Please help me welcome our Guest Blogger, Sarah Jones, who is sharing natural tips on how to get a better night’s rest.
How to Reduce Stress: Improve Your Sleep Health
Stress is the main cause for a sleepless night. Stress factors plague us daily and heighten our anxiety which can cause precious hours of sleep to escape us at night. This can quickly turn into a vicious cycle as less sleep can lead to more stress, which then in turn makes sleep difficult again. To nip this in the bud we need to focus on improving our sleep health.
Sleep and Why We Need It
Sleep is one thing we all need, whether it be a few hours or several hours, our bodies need time to rest and recuperate. Sleep helps our systems restore as well as improve our cognitive abilities during the hours we are awake. Non-REM and REM are two states of sleep that each of us need as well. Non-REM is considered a deep sleep and in order to feel fully rested, we must reach this stage of sleep each evening.
Stress Versus Sleep
Stress and sleep are conflicting states that do not support or welcome each other. Stress can be accrued throughout the day, increasing and decreasing depending on the stimuli in our lives. Stress is counterproductive to sleep, and many of us toss and turn because anxiety from our stress has disturbed our ability to decompress and relax. Both stress and anxiety can be dealt with in healthy ways to help us relax and let us sleep.
Tips For A Restful Sleep
One of the most suggested tips for achieving better sleep is to avoid the use of electronics around bedtime. Many of us tend take our iPad, laptop or smartphone to browse through social media before calling it quits for the day. The brightness of the screen(s) and mental stimulation increase awareness and actually promote a more “awake” and distracting atmosphere which detracts from a restful evening.
Another key factor to reaching that restful night is to avoid caffeine. Caffeine can dwindle in our systems for much longer than many of us realize, so enjoy that cup of coffee in the morning, but avoid caffeine in the hours before its time to sleep for the night.
Caffeine isn’t the only liquid you should avoid before sleeping. Alcohol is a popular drink in the evenings and often used as a “night cap.” Alcohol can initially help us fall asleep, but it has consequences that may arise after the first few hours of sleep. Alcohol causes people to wake more often due to restlessness as well as to relieve a full bladder. This beverage too should be avoided in the evenings in the hours before bedtime.
To further reduce stress and achieve more restful slumber, you can actually promote rest with a few specific food items. Milk, halibut, avocados, eggs, walnuts, potatoes, bananas, and oats all encourage the body to rest. Keep in mind that overeating will keep you up at night as will heavy meals.
Exercising is not only beneficial for your physical state, it is beneficial to your mental state as well. Exercising daily helps relieve insomnia, according to the WebMD and studies that have been conducted. Exercise affects us differently, so if you are more alert after exercising, it is best to do so in the morning.
Relaxation exercises done before bed can also help lower stress and anxiety levels. According to Dr. Michael Breus the “Sleep Doctor,” breathing exercises are an excellent way to achieve a restful night. Dr. Breus suggests getting into a comfortable position and inhaling for 4 seconds, then holding your breath for 7 seconds. After that, exhale for 8 seconds, making it a long, slow exhale. Completing this exercise a few times before bed can help lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
Dr. Breus also encourages the Progressive Relaxation technique. This exercise can be done as part of a nightly ritual to ease tension and to encourage relaxation. Starting with your feet, tense and relax the muscles in them, slowly working your way up to your head and neck, progressively tightening and untightening all your muscles. Focusing on the areas that hold more tension are those that you carry stress on the most. Relaxing these muscles will encourage better rest at night.
Trying one or all of these techniques can help increase relaxation and benefit us in a good night’s sleep that is restful, not wakeful. This exercises and tips can be done throughout the day or whenever you feel stressed.
Sarah is the Editor of Sleepy Deep. Feeling the repercussions of being an irregular sleeper for far too long, she decided to do something about it. She learned why sleep is so important and how to maximize it, and is now helping others who are struggling to find their right sleep routine.
My special guest blogger today is Suzie Kolber, who is an expert in coming up with just the right words we can all use when we wish to offer words of sympathy to bereaved friends and work associates. Sometimes it can be a real challenge to say something other than a cliche or platitude, and so I know you’ll enjoy Suzie’s ideas for how we can be more supportive during those unsettling and precarious times everyone encounters in life.
Here’s her article:
Common Mistakes People Make When They Offer Condolences
Talking to someone who has just lost a loved one is never easy. In fact, many people avoid the situation by staying away or sending a generic card. They are afraid of saying the wrong thing. While there is no one right way to offer condolences, there are a few mistakes well-meaning people often make. Learn from others so you don’t make the same errors.
Saying “It will get better.”
While you know the person won’t always feel like they do right now, telling them so only trivializes their feelings. Instead, you want them to know it’s okay to feel this way. You have no idea how long it will take for their heart to mend and for them to feel like resuming life again.
In place of telling someone to cheer up or that they will feel better in time, you may say something like “I’m here for you if you need to talk.” This lets the person know they don’t have to pretend to feel better if they don’t.
Trying to cheer them up
Everyone moves through the stages of grief at their own pace, and you can’t hurry it along. If the person is feeling sad, they don’t necessarily want you trying to make the smile or laugh. They may not be ready to move forward with their daily lives because it feels like they are leaving the deceased person behind.
You don’t want to avoid talking about the person who passed away because it may actually make them feel better. Hearing stories about that person from your point of view may be the healing they need. And you might be surprised to find it does cheer them up. While you may not enjoy talking about sad things, forcing conversation on superficial topics because they are happy or neutral won’t ease the person’s pain or make them forget about their loved one.
Pretending nothing has changed
Many people feel awkward talking to the loved one of someone who died. They aren’t sure what to say, and so they try to avoid any mention of the person. They will talk about the weather, what’s going on at work or other normal stuff. While this may be helpful, don’t purposefully avoid talking about the person who died.
The family member knows they are gone, and they will feel the silence as you struggle to avoid mentioning the person. Instead, mention them as it feels normal. Talking about the person is one way the loved one has of keeping their memory alive. Don’t be afraid to talk about serious and sad subjects. Ignoring them won’t make them go away, and the discussion can help the person deal with their emotions.
Knowing the right thing to say can be difficult, but knowing what not to say can be even harder. Just know that if your heart is in the right place, the person will understand what you can’t find the words to say. Your presence means more than any words, so don’t avoid interaction with the family just because you aren’t sure what you should say to them.
Suzie Kolber is a writer at Words of Condolences
I love the writings of Genevieve Behrend, who is the only student the famous philosopher and metaphysical teacher Thomas Troward ever had. In her book called “Attaining Your Desires” from 1929, Ms. Behrend shares many of the lessons she learned from Troward, in a format that recreates a private classroom, in which we can be the “pupil” asking questions while Troward is the “sage” helping us to discover insight and truths about getting what we want and changing our results.
Here’s a passage I think you’ll enjoy, and after you’ve read it, I suggest taking a moment to think about what it means to you. Perhaps this is the first time you’ve considered the truth that you are the center of your own world, and you create the reality you experience. Evelyn. Now here’s Genevieve:
HOW YOU CAN CONTROL CIRCUMSTANCES AND ERRONEOUS CONDITIONS
SAGE: In essence they are the same. You are able to control the circumstances and conditions relative to your individual world, of which you are the center, by making your thoughts and feelings correspondent in quality (at least in a degree) to what you believe are those of the originating, intelligent forces of life.
PUPIL: Is it true that the life in me contains everything that I, as an individual, could ever require? Are my thoughts and feelings the centralizing power of my particular world? If so, then [Robert] Browning explains the situation when he says, “We carry within us the wonders we seek without us.” If I know and practice this great fact, the wonder of Life’s understanding power will come forth in me by its own divine right, and assume command over all my problems in exactly the same degree that I recognize it. Is that correct?
SAGE: Yes, Browning has voiced the truth in that sentence. The divine Principle in you is complete, and is the only Life there is. But this should not lead you into the error of believing that you are not to exert yourself. Remember that the life-germ in you is an Intelligence which can call into specific action all of life’s forces from out the entire universe, but it can only work through your intelligence in correspondence to what you confidently believe it can and will do. Therefore, be practical in your reasoning, and diligent in your deeds.
Suppose I give you an example: You have a glass of dirty water. In order to have the clear water, you would continue to pour the clean water into the glass of dirty water until every drop of the dirty water had flowed out of it, wouldn’t you? The same rule applies to adverse conditions. Pour into them a steady stream of confidence in the power of God in you to change them, and they will change, correspondingly.
Recently, a member of my Sales Authenticity and Success Mastermind asked me about my planning process. How do I decide what my business priorities will be? What mindset do I employ?
Since fall is the perfect time for you to start planning your own six- or seven-figure business for the coming year, I thought I’d share with you what I told her:
1. Listen, Act, Trust.
This is my mantra, which I practice all year long. To begin your own planning process, start with listening. Lessons and messages are everywhere, so you want to notice what things keep showing up. Do you keep ending up in a certain market segment or with certain partners, or are your clients asking you for certain things? Can you feel your Trusted Source pulling or pushing you in a certain direction over and over? Listen to that and consider if those messages are pointing the way for your business. You know what they say: If you don’t listen to the taps, you could be asking for the 2×4!
2. What would you love to NOT do anymore?
What do you want to let go of in your business? Or, maybe you like everything you do, but you know you can’t keep adding to your plate without taking something off. Therefore, what could you let go of that you could make up the loss of in other ways? For instance, if you decided that JV and affiliate partnerships weren’t a perfect fit for you anymore, you might make up the loss of the leads through doing a telesummit, podcast or Facebook ads.
3. Use the four Irresistible Offer Litmus Test Questions.
And, finally, to create a very solid foundation for a six- or seven-figure business that serves you as well as your clients, apply the same litmus test to your planning process that you used to design your Irresistible Offer. Those four questions are:
• What is the transformation you want to offer? Even if you’ve had a successful business for years, you’re always evolving and growing, so take the time to look at what’s in your heart. What is the transformation you most want to offer and work on now? In many cases it’s a slight upleveling from the year before, which encompasses what you have already built.
• How would you deliver that transformation? Now that you know what transformation you are committed to providing, you can take a look at how you would deliver it. Most people make the mistake of thinking about delivery first. But putting the transformation first is the key to serving more people and making your sales conversion machine a profit- and difference-making machine. So do you want to be doing live speaking and events? Or has your life come to a place where you want to minimize being on the road so you would prefer a more virtual model. Maybe teleseminars and webinars. Or maybe you want a hybrid, like our model. In any case, you want to take two things into account here: your lifestyle and which delivery model best serves the transformation you are working to provide.
• Is it leveraged? There are only so many hours in a day, so to get to the six- or seven-figure level while still leading a balanced life you’re going to love, you need to be working with more than one person at a time. Will the delivery model you chose above allow for that?
• Do I love it? This is key. You want to be doing what you love, standing on your own dime, not fulfilling somebody else’s idea of what you should do. So even if the signs seem to be pointing in a particular direction, if you don’t love it, don’t go there. And this is important for the delivery model you chose too. If you’re tired of being alone behind your computer, maybe it’s time to build in speaking and some live events or workshops.
BONUS: Give yourself some space.
Don’t try to plan a big future on a sticky note. Use a wall poster. Get everything off your desk. Give yourself actual, physical space to plan the business and life of your dreams.
If your dream business relies on speaking and sales, there’s no better preparation than our Speak-to-Sell Bootcamp. And that’s why I’m offering you the chance to join me BACKSTAGE next weekend at no cost to you. Take a sneak peek behind the scenes at our live event in Tampa, and learn my secrets for crafting your Signature Talk and Irresistible Offer PLUS I’ll also give you a peek at my “7-Figure Work From Home Blueprint.”
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If you love what you do, but hate the “sales part,” sales conversion expert Lisa Sasevich will show you how to attract new clients, expand your reach and grow your profits with no additional time or marketing budget…and without being salesy. Get your FREE Sales Training and Sales Nuggets now at www.FreeSalesTrainingFromLisa.
I am honored that I was selected to be one of only 30 sponsors giving an exclusive gift during his book launch — be sure to look for my gifts and let me know if you enjoyed them. For this special event, I created a brand new guided imagery meditation to help you heal from grief and loss. Whether you’re coping with the loss of a relationship or the death of a loved one, or the loss of your lifestyle in the economic downturn, you CAN feel better, and I’d really like to help. http://growingupinheaven.com/