Personal note

Spring has brought with it a whirlwind of activity, both indoors and out.

Once again, plants I have barely noticed have decided to take over entire flower beds. Not the same plants that did so last year, but another bunch. It varies each year; I have no idea how they decide who is going to be dominant in any given year, but the purple Iris are clearly the winners this time.

The whirlwind that most delights me is the work that is happening with my publications and programs.

The Confident Introvert will be a hard copy, not just a digital book, in the near future.

My workbook, Be Your Own Best Caretaker, with audio CDs and worksheets as well as text, is on its way to being certified for Continuing Education Credits for nurses and teachers. The latter will be the basis for live seminars and teleseminars in the upcoming year.

I’m celebrating these upcoming events by offering you a gift.

Whether you’re tired of feeling ineffectual or even invisible in a hard-hitting world, or are so overwhelmed by all the demands being made on you that you can hardly think straight, consider committing to an individual coaching program with me. Together we can find our way out of the maze of distress.

You know me as the shy person who became a Confident Introvert, and as the Stress Solutions Expert who became a much better expert on stress. I am someone who can honestly say, “I’ve been to hell and back – and I know the way!”  Who better to show you the way to greater peace and happiness?

Together, we can explore the issues that are keeping you from peaceful and joyful life  in a complimentary coaching session I am offering for a limited time only.  Just click here to book your session: http://creativelifechanges.com/letstalk/

Want to know the best way to save your life?

If you could do one thing right now to reduce stress, would you do it? Or would your overly-crowded life – too much to do, a loved one’s demands are more important than your needs, your job requires you to keep on working so hard – take over?Well, here is the secret to a healthier, happier life:

Get more sleep. Sleep well. Sleep soundly and sleep enough. It sounds simple, but it is a key element in my program and it’s something I always check with my clients at the start.

Given that we now know that only about 10% of stress is due to what happens to us, and 90% due to how we choose to think about what happens to us, we need to be rested enough to see what those choices are, and to make wise ones.

We live in a sleep-deprived nation; we get less sleep than people in other developed countries, and here are some of the consequences:

  • You wake up too tired to take care of yourself, overwhelmed by the coming day’s responsibilities.
  • You have poorer memory and make more mistakes – Is this stressful? You bet! In fact, it adds to your stress.
  • Your memory suffers up to 24 hours after a sleepless night; think what happens when you have trouble sleeping night after night. Stress is like a snowball, rolling downhill, gathering more of its own kind along the way.
  • The efficiency of your immune system is lowered, meaning you are more susceptible to illness – wasting time and increasing stress again! And of course, prolonged sleep deprivation sets you up for chronic and/or major illness.
  • Sleep deprivation is deadly. One cardiologist even said that sleep deprivation is a greater precursor of a heart attack than diabetes and high blood pressure TOGETHER.
  • Sleep deprivation turns on fat-storing mechanisms as you go into survival mode. In fact, as your stress level rises, your body craves sugar, fats, and salts. Then the sleep deprivation helps you to store all that unhealthy stuff you’ve packed in.
  • You become overly emotional and make poor decisions, including seeing things to be anxious or angry about when you wouldn’t be bothered if you were well-rested.
  • And finally, sleep deprivation decreases the power of the part of your brain that is in charge of your will power, leaving you feeling helpless to do anything about your life.

It’s no wonder that, with sleep deprivation, you feel your life is out of control.

You can start to get back some of the control by focusing first on getting good sleep.

It’s the best way I know to get out of what I call the Stress Whirlpool: a state where you sleep poorly, wake up exhausted, too tired to exercise, and too tired to shop for and eat healthy food. You are susceptible to “easy” foods that promise instant energy. In fact, you crave sugar, fats, and salt. But you’re never tired enough, in the right way, to sleep deeply and soundly.

It’s hard to know how to get out of the Stress Whirlpool when you are in it, because your thinking is disoriented and you are already making poor choices – that lead to poorer choices.

The first thing you need to know is that sleep doesn’t relax you; only relaxation relaxes you. If you go to bed tense, you may sleep, but you will wake up feeling as if you had been lifting bricks all night.

So cultivate serenity – internal and external – in advance of your bedtime. Spend the hour before your bedtime calming down, avoiding the flickering lights of television sets and computers, which have been shown to interfere with the manufacture of melatonin, the sleep chemical your body manufactures. Don’t do vigorous exercise in that hour.

You can listen to soothing music, read a book (one that isn’t too distressing), leaf through information about a dream vacation, re-read notes loved ones have sent you – anything to cultivate a pleasant mood.

Your bedroom should speak serenity: no clutter, no stacks of clothing waiting to be taken to the cleaners or to be put away, no piles of bills on the dresser, no laptop beckoning to be booted up.

Block as much light as possible. That includes the tiny lights of electronic devices that are charging, or the light that leaks around the edges of your curtains or window shades.

You’ve gotten enough sleep when you wake up feeling enthusiastic rather than overwhelmed by the upcoming day.

To determine an appropriate bedtime, work backwards from when you must get up. Then establish that bedtime and stick to it. This is a “foundational habit,” one on which a lot of other good habits will rest. (The topic of habits is covered in my full program, where I show you how to set up habits that will last, changing your life forever.)

But most of all, sleep puts you into a better condition to think clearly and make the right choices. Stress, as we experience it nowadays, is not the result of wild animals leaping at us to tear us apart, it is a matter of CHOICE.

So the first choice you can make is this: Sleep as if your life depended on it.

The Confident Introvert

“What are they afraid of?” my department manager used to ask after meetings in which a number of department members sat, silent and resentful, while he was unaware that his habit of springing surprise agenda items and asking for an immediate decision was very upsetting to these talented, educated introverts. Understanding, appreciating and utilizing the skills of introversion are foreign ideas to some – even to introverts. Now you can read about it in
The Confident Introvert.
Order now at http://www.ConfidentIntrovert.com