Helpful Memory Aids For Memorization

For over many centuries now, memory techniques have evolved in which how they are used and learned by people. We all know that the process of remembering information is called ‘mnemonics’. We also know that mnemonics isn’t similar to magic tricks but due to its proven efficiency, it’s considered a technique pertaining to memorization.

If you haven’t realized yet how our memory works, a person’s memory effectively functions to how it associates objects and information. But of course, what we need to practice at is how we focus on things and such and eventually associate or link them with other information that enable us to remember what we need to remember.

One way of how to remember things easily is to rhyme words. How do you think we’re able to carry riddles and rhymes during our nursery years in school up to the later years of our lives? Just reading this question alone makes you remember one or two nursery rhymes you’ve learned, right? This also answers how toddlers are able to cope with what they learn in school at this very early stage of their lives. This is also the very reason why rhymes are considered as common memory aids.

Another effective memory technique is the use of initials or the first letter of the word. For example, for a group of items, you can take each first letter and make a word out of it. Remember ROY G. BIV? If you do, you’d know right away that this is not a name of a person but it stands for the seven colors of the rainbow – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. Notice how you have easily recognized the initials? Now you’re nodding.

You need not to make a name always out of the initials from a set of items. You can make a word or anything which can easily help you recognize the words equivalent to items. But in some cases, there might be too little number of vowels versus the consonants. Let’s have the items pasta, rye, fish, cheese and table. Together they look like this: PRFCT. We can add the letter E in between the initials to make it a word; in this case, it can be read now as PERFECT. Of course, when you remember the word PERFECT, you’d easily recognize which item stands for each consonant. Simple? Yes.

There are many other ways how to enhance your memory skills. Interesting and effective memorization techniques can be found at http://memory-improvement-techniques.com.

Helpful Memory Aids For Memorization

Easier And Effective Memorization Techniques

Memorization tires most of us. Admit it; we’d rather glance on our palm tops or organizers once in a while for convenience. Memorization is something we don’t want to deal with for the rest of our lives although we deal with it in school because it’s something we need to do.

Now that’s just odd. When we need to do something, we tend to give our best shot at it. Why can’t we do the same thing with our simple everyday activities?

One effective and interesting way of familiarization and memorization of objects at a particular time or event is to associate them with a journey. The place or location where the journey happens can be stationary but not you, the traveler. You should come across the entire set of objects which are available on the setting you have chosen.

We can set the movie house as an example for this memory improvement approach. Before you enter the movie house lobby, you purchase tickets for you and your friend. You know it’s the ticket booth because you see people falling in line to buy their own tickets. Now, associate the elements you see with what you need to remember. Let’s pretend that you need to buy grocery items after seeing a movie. Seeing the long line of moviegoers to the ticket booth is a start. You can make the line of moviegoers going to the ticket booth, purchase chunks of meat instead of tickets. After getting your own meat chunk from the ticket booth, you then proceed to the lobby where you can buy popcorn and drinks served by two food counter clerks. The first clerk is named Ms. Tomato while the other one is named Mr. Lettuce. One has a head like a tomato and the others head looks like lettuce. After ordering, you are then served by Ms. Tomato a bucket of cheese bar instead of pop corn and butter for drinks.

After you’re satisfied with what you bought, you and your friend proceed to the movie theater and find yourselves a seat. Imagine the seats as giant apples. As you sit back and wait for the movie to start, picture the widescreen in front operated by four grocery clerks pulling the scenes with giant sausages stringed together from the projection screen to make the image move from one picture to another. Now that’s one wild imagination to keep you on your toes to remember the grocery items you need. The funnier the story is; the higher chances of remembering each item clearly.

From that scenario alone, important objects on the location are observed. You associate the things you see with the location easily since it involves vision, sound, smell, taste, touch and Kinesthesia (or the awareness of body position). All of the strategic points mentioned make Journey System, another memory technique, an easier method in remembering things you need to remember and placing them in a known place for easier memorization without any pressure.

Try other memory techniques and discover the natural memorization ability you never knew you had all along at http://memory-improvement-techniques.com/.

Easier And Effective Memorization Techniques

The Secret – When You Can Walk On Water , Take The Boat ( Part 26 )

In a short while,we arrived in the Big City.It was, as always, impersonal. We parked the car and walked through the never-ending crowds to a waiting cab. Gideon handed the driver an address and a few minutes later we stepped out in front of a tall building on an obscure side street. We walked up to the door, entered the lobby and were soon on our way to the thirty-third floor.

We stepped out into a long hallway. I took a few moments to straighten my tie and comb my hair. At times the winds of the Big City could be exceedingly fierce. At the end of the hallway was a large door bearing a sign that said: “G & M Enterprises, Inc., World Headquarters.”

“These are the people you work with, right, Gideon?”

He was a bit more relaxed now. “Yes,” he said.”It’s about time you got to meet my boss. There’ll also be another friend of mine here. You remember Marla?”

“Marla will be here,too? Oh yeah, I forgot that she works for this company, too. It’ll be good to see her again.”

There was that twinkle in his eye and I knew that he was back to his old self, again. He pushed open the door as we walked into a reception area that was both simple and, at the same time, elegantly decorated. There were paintings of strange symbols on the walls. A receptionist looked up and smiled. “Hello, Gideon, and welcome to our office, John,” she
said.

“You look well, Mary,” replied Gideon.

“Won’t you sit down, please. Marla is here already. It will only be a few minutes,” said Mary.

In a short while Marla joined us and we renewed old acquaintances. She seemed quite pleased to see me there. The receptionist left for a few moments and when she returned, she announced, “The chief will see you now.”

She escorted us through the main area to an office with a sign on the door that read: “President and Chairman of the Board.”

“Gee, Gideon, you know the big boss,” I teased. As the door opened he said, “You’ll enjoy this meeting,John.”

We stepped into an office thickly carpeted in celestial blue. The office was luxuriously decorated and contained several lush plants dramatically placed throughout the well-lit room. On the far side was a large, ornate desk behind which sat a rather imposing figure. We walked over and Gideon proceeded with the introductions.

“John, I’m pleased to introduce you to our chief executive officer. He is president and chairman of the board of G & M Enterprises.” I noticed a tremendous respect, but no fear in
Gideon’s voice as he continued, “I want you to meet God.”

To read the rest of the story visit http://www.spiritual-simplicity.com

The Secret – When You Can Walk On Water , Take The Boat ( Part 26 )

How To Release The Pain Caused By Others

What’s the best gift you can give yourself at any time of the year?

How about overcoming the pain caused by someone you loved and trusted?

What happens when you’ve been wronged by another and you want to move on? How do you let it go – get on with your life – and make sure it doesn’t happen again?

The short answer is that you forgive yourself for attracting them into your life – so you don’t have to continue to carry the burden around and so that you don’t repeat the same experience with another person.

You forgive yourself for ALLOWING it to happen – not for causing it to happen.

Right now you may be in some sort of a mental prison. There may be a lot of resentment and other similar feelings. And what you’re feeling now – the bitterness, the resentment, the anger, the hurt; WILL influence your future relationships.

Bitterness only leads to more bitterness. Hurt leads to more hurt.

Forgiveness is a way to clear out those old feelings from the past so you will be better able to believe in yourself and trust yourself. Not to mention you’ll be wiser and more perceptive.

But are you responsible for what they did?

No, absolutely not. You don’t forgive yourself to make them ‘not guilty’. You created your reality and they created theirs.

And the realities overlapped.

A cheater is basically that way before you meet them.

A betrayer is a betrayer before they come into your life.

The question is – why did I attract someone like this into my life?

Of course you didn’t KNOW they would cheat or betray you when you first met them. But then, maybe there were little hints and clues you ignored. I don’t know.

The point is, you CHOSE to allow them into your life. You allowed it to happen.

That ‘allowing’ is your responsibility; something you can forgive yourself for.

The value of forgiving yourself is –

first of all, it’s empowering to accept responsibility for YOUR contribution. Yes, I understand you were wronged. They engaged in hurtful behavior that was unjustified.

By forgiving yourself, you don’t say their behavior was acceptable. On some level, they must ‘pay’ for what they did. But that’s not your business. (I understand many try to make it their business!)

But you would be much more productive by dealing with YOUR contribution to these events. And not worrying about their contribution.

“They’ll get theirs.”

But look at the damage it does to YOU by not forgiving yourself.

Maybe you don’t believe in yourself anymore.

Maybe you don’t trust yourself to make good decisions.

Maybe your self-confidence is lacking.

Maybe you’re carrying around a ton of pain.

And I would guess many other problems as well have come up because you’ve been wronged.

Forgiving yourself can heal the damage they caused.

Also, you don’t let someone ‘off the hook’ by forgiving yourself for what they did.

YOU LET *YOU* OFF THE HOOK BY FORGIVING YOURSELF.

Sorry to shout, but I want to make that point clear. By forgiving yourself, you empower yourself. You free yourself from your own private prison of pain.

Forgiveness is a strength; it empowers you.

By not forgiving yourself, you are not honoring or respecting yourself. You’re saying you don’t matter.

Forgiveness creates freedom. Forgiveness is liberating. Forgiveness is a positive, pro-active decision. It’s a deliberate choice from a position of power and responsibility.

It’s an act of character and integrity. It takes courage. I admit it’s not easy to be kicked by someone and then forgive YOURSELF for being kicked. Because, “It’s not me – I didn’t do this! It’s THEM!! They’re the bad ones!”

But finding your own contribution to being kicked is like finding a foothold to greater power and greater strength. You will become ‘more’ if you forgive yourself for being wronged.

It takes enormous courage to let go of the blame. So often we seek our strength in blame. We anchor to it. And the thing is, we really are justified to blame!

We really WERE wronged. Nobody would deny that. It’s obvious.

But what I’m saying is to go beyond the obvious. If blame really did solve problems, what a wonderful world this would be!

But blame doesn’t solve problems. In fact, it locks those problems in place.

The trap is, you really are justified in blaming. But if you do, it keeps those painful feelings in place. You can’t grow and stretch and reach for more in life when you’re blaming.

It’s like putting your feelings in the freezer. And then you have to tote that freezer around with you every where you go.

Blame is like being seduced by a beautiful woman with a hidden agenda. You think she really does like you when all she wants is your money.

If you know her game, you can easily resist. If you turn a blind eye, you’ll get taken.

You think blame is your friend, but really all it wants is your power. You must give up your power to blame.

I know it doesn’t seem that way, because we always get a cheap hit of power when we blame. But it never lasts.

It’s like spending on credit. There’s no problem until the payment comes due!

But to me, the biggest benefit of forgiving myself for being wronged by another is that it helps to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. “I’ve suffered enough. I don’t want to go through the same situation again.”

But if I don’t forgive, then most likely I WILL repeat the same mistakes again. Or else, I’ll try not to love anyone else for the rest of my life. Which is almost impossible.

More likely, since I haven’t explored the reasons WHY I created a hurtful person into my life, I’ll create another hurtful person into my life.

Then I’ll have to go through the same pain again.

Just thinking about that is depressing!

You want to live a better life, not repeat the pain of the past.

Forgiveness helps to make things better. So next time, you’ll have a better chance of finding someone who’ll treat you with respect.

Because you respected yourself enough to forgive YOURSELF for what THEY did.

You forgave yourself for YOUR contribution; because you played a part in what happened.

You are not a spectator in your life.

You’re not a helpless victim.

You created what happened.

Not by causing, but by allowing.

You allowed another to hurt you.

Now, you will turn it into something good by changing yourself.

And the way to change is by recognizing what happened, feeling the impact of what happened,and forgiving yourself for why you let it happen in your life.

And later, if you choose to forgive them as well, that’s great. But always forgive yourself first – as an acknowledgement to yourself that YOU are in charge of your life – not them.

Why didn’t they go ruin someone else’s life instead of trying to ruin yours? You may never know.

But the fact is, you let them in, they betrayed you, and now you’re left to pick up the pieces.

Okay, you will.

You’ll be a winner. You’ll take their sucker punch to your gut, and you’ll become a better person. Not a bitter, beaten loser. You’ll take the pain they tried to dump on you and use it to become strong and powerful.

You’ll find the good in their act of wrongness.

While they will in all likelihood continue to be a punishing person.

Maybe someday you’ll forgive them for their misdeeds, but for now you’re ready to grow and heal and move on.

Remember the old saying –

Living Well Is The Best Revenge!

Forgiveness can be that first step to living well.

How To Release The Pain Caused By Others

Stress Relief Techniques For A Preschool Child Part Two

In the first part of this two-part article, we discussed, from my viewpoint as career educator of more than 30 years, the fact that preschools and families are increasing stress on preschool children. To clarify, we worked through a brief definition of preschool stress, and looked at the underlying reason for preschool stress.

Finally, we considered the basic requirement of preschool stress relief. We pick up at that point.

Basic Requirement of Preschool Stress Relief

Stress relief techniques for a preschool child must be fashioned in accordance with the underlying reason for stress: the child’s need for control.

Establish Boundaries

Preschool stress relief depends on the establishment of boundaries. We must establish physical boundaries to keep a child safe physically. We must also establish emotional, mental, and spiritual boundaries to give the child safety. As long as boundaries do not exist, or can be knocked down, children will experience stress in seeking them. Here are a few examples of preschool stress relief in action.

1. At reading time, the physical boundary is the reading circle, reading rug, or whatever part of the room you designate. The child is to be there and nowhere else. Doesn’t this create preschool stress? No. It is strong preschool stress relief. When children know clearly that only one location is acceptable, control is established for them. They do not need to seek control by responding inappropriately. They can relax.

Preschool stress relief requires us to teach children these boundaries and help them understand that they will be happy and safe within them. They never have to test the boundary. We help relieve stress.

2. When an adult gives a command or makes a request, the mental and emotional boundary is immediate and full compliance. Adults set the boundary once, with no counting involved. The amount of time children wait to obey is the amount of time they are outside the boundary an unhappy place to be.

If we want to provide preschool stress relief for children, we will be sure they understand that remaining outside that boundary is inappropriate. We do not ignore their disobedience. We make obedience important. We reward it, and remove the need for decision.

3. Stress relief techniques for a preschool child also establish control for the child when it comes to expectations that children will get along with one another. This expectation is not unrealistic or burdensome. Preschool stress relief in this area takes the form of instructing and showing that good things result from efforts to get along. If we separate children who are unwilling to cooperate with one another, we add to the stress, making it difficult for them to know what to do. Our voices tell them they must get along, but separation rewards their failure to do so.

Give Responsibility

Preschool stress relief gives children responsibility for their actions. It does not blame refusal to stay within boundaries on circumstances outside the child. Life will always contain circumstances beyond their control. Preschool stress relief helps them learn early that appropriate responses to stress are based on boundaries, and their responsibility to stay within the boundaries.

Stressful Crayons

A good object lesson in preschool stress relief is to give children a coloring page and crayons. Talk to them about how unhappy the crayons will be if they go outside the lines. Tell them the lines are there to make it easier for the crayons. If they had to color a parrot (or whatever the picture) without lines to guide them, it would be much harder. It would make the crayons feel anxious. They could not be sure if they were doing it right. The lines make the crayons happy and relaxed.

As the children color, explain that they are like crayons. They need lines. They need boundaries. As long as they stay inside life’s lines, they will be much happier.

Conclusion

Preschool stress relief is not complicated. We should not make it so. Teachers and parents who focus on natural, common sense boundaries will achieve a high level of preschool stress relief without struggle.

Stress Relief Techniques For A Preschool Child Part Two

From Anger to Peace of Mind

Anger is a serious problem for one in every five Americans. Road rage, workplace violence, domestic abuse and even addiction are just a few of its many expressions. The reason such a large umber of our nation’s citizens are on antidepressants, overweight, and involved in all kinds of difficult relationships can be directly traced to the effects of anger, particularly the hidden kind.

Anger has many faces. It appears in various forms and creates different consequences. Anger that is overt is the simplest to deal with and understand. When we or someone we know is openly angry, we know what we are up against and can address it directly. Unfortunately, however, most anger lurks beneath the surface. It often does not come to our awareness and manifests in endless, hidden ways as depression, anxiety, apathy, hopelessness, and in myriad other forms.

Today we fear all kinds of external enemies. It is not so easy to realize, however, that the worse enemy we face is the anger that resides within us, the terror it causes and the ways this poison affects so much of our lives.
It is one thing to be told to forgive one another. It is another to know how to do this. Even though we may want to forgive, anger can be ruthless in the course it takes, attacking and disrupting our body, mind and spirits. However, there are many specific steps we can take to root this toxin out of our lives.

As we do the results will be reflected not only in our mental and emotional well-being, but also in our environment and physical health. When anger is rooted out, love and forgiveness arise naturally and our lives and relationships become all they are meant to be.

Some of The 24 Forms of Anger

The first step in rooting anger out of our lives is becoming aware of it. It is crucial that we recognize anger for what it is, be aware that it is appearing and notice the devastation it creates. When anger is allowed to remain camouflaged it holds us in its grip and easily erodes the quality of our entire lives. By recognizing the 24 forms of anger, we will be able to shine a flashlight on the poison within. Then we can choose to eliminate each one of these forms of anger, one a day. There are many wonderful antidotes that we can take. Instead of allowing anger to take hold, we simply replace it with a life giving, constructive, healing response.
To begin we will look at a few of the 24 forms of anger, and how it affects your life. More will be explored in further articles and are also detailed in The Anger Diet.

In this article we will also explore some ways these forms of anger can be eliminated.
1)Straightforward Anger Attack. This is anger that is clear-cut and easy to
recognize. The anger comes right out. Many regret it afterwards, feeling they couldn’t control themselves. This kind of anger has a life of its own; it rises like a flash storm and can easily turn into verbal, emotional or physical abuse.
2)Hypocrisy You are angry, but hide it beneath a smile and present a false
persona, pretending to be someone you’re not. This behavior evolves into bad faith of all kinds. Although you think you are fooling others, in truth you are losing yourself and your own self-respect.
3)Depression Depression is so pervasive these days, and it ranges the gamut from mild to severe. Depression is anger and rage turned against oneself It comes from not being able to identify or appropriately express the anger one is feeling. It then simply turns into depressions, attack against the person who is experiencing it.
4)Passive Aggression This is a form of anger expressed not by what we do but by what we do not do. We refuse to give the other person what they ask for, want or need. In this manner we anger the other while making it seem as though they are the one that is overly demanding. This is a way of expressing anger without taking responsibility for it, and blaming the other for what we have set in motion.

Steps To Dissolving Anger

Needless to say there are many specific steps to take to undo different forms of anger. We will offer some samples. The important point to realize is that anger can be dissolved in a moment. We can choose to see things differently. We can choose to make a different response.

It takes only a moment to escalate a situation and in that same moment, the trouble can be de-escalated. We must stop in the middle of automatic anger that arises, and take charge of what is going on. We can and must decide that we will not let anger take over and rule. We have the right and responsibility to choose how we will respond.

Sample Ways To De-Escalate Anger:

1)Straightforward Attack: Stop in the middle of a situation in which you either feel angry or are being attacked. Expand your vistas. Rather than respond in a knee-jerk manner, say to yourself, “Like me, this person has suffered. Like me, this person wants to be happy, like me this person experiences loneliness and loss.” As you do this, you are recognizing the similarities and common humanity you share, rather than focus on the differences. For a moment, allow the person to be right. You have plenty of time to be right later. Ask yourself, what is more important to you, to be “right” or to be free of anger? Choose compassion and see how you feel.
See how the other feels as well. Watch new vistas open in your life.
2)Hypocrisy: This is a common form of anger that appears in many different ways. When you notice yourself pretending, lying, exaggerating or deceiving, stop. Tell the truth at that moment. Be the truth. If you do not know what the truth is, be silent and become aware of what the deepest truth is for you. (This does not mean pouring out negativity or blaming the other. It means taking responsibility for what is real and true for you. (This will not only restore good will, it will connect you with what is most meaningful in your life.)
3)Depression: Make friends with yourself today. When we are depressed, we are rejecting, hating and blaming ourselves. Undo this false state of mind. Find five things you admire and respect about who you are. Focus on sharing your good qualities with another. In depression we are only absorbed with ourselves. A wonderful antidote is to become absorbed with how you can reach out to and help another.
As we root anger out of our lives, and find meaningful substitutions not only our lives but the lives of our loved ones, friends and acquaintances will be lifted and enhanced. Try the full anger diet and see.
Cc/author/2005
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From Anger to Peace of Mind

The Causes Of Stress

This article looks into the causes of stress and gives free tips to help you control and reduce your worries.

I have, as I am sure many people do, stressed for most of my life for many different reasons.

Even though I still worry about many things, I have now learned how to handle many of these situations and will write about how I go about doing this, in this article.

I am the kind of person who likes to have a simple and settled life. When something comes along which is quite a big event or a bit out of the ordinary, this is when I start to stress. I am not the kind of person who likes change, therefore things like moving house is something which will cause me a lot of stress. I have actually moved house four times in the last six years, not very clever for someone like me. I am now happy where I live and plan to stay at this abode for a long time.

I am also self-employed. There are many things I love about being self-employed, the fact that I am my own boss, I can choose my own hours, I have no-one to answer or to report to and the all round freedom it gives me. I often stress however that business will go through a bad period and that I do not have the security of a regular income. How will I pay the mortgage? How will I pay my car loan? How will I feed and clothe my children? These are all the things that at times can keep me awake at night.

I now have started to build up a back-up fund in a bank account. When business is doing well, I put as much money as I can into this account, which I can then use in the leaner times. This gives me a peace of mind and therefore I do not have to worry so much. Business will go through good and bad periods and this way I can easily cope when it does go slow.

I used to also worry about how I would pay my tax bill at the end of the year, however I have also started to put money away each month similar to the above example, to pay for it.

I now try and think about all of my worries in a logical manner and instead of losing sleep over them I try to find solutions.

I also feel stressed and I am not sure why it is, the day after I have a night out drinking alcohol. In the morning and nowadays since I am getting older, throughout the day, I often feel lethargic and my mind starts to play tricks on me. It makes me feel negative about the future and makes me worry about a whole host of issues. It now takes me around forty-eight hours to recover from a boozy night out and affects my family and work life. I have now decided that I will go out far less and that when I do, I will limit the amount I drink.

These are other things that can cause me to stress:

When I have worked too hard!

When I have had a lack of sleep

During and after an illness

After an argument with my girlfriend

When I am invited to a social occasion which I do not want to go to, such as a wedding

A visit from my girlfriends family for say a weekend

Going on holiday

Some of the above may seem a bit bizarre to some people who read this article, however I am trying to be truthful. Yes going on holiday does cause me to worry. I do not like flying for a start, I worry that I or a member of my family may become ill or that the hotel may not be as good as what was described in the brochure.

One thing which I am now careful to ensure of, is that I get enough sleep. I must say I love going to bed and I love sleeping. My bed is where I feel safe and comfortable. I used to fall into a trap of working too hard and would then stay up late, possibly watching the television. I would set my alarm to wake me up early and I would then start the whole process over again.

From reading a book about stress management, I discovered that sleep was one of the best forms of stress-relief. I decided to give it a go and I must say it works. I now stay in bed an hour later in the mornings and where possible, I am in bed by 10pm at night.

I am also now attempting to take life in my stride. What happens will happen and I will deal with each challenge on its own merit. I try to deal with potential problems in a positive way and realise that if life was very smooth and easy, that it would probably be quite boring.

I now appreciate what I have in life and instead of looking at the future full of dread, I look forward to what life will bring. I know that at times life will be hard and am determined to get through these periods as quick as I can.

Nowadays when I do feel down and miserable, I tend to spend as much time as possible with my children, as they make me happy and can soon put a smile back onto my face.

The Causes Of Stress

Coping With Holiday Stress

The holidays are upon us and instead of leisurely sipping eggnog around the fireplace, we find ourselves in a frenzy trying to get all too many things done in anticipation of that one perfect, albeit elusive holiday moment.

Despite expectations, holidays are a time when many of us end up so stressed and overworked, the joy is completely lost. Nonetheless, the holidays really should be about family, friends, renewal, and even fun.

As we all know, achieving any dream is not magic, it is mostly hard work. It is worth it though, otherwise we wouldn’t go at it so hard year after year. A little bit of balance and planning can go a long way toward de-stressing the holidays and making at least some of those holiday dreams a reality. Here are some tactics to help you deal with the pressures of the holiday season.

Prioritize.

Prioritize, organize and simplify. Sit down and think about your goals. What do you really want out of the holidays? What do you need? What does your family want and need? Don’t make assumptions. Talk about it. Needs and expectations change as children grow and family networks variously shrink and expand. Disgruntled family members mean stress for all.

Budget.

Establish your budget realistically and conservatively. There is pressure from every direction to overspend during the holidays. But spending now with the knowledge you will still be paying it off this time next year can zap every bit of the joy out of the season. Be realistic and be honest. Set your budget and stick to it. Despite what advertisers want you to think, the reason for the season is not to spend as much money as possible.

Schedule your Time.

Be just as realistic about your time as you are about your money. Cooking big meals may not be practical. Use convenience foods or pre-cooked options to round out your holiday table. Don’t be afraid to ask others to pitch in. Do your shopping online instead of at the mall, and have the gifts delivered. Realistically decide which invitations you will accept and which ones you will not. Discuss priorities openly with friends and family members. Reevaluate and reduce you commitments to bring them in line with manageable reality.

Remember to Relax.

It is easy to forget your everyday good habits during holidays. The stress and frenzy of the season can quickly take its toll. None of us want to be that horrible relative who always manages to spoil the fun for everyone else. Be consciously aware of your stress and fatigue levels. Take a deep breath before you fly off the handle. Learning to keep your cool not only helps reduce the harmful effects of excess stress on your mind and body, it will also help keep stress levels down for all those around you and everybody will be more relaxed and have more fun.

Exercise.

Experts everywhere acknowledge the value of good aerobic exercise in stress reduction and well being. We all know this fact, but often forget it during holidays. Don’t. Even if it is only for a few minutes at a time, incorporate physical exercise into your day. Spend a few minutes on your exer-cycle. Take a quick walk. Take the stairs. Is there dancing at the holiday party? Join the fun. It’s good for you. Get the idea? Holiday or no, make grabbing opportunities for exercise a regular part of your everyday routine.

Watch What you Eat.

Good nutrition is for good health and every day feel-goods. It is easy to load up on junk during holidays, especially when you may not have time for real meals and then face lavish party spreads. The whole process wreaks havoc with your waistline and your health. You slow down, and your disease resistance is compromised. As a result, you can end up run down and sick right in the middle of the festivities. Despite endless yummy temptations, you do need to make certain your body is properly nourished. Grab a piece of fruit instead of dipping into that candy bowl and at the very least remember your vitamins.

Watch your Alcohol Consumption.

Food is not the only holiday temptation. Be aware of your alcohol limit and drink responsibly. A season of festivities can be draining in more than one way. Pace yourself, especially if you have a round of parties to attend. Even a couple drinks can reduce your energy level the next day, and if you have a heavy schedule, you may want to go pass on the alcohol altogether. You can count on a hangover spoiling the next day completely, and if you have plans with others, it may be more than your own day that is spoiled. Needless to say, if you are an alcoholic, holidays are not the time to skip AA meetings.

Get Adequate Rest.

Sometimes easier said than done, since the holidays can be a true frenzy. There are gifts to buy and wrap, cards to send, parties to attend, parties to throw, houses to clean, meals to cook and in the middle of all this, most of us still have jobs to do, kids to take care of and families that need our attention. Just thinking about it can make you tired, but fatigue and overwork impair judgment, and shorten tempers. It will wear you out physically and emotionally. And the lovely holiday you were working so hard to create can be dashed by hurt feelings exacerbated by stress induced snipping. Don’t be ashamed to take a nap. And don’t be ashamed to admit that you need one. Quiet relaxing moments may need to be scheduled. They are essential to your well-being and to a happy holiday season.

Practice Realistic Acceptance.

In all this welter of do’s and don’ts, realize there are some things (and people) you will never be able to change. You will be a lot calmer if you can realistically accept, what is unchangeable. Holiday get-togethers are not the place to vent over past wrongs.

Emotional Well Being.

Attend to your emotional needs. For many reasons holiday occasions often reopen old wounds. We all experience loss in our lives, and the season can make a recent divorce or death in the family seem unbearable. Take active measures to take care of yourself. Go to your place of worship. Attend to your spirituality. Although it may sound quaint today, attending a religious service can be very healing. Beyond that, talk about what bothers you. Vent your rage. If for whatever reason, you cannot talk about it to a friend or family member, get a therapist or call a telephone counseling line. There is a free one in most cities. Keeping a journal is one of the oldest forms of therapy, and it too is free. Attending to your emotional needs does not mean spilling your guts at the holiday table, it means finding a safe place for support and using it when needed.

Make Peace with Yourself.

This is not a luxury, it t is a necessity. Time-honored methods of nourishing body and soul include; prayer, yoga, meditation, Tai Chi and devotions. On a daily basis, it is one of the best things you can do to maintain both your serenity and your sanity. Even if you only have a few minutes to do it, make peace with yourself every day.

Remember, no matter what day you celebrate, the holiday season is indeed a season. Prepare to take care of yourself throughout. Schedule time to exercise and relax each day, even if it is only for a few brief moments. Be aware of other’s needs as well. Be especially aware if anyone close to you has suffered a great loss in the recent past. In many ways the holidays, which are widely heralded as times of great joy, are also times of great sorrow. That too can be overwhelming. Take deep relaxing breaths when you feel emotions rising or tempers flaring. Above all, do not take everything personally. Realize that under stress (and yes the holidays are stressful) people often say things they normally would not. Do not let them get to you and you will all feel better for it. Take care of yourself and the ones you love.

Have a peaceful stress free holiday.

Copyright 2005 Regina Pickett Garson

Coping With Holiday Stress

The Fire Of Desire

On a recent early morning, I sat on the floor beside my daughter Ella, writing in my journal as she stretched and bounced in a desperate and unsuccessful attempt to reach her favorite butterfly finger puppet. Aware of Ella’s growing frustration, I wrote about my own frustration with the speed at which I am moving toward one of my primary goals. Just as I wrote that, Ella’s persistence overcame the force of inertia and caused her to fly forward toward the butterfly, landing face down, sprawled out, right hand beside her intended target. Unharmed, but startled by the unexpecte manner in which momentum and gravity conspired to assist her desire, she began to whimper until I picked her up and, with a big smile, congratulated her on her courageous effort.

As a charter member of the “there are no coincidences school,” I could not ignore the timing of Ella’s face plant. How did her action relate to my frustration? Ella’s desire fueled her actions and propelled her forward toward her goal. Without the power of her desire, she probably would not have persisted, let alone, breached the barrier of inertia between her and the pink and yellow butterfly. A quick review of my goal revealed that the desire which had originally fueled me was hidden. I could feel its presence deep down inside me, but it was not actively fueling my intention.

Desire can be a scary thing. As children and young adults, we may have reached for what we wanted only to be rebuffed by parents and teachers and bosses. We discovered that it is easier, less disappointing, to keep our desires hidden from others. Unfortunately, from there it is far too easy for our desires to become hidden from ourselves.

In Crossing the Unknown Sea, David Whyte reminds us that the Latin root of desire is de sider or “of the stars.” He continues:

To have a desire in life literally means to keep your star in sight, to follow a glimmer, a beacon, a disappearing will-o’-the-wisp over the horizon into some place you cannot yet fully imagine. A deeply held desire is a star that is particularly our own; it might disappear for a while, but when the skies clear we catch sight of it again and recognize the glimmer.

My personal sky had clouded over and I had lost sight of the star of my desire. It was not that my goal was wrong, but rather that I had lost touch with the guiding, shining light of desire that had originally drawn me to it.

The path leading to our goals often requires a leap of faith along the way. And occasionally when we take that leap we end up flat on our face just like little Ella. We cannot always know the manner in which our goals will be realized. The Universe conspires to connect us with our dreams and desires in unknown and unknowable ways. The fear of that unknowing can cause us to swerve off course, to lose sight of our desires.

In pursuing my goal, I had run, full speed ahead, right up to the cliff-edge of the unknown, fully intent on taking that giant step. But at the last moment, when I saw how vast the chasm truly was, I balked and skidded to a halt, peering frightfully into the empty space before me. At that moment, I became disconnected from my desire and driven by less powerful forces–need, obligation–toward my goal. With Ella’s help, I found my way back to where the sky above me was clear, and I could, once again be guided by the star of desire.

You are the navigator on the journey towards your goals. And just as a navigator on an ocean voyage, you must constantly check your course. Are you still following your guiding star? Is the goal you are pursuing still aligned with your desire? The sky may cloud over at times or become stormy, but when it clears, remember to look up, to locate your guiding star and determine if you have stayed on course or drifted off.

Some months ago I received another valuable lesson from a wise teacher, this one a precocious seven year old girl. “What do you do?” she asked me. “I’m a life coach,” I said. “What’s that?” “I help people figure out how to get what they want,” I explained, adding, “how do you get what you want?” She gave me an answer that made me realize how truly complicated we adults make the simplest things. With a little shrug of her shoulders, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, she said, “I ask!”

As the bible says, “Ask and you shall receive. . .” But remember, you cannot ask for what you want if you do not know what that is. What do you want? What are your deepest heart’s desires? By discovering and following the star of your true desire you will find that your goals begin to fall easily and gracefully into place. Know what you want, ask for it, and the path will be opened for you to receive it!

The Fire Of Desire

How To Have An Above Average IQ Score

What is the average IQ score? In theory the tests are designed so that half the population will score below 100 and half above, and are scored according to age of the test taker. Here is a breakdown of IQ scores in the typical population:

130 or higher: 2.2% of the population.

120-129: 6.7% of the population.

110-119: 16.1% of the population.

90-109 (Average): 50% of the population.

80-89: 16.1% of the population.

70-79: 6.7% of the population.

Below 70: 2.2% of the population.

Three Steps To An Above Average IQ Score

Is it possible for anyone to have an above average IQ score? Not likely. If you start at 70, for example, it would be tough to ever score over 100. The good news is that most people can raise their score somewhat from wherever they start. Here are three ways to do it:

1. Be a better test taker. Go through the test quickly. Skip over questions you aren’t sure about, and return to them later. It’s always better on a timed test to answer all the easy questions first. That way you don’t eave several questions unanswered just because you spent too much time trying to get the answer to a tough one.

Always answer every question on multiple choice tests. When in doubt, first eliminate the answers that you know or suspect are incorrect, and then choose one of the remaining. If you eliminate two of four answers on a number of questions, you’ll get half of those questions right on average.

2. Have the right conditions in place. Get good sleep before the test, breath deeply through your nose, and sit up straight. These are shown to improve performance on almost any test. Eat fish too. Recent studies show that eating fish speeds up brain waves and increases concentration.

If you’re allowed music, make it Mozart. If you can’t have music during the test, listen to it just before. In one study, subjects who listened to Mozart’s sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, K. 448 for ten minutes before an IQ test scored nine points higher. Do whatever you can to have your body and mind ready for the test.

3. Exercise your brain. This is a longer term strategy that assumes you can actually permanently improve your brain function and intelligence, and thus increase your average IQ score. It’s a safe assumption in my experience, and no harm will come from the effort.

One final tip. It is my experience that my score is higher on an IQ test the second or third time I take it. Why not practice by taking an online test the day before your scheduled test? I wouldn’t be surprised if this bumps up the average IQ score by a point or two.

How To Have An Above Average IQ Score