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full potential comes from building the new

Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want

By Barbara Steingas From the time we are born, we are taught our limitations and we are broken of our full potential. Our parents and caretakers, although well-meaning, tell us what we can’t or shouldn’t do in hopes of protecting us. Even though this is intended for our benefit, it teaches us to focus mainly on our limitations. Rather than focusing on our full potential and what we want to have happen, we instead focus on what we don’t want. For example, we are often told, “Don’t forget (something),” rather than, “Remember (something).” We also have the word, “No,” said to us an incredible amount of times by the time we are about 10 years old. The book What to Say When You Talk to Yourself by...

gain financial focus

Focus on Finances: Practice self-aware spending

By Joseph Gonzalez Having money is something that has been proven to make people feel better about themselves, but the ability to gain financial focus is not an easy task. Money not only enables us to essentially do what we want, but it gives us a sense of security, as well. However, focusing on saving money is often easier said than done. Xinyue Zhou’s research article, The Symbolic Power of Money, which was published in the Journal of Psychological Science, explains that money provides a feeling of self-sufficiency. In this mindset, people are less likely to ask others for help. We teach those going into adulthood to be dependent on themselves. So, asking a family member, or anyone, for money at any point could cause insecurity...

What do you (still) want to be when you grow up? Childhood interests lead to adult purpose

Focusing on your childhood passions could unveil your future career

By Libby Reilly Childhood interests; grown-up focus It might surprise you to note that your childhood interests could be the key to your future purpose. Think about it. Who were you in second grade? Eight-year-old Libby carried a Lion King backpack, learned how to do a french braid all by herself, and discovered that “stage fright” was not in her vocabulary as she shimmied and pirouetted across stages for dance recitals and local plays. At eight years old, Libby also loved making up songs, rhyming words, and she soared through vocabulary tests like a champ. How do these childhood interests and loves help your find your purpose and focus, though? This article from Business Insider says that if you are wondering what you should be doing with your life...

inward focus is key; outward focus is the door

Learning to Focus on that which Best Serves

New Life and Reflection Spring is a beautiful time of growth, inward focus, new life, and reflection. There’s a reason we often participate in spring cleaning—the harsh winter is behind us. With the sun and sprouting life, comes the desire for a fresh, clean start. With this new start, we allow ourselves the optimum opportunity and setting to enjoy the welcomed season. Spring also allows us to reflect on so many areas of our life. If we are wise, we can use this time to look inward and do a self-spring clean. We can rid ourselves of the habits, attitudes, and relationships that are as harsh or unwelcome as the desolation of winter. By turning our focus to the important and beautiful things in life, we...

Healthy ego development and the blank slate

Parenting without ego: from Blank slate to Healthy self

by Cris McCullough Is a child’s mind a blank slate or are children driven by their egos? When it comes to the word “ego,” there are two definitions. As a noun, it describes “a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.” It implies the cultivation of self-worth, self-respect, self-image, and self-confidence. In the realm of psychoanalysis, it describes “the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity.”   Our Children—Blank slate, or ego-driven? As a parent, one can blur the lines between the need to inspire our children to develop a healthy ego, which will help them navigate the reality of their world without harm, and our own ego’s need to be bolstered by the...

How to spot a sensitive secret keeper.

Are You a Sin-Eater?

By Vera Remes The sensitive secret keeper and how to spot them Do you know some who is a patient, sensitive secret keeper, a “sin-eater”? This is someone you go to and confess the aberrant things you do just so you can get them off your chest. The sin-eater puts their ego and needs aside to patiently and nonjudgmentally listen to your stories. They offer advice and never seem upset when you refuse to listen, returning to yet again confess the same thing. Chances are that the sin-eater is posing in this role for others, too. They are the people we turn to because of their nonjudgmental attitudes and accepting personalities, their way of making us feel accepted and acceptable. But consider this: perhaps they can’t walk...

Five communication tips for seeing your partner’s point of view

By Joseph Gonzalez Relationships are complex, and relationship communication is one of the most difficult aspects of any relationship. Whether romantic, platonic, or familial, they require effort. The ego and how we were raised plays a large part in how we perceive our partners. They also play a role in our relationships at large. Successful relationship communication shifts how the ego filters our interactions with our loved ones. This can help avoid undue judgment and result in greater relationship satisfaction. Allow the following approaches to enrich your relationships. Allow them to open your mind to new possibilities for strengthening the bond of love.   [caption id="attachment_6761" align="alignleft" width="206"] Relationship communication is key. Image by Kennedy Shenberg.[/caption] 1. Think about where they’ve come from It can be easy to forget how different...

Conscious parenting

Parenting without ego: Living and teaching our children safety and authenticity

By Danielle Rose If our ego is a guidance structure that we created for ourselves as children, then the best way to ensure our children create their own healthy guidance system is through conscious parenting. That means parenting without ego. That means seeing our ego for what it is, and not coloring everything through that lens. It involves facing the fears of parenting, of your own youth, of your future and the future of your children. It involves taking steps to become whole and forgetting what others have to say about the matter. Parenting without ego also involves incorporating all of our inner voices into one coherent direction. Sound overwhelming? Well, so is parenthood. The good news is that, as always, we’ve got the keys to...

Consistent yoga practice leads to healthier ego.

Identifying and Understanding the Ego Through Yoga

Our ego can find balance and centering even with something as simple as consistent yoga practice. As we have learned this month, the ego is not altogether “bad,” and in fact, we can understand quite a bit about ourselves when our ego has healthy balance. Emily Moyer and Catalyst Yoga have put together some great tips for how to use Yoga in your daily quest to understand your ego.   Consistent yoga practice and a stronger self Emily Moyer, co-owner and director of Newport Community Yoga, shares her perspective on ego, as well as a personal story on how lion’s breath helped her expel elements of the ego that were no longer serving her so she could grow forward, refreshed. “When I think of the ego, I think of...

Exhaustion: It’s time to tell a new story

As a woman, as a parent, as simply a person living in today’s fast-paced environment, we could all use more rest and better sleep. Not to mention, better sleep results in better focus. Author and women’s wellness advocate, Karen Brody, has created a 40-day yoga nidra program that makes yoga meditation relevant and accessible to women around the world. In this article, she shares how our ego-driven perspective on rest can be the one factor that keeps us from finding truly healing sleep.   By Karen Brody Let's face it, women today are tired. I support busy women leaders, and here is what they tell me all the time:   "I spent years getting educated and now I don't have any energy to work." "I love my work, but my kids...

Meditation for letting go of unhealthy ego and embracing the call of our spirit so we can find light.

Let go of ego and embrace peace and light: A meditation

By Kathleen Santora This meditation for letting go of unhealthy ego helps us accumulate more peace and light and attain a healthy balanced ego. Balance is the keyword when examining the essential element of the ego. When we focus on spirit, we can accept the light that we are asking for from this meditation and the universe. Meditation Light is ahead; darkness is behind.  Light is ahead of me; darkness is behind me.  I will forget my troubles and walk toward the light, leaving my darkness behind my thoughts. Disengage your thoughts from the system in order to accomplish your spiritual goals by changing the spiritual behavior of your mind with your conscious mind.  Letting go of ego, going deeper on a daily practice level of thoughts. If you...

Defining personality, building healthy ego

Who are you? A look at Ego and Personality Development

by Danielle Rose and Libby Reilly Defining personality and how your ego forms can be a confusing task. This is because, at its heart, personality is who you are. What you are is a daughter, a son, a grandma, a teacher, a friend, a fill-in-the-blank. But who you are is the base of your being. Strip away all the labels and the emotions. Strip away anything but a given situation and how you react to it—that is your personality. Why are we talking about personality types in an issue on ego?  Because our personality is part of what shapes our ego, and how we perceive and interact with the world. How do you interact with the world? How can a better understanding of who you are...

Gain perspective and refocus your lens

Gain Perspective through Healthy Patterns

by Theresa Birmingham One of the most difficult skills in life is the ability to gain perspective and to not only gain it, but to hold on to that hard-earned skill. Basically, just like anything else in life, perspective is not a once-in-a-life “Oh, I’ve got it” type experience. In order to truly gain perspective, one must understand that each day is a gamble, and we choose how we will react, how we will understand, and how we will move forward in a given situation.   Triggers We’ve learned that sometimes those flaws we see in others are actually flaws that are within ourselves. When we change our perspective, we can understand that everyone has a path. With this understanding, we often find that our judgments are many times...

One tip for overcoming heartbreak is to sing and dance the hurt away

Three tips for overcoming heartbreak, fast

by Danielle Rose Heartbreak hurts! Overcoming heartbreak hurts more. Sometimes gaining the perspective you need to move past your ex isn’t so simple. It can be so easy to want to ignore the pain, the hurt, to forget that part of your life as if it didn’t exist. Sometimes we make bad choices when our hearts are broken because it feels better to do something that feels good in the moment, rather than feel the hurt for one second longer. However, clearing the hurt rather than shoving it down will help you grow into the person you’re meant to be so that you can find the partner meant for you. Here, we offer our three best tips that you can use right now for overcoming heartbreak...

Kely Luzio-Cardona

God’s Greatest Gifts Are Unanswered Prayers: How perspective changes everything

by Vera Remes What is your perspective on the New Year? Are you feeling positive, or are you needing to find a positive perspective for a seemingly negative situation?  Even if you are welcoming the opportunity to improve in 2018, are you feeling that 2017 was less than satisfying? Have you made a resolution for 2018 that reads well but seems unreachable?  Perhaps you are being affected by the winter blues. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is real, even if I myself have trouble understanding it. I welcome the short, darker days of winter as a change from the longer sunbaked days of summer. For me, snow and freezing temperatures as a cleanser for the earth to get it ready for spring. I want to live where...

Practicing gratitude as a way to heal, grow and manifest

By Oneyda Salazar As doable as it may seem to practice gratitude, it can be difficult to instill in your day-to-day life. The word gratitude is considered a noun because the intent behind the word is to be in that state of mind. In order to show gratitude, one must apply it as an action. You can't simply be "grateful" without incorporating gratitude into your behavior. Once you practice gratitude more regularly, you will notice how much you appreciate a lot of things in life. This includes very negative moments, sometimes also known as lessons...

Music is more than a pastime: it’s medicinal

by J.T. Nash, a Fall 2016 graduate of William Paterson University, NJ In a modern society, consumed by psychiatric appointments and psychoactive medications, it is essential to realize that a mere choice of song can provide a sufficient therapeutic effect to remedy some of our psychological afflictions. Music: The vibration of humanity Parents traditionally play classical music for their children to absorb while sleeping--music is a vital element of humanity, serving as a catalyst for our behavior. Due to the profound, impassioned influence that symphonic stimulation supplies, most cultures of the world use music to improve moods, deliver focus, or lull a person into a meditative state. "Music lets you rediscover your humanity, and your connection to humanity," musical icon Moby states in an interview with Thought Economics. In...

The Hamster Wheel of Self-Sabotage Patterns

By Barbara Steingas We all have goals and dreams we want to achieve--or hope to achieve. However, hoping for something is like chasing a carrot we will never catch. Usually we start off confident and empowered about our goals and dreams, especially if the path to those goals are facilitated by someone or something, like by a seminar leader, or by making a dream or vision board. Consciously we really want these goals and dreams and initially feel motivated to achieving them. However, the self-sabotage pattern sets in after scratching the surface of a goal. Self-sabotage is when we say or do something that ruins our success and happiness. We often don't achieve some or many of our goals and dreams because subconsciously, we don't feel...

Finding the Chai: A review of Jahmu, turmeric and ginger spice blend

By Charla Dury I first discovered Jahmu on Mind Key’s Marketplace. I have always loved chai tea and, after purchasing chai spices from a local spice shop and discovering I needed more ingredients I didn’t have, I was looking for a simple way to make it at home. What mostly attracted me to Jahmu; however, was owner, Jessica Filkins’, Tea Meditation Project. Stemming from her love of Jahmu, Jessica encourages the idea of meditating during the simple act of drinking a cup of tea, and this seemed like a perfect fit for my life at the time. The combination of meditation, turmeric and spices makes Jahmu more than just a healthy spice tea. What is Jahmu? Jahmu Chai is an instant turmeric and ginger chai tea inspired by...

Believing with The Belief Coach

By Barbara Steingas This month, I had the pleasure of a complimentary belief coaching session with The Belief Coach, Wendy Watson-Hallowell. I choose her service for my wishlist because changing your beliefs are the foundation of our successes and failures. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, either way you’re right.” Changing beliefs that are no longer working can help you get unstuck, or achieve your next goal.  We all have blind spots of beliefs that keep us from accomplishing our goals and that sabotage our success. Wendy could help me uncover some underlying limiting beliefs that hold me back from more success with my practice. If I could do this, then I could help more people who I’m here to...

Reduce the negative impact of stress by using outdoor stress relief remedies

Outdoor Stress Relief: How Nature Helps You Heal

That nature provides the resources we need to relax our bodies and counteract our stress levels may seem obvious. Then why do millions of people suffer from such stress-related conditions as heart issues, high blood pressure, and tensed muscles. Outdoor stress relief is one of the most natural cures for stress-induced health issues. In this new age, people are beyond strained. A 2014 poll conducted by NPR and the Harvard School of Public Health found that one in four Americans had suffered a great deal of stress. Many people understand that being in nature can have a positive impact on our bodies and our minds. Too many, however, ignore these understandings because they do not know the underlying processes of how nature helps. Dr. Doni...

better sleep means better health

How many all-nighters are too many–your relationship with sleep

By Mary Thorpe, Fall 2016 graduate of William Paterson University, N.J. As a young adult, I am told to enjoy college, because it, “doesn’t get much better than this.” The advice, however, prompts me to think the opposite: stress, hard times, and lack of sleep associated with the college years. Stress and sleep have a delicate relationship. Getting better sleep can go a long way in alleviating the affects extreme stress and sleep deprivation can have on mental health. Stress and sleep in college students Studies from the 2015 National College Health Assessment show that 30% of college students felt stress had a negative impact on their academic performance. A whopping 85% said that they have felt “overwhelmed by all they had to do” within the last twelve...

November in a Nutshell

By Carlie Currie In honor of Mind Key’s third anthology, Tempest: Life Upturned, the theme of November has focused on riding out the storms of our lives that can brew during this season. Although this time of year is often seen as a preparation for the happiness of holidays, it can often bring about stress and turbulence. However, sometimes a sense of misdirection can lead us to learning more about ourselves and can be an opportunity for growth. The first theme of this month was mental health awareness. In Tamara’s article, “Art Therapy to Treat Mental Illness” art therapy is used as a creative outlet to cope with mental illness and stress. In addition, her article “How Mental Illness Affects Family Dynamics,” discusses the impact of...

Listen to your elders

In talking about release and surrender of thoughts and things that don't serve you this month, I'm reminded of a conversation I had with my grandma a few months ago.  We were talking about my frustration concerning my "weight loss journey".  I put it in quotations because...

Simple steps for avoiding a detox

In today's culture, detox seems to be the go-to for almost any health concern.  And why not?  We are often overwhelmed and so overloaded, that the idea of "letting go" of it all seems incredibly appealing. However, sometimes a detox isn't the answer.  Oftentimes, there are simple solutions that require a more gentle letting go--such as releasing old paradigms and emotional patterns. Lack of sleep For those who are tired and have trouble falling asleep, I recommend leaving computers, cellphones and televisions out of the bedroom. When you get into bed at night and you are ready for sleep, do nothing except relax and settle your body down;  the stimulation to the pituitary and pineal gland from the screen lights is not one that is conducive to a state of relaxation. For those...

Holiday Season Stress? Yes, You’ve Got in Under Control

This month Mind Key will be sharing stories and tips for living in the moment with ease and brilliance this holiday. Inspirational author and motivational speaker, Azuka Zuke, provides encouragement and insights on how we can remain positive and present with our loved ones and the beauty of peace during even the most stressful moments this holiday.author Azuka Zuke *   *   *                     It’s holiday season again.  A time when we get into the frenzy of celebrations. From holiday songs to decoration adorned houses lining streets of holiday shoppers. For some people, this is an exciting time. But for others, this can also be a tough time of year. We all want peace, beauty, mindfulness, happiness, strength and joy, but oftentimes...

Surviving the most wonderful time of the year

Peace, joy, happiness…All words that we use to define the holiday season.But how many of us actually feel these deep emotions during what is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year?Instead, we suffer through the holiday hustle and bustle.  The next trip to the store. The next gift we can't really afford. The next party we don't have the energy to enjoy…. And on and on and on it goes.  We promise ourselves this year it will be different.  This year we will sit and enjoy the holidays.  This year we will spend more time with our family and less ticking off our endless to-do lists.Sometimes it works.  Usually not for long stretches, but in those blissful moments when our children get...