Category Archives: Stress Management

Gifts for Yourself

Presents to Give Yourself all Year Long

Ideas for using the list:
  • Ours is a work driven and plugged in culture. We need stress breaks or mini vacations to replenish ourselves. Taking time for ourselves increases enjoyment of life and boosts energy and creativity. Have you ever noticed that some of your best ideas come when you are not working?
  • Add ideas of your own. Be sure to include activities you enjoy, but rarely give yourself permission to do.
  • This is a PG rated list. Add some sexy items.
  • Color code with markers into categories: O-15 minute vacations; 20 minutes – 1 hour vacations; a couple of hours; long vacations.
  • Frame, or keep mini cheat sheet in your wallet or purse.
Walk or bike or skate instead of ride.
Blow up a balloon and use it as a toy.
Make something.
Give yourself a complement.
Search out a long lost friend.
Read a poem aloud.
Look at the stars.
Visit someone who needs company.
Use a new word.
Open up to the closest person to you.
Frame a picture or have it framed.
Forget an old grudge.
Have a picnic.
Help a stranger.
Go to the library.
Try a new food.
Be thankful.
Read a magazine article.
Take a risk.
Listen to the rain on the roof.
Wade through a pile of leaves.
Plant a tree.
Say, “I love you.”
Hold a hand.
Take a rainy day nap.
Take a nap in the sunshine.
Listen to what you hear.
Sign up for a class.
Do something you have wanted to do.
Get a massage.
Contact someone who has been on your mind.
Say, “YES!”
Learn something new.
Surprise a child.
Hug someone.
List 10 things that you do well.
Throw away something that you don’t like.
Watch a construction crew at work.
Say, “No.”
Curl up with a blanket, a book, and hot cocoa.
Buy a ticket to a special event.
Return something that you have borrowed.
Organize some small corner of your life.
Try to feel a person’s hurt or joy.
Pop popcorn.
Turn off the screen and talk.
Listen to birds.
Admire the beauty of dew.
Draw a picture, even if you “can’t” draw.
Keep a secret.
Practice courage in one small way.
Warm a heart.
Laugh at yourself.
Enjoy silence.
Walk to the nearest park.
Break a bad habit, if just for today.
Get to know the neighbor’s cat or dog.
Bake bread.
Go wading.
Light candles in glass and do an enjoyable activity.
Pick up a travel book and dream.
Smell a flower.
Send a card to someone for no reason.
Kiss someone.
Clean out your wallet.
Watch the sunrise.
Watch the sunset.
Tell someone how much s/he is appreciated.
Look at old photos.
Encourage a young person.
Follow an impulse.
Ask a grieving person to share stories.
Talk to your pet.
Roll down a hill.
Write a poem or story.
Start a new project.
Finish an old project.
Walk barefoot.
Extend yourself for someone.
Tell a joke.
Take a different route.
Acknowledge when you are wrong.
Volunteer for a favorite cause.
Buy yourself a present.
Build a sandcastle.
Have breakfast in bed.
Let someone do you a favor.
Reread a favorite book.
Give your cat some catnip.
Allow yourself to make a mistake.
Hide a love note where the loved one will find it.
Lie on a blanket on the grass.
Take time to talk to children in the neighborhood.
Go for a swim.
Do something hard to do.
Wool gather. Stare into space.
Rearrange a room.
Relax and listen to music and nothing else.
Do a random act of kindness.

©2014 Noreen Wedman

Reclaiming Positive Emotions

Reclaiming Yourself through Reclaiming Positive Emotional States

Focusing on any positive feeling state helps shifts the Focus on the Negative that tends to be a legacy from highly stressed family systems (with addicted, emotionally abusive, and/or mentally ill parents). When focusing on the negative becomes a habit over time, we can lose touch with what it is like to feel okay in our own bodies. You can reverse this habit by spending some time each day focusing on some positive emotional state by remembering times you felt that emotion.*

Since we tend to experience feelings that we most recently felt, making a conscious effort to remember a feeling state will increase the likelihood that you will experience this emotion again soon. This habit will create a self-fulfilling prophesy effect that is positive because it subconsciously shifts behaviors. The first time I tried this experiment for myself, I felt the stresses of life were crowding out feeling loving and being loved, so I retrieved memories of different types of love with different people. The next day I found that more people were smiling at me. Then I realized that I had been smiling more than usual, so of course, more people were smiling back!

Are you willing to try the experiment? What emotion haven’t you felt in a while or what emotion would you like to feel more frequently? Even if you can only imagine glimpses of this emotional state, that is sufficient. Spend at least 5 minutes or more in solitude remembering what it is like to feel this feeling. Actively pull up a memory or memories of feeling this emotion. I think that just before sleeping is a good time for the positive feelings to be “incubated.” Keep repeating this experiment until you have ready access to this emotion as appropriate, i.e. courage when you need courage, serenity when engaged in your daily routines, joy in response to life’s splendors, etc.

*Note that this exercise is not meant to be used as a substitute for experiencing painful feeling in response to painful events – the goal is ready access to all your feelings as needed. For more tips on Healing from Emotionally Abusive Relationships, order the workbook:

©Noreen Wedman 2011

Stress Detox Sessions

Ours is an excessively stressed culture in the unwholesome expectations placed on us by the demands of a work environment that grants too few vacation days and often involves long commutes in traffic. Then there is the unwholesome food used to fuel bodies that are over stressed and sleep deprived. And that is just the start.

P.T.S.D. sufferers stress more easily and more intensely than individuals without P.T.S.D. In addition, many people deal with stress-filled emotionally abusive relationships. Or they grew up with emotionally abusive parents, the result of Continue reading

Becoming Comfortable in Your Own Skin

STOP right now and Notice. What is happening in your body? Are any of your muscles tense? Is your body comfortable or contorted into an uncomfortable position? What is happening in your mind? Are you “tense” there too? Thinking Anxious Thoughts? If so, it is probably impeding whatever goal that you have because too much Stress diminishes the creativity of the mind. Continue reading