Larry James' CelebrateLove.com BLOG

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Unhappy in Marriage is Bad for Your Heart!

A new study suggests that an unhappy marriage could wreak havoc on your cardiovascular health.

Researchers examined five years of data from married men and women, ages 57 to 85. People with spouses who were negative or critical were more likely to have heart health issues – women suffered more than men – than those supportive partners. This effect worsened with age.

REL-UnhappyMarriageThey then compared heart health to how these adults said they felt about their marriages. Wives and husbands (who were not married to each other) answered questions about how close they felt to their spouses, how happy their marriages were, and how demanding and critical they felt their spouses were.

Theory: Relationship stress intensifies over time, and heart disease is harder to overcome in those who are older and more frail.

It’s one of the first to take a nationally-representative sample of adults and examine the impact of marriage quality on heart health over time.

This from a study of nearly 1,200 married American men and women by researchers at Michigan State University, East Lansing, published in Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Being in an unhappy marriage can cause stress, which has a direct link with cardiovascular health. And those effects accumulate. “It’s not like you have contact with your spouse and the next day you have heart disease,” Hui Liu, a Michigan State University sociologist, said. “It really takes time. That may explain why it’s stronger for older people. Your body will remember the effect.”

Such marriages can also push you toward unhealthy and harmful habits, like drinking a lot or smoking.

But why is it that women were hurt even more by unhappiness in a marriage? Liu said it’s possible that women are more likely to internalize their feelings, feel depressed and be more sensitive than the men in their relationships. They also found that when women were sick with heart disease, it lowered the quality of a marriage, but not when men were sick. Liu said women are more likely to serve in a caregiver role for their sick husbands and be more sensitive to not exacerbating stress, but husbands may not be as sensitive about the relationship when their wives are sick.

While a lot of marriage counseling may focus on younger couples, the study authors emphasize that older couples would be wise to pay attention to the qualities of their marriages, too. Their hearts may very well depend upon doing so. “But these results show that marital quality is just as important at older ages, even when the couple has been married 40 or 50 years,” Liu said.

A happy marriage, of course, isn’t the only way to a healthy heart. Cardiovascular health begins with your diet. Start by cutting back on your salt-intake. Consuming too much can lead to high blood pressure, which is the leading cause of risk of death for women in the U.S. Most Americans should eat fewer than 2,300 milligrams of salt, which means almost all of us should cut back on sodium, according to the CDC.

You can also change your diet to include more heart-friendly foods like oatmeal, salmon, avocado, and berries. Beefing up your green veggie intake with more spinach and soy beans can help as well. And go ahead and indulge in a glass of wine every now and then. Research suggests the tannins in red wine might help reduce the risk of heart disease and moderate drinkers are less likely to suffer a heart attack.

Another key to a healthy heart is exercise. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days per week. Alternatively, 25 minutes of high-intensity exercise three days per week, in addition to muscle strengthening exercises two days each week can also help to prevent heart disease. So get out there and swim, run, bike, jog, whatever it takes to get your heart healthy and pumping.

Copyright © 2015 – Hui Liu, a Michigan State University sociologist. You can contact her at: http://Sociology.MSU.edu/faculty/profile/liu-hui/.

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CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Challenge: A 24 Hour Cell Phone Fast!

First of all, let me say that modern technology is terrific. I love it… and we have a new phenomenon – cell phone addicts! We even have a new phobia – nomophobia: the fear of being out of cell phone contact. Welcome to the digital age!

Can you remember a time where people just used to have conversations? If someone is talking to you, you should be listening to them. Not to worry. Your cell phone will still be there at the end of the conversation, then you can check it or whatever yo do with it. There is a reason that when you get text messages, they stay there on your phone. They won’t go away until you delete them. No need to rush to read your texts. There is a reason it’s called an in-box. Text messages stay there so you can go back and look at them later. Here is the point! If you are with people… be with the people! We all need to interact and talk more face-to-face and enjoy the moment.

CELLphobiaA recent study on cellphone activity conducted at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions, found that college students spend nearly nine hours per day on their cell phones.

The report, “The Invisible Addiction: Cellphone Activities and Addiction Among Male and Female College Students,” revealed that of the 164 students surveyed, 60% admitted that their excessive phone use might be an addiction. Smartphones are so ingrained in daily life that it’s not surprising that addiction to such devices is on the rise.

One student recently said, “If I don’t feel my phone vibrate within a 15-minute time range, I check it,” he says. “Now that I think about it, I might be addicted to my phone.” Might be? Half of being smart is knowing what your dumb at. It’s been said that the average person spends 4 years of their life looking down at a tiny screen. Do you? Do you tune out from people trying to have a conversation with you by constantly checking your smartphone screen?

CellPhoneFastWe can’t escape social media “and” we can control how it gets in our way of good communication with a real, live human. Are you a cellphone addict? It’s time to take a break from your online life to experience real connections. When you’re in public and you start to feel alone, put your hands behind your head and step away from the phone. We are beginning to be a generation of idiots… smart phones and dumb people. We need to relearn being in the moment. Remember when we just ate the food instead of Instagramming it first?

Remember when you had one phone at home and it was plugged into the wall? You couldn’t take it with you. When you returned, you pushed a button and listened to your voice-mail.

Here is my one-day challenge to you. Let’s call it a “24 Hour Cell Phone Fast!” A sort of digital detox. Just for one day, when you are with your partner or friends, turn your cell phone off or better yet… leave it at home. Ignore your smart phone for only 1 day. Don’t use apps, or play games, or Twitter, or Facebook, or engage in idle texting or check the weather. Look up, and look around. Perspective is a beautiful thing, and it’s hard to get any when your face is glued to a screen. When you return, you can check your texts and your voice-mail. Perhaps it will help you feel really present, and more in-the-moment. I think we could all benefit from an occasional digital diet.

But today, there you are, with your sweetheart looking at your smartphone or tablet, swiping, scrolling, texting, reading, while she sits across the table. Not a good scenario. Obviously we all need to stay connected with e-mail, work and friends, “and” still be present with our close friends and partners. Cell phones can be corrosive to the relationship. Our smart phones are hurting our relationships – and that’s hurting us.

Recently, Applebee’s – the world’s largest casual-dining chain – filed a trademark for something called “No Tech Tuesday,” which is rumored to be in anticipation of a program of the same name.

Here are a few horrifying facts that are intended to cause you to put down your phone.

• Using a cell or portable electronic device while driving increases the risk of crashing by 300%!

PutDownYourPhone2• The average time your eyes are off the road when texting is 5 seconds! At 55 mph that is enough time to drive the length of a football field.

• in 2011, 3,360 people died in a crash related to distracted drivers.

• Parents on smart phones often ignore their kids.

• A study in the Journal of Hospital Infection showed a greater risk of contamination in medical wards where mobile devises were being used.

• A study at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden reported that heavy use of cell phone use increased depression as well as sleep disorders (specifically in men).

• A microbiologist at the University of Arizona concluded that cell phones have more germs than toilet seats.

• THe iPhone keeps track of a lot of personal information. Your phone is constantly tracking your coordinates and saving them to a secret fie. Which means that if someone gets access to your phone or computer, they can tell exactly where you’ve been.

Somewhere I read that 33% of people would rather give up sex than their cellphone. What is this world coming to? You don’t own your phone. Your phone owns you and that is a sad state of affairs.

Even the Pope got on the bandwagon. Speaking to a 50,000 strong crowd of German altar servers recently, Pope Francis warned of time wasted with eyes glued to screens.

iPhones, Androids and smart phones are everywhere and there are some places they shouldn’t be. I was saddened to recently see a good looking couple having a candlelit dinner together and both of them had their cell phone and were checking things out between bites. NO! It should and could have been a very romantic time together. It would have been much wiser to silence the ringer, put the phone away and ignore it until the date was over. You should be having meaningful conversations not being digitally connected to each other. I thought you were supposed to give your partner – not your smart phone – your full attention when on a date and that conversation was a two-way street. I was tempted to walk over and say, “Put your cell phones down, look each other in the eyes and talk to each other, for God’s sake!” It’s a matter of respect! Here’s a tip: Keep your cell phone off the table during meals so that you’re not interrupted or tempted to fiddle with it when you’re with the one you love.

It’s time we put down our phone and reconnect with each other. Connections are made by people, and not technology.

Perhaps this video poem will inspire you to take on my “one-day challenge” and put down your smartphone!

And finally…

BONUS Articles: 5 Ways to Deal With Dinner Party Guests Who Won’t Put Down Their Phones
Put the Cell Phone Down
How to Persuade Someone to Stop Using Their Cellphone During Lunch With You
Cell Phones, Bras, and Breast Cancer Risk

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Focus!

Cheryl Ries, Guest Author

focusIf you haven’t felt joy, contentment, the presence of beauty or peacefulness in the world – perhaps you’re looking for those things in the wrong way!

All of your happiness, contentment and perspective comes from within. When you maintain a calm demeanor, a peaceful spirit and your soul is at rest, all of those things are evident to you because they are within you. The world might, and often times make it seem impossible to be at peace or to feel contentment, but your choice to feel that way and to remain calm no matter is in your control.

You’re only helplessly adrift in this world if that is how you choose to see things. You are able to shift internally to make even the biggest rogue swells and the roughest waters seem less so. You are truly the captain, sailing your vessel, guiding your course and responding as you go.

The moment you stop viewing life that way is the moment you will start to feel you are merely able to react. That is a lie you have told yourself which really only causes you to feel fearful, taking your peace and contentment.

When you center yourself first, believing you are in control of your emotions and your perceptions, then you can become proactive and less reactive. You will see more of the beauty around you while you are in the peaceful state of contentment and calm. Things may be going on – maddeningly so – all around you, but you don’t have to cede your emotions to taking that ride!

Life is short, why live it with an attitude of seeming helplessness and uncertainty? Live it knowing that no matter what happens, you can maneuver and alter as is best for you.

See first with eyes focused on your own contentment and the world won’t seem so out of focus.

cherylriesCopyright © 2013 – Cheryl Ries. Cheryl Ries is a friend who is in the process of writing her first book. This is a preview of things to come. She likes to take a bite out of life’s big juicy apple… and believes that richness is measured in friendships, family, love and what you give away. Visit Cheryl’s Facebook page.

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CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Friday, July 12, 2013

Are You Taking Care of YOU?

You are #1!

Don’t feel that way? Perhaps you should take better care of you.

frazzledYou can begin by saying “no” to anything that is not important to you. You don’t have to give any excuses or defend yourself. Friends may expect you to give an excuse, but you don’t have to do it. Make your own choices. Assert your right to say, “No, and thanks for asking.”

We often get so wrapped up in our everyday life that we forget that if we don’t take care of ourselves, who is going to do that?

Things are piling up. You just don’t have enough time to do the things that must be done. Relax. It’s okay to ask for and accept help. It is easy to overlook what is probably the most important step that can ease the stress of a stressful life and that is: taking better care of you. Never neglect yourself. Take a nap in the middle of the day. Read a “good” self-help book.

You must accept that you can’t do or be it all. Everything is not always up to you. Eat your veggies. Get enough rest. Exercise.

You also must learn to do what makes you feel energized and happy. What makes you smile? Seek more of that.

“Mindfulness develops attention, concentration and the ability to simply be present with little or no future orientation, past orientation or goal orientation – choosing to be a human being rather than a human doing.” ~ Ian Gawler, Paul Bedson

We can all come up with excuses about why we are too busy to take care of ourselves. It’s time to rethink the reasons, not the excuses. Excuses let you off the hook. Often it seems like there is not enough time to meet all of life’s demands. Sometimes there may be an occasional moment when there is a legitimate reason, but your job – if you decide to accept it – is to stop coming up with excuses and stop looking for reasons not to take care of you and to turn that all around so that you can begin paying attention to “your” needs. This might seem easier said than done, but if you stay on the path you are on… well… let’s not go there!

Here are a few ideas that will help you break loose:

• Get enough sleep. Sleep has a big impact on mood disorders. Depression can set in. Not good.
• Take a long nature walk by yourself. Stop under a tree and just watch the squirrels. Hug a tree (when no one is looking).
• Lethargy be gone. Get moving. Being a couch potato and watching endless TV shows is not good for you. Just 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week can make a significant difference. Choose more active activities.
• Give up your toxic friends. You know, the ones that suck the life out of you. Make a choice to limit your exposure to people like that.
Woman getting a back massage in front of the white background• Make some new friends and stay connected with them. Join a health club or book club; something that will keep your interest. Intentionally go out of your way to meet new people.
• Go shopping for some new perfume.
• Eat right, choose fruit, a variety of veggies and whole-grain snacks whenever possible.
• Take a hot bath or shower. Focus of the feeling of the water on your body. Shake the tension loose.
• Meditate. Turn off your brain for 30 minutes. Can’t do 30 minutes? Do 15 minutes. Meditation helps you to quiet your mind and to separate you from your thoughts. Be aware of your breathing. Stop, breathe in for a count or 8, breathe out for a count of 8. Try it 8 times. You will feel a restoration of calm.
• Visit a landmark or memorial in your city and take notes. Discover more information about it by doing a Google search later.
• Educate yourself on something you would like to know more about. Look up a word in the dictionary that you’ve heard used but do not know the meaning.
• Everyday focus some time on laughter. Watch a funny video or TV show. Have lunch with a friend who will agree to a “laughing lunch;” one where you each bring 5 of the funniest jokes you can find and take turns making each other laugh. You could to this at a private picnic if you are afraid of looking silly to the lunch crowd. 😉
• Get a 2-hour massage or spa treatment. Yes, 2 hours! Massage can help you sleep better, increase your immunity, decrease pain, anxiety, PMS and depression. Plus, it causes you to feel real good.
• Attend a spiritual service.

“You can think of spirituality as connecting to whatever you consider meaningful and holy. You can find it in God, in yourself, in other people, in nature, art or kindness. Whatever you focus on, spirituality offers many possible benefits, including better mood, less anxiety and depression-and even fewer aches and illnesses.” ~ Jeff Levin, PhD, adjunct professor of psychiatry & behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center and author of “God, Faith, and Health: Exploring the Spirituality-Healing Connection

eatingchocolate• Give up your lack of self care excuses. Make a “I’m taking care of me” daily list and keep to it.
• Eat some chocolate! 😉

This from my friend, Connie Kadansky, Sales Call Reluctance Coach: Take yourself on a “date” – just you – and do something that you have always wanted to do; hike a particular trail, go to a museum, simply go to the library for an hour, go eat food that you have never eaten before, go to a movie by yourself and eat all the popcorn you can eat, go to Costco and buy a dozen socks and a case of water then donate them to a homeless shelter. Have fun!

Choose one of more of the ideas above to focus on each day or make some up of your own. Create a sense of urgency to begin today! Making the decision to really take care of you is the hardest part. Once you’ve made the decision… the rest will fall into place. A daily self-nurturing item is simple in nature, and consists of creating a habit of devoting time daily to this important activity. It’s powerful and uplifting. Live your life well. When you feel good about the things that you are making happen in your life, you will feel motivated and full of energy.

And guess what? Everything around you – including your relationships – will appear to get better. The secret is, it’s always and only you that is changing. AND that affects everyone around you. Are you up for that?

BONUS Articles: 55 Gentle Ways to Take Care of Yourself When You’re Busy Busy Busy

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2013 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

And You Thought That You Had it Bad…

I want you to know the wisdom of a 19 year old boy who survived Katrina. Do you remember the chaos in New Orleans? He and his family lost everything they owned in that storm.

words-of-wisdom2Bernell Taylor is his name. During his audition for American Idol, Ryan Seacrest asked him, “How do you come back from something like that?” he replied, “It happened. Ya just gotta live after that!”

Please go back and read Bernel Taylor’s response again… No. Forget it. Here it is again:

BernellTaylor

Bernell Taylor

“It happened. Ya just gotta live after that!”

What a terrific attitude!

My wife divorced me! ~ “Ya just gotta live after that!”

We just had to file bankruptcy! ~ “Ya just gotta live after that!”

I got fired today! ~ “Ya just gotta live after that!”

My girlfriend dumped me! ~ “Ya just gotta live after that!”

Did you see the numbers today! I lost my butt in the stock market! ~ “Ya just gotta live after that!”

___________________! (fill in the blank!) ~ “Ya just gotta live after that!”

writeyournextchapterI know. It never feels like it’s going to be easy. You know that, don’t you? You’d be right! But at least Bernell’s wisdom gives you hope. It may even cause you to think less of what happened and more about who you are becoming. A brief glimpse into the future… thinking about what might be instead of what has been. HOPE! Does that make better sense to you?

“Ya just gotta live after that!”

You may even discover that there really could be something “after that!”

What’s your banana? What is your “after that?” What is that one thing that you hold on to – that if you could have the courage to let go – would ignite a new spark in you! You finally got it. The fire grows stronger and suddenly “You’ve got the burn!”

When you read that last paragraph, didn’t you feel a little tingle that made you think of what might be? You got to be sick and tired of being sick and tired and you really don’t want to feel that way anymore.

Okay! So stop reading, turn your computer off and begin again. Begin first to count your blessings. You may get more benefit if you would get a note pad and begin to make a “GET ME OUT OF THIS HOLE!!!” bucket list. Come up with a few things that you can do that invites you to look past what got you here, and that will support you in what you’re gonna be up to.

You’re welcome to comment, especially if you’ve never before posted a comment. Tell us 3 benefits that may (or may not) have come from reading and/or being inspired by the article, “And You Thought That You Had it Bad…;” benefits that will assist you in moving on and getting on fire about life again. Very soon you will catch yourself saying, “Watch my SMOKE!!”

American_IdolThat’s all folks! Get busy!

By the way, Bernel Taylor’s audition made me and Mariah Carey cry. Keith Urban was freaking out over Bernell Taylor. It was incredible! One of the best I’ve seen. He sang, “I’m Here,” a song from “The Color Purple” at the Baton Rouge American Idol auditions week (1/25/13). Watch the Burnell Taylor “I’m Here” Video; the video that inspired this article.

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2013 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Monday, December 26, 2011

Run! Play! Laugh! Dance! Jump! Love!

Filed under: Having FUN,Health & Wellness — Larry James @ 8:00 am

Never stop having fun with life! Tell some zany jokes. Talk. Listen. Dance to the music. Be passionate. Take a walk – hop or skip part of the way. Be silly for 2 minutes. Read a magazine at a picnic table. Take a bike ride. Don’t have a bike? Rent or borrow one. Engage in a pillow fight.

playingfetchKeep your body in motion. Do it alone or with someone. Pretend you are a child again. Play some kid games. Let go. Hug a tree. Lose yourself in play. Play hide and seek with a friend. Have water fight with water pistols, then switch to buckets!

See how fast you can walk around the shopping mall – time yourself (take someone with you). Wrap yourself in a blanket and roll down a hill. Go roller skating.

Borrow a dog if you don’t have one and take it for a walk and play fetch. Exercise in the park. Go bowling and don’t worry about getting a low score. Go for a swim. LOL (laugh out loud) for no reason at all. See how far or how high you can jump. Climb the monkey bars on a playground. Play catch with a basketball. Borrow a church hymnal, choose a song and sing it to your partner. Run around the block in “slow motion.” 😉 (I wanna watch that one).

OlderCouple“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

Having fun at play should be an important activity in the lives of everyone! Play is important because it helps us grow strong and healthy and gives us something more to think about than work, work, work. Use your imagination to make up some of your own stuff to do. Be active.

And did I mention that you it’s best to do these fun things with someone you love? Never grow up enough to stop playing and having fun.

After all that… I’m exhausted! Run! Play! Laugh! Dance! Jump! Love! Especially Love!

healthyheartCLoveLOGOCopyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Monday, November 28, 2011

Some Things Can Be Fixed. . . Others Must Heal

Filed under: Guest Authors,Health & Wellness,Personal Growth — Larry James @ 8:00 am
Tags:

Thom Rutledge, Guest Author

Are you a fixer?

When someone tells you a problem they are having, do you immediately feel the need to offer advice? Is it difficult for you to just listen to someone who is in distress, to just be there for them without knowing precisely what to say or do? Are you uncomfortable with anything being in limbo? Are you addicted to certainties? Does your self-esteem depend on your ability to make things right for other people? If you’re answering yes to some of these questions, you are probably a fixer.

ConflictDid you just now experience an impulse to “fix” the fact that you may be a fixer? If so, you are definitely a fixer.

I find it helpful when faced with a problem or a discomfort or a pain to ask this question:

Does this need to be fixed or healed?

Think about it. The two options are very different. When a pipe burst below my kitchen sink, I don’t wrap a bandage around it and wait for it to heal. Similarly, when I cut my hand slicing tomatoes I don’t imagine that I can simply “fix” the cut.

Certainly when something needs to heal, we still attend to it. I can apply pressure and bandage my cut. Or if I have the flu, I can go home, lie on the couch drinking juice and chicken soup. But I know that as much as I might try to convince myself otherwise, I cannot simply fix myself so that I don’t have the flu anymore.

loveConsider relationship problems: do they need to be fixed or healed?

In this context the question is more difficult because both are often called for. If I have been dishonest with you causing damage to your ability to trust me, then I need to fix my behavior and allow there to be time for the relationship to heal. I suppose this is analogous to a broken bone needing to be set so that it can heal properly.

When something needs to be fixed, it calls for us to be proactive in identifying what needs to be done and then doing it. When something needs to heal, our job is to protect the space around the wound or injury, allowing in only what will contribute to the process of healing.

“Does this need to be fixed or healed?” is just one of those good questions to keep around. Sometimes the answers will be obvious, and other times the question may just get us thinking in a different direction. Certainly using the question will save some valuable energy when we can stop trying to fix what can only be healed, and stop waiting around for what needs fixing to heal.

Write the question down on an index card and put it in your pocket, your wallet, or your purse. Carry the question everywhere you go for the next week or so – test drive it.

See if it makes a difference.

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Copyright © 2011 – Thom Rutledge. All rights reserved. Reprinted with Permission. Thom Rutledge is a psychotherapist, speaker and author of several books, including Embracing Fear. For more information visit www.ThomRutledge.com.

CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

When You Look Into the Mirror. . . Who Do You See?

Filed under: Health & Wellness,Personal Growth,Self-Image — Larry James @ 7:00 am

When you look into the mirror. . .

self-imageDo you see someone who has wasted their life away? Do you see a person that is filled with hope or do you see a person that needs hope? What is your relationship like with yourself? Do you know who you are? How would you describe what you see when you look into the mirror? Who do you think you are? Do you like what you see? Can you look into the mirror and honestly say to yourself. . . “I love me!”?

Do you see insecurity or confidence? Do you first see the flaws or low self-esteem rather than what you like about yourself? How would you describe what you see when you look into the mirror? What is your relationship like with yourself? Do you see the person you always wanted to be?

Do you see someone who may be run down, tried, a failure, no good, not good enough, ugly, too tall, too short, too heavy, to thin, not enough intelligence, not enough success, not enough energy, or not enough happiness.

Nothing trumps honesty and authenticity! These questions need be explored. The truth of where you are on your path of evolution and growth will stare right back at you. The answers to these questions can reveal to you the areas in your life that need healing.

You don’t have to be “hot” or “attractive” to be a beautiful person. Outside the limiting story you tell yourself when you look into a mirror is an unspeakable degree of freedom – a freedom to be yourself – no longer pretending to be someone, someone else thinks you should be. That’s hard work!

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Is the person you see in the mirror a distorted image of what you think about yourself?

I remember – at a particularly low point in my life – looking into a full-length mirror after exiting from the shower and just looking at myself. Then I surprised me by saying aloud, “Who the hell do you think you are?” “Who am I, really?” Then I cried.

That moment was a breakthrough for me. It was an “ah-ha” moment. When I began to look at the reasons why the tears came, I realized that up until then, I had been fooling myself. I was not who I pretended to be. I wasn’t even the person I wanted to be. I began a serious exploration of my self-image and began to make some major behavioral changes.

“Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time. What we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.” ~ Sydney J. Harris

whoareyouI worked on changing my thinking. Your physical body is truly a reflection of the thoughts you think. A thought doesn’t have any power in itself. Only you have the capability to remove or attach beliefs to any thought you think. Your beliefs. . . your faith in the thoughts make them powerful – and thoughts become the things.

I had what I call a lot of “negative self-talk.” I learned that what you think about and what you speak about is what you bring about. My life was a perfect design of what I had been thinking. I began to change that.

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You may have to give yourself a little push toward a higher view of yourself.

I challenge you to do the same. Take a good look at yourself. Stare into your own eyes for a while. Discard any thoughts of who you think you are and slowly begin to discover the real you. What is it that you really like about yourself? Make a list of at least 10 things – no matter how insignificant you think they are – post the list on the mirror you look at in the morning and review the list everyday. That’s what I did.

Start with #1 at the top of your list and look yourself in the eyes and repeat what you have written that you like about yourself. Say it out loud. The next day do the same thing with #2. When you get to the end, begin again. From time-to-time you may want to expand your list. That is the exciting part of this process, because the better you begin to feel about yourself, the more you discover what you like about yourself.

“You have to learn to see the big picture. Get on track with the BIG picture and get ready for the ride of a lifetime! The image you hold of yourself otherwise known as your self-image is the view you hold in your head about who you are. As hard as you work to do and be more you will not and cannot ever outperform it. Your self-image is the limiting factor in your success.” ~ Matthew Britt

nathanielBrandenYou deserve to be and feel happy. That starts with loving the one you see in the mirror.

BONUS Article: You Will Never Outperform Your Own Self Image

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Friday, May 20, 2011

10 Reasons it’s Tough to Love a Smoker

Filed under: Health & Wellness — Larry James @ 7:00 am
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Smoking is a bad habit. Despite the fact that the negative aspects of smoking are well documented, many people still choose to smoke on a regular basis. Those who choose to smoke take on day-to-day lifestyle changes that can change the way they interact with others and drastically affect their personal health and hygiene. Here are 10 reasons why it’s tough to love a smoker:

Smoking man1. Secondhand Smoke: One of the biggest reasons it’s hard to love a smoker is secondhand smoke. Your health is at risk when smokers light up next to you and blow smoke around you. Second hand smoke has been shown to be even more unhealthy than first-hand smoke and this can have major health consequences for those who unwittingly breathe it in. If you know a smoker who continually smokes around you, urge them to do so outside and away from others who don’t want to smoke.

2. Smelly Clothes: Tobacco smoke has a distinct and lingering odor that is incredibly difficult to eliminate from clothing. Cologne, Febreeze, and other odor fighters just don’t seem to completely mask the sometimes overpowering smell of smoke. As a result, even if you haven’t smoked in hours, people around you will likely be able to identify you as a smoker. That constant odor can make snuggling up with a smoker more challenging than a non-smoker.

3. Bad Breath: No matter how often they brush their teeth or gargle mouthwash, smokers are left with bad breath. Kissing a smoker is really like kissing an ashtray. And it gets worse. A smoker’s teeth and gums suffer major consequences that can result in crooked, yellow teeth, receding gums, and other dental problems. The oral hygiene issues surrounding smokers can make loving them that much harder, especially if you are a stickler for bad breath.

“Kissing someone who smokes is like licking the bottom of an ashtray!” ~ Larry James

4. Expensive Habit: Smoking is an expensive habit. Depending on how many cigarettes a smoker has per day and how long they’ve been smoking, it can add up to thousands of dollars out the door every year. That money could be put towards better, more productive things than smoking. If someone close to you is a smoker, see how much they smoke and calculate how much money they are setting no fire every time they light up. Maybe that will help them to quit.

5. Disappearing Act: Most smokers have mastered the art of the smoke break. That means they know how to disappear from any situation to get in a few quick puffs. This disappearing act can make working with smokers difficult, as they tend to disappear just when you need them. Chances are, however, that you can find them at their favorite smoking spot enjoying a few minutes of peace. Non-smokers don’t get that kind of freedom, and that can make loving a smoker even harder.

6. Grouchy: Ever been around a smoker who hasn’t had a cigarette in a while? If not, it might be a good idea to avoid them. That’s because a smoker who has gone without for a long period of time tends to be grouchy. Sometimes they can be downright mean. When a smoker abstains, the nicotine level in their blood drops, and they begin to crave nicotine while simultaneously experiencing withdrawal symptoms like headache and nausea. The best thing you can do is avoid a smoker when they are in desperate need of a cigarette.

7. Bad Attitude: Even when a smoker has had their fix, their dependence on cigarettes can sometimes bring about a negative attitude in general. From the worker who takes a smoke break when they might be on call to the young rebellious teenager who smokes to get back at overbearing parents, smokers can sometimes have a uniquely stubborn and pessimistic attitude. Of course, not all smokers are like this, but those that are can definitely be harder to love.

8. Refuses to Quit: A smoker does not give up their habit likely. That’s mainly because cigarettes are frighteningly addictive. If you try to encourage a smoker to quit, you’re likely to be disappointed. Cigarette smoking has one of the highest relapse rates of any habit and that means trying to get a smoker to quit is probably a fruitless attempt.

9. Poor Health: Smoking is not a healthy habit. Not only can it leave otherwise healthy individuals short of breath, but it can also cause long term health effects that can be far more devastating. Knowing this can cause frustration for non-smokers who only want the best for their smoker friends. Despite the well-known health effects, smokers can be stubborn about quitting, and that makes them harder to love.

10. Smelly Car: There is something unique about a smoker’s vehicle. It’s definitely the smell. Like a smoker’s clothes and an indoor smoker’s home, a smoker’s car takes on the distinct aroma of cigarette smoke. But the car has a special tool of torture for non-smokers: Air conditioning. In the summer when a smoker first starts their car in the evening, hot, smelly cigarette smoke air is blown right in your face. This can be very frustrating for a non-smoker.

BONUS Article: Smoking “Low-Tar” & “Lights”? You’re Fooling Yourself!

Larry’s Note: Only in America. . . do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front of the store! 😉

quitsmoking

Copyright © 2011 – www.BestDatingSites.org. Reprinted with permission.

Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

Filed under: Health & Wellness,Personal Growth,Relationships — Larry James @ 7:00 am

“She gets up while it is still dark… her lamp does not go out at night.” Proverbs 31

candlebothends“Burning ones candle at both ends” is often said about someone who’s working too hard with too many things, and as a consequence has to stop before he or she is “done”. It typically means that one is staying up too late at night and getting up too early in the morning in an attempt to get more things done.

A candle is intended to be burned from one end to the other only. “To burn the candle at both ends” implies that someone is simultaneously doing two things which are inconsistent or in conflict with each other (such as a married person carrying on a secret affair or one partner spending too much time at work and not paying enough attention to the relationship).

“Knowingly burning the candle at both ends and finding that it often gives a lovely light” ~ Christopher Hitchens

The beauty of this metaphor is the visual image of a candle burning from both ends, consuming itself as it burns; and the danger of being burned. Burning the candle at both ends implies that the two burning ends will eventually meet (“the truth will out”), in fact more quickly than one end alone burning, and in doing so, the “double ended burner” is warned that THEY will be the one who is burned from engaging in this duplicity.

Well, if you were to light a candle at both ends it would burn down in half the time compared to one that’s only burning at one end. If you consider the burn time you’d get from the ordinarily lit candle as normal, then double lit candle would go out prematurely.

If you want your relationship to survive, you must discover what is meaningful to you and focus your attention on that. Connecting to what matters to you illuminates your purpose. Having a purpose nourishes your relationship.

Marriage is a two way street and it takes the efforts of both the partners to make it work. After the initial excitement is over most relationships goes stale causing the partners to focus more of their time on work. This is because after some time after marriage the priorities of one or both of the partners tends to shift into children, job responsibilities, money etc., and as a result they tend to neglect the partner or take the partner for granted enabling boredom to creep in the relationship. It’s important to stay connected to your partner and your family to avoid stress and relationship drift.

It is ultimately not in your best interest to continue burning the candle at both ends. When you burn the candle at both ends you get very little sleep or rest because you are working or studying (or celebrating) late into the night, and then starting again very early the next day. The pressure to get things done faster and better than everyone else can have a crushing impact on our mental and physical health. There’s a good chance that you’re going to get burned.

Notice how your body feels when you have adequate sleep, nutrition, and exercise. Just notice. If noticing convinces you that you feel better and have more energy, do something with that knowledge – noticing alone won’t change anything. Changing your attitude and your behavior will.

candlebothends2Take time for outside interests. . . with your partner. Don’t have time? Make time! Plan time! Many men have trouble balancing work and their family life. They have poor relationships with family members and their partner. Slow down a little. Make sure you are taking care of yourself. Schedule play time. Play is another one of the most significant ingredients that can keep your relationship strong.

Every once in a while, you need to stop and listen to the music, smell the flowers, and sip the coffee. Life is too short to miss out on these little treasures.

Children seem to grow up much faster now days. Blink and you miss the most important time of their lives. They need you. They need to see their mother and father interacting with each other and with them.

At some point you need to reassess and ask yourself whether you are finding the balance between work and play. You cannot continue to avoiding responsibility for your relationship. If you burn the candle at both ends you may not be as bright as you thought you were!

Don’t wait too long. There is often a point of no return. Never sacrifice your relationship for work. You can always get another job, but you may never again find a partner who will be willing to put up with your devotion to work and be willing to help you redirect your focus on the family.

Stop burning the candle at both ends. Stop trying to cram too many activities into your daily schedule. Just stop it NOW. The space-time continuum is limited for a reason – to try to keep you from doing everything at once. Even if you could get everything done – which you can’t – what use is it if you are too exhausted and burned out to enjoy your relationship.

The last thing you need is to experience burnout in your relationship. Smart people are astute at finding the smartest, healthiest most satisfying way to use the same 24 hours that God has given to each of us every day. Never be too busy to pay attention to your relationship.

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Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Author and Speakers BLOG” at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

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