Tag Archives: wellness

Body and Soul Soothers

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While standing in the shower, feeling the perfectly pressured hot water wash over me, I gave thanks, again, for the blessings of hot showers. This is one of my frequent  go-to destressors. And with the way the past few weeks have been, I am in this spot frequently….. can anyone say, “pruning prevails.”
Anyway, I began to make a mental list of my “soul soothers.”

Ha! A blog post in the making. ;-)

So here they are, without much deliberation, and no particular order…

1. Long, hot showers…or a luxurious bubble-bath works pretty well

“I can’t think of any sorrow in the world that a hot bath wouldn’t help, just a little bit.”-Susan Glasse

2. Melt-in-your-mouth dark chocolate

“Chocolate flows in deep dark, sweet waves, a river to ignite my mind and alert my senses.” -Author Unknown

3. Attending the temple 

“You are never lost when you can see the temple. The temple will provide direction for you and your family in a world filled with chaos. It is an eternal guidepost which will help you from getting lost in the ‘mist of darkness.”—Gary E. Stevenson

4. Laughing 

“What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.” -Yiddish Proverb

5. Comfort food 

“Food, like a loving touch or a glimpse of divine power, has that ability to comfort.”-Norman Kolpa.

6. Time with my grandkids 

“Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild.” -Welsh Proverb

7. Time with a good friend

            “A friend should be one in whose understanding and virtue we can equally confide, and whose opinion we can value at once for its justness and its sincerity.”-Robert Hall

8. Prayer

          “Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” -Mahatma Gandi

9. Walking….especially in the woods 

“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.-”Henry David Thorp

10. Massages

“Tension is who you think you should be.  Relaxation is who you are.”-Chinese proverb

11. Hanging out at book stores/libraries 

“A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counsellor, a multitude of counselors.” -Henry Ward Beecher

12. Music

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.”-Plato

13. Sunsets 

“It is almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream.”- Bern Williams

Do any of these find their way on your  list?

What other ” soul soothers” do you use?

LOL……Laughing Hard, or Hardly Laughing?

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[Humanity] has unquestionably one really effective weapon—laughter. Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution—these can lift at a colossal humbug—push it a little—weaken it a little, century by century; but only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand. — Mark Twain

How often do see…use…the acronym, lol, when conversing on FB, Twitter, e-mail, blogs, etc?  It essentially means that whatever it is being discussed that person is “laughing out loud” about it. But, are they really laughing out loud? I use it frequently, and I have to admit that however clever it looks I am not really laughing out loud. Sure, I have sometimes, when a comment really strikes me as hilarious and worthy of a good guttural guffaw; but, those are far and few between.

I can’t recall the last time I had a really, really good laugh. You know the kind where you can hardly catch your breath, and the tears roll down your cheeks. I so enjoy a laugh like that. There is an acronym for that too, LMAO. I am embarrassed to tell you how long it took for me to figure that one out! However, it is one of those gut-grabbers that can purge the soul of any doldrums and anxt it may be harboring. I need that right now, so I am on the hunt to dig out my oh-so-missing laugh and let loose with a rollonthefloorgrabbingmygutaldarnnearpeemypantslaugh!!!!! Oh, and there’s an acronym for that: ROTFLMAO.  Acro-Evolution.

At any rate, I realized I have “lost”  my laugh, and I miss it.  And truth be known, I am…was…infamous for having a great laugh. One that couldn’t be missed in a crowd, and it made others laugh along with me.  And I would laugh a lot. What the hell happened?

I recall reading an article some time ago about the benefits of laughter, and how it helps heal the body of a wide range of maladies. We’ve all heard that old saying: “Laughter is the best medicine,” and scientific studies have proven that  notion is not too far off the mark.  I’ve been sick for a couple of weeks now, so it’s one of  the reasons this subject has come to the forefront of my beleaguered brain cells. Therefore, I did a bit of research and I came across a commendable site penned by Elizabeth Scott, M.S. that discussed laughter benefits, and felt it would be worthwhile to share. It is a very good reminder to laugh more as the perks are numerous.

Stress Management Benefits of Laughter:

  • Hormones: Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol,epinephrine (adrenaline), dopamine and growth hormone. It also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins, and neurotransmitters. Laughter increases the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T cells. All this means a stronger immune system, as well as fewer physical effects of stress.
  • Physical Release: Have you ever felt like you “have to laugh or I’ll cry”? Have you experienced the cleansed feeling after a good laugh? Laughter provides a physical and emotional release.
  • Internal Workout: A good belly laugh exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs and even works out the shoulders, leaving muscles more relaxed afterward. It even provides a good workout for the heart.
  • Distraction: Laughter brings the focus away from anger, guilt, stress and negative emotions in a more beneficial way than other mere distractions.
  • Perspective: Studies show that our response to stressful events can be altered by whether we view something as a ‘threat’ or a ‘challenge’. Humor can give us a more lighthearted perspective and help us view events as ‘challenges’, thereby making them less threatening and more positive.
  • Social Benefits of Laughter: Laughter connects us with others. Just as with smiling and kindness, most people find that laughter is contagious, so if you bring more laughter into your life, you can most likely help others around you to laugh more, and realize these benefits as well. By elevating the mood of those around you, you can reduce their stress levels, and perhaps improve the quality of social interaction you experience with them, reducing your stress level even more!
Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine. — Lord Byron
I was even more surprised to learn there are Laughter Yoga facilities. Nice!
“Laughter and breathing of laughter yoga brings you totally in the present moment, as you can’t laugh and breathe in the past or future.” Dr. Madan Ka

And what would an informative, self-pondering post be without a few more wonderful quotes to drive the point home.

A smile starts on the lips, A grin spreads to the eyes, A chuckle comes from the belly; But a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, Overflows, and bubbles all around. – Carolyn Birmingham

An optimist laughs to forget; a pessimist forgets to laugh. — Tom Nansbury

With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die. — Abraham Lincoln

As soap is to the body, so laughter is to the soul– A Jewish Proverb

I was irrevocably betrothed to laughter, the sound of which has always seemed to me to be the most civilized music in the world. — Peter Ustinov

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face. — Victor Hugo

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter. — E E Cummings

“I have not seen anyone dying of laughter, but I know millions who are dying because they are not laughing” – Dr. Madan Katari

The old man laughed loud and joyously, shook up the details of his anatomy from head to foot, and ended by saying that such a laugh was money in a man’s pocket, because it cut down the doctor’s bills like everything. — “Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain

The person who can bring the spirit of laughter into a room is indeed blessed. — Bennett Cerf

Humor is a prelude to faith and laughter is the beginning of prayer. — Reinhold Niebuhr

So, if you will excuse me, I am off on a mission to “recover” my giggles, and LOL in the face of  my ill-conceived woes and ailing body. Cheers. :-)

One last item to leave with you. A song. Classic.


Just for Today

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Recently I came across an article that had been torn out a newspaper. You could see that it was from an advice column, but the section with the sender’s question was missing and all that remained was the response. It was a list as part of an Al-Anon “creed” for those who were struggling to get through life on the road to recovery from addiction.

I was so moved by it I really felt it was something to pass on. And, as so many of us are making goals, or maybe renewing old ones, this seemed to fit right in with the new year.

You may have read these before, but they are certainly worth reading again.

JUST FOR TODAY:  I will live through this day only. I will not brood about yesterday or obsess about tomorrow. I will not make far-reaching goals or try to overcome all my problems at once.

JUST FOR TODAY: I will be happy. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me. If my mind fills with clouds, I will chase them away and fill it with sunshine.

JUST FOR TODAY: I will accept what is. I will face reality. I will correct those things that I can correct and accept those I cannot.

JUST FOR TODAY:  I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable. I will be kind and courteous to those who cross my path, and I will not speak ill of others. I will refrain from improving anybody but myself.

JUST FOR TODAY: I will do something positive to improve my health. If I smoke, I’ll quit. If I am overweight, I will eat healthfully…if only for today. And not only that, I will get up off the couch and take a brisk walk, even if it is around the block.

JUST FOR TODAY: I will gather courage to do what is right and take  responsibility for my own actions. 

JUST FOR TODAY:  I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study, I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that will require effort, thought, and concentration.

JUST FOR TODAY:  I will have a quiet half-hour to myself and relax. During this half-hour, sometime, I will strive to gain a better perspective of my life.

These are Good words to contemplate…put into action…as we all have hardships at some point in our life that can often drag us down, hinder our progression, and unfortunately for some they will just toss in the towel and give up. But, if you can just remember and believe that what ever struggles seem overwhelming, it can be managed……just for today……one day at a time.

Family R We

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Family: 1. Parents and their children  2. Relatives  3. A group or category of like things.

It occurred to me the other day how many “family” groups I belonged to:

1. My personal family(parents, brothers, sisters)

2. Married family(husband, children, grandchildren)

3. Extended family(relatives..from both sides of the isle)

4. Church

5. Friends

6. Work

7. Couponing

8. Blogging

9. Horse Lovers

10. Community Service

I suspect there are more I could add, if I really thought about it; but, these are the ones I am active with on a daily/frequent basis, and it gives me a warm-fuzzy feeling to know I belong to this many. Belonging is good. Healthy. Happy.

What types of family groups do you have?