The Secret to a More Satisfying Life? : #Minimalism- Is it the answer to De stressing our Lives?

The documentary (2016 Netflix) “MINIMALISM- A Documentary About the Important Things”, two former work colleagues, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus bring us through their work of reducing their physical possessive world to , well… a minimum.  This included a complete purge of all the extraneous possessions that they have accumulated throughout their still young lives.  They essentially “wanted out” of the race for status and happiness through possessions and “things”.  However they emphasize at one point that it is important to have the things in your life that really  – really – matter to you.  Some of the experts that are interviewed discuss the psychological and social science of all of this.  That is, how happiness can be linked to the idea of getting the iPhone 8 or a new car.

I must admit that I want the iPhone 8 and I just bought a new car . But, I don’t necessarily see these things to the route to happiness and contentment. They look at everything from housing to our overall lifestyles as well as where we actually live.

It’s a fascinating view of stress in our lives and the people who the two friends profile, as well as themselves, are actually happy and content.  Whether you actually practice or incorporate any of the ideas is not as important as the message that the documentary shares.


Fitness and #Exercise – Still one of the Best Medicines

An entry published in recent years by the American Psychological Association is entitled “The exercise effect”.  Kristen Weir outlines the often standard belief in the mental health world that exercise is not only good for mental and physical well being but that it should be part of the treatment for psychological problems such as depression and anxiety.  There is evidence that a person can feel the positive effects of exercise within “minutes”.  Numerous people have stories about their own routines of walking or running that contribute to positive mood and stress reduction.


However there are many who don’t really enjoy exercise and certainly don’t want to step foot in a gym.  That’s their style and personal preference – like anything else.  So then the challenge becomes – What does work for you if you want to get your body in a fitness routine or work toward conditioning and overall fitness.  It’s important for each person to find their own niche.  Not everyone wants to ride a bike, not everyone enjoys a walk or run in the park.


What we do know is that exercise in many forms has advantages when done properly  – in line with a person’s age, condition and background.  So perhaps the task is to determine what is right for you.

Mindfulness The perfect Example of Your Own way to manage stress

Mindfulness, first made really popular by John Kabot-Zinn (sp) the author of “Full Catastrophe Living”, wanted people to be able to be present in their own experience of stress, joy, excitement and just simply the human experience.  We now have a wide variety of “Mindful” approaches to stress anxiety and life management.  Ultimately it’s the experience of living a moment in the fullest and hopefully feeling positive, aware and good.

We can all be our own experts on developing an approach that is unique and effective for each of us.  The other day I was caught in a moment where I watched some spring chickadees at my bird feeder as I pulled into my driveway.  A few minutes passed as I watched them fly to and from the protection of a nearby bush.  I really didn’t think about it as mindfulness at the time but I was not thinking about anything else for those few minutes except the two small creatures and the beauty of the scene (cue the music).  Anyway, that a mindful experience.


I’d be interested to hear about the experiences of others.IMG_0367

live-Stress : Manage Stress and Anxiety

The live-Stress program is a program and approach to the management of Stress and Anxiety for better mental health.  This site is administered by D.Perry who is the author of the live-Stress Relaxation CD.  The program will be available on this site.  Also Dean Perry is available on Amazon and iTunes if you search for his relaxation and Positive Memory Building Exercise.

The live-Stress program is mainly a progressive muscle relaxation program that is guided by the author with a relaxing and positive cues and background music.  There is a track on the CD that is called a “positive memory building exercise”.  The exercise is a type of mindfulness session that asks you to recall some positive, stress free and maybe relaxing events or scenes in your life in order to build your own coping and body/mind calming event that you can draw on at any time.  People have found the cd and overall approach to be helpful and effective.

A link to buy the CD is also going to be posted here.  In the meantime you can ask to purchase the CD for $20 US (shipping included) by cantacting



Breaking News -The #CNN Effect “Too much of the news?”

With our current world situations being accessible through or phone, laptop, desktop, tablet and television, we are surrounded by news and information 24/7 …. if we choose.  There is certainly a need for most of us to be informed on events – especially those that have a direct impact on our lives.  However, there is a risk of over exposure to a media that has always a way of making us feel that there is “breaking news” that we simply cannot miss.  Sure, there is such great value in journalists who make it their job to have information that is timely and accurate – that what stations like CNN or FOX do best and they do it very well.  However, sometimes it can be a daunting overflow of information that can lead to some anxiety and stress – especially to those who are prone to worrying about world events.  It might be useful to simply turn the news feed “off” sometimes.  It’s also nice to see some of these aforementioned channels offering travel, lifestyle and health shows – maybe they are truly trying to be responsible with their media.

What do you think?DSCN0067

Spring brings Hope and Some New Strategies

With Spring in the air, it’s a time when most people have had enough of winter and are ready for some new – mainly spring and summer.  The restrictions of the winter months are starting to loosen up.  It’s a time when one can perhaps start to be more active and maybe a bit adventurous with some outings and new challenges.  If walking or running is your thing, it might be helpful to add a mindfulness aspect to it by actually looking around and experiencing the world around you.  This also helps to bring the focus outward rather than inward.  Ironically it “is all about you” but your focus can actually be on the singing of the birds or the rising or setting sun.DSCN1903

Holiday Weekend Time for a Real Break

In Canada, this is the first holiday weekend to kick off the spring/summer season.  At the supermarket today, I saw people stocking up on groceries, barbecue supplies and beer for a weekend of kicking back and some serious R and R. …… Hopefully.  As I observed the campers on their way out of town and the people in some hurry to officially start the weekend, I wondered if their  formula for this weekend really added up to self care, relaxation , rejuvenation and simply spending quality time to achieve a weekend that would resulted in some peace of mind and happiness.  It might be “overthinking it” but it’s worth taking the time to think about these events as a means of achieving what we really want for ourselves instead of going through the motions of a few days — only to land at Tuesday morning without having gotten a break for ourselves.

Everyone has a different definition of their needs foe a holiday weekend.  The important thing is to have some idea of what it means to you. What do you do on these holidays to unwind?

The Best of #Spring is in the Air

Yes, It’s May and in most places, at least in North America, the weather is beginning to warm and people’s thoughts turn to outside, vacations, cottages and the fun and relaxation that comes with the season ahead .  However, for some, spring is a difficult time.  There are some people with a form of seasonal affective disorder that actually have a difficult time with anxiety and mood in the spring of the year.  Also, this time of year is sometimes simply a challenging time for some due to life circumstances.

It’s important to get the appropriate treatment and consult with a professional on this.  For most people, it’s important to take advantage of this time of year and really incorporate things like exercise, leisure and relaxation – in whatever form you wish- into your routine.  Try reading your morning paper with your tea/coffee outside on the front step, do your morning yoga on the patio , take that evening walk in the spring air.  Cardiovascular exercise is always a good idea for mental and physical health.

I’d like to hear your ideas and comments.