The Heartbreaking Pursuit of Wealth

Tax Credits

Photo Credit: Tax Credits via CC Flickr

The pursuit of happiness. This is the goal of just about every person on earth. What is happiness? What makes a person truly happy? Unfortunately, too many people believe that true happiness comes from wealth, beautiful houses, and fancy cars…just to name a few. Sadly, it usually isn’t until late in a person’s life when they finally realize the futility and hollowness of material things when all of the most important things in a lifetime has passed them by.

I recently came across a story on rishikajain.com, of a man who used to be one of the wealthiest men of the world and realized in his last days what the most important thing in his life was. It is my hope that the following story, will inspire you to understand that the essential things in our lives aren’t the things that we see but are the things that are unseen.

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The last words of Steve Jobs –

I’ve reached the peak of success in the business world.
In the eyes of others my life has been the symbol of success.
However, apart from the job, I have a little joy. In the end, the wealth is just a fact to which I’m used to it.

At this time, lying on the hospital bed and remembering my whole life, I realize that all the awards and the wealth of which I was so proud, have become insignificant in front of the imminent death.

In the dark, when I look at the green lights of machinery for artificial respiration and I hear the hum of their mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of death that is coming…
Just now I realized, once that accumulate enough money for the rest of your life, we have to pursue other objectives that are not related to the wealth.

It should be something more important:
For example, the stories of love, the art, the dreams of when I was a kid…
Don’t stop to pursue the wealth will only turn a person in a be twisted, just like me.
God has given us the senses to make us feel the love in the heart of each one of us, not the illusions built by the fame.

The money that I earned in my life I can bring them with me.
What can I bring with me I’m just the memories strengthened by love.
This is the real wealth that will follow you, take you, will give you the strength and the light to go forward.

Love can travel for a thousand miles. Life has no limit. Go where you want to go. You reach the quotes that you want to reach. It’s all in your heart and in your hands.
What is the bed more expensive in the world? The hospital bed.
You can hire someone to drive the car for you, that you gain for you, but you can’t have someone you don’t mind the disease in your place.

The material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when you lose: the life.

At any stage of life we are in this moment, in the end we will have to deal with the day that it’s curtains.

Do treasure of love for your family, the love for your spouse, of love for your friends…

Trattatevi well. Take good care of the next.

 

Slaying the Dragon of Anxiety

Photo Credit: Rubyblossom via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Rubyblossom via CC Flickr

Anxiety and stress…millions upon millions of people struggle coping with this monster every day. The effects of anxiety on some people can be downright nasty, frightening, and frustrating. People suffering from anxiety can have an assortment of symptoms: insomnia, irregular heartbeats, trembling, fear of dying, chills or hot flashes, dizziness, shortness of breath, sweating, sudden overwhelming fear, nausea,  trouble concentrating, breathing rapidly, just to name a few.

Unfortunately, as with many medical conditions, the exact cause and the genesis of anxiety is not exactly known or understood. There are some things that can contribute to anxiety such as traumatic life experiences, inherited traits, a vast assortment of medical causes, or medications.

I recently had a bout with anxiety (as I also did a year or so ago). In both cases, the anxiety was caused by something different. The first time, it was triggered by a medication that had an adverse effect on my body…unfortunately, it lasted quite a while. A short time ago, I began to experience a high level of anxiety again, due mainly to an accumulation of a number of factors such as a medical problem (kidney stones), an overwhelming work load, and a private emotional time of my life.

I decided to go to my Face Book page and ask my friends for their suggestions as to how I could deal with my anxiety and I found many of them to be VERY helpful and successful. I also researched other ways and techniques that individuals deal with anxiety…and It is for these reasons, that I decided to share a list of them with you!!!

It is my hope and prayer that the following “weapons” will help in your “fight” in slaying the dragon…anxiety.

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Anxiety-Busting Ideas

  1. Chew Bubble / Chewing Gum – The next time you feel the axiety coming on, unwrap a stick of gum, start chewing and enjoy it! According to studies, knowing on a piece of gum lowers anxiety and eases stress. Some researchers believe that the rhythmic act of chewing may increase the blood flow to your brain, while others believe that the smell and taste help you to relax.

2. Get Outside – Fresh air and the feeling of openness, freedom, and the enjoyment of everything that Mother Nature has for you ca have an adverse effect in the way that you feel. The feel of the warm sun, a nice breeze, nice smelling flowers, the songs of the birds, and many other things, will lower your stress. Levels

3. Smell Some Lavender – It has been believed for hundreds of years that certain smells can have a tremendous, positive effect on a person’s mental state. The proof is in the pudding…how often are you doing something, then suddenly experience a certain smell which in turn, “takes you back” to a time that you may have long since forgotten…maybe it brings you to a place that gives you happy memories. Such is the case with Lavender. Lavender has a relaxing, soothing effect with people when it is smelled.

4. Smile and/or Laugh – Don’t be a crab! Just as negative feeling and mind thoughts can have adverse effects on a persons psyche…when a person smiles, it can do just the opposite. When times get difficult and arduous, put a smile on your face…a REAL one. Believe it or ot, when you smile, the muscles around your face and mouth , reduces your body’s stress as well as lowers your heart rate faster once the stressful experience ends.

5. Pray the Alphabet – This technique had a tremendous positive effect with me. I am a Christian with a strong faith in God but it certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t do something like that yourself. When I pray the alphabet, I begin with the latter. A, then pray for every person I know whose name starts with the letter “A”…the on to “B”, etc. I very rarely ever got to the letters in the middle of the alphabet…especially if I did the prayer while I was in bed at night. It is effective because it takes the focus off of my “problem” and think of something else.

6. Listen to Music – Try to listen to something that you enjoy like music or a podcast and try to listen to every word or every note. Music has “magical” powers…it can make you dance, helps plants to grow, lulls babies to sleep, marches men off to war, enchant people and nations, drive out evil spirits, etc. Music can slow down the brain waves, as well as affect a person’s heartbeat and blood pressure. Music can also boast the immune system, boost productivity, and strengthen memory and learning. The point? Listening to music can uplift your soul and spirits sometimes in ways that you could never imagine.

7. Be Nice to Yourself – Some anxiety and negative thoughts and feelings are self-induced. They are sometimes brought on because of the way an individual may think of themselves. If person is continually putting themselves down, pessimistic, and cynical about their life, they will bring much added stress and strain upon themselves…sometimes, more than they should have. Therefore, BE KIND TO YOURSELF! Tell yourself every day when you wake up (and throughout the day) how awesome you are, how much you are loved and cared for. Staying positive and using compassionate self-talk will help you to relax and get a better grip on your situation. Remind yourself in a calm and assured way…the same way that you might help a friend, that “everything will be OK, etc. Also, do things that you enjoy!

8. Write Your Anxiety Away – Take the time each night to find something to write about…things that make you anxious, happy, or anything else that you may find helpful. The act of writing out words and putting your thoughts on paper is very therapeutic. It doesn’t matter if you write it out with a pen, pencil, or crayon…the important thing is to be honest with yourself. Again, this was one of the biggest things that helped me fight off my bouts with anxiety. I slept better at night and helped me to focus on not only the things that bothered me or caused me the anxiety, helped me to realize the things NOT TO FOCUS ON…and to move on with my life.

9. Breathe – When you feel your anxiety coming on or if you are in the process of experiencing it, take the time to focus on your breathing. Focusing on your breathing takes your focus off of the thing that may be causing you the stress. Find a quiet place to go then sit quietly. Take a nice, long, slow breath through your nose (count to 8 while you are doing so), hold your breath for 4 seconds, then release your breath in a slow, soothing fashion (again, count to 8 while you are exhaling). When you start feeling your anxiety begin to build, force yourself to focus on one thing around you instead. Take a relaxing breath and very slowly describe to yourself every detail about that object or person. Keep doing it and don’t allow yourself to focus on your anxiety. Keep focusing outward. Within a few minutes your anxiety attack will go away. It takes practice but with every anxiety attack it gets a bit easier.

10. Talk to A Friend – I found this to be a very, very helpful way. There is nothing better than talking with someone who has gone through the same things that you have. There are many times, that your friends can give you great strategies and techniques how to battle your stresses and anxiety. This blog is a great example of that! Sharing with a loved one allows you to “open up” easier and be more honest. More importantly, you will feel much less alone.

11. Meditation – I’ll keep this one short…take at least 8 minutes, once a day, to focus on something that brings you pleasure…music, a movie, or something that makes you smile. Play it in your head and only focus on that. Eventually, your heart rate will slow down and you will soon return to normal.

12. Yoga / Tai Chi – Learn the good, helpful techniques to slow down your breathing and focus on positive things. Again, this is turn will lower your blood pressure and heart rate.

13. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – There’s many skills for distress tolerance in dialectical behavioral therapy. They suggest trying to hold ice, using imagery, playing with play dough.

There’s also an acronym that help with mindfulness: RAIN. Recognize that it’s happening. Accept without judgment (no judgment is crucial) it is happening. Investigate how your body feels. Note mentally when/how I t happened and what it felt like.

14. Lay Your Problems at the Feet of Christ – ..and do just that…LEAVE THEM THERE! Don’t go back and dwell on the past or the things that cause you distress or anxiety. Leave your problems and sorrows with the Lord…and keep them there!!

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Matthew 6: 25-34 – Do Not Be Anxious: “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his ispan of life?  And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, Oh you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear? But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”