’t have to control you.

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