October 29, 2019

Balance Fear with Kindness

Posted in Compassion, Well-being tagged , , , , at 9:27 am by kellyfdennis

black and white sun in sky“Monsters don’t sleep under the bed, they sleep inside your head.” It is said, “Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as unguarded thoughts.” Thoughts are curious things, they can create fear and dread, or peace and love. May your thoughts today and the days to come be ones that build you up, not cut you down.

May you be healthy and strong, peaceful and happy. May you think thoughts of love and acceptance, for yourself and for others. May you be free from suffering and experience love in abundance. May you notice the sparkle of a snowflake, the twinkle of the stars. May you feel a gentle breeze upon your face and the warmth and compassion from those who are important to you. May you experience the courage to face a fear, and the confidence to accept yourself just the way you are. May you be kind and experience kindness.

That’s the way to make peace with the monsters that live inside your head.

December 28, 2017

Mental Wellness

Posted in Well-being tagged , , , at 12:59 pm by kellyfdennis

winter-road-in-the-mountains-10011173While decreasing the stigma surrounding mental illness in order to create an environment in which individuals believe they can seek out care without judgement is paramount; equally important is understanding how to keep ourselves mentally and physically well (or return to a state of wellness after a mental or physical illness).

The following is a list of contributors to mental (and physical) wellness:

-Exercise. The research shows again and again the importance of regular, moderate exercise in the maintenance of mental wellness.

-Food. Proper nutrition nourishes the brain and there is research to support that certain foods can affect one’s mood state.

-Sleep. This is when our bodies and brains heal and recharge.

-Being in nature. Natural surroundings ease our brain’s fight or flight response and increase the “feel good” chemicals available to us.

-Having a sense of purpose. When we lack a sense of meaning and purpose we can become anxious, depressed, or feel empty and “blah” inside.

-Spirituality. Spirituality is the divinity that dances, and flows as the source and essence of every soul. Spirituality is related to your personal search, to finding greater meaning and purpose in your existence.

-Relationships. Feeling loved and cared for while loving and caring for others.

-Community. A sence of acceptance and belonging.

-Resilience. The ability to “bounce back”.

-Managing distress and eustress. Stressors can be both good and bad, being able to  managing the way they impact or minds and bodies is essential to well-being.

Most of these are “no brainers”. We know what to do, but what gets in the way of us taking good care of ourselves? Sometimes, we don’t believe we deserve the good care; other times we feel overwhelmed by the committment to do so. Try setting an intention in the new year to put more effort into the above list. When the effort seems hard, talk to someone about the “things that get in the way.”

Be Well and Have a Wonderful 2018!

 

December 20, 2017

Balance Fear with Kindness

Posted in Compassion tagged , , , , at 5:10 pm by kellyfdennis

black and white sun in sky“Monsters don’t sleep under the bed, they sleep inside your head.” It is said, “Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as unguarded thoughts.” Thoughts are curious things, they can create fear and dread, or peace and love. May your thoughts today and the days to come be ones that build you up, not cut you down.

May you be healthy and strong, peaceful and happy. May you think thoughts of love and acceptance, for yourself and for others. May you be free from suffering and experience love in abundance. May you notice the sparkle of a snowflake, the twinkle of the stars. May you feel a gentle breeze upon your face and the warmth and compassion from those who are important to you. May you experience the courage to face a fear, and the confidence to accept yourself just the way you are. May you be kind and experience kindness.

That’s the way to make peace with the monsters that live inside your head.

December 14, 2017

Talk Less, Listen More

Posted in Communication tagged , , , , , at 3:48 pm by kellyfdennis

CatunderTreeSome people are very guarded and quiet in their communciation style, almost as if they are afraid of being found out somehow. Others talk incessantly, desperately attempting to be heard and validated. Then there are those folks that seem to blame everything wrong in their lives on others, or those people who don’t really listen, but are quick to offer unsolicited advice. None of these approaches to communicating is effective.

Let me ask you something: What if you felt at ease and comfortable being your true, authentic self in your relationships with others? What do you think would happen if you felt safe to share your thoughts and feelings with others and they felt safe enough to do the same with you? When we practice effective, satisfying communication, we are rewarded with relationships filled with more love, intimacy, understanding, and trust.

Communication is so much more than just a way of talking or getting one’s opinion out in the air. Essentially, communication means transferring ideas, thoughts, desires, feelings from the privacy of one’s own mind to a common place where other people can share them and receive them. Words, body language, facial expression, tonality, and style are all a part of effective communication.

The elements of effective communication are easy to list, but can be challenging to implement:

-Use “I feel_________, when you____________, because__________.”

-Steer clear of “always”, and “never”.

-Pay attention to what your body is doing while you are talking or listening.

-Check your tone.

-Don’t keep things bottled up and then try to effectively communicate when the volcano finally erupts.

-Listen whithout judgement and without thinking about what you will say next.

-Put aside your need to be “right”.

-Use reflection: “What I hear you saying is______. Am I hearing you correctly?”

-Communciate in a way that will make sense to your recipient. For example, communication is different when you are talking to your 10 year old son versus your 40 year old coworker (or at least is should be!).

Communication is complex and wonderful and is certainly relationship enriching when done well. The above list really just scratches the surface, but it’s enough to get you started. Be curious about learning to be heard and understood, and learning to hear and understand.

Be Well and Have a Wonderful Day!

 

 

December 6, 2017

Peace, Let There Be Peace

Posted in Compassion tagged , , , , , , at 8:10 am by kellyfdennis

Discover a New Day logo smallWhere there is hatred, sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.-St. Francis of Assisi

A Sioux Story- “My grandfather took me to the fish pond on the farm and he told me to throw a stone into the water. He told me to watch the circles created by the stone. Then he asked me to think of myself as that stone person.

“You may create lots of splashes in your life but the waves that come from those splashes will disturb the peace of all your fellow creatures,” he said.

“Remember that you are responsible for what you put in your circle and that circle will also touch many other circles. You will need to live in a way that allows the good that comes from your circle to send the peace of that goodness to others. The splash that comes from anger or jealousy will send those feelings to other circles. You are responsible for both.”

May your ripples be those of Peace.

 

stefdennis

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