Daily Archives: January 4, 2012

12 Inexpensive Ways to Relieve Stress

12 Inexpensive Ways to Relieve Stress

  • Delia Quigley

“Stress: 1. a force that strains or deforms 2. mental or physical tension“ Websters New World Dictionary

Despite our best intentions for creating a lifestyle free of stress, we have only succeeded in creating more stress than our mind and bodies can really handle. The good news is there are practical ways to reduce stress in your life without having to spend a whole lot of money. It is important to note that there are both environmental and emotional factors that create stress in your home, workplace and outdoors in a city. You might feel the stress of a difficult job, or the emotional strain of a negative relationship, but toxic chemicals in your cleaning supplies or exposure to electro-magnetic frequency’s from your computer and T.V. may not be so easy to detect. They can, however, cause stress to your immune system and eventually will need to be removed or reduced.

For now let’s take a look at some ideas for dealing with stress on a daily basis. By taking one-step-at-a-time you can at least begin to manage the stress that comes from living in a time that demands our complete attention and much of our precious energy. The goal here is to open up space in your day to recharge and reinvigorate your body-mind for the next go-round of activity.

1. Medical research has shown that lack of sleep can stress the body more than anything else you do. Make sure to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night for best effect.

2. To make sure your body can sleep at night, reduce the amount of stimulating foods, such as sugar, caffeine and alcohol, that you ingest each day. For some people even one cup of java can cause insomnia. Stay away from your computer or smart phone before bedtime as it can interfere with your ability to sleep.

3. Take time each day to stop and do nothing. You can do this at your desk with a few stretches and then sitting, lean your head back on the chair and close your eyes for 2-3 minutes. Or, lay down on the sofa or bed and take a 5-10 minute nap. This is a very easy and effective way to refresh and revive the whole body system.

 

4. Step away from what you are doing and make a cup of herbal tea, then sit and sip it slowly.

5. Take a 15-30 minute walk outside in nature and focus on your breathing. Stand and take deep breaths of fresh air and long exhales to expel the stale indoor air from your lungs.

6. Take 10 minutes each day to sit in meditation. This can be done anywhere you find yourself. Sit with your back upright, hands resting on your thighs, close your eyes and let your mind quiet and empty. Bring your attention to your breath and let the thoughts pass like clouds moving across a blue sky. This can be a powerful moment for your body-mind to relax and rejuvenate.

7. Plan 1-2 days a week when you will not turn on the computer or watch television. Use the time to hike in nature, read a good book, volunteer to help a friend, clean out your kitchen cabinets and cook yourself a healthy meal.

8. Go on a spending diet and stay away from shopping malls and other crowded venues. Instead, take time to be silent and alone with yourself. This is a wonderful time to think about your life, to set goals, to plan and notice what is and what is not working. This awareness allows you to make changes before situations can get out of hand.

 

9. Put aside 10-15 dollars a week and indulge your senses with a monthly body massage. This can go a long way towards releasing stress, worry and anxiety in a short period of time.

10. Take a restorative yoga class at your local yoga studio. This special form of yoga utilizes nurturing physical postures to relax, rejuvenate and alleviate the effects of chronic stress in your daily life. Once you know the routine you can practice at home in your personal space.

11. Light some candles in your bathroom, put on some soft music and take a warm bath. Add some muscle relaxing bath salts and a few drops of Lavender oil to calm and relax your mind.

12. As all your worries and fears rise up to engulf you, just remember what is happening in the given moment. Anxiety comes from creating a negative future in your mind, one that has not happened and will probably not happen. It is all a product of your imagination and if you can stay focused on what is happening in the present you can reduce the stress this way of thinking can cause.

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Daily Feng Shui Tip for January 4th

In the pursuit of today’s energetic associations, I found that today is ‘Trivia Day.’ So I thought I’d share some time-tested ‘lucky’ trivia and advice regarding luring luck your way. First comes the quirky way to change bad luck to good. This occurs when you pull a pocket inside out and then walk up a flight of stairs backwards. Once at the top, turn around three times in accordance with the relic of a rhyme that says, ‘I turn myself three times about and thus I put bad luck to rout.’ Traditions from New Orleans say that scrubbing the floors of your house with a concoction of wash water and a bit of citronella will bring luck to your home faster than you can say ‘fast luck.’ Then there’s an even more potent blend that’s purported to attract even bigger luck called ‘Red Fast Luck.’ The ingredients for this brew are wintergreen and oils of cinnamon and vanilla. Even though individually these ingredients are gold in color, when combined they turn a bright red, hence the name. Dab a bit on your bedposts, in your wallet or even on your pulse points to magnetize the most luck possible. These tips might be trivial, but they’re said to be pretty darn lucky, too!

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

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Your Daily Number for Jan. 4th: 6

Physical work around the house and family matters capture your attention today. You’re part of and privy to serious conversations, and may be feeling physically vulnerable. Dress comfortably and eat well today, taking special care not to overindulge. An office romance may blossom today.

Fast Facts

About the Number 6

Theme: Family and Social Responsibility, Service, Healing
Astro Association: Gemini
Tarot Association: Lovers
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Today’s I Ching Hexagram for Jan. 4th is 44: Liaison

44: Liaison

Hexagram 44

General Meaning: The attraction is strong, but the relationship is not destined to last. So, be careful — the magnetism of polarized forces may not be what it seems. An apparently harmless, but potentially dangerous, energy has attracted attention to itself and is pulling on a stronger one. The ancient image is of a bold but immature girl who uses her charms to gain influence with a stable, powerful man. The man dallies with her, thinking that it can do him no harm. Ha, famous last thoughts! When power shifts into the hands of those unprepared for it, harm comes to all parties.

Still, you need not fear meetings with those whose positions are widely different from your own, as long as you can remain free of ulterior motives.

Be especially wary of temptations that arise because of your connections to important people. Generally, it is best to combat such temptations by snipping them in the bud before they can flower. Just as soon as a dangerous liaison presents itself is the time to take note and speak up. On the other hand, there are times when the meeting of the yielding and the strong turn out to be opportunities for truly positive and constructive relationships. The difference between careless connection and a relationship of depth lies in the motives of the heart. How sincere are you?

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Today’s Runes for January 4th is Berkana

Today’s Runes

Ice Runes are most commonly used for questions about struggle, conflict, and achievement. Berkana represents the birch tree. The birch is frequently symbolic of renewal, rebirth, birth, growth and fertility. This rune is a joyous one, representing good outcomes from ventures undertaken. It is the rune of the family and of a good household.
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Today’s Tarot Card for January 4th is The Empress

The Empress

This Tarot Deck: Crowley

General Meaning: Traditionally entitled “Empress,” this major arcana or “trump” card portrays the energy of the Great Mother. She is Nature, around us but also within us, the ever-unfolding Source of life-giving power. She is often pictured as a pre-Christian Goddess, as the one whom the High Priestess is channeling down to earth for the rest of us.

In medieval Europe, the Empress card was painted to represent whatever Queen currently ruled the land, probably to satisfy the Inquisitors. But the scholars of the Renaissance and beyond had no doubt of her true identity, although she could not be fully revealed on Tarot cards as the “woman clothed with the sun” until after the French Revolution.

This supreme archetype of femininity also symbolizes fertility. It is She who provides us nourishment and security. She is also sometimes seen as delighting us with flowers and fruit. A potentially terrifying aspect of this archetype manifests itself whenever karmic mood swings wipe out our plans, like a storm that has come upon us. Whatever happens, the Empress is the Source of our Embodiment and of Natural Law. She might even be called “the Great Recycler.”

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Your Horoscope Vacation

Your Horoscope Vacation

  • Cait Johnson

The ideal vacation for a fiery, active Aries will probably look very different than the getaway for a tradition-loving Taurus or a super-organized Virgo, for instance. The wisdom from our sun sign can show us how to get the maximum in soul-nurturance from our summer break.

Find out what your horoscope can tell you about your ideal vacation here:

Aries, March 21-April 19: You will probably prefer a break that includes a lot of physical activity: surfing, kayaking, hiking, or vigorous sightseeing. If the rest of your family prefers loafing on the beach, find ways to stay on an even keel by doing yoga or tai chi in the sand.

Taurus, April 20-May 21: Taurus people generally prefer going to places that are familiar and traditional. This year, you might want to hoist yourself out of your rut and go someplace new. Wherever you go, you will find the deepest nurturance in the fertile green energy of nature.

Gemini, May 22-June 20: Geminis sometimes find it hard to feel grounded and to quiet their quickly-moving minds. You might consider taking a meditation retreat to help yourself be deeply present and still. If your family wants to do a theme park instead, just make sure you take time to go someplace quiet and simply sit.

Cancer, June 21-July 22: It can be difficult to get sensitive home-loving Cancers to go anywhere, but the seaside is a natural choice if you do decide to leave the safety and comfort of home. Allow the sound of the surf to bring you ease.

Leo, July 23- Aug 22: Most Leos love vacations that offer plenty of opportunity for your vitality to shine, so anything from karaoke singing to drama workshops to simply being the tour guide for your family may all appeal. You are a natural activities-director and entertainer, so enjoy!

Virgo, Aug 23-Sept 22: It is all too easy for Virgos to get caught up in the details of planning the vacation and forget to relax and be in the moment. But time spent gardening (or visiting famous gardens) or simply indulging in wonderful organic meals will help to soothe you.

Libra, Sept 23-Oct 22: Harmony-loving Libras may find they are more focused on pleasing everyone else when it comes to taking a vacation than in pleasing themselves. Be sure to feed your sensitive spirit with plenty of beauty, both natural and human: art museums and natural vistas both will offer soul-food.

Scorpio, Oct 23-Nov 21: Because Scorpios are so drawn to the depths, your ideal vacation may involve a spiritual workshop of some kind, or learning an esoteric practice, or doing deep couples work with your partner. If not, then snorkeling or scuba-diving might offer a literal way for you to explore those depths of which you are so fond.

Sagittarius, Nov 22-Dec 21: Sparkly Sagittarians usually need plenty of activity and social interaction to feed their souls. Your ideal vacation might involve a group tour of some interesting spot or a glimpse of another culture.

Capricorn, Dec 22-Jan 19: Work-oriented Capricorns usually need to be pried away from their desks and routines with a crowbar, but if you do decide you deserve a break, time spent in the mountains or some other expansive view will help you to unwind.

Aquarius, Jan 20-Feb 18: Your fertile imagination will take pleasure in coming up with meaningful activities to share with your closest loved ones. Anything that offers spiritual inspiration will be likely to engage and nurture you.

Pisces, Feb 19-March 20: Because of your dedication to service, your ideal vacation may involve some kind of environmental or social outreach: helping to clean up a park or building a house for the needy may appeal to your altruistic nature. If your family just wants to have fun, you can channel your need to help in smaller but no less important ways.

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Daily Horoscopes for Wednesday, Jan. 4th

It’s crucial to use a little common sense today so we don’t embark on an unrealistic venture that leads nowhere. We may feel as if we’re at odds with others because the bullheaded Taurus Moon squares social Venus, possibly stirring up disagreements in relationships. Luckily, a visionary Sun-Neptune alignment encourages creativity if we aren’t too stubborn, while a Venus-Jupiter connection indicates a positive outcome if we trust our imaginations.

 

Aries Horoscope
Aries Horoscope (Mar 21 – Apr 19)

Sticking with the tried and true method brings better results today than rushing off to start something entirely new. You may grow restless if everything seems too familiar, but it’s a smarter strategy to manage your anxiety by modifying your attitude instead of messing with your environment. Thankfully, once you accept that you need to settle into your routine, most everything should get easier to manage all around.

Taurus Horoscope
Taurus Horoscope (Apr 20 – May 20)

The Moon’s visit to your determined sign may be quite stabilizing, but you could become so concerned with getting your way now that you obsess over something you want. Even if you are concerned that things are not going your way, they just might be out of your control. Rather than increasing your frustration by trying to change circumstances that are unchangeable, remind yourself that practicing flexibility helps to prevent your energy from getting stuck.

Gemini Horoscope
Gemini Horoscope (May 21 – Jun 20)

You might not be so talkative today because you’re afraid of saying too much. Your self-restraint is an intelligent strategy since there are issues that need your attention and it can be problematic if you wear yourself out too early in the game. Find some time to relax so you have energy for what’s ahead instead of pursuing random social activities now.

Cancer Horoscope
Cancer Horoscope (June 21 – Jul 22)

This may be a perfect day to socialize with friends, but don’t worry about figuring out the details in advance. You might experience some anxiety because you want to know exactly what you will be doing later, but ultimately it will be more enjoyable if you leave things unstructured for now. Fortunately, the less you plan, the more relaxed you’ll be throughout the day.

Leo Horoscope
Leo Horoscope (Jul 23 – Aug 22)

You could back yourself into a corner with no easy way out today because you might try too hard to make your plan work. In fact, you are banking on everyone sticking closely to your agenda as promised. But the universe might have a slightly different notion about what’s next, and you’re better off if you don’t fight the inevitable. Even if you are successful at forcing reality to fit into your scheme, you could exhaust yourself in the process. Honestly, it’s okay to relax your control now because you will regain it later on.

Virgo Horoscope
Virgo Horoscope (Aug 23 – Sep 22)

This may be a rather easygoing day if you don’t make yourself busy with too much unnecessary work. Instead of shifting into automatic gear and working through your list of regular chores, consider which tasks are non-essential and leave those for another day. Even if you’re typically a hard worker, think about taking some well-deserved time off just to relax today.

Libra Horoscope
Libra Horoscope (Sep 23 – Oct 22)

You have a highly unique way of approaching life now, but you might not be able to set your ideas into motion. But this isn’t only about your efforts being blocked; your current lack of confidence makes you wonder if you’ll be able to reach your goals if you are opposed to the prevailing currents. Actually, you’re smarter to wait it out; enjoy yourself today by being creative, instead of productive. Save your strength for another day when the going isn’t so rough.

Scorpio Horoscope
Scorpio Horoscope (Oct 23 – Nov 21)

It’s irritating if someone quickly agrees with you in word, yet continues to resist nearly everything you do. It’s as if there’s a split between the mental and physical universe, which can be quite frustrating. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to solve this dilemma today. Instead of forcing any issues, just be an objective witness to what’s happening. Thankfully, you can still feel content if you simply make a decision to let it be for now.

Sagittarius Horoscope
Sagittarius Horoscope (Nov 22 – Dec 21)

You might not be able to accomplish all your goals today, but a large part of the problem comes from taking on too much. You can visualize the big picture so well that it motivates you to think beyond your immediate environment. Unfortunately, there isn’t a fast way to get to your destination. Nevertheless, you’ll be happier if you concentrate on the most practical things you can do, even if that means success is delayed another day.

Capricorn Horoscope
Capricorn Horoscope (Dec 22 – Jan 19)

Your friends might believe that you would benefit from some relaxation today, but may secretly think that you don’t know how to have fun. However, you’re ready to let them follow you around so you can prove them wrong. Although you could have a struggle on your hands convincing them, you can still have a good time doing it. Don’t bother defending your actions if someone doesn’t like your strategy. Just get on with your plans and make things happen exactly the way you want them to now, without worrying about what others think.

Aquarius Horoscope
Aquarius Horoscope (Jan 20 – Feb 18)

The same events that might have upset your life previously don’t seem to have the same unsettling effect now. But unresolved issues won’t likely vanish on their own unless you maintain a firm inner resolve. Keep your eyes focused on the distant horizon. You will reach your destination if you don’t become distracted — even if it takes more time than you prefer.

Pisces Horoscope
Pisces Horoscope (Feb 19 – Mar 20)

You are ready to settle into an easy day at work, hoping that you don’t have to deal with any major upheavals. However, you may need to overcome a few obstacles that now stand between you and your personal satisfaction. You won’t find happiness if you try to force your position on others. It’s more effective to step back from potential conflicts until you’re able to talk about your emotions in a rational manner.

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