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30-Day Challenge: Stress, Self and Better Health




We welcome you to our 30-Day Challenge for less stress and better health! Over the next 4 Mondays, we will offer you some information and questions that can be your beginning to decreased stress levels and increased health! At the end of the 4th week, we will offer a brief online course that will tie the 4 weeks together and allow you to deepen the experience. Let’s begin:


Stress, Self and Better Health: Expectations


It has been known for all of time that stress leads to illness and injury. Today our media reports that stress is the leading influence for illness. There can be physical, chemical and emotional stressors. The physical stressors can be injuries, working out, sunburn, etc. Chemical stressors can be unhealthy food, medications, petrolatum products, pollution, etc. Finally, emotional stressors are anything that evokes the fear-based emotions (versus the love-based emotions). Consequently, if we have great nutrition, awareness of our body, and live in an absence of fear we will not experience the impact of stress!! Let’s get real. Most Americans cannot say that is their life. So, what can we do to begin decreasing the stress in our lives?


The physical and chemical stressors are the easiest to implement change. Once you identify where the stressors lie, you can, one by one, eliminate most of them. For example, you can hire a nutritionist (for healthier foods) or install a water treatment system (for water without chemicals) or work with a physician who has a holistic practice (to eliminate medications) etc. The emotional stressors are more difficult mostly because they are not tangible and are fear-based (and no one likes fear!). So, this series will address the emotional stressors more so than the others.


This week we are going to address expectations. Expectations are inherent in almost all emotional stress. Expectations are those thoughts or comments that are from someone or somewhere else and do not match your inner desires. They are an external frame of reference. Even if you think you are placing expectations on your self, you are truly using expectations that others had put upon you. Otherwise, you would have personal goals.


Let me give you an example. If I get home at the end of the day and I look at the dishes in the sink and I think, “Wow, I really should wash all those dishes,” then, I am thinking I need to wash the dishes because someone told me I should. Should is word that represents the expectation. If, however, I walk into the house and I see the dishes in the sink and I say to myself, “I’d really like to clean his dishes and make myself a dinner tonight,” or, maybe I say, “Ah, I’ll clean the dishes in the morning when I awaken. Either of the last two sentences is going to be closer to the way I feel inside. Maybe they both are. But as soon as I think I “should” do something or I “need” to do something, then I have switched from a personal goal or desire to an external expectation.


There is one glitch!! In the “workplace” and competitive sports there are going to be inherent expectations. That is because of the external structure and that it is that structure that dictates the outcome or bottom line. Once you become aware of expectations within yourself, you then will learn how to separate those that are inherent in the structure and those that are personally affecting you. It is at that point you will learn to balance the external structure with your internal personal being.


So, here’s the challenge for this week. I want you to become very aware of when and how often you say or think the following words or phrases:

  • Should
  • Need to
  • Suppose to

    You can do this by putting a rubber band on your wrist and popping it each time you hear yourself say or think any of those words or phrases. You can also keep a little notepad (or tape a piece of paper to the desk) and make a mark every time one of those words or phrases comes in language or thought.
    Second, I would like you to be identify if the expectations are of you or another.


    Third, I would like you to become very aware of those words or phrases in others around you. Who, around you, expresses expectations the most?


    Go forth!! Enjoy your challenge!!


    The Ugly Spiral Of Negative Self Talk

    Damn!! I can’t believe I did that. How stupid! … You LOST weight! But I surely FOUND it!


    How often do you find yourself talking poorly to your Self? Too often people say, whisper, or think negatively of their Self – negative self talk. Sometimes it is so progressed that it happens without awareness. It isn’t that people want to talk harshly to themselves, it is just something that is familiar and learned. People don’t like it when others talk badly about them, judge them, or hurt them. People would rather experience kind words from others. They want to be liked, believed in, and heard. And similarly, they must then learn to talk positively to themselves. Let’s look at the negative self talk and its affects and then address positive self talk and how it can be brought to the forefront.


    In order to talk negatively to your Self you must have learned such judgements and labels. It is of your past. And so, the negative self talk is one way you keep yourself from living in the present. Negative self talk keeps you in your past – in those challenges that keep you from true happiness. It is driven by fear of not being good enough or shame. That means that it is not part of who you truly are. It is what you assimilated from everyone else and is how you are carrying them around with you daily!!


    How might it serve you to judge and criticize your Self so harshly? (Don’t say it doesn’t!) At some level you may be trying to master those very judgements. Or, you may be looking for the indirect compliments that come when someone says “No you aren’t,” or “Don’t talk to yourself that way.” Whatever it is, it is not comforting you. The negative thoughts are destroying your Self and its identity, confidence, and esteem. They are fueling the very insecurities that you would love to live without. Those insecurities keep you from life’s happiness and fulfillment. Which would you rather experience – laughter and joy or loneliness and sadness? Which do you think you’re feeding when you talk negatively to your Self?


    The more you live in judgment of your Self, the more you are living with a fear of judgment from others. Further, the more you live in judgment of your Self, the more you are judging others. Consequently, if you are judging your Self AND others you are doubling up on feeding the fears that YOU are being judged. Ah! That is not a path to happiness!


    The judgments and criticisms of your self talk are anchored in your fear-based emotions. Fear feeds on your thinking and then feeds your fear-based thinking. That means the negative self talk feeds upon itself and grows and picks up speed. Much like any fear does – it spirals rapidly. If those thoughts and comments are increasing in your daily existence, then how are they affecting your perceptions of the world around you? Negatively!! Further, if your perceptions are your reality then your reality is pretty negative. Ugh!


    As you go forward, listen for your negative thoughts, comments, etc. and say to your Self – “STOP!” Saying stop breaks the momentum and alerts you to the negative self talk. That awareness is the biggest step. Then ask your Self if you would allow someone to talk to your child in the way you just spoke to your Self. Hear and feel the “No.” There are several things you can do at this point to begin the healing, but that’s for another forum. It is critical that the awareness grows so you can slow the talk before you begin any further steps in healing.


    Once you’ve said “Stop,” it is time to insert a positive comment. Even if all you can say is “You didn’t deserve that” or “No you aren’t (that),” you have started a positive trend. Positive energy and thinking is more addictive than the fear or negative thoughts! So, the quicker you get started the quicker you begin your path to freedom. As your self talk becomes more and more positive your day will be perceived as more and more positive and people will be more positive around you. And so it goes.


    There are several things you can do to help the positive self talk. Make a list of positives about your Self. Make another list of what you would like to hear another say to you. Keep the lists handy for positive self talk after you “stop” the negative thought. Compliment your Self when you complete something or do anything successfully. It doesn’t matter how minor the event. Remember, you could stub your toe and rip your Self up over that little event!! Positive thoughts and verbiage help you develop your dreams, your happiness and your freedom!


    I’ll leave you with these two thoughts, one is a beautiful quote and the other is a video. I want you to ask your Self after the video, “Don’t you deserve to feel this way about your Self?”


    “Thoughts Become Things… Choose The Good Ones!”
    ― Mike Dooley


    Realizing Your Me Brand

    Whether in business or life each person has a brand. The problem is that most people are unconscious of their brand. How do we consciously and with intent create our own personal brand — a Me Brand?


    In business, we are familiar with product and corporate brand. As a result, employees may identify with the company or product brand and thereby not see the importance of their own brand within that structure. An owner may identify with the brand and reputation of her or his company but that does not determine her or his self identity and reputation. People will separate the two. For example, “Joe” may be seen as a brilliant business owner but a miserable man. Identifying with the “other” brand, the individual is not conscious of their Me Brand.


    A Me Brand is important for many reasons, e.g., sales, corporate culture, and personal success. A sales person can repeatedly sell a product to a customer or develop a relationship with a client who buys for a lifetime. A customer purchases without loyalty and may shop lowest price or convenience. A client develops loyalty and buys from someone with whom they have a relationship. So, if you would like to develop a relationship with potential clients or existing customers you may benefit from developing a Me Brand.


    Often, in order to develop a consistent culture, corporations are using “personality” typing with employees and new hires. While this is helpful, it can be enhanced by assisting the employee with the use of that information to develop their Me Brand. They are then consciously creating their unique identity with their strong qualities and adding to the diverse yet unified corporate team as well as to the clients and or bottom line.


    In order to develop a successful career personally, development of your brand is important. Your brand can exist because of the perceptions and assumptions others have of you. That is not a brand of which you are necessarily aware nor is it the way in which you want your brand to develop. Do you know how others perceive you? How do you want to be known? It is important for you to be able to answer that question with honest thoughts and goals. It is also important to understand that there are ways you may want to be known but you may be coming across different. Consequently, it is important to understand what is causing the difference so the correction can be made.


    Everything in business starts with you! What is the experience you wish to create and to have in each of your business relationships? In order to define and create those experiences you must be aware of your Self. Your attitude, your philosophy, your personality are the first aspects that your colleagues, peers, managers, clients, and others see and experience. The more aware you are of how and who you are in business (or life) the more clear and consistent your brand will be reflected. The more you are branded as a positive, likable person, the more people and clients will want to know you. Consequently, the greater your success!


    Comfort Food ?


    It’s common conversation to talk about comfort foods. We all get a picture of certain foods when it is mentioned. Very few imagine healthy food from a living source for their comfort foods (unless it is a vegan recipe for macaroni and cheese or coconut macaroons). Still the concept of comfort foods as we have become accustomed in this country, are those foods that, for the most part, are “man made”. Let’s ponder a possible reason.


    First let’s address the emotions that need to be comforted. All people have the same emotions. It is a universal language. We can take all of the emotions and divide them into love-based and fear-based emotions. The love-based emotions are love, acceptance, peace, joy, unity, etc. The fear-based emotions are fear, anger, hurt, loneliness, guilt, shame, rejection, attachment, etc. We can agree that most do not seek comfort when feeling love-based emotions. Therefore, most seek comfort when feeling fear-based emotions.


    Let’s go one step further in our understanding of emotions in life. The love-based emotions are considered light. In fact, they make most of us feel light, open, and expansive. The fear-based emotions are dense and dark. They, in turn, make most of us feel burdened, closed, and small. It is the fear-based emotions that allow us to feel weighted down and, yet, at times, empty. It is the fear-based emotions that allow us to feel imbalanced, ungrounded, not centered. Consequently, it is the fear-based emotions (now called stress) that lead to illness and injury.


    Let’s return to the topic at hand. If we are feeling a fear-based emotion (or 10) and are looking for comfort, you would think we would reach for love. Yet, when we are lonely, we tend to push people away and lock ourselves further into the loneliness. Right? As another example, when we are depressed we want to shrink back and die. We do not want to access help even though we wish for the rescue from the pain. This is how the fear-based emotions stay alive. They feed off of the fear within us. So, it is starting to make sense that our fear-based emotions would guide us to pick up foods that are equally destructive. Foods that would feed the very fear that is thriving inside. Food that is altered by processing. Food that was invented to create an addiction.


    Let’s take a sidebar. Addiction. Addiction represents a person’s core fears. People have known for thousands of years that fear creates attachment to the very pain that is creating the fear in the first place. It is circular.


    That being said, it is when we are feeling pain, out of sorts, out of balance, and/or not centered that we reach for the comfort foods (the addictive foods) that feed those very emotions. We reach for the very foods that feed the imbalance and any irregular cells in our body that are called cancer. We aren’t feeling good so we don’t want good food. We are feeling bad and want the “food we shouldn’ t eat” — the bad food. It is why we are hearing western medicine now say that stress causes or is a cause of cancer and illness.


    In conclusion, when we are experiencing fear-based emotions in this life, we can understand why we reach for those foods that are most harmful to our health — they feed the fear! In the future, when we are feeling fear-based emotions and want to reach for comfort foods, let us stop for a moment and acknowledge the emotion. Let’s agree to ask ourselves, “If I had a child who was hurting right now, would I give them harmful foods or would I hold them and help heal their pain?” Then, maybe, we will pick up an apple or almonds and comfort ourselves with softness from within. That is when the healing of our pain will truly begin.


    Anxiety: What is it, what causes it, what to do about it? Part 3

    Anxiety!! What can I do to make it stop and go away! Anxiety feels like a helpless state of suffering but there are things a person can do to heal and transcend the suffering. This article will give a feel for what can be done. It is not meant to be an exhaustive list or suggestive. It is meant to open the possibilities of treatment and healing of the suffering of anxiety. The article will look at western medicine, and then will focus on self help, therapy, and all other medicines.


    Anxiety: What is it, what causes it, what to do about it? Part 1

    What is anxiety? In this time of economic strain and significant transition , people are having their fears illuminated. At what point do those fears become anxiety? How does someone interrupt/stop the anxiety when it is happening? What causes anxiety to become more of a steady state beyond an emotional reaction? What triggers a feeling of anxiety versus an anxiety attack? Does someone have to live the rest of their life on medication to “manage” anxiety or can you heal from it? All of these questions will be addressed in this article. The series will be divided into three parts: what is anxiety; what causes it; what are the techniques that prevent or interrupt the anxiety and the treatments to heal.


    Anxiety is described as the fear of fear. It tends to be vague. As an emotion, we have all experienced it. You are getting ready to go out for the evening and all of a sudden you get this odd, gently disturbing fluttering in your gut or tingling of your skin. You wonder from where the feeling is coming but then keep going and don’t think any more about it as it drifts away and you continue to dress and go to your event. Anxiety can become more consistent for some. That consistency may take the form of a person experiencing anxiety periodically for a limited amount of time or consistently always increasing and decreasing in intensity. There is a significant difference between the experience that everyone has of a brief, intermittent feeling of anxiety or angst and someone who lives with chronic anxiety that can become debilitating.


    Healing the Anger Healing the Pain

    I am deeply pained the devastation of yesterday’s tragedy. (and yet not as much death as the CT massacre) I ache with the thought that we will all think this is a time to get angry. It is that very anger (mixed with violence) that created this nightmare. When do we begin to see that we must heal our anger! We must move beyond our hate for differences! When do we as People who are observing the suffering become the healers!! As we give into the anger we join the side of aggression. We must deal with those who are not of society while AT THE SAME TIME begin the CURE! We must not continue to support anger and violence. We must learn to believe in this life and unite in love and harmony. That begins one individual at a time and that individual is each of us! Please!


    As we focus on our love, we are focusing on the victims and all those around the world who were affected by this tragedy.  For those who choose to focus on their anger and on the criminal, they skip over the victims and their loved ones and join the criminals on their ground of hate.  We cannot heal our people when we are leaving them behind to fight with, hate, and be angry at the bombers. The criminal’s sickness we cannot heal at this time.  The emotional and physical wounds we can heal.


    As we focus on the healing of all those affected by this tragedy (and others) we  begin an energy of unity and peace on this earth.  While we are doing that we have begun the “cure” of the violence.  Then we can look at our society and family structure to see what we need to do to create greater unity in this country.


    Let’s all do our part to heal the violence and rage that haunts our planet at this time.


    Thank you for your time and interest in life!

    Addiction and the Abuse Pattern

    I spoke briefly in my blog about addiction not being a choice or a weakness. I wanted to explore that in a series on addiction. This article introduces what the abuse pattern looks like. I will then address how an addict is seduced by the force of addiction and how that can lead to destruction in all aspects of the addict’s life. This destruction does not stop with the addict but affects all the addicts friends and loved ones. The series will then address how addiction can come in through one person but affect everyone around them as well.


    Healing Addiction

    In response to: Why is Addiction Still Considered a Personal Weakness?


    I have been successfully working with addicts for over 25 years. They certainly do NOT have a choice, nor is it a weakness. I will add that the same is true in ANY abusive/dependent relationship. An individual who finds their Self in an abusive relationship did not choose to be there nor is it weakness that keeps them there. It is fear. Abuse is abuse is abuse.


    The pattern remains the same. It is a pattern that is introduced early in life either by the alcoholic, addict, or abuser. The pattern is not being addressed by this country. So, it is increasing exponentially rather than subsiding. The addict adds to that the influence of genetics! I have yet to meet an addict who said, “Yes, Kristen, I awakened to my dream to be an addict!!” Not even in the midst of a high do they say that. This is clearly an illness, biological AND social! While it may seem to many as antithetical, the healing of the addiction brings forth the most magikal people I have met in this lifetime. We all must be careful of our judgments. It does not allow us to see the person beyond the pain and suffering.


    “We judge only in the way we are fearful of being judged.”


    Women and Cheating: The Aftermath Part 3

    Because women are now cheating as much as men, we have been looking at some of the reasons why that may be occurring.  Regardless of why, cheating is a devastating experience for the one betrayed and often for the one who is unfaithful and possibly, for others. I will talk in generals here but please know that each individual has his or her own reaction to each and every event in his or her life.  Clearly a woman feels the betrayal and more when a man cheats on her in a relationship.  Although a man may also feel the betrayal, beyond that he tends to have different reactions when a woman cheats on him in a relationship.  Why? (Again with the why???)  There can be obvious differences in the motivations that drive women and men. So, in this series, I have addressed some of the differences in what drives a woman to be unfaithful?

    Pain is the result of the act and can be the underlying drive for the act.  In general, both sexes were socialized to see it as more common (if not acceptable) for a man to have an affair or to keep a mistress.  While learning about dating, society teaches that the woman is passive, the one who is asked, and the man is aggressive, the one who does the asking.  The woman is taught by society that it is okay to be emotional and to express those emotions but men are taught to not be emotional or express emotions. Society further teaches that it is not becoming for a woman to be angry and it is acceptable for a man to be angry.  Why are these tidbits of information important?
    If the woman seeks the affair she has become the aggressor and opposes the perception of being the passive.  She is no longer keeping her Self for her partner. She is expected to behave in a manner of saying “No!” to the advances of the pursuing man. A woman also tends to be more emotionally expressive in her sexual behaviors and it gives a man an opportunity to express love and his softer emotions during that time.  So, when these pieces (and more) are affected by an affair, it throws all expectations and perceptions helter skelter.  Is she giving her Self to the other? Or, is she behaving “like a man” and just having sex with the other without the emotional connection?  He does not know.  He feels the betrayal and the confusion, overwhelm,  loss, etc.  His only avenue for expression is the anger that is  the secondary reaction to any and all of the painful emotions he may be feeling.  Does she avoid her anger by going back into the “other” relationship? Or, maybe going to that relationship in the first place was to get away from that very anger.  Understanding the why can lead to a new beginning for the persons involved and, if desired, for the couple. EVERYTHING in life happens, ultimately, for the purpose of growth.  People just may not see it when they are amid the pain and suffering.
    In conclusion, when one learns their partner has given their Self to someone else it can be a deep loss as well as a betrayal to the trust and love once felt.  When a partner goes elsewhere for sex,  the faithful partner may feel that his or her love wasn’t good enough and that, consequently, as a person, he or she is not good enough.  The act has now been personalized, thereby evoking deep feelings of shame. Men and women need to work through that shame as well as the other emotions felt to heal the relationship, any future relationship, and, most importantly, to heal their Selves. How do the men and women work through the pain, shame and betrayal? Without judgement, the person has to ask, “Why? Why is this in my life?”
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    Kristen Bomas, PA
    398 Camino Gardens Blvd., Suite 104
    Boca Raton, Fl 33432


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