Stuffing for the Soul – Tips for a Stress-free Holiday

Holidays are stressful for everyone. Between food shopping, cleaning the house, setting the table and cooking a lavish meal, most are already up to their eyeballs in grasshoppers. Add in the typical family dynamics, house guests and cleaning up after everyone and most reach their threshold before the holiday is over.
As a leading authority on balancing the emotional body to prevent sickness and disease, I wish to offer you a few simple tips for eliminating stress so you can truly enjoy your holidays. These are strictly offered as a suggestion but it is up to you to implement them and really be proactive in your own well-being. If you don’t take time out for yourself, you are missing the key ingredient for bringing harmony to your dinner table and to your other festivities.ThanksgivingdinnerAriaaJaeger2009

1. Get plenty of sleep including taking a 15-30 minute nap everyday right after lunch. Not only do you give your body a chance to digest your food properly but you reset your body’s rhythms.

2. Listen to some classical music. Playing calming music has a positive effect on your brain and lowers your blood pressure, reduces cortisol, the hormone linked to stress and it calms the central nervous system. If you are not a fan of classical music then listen to some nature or ocean sounds.

3. Call a friend. Many times taking a break to just sit and chat with a friend will have the same effect as chatting with a therapist. The idea is to get your mind off of the holidays and instead just spend time laughing and enjoying a lighthearted conversation. Gaining perspective is everything to shifting stress. Talking to yourself is another way to gain perspective, don’t be shy, no one is going to judge you.

4. Eat a balanced diet. A healthy diet with a balance of proteins, fruits and vegetables is just common sense but also aids in reducing stress. Fruits and vegetables are always good, and fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the symptoms of stress. A tuna sandwich really is brain food.
5. Don’t take anything personal! The holidays are often fodder for family disagreements and arguments. Make a rule to not solve any family issues during the holidays and change the subject if anyone goes down that path. Life is too short, make some wonderful memories instead of holding court.
6. Laugh! Laughter releases endorphin’s that improve mood and decrease levels of the stress-causing hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Rent or go see a funny movie, watch some funny You Tube videos. Go to a comedy club or just watch some sitcoms. Laughter is the ultimate medicine for anything from sickness to mood swings.
7. Exercise in moderation. That does not mean kill yourself at the gym. You can engage in water exercise, yoga, Pilates, walking, running, bicycling, Tai Chi or Isometrics. Walking in particular is a great stress reducer and even a quarter mile walk has essential benefits for relieving stress and shifting perception.
8. Cherish each other. Remember that at any time someone you know or love might leave the earth unexpectedly so make the most of the memories you can create. Be cognizant that if it were you last day, would you be pleased with how you lived your final hours? Avoid criticizing and trying to fix things.
9. Meditate often especially prior to holidays or stress-filled events. Meditation is simply sitting still for 15 or 20 minutes, longer if you have time and emptying out your thoughts and breathing deeply to oxygenate the body. When you do that, you alter your brain chemistry. Meditation in this day and age is not only a spiritual modality but is viewed far and wide as an effective tool for well-being. It is used in post op and pre-op patients to accelerate healing and even the American Medical Association now attributes some form of meditation practice to living healthier lives.
10. Enjoy yourself! Many times we are so busy trying to make everything wonderful for everyone else that we forget to enjoy ourselves! These are your holidays too! Make the most out of the true meaning of this time of year. Immerse yourself in tradition and celebration and enjoy the rewards of all your hard work.

11. Be sensible! Most people are cheerful givers but the problem is as a society we OVERSPEND every year then stress over the debt we have amassed. This year consider making gifts or baking for those in your life. A handmade gift is far more cherished than store bought junk. Additionally be reasonable with your spending. Statistics show that the average amount a person spends on a friend or family member is between $50 and $65 dollars. Most would be happy with a gift costing half of that because it truly is the thought that counts.

12. Remember the reason for the season. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other holidays celebrated at this time of year are sacred holidays and material stuff is simply a gesture not the foundation of the holidays. The foundation is of course what you personally believe in and it is a time to celebrate gratitude with and for family and friends. Don’t forget the meaning behind all the holidays because a grateful heart is the center of joy.

Thanksgiving 2013 – 14 Things to be Thankful For #7-14

Whether you are a touchy-feely person or more reserved, the ability to hug animals, babies and human beings is one of the greatest and most undervalued gifts we have. Hugging is bliss when your arms are fully engaged and wholly wrapped around someone you love or even wrapped around a total stranger. I live to love and live to hug because a hug can say what words cannot. It speaks volumes to your affection, your openness and to the kind of person you are, one full of love and caring. Your arms were divinely designed to hold and hug and what life would be like if we did not possess this amazing faculty. Join me in proclaiming “I am thankful for my arms which hold, hug and express my love for all!” #Thanksgiving#in#arms#hugging#holding#embracing#14thingstobethankfulfor #7

Whether you are rich or live modestly chances are you have food on your table and in your tummy everyday. World hunger has reached epic proportions and many take for granted that in our towns, cities and homes food is readily available. Food nourishes the body which stimulates the mind and for many of us dining with friends, family and those we love is a beautiful blessed event. Today I urge you to remember with every bite you take that you are living a dream millions will rarely know. Join me in proclaiming, “I am thankful for an abundance of food which nourishes my body, stimulates my mind and feeds my spirit.” #Thanksgiving#in#food#hunger#14ThingstobeThankfulFor #8

Whether you are rich or live modestly chances are you are not running around naked and have plenty of clothes to blanket your body. We often forget that in many parts of the world many do not have sufficient clothing to protect them from the elements. Many live without shoes on their feet, many live with simply a cloth draped around them which has to suffice. In our society it does not matter if you have a sense of style or not, it does not matter if you are a classic dresser or enjoy more funky styles, the fact is you get to make a choice everyday in how you are adorned. Today I urge you to remember how blessed you are to have a choice, to be able to express yourself through the clothes you wear. Join me in proclaiming, “I am thankful for the clothes on my back!” Ariaa Jaeger#Thanksgiving#in#clothes#shoes#14ThingstobeThankfulFor #9

Whether you have a futon, memory foam, a waterbed or a standard bed the fact is that you are snuggled warm and cozy every night in yours. Human beings sleep an average of 1/3 of their life. Sleep is restoration, renewal and rebirths your mind, body and spirit every single day. We often forget how many have never known the comfort of a warm bed and how many in the world are homeless or living in poverty. The story of Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher introduced the world to a man who had never owned a bed in the Academy Award winning movie, “Blind Side” Conversely, you don’t know what you have until you no longer have it and many human beings will thankfully never have to know what it is like to sleep in a cardboard box, on the streets or in their car. Today as you awaken and tonight as you close your eyes to sleep, meld into the covers of your warm cocoon and count your blessings. Join me in proclaiming, “I am thankful for a warm bed to sleep and dream in!” Ariaa Jaeger #‎Thanksgiving #14ThingsToBeThankfulFor  #10 #‎in #‎bed

Whether you love rabbits, turtles, cats, dogs, fish, hamsters, ferrets or horses chances are you have had a pet at some point in your life. Animals are the heart of humankind and we derive so much from their unconditional love and affection. Many of us extend our love beyond domestic animals and feed it to all the creatures of the earth like the dolphins, whales, squirrels, chipmunks, cows, sheep, goats, elephants, lamas, foxes, coyotes and many more. 84 million Americans own pets and 70% of those are dog owners 29% own cats. It is a medical statistic that those who have pets live longer and are happier than those without them. Animals are furry people and they enrich and teach us with their unique shamanic messages and spiritual overtures. Today I encourage you to snuggle up to a warm fuzzy creature and stare into the eyes of what real love is. Join me in proclaiming, “I am thankful for my pets and all the creatures of the earth!” Ariaa Jaeger#14ThingstobeThankfulFor #11 #Thanksgiving#Pets#Animals#in#creatures

Whether you have traveled the globe relishing the bounty and beauty of other cultures and countries or you have remained in your hometown, the earth is a magical wonderland. This is the only planet where all the essential fruits of life are laid at your feet. This is the only planet where everything is tangible and tactile, where you can eat, hug, kiss, dance, wander through forests of emerald green or swim in oceans of blue. I did not realize how alive, vibrant and energized everything on earth was until I experienced a clinical death in the Alps many years ago. I can personally share that in death did I discover the effervescence of this planet. The greens were suddenly greener, the blues beyond electric and the sounds of laughter and the delectable, delicious fruits of the earth were mesmerizing and took on a life of their own. Instantly a hug became an event, a kiss triggered passion to the depths of my being; the aroma of flowers sent me to high places and the ability to fold my hands in prayer and lift my eyes to the skies humbled me to my knees. Today I hope you cherish and drink in the incredible wonders of this earth and it is my hope you travel and see as much of it as you can. Join me in proclaiming, “I am thankful for the Earth, all the fruits she bears and all the gifts she shares!” Ariaa Jaeger#Thanksgiving#14ThingsToBeThankfulFor #12 #in#motherearth#earth

Whether you are a student of science, a student of spirituality or both, humankind and animal kind are the benefactors of the four elements. Earth, Water, Fire and Wind are the life-force of heaven and earth and are gifts to all forms of creation. Every microorganism in the universe thrives because of these. The earth is a living, breathing sphere supported by fire, wind and water and continues to evolve through their individual and collective roles. Fire feeds, fuels, destroys and rebuilds terrains. Water cleanses, nourishes, irrigates, covers and forms new worlds. Wind carves, cleanses, populates, fertilizes, purifies and generates energy. One without the others would create imbalance in all eco-systems which would have perilous effects. We often take for granted the necessitation of each element and many times complain with every windstorm, with every forest fire and with every flood. Yet Earth has survived for almost 5 billion years and has continued to evolve, change, transmute, transform and sustain life. Today count your blessings as the wind longs to dance through your hair, as you drink from the waters which cleanse you and as you intermingle with the fire in your fireplace. Join me in proclaiming, “I am thankful for Earth, Water, Wind and Fire!” #14ThingsToBeThankfulFor #13 #FourElements #EarthWindWaterFire

Whether you are spiritual, religious, agnostic or atheist or believe in something far less, chances are you have uttered a prayer at least once in your life. Chances are you have looked to the sky or within your own heart for higher solutions at one time or another. You do not have to be religious to love literature; you DO NOT have to be religious to recognize the works of historical figures like Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad, Krishna, Gandhi, Yogananda, Babaji, Sai Baba, Mother Teresa, Elizabeth, Mary and many more who have led by example. The very breath of life is comprised of pure light and is a more refined and concentrated LOVE than you have upon earth. The kind of love I speak of is beyond definition, it is an energy of such power that it creates lifeforms and fills every microcosmic form in the universe. This love knows not judgement or color, nor fear or hate, the LOVE I speak of is beyond explanation, beyond human thoughts and words. Today may you look within and discover that you are the divine composition of this power. You have all the power within you to create the world around you. Love when wielded with a pure heart transforms life and transcends worlds. Join me in proclaiming, “I am thankful for the LIGHT, for FAITH, for HOPE and for LOVE!” Ariaa Jaeger #Thanksgiving #14ThingsToBeThankfulFor#14 #LOVE #FAITH #HOPE #LIGHT #IN

Thanksgiving 2013 Fourteen Things to Be thankful For #7-14

Thanksgiving 2013 Fourteen Things to Be Thankful For; #1 through #7

#1 Life, the gift of breath ~ You may have health challenges but you are ALIVE and when applied, you have the mastery to heal yourself. You wake up every day and breath flows through you. Life is a gift and you are a gift to all of life. Join me in proclaiming, “Today I am grateful for LIFE!”

#2 Eyes, the gift of sight ~ Whether you are sighted or not we all see at a multitude of different levels. Sensing is seeing and those who are non-sighted see through all their other senses. Meditation enables and opens the third eye and your ability to see beyond the ordinary into the extraordinary. Intuition is another way of seeing, you are seeing with your higher self, your God-self. Then there are the eyes, the way most drink in life. We awaken and behold the blue of the sky, we gaze into the stars with wonder and we behold the bounty and beauty all around us. Join me in proclaiming, “Today I am grateful for my eyes which behold the beauty of all creation!”

#3 Home, the gift of a warm roof over your head ~ Whether you are rich or poor, you are blessed to have a warm roof over your head. It doesn’t matter if it is a palace or a shack because “The true beauty of a home is measured by the love in every room.” So many times we forget that many do not have a place to call home. During this wondrous Thanksgiving season I urge you to walk through every room of your house, condo or apartment and bless each one filling it with love and gratitude. Join me in proclaiming, ” I am thankful for my home~

#4 Family, the gift of a tribe ~ Whether you are related by birth or you create and form your own family from your friends or in a multitude of others ways, those you call your family add to the depth and breadth of your life each day. Often we forget that many people have no family. Many have lost them through death or simply old age and more folks than you know spend Thanksgiving and holidays alone and are alone year round. What constitutes a family may vary but the love you have for each other is eternal. During this wondrous Thanksgiving season, I urge you to count your blessings and be thankful for those who make up your family unit. Whether perfect or dysfunctional, for someone alone, having a family is but a dream and those of you who have one are living the dream. Join me in proclaiming, I am thankful for my family!

#5 Mind, the gift of a healthy brain ~ Whether you are an intellectual, naturally gifted or simply a student of life, your mind/brain is the operations center of the body. We often forget how vital this organ is and how much of a roll it plays in our emotions, our actions and the functionality of the body. You are in control of your thoughts but the brain sends those messages throughout the body and into the universe where the coupling of energy and angels add in creating collective mass. What you think becomes your reality and ultimately your truth. What a powerful thought. Join me in proclaiming, “I am thankful for a healthy mind and thoughts which generate my reality!”

#6 Arms, the gift of hugging & holding ~ Whether you are a touchy-feely person or more reserved, the ability to hug animals, babies and human beings is one of the greatest and most undervalued gifts we have. Hugging is bliss when your arms are fully engaged and wholly wrapped around someone you love or even wrapped around a total stranger. I live to love and live to hug because a hug can say what words cannot. It speaks volumes to your affection, your openness and to the kind of person you are, one full of love and caring. Your arms were divinely designed to hold and hug and what life would be like if we did not possess this amazing faculty. Join me in proclaiming “I am thankful for my arms which hold, hug and express my love for all!”

#7 Food, the gift of good nutrition ~ Whether you are rich or live modestly chances are you have food on your table and in your tummy everyday. World hunger has reached epic proportions and many take for granted that in our towns, cities and homes food is readily available. Food nourishes the body which stimulates the mind and for many of us dining with friends, family and those we love is a beautiful blessed event. Today I urge you to remember with every bite you take that you are living a dream millions will rarely know. Join me in proclaiming, “I am thankful for an abundance of food which nourishes my body, stimulates my mind and feeds my spirit.”

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