Words Matter, Now More Than Ever: Easy Ways to Encourage and Uplift Others

 

Sign of Encouragement
Supporting the Neighborhood and Small Business

 

Your words of encouragement to a loved one, a friend or colleague can mean a lot to them. In fact, in times of despair and gloom, your words may be the most important things for them to cling to. Don’t shy away from expressing hope and inspiration to people around you. You may be in need of them at some point in your life as well.

Kindness starts with one person, in this case two people.  I am fortunate to be friends with the husband and wife that took the time and spent the money to have the BE BRAVE, BE KIND sign made and placed near their driveway to encourage their neighbors. Always thoughtful of others, my friend said, “We were so happy how it turned out, the company we hired nailed what I wanted.” With this gesture, they supported both the neighborhood and a grateful small business owner who told them, “You really way overpaid me.” Whether you are a neighbor, parent, friend, co-worker, company executive, or someone that others look up to for any reason, words hold immense power and impact. That’s why it’s critical that your words build others up.

 

“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.” – Mahatma Gandhi

 

There are plenty of opportunities to provide support to others. Here are a few for you to consider:

  1. Personal Check-ins

Let others know you care about the things that are important to them. Take the time to learn about their family, interests, fears, challenges, and goals and provide them with the opportunity to talk about it.

Pick a different person every day and send them a quick email or text to check in with them. It’s not as personal as a phone call, but it is the thought that counts. Even if you make an effort to do this just once a week for one person, notice how your connections respond to the encouragement.

  1. Add Words of Encouragement to Introductions

Undoubtedly, you will have an opportunity to bring people into your circle of friends and influence. When you introduce someone, add a few words of acknowledgement for their abilities, experience and accomplishments. This is an expression of appreciation for the specific value that person offers.

Promote a friend or acquaintance for the things they do. Share how they have helped you or why they are “special”.  It’s encourages people when they are personally recognized and supported.

  1. Celebrate the Important “Moments”

Acknowledge the victories and accomplishments of others with a personal note, a congratulatory phone call or virtual card. Nothing is too small or insignificant. If appropriate, share their success with others.

  1. Pray for Others

Let people know that you’re praying for them. Tell them what specifically you’re praying for them so they know you understand their needs. It makes your words of encouragement more sincere and concrete. Don’t forget to check back with them to see how they are doing.

  1. Tell People the Way They Have Encouraged You

Encouragement works two ways. Let them know how much you appreciated their encouragement and how it made a difference in your life.

  1. Acknowledge Positive Treatment of Others

Recognize someone for the positive way they treat others. If you have noticed that someone has treated others with sensitivity, kindness, compassion, generosity, etc., mention it and let them know you noticed. Not long ago I did this at the hairdresser. I complimented the supervisor on the kind way she interacted with the stylists she was training. I gave her specific examples of the behavior I observed that was impressive to me.  My comments took her by surprise, she was thankful I took the time to say something.

  1. Support Others On Social Media

If you are on social media, use it to encourage others. Whether your connections are celebrating an anniversary, a job promotion, the start of a new business, or dealing with a challenge, take time to comment on their updates with sincere words of encouragement. It’s not the number of people that respond that is important, but, the genuineness of the responses received.

  1. Encourage Strangers

You can be the one to brighten a person’s day. You never know what is going on in someone’s life. Make a point to positively engage others. Ask them, “How is your day going?” then listen before you respond. A kind word from you at the right time could make a positive impact on the rest of their day…..and yours.

  1. Demonstrate Acts of Kindness

Extend neighborly kindness and encouragement. Support an elderly neighbor, rake leaves, take their garbage to the street each week and return the empty can after pick-up. Share fruit from your fruit trees and vegetables from your garden.

  1. Encourage the Youth

Listen to young people, encourage them to talk, and let them know you care about their concerns and value their  opinions. We can all learn something from children and young adults.

  1. Send Gift Cards

For your friends out of work or with small businesses that are suffering, send a special gift card or send customers their way.  Make sure the gift card is for something they need or could use during the rough time they are experiencing.

  1. Create a Culture of Encouragement

At work, at home, even at the grocery store, words matter. Your words can have a profound impact on the people in your life. Something that seems of no consequence to you can lift another person’s spirits.

Let me hear from you. What are you currently doing to encourage others? What are some other ways you can offer encouragement? Who can you encourage right now?

Stay Healthy and Tapped In to What Life Has to Offer…………

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. http://www.tapin2success.com

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.

Tenacity: Hang in There, Never Give Up!

Keep-Going

Have you been told, “hang in there”, “never give up”, “stick to it”, or “keep on going”?  When you are struggling, people may say these well-meaning words of encouragement.  Most people will tell you that tenacity is a great quality to have, especially if you’re trying something new and challenging that takes a while to complete.

Odds are, the people you admire have shown real tenacity in achieving their goals. Anything really worth doing takes persistence, perseverance, and stubborn determination. Being an accomplished writer requires real gifts, no doubt, but even the most gifted writer won’t make it to the best seller list without the tenacity required to make the long, hard journey from struggling to write the first few sentences, paragraphs, pages, chapters and progressing to writing entire books.

Tenacity is the quality displayed by someone who just won’t quit — who keeps trying until they reach their goal. Tenacity is more important than the degree of talent you have. You can learn anything, accomplish anything, if you’re tenacious enough, if you’re willing to hang in there long enough, willing to do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes.

Are you? If not, let me tell you about a woman by the name of Ida Keeling, perhaps she will inspire you as she has me. Ida Keeling was having a difficult time dealing with major losses in her life. Her husband passed away some years ago and both of her sons died tragically. She felt the pain of losing her sons was just too much to bear. Her daughter, Cheryl was worried about her, the smile had left Ida’s face and the light inside of her seemed to have gone off.

Cheryl owned a fitness business and often ran in races. She decided to ask her mother to attend a cross-country race with her held in Brooklyn, New York, not as a spectator but to actually run 3.1 miles.  Reluctantly, Ida, finally agreed.  I need to tell you that at this time Ida was 67 years old running in her very first race. Does this sound impressive?  It gets better.

Ida is 103 years old, born May 15, 1915! Yes, and she now holds Masters records in 60 meter and 100 meter distances for women in the 95-99 and 100-plus age groups.   Ida set the fastest known time by a 99-year-old woman for the 100 -meter dash at 59.80.

On April 30, 2016, Ida became the first woman in history to complete a 100-meter run at the age of 100. Her time of 1:17.33, was the best ever recorded in the 100-meter dash for any female age 100 or older.

On July 17, 2018, Ida appeared on TV and received an honorary Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award. The ESPY honors the top athletes every year, and now 103-year-old Ida Keeling is one of them.

Tenacity is about a mindset and approach to maintaining the momentum needed to accomplish what you want in life and then the cycle continues, completing one race at a time and continuing to practice skill building on a continuous basis, like Ida.

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

Dr. Myra

 

 

 

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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Happy New Year!

 

fireworks-light-japan-festival-66277.jpeg

 

Happy New Year My TAP IN Friends!

I hope you had a great holiday season.  Can you believe it is now 2018? I am excited, there are so many things I want to accomplish this year and a lot I want to share with you.

It’s that time of year where we look-back and reflect on the year that just past but also look-ahead at what we want to accomplish in the new year.

As you think about what you accomplished last year, ask yourself, ‘How did I do, did I reach the goals I set for myself ‘? Making the most of this new year will require tenacity and determination. As you plan your goals for 2018, I encourage you to consider a robust focus on self-empowerment and on-going learning.

There’s no reason why this year can’t be your best year yet; make the most of it by attending our self-empowerment workshops, webinars and events designed to help you gain new knowledge and skills which in-turn help you accomplish your goals and ambitions.

Stay connected with us.  Look out for my blogs, schedule of events and learn about resources throughout the year.

I wish you all the best this year.  Let’s Declare 2018 the Year of Self-Empowerment!

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