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Archive for July 4, 2012

10 Signs You Should Detox Your Life

10 Signs You Should Detox Your Life

Many of my clients come in with complaints about personal habits that  feel  toxic in their lives. Just as you can detox your body when you’re  feeling  sluggish, it’s also possible to detox your emotional life. Here  are some of the  most common ways your life can back up on you, and how  to handle it.

1. Frequently late

The cure to lateness is twofold: learn to estimate time better, and  get more  organized, so you are not delayed by looking for last minute  items. Perhaps the  most important reason to cure yourself of lateness is  that it is rude to  others, and costs you their good opinion. If your  partner is late, stop  waiting! Set a reasonable grace period (eg:15  minutes) and then leave without  the other person, leaving a note about  how to meet you wherever you’re going.  That way, you are not forced to  operate on the other person’s time schedule.  You’ll be surprised at how  quickly he or she will learn to be on time.

2. Often angry or irritated

Being easily angered or irritated is a great way to punish yourself.  It  raises your blood pressure, and tends to create unnecessary problems  with  others. Anger interferes with clear thinking, and being irritable  makes it  unpleasant and difficult for others to work or socialize with  you. To reform  this habit, you must develop more emotional maturity.  Understand that your  anger is not seen as power by others, but as  childishness and petulance. It  will lose you far more than you will  gain. Learn to slow down, and reduce your  overly high expectations.  Allow others to be themselves, and don’t expect them  to march to your  drum. Counting to 10 works wonders, as does taking three deep  breaths  when you are upset.

Taking up yoga, meditation, tai chi, or another calming pursuit will  teach  you patience. Strenuous physical activity is a great way to burn  off excess  anger. If none of these work, see a therapist or join an anger management  group.

3. Unsure of ability to do something

Insecurity and feelings of incompetence are definitely stressful,  but they  may also be useful. Find out if you really are unprepared for  the task ahead.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions, or ask for help. It’s  OK to be a beginner,  even if you’re an expert in other things. If you  don’t try to pretend you’re  better than you are, you will get more help  from others. Take it slowly, and  allow yourself to learn as you go.  Above all, be supportive to yourself, and  don’t subject yourself to  harsh internal criticism.

4. Overextended

Frequently becoming overextended can be a sign of  grandiosity—overblown  expectations of your abilities—or of trying to  control everything. Reduce your  expectations of your own  accomplishments, and allow others to help you in their  own way. In the  long run, being a team player is usually more efficient than  trying to  do it all alone and becoming overwhelmed.

5. Not enough time for stress relief

This is an extension of being overextended, and may be a sign that  you  always come last in your own life. Learn to schedule time for  yourself to relax  and to play. If you write personal time on your  schedule the same way you do  appointments with others, you’ll be more  likely to actually do it. Join a class  or group that meets regularly for  a relaxing activity such as dancing,  stretching or meditation, or  schedule a regular massage, manicure or facial, so  you’ll have a  guaranteed place to relax.

6. Feeling unbearably tense

If your anxiety is this high, you may need therapy.  Anxiety and panic  attacks are among the easiest things to fix in  counseling sessions. You are  probably running non-stop negative  self-talk, which keeps you anxious about  everything. Try affirmations  and/or prayer to counteract the running commentary  in your mind. Learn  to breathe deeply from your diaphragm when you feel  anxious—it slows  your heartbeat and calms you down.

7. Frequently pessimistic

A negative attitude is a result of negative self-talk, and of a  negative  attitude probably learned in childhood. There are many  self-help books which  will guide you in learning to change the nature of  your approach to life.  Techniques such as prayer and affirmations,  counting your blessings, and  setting small goals every day will help you  turn this around.

8. Upset by conflicts with others

All conflict is upsetting. The key is to reduce the amount of  conflict in  your life. Many of the above techniques, such as anger  reduction and positive  self_talk, will contribute to improving your  relationships with others. In  addition, you can learn better social  techniques such as active listening,  positive regard, win-win  negotiation and clear communication which will  eliminate the source of  conflict. Learn to listen to others (even when you  don’t agree) and,  before speaking, consider how your words might feel to the  other person.  Treat other people more as you would like them to treat you, and,  most  important, stop and think before reacting to someone else.

9. Worn-out or burned-out

Burnout is the result of feeling overextended or ineffective for a  long  period of time. Most of us can deal with small amounts of  frustration or  feeling overwhelmed, but if it goes on too long, we lose  all our motivation,  and become burned out. Motivation comes from  celebration and appreciation, so  learn to celebrate each little  accomplishment, and seek appreciation when you  need it. If you have  trouble doing that, perhaps it’s time to make a career  change or to  change some other aspect of your life.

10. Feeling lonely

Loneliness may not result from actually being alone, but more from  feeling  misunderstood or not valued. People often isolate themselves  because they feel  inadequate in social situations. Value the friends you  do have, and make new  friends by attending classes or other group  events where you can focus on a  task or assignment. This will take the  pressure off your contact with other  people, and give you something in  common with them. Be wary of spending too  much time on your computer, in  chat rooms, etc. These activities absorb time,  but do little to dispel  loneliness. Make sure you schedule some time with a  friend at least once  a week, and if you don’t have friends, then use that  weekly time to  take a class or join a group (for example, a book club or sports  group )  which will give you a chance to make new friends.

(Adapted from It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction.)

By Tina Tessina, DivineCaroline

At DivineCaroline.com, women  come together to learn from experts in the fields, of health, sustainability,  and culture; to reflect on shared experiences; and to express themselves by  writing and publishing stories about anything that matters to them. Here, real  women publish like real pros. Together, with our staff writers, they’re  discussing all facets of women’s lives from relationships and careers, to travel  and healthy living. So come discover, read, learn, laugh and connect at DivineCaroline.com.

9 Tips To Keep Your Pet Safe on July 4th

9 Tips To Keep Your Pet Safe on July 4th

As much as we all enjoy watching the “big lights go boom” in the sky  every Fourth of July, our pets aren’t always thrilled with independence day  activities.

Courtesy of our friends over at the ASPCA, here  are some great products and tips to keep your  pets calm and safe during  the Independence day activities and prevent them from  becoming one of  the thousands of missing “July 4th doggies” that are  traumatized every  year by fireworks and other scary noises (…like Uncle Frank  at the  Karaoke machine, etc.).

1. Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can  reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to  poison pets. If ingested,  the animal could become very intoxicated and  weak, severely depressed or could  go into a coma. Death from respiratory  failure is also a possibility in severe  cases.

2. Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet  that is not labeled specifically for use on animals.  Ingestion of  sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting,  diarrhea, excessive thirst  and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent  that contains DEET can lead to  neurological problems.

3. Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could  potentially  damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing—or even  kidney  disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if  ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous  system  depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and  breathing  problems could develop.

4. Keep your pets on their normal diet.  Any change, even  for one meal, can give your pets severe indigestion  and diarrhea. This is  particularly true for older animals who have more  delicate digestive systems  and nutritional requirements. And keep in  mind that foods such as onions,  chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes &  raisins, salt and yeast dough can all  be potentially toxic to companion  animals.

5. Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.

6. Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingestions can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.

7. Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.

8. Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, so please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day festivities. Instead, keep your little guys safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.

9. Keep ‘em Calm: Consider calming your pet with a homeopathic calming remedy, available over the counter at most natural pet stores or the new Thundershirt, which features a gentle, constant pressure that has a dramatic calming effect for most dogs if they are anxious, fearful or over-excited. If your pet has severe anxiety with loud noises, you might consider consulting with your veterinarian for other options.

Please pass these tips on to any new pet parents you might know, to make sure they understand how to best prepare their pup or kitten for the holiday weekend and feel free to leave a comment with other tips you have found helpful. Happy Fourth!

 By Janet McCulley, Animal Planet

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