Color Me Happy is all about anger management, releasing stress, and anxiety in children~

Posts tagged ‘Creativity’

Have You Ever Just Considered Doing Nothing?

 

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So here’s the deal, you’re just about to leave for your doctor’s appointment, when you receive a phone call saying the doctor has been called out on emergency and will have to reschedule your appointment. Congratulations! You are the winner of one unexpected free hour! Ha ha ha haaaa!!

 

Sooooooooooo……what will you do with your winnings?

Go onto Facebook? Answer your emails? Return to the project you were working on before you had to leave? Pay bills? Return phone calls?

Have you ever just considered doing nothing?

If you’re like many of us today, the thought of doing absolutely nothing for an entire hour seems as wasteful as throwing a week’s worth of groceries out with the garbage. Indeed, free time with nothing to do can generate near panic among some of us who are overloaded and time-starved.

“We seem to have a complex about busyness in our culture,” says Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul. “Most of us do have time in our days that we could devote to simple relaxation, but we convince ourselves that we don’t.”

And yet, the harder we push, the more we need to replenish ourselves.

The importance of this downtime cannot be overstated. We see more clearly, we hear more keenly, we’re more inspired, we discover what makes us feel alive.

On some level, we know this already. But claiming time to ourselves….time that is often labeled “unproductive”….and sticking to it can be difficult. We need to establish formal boundaries around our free time to ensure that others, and we, ourselves honor this time.

 

Here are some ways to do this are:

• Make a date with yourself. Get to know someone who deserves your attention‚  YOU.

 

• Stand firm. Learn how to say “no” to co-workers, children, a spouse or a friend. In just a short while, you can say “yes,” but now is your time.

 

• Be clear about your needs. It’s not, “I need more time to myself.” It’s more like, “I’d like to spend 20 minutes by myself in the morning before everyone gets up.”

 

• Be on the lookout for stolen moments. Use the canceled doctor’s appointment to sit on a park bench watching pigeons.

 

• Practice doing nothing. “Doing nothing” is an art, and like all art you need to practice it to reach your highest potential.

 

How we define our free time varies by individual. For example, for one person, gardening may be meditative downtime, whereas for another, it is one more item on the to-do list (to be done as quickly as possible). The woods is a great place to stroll through for one person, an opportunity to be in and with nature; for another, it’s a great place for a power walk while dictating letters into a small tape recorder.

 

Our free time should be like a beautiful flower: it has no purpose. It’s just there. And yet, it refreshes us and reminds us of nature’s glory.

Do something that has no purpose other than joy. Take a half-hour a day to surprise and delight yourself. Keep it simple, and keep it consistent. If your idle time becomes a “program,” or becomes progress toward some productive goal, begin again. It’s amazing, how simple it really is. Enjoy an hour for yourself this week.

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What Is Stopping You From Being Happy?

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Have you ever wondered why lasting happiness seems to elude so many of us? At times it can seem like we’re trying to find a brass ring in a field of hay. We try so very hard at being the best we can and still it seems to be so elusive. What’s missing here? I think that it’s safe to say that it won’t be found in materialism, at least not the enduring type of happiness we’re in search of. And according to divorce rates it isn’t to be found in someone else. Where does that leave us folks?

Yup, you got it. Happiness begins with us. Each and every one of us is the source for our emotions. Happiness is truly a responsibility and only we can ultimately be held accountable for our own. So how can we begin to create lasting happiness? Well let’s start by talking about what takes it away. Are you ready for this?

Here’s the culprit: attachment, and what is attachment? It’s a belief or idea that we hold in our minds about how things should be and we base these ideas on past experiences. The great news though is that we can change any belief by making a conscious decision. It’s the most empowering thing you can do for yourself! Let’s look at an example in the next paragraph.

How many times have we gone to a department store or mall only to encounter a surly employee? Now most of us go into these places expecting a certain level of service. But guess what? Not every person you encounter is going to be able to uphold your standard of expectation. So when our expectations aren’t met we do this-react.

Reaction is the thief that attempts to steal away our happiness! You can decide to release expectation in any circumstance. Now that’s empowerment! Because the moment you do that, you now have relinquished the authority from anyone else to take it (happiness) away from you.

The other thing about happiness is this………….it’s a choice. We don’t have to wait until some future event to happen or to get the dream car to be happy. It can be chosen moment by moment. It begins with a thought. You can choose happiness. When you begin to choose it for yourself, you’ll discover that life will start sending you more and more reasons to be happy. It has a domino effect. Like attracts like. Just some food for thought. Be happy!

Are you Allowing Silence to Bring You Back to the Present Moment?

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Breathe.
Stop for a while.
Give yourself permission to just sit down and be still for a few minutes.
Silence is so much more than “the condition of being or keeping still and silent.” We need silence to hear ourselves and make our own choices.
In the twenty first century we unwittingly choose noise at every opportunity, inviting it into our lives and into our heads; no wonder one third of the population needs anti-depressants at some time.
We need silence to bring us back to the present moment, to the here and now. We need silence in order to reflect on what has recently passed so we can avoid repeating mistakes. We need stillness to recharge and to relax and to free our mind from the constant stream of desires that propel us to a future where our life doesn’t yet exist.
We need silence to allow creativity to flourish and to realize our dreams. In crushing the necessary peace needed for imagination and recuperation, we crush our potential.
We need silence to know who we are. Enslaved to noise, we can only focus on escape and the future, looking forward to becoming the person we believe we might be.

Becoming aware of the dominance of noise is the first step to bringing more silence, stillness and peace into your life. The benefits of silence are real, no matter how small the periods you can manage:
1. Be aware that you need daily time for silence and stillness.
2. Start your day in silence by changing your alarm from a buzz or a beep to a radio and set it to a classical radio station.
3. Start your day earlier and give yourself twenty minutes with no agenda. Just wake early and be still and quiet. If it feels strange to begin with just relax and breathe with it – the rewards are worth the effort.
4. Leave the radio or TV off in the morning – there are many other ways you can catch up on the news during the day.
5. Pay attention to each thing that you do as you do it. For example, as you shower be aware of the sound of the water and the feeling of the water on your skin.
6. Go perfume free for the day – notice your sense of smell today. Without your own personal olfactory arsenal blitzing your delicate nasal passages you will notice more smells today (good and bad).
7. Listen on your way to work. If you drive, leave the radio off – if you take a train, try the journey without reading a newspaper or listening to your ipod. Instead pay attention to your surroundings and really see what is there. Why not try a different route?
8. Don’t eat lunch at your desk, go out instead and sit under a tree. Look up at the leaves and listen to the sound of the leaves moving. You only need five to ten minutes to commune with nature. Pay attention to the color of the leaves and the texture of the bark; touch the bark and feel the roughness of it and contrast that with all the smooth textures that you are used to in your usual environments.
9. Do something different this evening; leave the TV switched off. Try walking around your neighborhood on a route you’ve not travelled before – introduce yourself to some neighbors you’ve never spoken to before.
10. Clear the clutter from your bedroom and spend some time in there in quietness. Write down your thoughts from the day and reflect on what you have noticed. Sleep without reading first, even if it takes longer.
Making space for silence in your life is a choice that will reward you with a clearer mind, protection from stress and a good physical recharge.

Find space for silence in little pockets throughout the day ……you will find that the more mindful you become, the more space for silence you create.

How To Tap into The Greatness That exixts in YOU~

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We all tend to admire great people. People that have shaped the way the world is through their personal courage like Gandhi, or Nelson Mandela. Or others who have shaped the way we think, like Albert Einstein or Plato. And then there are those who inspire us because they overcame their limitations, like great athletes, or artists, or writers, or entrepreneurs, or discoverers, or inventors.
Compared with these giants of mankind, our lives can seem insignificant. But in fact, greatness is hidden within all of us. We just need to bring it out.

Are these three things holding you back?
1. We believe that we have limits.
I’m sure you can remember your parents or your teachers say something that implied that you’re somehow mediocre. Maybe they said that you weren’t intelligent enough, or talented enough, or -well – simply not good enough.

2. We buy into social myths.
When people say that we are too young, or too old, or too stupid, or that we are the wrong gender, to achieve our dreams – we tend to believe them. Greatness means transcending social norms. It means letting go of what other people think we can or can’t achieve. Remember that it’s not your business what others think about you.

3. We harbor secret self doubts.
What do you really feel about yourself? Are you confident – or do you have self-doubts? Lack of confidence saps the energy we need to make our life into something of value – not just for ourselves, but for those whose lives we touch. Our self-doubts are the negative voices that we heard from others when we were little. We not only internalize these negative messages, we’ve tend to amplify them. A good starting point for letting go of self-doubts is to actually notice the negative messages in your mind. Awareness is the first step of change.

Here’s how to bring out the greatness within:
• Trust your dream
Greatness comes in many sizes. Greatness means that you become fully yourself and transcend your doubts and perceived limitations. Greatness doesn’t mean that you need to do huge things. It means that whatever you do, you pour into it your complete being.
• Gear up with passion.
Passion is what gives us the strength to follow our dreams. It’s the powerhouse that can uncover our hidden greatness. Because passion drives us forward and allows us to overcome setbacks and obstacle.
• Don’t thrash.
Imagine a boating accident where everyone falls overboard. Who do you think has the best chance of survival – the one who’s in panic and thrashes around, or the one who thinks clearly about the best strategy -whether it’s safer to cling to the wreck, to swim to shore, or to stay afloat until rescue arrives? My money would be on the resourceful one who conserve energy and make a plan. The same principle is important when overcoming hardship. Don’t thrash – create a survival plan instead.
• Get up after falling.
Failure and making mistakes are inevitable – if you’re human. Just look at how often toddlers fall over when they learn to walk. I think the reason many of us give up after initial problems is because failure seems to reinforce hidden self-doubts. Actually, making mistakes means that you are learning. One way to increase success is to increase your failure rate. Because each so-called failure overcome is a step forward towards actualizing your dream.
• Count your blessings.
Sometimes we tend to focus on difficulties, and not on what is going well. That can get us down, instead of lifting us up. I know someone who described her life as two steps back and one step forward because of her lack of confidence. Sounds familiar? But the amazing thing is that she is in the process of completing a PHD. What that means is that she has already gone through a huge, successful journey of getting to where she is. However, her self-doubts are preventing her from actually seeing how well she’s doing – even though she’s got challenges to overcome.
• Don’t listen to the knockers
Many people are quite negative because they feel bad about themselves. They want to pull down achievers to their own level. Remember that their criticism of you is just an expression of their own self-doubts and fears.
• Put your heart, soul, and sweat into your dreams.
Great people work incredibly hard – success doesn’t come by accident. I recently got an email, saying, “I want to be successful without having to do much.” Sorry, friend – but that’s not how it works!

Tips On How To Be Happy~

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Is there some secret that those who always seem happy are hiding? Not at all.

They just have a way of turning negative into positive. Below are a few ways you to can start bringing more happiness and less negativity into your life.

Take care of yourself physically. It’s much easier to be optimistic when you are eating well, exercising, and getting enough rest.

Be thankful. Stresses and challenges don’t seem as terrible when you remind yourself of the things that are right in life.

Don’t Assume. Don’t waste time worrying that you did something incorrect unless you have evidence that there is something to worry about.

Don’t use absolutes. Thinking and talking in absolutes like ‘always’ and ‘never’ makes the situation appear worse than it is.

Think positively. Your thoughts can’t hold any power over you if you don’t judge them. If you notice yourself having a negative thought, detach from it, witness it, and don’t follow it.

Get and give hugs. Positive physical contact with friends, loved ones, and even pets, is an instant pick-me-up.

Increase your social activity. Surround yourself with healthy, happy people, and their positive energy will affect you in a positive way!

Volunteer. Everyone feels good after helping. You can volunteer your time, your money, or your resources. The more positive energy you put out into the world, the more you will receive in return.

Don’t dwell on the negative. It’s never productive, because it’s not rational or solution-oriented; it’s just excessive worry. Try changing your physical environment – go for a walk or sit outside. You could also call a friend, pick up a book, or turn on some music.

Practice does indeed make perfect. Before long, the above traits will become automatic. You will look back and realize how far you have come. You will have become one of the ones people look to for the “secret” of happiness.

How To Help Kids Manage Their Anger~

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A child’s feelings are more often than not displayed in their behavior.

While a child is angry they may smash their toys, yell or pitch a fit. Children are not always appropriately vocal about their emotions but their actions are often louder than words.

Anger management for kids is obtainable and is useful in dealing with a child’s troubles with rage. Teaching these skills may necessitate a little research and experimenting.

There are books, movies and an abundance of useful information provided by sites on the Internet.

A child will not profit from an adult anger management support group, nor will they benefit from taking an adult-style anger management class.

Their minds are not established a sufficient amount to candidly talk about their feelings. In actuality they may not understand what’s happening themselves. A counselor cannot wait for a child to open up and tell them what is making them angry. This may never happen.

Teaching them positive morals and tolerable conduct through a variety of games would be a great deal more successful than a one-on-on session with an anger management counselor.

Providing them with worksheets, coloring pages, puzzles and quizzes would make the anger management lessons more appealing and pleasurable. Children can in reality be participating in a program without in fact realizing it. Anger management is a difficult idea to make clear to young children.

A child needs to become skilled at how to act properly in different situations.

The have to know that it is absolutely fine to be upset but they must as well comprehend that this anger must not be used in a negative manner.

Teaching kids anger management skills near the beginning of life will provide building blocks for their future. Through repetitious activities and practices, kids will eventually learn anger management techniques.

Oooooh…….The Peace in Blowing Bubbles is Magical~

 

I took the time this evening to go outside and breathe deeply while I blew bubbles that the wind carried down my street. With each deep breath, I let go of stressors and wished blessings and support to some of the kids at school, a friend in need after losing her mom, all the people going through difficulties with hurricane Sandy, and I wished joy for the birth of my friend’s at work beautiful bouncing  baby boy. I took the time to listen and watch the joyful reaction of those walking the street below me, wondering where the bubbles were coming from, and to see just how far the wind would carry them.

I closed my eyes and took a breath and blew…and smiled as I realized I had found a place of peace and relaxation once again. All with the simple task of blowing bubbles in the wind. AAaaaaaah……see blowing bubbles is not just for kids.

Breathing deeply and calmly is a great stress reliever and it can be beneficial to get in the practice of doing this at a young age. Tell each child to close his eyes, to focus on his belly and imagine it being a small balloon. Tell the children to breathe in slowly and imagine the balloon bellies getting bigger. As they breathe out, tell them to imagine the balloons getting smaller. Repeat this 10 times.

 

Despite the stereotype that stress is a grown-up emotion, children also experience stress. Kids can be stressed about school, homework, friends, not having friends, parents fighting, other problems at home and many other situations. For children to grow up learning how to cope, they need to be taught how to relieve stress. This can be accomplished in the classroom by practicing stress-relieving activities.

Bubble blowing can be done indoors or outdoors. You might have more success indoors because outdoors can be distracting. Give a bottle of bubbles and a bubble wand to every child. Have the children sit down on the ground, blow the bubbles slowly and quietly. Encourage them to really watch and observe the bubbles.

We all need to take time out to relax. Whether we simply sit outside in the garden or on our building stoop and close our eyes for 10 minutes, or learn how to relax our bodies so we can release physical tension during the day, or before sleep, learning to appreciate and implement a short, useful relaxation/meditation exercise and incorporating mindful breathing can be very beneficial.

Relaxation techniques can often focus on breathing exercises. Slow & deep breathing can have an extremely calming effect on the body and this process also encourages you to focus specifically on your breathing so you don’t dwell on other potentially stressful thoughts. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia advocates the use of bubbles to relax children before a medical exam or procedure. If a child is unable to engage in slow deliberate breathing on his/her own, adding a bubble wand to the exercise may offer the stimulation he/she needs to participate. If necessary, turn the bubble blowing into a game to see who can make the largest bubble. This encourages the child to maximize her control over her breath and remain focused on just the bubble, this basic and simple activity may lead to a less stressful health-care experience.

Children and adults alike may enjoy the recreational act of blowing bubbles and bubble wands and solutions are widely available and inexpensive (or a good old solution of water and dish soap). While blowing bubbles is entertaining for many people, it also provides some fantastic health benefits. You will more actively engage your lungs and respiratory muscles when blowing bubbles and this activity naturally stimulates your breathing, which can benefit some health conditions and is known to provide both a psychological & physiological improvement.

When you blow bubbles, your mouth, lips and respiratory muscles engage in a style of breathing called “pursed-lip breathing.” This is characterized by a narrower mouth opening and also resembles the type of breath you use to blow out candles. A “pursed-lip” exhale more thoroughly expels the “stale” air in your lungs, leaving room for fresh inhaled air and better circulation in your respiratory system

A simple Adult breathing exercise is below:

 

•Release Your Thoughts Exercise –

This simple breathing exercise will help you to re-establish calm breathing. It’s a great “quick-fix” exercise to get you through a stressed moment or an emotional situation.

Sit or lie in a quiet room with your eyes closed. Visualize your thoughts as a mass of bubbles and exhale slowly through your mouth. As you do this, imagine all those thought bubbles being blown away; you will already begin to feel more relaxed.If there is a specific thought or issue that you cannot stop thinking about, imagine a large bubble blowing up from your head. Visualize a “word” written across the bubble that represents this issue or specific thought. Then imagine taking a huge needle and bursting that bubble and see the “word” melt away in the mist created by the bubble bursting. Imagine yourself saying “I will not waste any more energy thinking about this now, I cannot solve this today. I am putting it aside and allowing myself to relax”.

 

So now pay attention to your breathing. Breathe deep, in through your nose in a long, steady breath. Feel your ribcage expanding out on either side, and lifting up – your lungs are two balloons that you are filling with fresh, clean air. Now breathe out slowly and evenly through your mouth, feeling your lungs empty and your ribcage slowly drop.

 

Stay clear and focused on your breathing and if your mind wanders, use the bubble bursting visualization and bring your attention back to your breath.

 

Stay with this exercise for as long as it is comfortable for you. When you’re confident and able to induce relaxation easily, you will be able to use it anywhere, whenever you might need it.

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