Tag Archives | Energy

Get Your Dose of Calm the Easy Way: By Watching

Rippling_Pool_Water_Close_Up_by_artzgirl

I’m all about doing things the easy way. I used to be all about the hard way – though I didn’t think of it that way – but I’m reforming. Life’s too short.

So back to the calm thing. “Stay calm.” “Calm down.” and the ever-present “Keep calm.” The key to lowering stress is to cultivate calm we’re told – meditate, yoga, hobbies, fun…

But sometimes it just seems like one more thing on the to-do list. Maybe it’s just me, but some days I just don’t have the energy…

So I’ve decided when I need a dose of calm, I’m going to try “observing calm.”

I like to sit on the deck and watch the water ripple in the pool. I never swim in the pool, ever. (the kids do) But still something about the water is calming. So instead of berating myself for not “doing” swimming (the hard way,) I’m going to just be content to sit and observe the calming effect of the water (the easy way.)

I’ve started to notice that I find my calm by “watching” the calm around me in other ways too. First, you have to look for it, but when you start noticing it, it’s everywhere.

Once I got started, it was kind of like a game. Let’s see where I can find it…

I notice the people walking their dogs and the kids playing hop scotch as I’m driving by (instead of getting caught up in what I have to do and where I have to go.)

I notice the clouds floating by and the birds outside the office window.

I notice the elderly man who is very patiently waiting in the store line.

I notice my dogs snoozing in the slice of sun without a care.

As I’ve begun to look for, “watch” for, these instances of calm, I see them all around me…though I never paid much attention to them before.

The terrific thing about this practice is that it doesn’t take any extra time out of my schedule and I don’t actually have to “do” anything, but somehow the calm rubs off on me anyway.

It’s an easy win…and who doesn’t love that.

So, while I’m not advocating giving up on meditation or yoga or journaling or whatever activities you find calming, what I am saying is that there are other ways to get your dose of calm – or an extra dose – when you need it.

As I’m working on reforming…I’m trying out a new philosophy…

Do whatever works for you (not necessarily the prescribed solution.)

And why not do it the easy way if you can. 

I challenge you today to give it a try and share what calm you’re “watching.”

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How Utilizing the Minimum Effective Dose Will Save You Time and Effort

I had never heard the term Minimum Effective Dose (MED) before I read “The 4-Hour Body,” by Tim Ferriss. But now I’m fascinated with the concept. Anything that saves time and effort is a win.

The minimum effective dose (MED) is defined simply; the smallest dose that will produce a desired outcome.

Time give’s some examples to illustrate in “real life” terms.

You need 212°F to boil water. Anything higher is just a waste of energy. You can’t get “more boiled.”

You need 15-30 minutes of sunlight to get your required vitamin D, anything more may just result in sun damage.

 

Some other examples:

If you can get most of the benefit of weight training from 1 set, do you really need to do 3? (Your call, your body, your time.)

How much time do I need for social media? If 30 minutes a day gets me decent results, is it really worth spending an hour and a half?

I get a solid benefit meditating for 20 minutes a day, anything more just makes me antsy.

I see results with (and can maintain) 30 minutes of exercise most days. More makes me tired and anxious about the time I’m using.

 

It’s basically the law of diminishing returns. And it can really be applied to many areas of life.

The trick is to figure out the minimum time, effort, or resources that will give you the result you want (or some approximation of it,) and stop at that point. Anything extra is an inefficient use of energy that could be used for something else.

How might you apply this strategy?

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Top 5 Health Needs You’re Probably Neglecting

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Most of us are guilty of neglecting our health from time to time…myself included, embarrassing so.

The question I guess, is how much damage are we doing to ourselves? Short-term? Long-term? I’m not sure that can be measured…though there are many organizations working very hard to do just that. But while they’re arguing over the data, we can all agree that it’s a quality of life issue…

Namely, we are either improving our quality of life…or we’re harming it…there is very little room in between.

(Feel free to tweet that)

The Big 5

 

1. Sleep – Get good quality sleep in sufficient amounts (varies a bit by individual, but don’t kid yourself, most people need 7 -8 hours to live a full quality life.)

2. Doctor appointments –This includes dental and eye exams and even that chiropractor who eases your back pain. Be proactive with your health, rather than reactive.

3. Clean up your diet – You don’t have to be perfect, just make better choices most of the time. C’mon…You know what you should be eating…..and what you shouldn’t.

4. Some form of activity or exercise – No marathon running necessary, a daily walk, swim, yoga, bike ride, Zumba class, whatever gets you moving. A body in motion tends to stay in motion. It’s easier to maintain fitness than to get it back.

5. STRESS RELIEF – Anything you can do to lower your stress levels will benefit your health in particular and your life in general. Try meditation, yoga, journaling, vacation or maybe just a daily walk with your dog. Stress is, at best doing serious damage to the quality of our lives, at worst, it’s literally killing us.

Start with just one of the Big 5 if that’s all you can do. Once you start building good health, the next steps come a bit easier.

I don’t know about you…but while I’m here…I’d like to have a good life…and have it for a long time…this is a good place to start.

Share: How well are you doing with the Big 5? What are you neglecting?

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Why You Need to Look for Remedy, Not Fault

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Think about it…

If every ounce of energy human beings use in complaining was dedicated to productive change, we could solve many of the world’s problems virtually overnight.

Complaining is easy…but a complete waste. It accomplishes nothing, changes nothing, serves no purpose.

It takes thought, effort, and energy, maybe even a little courage to turn a complaint into an action, a request, or a solution. It requires that you think about what needs to be done rather than grousing about what hasn’t been done.

It requires that you step out of the cycle of “What’s wrong?” and step into “What can I do?”

There’s a bit of a ‘power exchange’ at work here. Complaining implies that you have no power; action assumes that you do.

Not only is that a lot more effective, but it feels a whole heck of a lot better too…

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15 Really Simple (and Inexpensive) Ways to Go a Bit Greener

In honor of Earth Day, I thought I’d share some really easy ways to “Go Greener.” It doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money, just a bit of commitment. If everyone did just one thing in a little bit more earth-friendly manner, we could make a huge difference in the world we are leaving to our children.

Thanks to the website The Daily Green for sharing these 15 easy ways to go green.

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1. Avoid Waste: Recycle

For every trashcan of waste you put outside for the trash collector, about 70 trashcans of waste are used in order to create that trash. To reduce the amount of waste you produce, buy products in returnable and recyclable containers and recycle as much as you can.

2. Give up Paper and Plastic Bags

Twelve million barrels of oil were used to make the billions of paper and plastic bags consumed in the United States last year. The best option is reusable shopping bags made of cotton, nylon or durable, mesh-like plastic. Keep the reusable shopping bags handy so you have them on your next shopping trip.

3. Stop Buying Bottled Water

Did you know that it takes 26 bottles of water to produce the plastic container for a one-liter bottle of water, and that doing so pollutes 25 liters of groundwater? Start using reusable water bottles instead made from materials like stainless steel or aluminum that are not likely to degrade over time. If you choose a plastic water bottle, check the number on the bottom first: Plastics numbered 3, 6 and 7 could pose a health threat to you, so look for plastics numbered 1, 2, 4 or 5.

4. Stop Receiving Unwanted Catalogs

Each year, 19 billion catalogs are mailed to American consumers. All those catalogs require more than 53 million trees and 56 billion gallons of wastewater to produce — and many of us don’t even know how we got on so many mailing lists! Save the millions of trees and billions of gallons of water by putting a stop to unwanted mail. Go online to CatalogChoice.org for help.

5. Give up Conventional Detergents

Many natural detergents today are made to clean clothes just as effectively in cooler water temperatures. Choose detergents and other laundry products that are plant-based, concentrated and biodegradable.

6. Give up Hot Water in the Washer

The Daily Green says that almost 90 percent of the energy is used to heat the water, and most clothes will come clean in cold water. So switch your washing machine’s temperature setting.

7. Give up the Clothes Dryer

The second biggest household energy user, after the refrigerator, is the clothes dryer. Overdrying your clothes can end up costing you money as well. When using the dryer, clear the lint filter after each load and dry only full loads of clothes. Dry heavy fabrics separately from lighter ones, and don’t add wet clothing in the middle of the drying cycle. And remember that hanging clothing outside in the sun and air to dry is the most energy-efficient method — or use a folding indoor rack all year long.

8. Check for Leaks in Your Toilet

A leaking toilet can waste anywhere between 30 and 500 gallons of water every day, so any leak should be repaired. To see if your toilet is leaking, put a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the dye shows up in the toilet bowl after 15 minutes or so, the toilet has a leak. Leaking is usually caused by an old or poorly fitting flapper valve, which can be replaced by any amateur DIY-er!

9. Give up Conventional Toilet Paper

If every household in the United States bought just one four-pack of 260-sheet recycled bath tissue, instead of the typical tissue made from virgin fiber, it would eliminate 60,600 pounds of chlorine pollution; preserve 356 million gallons (1.35 billion liters) of fresh water and save nearly 1 million trees. The best news is that a four-pack of recycled toilet paper costs about the same as a four-pack of conventional toilet paper.

10. Give up Paper Towels

Paper towels create a lot of unnecessary waste. Instead of loading up on them, buy some reusable microfiber towels, which grip dirt and dust like a magnet, even when they get wet. When you are finished with them, toss the towels in the wash and reuse them again.

11. Run a Fully Loaded Dishwasher

Running a fully loaded dishwasher — without pre-rinsing the dishes — can use a third less water than washing the dishes by hand, saving up to 10 to 20 gallons of water a day. Simply scrape large pieces of food off your dishes and let the dishwasher handle the rest. And by using the air-dry setting (instead of heat-dry), you will consume half the amount of electricity without spending a dime.

12. Lower the Temp in Your Fridge

First, set the refrigerator thermostat to maintain a temperature between 38 and 42 degrees (F). This temperature will protect your food from spoiling while saving electricity. Twice a year, make sure to clean the condenser coil at the back of your fridge. Condenser coils tend to get dusty, making them less efficient.

13. Give up 2 Degrees

According to The Daily Green, electric power plants are the country’s largest industrial source of the pollutants that cause global warming. By snuggling under a blanket on the couch on a snowy winter night instead of turning up the heat, or enjoying the breeze from a fan in the height of summer instead of turning up the air conditioning, you can save pounds of pollution. Set your thermostat in winter to 68 degrees F (20° C) or less during the daytime and 55 degrees F (13° C) before going to sleep or when you are away for the day. And during the summer, set thermostats to 78 degrees F (26° C) or more.

14. Give up Dry Cleaning

Until recently, almost all dry cleaners used a cancer-causing chemical called perchloroethylene, also known as Perc or TCE. Traces of this toxic chemical remain on your clothes after dry cleaning and will evaporate into the air in your car or home. If you have to use a traditional dry cleaner, take your dry cleaning out of the plastic and air it outside or near a window before hanging it in your closet. To avoid the need for dry cleaning, choose fabrics that don’t require dry cleaning at all.

15. Stop Wasting Gas

You can increase your gas mileage by checking your tire pressure. More than a quarter of all cars and nearly one-third of all SUVs, vans and pickups have underinflated tires, according to a survey by the Department of Transportation. If every American kept his or her tires properly inflated, we could save 2.8 billion gallons (10.6 billion liters) of gasoline a year — and help curb global warming pollution — so inflate the tires on your car or truck and continue to do so once a month or as necessary.

 

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