Tag Archives: relief

Is Stress Stressing You Out? 5 Tips to Help You Chill Out

sex_talkThe holiday season is typically seen as a happy time of year when stress, worries and anxiety magically give way to happiness, love and a sense of good will to all. While this is a nice thought, it is simple not a reality for most people. The holiday season is one of the most stressful over the year as people struggle to find the right gift, host the perfect party or create the best ever holiday season.

Top this off with having to interact with relatives and family that may you may not have the best relationship with and you definitely have a recipe for increasing, not decreasing, stress.

Stress can cause significant emotional as well as physiological responses. People under stress may have several of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty sleeping, relaxing, concentrating or focusing
  • Exhaustion and fatigue
  • Increased illnesses, rapid heartbeat, digestive problems
  • Anxiety, irritability, atypical anger or irrational types of behaviors
  • Feeling overwhelmed or experiencing racing thoughts
  • Having difficulty staying positive
  • Feeling lonely, unhappy, isolated o

Coping with stress can include both mental and physical options. These can include:

  • Learning breathing techniques to allow you to take control of your physiological responses and relax. Yoga is terrific for this.
  • Increase your physical activity in a structured exercise, walking or weight training program to boost energy levels and positive brain chemicals associated with exercise.
  • Learning relation techniques such as progressive relation to enhance your ability to stay calm and to get to sleep.
  • Make time every day to do something you enjoy. Make this a priority not sometime you do if you have time.
  • Find someone to talk to that will help you manage your stress.

It is important to identify what is causing you to experience stress and then plan a way to minimize or eliminate that source of stress. To get started stop and reflect on what is happening that is causing you stress. Once you have identified the source you can then start to develop a plan to enhance your ability to cope, manage and thrive even in times of stress.

What causes you stress and what are the strategies or techniques that you use to cope and manage?

Sherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life, Love & Recovery Coach is featured   Celebrity    Rehab   on  VH1. Sherry is the  author  of “The Law of Sobriety” which  uses   the    law  of  attraction to  recover from any   addiction.    Please   download your free E book   “Filling The Empty   Heart”  and  your “Are You    a  Love Addict Quiz?” at www.sherrygaba.com Contact Sherry   for     webinars,  teleseminars,  coaching   packages and speaking   engagements.  Take  Sherry’s quiz for a free eBook   Filling  the    Empty  Heart: 5 Keys to    Transforming  Love    Addicti

Empower Your Kids for #GivingTuesday

Screen shot 2013-11-12 at 3.41.25 PMIt’s a quiet evening in the Gobes household.  The autumn sun sets early as the rich aroma of Barefoot Contessa’s boeuf bourguignon peaks our appetites.  With a click of the mouse, my cozy, quiet, comfort-food kitchen is suddenly infused with emotion as my family quickly transitions from hunger to contemplation to tears to determination to inspired action.

My children and I are wrapped around the sound of a news story aired by NPR online, brought to living color by Paula Bronstein’s stirring photo of a Filipino expressing his raw suffering after Typhoon Haiyan.

For a long moment we four are suspended in stillness as we connect with his suffering.  His tears flow through our eyes as we watch the computer screen in silence.

I break the hush and spend a few minutes talking about what it means to be human.  This man is a stranger.  He is thousands of miles away, but his pain is as familiar to us as our own breath.

My youngest children are 9, 7, and 5.  They know suffering, or at least they think they do.  Their low points are dredged up by missing sneakers on gym day, by two green brussel sprouts on a dinner plate.  But their imaginations are fertile and their capacity for compassion is immense.  They examine the man’s expression and begin to list emotions he might be feeling.  They, too, feel those things.  They connect the dots.  He’s just like us.

“How can you help him?” I ask.

“We can send him blankets!” suggests one.

“He’s not cold, he’s wearing short sleeves,” says the other.  “How about pillows?”

“How can we get the pillows to him?”

Maybe the best way to help him from so far away is to raise money.  He can use it to import what he needs,” I suggest.

“Can we color him a picture, Mommy?” my little one requests.

“You bet, babe.”

My 9 year-old seems to be experiencing a paradigm shift.  She picks up the house phone and begins to dial with great urgency.  She’s recruiting her besties to lead a fundraising effort – a good old fashioned coin collection.  Empty your piggy banks, fellow third graders!  The people of the Philippines need our pocket change!  She disappears into her bedroom, chittering quickly, hashing out details and coordinating collection locations.

My 7 year-old has settled back into her book Big Nate, but upon absorbing her big sister’s charitable enthusiasm, she ditches the read and picks up a marker.  “How do you spell typhoon?”  She churns out several posters as I type emails to friends soliciting support for the children’s mission.

My 5 year-old is on the edge.  He’s constructing cannons out of Tinker Toys and monitoring the commotion cautiously.  “Mommy,” he ventures, “Can I ask Jack and Billy to give quarters to that man?”  I respond in the affirmative and hear his barely audible, “Yessssss.”  He continues to quietly play with his cannons.

“Can you believe that a 5 year-old boy like you can do something important like this?  You have the power to help a grown man feel better.  You’re like a superhero.  What do you think about that, buddy?”

“Good,” he mutters, not lifting his head.  But I can see past his long bangs that he’s smiling.  The enthusiasm for this project is contagious.

Big sister returns to the kitchen, placing the cordless on my desk.  The plan is a go.  The  primary players are enlisted.  We decide to collect change until Thanksgiving and have a coin counting party on #GivingTuesday.  They’re excited to be part of such a special day.

Dinner is hot and it’s time to eat.  I take a moment to reflect.  In the time it took a pot of stew to boil, my children adopted a cause and took action.  I’m reminded of a quote by Seneca, “It’s not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste of a lot of it.”  No wasted time here.  Giddy-up.

Give what you can, how you can, where you can.  And be sure to give your all on #GivingTuesday.

What You Can Do To Support The Philippines

Screen shot 2013-11-12 at 3.41.09 PMThis weekend one of the most powerful storms in recorded history hit the eastern side of the Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan touched land with winds estimated at points to be between 195-200 miles per hour. For perspective – Super Storm Sandy that devastated the northeastern United States last Halloween had winds that maxed out at 115mph. Hurricane Katrina reached winds of 174mph.

Thousands are displaced from their homes in the Philippines as aid workers are rushing in to deliver food, water and supplies to survivors. The final death toll is currently estimated to reach 2,500 people.  According to a recent CNN report more than 200 million people are in need of aid – over 300,000 of them pregnant or new mothers. Cities that were once bustling metropolitan areas last week are in heaps of rubble – The Philippines are in trouble.

In times like these there are always an outpour of charities rushing to help those in need, but unfortunately there are also those who use devastating disasters like this as an opportunity to take advantage of people’s generosity. If you are willing and able, we have assembled a list of verified non-profit organizations that could use your donations to help stabilize and rebuild the Philippines after this horrible storm.


Red Cross

Emergency responders and volunteers throughout the Philippines are providing meals and relief items. Already, thousands of hot meals have been provided to survivors. Red Cross volunteers and staff were already on the ground delivering preliminary emergency warnings and safety tips before the typhoon hit. The Philippine Red Cross has also already mobilized its 100 local outposts to help with relief efforts. Give by donating online or mailing a check to your local American Red Cross chapter. Learn more and donate here.


The relief organization is sending medical aid for 20,000 survivors, including antibiotics, wound care supplies and pain relievers. AmeriCares is also giving funds to local organizations to purchase supplies. Learn more and donate here.


UNICEF’s chief concern is a disaster’s impact on children’s health and well-being, and they are working to ensure the safety of children and families affected by the typhoon. Learn more and donate here.


Oxfam has experienced staff on the ground, ready to provide immediate help to people in need. Learn more and donate here.

(Credit to Care2 for links)

If you are looking for non-financial ways to help support then consider adding your name to these petitions to encourage government leaders to take a better look at global warming and instituting practices to slow down the destruction of our planet.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those in the Philippines currently suffering through this disaster and to all those who have lost loved ones in this storm.

(Photos from CNN coverage)

5 Ways to Transform Regret into Healing

Love Shines Through The Darkness free creative commonsRegret is like clutter. It can mess up your mind with tiny cumulative details creating cobwebs in the brain which darken your thoughts. Similar to managing physical clutter, periodically you take inventory of regrets to let go of what weighs you down, obscures your space and makes you feel stuck. Moreover, as soon as you throw out the first element of clutter, you feel better. This immediate gratification spurs you to continue.

However, don’t regret that you feel regret. Your regrets serve a vital purpose: They bear witness to your personal evolution, how you have grown from your past mistakes. You are now a better person with more experience to overcome and succeed. Note that every stressor which you conquer makes you stronger. The goal is to go stronger, longer.

5 typical patterns of regret which can power up your personality:

1. You regret breaking up or losing touch with a previous love because of bad timing or an error in judgment. The good thing about love – whether lost or won – is that you can always hold it in your heart. And your heart is big enough to love many people, expanding your spirit with their best attributes. You are sure to encounter another love with whom you will inevitably connect. Your regret will make you ready!

2. You regret not telling a loved one who has passed away how much you loved him or her. You feel guilty not having done enough for this person, particularly a parent. Challenge these irrational thoughts. Your regret is actually grief. No one teaches people how to lose, only to amass and possess. Consequently, loss is hard. Give yourself permission to grieve without a time limit. When I feel regret about my parents’ death, I dedicate a good thought, recall a funny conversation or anecdote from my parents to recall their memory in a positive frame.

3. You regret a career road not taken. Perhaps, you did not pursue a higher education, or make a bold career change. Most people put too much emphasis on being extraordinary and often have unreasonable expectations about success. If it is feasible to pursue a passion or longing, do so now. My friend Delia left a career in computer science and took out student loans to become an ER physician. If you cannot take a new career path at this point in time, reinvent and revitalize your job to see it in a larger context. For example, my friend Antonio loves his job as a postal clerk because he gets to greet and say something nice to the people tired of waiting on line. He feels like a spiritual transformer.

4. You regret not having your say. You feel that you should have said “___.” Most likely you were trying to please others. What a relief to remove your mask, and speak your natural truth! Unleash your natural energy to get back in balance between doing for others and yourself.

5. You regret cheating someone. Often people who cheat, lie, or fool someone feel happy that they got away with it. However, when your cheating causes hurt, then you will most likely feel regret. Confessing and making amends are the ultimate spiritual cleanse. The next best thing is learning from your mistake and changing for the better.  Undoubtedly, you will be vigilant about acting with integrity and will find a way to give back to your community.

One Musician Speaks Out Against BP With Song During Oil Spill Commission Meeting

Once upon a time, musicians and artists were some of the most prominent players in America’s politics. The 1960’s were chalk full of folk artists penning tunes fighting the Vietnam war and huge industry players such as Bob Dylan and John Lennon were even considered threats by the government for the incredible influence they had over the world and for their blatant disapproval of the government’s actions. 

Now a-days, you see a lot more tweens on television and pop stars selling sex and not really anyone in the public eye fighting the establishment through their music. They may support charities and appear in commercials and give interviews but none of them are producing songs that reflect upon the frustration of America’s politics and Capitalism. 

But now, Gulf Coast resident fisherman turned folk singer Drew Landry put all his angst against BP and the privatization of the oil spill relief in song for the Presidential Oil Spill Commission’s town hall meeting. 

Drew’s heartfelt performance struck my heart, as I’m sure it will strike yours.

BP Blues

grew up on the southern shore Louisiana now there ain’t no more
kickin mud off up a crawfish hole barefooted with a fishin pole
make a living with my own two hands hell it’s part of being who I am
went to workin in the oil fields that’s the only way to pay our bills
and if I’m lucky I can have a son take him hunting like his daddy done
get him workin on a shrimpin boat up and down the Gulf of Mexico
eleven dead out on a deep sea rig doin what it is they had to live
oil bleeding from a gaping hole up and down the Gulf of Mexico
Morgan City down to Mobile Bay Pascagula down to FLA
still I’m stuck out here for 7 more watching everything turn black offshore
and brother even if they cap the well hell it’s just another oil spill 
our way of life won’t be around no more and all I wanted was to go back home.
little brother he ain’t feeling well, what you spraying on that oil spill 
how many of us gonna lose our lives before the people get to work on time
kickin mud up off a crawfish hole barefooted with a fishing pole
goin back into the oil fields that’s the only way to pay our bills…

– Lyrics from NewOrleans.com 

Massage Therapy Supports your Immune System

Regular therapeutic massage sessions offer significant benefits beyond the instant relaxation we enjoy. People who experience high levels of stress are likely to get sick more than others. Mix stress with lack of sleep and poor diet, and our body’s ability to naturally defend itself against bacteria and infection is seriously reduced.

Stress management is a key factor for anyone striving to reach a balanced lifestyle. Massage therapy has been proven to be one of the most effective ways for achieving stress relief. Research studies show massage therapy in fact boosts the body’s immune system, which can become compromised from prolonged periods of stress.

Jitka Frajbisova, LMT





Sometimes I just can’t help it.  I cry and I cry long and hard (sometimes it becomes a sobbing session).  Crying is a natural response to our emotions, such as sorrow, anger, despair, loss, PMS, menopause, loneliness, heartbreak, emotional distress, depression, hurt (physical and emotional) or just because you feel sorry for yourself, and there are thousands of other reasons that give cause to tears.  Sometimes, however, I can laugh so hard or so long at something someone said or did that I have to sit down because my knees buckle, or I laugh and giggle because I’m so happy about someone or something that can tears roll down my cheeks.  I have realized that tears are a detox mechanism that nature has so beautifully supplied to us.  

Have you ever had a geat cry and afterwards felt completely relaxed, exhausted but content, your mind is clear, you feel like a new person and you’re able to resolve the issue?  You might not experience all those cleansing emotions right away, but through the process you recognize your relief.  I think the experience of crying is spirit knocking our my door.  Spirit knocked by getting your attention through the process of crying, and you opened the door to its light, and you were able to resolve your issue.  You listened and acknowledged your heart (Spirit).

Perhaps, have you cried and cried but continued to feel the emotion that prompted the tears?  Spirit knocked, but you pretended you weren’t at home, your ego got in the way.  (I have particularly noticed that when I have a good cry and develop a headache afterwards, I pretended I wasn’t home when Spirit knocked.)

Spirit has a marvelous way of getting our attention.  We have free will to either listen, or pretend we aren’t at home.  Go ahead, cry when you need to and release the toxins, then allow your heart to guide you to the resolution.  Listen and your human experience will be much more enjoyable.



Featured Article: Cleansing vs. Burying the Symptoms (I’ll be in SD, LA, and Balt. 2/20 to 3/2; stop in and say hi!)

Cleansing vs. Burying the Symptoms
By Dave Markowitz

The old joke, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?…Practice!” isn’t really a joke. Like most idioms, the messages are based on facts. Practice, consistency, determination, resilience: these and others like them are the stuff of motivational posters, books, and workshops. And with good reason: they’re effective. The main difference between those who’ve made it and those who’ve failed is how each person dealt with their discomfort.

Here in the “west” we’re taught that any discomfort is a bad thing. If our nose is running we take a decongestant and if we’re in pain we take a pain killer; in fact the entire pharmaceutical businesses and much of the modern medicine is based on temporarily relieving symptoms. In the “east” or with more alternative medicine practices, these symptoms aren’t seen as nuisances that we need to bury at all costs, but more as warning signs of a deeper opportunity that something in our lives is amiss. Taking pain killers to mask the signal that something is wrong is like clipping the wires on a ringing fire alarm because the noise is bothersome. Meanwhile, your home is burning and you may not realize it until it’s too late.

Read more here


Dave will be lecturing at the Body Mind Spirit Expo in San Diego Feb 21, holding a Healling Circle in Los Angeles Feb 25 and lecturing and giving a workshop, Finding Your Soul’s Purpose in Baltimore Feb 28 to March 2. In all cities, as well as by phone, he’ll be offering private sessions at discounted rates. Click here for more info.


I was driving on a highway…

I was driving on a highway the other day, and it happened to be the craziest traffic time in downtown LA. I have done a pretty good job at learning to stay aware of the bad traffic times but somehow I missed this one. Actually, I didn’t really miss it. I just hoped "maybe it’s going to be not that bad after all". Hehe… really? Friday at 6pm?! It was one of those ‘blond’ moments when I wanted to believe if I wished something badly enough, it would come true.
Anyway, there I was, in the midst of 8 MPH traffic downtown LA. I was starving and in a hurry. Not a good combination. So, before I knew it, anxiety had sneaked in, and I found myself being tense, contracted and stressed out. I was angry at the road, my decision to drive, and LA. Hollywood seemed extra superficial, and skyscrapers seemed out right evil.
I called my friend to whose place I was driving. There were 9 people waiting for me to start an evening gathering. I told them I quit… I gave up, and there was no need to wait for me any longer. I wasn’t willing to stay stressed out about getting there on time.
I hung up the phone, and all of a sudden everything got quite. I was still surrounded by the hundreds of cars, yet they all seemed to swim in an ocean of tender silence now. I noticed the huge moon staring into my face. It was a big circle, wearing a friendly blush. The doors to stillness opened to me, and I started conversing with the world through the softness of its whisper.
What happened? There was nothing I did to quiet my mind. There was no special technique I utilized to calm my nerves. All I did was stop. Stop the struggle.
The whole road became my life. I started becoming aware of my tendencies to control, trying to make the traffic, and the speed, to obey my agenda. As if it was possible?
So, I put on my favorite CD, and simply made a decision to enjoy every single moment of the drive, no matter what it felt or looked like. I brought my attention within, and gave all the little muscles that were in the fight mode a permission to take a little vacation. Breath by breath, my body started melting away, and I began to embrace the moment just as it was. I opened myself to all feelings, emotions or sensations that wanted to come up. I invited in the frustration and let it be. I allowed the exhaust of the hundreds of cars in front of me. I let it be. I made peace with the idea that I might totally miss the beautiful evening I had planned for, and that I might be considered irresponsible for not showing up. I let it all be.
Thought by thought, feeling by feeling, more peace came over me. Nothing had changed outside. Still the same hundreds of cars. Still 8 mph. Yet, now my eyes started seeing beauty within the appearances, and my ears could hear a friendly melody in the sounds of the horns. Skyscrapers became magnificent beings proudly stretching their long necks onto the sky.
I had dropped the battle. Life was flowing and unfolding on its own, and there was nothing I had to do to make it happen.
The freeway became my revered teacher, and I was humbly bowing down to its wise presence.
I simply stayed in the same lane, and let the river carry me. It sometimes stopped, sometimes sped up. I was fine either way. Cutting the lanes really never took me anywhere.
Before I knew it, my exit came, and I had arrived at my friends place. It was almost like a surprise. Not a goal that has been long struggled towards, but a nice surprise. I arrived right at the moment when they sat down to start the program. What a perfect timing! I was filled with a deep gratitude for the reminder how effortless life can be. The ever present offering of the ease and nurturing had revealed itself, and it softened me into its wisdom.
I love when the most simple and ordinary things in life become my extraordinary teachers.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...