Friday, November 21, 2008

What Comes Around Goes Around

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. ~William Arthur Ward

When we think about it, many of the good things and blessings we have came from someone investing in our lives. We didn’t know where to go, and someone showed us the way. We didn’t know what to do, and someone gave us insight & wise counsel. We didn’t have the finances we needed, and someone provided them. We needed encouragement, and someone listened & helped us to not give up.

I want to share a story with you about giving back to those who have given so much to us:

His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to eke out a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the young boy from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.

The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved. "I want to repay you," said the nobleman. "You saved my son's life. " "No, I can't accept payment for what I did, " the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel. "Is that your son? " the nobleman asked. "Yes," the farmer replied proudly. "I'll make you a deal. Let me take him and give him a good education. If the lad is anything like his father, he'll grow to a man you can be proud of. " And that he did.

In time, Farmer Fleming's son graduated from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.

Years afterward, the nobleman's son was stricken with pneumonia. What saved him? Penicillin. The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill. His son's name? Sir Winston Churchill.

We’ve all heard it said that what comes around goes around. It’s the principle of sowing and reaping. When we sow goodness, kindness and love, it comes back to us in one way or another. The same holds true when we sow judgment, hate, and revenge.

Lord Randolph Churchill couldn’t walk away from the humble Farmer Fleming with a simple "thank you." He knew he could never repay him for his son’s life, but he wanted to give him something, anything he could to show his gratitude and appreciation. And his investment not only changed their lives, but it has changed all of our lives forever.

This story made me reflect on a couple of questions:

For one, How much do we value what others do for us?
How often do we show them that we truly appreciate them?
And, How can we give back to them?

I encourage you to remember to be thankful for those who have made a difference in your life. And, think about how you can express your appreciation and love to those who have blessed you.

I hope you have a great week filled with gratitude expressed in love and giving! Krystal

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
~Sir Winston Churchill

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.
~Sir Winston Churchill

Copyright © 2008, written by Krystal Kuehn This article is based on the BeHappy4Life Audio Podcast: What Comes Around Goes Around by Krystal Kuehn.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Stress Management: 6 Tips to Less Stress & More Peace

Responding to stress is a consistent part of our daily lives. How we deal with it affects our minds and bodies. Our health can be compromised by ongoing stress reactions. Ongoing stress can affect our peace of mind and physical vitality. It can harm our bodies and lead to physical symptoms and problems including anxiety and depression.

Our minds can help to calm us or increase our stress. Our bodies’ reactions can be channeled into healthy outputs or be kept in a state of alarm. Dealing with stress takes energy. We face it every day, and how we choose to manage it is extremely important to our whole being – body, mind and spirit.

What do you do when you are stressed? How do you calm yourself? Do you use alcohol to help you relax? Do you eat foods high in sugar and fat to soothe you? How about watching hours of television to distract you? These solutions can sometimes create more stress and problems for us. There are other ways that can help. We can calm ourselves and maintain a peaceful state of mind and a healthy body when we:

1. Practice being calm and relaxed.
We can learn to calm ourselves with relaxation exercises such as deep breathing, as well as biofeedback, prayer, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation. An extremely effective way to activate our relaxation response is to do some deep breathing exercises. Go to Breathing Awareness and Deep Breathing for step-by-step instructions.

2. Calm yourself with activity.
Take a warm bath. Get a massage. Take a walk. Watch a sunset. Enjoy some hobbies. Listen to some music. Sing. Dance. Laugh. Exercise. Physical activity is a great way to burn off stress chemicals.

3. Eat healthy.
Our brain chemicals are controlled by what we eat. A diet high in protein and complex carbohydrates provides the nutrition we need for a healthy body and mind. Sufficient vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants keep us in balance and help to build up our immune systems.

4. Detox your body and mind.
Eliminate unhealthy foods high in sugar, caffeine, and fat. Cleanse the body from built-up toxins caused by poor diet, chemicals, and the environment. Detox your mind of toxic emotions and stinkin’ thinking.’ For information on 10 of the most common cognitive distortions, go to How do you Change the Way You Think?

5. Think healthy & positive.
A healthy mind affects the body. If our thinking is positive and hopeful, it affects our whole being. This famous saying describes it well: Being in a good frame of mind helps keep one in the picture of health.

6. Stay connected with others.
We are made for relationships. Relationships provide love, support, and purpose we need for living. Staying connected with others and building our relationships can help us to cope better with stress and stay calm in the midst of life’s storms.

Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well; and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man. ~James H. West

C2008, written by Krystal Kuehn