Posts tagged ‘Auntie Stress’

September 10, 2012

#357 – My Givens and a Giveaway

Be sure to get enough rest, water, nutrition, exercise and friendship.

Appreciate that you have enough rest, water, nutrition, exercise and friendship!

Schedule time for the things that bring you joy—the things that make your heart sing.

In order to manage my disease, I’ve developed a list of “givens”, which is another word for “habits“.

Here is an example of some of the things on my list:

  • Getting some form of exercise each day.
  • Choosing foods that are nutritionally sound.
  • Having my afternoon tea break which includes a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts.
  • Making sure I get enough rest.
  • Scheduling time with friends and family.
  • Regularly undressing my stress.

What’s on your list?

My, daily, year-long project is nearly finished. To celebrate, I’ve put together an Auntie Stress giveaway – one that will help you undress your stress, through the power of your heart. Please read on for the details.


If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I often post about how undressing my stress has made a big difference to me.

Now I’m offering one reader a chance to win the following:

  • 1 hour of telephone coaching
  • 1 emWave®Personal Stress Reliever* (The emWave Personal Stress Reliever® provides advanced mobile technology that will help you reduce the negative effects of stress, allowing you to experience greater health, more energy, and improved emotional and mental clarity.)

The Rules:

  1. Complete the following: Stress is ____________ .
  2. Entries must be received by midnight PDT, on Thursday, September 13, 2012.
  3. Entrants must have a mailing address in either Canada or the United States.
  4. On Twitter? For an extra entry share the following: I just entered an undress my stress #giveaway from @AuntieStress –
  5. The winning entrant will be drawn from a hat. You will be notified via email. Your name will appear here and on Twitter.

*emWave and Personal Stress Reliever are registered trademarks of Quantum Intech, Inc.

September 7, 2012

#354 – Heart-Mind-Body

Since my one session with Sarah Lynn Joy, I’ve been able to augment what she did with me in the Watsu pool to give me a greater sense of fluidity to my movements. I’m noticing subtle changes as I continue to explore, and play with new ways to move.

As I combine my stress work, with movement therapy (for lack of a better word), I’m enjoying the discovery process. The heart-mind-body connection is potent and important. It takes a commitment, but given the alternative, it’s one that I enthusiastically, wholeheartedly and unequivocally endorse. It doesn’t take a lot of time; I build in the practice as I go about my daily activities. I’m thinking, feeling and moving, anyway. Why not make it count?

The heart starts it. Then, for me, it seems that where the mind goes, the body starts to follow. I’m looking forward to that! 🙂

Related post: Finding What You’re Looking For.

August 17, 2012

#333 – Pain, Pain, Go Away!

Image courtesy of Viktors Kozers.

I often hear people tell me, “It’s just stress.” Well, there’s nothing just about it.

When you are stressed, your brain receives signals indicating that you are under an attack of some sort. Regardless of the reason, real or imaginary, your system is flooded with chemicals, resulting in fight, flight or freeze.

Start to notice how often you are feeling stressed. This includes worry, anxiety, sadness, boredom – the list goes on. What was your perception of the events leading up to this? Did you see, hear, smell or feel something.

For example, in the past, it was common for me to jump on the worry train first thing in the morning. I’d have some swelling and stiffness and would immediately begin to worry. “Oh no, I’m having a flare-up! What if it gets worse? How will I . . . ?” On it went, and as a result, this would trigger the stress response. Those chemicals, a throw-back to pre-historic times, actually made the situation worse.

Better pain management is one of a multitude of benefits you’ll enjoy when you learn to transform your stress.

Now, if I do notice the morning stiffness, I let the worry train  go by. I choose to activate a different set of chemicals; I use positive thoughts and memories and watch how my heart rhythm evens out.

Exercise, laughter, music – doing the things that you love – help to change the chemical cascade. Endorphins—the happy hormones—rise. Cortisol—the stress hormone—levels decrease.

This bears repeating: your body is constantly making adjustments based upon what you hear, smell, think, see and feel. Develop your awareness, practise some techniques and choose to respond differently. It’s a skill I began learning in 2006 and one I continue to sharpen. Why? Because it’s worth it!

Related posts:

August 7, 2012

#323 – Wow!

best health blogs contestI do love surprises and I was certainly surprised yesterday!

I opened my email to discover that, along with twenty-one other blogs, this blog has been awarded Best of Rheumatoid Arthritis blogs for 2012! I had to read the email twice before it really sunk in. Now, that’s what I call a great surprise!

There have been times when I was ready to quit, but I’m glad I didn’t because of the opportunity to deepen some lessons. When someone took the time to thank me for making a giveaway possible, or when I received an email expressing gratitude for a tip, I knew that what I was doing was a worthwhile use of my time.

I’ve met new people; many of whom have taken the time to tweet one or more of my posts. We’ll never know, but thanks to you, it could have been one of those retweets that reverberated out to help someone else. Thank you.

It’s a tough disease and it can consume you – not only joint by joint, but through a maze of appointments and other illnesses.

Fortunately, I learned how stress impacts health and well-being. As a result, I now have tools and techniques in place that have made a huge difference to me. Soaking in negative thoughts and emotions trigger a cascade of chemicals, complete with side-effects – the kind that can rewire the operation of your immune system, which is a component of what I suspect happened to me more than thirty-five years ago, when I was diagnosed with what was first thought to be Lupus.

Living better means that I undress my stress on a daily basis. When I do that, the rest naturally falls into place.

For starters, I eat better, sleep more soundly, rarely visit the doctor (it used to be a monthly occurrence!) and have fewer flare-ups. I live more mindfully, but with less racket from the IBSC upstairs. (A client shared that one with me – Itty Bitty Sh**** Committee.)

One of the ways you can live more mindfully is to immerse yourself in inspirational works, such as reading From Chopin and Beyond (a recent giveaway), or any of the twenty-two blogs that received this award. You can learn to shift how you think and feel and live your life, not just your disease!

Thanks to the editors at for this award. I am honoured by your decision to place me in this group of fine bloggers.

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