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  • Living with Gratitude 21 Nov

    DM Castillo

    Everyday thoughts swirl around in our head. Most of these thoughts are oriented towards the future – what is going to happen if… Sometimes we catch ourselves ruminating about the past. If only I had… Living in the present, in the moment is difficult. Yet, finding a place of stillness can quiet the fears for the future and the regrets of the past, giving us more peace of mind. It requires practice because in modern life it’s difficult to find moments of stillness.

    Living with gratitude is not negating everyday stress and problems. Rather it is about finding beauty in our everyday world and taking a moment to give thanks. It’s about shifting the focus away from our problems and stressors for a moment and focusing on something that inspires or strengthens us. In the act of doing so we begin to reach beyond fear or regret. Making this a daily practice has shown to affect brain chemistry as contemporary neuropsychologists such as Dr. Rick Hansen and Dr. Daniel Siegel have written about.

    What are you grateful for in this moment?

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  • Modern Families: Housework & Stress 16 Sep

    DM Castillo

    How does the division of household work (like cooking, cleaning and laundry) affect a relationship? According to a University of Southern California study published in the Journal of Family Psychology (2011), for dual wage earners with at least one child, the spouse who does most of the housework at the end of the day experiences higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Normally cortisol is highest in the morning when we need to get going and lowest at night; chronic spikes of cortisol can negatively affect weight, cognitive functioning and immunity.  Says Darby Saxby lead author of the study, “The quality of relationships makes a big difference in a person’s health. Dividing up your housework fairly with your partner may be as important as eating your vegetables.” For further reading:

    Time spent in housework and leisure: Links with parents’ physiological recovery from work (journal article abstract)

    Study Examines Stress Levels for Couples

    Irreconcilable differences at the end of the day: Men, women and housework

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  • Do you know how to ask for help? 18 Jul

    DM Castillo

    Do you know how to ask for help or accept it when it’s offered? No? Maybe you grew up with the idea that asking for help is a sign of weakness or you have trouble communicating your needs. The attitude of “I can do it all by myself” can create more stress in life, lead to feeling overloaded and anxious, and breed resentment in relationships and/or the workplace. Toni Bernahrd, J.D., author of Turning Gold Into Straw, recently posted an article “How to Ask for Help” ( link). If you have trouble asking for help, consider a few counseling session to learn the ins and outs of communicating your needs and accepting help.

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