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Monday, May 21, 2012

Six Steps to Stress-Free Parenting

Ron Huxley offers parents to better manage stress
which means stress-reduced parents!

Get 300 strategies for managing stress today!
Nothing describes parenting better than stress! As far as I can tell, there are no stress-free ages or stages in raising children. Oh, some might be a little less challenging but they all have their ups and downs. Experts tell us that some stress, in moderate doses, actually increases performance. It is supposed to keep us sharp and ready for action. Too much stress and it will destroy our health and relationships.
Stress is defined as any physical or emotional demand that you feel unable to handle. These demands encompass all of the little hassles you experience every day, from the moment you try to get children up for school to the moment you finally get them to bed, at night. What makes daily hassles so dangerous is that they are too often considered trivial. Simply because they do occur every day, we disregard just how serious they can be to our overall wellbeing. Over time, these hassles of modern parenting add up, building in pressure, until we have an explosion of anger and frustration. In the aftermath, our family members stare at us in bewilderment or retaliate in defense.
The Parenting Toolbox:

a handy resource to reduce parenting stress.In contrast, we take more seriously life's major hassles. The big three are major illness, death, or a divorce.
No one questions us when we react strangely when these hassles rear their ugly head. We even get lots of sympathy cards and support in our time of need. But what happens when a major hassle is a cause of celebration or even desired. For example, when we get married, move to a bigger house, get a promotion, or have a baby, these are all joyous events, right? Yes, but they are also stressful!
Remember our definition: Stress is any demand you feel unable to manage. Can a marriage or new home be difficult to manage? Of course it can. If you do not have the management skills needed to cope with a particular problem and/or you are experiencing so many demands that no amount of skills are adequate to prevent you from being weighed down, you will experience stress. To help you better manage stress or prevent it altogether, here are six steps to stress-free (well, almost) parenting.

Managing Stress Skill #1: Be aware of stress.

Sounds obvious don't it? You would be surprised at the number of parents who are unable to recognize the early warning signs of stress. For some parents, these signs include feeling over tired, irritable, or restless. For others, they observe family members attack or withdraw from others more quickly. Make a list, as a family, of how each person feels when under a lot of stress. Use recent examples to clearly identify the early warning signs. Have members describe what was going on in their body when under stress. Talk about how devastating stress can be on us physically and emotionally. Post this list on the refrigerator and remind each other of the telltale symptoms rather than blow up at one another.

Managing Stress Skill #2: Take a time out.

Don't stop with just labeling your stressful feeling. Take some action. When recognizing stressful symptoms, announce: "I am going to take a time out." Time out allows family members to cool down when over heated. It also prevents family members from saying or doing things, when stressed, that they may later regret. Of course, your family members might not like you taking a time out and follow you into the time out room. Politely ask them for a specific number of minutes and reassure them that you will come back out to discuss the situation that is causing you stress. If that doesn't work, lock the door and tell you will be out soon!

Managing Stress Skill #3: Create a self-care plan.

You knew I was going to mention this one, didn't you. If you are guilty of putting other family members first all of the time and neglecting yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually, then you need a self-care plan. Make sure to eat a balanced diet, get plenty of sleep, and exercise two to three times a week. In addition, meditate, pray, or spend time in a relaxing activity every day, even if it is for just a few minutes at a time.

Managing Stress Skill #4: Buy a time management planner.

You wouldn't run a company or start a complex project without making plans and prioritizing your time. So don't run a home that way. Of course, we're not talking obsessive-compulsive behavior here. Just learn to use some simple time management principles. Go to your local stationary or office supply store and buy a basic time management planner. It has priority lists, contact names, project planners, calendars, and to do list already for you to better manage your life.

Managing Stress Skill #5: Solve problems together.

As parents, we think we have to have all the answers. Well, we don't. Trying to act like you do will increase stress for you and the kids. Helping to solve family problems increases your child's sense of ownership for the problem. Set up a regular time each week to talk about problems family members are experiencing and come up with working solutions. Set ground rules for the meeting, with basic courtesies being considered and allow everyone to contribute, no matter how ridiculous or self-serving the suggestion. And remember, while a family is indeed a democratic organization, the parents have veto power! Use it wisely.

Managing Stress Skill #6: Find support.

Find other adults, preferably parents, who will validate your feelings and support you when need it. They could be a relative who baby-sits for a couple of hours or close friends to sit who sit and have coffee together while the kids are in school. If you don't have a close friend or relative, join a group or enroll in a class. Start browsing in the phone book under social services or recreation or crazed-parents (just kidding). It doesn't even have to be parenting related. Just socialize and develop a strong social support network. This network will be there for you when the stress gets out of control. Or, when your child does. These aren't the only ways to minimize stress in your life. They won't make your life stress-free. Expert's claim that living stress- free isn't be good for us anyway (although I would like to try it for a while). The reality is it isn't gonna happen! So, pick one skill and start managing you and your families stress.
For more personal development guest articles, such as this one on managing stress, check the menu to the left.
For personal growth articles by The Happy Guy, check his personal growth library.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Worrying Well - Learn to worry well and benefit from stress

As we all know, worrying creates stress, and stress is a health risk. Worrying can raise your blood pressure, cause you to suffer sleepless nights and affect your digestion, your immunity - even your sex life. But worrying isn't all bad - the ability to worry about possible dangers and prepare for them has been a crucial factor in the development and survival of Mankind. Here's how to tap into your evolutionary birthright and make stress work for you!

Turn stress into your friend - understand when to worry

Thousands of years ago worrying ensured our survival. Humans were the feeblest, slowest, most poorly protected food around. 'Man the hunter' is a hopelessly inaccurate idea, as for most of our evolution we survived by spotting dangerous situations and staying well away!
And how did we do that? By worrying! Or put another way; using our thinking ability to explore every possibility before putting ourselves at risk. Possibilities like "There could be a tiger in there", had to be checked out first! These days few situations threaten our physical survival, but we still behave as if there are many. Most of us face many potentially worry-provoking situations every day and if we avoided them all, we'd get nowhere fast.

Make worrying constructive - learn how to 'worry well'.

Take time to think over all your worries, dilemmas and problems. Set aside half an hour for worrying during the day. When you find yourself worrying at any other time, note the worry down and keep it for later. Once you write down your worries, you can be more objective, and 'leave them alone' for a while.
Try using the following template:
  • "I am worried about...."
  • "The worst that could happen is...."
  • "The best that could happen is...."
  • "Things I can do now are"....
  • "Other factors to remember".
Also realise that tiredness, hunger, anxiety and other 'low' mood states can lead to your thoughts becoming more doom-laden. So worry after you've eaten, in the morning after a good sleep, or best of all, after 20 minutes exercise

Worry your way to a solution

Take the pressure off yourself - delay making crucial decisions.

You may find it hard to think of anything else when you are caught up worrying about some future decision. Realise that sometimes you can choose not to make a decision for the time being. Say to yourself "I'm not ready to make a decision on that yet. I'll think about it again in 5 days time", and put the date in your diary.
Getting yourself too worked up with worry can have a detrimental effect on your mood, sleep patterns, memory and problem-solving ability. Dwelling on a problem can make it harder to find a solution. By giving yourself 'time off' from thinking about it - you'll find you get a greater perspective and find solutions easier. Writing down your worries and putting them aside until you decide to deal with them, allows you to put them to rest for the time being.

Worry your way to a solution, not more problems!

Chronic worrying can quickly make you feel helpless, as you imagine more and more problems until you reach the point where you can't possibly solve them all. It usually goes a bit like "If that happens, then this will happen, and then that will be a disaster!"
Instead, try challenging worry-provoking thoughts with questions like "What evidence is there for that?" and "Just how likely is that, based on my past experience?" Learn to distinguish between possibility and probability. It's your mind - take control of your thoughts!
Worrying is about balancing the odds of whether or not to do something. If you have to do it, then what you need is preparation, not worry. For example, with public speaking, prepare intellectually by learning your material, and emotionally by doing relaxation and visualisation, or self-hypnosis.

The Bottomline:

Whether making a business decision, thinking about the kids or fretting over a relationship, worrying is useful, but only when it's done well. Worrying well saves time, energy, and emotional discomfort and enables you to make better decisions. So, to avoid excessive and ineffective worry, you can employ the techniques above and learn to better tolerate uncertainty.

Anxiety, Panic and Stress

Anxiety, panic attacks and stress-related conditions can be said to be part of modern life. And indeed, they are all useful, adaptive responses in small doses and appropriate situations. But when anxiety gets out of hand and starts to disrupt sleep, or panic attacks start to happen more than once in a blue moon, they can be very worrying indeed. Use the articles below to get help with your anxiety-related problem. You may also get help from our Self Help Psychology Articles.

  • Worrying Well - Learn to worry well and benefit from stress
    Worrying Well - Learn to worry well and benefit from stress.

  • Phobias - Strange But Simple, Terrible But Treatable
    If you have a phobia, or know someone who has, you may have been baffled by it. Find out what causes phobias and what can be done.

  • What's that noise? (Fear of flying)
    Do you have a fear of flying? Help understand what you fear of flying.

  • Panic attacks and anxiety
    Find out how panic attacks and anxiety are an essential part of being human. Use your 'fight or flight' response to your advantage.

  • How Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Works
    Do you or do you know someone who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder? Read how trauma can be removed from the traumatic memory using hypnosis.

  • Stress: symptom of a modern age?
    How stress can cause a person to suffer so much physically and emotionally. Read how long term stress can affect your life and follow our tips for a stress relief solution.

    Monday, May 7, 2012

    Keeping the Romance Alive in our Marriage

     Valentine"Honour Christ by submitting to each other"
    (Ephesians 5:21).
    Marvin and I have been married for over 54 years. We have lived, slept, worked, played, prayed, traveled and eaten together for that many years. For years Marvin traveled at least 30 percent of the time - probably more. When he is away, he calls me most evenings and his voice still thrills me. I still think he has the most wonderful smile in the world, a calm, gentle voice and the friendliest eyes. And I still love his touch.
    What do we do to keep the romance alive in our marriage?
    First I'll tell you what he does to keep our romance alive, then I'll tell you what I do to keep our marriage interesting and exciting.
    He does and says kind things. He tells me many times a day that he loves me and that I am beautiful. He kisses and hugs me a lot. At night, because he knows I like to take a bath, the bathwater is usually in the tub and the room is nice and warm before I get to the bedroom. He often brings me flowers. He opens doors for me. When in a group meeting he winks at me. I know I am special to him and it still gives me a thrill.
    He supports and affirms me in the ministry God has called me to.
    What I do to keep our interest in each other?
    I cook his favorite meals - especially after a trip when he has been eating in restaurants for days. I keep his clothes in A-1 condition so he is always ready to meet anyone. I tell him he is handsome and looks sharp. I take care of many of the small housekeeping details at home so he doesn't have to concern himself with them. I affirm him in leadership abilities, his wisdom and discernment.
    Some evenings when we are at home alone and watching TV or a video; I will put my head on his lap. He likes me to touch him and kiss him when we are alone.
    In public places, a touch or squeeze on the arm communicates, 'I love you!' without saying a word. When he is relaxing and has his feet up, I never walk by without tickling his feet.
    We have fun. We laugh a lot.
    We have spiritual discussions. Over breakfast we usually discuss what God has pointed out to us during our quiet times and we pray together.
    We work at trying to please each other rather than insisting on having our own needs met.
    Our love for each other is still growing and glowing. You see, romance doesn't start in the bedroom; it begins first thing in the morning. The way you greet each other in the morning, how you treat and talk to each other during the day. Then when you go to bed, it is natural to want to snuggle.
    Try some of these tips-- maybe they will help ignite or strengthen the romance in your marriage as well.
    Father, thank You for my husband. Help me to the kind of wife You want me to be. Amen.
    How is your life or marriage doing? Have you struggled to find happiness in your marriage? Perhaps it's time you and your spouse invited God to direct your relationship. If you would like to do so, we encourage you to pray the following:
    "Dear God, thank you so much for bringing us together as a couple. We know that you have a plan and a purpose for our marriage, and we invite you to forgive the past self-centeredness, come into our lives and relationship and direct our steps from now on. Please give us the grace to put you and each other first every day. Make our relationship a blessing to others. But most of all; make it a blessing to you. Amen."

    Thursday, May 3, 2012

    The Art of Lovemaking

    Some people are embarrassed to talk about lovemaking, especially with their partners. How the man or the woman views this experience, is often programmed into them from an early age by the perceptions of a parent or caregiver and confirmed through life' experiences. But like anything in life, if you want to achieve enjoyment and fulfilment from it, you must be prepared to talk about it.

    Like any other art, you need to practice the art of lovemaking in order to become really good at it. In this regard, men and women have different perceptions of what being a "good lover" ia all about. If you ask a man, he will focus on technique and results, such as "she had multiple orgasms". But if you ask a woman, she will remember the setting and atmosphere leading up to the lovemaking. So if we want the most memorable lovemaking experience, we need to take both the above into account. The secret is to become creative. Music, smells, lighting and colours all combine to produce the most sensually arousing setting for the most memorable lovemaking.

    The art of lovemaking is about intimacy and this comes from openness and trust. It is so important to communicate with each other. When you feel a heart-to-heart connection with your partner, your lovemaking can be pure ecstacy. So we have to learn to be honest and let your partner know exactly how you feel.

    We cannot overemphasise the importance of foreplay in the art of lovemaking. Sometimes we can be so focussed on reaching orgasm that we forget to simply enjoy the pleasure of lovemaking. Instead, we only experience frustration. This is especially likely when lovemaking no longer seems like an adventure of doing something different together. It becomes routine. But can you imagine having sensual foreplay without actually having sex?

    Men need to realize that woman want to be loved all over. You need to taste each other, touch each other, see each other, smell each other, hear each other. These are the five senses and if we use them all, it will not only draw you closer, you will also want each other more, leading to an explosive climax.

    Then there are the "errogenous zones" - those pleasure zones in numerous parts of our bodies. Why does a woman sigh when a man whispers into his girlfriend's ear? The truth is, most men, as well as women, can become aroused when their partner pays attention to certain special spots beyond the genitalia. The key to foreplay lies in the stimulation of the major and minor errogenous zones.

    Oh ... and there's more!
    Source: Free Articles