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Personal Growth

Announcement: How To Reduce Stress During The Holidays by Michele Harvey

There are any number of things which can stress us out during the holidays, from money worries, to relationship issues, to time constraints. Seasonal social gatherings, which are supposed to be enjoyable, can turn out to be a minefield for sufferers of stress, particularly when these come in the form of an office party or family gathering which many people look forward to with dread rather than delight. Read on and you will learn how to reduce stress ahead of the holidays. This way, you can sail serenely into the holidays armed with specific stress management tactics that you know will work.

The key is to make a plan. Deliberately determine how you choose to spend both your time and your money this year instead of merely repeating what you have done in the past. Recognize that you have undergone tremendous personal growth during the past year, and your priorities and perspective may have changed considerably. Therefore, you want to focus on those areas that you deem to be vital to your own fulfillment and will bring the most joy to your loved ones. Once you gain this clarity about your own priorities it will be easy to eliminate a number of things from your typical list of preparations.

When it comes to stress caused by money worries, the best thing to do is set a Christmas budget and stick to it. Once you have your budget in place, allocate funds within it for separate Christmas necessities such as food and presents. All too often we are tempted to overspend when we hit the shops. Going armed with a detailed list and sticking to it is an excellent way to avoid this temptation, and the confusion created by the multitude of options and deals offered in stores.

Sticking within budget on food will also help reduce stress in the weeks ahead when the post-holiday bills start coming in. Spending wisely before the holidays ensures you won’t have to deal with the anxiety of paying bills you cannot afford. Similarly, when it comes to present buying, set a limit for each gift or go the homemade route. There is nothing more delightful than receiving a thoughtful gift, made with love and care. In this difficult economic period, many of us have learned to appreciate far more the value of someone’s time and effort. Reducing your financial stress over the holidays will help you stay calm and centered.

Having reduced your monetary stress at Christmas, you will be in a better position to tackle any potential relational stress over the holiday season. To do so effectively, it is important that you set boundaries and reduce your expectations. Do not allow old hurts or issues to arise, and refuse to be drawn into arguments old or new. Simply let aggravating or provocative behavior pass you by, rather than letting it upset or stress you. Above all, do not expect anyone to behave perfectly – not even you! It is unrealistic to especially during the holidays when families spend far more time together and the pace of life is more hectic than usual.

Follow these tips on how to reduce stress at holiday time and you find yourself able to enjoy the festive season with a far more relaxed attitude. This, in turn, will keep stress symptoms in check, and stop you from falling victim to a stress spiral where your stressed reactions give rise to yet more symptoms and so on. Keep your sense of humor intact and your attitude flexible, and you will not go wrong. Remember that it is up to you to show others how to treat you. Respect yourself and your own limits over the holidays, and you will find that you are more refreshed going into the New Year.

For ways to improve your personal growth in 2016, you will benefit from my new book, From Confusion to Clarity-Vital Personal Growth in 30 Days or Less, which is a great addition to your reading list for the New Year.

Personal Growth through Keeping Life Simple

In the winter of 2008, I decided to embrace simplicity by slimming down my material possessions. Like most adaptations I have made to my adult lifestyle, I did a rapid and complete 180, getting rid of my car, all my furniture, and most of my clothing, all in the span of two weeks. My book collection, however, which consists mainly of poetry books, books on spirituality, travel, biography, and the classics, filled up eight big boxes. The content of those eight boxes became a choir of voices in my head, echoing their refusal to accept, such sudden, lasting abandonment. So, how could I simply surrender them? A close friend of mine offered a rescue, by making room for my boxes of books on the floor of her basement. As a fellow bard, this also entitled her to coveted reading privileges.

By this time you might be questioning my motivation behind making such a drastic, and sudden change in my lifestyle, rather than doing what most experts suggest, which is to take baby steps, to feel your way. Why not venture from the trap of my comfort zone at a graceful, more elegant pace, with greater regard for what ifs around the bend such as, what if your job teaching English to professionals in Chile doesn’t work out? What if you are unhappy living abroad? What if you come back to Colorado sooner than the year you expect to be gone, and then have to buy all new furniture and a new vehicle, asked my mother?

I already knew that I wasn’t going to keep my furniture in storage for a year and shell out a hefty fee. It seemed to me I had much more furniture than I actually needed, in any case. The cash was also an incentive since I was going abroad. It would offer an extra cushion in case work was slow for the first few months, especially since I was arriving in March, the start of the school season in Santiago. Things in Chile, and South America in general, start at a gradual pace, as business professionals come back from the summer holiday and employers begin to enroll them in English classes. Being someone accustomed to often seeing things in black and white, it made little sense for me to stand at the shore, weighing the wind shifts, when I already planned to fly.

I had finally reached the point in my life where I had enough self-confidence and faith in life itself to know that regardless of future events, I would be fine with how it all turns out. How much time do you spend on the fence when it comes to making changes in your life? It is good to make a list of new goals, especially at the start of a new year. You can make your life a lot simpler and begin working toward your goals sooner, when you decide not to over-analyze things. Think through your options, and hit select, knowing that if you are centered within yourself, and in touch with your inner voice, regardless of how things turn out, they always turn out for the best. Surrender society’s ways of judging events and learn to listen to your soul.

Inner Light

“Though sometimes we don’t recall, our inner-light has always led us home.”
Michele Harvey

Using Long-term Stress to Motivate Personal Growth – by Michele Harvey

Stress affects us all in one way or another. The important thing to understand is that not all stress is bad stress. The sort of stress that is good for us is the kind that occurs when we are facing imminent danger. In this case, the age old fight or flight response kicks in. Just as when cavemen used to run away from marauding dinosaurs, so the fight or flight response releases a surge of adrenaline into our system. This results in our heart beating faster, our muscles tensing, and our breath coming in short, rapid bursts. All of this is designed to help us escape as fast as possible or to fight the danger facing us.

It is when stress becomes chronic and long-term that it can become detrimental to our health. Some signs of chronic, long-term stress include:

• Increased irritability or irritation experienced on a daily basis
• Feelings of anger or frustration
• Insomnia or loss of appetite
• Loss of libido
• Feeling as if you are unable to cope

Long-term stress can result in a number of health issues including cardiac problems, migraines, skin complaints such as psoriasis and eczema, digestive problems, sleeping problems and more serious diseases including cancer. We do not yet understand why long-term stress affects us this way both physically and emotionally. What we can do is address the causes of stress so that we reduce or eliminate them from our lives.

There are also a number of small lifestyle changes that we can easily make that will have an immediate impact on our levels of stress. By simply including a daily half-hour walk, it has been shown that we can boost our overall emotional and physical health. The opportunity to get away from daily irritations and problems and simply enjoy and experience the benefits of nature is, in itself, enormously beneficial. In addition, the cardiovascular benefits of daily exercise undertaken at a reasonable pace help to counteract the detrimental effects of raised blood pressure, increased heart rate and muscular tension that so often accompany long-term stress.

It is vital to understand that, unless long-term stress is identified and eliminated, its negative effects will build up over time. This, in turn, leads to a cumulative negative effect on our health and well-being. Stress is not some 21st-century badge of honor. It is a real disease and should be treated as such. If you are suffering from long-term stress it is time to take an objective look at your lifestyle to work out what needs to change.

Author Michele Harvey in her book, From Confusion to Clarity- Vital Personal Growth in 30 Days or Less, offers you a way to reduce long-term stress and reconnect with your true nature. The steps offered within, support the reader toward becoming a larger and happier version of themselves quickly. Forming new habits, like reconnecting to your buried talents, can uplift your life in less than 30 days. There are real solutions to long-term stress that work, and anyone can do them.

Clarity and Personal Growth – by Michele Harvey

Life is full of change. Sometimes self transformation comes from an inward desire for personal growth, but many times it comes from a drastic life event. It is imperative to create a space for clarity from confusion. You can’t make great choices from a confused, emotional state.
However you are experiencing changes, we would like to offer this easy to follow advice so you can begin your journey to a new and happier you!

Here are some tips:

1. Love yourself enough to focus on yourself for at least 20 minutes a day.

2. Know that your beliefs may be challenged, and don’t be overwhelmed by the process of discovering your ideas to change.

3. Get support from a friend or loved one.

4. Select a process of change from the variety of Self help books.

5. Consciously focus on the present moment as often as you can. Everything that you need to know is available in the present moment.

6. Schedule time to do your practice at a consistent time of day if possible. If your practice helps you reduce anxiety, you may repeat it throughout the day for clarity.

7. Give yourself at least 30 days for your life to change for the better. You may see results right away, but new habits take at least 21 days to take hold.

Looking to evolve your life to a more authentic view point that leads you to a more fulfilling future is an admirable goal. With a daily practice from a self help author, you can implement a plan for change in as little as 30 days. If you focus on the goal of personal growth, a new, more joyous life will quickly be yours.

To learn more about how you can have more clarity in your life, please watch the video below.

Personal Growth to Feel Positive Each Day – by Michele Harvey

There has always been a strong focus on personal growth and development. The biggest shift in contemporary thought deals with how your personal growth and development affects not only you and those around you, but how it can also extend to others on the other side of the world.  Your feelings and thoughts influence what you do, how you respond every day, and how others respond to you.

“You may feel as though you are small.  You may feel that only one person can’t do much to change things, but feeling are things that we choose.  We can say and be the truth that matters to us.  I have learned that you don’t let go of your thoughts. Your thoughts let go of you.” – From Confusion to Clarity by Michele Harvey.

Perhaps events that are outside your control cause you to lose your cool or perhaps your mood is affected by your own negative thoughts and you find it difficult to maintain a positive frame of mind.  Here are a few easy ways in which you can prevent negativity from affecting your mood so you feel better and can maintain a positive outlook:

  • Make and Refer to a Collection of Inspiring Quotations or Poems – Every time you come across some inspiring words, write them down in a notebook and read through them regularly, especially when you feel discouraged. They will help you to maintain a positive attitude and to carry on in difficult circumstances.
  • Listen to Some Inspiring Music – Soothing or upbeat, happy music can elevate your mood very quickly.  Give yourself a chance to listen to something different, something that makes you want to move your body and you will soon begin to feel much better.

For more ways to shift your life into a better place, we suggest you follow the advice of Michele Harvey. In her new book, From Confusion to Clarity, Vital Personal Growth in 30 Days or Less, she offers a set of simple yet highly effective practices that can shift your way of showing up in the world. To find out more about this exciting new book, go to