Could Ecotherapy (Being in Nature) Relieve Your Stress?

Nature:  Free and Easy Cure to Anxiety and Depression

Did you know that most Americans suffer from nature deficit disorder?  A typical American spends 80-90% of their time indoors- and sadly too much of that time is spent sitting.  The more time people spend inside, the more anxious an depressed they get.  The solution is simple and free: spend time outside in nature.   Doing so can:

• Cut anxiety and depression

• Boost feelings of well-being

• Improve your health and reduce blood pressire

• Increase your social interaction with others

• Improve your breathing and intake of Vitamin D if you spend 20 minutes in the sun

Gardeners have long understood this, as having your hands in soil relieves stress and connects you to the earth.  Doing so helps you get out of your head and your worries, and enables you to focus on the present- one of the keys to being happier.

David Strayer, a psychologist at the University of Utah, takes students out in nature  to reconnect with their creative problem-solving and mental clarity.  With so many distractions and constant technological stimulation, our brains get tired and don’t function as clearly as they should.  His backpacking group of Outward Bound participants did 50 percent better on creative problem-solving after only three days in the wilderness.1

So the next time you are feeling down or overwhelmed, get outside in nature.  Just 20 minutes can revive your body, mind and spirit.

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©2017, Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. You may share this post and reprint with author reference and copyright.

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See Yourself Succeeding with a Dream Collage!

dream collage sampleCreate a Vision of Your Ideal Life

There’s a new trend out in creating a vision board or dream collage.  I first wrote about them 20 years ago and I learned that they had been used for decades.  That’s because they work!  Dream collages are powerful visual tools that truly help you make your dreams come true.

My first dream collage in 1989 had so many positive results that I was hooked.  Everything on that collage came true within 2 years, including me finding the love of my life, getting married and receiving high profile media coverage for my book.  The one shown here is of one of my students who went on to become an $18 Million dollar Avon woman. Dream collages are incredibly effective.

So get yourself some poster board, maybe wrap it in your favorite colored wrapping paper, get scissors, double sided tape or Spray mount, and magazines from your favorite hobbies, interests, or places you like to visit.

Here’s what should be on your dream collage:

• key words and phrases that inspire you

• images of your ideal life, personally, financially, spiritually, professionally

• a picture of yourself right in the middle, and if you are married or have a family, include them in the picture

• images and words that inspire you

I’ve seen people put sparkles and glitter over their posterboard.  Do whatever you can to make it exciting and beautiful for you.  And only share it with people who will encourage and support you.

Put the collage somewhere you see it every day- like on your refrigerator or mirror.  Take a photo of it can keep it on your phone.  Look at it regularly. See yourself living your dreams.  That’s the key- if you can see it, you can be it.  You deserve to live the life of your dreams!

For software that helps you create an audio-video multi-media collage in a very easy way, go here:

Good luck. Now is the perfect time to get started!

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©2018, Snowden McFall,
All Rights Reserved You may reprint with full credit and permission.

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Overwhelmed? How to Regain Focus

Do You Have Cognitive Overload?

“Information overload is a symptom of our desire to not focus on what’s important. It is a choice.” Brian Solis receive so much data that we can barely comprehend all that is coming into our minds. Right now, you may be thinking about your next meeting, responding to a text, planning your tweets for the day and answering a call. Whew- no wonder we have information overload. Our brains are overwhelmed with all the distractions.

A recent Stanford study found that those who spend lots of time on social media, surfing the Internet and multi-tasking had poor cognitive skills. They could not distinguish well between what was important and what was trivial. “They are suckers for irrelevancy.”

How to Regain  Focus:

In his book, Search Inside Yourself. Chade-Meng Tan of Google, shares some keys to regaining cognitive clarity.

Monitor what you read and how you do it– If you find your mind wandering while reading, bring your attention back to what you are doing. Keep practicing this skill.

Use active listening Have someone speak for 3 minutes and you listen, Then repeat back to the person with the preface ” What you said is important. Do you mind if I repeat it back to see if I have it right?” (People LOVE this- they love to be heard.)

A few tips from me:

Do 1 thing at a time. That’s it. One thing and do it well and complete it. Take satisfaction and then move on to the next one thing. Your focus will improve. Multi-tasking is terrible for your brain.

• Go tech free for a day this weekend. Lots of research show the value of this. It’s like rebooting your brain.

• Get quiet and go outside in nature.  Life becomes much simpler away from the office and computer.

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©2015, Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. You may share this post and reprint with author reference and copyright.

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Recharge Your Brain with Down Time

“We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly -spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order.” Susan Taylor

Access Your Creativity Through Quiet Time

meditation as stress reliever from Stress ExpressMost busy professionals have very little time for themselves. Deadlines, quotas, meetings, family, life obligations all take a toll on our personal time. Your brain never turns off.  You probably have “cerebral congestion.”

Recent study  by LexisNexis of 1,700 white collar workers in the U.S., China, South Africa, the U.K. and Australia showed employees spend more than half their workdays receiving and managing data rather than using it to do their jobs; 50% confessed that they were reaching a breaking point.
Most of our best ideas come from quiet time. Many great concepts that later became life-improving products originated in the shower.  Several companies  encourage employees to take one day a week to work on whatever project they want- whether it’s part of their job description or not. Some of these companies’ best innovations resulted. But if there’s no time, no quiet space, no daydreaming, there’s very little room for innovation.

How Can You Get More Quiet Time?

cut down on meetings and shorten them. Ask- could this be accomplished in an email or memo? Make a guideline that all meetings get done in 15 minutes or less. Tell people in advance to laser their thoughts.

exercise nearly every day-and instead of watching TV, talking on the phone or reading emails while you’re doing it, just be quiet. Play soothing environmental music. Or get outside. Let your brain wander while you are in nature.

sleep at least 7 hours a night. Sleep is critical to your overall health, well-being and memory. In true restful sleep, your brain synthesizes through various levels of consciousness and replenishes itself. The quiet of sleep is absolutely necessary for sanity, not to mention performance and achievement.

meditate. Even if it is only for 10 minutes a day, taking the time to be quiet and go inside, listen, and breathe deeply can give the brain a vital rest.

take your vacation time. In 2013, most Americans left 4 vacation days on the table. No laptops or emails or phone calls on vacation. Be truly off the grid and come back refreshed and revitalized.

get outside in nature. The new field of ecopsychology demonstrates that spending time in nature relaxes the brain, restores the body and spirit.

Your brain has great wisdom and gifts to share with you. It can only do so when it truly has a chance to recharge. Give it that time.

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©2014 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. You may share this post and reprint with author reference and copyright.

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Think Like an Entrepreneur- Whether You Are One or Not

Use Entrepreneurial Thinking to Excel at Your Job

Cheering womenMany of my speaking / consulting clients are corporations, medical associations and non-profits.  Sometimes the employees feel a sense of powerlessness with all the red tape and bureaucracy.  According to the book Drive, humans have an essential need for autonomy, control over their work and their destinies.  A great way to gain control in your job is to assume authority over a problem and come up with a new solution. Creatively brainstorm and solve it as if it were your own business.  Then go to your superior with a clearly mapped out plan of action in writing. Most managers will applaud your ingenuity and initiative, and you will feel better, with more control over your work. Plus you may have remedied an expensive and stressful problem.

©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference