13 Proven Ways to Rescue Yourself from Stress

13 Proven Ways to Rescue Yourself From Stress & Take Back Your Groove

You’re clenching your teeth hard but you don’t even realize it until it’s too late and your jaw is aching and you’ve got a headache. Your life is out of control. You can’t keep up and you can’t see a way out.

Bad things are going to happen—you just know it.

You’re jumpy, irritable and short fused. It’s no wonder you can’t sleep at night. All you can think about is being miserable and all the work that’s piled up and the problems at home that aren’t going away.

You wish you could shake off the unsteady feeling and the sense of doom.

The racing heart isn’t helping you.

Your friends and family seem to be getting tired of listening to your complaints and talking you off the ledge. You can still remember when you weren’t so stressed and wonder how to stop feeling this way.

You can rescue yourself!

Try these 13 tips designed to end stress and restore your groove.

1.  Shake & Dance

You’ve got to try this.

It will take only 10 minutes of your time. Turn on some rhythmic music. Begin by shaking your whole body from your feet, through your knees, hips and shoulders and to your chest. Shake strongly. Let your shoulders relax, your jaw hang open and your head go.

Do this for 5 minutes. You’ll feel silly but don’t stop or slow down.

Then stop. Pay attention to your breathing and body. Take deep belly breaths for 1-2 minutes.

Next, turn up the music for dancing. Dance freely for 3-5 minutes. Try to select an upbeat song. Finally, relax for a few minutes at the end.

Be honest. You’re not sure about this one.

But, shaking and dancing will fix your stress problem! To read more about this, check out “Unstuck-Your Guide to the Seven Stage Journey Out of Depression” by James S. Gordon, MD. You’ll be glad you did.

2. Form Victory Arms

You’ll like this easy one.

It’s a great stress rescue and takes only a minute. You can try it right now. Extend your arms over your head in the shape of a V and form V’s with your fingers.

Smile.

Sense the change in your body (all sorts of good physiological things are happening to you right now!). You feel better already, right?

You can use this as a rescue when your boss says something unpleasant or you’ve burned dinner, again, or you’re late and stuck in traffic. It works.

3. Journal with Your Non-Dominant Hand

This one is great if you’re stuck in a thought and can’t seem to get out of the “do loop”.

Pick up a pad and a pen and begin to journal with your non-dominant hand.

Yes, it’s hard but don’t worry about whether it’s legible.

The purpose is to write about what comes to mind not worrying too much about the topic or flow. Using your non-dominant hand means that you’re tapping into a different part of your brain. You’ll be surprised at what comes up for you.

And, when it’s complete, you’ll feel better.

4. Look at Baby Animal Pictures

This one may seem a bit weird, but if you’re feeling stressed AND angry, it’s for you. Google baby animal pictures and take a look. Try baby giraffes, koalas, bears, monkeys and goats. Puppies and kittens are also effective.

Why does this work?

It’s impossible to feel stressed and angry when you are feeling compassion and love. It’s that simple.

What are you waiting for?

5. Try Laughter Yoga

You probably know that laughing is a good stress reducer, but you don’t have anything to laugh about.

Or do you? Try Laughter Yoga. Yes, it’s a real thing. Google it and give it a try.

Laughter Yoga is a practice involving prolonged voluntary laughter. Even though it’s voluntary, you still benefit from the same physiological and psychological benefits as spontaneous laughter.

You may even start laughing spontaneously when you watch the videos of people practicing this form of yoga.

So, you don’t have anything to lose, right?

6. Sing Loud

You’ve probably practiced this one before without knowing it. Singing at the top of your lungs is great for reducing stress. It helps reset your nervous system.

Give it a try.

Your car or shower are great places to belt it out. See if you feel more relaxed afterward.

7. Think About Rule Number 6

Occasionally, you need a gentle reminder to relax which is what Rule Number 6 is all about. Rule Number 6 is simple.

Don’t Take Yourself So Damn Seriously.

And, what about Rules 1-5? There are no other rules.

You may want to place some post-it notes on your computer monitor or your mirror. It helps.

8. Try Alternate Nostril Breathing

You’ve probably read lots of ways to reduce stress by breathing.

Have you tried alternate nostril breathing? Didn’t think so.

Here’s how you do it.

While sitting comfortably, place the tip of the index finger and middle finger of your right hand in between the eyebrows, the ring finger and little finger on the left nostril and the thumb on the right nostril. You will use the ring finger and little finger to open or close the left nostril and thumb for the right nostril.

You’ve just completed the hardest part. The rest is easy.

Now press your thumb down on the right nostril and breathe out gently through the left nostril. Now breathe in from the left nostril and then press the left nostril gently with the ring finger and little finger. So, basically, you’re breathing in from one nostril and out through the other. After every exhale, breathe in from the same nostril.  Use slow, smooth breaths without force or effort. There are some good videos online if you need help.

Complete 9 rounds. You’ll notice a difference.

9. Get Outside & Find Something New

You know how much better you feel when you’ve been in nature. You can use this when you’re feeling stressed.

It’s simple. Step outside and find three things you’ve never noticed before. You may notice how delicate the leaves are on a plant or you may hear the chatter of the squirrels. Simply noticing will have a magical effect.

After a while, you’ll also notice that you’ve broken the spell you’ve been under, which is a good thing.

10. Turn on Your Compassion

This one is a real winner when your stress is caused by frustration with others. You simply remind yourself that “everyone is doing the best that they can with their current level of awareness, skills and knowledge”.

Why does this work?

It creates more compassionate thoughts about others, so you can relax.

If you think about it, awareness, skills and knowledge covers just about everything, so you’ll be hard pressed to find a situation where this doesn’t apply.

So, if you are feeling stressed because someone is working against you, then remember that they lack awareness and are doing their best with the awareness that they have. If they had better awareness, then they wouldn’t be thwarting your efforts, right?

Give it a try.

And, try strategically placed post-it notes with the acronym ASK (awareness, skills, knowledge) as a reminder.

11. Soothe With Healing Music

Sometimes the best thing to do when you’re stressed is to plug-in your ear buds and listen to some tunes.

For something new and different, try Chakra Chants by Jonathan Goldman. It won an award for the Best Healing-Meditation Album and you’ll see why.

You cannot be stressed while listening to this music.

Period.

12. Picture Yourself Safe & Calm

If you’re anxious about a meeting or confrontation, try visualizing yourself surrounded by a protective covering. It could be an egg protecting you or a bright soothing light that is impenetrable. Whatever works best for you.

Can you picture yourself handling that difficult situation better now? After all, you’re nicely protected.

You’re all set, right?

13. Talk Back to Your Negative Thoughts

This last one is your key to your future well-being. You can read more about this in Dr. Amen’s book called Magnificent Mind at Any Age. In his book, Dr. Amen describes ANTS or automatic negative thoughts.

You and everybody you know has negative thoughts. The problem occurs when you have too many, unrelenting negative thoughts. These thoughts can rob you of your joy in life.

You’ve noticed that these ANTS tend to multiple, right? It’s okay because you can get rid of them with just a bit of work and the right tools.

Here’s what Dr. Amen recommends:

When you feel nervous, sad, or mad, write out the automatic negative thoughts in your mind. Evaluate whether or not they are true. If they are not true (and so often they aren’t), then talk back to them. You do not have to believe or accept every thought you have.

Thoughts lie.

You’re probably thinking that you cannot stop all the thoughts, which is true, but think about this quote.

“You can’t empty your mind of thoughts. You might as well try to empty the ocean of its water. Thoughts just keep coming back, it seems. That’s the way of it. But thoughts aren’t a problem if they’re met with understanding.” Byron Katie

So how do you meet your thoughts with understanding?

Pick up a pen, piece of paper and start talking back.

And, by doing so, you will reclaim your thoughts and your life…and get your groove back.

One Parting Quote

Good enough is the new perfect

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Your Best Bet For Removing Eye Makeup

Coconut Oil - the perfect eye makeup remover

Recently, I ran out of my special eye makeup remover and desperately needed something to remove the black swaths under my eyes from where my mascara had taken up residence. As I was rummaging around my medicine cabinet, I came across a long-forgotten jar of coconut oil. I remember reading that coconut oil had at least 1,000 uses, so I decided to give it a try. Surely, removing makeup had to be included in the “The Amazing Things You Can Do With Coconut Oil” list.

As I applied the oil, I waited for my eyes to sting and was pleasantly surprised. No stinging AND the mascara sludge dissolved in the oil and was easily removed. So, I was pretty pleased with myself. I found an inexpensive, effective, and non-stinging way to remove eye makeup. It is also a great alternative to chemically formulated removers. Clearly, a separate eye makeup remover is really not needed, so I can make room for one more anti-aging cream.

You can buy coconut oil at your local natural grocery store in the aisle with the skin and hair products (not the food aisle). Look for a brand that is considered food grade. It’s inexpensive compared to what I was paying for my not-so-gentle eye makeup remover. And, there are about 999 other ways you can use it…

One quick note about traveling with coconut oil. It melts at 76 degrees which can make quite a mess in your makeup bag when traveling to warmer climates. Use a water-tight container.

Are you sure your personal care products are free of harmful chemicals? Check out the personal care products we recommend. What are your favorite non-toxic personal care products?

Gluten Allergy? Avoid These Four Mistakes

Gluten Allergy? Avoid These Four Mistakes

You used to eat anything and not worry about it. Pizza, hoagies, pasta, hamburgers were all part of your daily life. Oh and don’t forget garlic bread and bagels. When you found out that you couldn’t eat gluten any more, you were numb.

Going to a restaurant used to be pleasurable, but now you find it stressful. Your goal is to not get “glutened”. And, you worry about causing a scene.

Some of your friends are embarrassed to dine with you. They tell you that you have become like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally when she orders the salad and the pie a la mode. You remember the scene in the movie, the waitress’ eye roll and thinking that you’d never do anything like that.

Yet, here you are.

So, how do you enjoy eating again? Learn how to avoid these four mistakes.

Mistake #1 – Not Getting the Waiter on Your Side and Using the Allergy Word

If you’re like most people, you order your meal specifying gluten-free and hope for the best. You’re making a mistake though by not fully engaging your waiter.

Try this new approach:

First, discreetly call the waiter to your side and quietly take them into your confidence by explaining your allergy. You can try this opener… “I’m sorry but I am going to be your worst nightmare today – I’m the dreaded gluten-free nut”. This starts to build a rapport. A scan of their face will let you know where you stand.

Then, assess their desire to be helpful. Body language is very important–looking away, eye rolls are not good while leaning in is good. Some might even start rattling off which items are safe and which can be made to order. If you get the blank stare or the “well, the such-and-such should be okay because it doesn’t have any oil or sugar” then you know you’re in trouble.

At this point, you move into the pleading stage. Try this line. “Is there any way, you could ask the chef if…..” and ensure that they know you’ll be very grateful for keeping you safe.

Always say you have a gluten allergy instead of saying gluten-free, so you are not confused with people who are simply trying to cut back. If you become ill in some way from eating gluten, then you have the right to say gluten allergy. It gets more attention because there’s a liability involved.

So, avoid mistake #1. Befriend the waiter and use the words “gluten allergy” when ordering.

Mistake #2 – Not Checking Out The Restaurant In Advance

Check out the restaurant in advance. Just showing up and hoping that the restaurant can or wants to deal with you is a mistake. Start with their website. See what they have to say about being gluten-free friendly. When you call to make a reservation, you should advise about your gluten allergy.

Using OpenTable to make reservations is a great way to get good gluten-free service. Fill out the special request section when making a reservation, and your allergy information will automatically transfer to any subsequent reservation. You’ll love this service. When you show up at the restaurant, the host/hostess acknowledges that you have a diner with allergies, and the waiter also has the same information.

What could be better? Everyone is forewarned and you’ll be cared for.

Mistake #3 – Not Being Strategic About Your Order

Many restaurants offer gluten-free menu options where regular items can be made gluten-free. Some of these menu items should be avoided. If you order something that needs to be “adjusted” in the kitchen, then you’ll have to rely on the kitchen to get it right. That’s A LOT of trust to put in people who are busy trying to feed other people.

To be smart about what you order, think about whether you’ll be able to tell if the kitchen got the substitutions right.

A gluten-free bun is pretty easy to spot, but could you tell if your fish was breaded in rice flour or wheat flour? Didn’t think so.

So, order strategically. Think about whether you can be sure your meal is safe.

Mistake #4 – Not Knowing “The List”

The List is all the stuff that has gluten in it that you would never expect. You’ll make fewer mistakes once you’ve mastered the list. Many are surprising and some are just downright disappointing.

But, hey, it’s better to know, right?

Here’s The List:

  • Bacon – It can be cured in gluten. Very distressing.
  • Wasabi – Apparently, some Japanese restaurants use powdered wasabi that has gluten.
  • Miso Soup – Traditional miso soup does not contain gluten, but some Japanese restaurants are putting soy sauce in the miso soup so don’t eat it.
  • Tortilla Chips – There are two issues here. Some can be dusted with flour or corn tortillas can be cooked in oil that has been contaminated with wheat flour. Either way, it’s bad.
  • Licorice – You can find gluten-free licorice but what you find in the stores you can’t eat.
  • Oatmeal – A lively internet debate is occurring about oats and oatmeal. Do yourself a favor, don’t eat it unless the package says certified gluten-free.
  • Cocktail Sauce – So, you may have thought that shrimp cocktail was safe, but somehow, somebody was able to sneak gluten into some sauces. You have to be careful with prepared horseradish sauces. Be sure to buy the ones that are labeled gluten-free.
  • Shrimp (or any seafood) Steamed in Beer – If you order shrimp, ensure that they were steamed without beer or use GF beer.
  • Marinated Meat – Avoid marinated meat unless you can be sure of the marinade ingredients. Marinated meat is typically not gluten-free.
  • BBQ Sauce – Many sauces contain soy sauce which is no good.
  • Deli Meats, Sausages, Hot Dogs – Unless it’s labeled gluten-free, avoid these meats.
  • Wild Rice Mix – Some contain gluten, so while rice is okay, it’s the mix ingredients you need to evaluate.
  • Cooking Spray – Yes, your cooking spray could contain gluten. Check it out.
  • Flavored Tea – It might contain barley malt flavoring.

Other helpful tips:

1. Use “Find Me Gluten Free” App – Available for iPhone and Android phones. You’ll love this app. Simply put in your location and find restaurants with gluten-free menus, gluten-free options and honest reviews by people like you, so you’ll know which restaurants to avoid.

This App has made travel SO much easier.

2. Gluten Digest Supplement – The supplement doesn’t allow you to eat gluten with impunity, but it does lessen the impact. Try Pure Encapsulations Gluten/Dairy Digest. You’ll need to find a professional supplement store because this isn’t available at your local grocer.

This is not medical advice.

3. Travel with Celiac Travel Cards – If you’re travelling abroad and your second language is not up to the task of explaining your allergies, print out cards with the information and hand them out to the wait staff. You’ll discover that using these cards is an entirely different experience from explaining it in the States.

The card is taken seriously.

Many (befriended) waiters will take the card back to the kitchen to share with the chef. Carry several copies in your wallet or handbag. They are even available in Greek. Check out Celiac Travel Cards.

What are your tips for eating gluten-free?

Favorite Products – Lip Care Products that Work Well and Are Good For You

Favorite Non-Toxic Lip Care

Lip Balm – Dr. Hauschka Lip Care Stick

Review: Dr. Hauschka’s lip care stick is hands down the best lip balm I’ve ever used. It softens lips and protects against chapping and dryness. I wear it alone or under lip color to keep my lips hydrated. Since this is a bit more expensive than most lip balms, I’ve tried others and keep coming back to Dr. Hauschka. No funky scent or taste, this lip balm is simply perfect.

Where to Buy: You can buy Dr. Hauschka’s Lip Care Stick at most natural grocery stores.

Price: About $14 for 0.17 oz.


Fever Blister/Cold Sore Remedy – Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil Skin Ointment

Review: Although this product is not marketed as a fever blister remedy, it is the best product I’ve used to head off fever blisters. It contains lavender oil, tea tree oil, jojoba seed oil, almond oil, Vitamin E and beeswax. Lavender and tea tree oil are recommended to soothe and reduce fever blisters. I apply this ointment at first sign of a problem and typically, I am able to reduce the inflammation and shorten the blister duration or avoid it altogether.  This is always in my bag when I travel. Of course, this product is free of parabens, phthalates, petroleum compounds and is also gluten and cruelty-free.

Where to Buy: You can buy Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil Skin Ointment at most natural grocers.

Price: About $8 for 1.0 oz.

Don’t miss our other favorite personal care products that are non-toxic, safe and effective.

Moisturizers for Body, Face and Hands: Favorites That Work Well and Are Good For You

Favorite Non-Toxic Moisturizers

All Purpose Skin Cream – Egyptian Magic

Review: Egyptian Magic is a great find for an all-purpose skin cream. The ingredients are simple and natural — olive oil, beeswax, honey, pollen, royal jelly and propolis extract. Royal jelly is a liquid made by bees for the queen bee and was used by the ancient Egyptians as a skin cream. Egyptian Magic is an ideal facial moisturizer that will make your skin glow and smooth the appearance of wrinkles, but it can also be used to help heal scars, burns, eczema and other skin rashes, tame frizzy hair, soothe chapped lips, and moisturize dry skin on elbows and feet. It also works great as an eye cream or eye make up remover. This cream has appeared in numerous beauty magazines as a favorite beauty secret and I can see why. To use, simply rub the cream between your palms to turn into a liquid and smooth over your skin. It takes about 15 minutes to be absorbed.

Where to Buy: You can purchase Egyptian Magic on their website www.egyptianmagic.com or at many natural food stores.

Price: About $35 for a 4 oz. jar (it lasts a long time).


Body Lotion: Andalou Naturals Body Lotion

Review: Once you try this body lotion, you won’t want to use any other. For starters, it is a completely clean product with no GMOs, petrochemicals, phthalates, paraben, sulfates, synthetic colors, dyes, fragrances, triclosan, PEG, MEA, TEA, DEA which you find in many personal care products. It is also vegan, gluten and cruelty free. The key ingredients are aloe vera, shea butter, cocoa butter, argan oils, advanced fruit stem cells and bioactive 8 berry complex. Advanced fruit stem cells are derived from apple and grape and provide universal cells to increase longevity of skin’s stem cells and combat the visible signs of aging. Bioactive 8 berry complex are antioxidants to increase collagen and elastin. I love the Citrus Verbena but it also comes in other formulations like 1000 Roses and Clementine Ginger. You don’t need to worry about this lotion sitting on top of your skin and feeling oily because it is quickly absorbed and your skin looks and feels great.

Where to Buy: You can purchase Andalou Body Lotion on their website www.andalou.com or at many natural food stores.

Price: About $10 for 8 oz.


Tinted Face Moisturizer with SPF: Andalou Naturals All in One Beauty Balm Sheer Tint with SPF 30

Review: This product is amazing. I had looked for years for a tinted moisturizer that wouldn’t clog my pores and would give me just a hint of color and finally found this product. Of course, I love the fact that it is a completely clean product with no GMOs, petrochemicals, phthalates, paraben, sulfates, synthetic colors, dyes, fragrances, triclosan, PEG, MEA, TEA, DEA which you find in many personal care products. It is also vegan, gluten and cruelty free. This product provides a naturally sheer, mineral-tint color and while I usually wear it alone, it can also be worn under make-up. Once I began using this product, I started getting compliments on my skin because the tint and the minerals catch the light and make your skin look luminous. Since this offers sheer coverage, for those who want more complete coverage, you will need to add some mineral powder. The product also includes fruit stem cell complex to reduce visible signs of aging.

Where to Buy: You can purchase Andalou Naturals All in One Beauty Balm Sheer Tint with SPF 30 on their website www.andalou.com or at many natural food stores.

Price: About $20 for 2 oz.


Hand Cream: Andalou Naturals Shea Butter + Cocoa Butter Hand Cream

Review: If you are like me, you hate having greasy hands after applying hand cream. This product solves that problem and your hands will look amazing. The key ingredients are aloe vera, shea butter, cocoa butter, and advanced fruit stem cells. Advanced fruit stem cells are derived from apple and grape and provide universal cells to increase longevity of skin’s stem cells and combat the visible signs of aging. It is also great for your nails and cuticle. I find that it is long-lasting even after hand washings. You’ll love how smooth your hands will look even in winter. Available in lavender, Clementine and lime blossom. As with all Andalou products, this product contains no GMOs, petrochemicals, phthalates, paraben, sulfates, synthetic colors, dyes, fragrances, triclosan, PEG, MEA, TEA, DEA which you find in many personal care products. It is also vegan, gluten and cruelty free

Where to Buy: You can purchase Andalou Naturals Shea Butter + Cocoa Butter Hand Cream on their website www.andalou.com or at many natural food stores.

Price: About $10 for 3.4 oz.


Don’t miss our other favorite personal care products that are non-toxic, safe and effective.

Pure Living Space is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers listed in Favorite Products so you can be certain that these reviews are unbiased.