Emerging Stronger: 18 Strategies to Bounce Back from Heightened Stress and Worry

Maui Sunset with Sailboat

 

Stressed? Worried? Wishing you could sail away into the sunset?

If you are like me, your email inbox has been flooded by communications from companies detailing their responses to the coronavirus.

The challenge that this outbreak represents to you, your family, friends, and colleagues is likely not similar to anything you have experienced before. All of us currently find ourselves having to process our way through uncertainty, understandable anxiety and heightened stress. At some point though, hopefully sooner rather than later, the world will return to what we refer to as “normal”. Throughout history, people have always risen to meet whatever challenges have been thrown their way — usually emerging stronger than ever.

I want to take a moment to share with you some optimism and actions you can take to remain self-empowered and cope with the day-to-day challenges we are all currently dealing with, but, before I do here is how I see stress and worry defined:

What is Stress?

People often use the word stress interchangeably with anxiety, feeling anxious, fearful, nervous, overwhelmed, or panic. Stress is a biological response that is a normal part of our lives. It is a physiological response usually connected to some kind of external event or circumstance, like the coronavirus we are currently dealing with. In order for the cycle of stress to begin, there must be a stressor.

What is Worry?

Worry is a state of intensified concern over uncertainty of actual or potential problems. It is what happens when your mind dwells on negative thoughts, uncertain outcomes or things that could go wrong. Numerous studies have shown that worry not only puts a strain on our mental health, but on our physical health, as well. Too much worry can lead to anxiety, which can have a lasting impact on health and happiness. For instance, research has shown that anxiety can take a toll on your sleep, tax your immune system, and even affect your risk of dying from disease.

All that being said, we have good reason to remain on top of conditions that cause stress and worry in our lives. Here are 18 practical and easy actions you can take starting today:

1.Stay Active

Exercise may not completely make your stress disappear, but it will reduce some of the emotional intensity that you may be feeling, clearing your thoughts and letting you deal with your situation more calmly. Try taking a walk, go for a run, work in your garden, or clean out the garage. Personally, I love dancing in the kitchen, you can ask my husband. Exercise and movement is a way for your body to release endorphins, and recover from the increase of adrenaline and cortisol.

2. Adjust Your Sleep Habits

One effect of stress is that it can cause sleep deprivation. Frequently being in a heightened state of alertness can delay the onset of sleep and cause rapid, anxious thoughts to occur at night. Insufficient sleep can then cause further stress.

Sleep is a powerful stress reducer, when you follow a regular sleep routine it calms and restores the body, improves concentration, regulates mood, and sharpens judgment and decision-making. You are a better problem solver and are better able to cope with stress when you’re well-rested.

3. Drink Herbal Tea

There are hundreds of different herbal teas you can drink, all with varying tastes and benefits. These benefits can range from treating a cold to relieving stress, to anti-aging properties. Try these stress and anxiety reducing teas:  Chamomile, lavender, peppermint, Ginger and Passionflower. It is amazing what a hot cup of tea can do, don’t forget to take the time to appreciate the aroma.

4. Add Essential Oils & Candles to Your Environment

Using scents to treat your mood is called aromatherapy. Several studies show that aromatherapy can decrease anxiety and improve sleep. It is thought to help activate certain receptors in your brain, potentially easing anxiety. Try adding a few drops of oil into your bathtub water, into a basket of dried flowers, and into an aromatherapy diffuser.

Here are a few scents I have found calming:

  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Eucalyptus
  • Peppermint
  • Chamomile
  • Frankincense
  • Sandalwood
  • Orange blossom

Whether they’re in oil form or a candle, scents like lavender, chamomile, and sandalwood can be very soothing.

5. Keep a Journal

One way to handle stress is to write things down. You can focus on what you’re stressed about, you can focus on problem solving, and you can write about what you’re grateful for.

Sometimes when things feel overwhelming it is difficult to identify what is going well. At the end of every day, try writing down 3 things that went well, or for which you’re grateful.  Keeping a journal with a focus on gratitude may help relieve your stress and anxiety especially if you focus your thoughts on what’s positive in your life and finding solutions for the things you can control.

6.   Take Control

The feeling of loss of control is one of the main causes of stress and anxiety. If you remain passive, your stress can get worse.  The act of taking control is self-empowering and is a crucial part of finding a solution to a given situation.

Changing a situation such as the coronavirus may not be possible for you personally. You may not have total control of the situation, so get clear on what you can and can’t control. Then focus your energy on what you can control, the actions you can take to ease the impact, and accept what you can’t.

7. Self-Educate

Spend time on self-education to learn new skills.  Take online courses you’ve been interested in but have been putting them off.  Complete those home study sessions that can help you achieve your career or personal goals. Many businesses are transitioning to increased remote work, and moving events onto digital platforms, this being the case, they could be more receptive to supporting you financially to attend online professional development and training.

8. Take Advantage of Teleworking and Telecommuting Opportunities

Sometimes you have a choice to work from home. When dealing with stressful situations, you may find working from home is just what you need and where you have the most control. However, if you haven’t done it before, you will discover working in your home environment requires a unique set of skills. Teleworkers or virtual employees have additional challenges created by not being in a centralized office setting.

The Hubbard Online Learning Institute offers many online programs. With COVID-19 on the rise and people starting to work from home, the institute has released our Telework and Telecommuting eLearning course free for individuals should they feel the need for training on the differences of working from home.

To access this course yourself, use the following link:

https://www.softskillslms.com/hubbard_and_hubbard_inc/reg/95025

 

9. Connect with People

A good network of support including friends and family can help you get through stressful times and help you see things from different perspectives. Being part of a friend network gives you a sense of belonging and self-worth, which can help you in difficult times.

One study found that for women in particular, spending time with friends helps release oxytocin, a natural stress reliever. However, both men and women benefit from friendship.

When practicing social distancing, connect with friends and loved ones through video chats, phone calls, texting, and email. It really helps to feel the strength of your connections to your friends and loved ones, even though you may not be with them in person.

A free app you may want to try is Google Duo video calling which works on Android and iOS smartphones, tablets, and computers. It allows you to connect with your friends and family as well as do face-to-face group calling with up to 8 people.

For more information: https://duo.google.com/about/

10. Find Humor

It’s hard to feel anxious when you’re laughing. In the long term, laughter is good for your health can help improve your immune system and mood. Try watching a funny movie or a game show, read a humorous book, or communicate with a friend or relative that makes you laugh. Sometimes all you can do is laugh.

11. Chew Gum

This may sound funny but, for a super easy and quick stress reliever, try chewing a stick of gum. One study showed that people who chewed gum had a greater sense of wellbeing and lower stress. One possible explanation is that chewing gum causes brain waves similar to those of relaxed people. Another is that chewing gum promotes blood flow to your brain.

12. Practice Prayer and Meditation

Many studies have shown that daily prayer has a profound impact on your physical health. There are a few reasons for this. Daily prayer has been shown to lower stress rates, which positively impacts many aspects of your physical health: from your blood pressure, to your heart rate, to your immune system.

Whatever your religion may be, daily prayer and meditation are calming and wonderful ways to cultivate strength during challenging times.

13. Listen to Soothing Music

Listening to music can have a very relaxing effect on the body. Slow-paced instrumental music can induce the relaxation response by helping lower blood pressure and heart rate as well as stress hormones.

Some types of classical, jazz, and Native American music can be particularly soothing, but, simply listening to the music you enjoy is effective too. I am a huge fan of smooth jazz, two musicians I recommend to listen to when you need to calm down and “chill” are:

Peter White, an awesome smooth jazz and jazz fusion guitarist. He is my number one stress releasing musician. Here is what one of his fans had to say, “He makes life worth listening to, no matter how rough your day is, Peter can take you somewhere to chill. My mind and body thank you Peter.”

Paul Hardcastle, a multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist. Paul’s tune entitled “No Stress at All” is wonderful. When I listen to the sounds and sway to the rhythm of this instrumental, it takes me back to sitting on the lanai looking at the Kaanapali Beach at sunset in Maui, Hawaii. One of his fans had this to say about Paul, “Where ever you want to be at, take Paul Hardcastle with you, his music will babysit your moods”.

Nature sounds can also be very calming. This is why they’re often incorporated into relaxation, spa and meditation music. Experiment, find out what nature sounds and music provide you with the level of comfort you are looking for.

14. Try Deep Breathing

Mental stress activates your sympathetic nervous system, signaling your body to go into “fight-or-flight” mode. During this reaction, stress hormones are released and you experience physical symptoms such as a faster heartbeat, quicker breathing and constricted blood vessels.

The goal of deep breathing is to focus your awareness on your breath, making it slower and deeper. When you breathe in deeply through your nose, your lungs fully expand and your belly rises.

Try breathing in for 4 counts and breathing out for 4 counts for 5 minutes total. By evening out your breath, you’ll slow your heart rate which should help calm you down and allow you to feel more peaceful.

15. Find Comfort from Your Pet

Having a pet may help reduce stress and improve your mood. Interacting with pets may help release oxytocin, a brain chemical that promotes a positive mood. Having a pet may also help relieve stress by giving you purpose, keeping you active and providing companionship — all qualities that help reduce anxiety.

16. Limit Your Worry Time

Give yourself a worry “budget,” an amount of time in which you allow yourself to worry about a problem. Set aside a designated “worry time”. Instead of worrying all day, every day, designate a 20-minute period of time where you can think about your problems. Penn State researchers found in a study that a four-step stimulus control program could help seriously stressed people take control of their anxieties.

Step One: Identify the object of worry.

Step Two: Come up with a time and place to think about your worry.

Step Three: If you catch yourself worrying at a time other than your designated worry time, STOP, then make a point to think of something else.

Step Four: Use your “worry time” productively by thinking of solutions to the worries.

 

17. Stick to Credible Sources of Information

Stick with sources of credible information, so you can avoid misrepresentation. So as not to overdose, if you want to stay informed, try getting regular updates from credible sources in the morning and check again briefly toward the end of the day. There’s no need to stay tuned in 24/7 — it can actually make your anxiety much, much worse.

Ultimately, there are two ways in which stress and worry go away: When Circumstances Change or When You Change.

18. Emerge Stronger

Emerge from stress and worry stronger as a result. You may have developed new skills, became a super creative problem solver, are more resilient and self-empowered as a result. Taking words from Kelly Clarkson’s song, Stronger, What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger.

Although stress and anxiety may arise in your workplace and personal life, there are many simple ways to reduce the pressure and emerge stronger. I hope these tips help you with the source of your stress and worry. Exercise, scents, music and meditation can all be beneficial. According to Dr. Luana Marques, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, “In some ways, anxiety is what happens when you’re dealing with a lot of worry and a lot of stress.” Let’s all work to reduce them.

 

Let Us Hear From You!

We pray for everyone’s health and safety during these turbulent times. Let us hear from you. Tell us which of the tips and recommendations you find most useful and why? Share with us, based on your personal experiences, advice you would offer to others to manage their worry, stress or anxiety?

 

“And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.” __ Author Unknown

 

Stay Tapped In……

Dr. Myra

Women’s Self-Empowerment Strategist

Author of Empowering Yourself to Embrace Change, Experience Leaves Clues, and the Upcoming Book: TAP IN: Elevating Women’s Self-Empowerment

A Dynamic and engaging speaker, Dr. Myra Hubbard is available for Keynote Presentations, Conferences, Retreats, Training, and Consulting engagements. She can be reached at myrahub@aol.com or 707-481-2268.

What Is Your Love Language?

 

Free-Valentine

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

It is February and we are well into the new year. Around Valentine’s Day we tend to think about how we can express our love to those close to us, as well as individuals in our personal network of support. Most often we search the racks for the perfect card to express our feelings or purchase a gift to celebrate the occasion.

But wait, before you purchase your gift. According to Gary Chapman in his book, The Five Love Languages, he identifies ways to express and experience love. He calls these ways of expression “love languages” in which each person has one primary and one secondary language.

The five languages identified are:

1. Gifts

Giving gifts that are meaningful to the person you are expressing love to.

2. Quality Time

Spending quality time together and sharing experiences can create fond memories. The time together doesn’t have to be an expensive trip to Paris. A gift of time can be priceless.

3. Words of Affirmation

Words of affirmation means expressing affection for your love one through spoken affection, praise or appreciation.

Telling your significant other, “I love you”, “thank you, honey” and “I appreciate you” are examples of affirming words.

4. Acts of Service

Acts of service involves taking actions rather than expressing words that are used to show and receive love. I recently made my BFF (Best Friends Forever), a pot of homemade chicken soup when she told me she was sick with a cold. She does so much for me and I wanted to do something for her. In other words, communicate in her love language.

5. Physical touch

It is amazing how much you can express or feel from a gentle touch, a hug, a kiss. A touch that says, “I love you”, a hug that says “I care”, or a kiss that says “I am here for you”.

Based on your personal experience, would you add more love languages?

Chapman suggests that to discover another person’s love language, observe the way they express love to you, analyze what they complain about most frequently and listen to what they request from you most often.

Chapman says people tend to naturally give love in the way that they prefer to receive it, and better communication between couples can be accomplished when you can demonstrate caring to the other person in the love language the recipient understands and appreciates.

An example would be if your husband’s love language is acts of service, he may be confused when he does the laundry for you and you don’t perceive that as an act of love, viewing it as simply performing household duties. You could have this view because the love language you may appreciate and understand is verbal affirmation that he loves you. You may be thinking, you can’t remember the last time he said “I love you”.

You may try to use what you value, words of affirmation, to express your love for him, which he would not value as much as you do.

If you understand your partner’s love language, by mowing the lawn for him, he perceives it in his love language as an act of expressing your love for him; likewise, if he tells you he loves you, you may value that as an act of love.

I believe we can express love every day and can add compassion, kindness, forgiveness, and humor to the list. I recall talking to a woman that had been going through hard times with her husband. When I asked her what it was about him that makes you stay, her response was, “he makes me laugh”.

No doubt your love one is a significant part of your network of support. How we demonstrate our gratitude and love for members of our personal network is through meaningful gifts, quality time, acts of kinds, words of encouragement, and a loving hug of appreciation.

This maybe a good time to take a minute to reflect and have a heart-to-heart conversation with your significant other to determine if you are “speaking” the “right” love language.

Let me know your thoughts.

Stay Tapped In to the Love Life Has to Offer……

Dr. Myra

Women’s Self-Empowerment Strategist

Author of the Upcoming Book: TAP IN: Elevating Women’s Self-Empowerment

A Dynamic and engaging speaker, Dr. Myra Hubbard is available for Keynote Presentations, Conferences, Retreats, Training, and Consulting engagements. She can be reached at myrahub@aol.com or 707-481-2268.

 

 

Using Your Voice: Tool or Weapon

Women's Day

 

As we spring forward into a new season, March is also the month we take time to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD).

 

“Have you ever wondered which hurts the most, saying something and wishing you had not, or saying nothing and wishing you had.”

The Right

Self-empowerment includes springing forward and taking steps to speak up on your own behalf. It can be uncomfortable and even frightening at times. I know, your heart can start to beat fast before you can get the first word out. You search for the three “rights”, the right Words, the right Time, and the right Place. In the moment, may not always be the right time or place, however, it could be your empowering moment. The point is that you have a right to respond or not.

 

wrecking-ball-

You don’t have to use the wrecking ball approach to break your wall of silence if you decide to respond. The wrecking ball symbolizes a hard approach, where you behave in an abrasive, “tell it like it is, in-your-face”, attacking way. It can do serious damage to your relationships and your professional reputation. Finding your voice and speaking up for yourself in an effective and respectful way is a talent you can develop as you build your self-empowerment muscles.

 

“The greatest talent one can have is learning when to speak and when to not.”
― Bryant A. Loney

 

TPC Dynamics

Management consultant, Noel Tichy’s TPC Conceptual Framework can be a useful tool. The framework suggests there are three major dynamics to consider before you make the move to spring forward and make the decision to speak up.  Each dynamic raises questions about the situation:

Technical Dynamic:  Can I do this? Do I have the skills and ability to speak up for myself in a respectful way?

Power Dynamic:  What is the power structure of the relationship? Who am I dealing with? Whose power is being challenged? What do I have to lose or gain by speaking up at this time and place?

Cultural Dynamic: In this type of situation and at this place, what is seen as acceptable behavior?  What values and traditions are you challenging by speaking up? Is expressing yourself valued? Are you in a “safe to say” working environment? Traditionally, has it been okay for some individuals but not others to confront offensive comments directed at them?

You may be shy, you want to avoid conflict, or may not know the words to say, but sometimes staying silent can be more damaging than speaking up. Whether it’s to stick up for yourself or intervene when you see wrong doing, have the courage to say what needs to be said.   It could be when your coworker, manager, parent, spouse, sibling or a peer has made a demeaning comment to you or about someone else. In the past, you felt you should have said something, but, for various reasons you didn’t.

When you are an authentic, self-empowered woman with integrity, your goal is to keep the relationship on a positive level, while being true to yourself and your feelings. This takes  a gathering your thoughts.

Your opinion has value and you have every right and sometimes an obligation to express it. Whether you are angry or calm, the challenge is responding with respect when you don’t feel respected by the person or environment you find yourself in.

OUCH Technique

Author, Leslie C. Aguilar recommends use of an Ouch technique when responding to demeaning comments. My adaption of the OUCH technique can be beneficial in confronting challenging situations. Ouch indicates to the other person, their words had a negative and sometimes hurtful impact on you. With this technique, you model the respect you would like to receive by speaking up in a positive way. After all, you might unintentionally step on someone’s toes someday and would like the same courteous behavior shown to you.

Here is how it works…..

O – Recognize the OPPORTUNITY you have to speak up. Say “Ouch!”, then explain why you said it and the impact the comment had on you. Acknowledge that the person(s) may not have intended to offend you.

U – Seek to UNDERSTAND the rationale behind the comment while maintaining a positive good faith effort without blaming or attacking the other person(s).

C – CLARIFY by asking open-ended questions.

H – HARNESS the areas where there is agreement, lessons learned from the interaction and how you can address these situations in the future.

This technique is a way to remain self-empowered, express yourself, and maintain the self-esteem of others involved. You can use it with an individual, with-in a group, at work or at home. Use the TPC Framework to determine the dynamics of the situation, the time and place to speak up. If the timing isn’t right, you can find a more appropriate time to address something that was said earlier.

Using your voice can be self-empowering, give it a try.

 

“It’s not about finding your voice, it’s about giving yourself permission to use your voice.”__ Kris Carr 

 

“Stay Tapped In to the wonderful things life has to offer.”

Dr. Myra

 

A Dynamic and engaging speaker, Dr. Myra Hubbard is available for Presentations, Conferences, Retreats, Training, and Consulting engagements. She can be reached at myrahub@aol.com or 707-481-2268.

 

Making Your Birthday a Self-Empowering Experience

Happy Birthday

Each month we’re celebrating someone’s birthday, if it is your birthday this month, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! If it isn’t, your month will be here before you know it.

“Your birthday is the beginning of your own personal new year. Your first birthday was a beginning, and each new birthday is a chance to begin again, to start over, to take a new grip on life.” __ Wilfred Peterson

I believe birthdays are special and are to be acknowledged and celebrated.  They don’t have to be about expensive dinners, exotic trips or elaborate gifts. No matter what birthday you are celebrating, whether you are in your teens, turning 21, hitting 30, approaching 50, getting sassy in your 70’s, reaching 80’s, 90’s and beyond, consider this…….there are people that never made it to your age. You have friends and/or relatives that never celebrated the birthday you get to celebrate.  My good friend, Dessie, never made it. My cousins, Debbie, Diane, Rita, Irene, and Clarence never made it to my age.  Wow, how sobering.  I mention this not to make you sad, but, to encourage you to reflect on your gift of life.

“Don’t just count your years, make your years count.” __ George Meredith

Each birthday is a blessing and awesome gift in itself. The older I get the longer my husband and I celebrate. We use to celebrate the day, then a weekend, advanced to a week, and we have reached the point where we now celebrate an entire birthday month.  I love it! How is that for acknowledging our gift of life?

You are probably asking, “What do you do to celebrate for an entire month?” It takes imagination and frequently telling the person, Happy Birthday during the month. This year, we enjoyed a great birthday month for my husband.  The month started with a surprise jazz weekend get-a-way, our friends met us at the event and shocked him with his favorite cake topped off with glowing candles for him to blow out. We had multiple dinner dates with friends at surprise locations. Each time we went out to eat during his birthday month, the restaurant staff sang Happy Birthday. The Italian restaurant sang in Italian and the Mexican restaurant sang in Spanish. The bonus was a yummy dessert with a candle.

Birthdays can be an empowering experience. By taking the path of self-empowered birthdays, we can push back against the loss of purpose that too often comes as our years advance.

What Are Self-Empowered Birthdays?

A Self-empowered birthday means taking control of one’s life, learning, updating and improving skills, taking risks, building confidence, assuming power over personal circumstances, and developing the resilience to overcome inevitable challenges to come. Self-empowered birthdays improve your odds to accomplish life goals that others may discount, and to enjoy self-esteem and satisfaction that others may lack.

“It is only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it were the only one we had.” __Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

The positive self-perception of birthdays that can flow from self-empowerment may actually save lives. An article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology reported that individuals with more positive self-perceptions of aging outlived those with less positive self-perceptions of aging by seven and a half years.

There are many roads to self-empowerment, depending upon an individual’s personal goals, beliefs, and values. Here are just a few……LIVE

Live a Life of Learning

Lifelong learning should be a personal commitment for us all. Whether learning takes place in a classroom or online, it stimulates, engages, and empowers. It increases knowledge and refreshes skills. Education enhances confidence. It presents new challenges and goals. It provides an information base and a new relationship network from which to advance a current career, pursue a new career, or begin an entrepreneurial venture.

Live Your Dream, Take More Risks

Make your dreams a reality. Start your own business, go back to school or seek a new career, etc. Entrepreneurship may not be for everyone, but increased experience, perspective, and problem-solving skills that comes with each birthday enhances your chances of success.

Live a Life with Flexibility

The person with the most flexibility will have more choices in life. Having a choice is better than no choice and more choices are certainly better than less choices. Similarly, if what you are doing is not working, you need to do something else. This highlights the need to change your behavior and do something else, again and again if need be, until your desired outcome is achieved.

Live a Life with Humor

With the confidence that comes from self-empowerment and the experience to know that all paths in life have twists and turns, we all need to take the opportunities presented by birthdays seriously. At the same time, we must try to maintain perspective and a sense of humor, even in the face of frustration and fear.

Appreciate that longer lives are a great gift. Past generations would be awestruck by the extent of our longevity and the possibilities. Embrace with gratitude the experience each birthday brings and the challenge of taking on each through self-empowerment.

“Life isn’t about your age. Life is about living. So when your birthday comes be thankful for the year that has just past and anticipate with a happy heart what the coming year will bring.” __Catherine Pulsifer

A Dynamic and engaging speaker, Dr. Myra Hubbard is available for Presentations, Conferences, Retreats, Training, and Consulting engagements. She can be reached at myrahub@aol.com or 707-481-2268.

 

 

Celebrating Women: International Women’s Day

 

Women's Day

Did you know we have an International Women’s Day?  Are you curious how long it has been in existence and what does it all mean to us?  While it’s an internationally recognized celebration, you still may have some questions about what it means and why we celebrate.  You are not alone if this is the case.

International Women’s Day was founded more than one hundred years ago!  Yes, since the early 1900’s after thousands of women marched in New York to demand better working conditions and for the right to vote.  There were over 15,000 women participating in this march.  International Women’s Day was officially adopted by the United Nations in 1975. Fast forward to today and March 8 is the global celebration of women’s social, economic, and political achievements and to advocate for gender equality. International Women’s Day is all about Unity, Celebration, Reflection, Advocacy and Empowerment.

Why Purple?

Different holidays, events, organizations, and celebrations use color to highlight and bring attention to their existence and significance. Purple is the official color used to symbolize International Women’s Day.    In recent years, women have relied on clothing color as a symbol of celebrating the empowerment of women.  Historically, purple signifies justice and dignity. Internationally, it has become a color symbolizing the celebration of International Women’s Day.

The use of color can be what is called an Anchor.  Anchoring is an empowerment technique that uses a stimulus; it may be a color, a sound, an image, a touch, smell or a taste to trigger a consistent response in you. We will discuss Anchors in more detail in another blog because they can be a very powerful self-empowerment tool you can use strategically.

We don’t have to wait to celebrate ourselves one day a year, celebrate yourself every day, and continue to elevate yourself as you practice skills of self-empowerment.

Tres Amigas (3 Friends): 10 Benefits of Investing in Friendship

 

TapIN Logo

 

Have you ever experienced a day like this?  You and your BFF (Best Friends Forever) or in this case BFFs haven’t seen each other for a couple of months.  Everyone has been so busy with “life”, you know from experience that friendships can take a back seat to other priorities and commitments, such as work and family.  You have been texting back and forth to keep in touch and finally schedule a face-to-face “meet-up” together.  One of you identifies a movie to see, another finds an inexpensive place to eat, and the third suggests going to a coffee shop to cap off the evening.

You find a spot to chat in the coffee shop.  You share pictures, update each other on what’s happening in each other’s lives and before you know it, you hear, “Excuse me ladies, we hate to interrupt, but, we are closing.”  You didn’t notice, one person had a broom in his hand, they had cleaned the coffee equipment and it looked like they were finished cleaning up the entire shop. The three of you friends, Tres Amigas, were the only people left.

Networks of Support

What happened to the time?  Why didn’t you notice the things happening around you?  Here is my take on what was going on….

You were TAPPED IN to a key component of your Network of Support. In my TAP IN model above, the N stands for Network of Support, and SOCIAL is one of the 5 key networks to Develop, Cultivate and Maintain. It is not the quantity of friends you have in the Social network, it is the QUALITY of friendships you have in your life.

What are the benefits of friendships?

According to the Mayo Clinic, friendships can have a major impact on your health and well-being and play a significant role in promoting your overall health. Individuals with strong social support have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression and high blood pressure. Studies have even found that older people with a rich social life are likely to live longer than their peers that do not have quality friendships.

Friends can:

  1. Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
  2. Provide support when you try new things
  3. Encourage you to follow your Passion and achieve your Goals
  4. Help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times
  5. Boost your happiness and reduce your stress
  6. Prevent loneliness and give you a chance to offer needed companionship
  7. Improve your self-confidence and self-worth
  8. Help you cope with traumas, such as divorce, illness, job loss or the death of a loved one
  9. Encourage you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits
  10. Make you laugh and encourage you to have fun

 

The Investment

Many of us find it hard to develop new friendships or keep up with existing ones. Developing and maintaining quality friendships takes time and effort. The enjoyment and support friendship can provide, however, makes the investment worthwhile.

As I mentioned earlier, quality counts more than quantity. While it’s good to cultivate a diverse network of people in your life, you also want to nurture a few truly close friends, amigas, who will be there for you through the test of time.

Let me hear about your supportive friendships, I am always interested in your thoughts.

“Stay Tapped In to the wonderful things life has to offer.”

Dr. Myra

 

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Navigating the Mall

Personal Success Image 53
You Are Here! You can go in different directions, but, which one should you take?

It’s mid-January and no doubt you have received many messages about setting goals, getting focused, pursuing your dreams, visioning, and achieving personal and financial success.  Personally, I’m excited about the support systems we all have available to us and the possibilities we have moving forward in 2018.  It can be overwhelming because you want to do “it” all. Everyone has something to offer, yet you need a clear practical path to make an effective empowering decision.

It is like the map in the mall that has a red dot indicating, YOU ARE HERE.  You can go in many directions and each might lead to shopping bags full of bargains and attractive stuff, but, did you get what you want? Did you make a list before you entered the mall?  Have you been there and done that?

I am excited to have you a part of our TAP IN community. I want to be a part of your support network in 2018, helping you to navigate the map in the mall, chunking down the “I want it all” into manageable pieces.

Starting with a VISION, here are eight (8) critical actions you can take to help your decision making:

Step 1:  Clearly articulate what you want.

Step 2: Identify how you will know that you have “it”.

Step 3: Determine where, when, and whom you want “it”.

Step 4:  What will happen when you get “it”?

Step 5:  What resources do you currently have and need to get what you want? Such as identifying People, Organizations, Associations and Processes that resonate with you, your Values, Beliefs, and Goals.

Step 6: What stops you from having “it” now?

Step 7: What will having “it” do for you?

Step 8:  What will be your first significant empowering action step to keep you on track in 2018?

Like others, we also have resources to add to your Empowerment and Personal Success toolbox to enhance your ability to create skill-building choices.

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Let me hear from you, I am always interested in your thoughts.

“Stay Tapped In to the wonderful things life has to offer.”

Dr. Myra