Tag Archives: stress

Breathing Exercise for Anxiety

By: Gloria Pierson

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Breathing is fundamental to our life and usually taken for granted. With every breath, you take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. You inhale a life force and exhale a waste product. Proper breathing techniques can release tension, stress, muscle tension and fatigue. Typically, there are two types of breathing patterns: chest breathing and abdominal breathing. We commonly use chest breath when we are under stress. It is shallow breathing. The chest expands and the shoulder rise to take in air. In abdominal breathing, inhaled air is drawn deep into the lungs as the abdomen expands. By becoming aware of your breathing patterns and shifting to more abdominal breathing, you can reduce stress related symptoms and muscle tension. Try this breathing exercise for anxiety.

Let’s discover how you currently breathe before we practice abdominal breathing. Put one hand on your abdomen and one hand on your chest. Observe your breath without trying to change it. Spend a few minutes just quietly observing. Take your time. Which hand rises more as you breathe? If it the hand on your chest, you are doing shallow chest breathing. If the hand on your abdomen is rising more, you are doing deep abdominal breathing. Our goal is to switch to abdominal breathing more.

To practice abdominal breathing, lie on your back on the floor, a bed or couch, whatever is most comfortable for you. Put one hand on your chest and one hand on your abdomen. Imagine that your abdomen is a balloon and that as you inhale you are filling it up with air. Try inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. As you inhale, first your abdomen, then your middle chest and then your upper chest will expand in a smooth movement. Imagine filling a glass with water from the bottom to the top. Try to practice this a few minutes, until your inhale and exhale are smooth movements. When you have the technique, try doing it while sitting and standing. Try to practice this once or twice a day until it becomes naturally and flowing to you. As with most of the tools, it is best practiced in a non-stressful situation before you incorporate it into a fearful situation.

The following is a specific way to breath to release tension. You will use you abdominal breathing in a specific way. It is time to take it up a notch.
1. Inhale and say to yourself, “Breath in.” It is not necessary to put your hands on your chest and abdomen, unless you find that helpful.
2. Hold your breath a moment before your exhale.
3. exhale slowly and deeply as you say to yourself, “Relax.”
4. As you hold your breath for a moment, notice any parts of your body that you are holding tension. When you exhale, feel the tension leave your body.
5. Practice tis for five to ten minutes as a time.
6. Practice it in non-stressful situations a few times a day. When you are comfortable with the technique, practice it in stressful situations.

Watch the video and together we will practice this technique with soothing music in the background.

5 Ways to Survive the Holiday Season

By: Gloria Pierson

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There are so many commitments and expectations this time of year, in addition to your normal, daily responsibilities. It is easy to get caught up in the “should” instead of what you would really like to do. When I get caught up in the should, I find that I miss the very essence of the holiday season. Try these 5 ways to survive the holiday season, I know I am going to put them into practice. You can survive and actually enjoy the season.

1. Go with the Flow – When the unexpected happens or your plans go awry, do not resist what is happening, go with the flow. It is probably out of your control anyway, so, why stress. I had a friend call me last week on her way to the airport. The traffic was horrendous and she was afraid she was going to miss her flight. Instead of stressing, she knew there was nothing she could do about it, she took a deep breath and surrendered the need to control the outcome. Our initial instinct would be to have our minds race with all possible scenarios, usually negative ones. Instead, just go with the flow. She ended up making the flight!
2. Check Off One Item on Your to Do List – If you look over that list, there is probably one item you can remove. Usually that item is at the bottom of the list anyway. Ask yourself, if it is important to get it done or is it just kind of nice to get it done?
3. Exercise – Any type of exercise, even a brisk walk will relieve stress and help clear your mind at the same time. When I am busy, it is very easy for me to find every excuse in the world to not exercise, when that is probably the one thing that would be the most beneficial.
4. Do Something Special for Someone – This helps to get the emphasis off “YOU!” It could be a simple as making a phone call to someone you have not talked to. Or sending an unexpected gift or card to someone.
5. Do Something Special for Yourself – Take time to nurture yourself in whatever way that is. Celebrate yourself at this special time of year. You deserve it.

What Do You Believe?

By: Gloria Pierson

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What do you believe? Do you believe that life is difficult? That happiness is not within your reach? That poverty and suffering are normal? If those are your beliefs, then that is exactly what your life will be like. We are meant to have lives filled with peace, love and abundance. That is what God wants for us. If we are not living our lives in this way, we have gotten off track.

Living in the light is living with God. Light gives us strength and confidence to follow our dreams. Darkness only increases our weakness. We have two spheres of our mind: the bodily mind and the spirit mind. The bodily mind or ego is that constant chatter in our head. “You are not enough: not good enough, not bright enough, not pretty enough.” All that is chatter and that chatter puts us off track from being in the light.

When we live in the light miracles occur. That is when we are aligned with our spirit mind and God. Our spirit mind wants us to look past appearances and keep our steady gaze on our dreams. We are not our body. Faith keeps us focused on the life we want and deserve.

Of course, when we live in the light, we will not be problem free. That is simply not the case, but, the spaces and recovery time between the problems will grow less because of our faith.

How do we stay in the light? By prayer and spending time in quiet leaving our weakness behind. A Course in Miracles says, “Faith goes to what you want, and you instruct your mind accordingly.” Believe in yourself, believe in the light, believe in happiness and that is what you will bring into your life.

God is the Presence, Love, and Power in you that conquers all.

Prayer Works Miracles

By: Gloria Pierson

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Prayer works! Prayer is always the solution when a problem arises. When we pray we align ourselves with God instead of our difficulty. We access our inner peace and our inner presence of God. Prayer works miracles.

Recently my son was having a problem in school. It was, of course, on a full moon and my first reaction to preach and worry. Naturally that did not go over well and my son did not return my calls or messages. So, I took a step back, put away my phone, went to bed and read a passage in a spiritual book. It made me remember to put the problem in God’s hands.

I said the following prayer from an Emmet Fox book:

“There is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer; no disease that enough love will not heal; no door that enough love will not open; no gulf that enough love will not bridge; no wall that enough love will not throw down; no sin that enough love will not redeem.”

After reading that, I sent my son love and put the problem in God’s hands. Instead of thinking about the difficulty, I thought, “God is Love and he is guiding us now.”

The next morning when I looked at my phone, my son had sent me a text message the same time I was praying and the problem was solved the next day. We are divine beings in a human body and need reminders. This was a reminder to me. How much better is it to put any difficulty in God’s hands instead of stressing and worrying? God is omnipotent and does not follow the “laws” of our earth. Of course, if there are any practical steps you must take to solve the problem, by all means take those steps.

Next time you have a difficulty try this and I also encourage you to keep a journal of the “miracles” of prayers. If you begin to be aware, you may have more miracles in your life than you realize. Miracles are seen in the Light.

Birth the Life You Deserve

By: Gloria Pierson

Easter is a time of re-birth and renewal. It is a great time to reflect on your life. Maybe it is time to begin again and birth the life you deserve. How does that sound?

What part of your life would you like to change? Examine your life and see if there is something that needs to be cleansed or removed before you can move forward. Is there a habit you would like to get rid of? Is there someone you need to forgive? Or is that “fear” chatter consistently in your head.

During Lent, I was determined to face some of my fears. It was time to get rid of that chatter in my head. We all have something we fear and sometimes we deal with one and then another comes up. I was determined to trust God more than my fears. On a daily basis, I would spend a few minutes embracing my fears and then took steps to face them. Once I did this with prayers, affirmations, and journaling, some amazing things began to happen in my life.

The next step is to take some action steps toward the life you want and deserve. Some ideas would be: take a class, start networking, volunteer, research on the Internet, or join a meetup group. This action step is important. It is you telling the Universe that you are ready for a change. Stay focused and do not give up. If you have to take baby steps, that is alright.

Keep the faith and wonderful things will manifest. Doors will open up. But, remember change may not be in your timeframe. It is in God’s timeframe. Find a way to keep the faith. If one method does not work, try another.

Happy Easter and Happy Spring!

“The real key to life: if you change your mind your conditions must change too.”-Emmet Fox

The Law of Cause and Effect or The Boomerang Effect

By: Gloria Pierson

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We all know the expression, “You reap what you sow.” Probably most of the time we feel that we follow this. But, if we analyze our thoughts and actions, we may find that we do this when it is easy. It is the tough times: a horrible divorce, a friend that betrayed you or being fired. These are the times when it is harder to control our thoughts, but, the law of cause and effect or the boomerang effect is still in place.

In every reaction and with every thought, we have a choice. You may have been very hurt by a former husband or former wife and that hurt is real, but, wishing them ill will or saying horrible things about them will only hurt you more. Your thoughts come back to you like a boomerang. Bam!!!

With practice and control, you can send loving, peaceful thoughts. This does not mean you have to like or that you want to be around the person that offended you. It just means you wish them well. Sending loving, peaceful thoughts and wishing them well will come back to you in the same loving way.

Before you react, pause, take a few seconds to think about what you are going to say. Is it aligned with God’s plan for love and peace for all? Or is it hurtful and hateful? If you are not sure, listen to your body. Normally we can feel what is right. One area could be in your solar plexus, two inches above your navel. This area is connected to our subconscious mind. And our subconscious mind is most aligned with God. Or you can listen to your heart. This sounds like a trite saying, but, it works and will serve you well. If your choice feels uncomfortable, change it!

If you are struggling to do this when you are hurting and going through a really tough time, ask yourself, “What is the blessing in this situation?” The answer may not come right away, but, keep listening to your heart.

With a conscious choice to follow the law of cause and effect, success and happiness will be in your life.

Affirmations Work!

By: Gloria Pierson

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The Dhammapada is an ancient collection of the Buddha’s teachings. In Twin Verses, the first chapter of the Dhammapada it is written, “All that we are is the result of what we have thought: we are formed and molded by our thoughts”. Affirmations are positive statements that can be repeated on a regular basis. They can be written, repeated orally or both. Affirmations help us control our thoughts. Try is this week: Affirmations Work!
James Allen in his book, “As You Thinketh”, written in 1904, states, “All that you achieve and all that you fail to achieve is the direct result of your own thoughts”.
Positive affirmations work! They can transform your life. They are simple to incorporate into your daily activities. I write down my affirmations on index cards and keep them with me all day. Or I will put them on post it notes on my mirror in the bathroom and on my desk. Put them wherever you spend time. They are constant reminders to keep thoughts positive and transforming.
Some days I may work with 10 affirmations. Other days or weeks, I may only work with one. I will write them down and read them out loud. The more you say them, the better. Try to repeat them morning and night.
3 Steps to Begin Using Affirmations
Affirmations should be written in the present tense.
Think about what you would like to change or improve in your life.
Write them on index cards or post it notes and read aloud daily.
Some examples of affirmations:
I am healthy.
I am creating my happiness
I am power and love.
I believe in myself.
I am lovable.
I am grateful for all the gifts this day will bring.
I am creative and the Universe supports me.

Change your thoughts, change your life.

What affirmations did you create?

Become Aware of Your Inner Rhythms

By: Gloria Pierson

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Often we get caught up in “the should’s” or the “I need to” instead of listening to our hearts. We lead busy, often complicated lives and our lives can get on auto pilot, just like we are on a treadmill that keeps going and going and it actually goes nowhere.  That is precisely the time you should consider taking a step back and become aware of your inner thythms. Give yourself the gift of discovery.

“Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart.”
-Ancient Indian Proverb

Do you know what captures your heart? We get so caught up in our day to day routines, that it is easy to ignore or forget what captures our heart. To hear our inner voice, our inner guidance we must have peace and trust in ourselves. This exercise will help you find your inner rhythms. This is a wonderful way to ground ourselves.

The Exercise
Go an entire day without a watch or without looking at a clock.
Spend the entire day listening to your “inner rhythms”. Eat when you are hungry. Sleep if you are tired. Reset your body and your routine.

Try to incorporate the following into this day:
1. Light a candle and sit in silence.
2. Read something inspirational.
3. Go for a walk.

By being in touch with our innermost self, we create happiness in our lives and in our relationships with others.

Journal at the end of this day.
Some questions to ask yourself.
1. What did this day look like for you?
2. What inspires you?
3. What empowers you?
4. What motivates you?
5. What drives you?
6. What makes you smile?
7. What can you not live without?
8. What incorrect beliefs do you have?
9. What did you learn from this?
10. What is the positive in this experience?

Did you find your inner rhythm?

PEACE Practice for Mindfulness

By: Gloria Pierson

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The present moment is tolerable.  Living in the past or worrying about the future creates stress in our lives. We cannot change the past nor can we control everything that happens in the future. Mindfulness, being present in the moment, is a practice. It is a practice that can help you deal with stressful situations. This week I challenge you to try the PEACE practice for mindfulness.

Begin practicing mindfulness for the small difficulties you face every day, so, when larger situations arise, the loss of a job, a death in your family, or a major move, the practice will be automatic.

There are many ways to practice mindfulness and you may try several ways until you find one that you like.  This week try the PEACE practice for small irritations that come into your life.

P – P is for pause.  Just stop and become aware of your surroundings. Take note of how you are standing or sitting. This will help you get in the present moment.

E – E is for exhale. Take a deep breath in, count to three and then exhale.  It might help to stand up and put your hand on your stomach to ensure you are taking deep breaths.

A – A is for acknowledge.  Do not try to suppress or ignore your feelings.  Take a few minutes to become aware of what you are feeling. Are you angry, frightened, jealous, or heartbroken? Scan your body and get a sense of where your body is holding onto those feelings.

C – C is for choice.  When you are ready, you have a choice how you respond or react. You are in control of your mind and thoughts. Our thoughts become things. Choose your thoughts wisely.  Try positive statements that begin with I am.   I am able to handle this.  I am enough.

E – E is for engage. After you have paused, exhaled, allowed and chosen your response, you are ready to engage with people and life.

This week try the PEACE practice.  Let me know if it helped you.










6 Ways to Set Your Tone for the Day

By: Gloria Pierson

6 ways to set your tone for the day, divorce, divorced, divorced women

How do you start your morning? The way you start it, can shape the rest of your day. Do you upon waking think, “Oh darn, another day?” Every day is a gift from God. Many people did not wake up this morning to experience another day. What if you knew today that it would be your last, would you plan it differently? Try these 6 ways to set your tone for the day.

We are human beings and it is normal to wake up some days with dread, especially if you are going through a trying time or a transition. If I have a problem in my life, I may wake up and first think, “Oh no, it is still there, it did not go away while I was asleep.” But, then I change my thoughts and thank God for the opportunity of another day. I feel gratitude before my feet touch the floor.

Taking just a few minutes every morning to practice gratitude or spend some moments in silence can shape the rest of your day. If you learn to control your thoughts and allow them to remain positive in the morning before you enter your day, gradually you will be able to control your thoughts throughout the day. It takes patience and practice, but, it works!

Ways to Start Your Day
1. Say a few prayers.
2. Write in a journal.
3. Spend 5 minutes in silence, concentrating on your breath. Inhale and exhale. When your mind wanders, keep coming back to focusing on your breath.
4. Read a daily devotional for inspiration. “Around the Year with Emmet Fox” is one of my favorites.
5. Meditate for a few minutes on a mantra. “OM” is a sacred sound you can try.
6. Visualize a soothing scene: a sunrise, the ocean, or a mountain stream.

The above suggestions are also great tools to use if you have a stressful situation in your day.

I challenge you to try this for the next 10 days and see if it makes a difference. Our thoughts manifest in our lives. Start the day and set the tone with positive, peaceful thoughts. It works!

Just set your alarm to get up five minutes earlier.