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Got Stress? Find a Hobby March 8, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Health & Wellness, Life Balance.
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Many of us carry dangerously high stress loads which  negatively impact our mental, emotional, and physical health.  

Finding ways to reduce stress levels is important if we want to live life to the fullest, both now and in the future. 

One stress reducer to consider ~ hobbies, which offer benefits beyond the obvious.  

When we set aside our daily cares long enough to engage in pleasant activities and pursuits, such as a favorite hobby, we boost our immune systems, increase our enjoyment of life, have fun, explore our innate creativity, gain a sense of accomplishment (boosting self-esteem along with our immune system), and  generally increase our overall health and well-being.

“Stress thwarts the immune system,” said Dr. Cynthia Ambres during an interview with  The Buffalo News (AARP Daily Bulletin).  

According to Ambres, Chief Medical Officer of HealthNow New York, fully 43 percent of adults in the U.S. suffer negative health effects due to chronic stress.  Hobbies can make a difference in reducing those levels.

“Even half an hour a day spent working at an active hobby like gardening, painting, pottery-making, knitting, model-building or the like is enough to  significantly improve our mental state and physical health.”

Hobbies benefit us in much the same way as meditation, t’ai chi and yoga ~ by reminding us to stay in the moment. 

Painting a watercolor, for example, provides a restful interlude for our busy minds.  As we select exactly the right color to apply in each section of the painting,  stressful thoughts about paying the bills, and meeting the needs and demands of others, recede into the background, allowing us to connect with the present moment, the eternal now, and recharge our depleted reserves.

Quote:  Tomorrow’s life is too late.  Live today.  ~ Marcus Valerius Martialis

No rules.  Just write!

The Choice is Up to You March 8, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Music & Dance, Nature, Poetry.
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Enjoy this moment, it won’t last
The future soon will be the past
The day quickly becomes the night
Fill each moment with delight

Fill your days with delight, find joy in all you do
The options are limitless, the choice is up to you

Sing with the birds as they fly above
Share a smile, spread your love
Watch the sunrise, see the colors glow
Stop and help a child grow

Fill your days with delight, find joy in all you do
The options are limitless, the choice is up to you

Smell the flowers, fragrance sweet
Spread joy and hope to all you meet
Be aware of all you do
And delight will soon envelop you

Fill your days with delight, find joy in all you do
The options are limitless, the choice is up to you

Fill your days with pleasure
Make every day a treasure
Your peace will grow beyond measure
The Choice is Up to You

No rules.  Just write!

Spring Has Sprung . . . March 8, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Nature.
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Spring is in the air. 

With its arrival, we feel lighter and freer . . . not just because we are shedding the extra layers of jackets, sweaters, scarfs, and mittens, but because the renewal occurring all around us encourages us to pay attention to the present moment as it gently unfolds.

Seeing the change from winter whites to glorious greens reminds us to be here now and notice what is being offered. 

Daffodils popping up through the previously frozen tundra of the winter landscape catch our eye as they sway in the Spring breeze.

Buds appear on trees and bushes, before bursting forth from the brilliant yellow forsythia.

The air smells different, earthy and alive, as the Spring thaw warms the soil to ready it for planting. 

Our long hibernation is over. 

We wake up from our winter slumber and feel reborn. 

Drawn outside to explore the renewing landscape, the sun’s warm rays greet us ~ lighting up our faces, warming our souls, and re-energizing depleted spiritual reserves.

Birds fly overhead, gathering twigs and leaves to feather their nests.

No matter where we look, Spring reminds us to see, hear, smell, touch, and taste the magical moment flowering in front of us.

Glorious Spring is here . . . putting a bounce in our steps, and a song in our hearts, as it whispers:  Seize the day.

Quote:  The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, divinely aware.  ~ Henry Miller

No rules.  Just write!