HOW CAN WE ALL GET ALONG? Resolving Conflict Benefits Mind and Body

 

 

” A major amount of wear-and-tear on the body comes from prolonged unresolved conflict–basically from not letting go, holding grudges and reliving situations over and over in your head,” says Raj Dhasi, a Toronto-based conflict management consultant who specializes in the physiological impacts of conflict.  “But if conflict happens and my mindset is:  ‘I can handle this.  We can work through this,’ that is phenomenally beneficial for the brain and body.”

When we are faced with any conflict–whether it’s an angry boss, disgruntled neighbor, political opponent or untidy teen in the house–our limbic system responds swiftly by igniting a cascade of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol and spiking our heart rate and blood pressure.  Meanwhile, our prefrontal cortex–the part of the brain responsible for thinking things through and putting the brakes on emotional, irrational behaviors–begins to slowly light up.  The fundamental problem is that in the race to mount a response, the limbic system often wins, prompting us to greet conflict impulsively by raising our voice and saying things we later regret before our rational brain has time to step in.

On the flip side, many of us avoid conflict altogether, harboring discontent in such a way that we feel powerless or even threatened.  Making matters worse, our fight-or-flight response never quite goes away, says Gary Harper, author of The Joy of Conflict Resolution: Transforming Victims, Villains and Heroes in the Workplace and at Home.  “More people are stressed out by not dealing with a conflict than with dealing with it,” Harper observes.  “If you deal with it in the moment, it allows you to let it go.”

Pause, Breathe, Consider

Harper advises that one way to deal with conflict on the spot is to pause and give our more rational side a chance to arrive at a solution.  “Before you react, slow down, take a deep breath and listen to your inner dialogue,” he says.  “In that deep breath, you might realize that you need five minutes [to consider a response].”  If you still remain in attack mode, it might not be the best time to respond.

He adds that while no conflict should be avoided altogether, careful consideration might lead us to conclude that some battles aren’t worth fighting.  Ask yourself:  How important is this person to me?  How important is this issue to me?  ” If neither is vital to you, save your energy for a better use.  If the issue is not important, but the relationship is, it’s okay to accommodate or give in sometimes,” he says.

Be Direct and Follow-Up

Some conflicts are worth confronting.  Then, Barbara Pachter, a business communications consultant and author of The Power of Positive Confrontation, offers what she calls the WAC approach for dealing with most cases of work and family conflict.

W:  Ask yourself:  What is really bothering me? ” A lot of times, people don’t do this.  They just say, ‘This person is a jerk,’ rather than specifying the problem.”

A:  Ask them for a solution.  “We often complain, but we don’t find a solution,” she says.  “Determine what is going to solve the problem for you and ask for it.”

C:  Check in.  “Turn it over to the other person and ask for their response.  Inquire: ‘Is this possible?  What do you think?'”

All the while, stay curious about the other person’s perspective, suggests Harper.  “We tend to see ourselves as the innocent victim, or we go into hero mode and tend to see the other person as the villain,” he says.  “Of course, the other person is doing the same thing, and that makes collaboration tough.”  Instead, ask sincere questions–and really listen.

Agree to Disagree

Terrie McCants, coordinator of the conflict resolution program at Kansas State University, notes that in some cases, especially when deeply held values such as politics or faith are involved, resolving conflict isn’t necessarily about reaching an agreement.  “You cannot negotiate people’s values.  Sometimes, these are things that people are willing to lie down and die for,” she says.  “Instead, sometimes you might need to agree to disagree.”

In the end, whether the conflict is a minor disagreement at home, a workplace quarrel or a complicated political dispute, the process of properly working through it can leave both parties feeling stronger and improve their communities.  “Conflict forces you to problem-solve collaboratively and come up with options and elegant solutions,” she explains.  “If handled well, it can add brilliant things to your life.”

After reading this article, I decided to share because I think it has really good points.  Especially the way today’s economy is going, we all some form of stress and frustration and may sometimes say things we don’t really mean.

So, if you have those moments when you are so angry and maybe don’t know why, stop and close your eyes, take a breath and walk somewhere by yourself to slow down and calm your mind before returning to life’s space.

Contents of this article provided by Lisa Shumate, a freelance writer in Boulder, CO.

Louise Hay on Loving Yourself to Ageless Health

 

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A renowned leader of the self-help movement from its early days, Louise Hay is celebrated world wide for teaching—-by personal example and through her bestselling book, You Can Heal Your Life—how each of us can transform our mind, body and spirit by changing the way we think.  Her positive philosophy has sparked an industry and her Hay House publishing group.

Nourishing mind and body, loving life, learning and growing, giving back and moving ahead—these comprise Hay’s program for creating health, happiness and longevity.  At 88, she continues to travel for business and pleasure, embracing vital, joy-filled days with a thankful smile.  Her new book, Loving Yourself to Great Health, co-authored with Ahlea Khadro and Heather Dane, explains how she’s taking all she knows to the next level.

Why does first applying love and forgiveness to yourself make a happy, healthy and long life possible?

Loving yourself is the foundation for living the life you want.  A healthy and happy life is rooted in self-love, and forgiveness is an act of self-love.  It all comes down to how you think and treat yourself.  What we give out we get back, so it all starts with us.  Remember, no matter what the problem is, there is only one answer: loving yourself.  Start with small steps and be gentle.  If you start there, magical things will happen.

How do you manage to engage in a stream of loving affirmations 24/7?

Practice, practice, practice!  Slowly, bit-by-bit, start each day with a loving act towards yourself.  Loving affirmations and worrying about things take up the same amount of time; you still get the same things done along the way, but worrying creates stress, while affirmations will brighten your life.  It can be exhausting if you fight the shift and make it difficult.  If you make kindness to yourself and others a simple part of everyday life, it isn’t exhausting at all.

What are some key elements to crafting a life experience that supports and nourishes ageless being?

Choose thoughts that bring love into your life and laugh a lot.  Say yes to life and the magic it brings.  I trust that life will bring me exactly what I need, and part of that is realizing that I don’t need to know everything, because life brings me people like Ahlea and Heather.

A third of our life is spent eating, and it’s essential that we know the best way to do this.  Start your day with water and an act of self-love.  Eat real food; seasonal, organic, natural foods are a positive affirmation to your body.  Poop every day, figuratively and literally.  Learn to listen to your body and its wisdom.  Choose exercise that you love and that makes you feel good.

Also, go on a media diet.  Filter out from your consciousness any messages that say you are not good enough or that separate you from the beautiful and lovable person you are.  Surround yourself with like-minded people that share good news and love to laugh.

The core belief founding your lifework is that every thought we have is creating our future.  Is scientific research now supporting that?

When I began teaching people about affirmations, there wasn’t any science to support it, but we knew it worked, and now studies verify that.  I particularly love Bruce Lipton’s scientific research showing that we are not controlled by our genes because the genetic blueprint can be altered through positive changes in our beliefs.

I hear reports every day of how people are healing their lives by changing their thoughts through cultivating self-love and personal affirmations.  They are seeing healing of autoimmune diseases, obesity, addictions, post-traumatic stress and many other so-called incurable illnesses.  It’s amazing what happens when you are kind and loving to yourself.

What is your secret to aging gracefully through the years?

It’s simple.  It’s about getting your thoughts and food right and having fun along the way.  If you are thinking positive thoughts but feeding yourself processed, unnatural or sugary foods, you are sending yourself mixed messages.  Feed yourself nourishing food and think loving thoughts.  Any time you don’t know what else to do, focus on love.  Loving yourself makes you feel good, and good health comes from feeling good.

Article by S. Alison Chabonais, national content editor for Natural Awakenings magazines.

Happy Feasting To All

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Tasty Rituals  that Deepen the Holiday Spirit   The holiday season is ripe with an array of spiritual, cultural and family rituals.  We celebrate, reflect, give gifts and, of course, feast.  Fortunately, the media also teems with tips on how to avoid high-calorie holiday goodies, says Dr. Michelle May, author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat.  For our diet-driven culture to resolve its struggle with food, she says we must learn to honor its intrinsic value.  Ritualized eating can help; a recent study published in the journal Psychological Science found that engaging in food rituals evokes mindfulness that enhances the enjoyment of eating. Pause Hunger, the body’s fuel gauge, manifests in physical symptoms like a growling stomach or low blood sugar, says May, citing a useful analogy.  “You wouldn’t drive around and pull into every gas station you see; you’d check your fuel gauge first.  Before filling up with food, pause and check your fuel gauge.  Am I actually hungry, or is this desire coming from something else?” May suggests practicing FEASTing: First, focus on physical sensations, thoughts and emotions; perhaps we’re thirsty, rather than hungry, rationalizing that holiday foods are special, or feeling stressed or lonely.  Next, explore why the feelings or thoughts are present, and then accept them without judgment.  Strategize ways of satisfying the need and take a small step toward change. Savor Complex preparations for a major holiday can provoke anxiety and impatience, and likewise, feelings of longing or disappointment when it’s over.  Sarah Ban Breathnach, bestselling author of Simple Abundance and Peace and Plenty, recommends allowing Christmastide to unfold at its own pace and celebrating all of December with a homemade Advent calendar. Craft a tree-shaped tower of tiny boxes or a garland of burlap mini-bags clipped with clothespins.  Place and almond covered in organic chocolate in each container and use the treat as a daily mini-meditation.  “Drop into the present moment, fully savor the luxurious, small bite and experience the pleasure of eating,” suggests May.  Consider it symbolic of the season’s sweetness. Connect “Food connects us with one another, our heritage and our culture,” says May.  Heather Evans, Ph.D., a Queen’s University professor and a holiday culinary history expert in Ontario, Canada, suggests creating a food diary of traditions to reinforce a connection with the past and support a holiday food legacy for the future.  Ask grandparents about their childhood culinary memories, peruse family recipe books or discover new dishes that honor everyone’s ethnic heritage.  Then create an heirloom holiday cookbook with handwritten recipes arranged alongside favorite photos and stories. Sync According to pagan philosophy, sharing seasonal food with loved ones during the winter solstice on December 21 symbolizes the shared trust that warmth and sunlight will return.  Eating warm foods provides physical comfort and eating seasonally and locally connects us to the Earth, observes May. Sync body and spirit with the season by stewing root vegetables, baking breads, sipping hot cider and tea, and nibbling on nuts and dried fruits.  “The repetition of predictable foods is reassuring,” remarks Evans, and it celebrates nature’s transitions. Play Stir-Up Sunday is a Victorian amusement filled with fun, mystery and mindfulness, says Ban Breathnach.  Some December Sunday, have each family member help stir the batter of a special Christmas cake while stating a personal new year’s intention.  Drop a clean coin, bean or trinket into the mix and bake.  Serve it with a sprig of holly on Christmas Day; and the person with the piece containing the lucky charm will be rewarded with a prosperous, wholesome and positive new year, according to tradtion.  Evan remarks, “This is a wonderful ritual for nurturing the health and spirit of the family.” Give Boxing Day offers something far more meaningful to celebrate than post-holiday sales.  Originating as a tradition that thrived during the 19th century, “December 26 was a chance for land owners and homeowners to give back to household staff and local tradespeople,” says Evans.  “It’s a tradition worth reviving to pause, reflect on our own good fortune and contribute to others’ comfort.” Consider serving a meal at a local soup kitchen, collecting items for a food drive or offering a box of healthy culinary treats to community stewards at a fire station, post office or library.  On Christmas Day, says Ban Breathnach, “Our kids have the world lying at their feet.”  Boxing Day, she says, provides a natural transition to reach out in charity.   Article by Lane Vail, a freelance writer and blogger at DiscoveringHomemaking.com

Expressing Christmas Blessings From My Heart to Yours

Christmas Means……
To view the video, just click on the title.

Four days until the Holiday season is in full swing.  Soon it will be 2015, a time to reflect on what has brought love, joy and peace to our lives and keeping those special memories of the past year in our heart.

I wish all of you the very best of this upcoming year and hope that the greatest of things will happen for you.

Peace, love and blessings~Tammy

Hope you enjoy this video!  Have a very Merry Christmas and may everyone be in peace!

It’s My Four Year Anniversary

WordPress has just sent a notification to wish A Universal Life a Happy Anniversary!  I can’t believe it has been four years.  Time sure does fly when your having fun, getting inspired and just enjoying life.

Many thanks and gratitude to all my friends, followers and visitors here in the WordPress community.  A big THANK YOU to WordPress for all you do and for your continued generosity.

May you all have a wonderful day filled with peace, love and bliss!

Many Thanks to a Lovely Friend

One Lovely Blog Award.

My deepest and sincere gratitude goes out to Aquileana  for the “One Lovely Blog Award” nomination.  Aquileana has a beautiful blog https://aquileana.wordpress.com/ filled with information about Greek Mythology.  Please take a few minutes to say hello and check it out.

The award rules are as follows:

1.  The nominee shall display the respective logo on his/her blog and link to the blogger that has nominated him/her.

2.  The nominee shall nominate 10 bloggers he/she admires, by linking to their blogs and informing them about the nomination.

So, without any further delay, here are the nominees that shine today:

1.   Stamped with a Heart         2.  iiThinks  3.  Shaktipata  4.  Following My Joy  5.  Paths of the Spirit  6.  Yoga & Joyful Living  7.  Southern Yoga Girl 

8.  Russel Ray Photos  9.  Ow Foto Grafik  10.  The Lambent Life

Thank you Aquileana for your kindness and for the Lovely Blog nomination.

Peace, love, blessings to you all!  Tammy

Thankful for November

November has to be one of my favorite months of the year.  It’s a time where family, friends, neighbors and even those who you don’t know come together and enjoy each other’s company over Thanksgiving dinner.  One of the things I enjoy and am thankful for is to volunteer at the Mustard Seed Thanksgiving Feast that they have every year for the families and neighbors of the community who have no where to go or don’t have any family.

A reminder that what you have is truly a blessing.  If you happen to live in or close to Fort Pierce, Florida and you would like to come volunteer, you can just show up on Thanksgiving Day at 8:00 a.m or anytime before 11:00 a.m. and help out, we would love to have you join us.   772-465-6021  The Thanksgiving Feast will be located at the corner of 9th Street and Orange Ave., Fort Pierce, Florida (it will be in the grassy area right next to where the old St. Anastasia School used to be).  There is also a location for our Port St. Lucie friends, which is The Dream Center, located in the Kings Plaza, 7646 S. U.S. Highway 1, Port St. Lucie, Florida. 772-777-5425.

If you are not able to volunteer on that day, you can also make donations.  You can call the numbers listed above for more information.

Hope to see you there and maybe make some new friends!

Peace, love, blessings,

Tammy

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