Reduce stress and go grudge free

You have been wronged by somebody.  It happens to each of us.  The amount of pain you feel varies, depending on factors like the size of the event, what else is going on in your life, and how close you are to the other party.  Some things we don’t consider a big deal and we move on easier.  Others however are harder to get past.  You hold on to it.

We use the phrases “holding a grudge” or “carrying a grudge”.  When you consider them, it is revealing that they both involve effort on your part.  Obviously carrying something involves action and effort.  Holding something does also.  Even something light that is held for a long time becomes tiring.  To carry or hold something requires energy and attention – which then can’t be used for another purpose.

Even small things can build up and take a toll.  When extra items are added to what you carry, like to a purse or book bag or briefcase, eventually the cumulative effect builds up and take a toll on you.  When you stop and clean out your bag, you realize you have been repeatedly hauling around items that are not needed.  Carrying the bag becomes much easier when you lighten the load.  It also frees up space for what is actually beneficial to you.

When you keep a grudge you are mostly hurting yourself.  Your peace of mind, joy, and happiness suffer.  Your focus is on the negative and the past instead of the positive and the present and future.  You exchange current and future happiness for the pain of the past,  The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way.  It is your choice what you hold or carry.   It is your choice to put down a grudge.

Putting the grudge down doesn’t mean you approve of or condone what happened.  You are simply deciding not to let it affect your happiness and well-being any longer.  It doesn’t mean you are weaker than anybody else; it actually shows how much stronger you are.  When you think back to a time when you hurt somebody else, even accidentally, it is such a relief to know that the other person is not holding it against you.  If you need to take steps to mend a relationship, do it.  A great friendship can be built.  Even if it doesn’t work out perfectly, you can know you did what you could to make things right.

Massage is a great way to clear your mind.  You can walk out with a better perspective and leave those grudges behind.  Feel free to leave them with me – I know how to handle them.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com

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Relax and completely recharge

I’m a small business owner.  Actually for the most part I am the business.  I want my business to do better and I want you to be happy, so I think about business a lot.  A lot.  It’s like being a parent or taking care of your home – there’s always something that needs done.  Maybe it’s not critical, but you don’t want those things piling up and becoming a big job.

Technology can be very helpful and useful.  However, it can also be a drain on you.  If you are nearly always available and connected, it becomes difficult to give your mind the break it needs and be present in what else is going on.  If you can check your email from anywhere or get a call or text anytime, it is harder to turn off that part of your life, even briefly.

I talk to you about relaxing, disconnecting, and recharging, but I found myself in the condition I advise against.  It wasn’t deliberate of course; I just sort of let it happen that way.  I try to follow the advice I give because I believe in it.

Maybe this sounds familiar to you.  You are watching a movie or playing a game.  It’s fun, but you are not fully engaged in it because you are thinking about what else you need to do and what to do when this is over.  When it’s over, you are not relaxed because you weren’t completely there.

So what to do?

Continue to work hard at what you are doing, but when it’s time for a break, do just that.  Even if it is not for long, break free.  Enjoy your walk, show,  game, book, or whatever you choose.  The projects and tasks will still be there when you get back – but you can come back to them with a clear mind.  That produces more creative thinking and a boost in the energy to take them on.

Of course a great way to completely relax and recharge is to get a massage.  You have no responsibilities during this time.  You don’t have to maintain a conversation or do anything.  Let your mind zone out or catch a nap.  You may find, as I do, that you can think much more clearly afterwards.  It’s a terrific way to get your body and mind feeling good again.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com

Lower your stress with writing

A good way to lower your stress is by writing.  I’m not talking about writing a book, an article, a blog, or even a complete sentence.  This writing is not for the public.  It’s just for you.

You can use any method you like.  You can write on paper, in the sand, or electronically.  If you use an electronic method, I suggest doing this in a document and not an email.  I’ve read of cases where somebody has angrily vented and clicked “send” accidentally.  That can have disastrous consequences.

So what should you write about?

Write about the thing that is causing you stress.  It can help to get it off your chest and out of you mind.

Benefits of making the issue visible

It makes it easier to face.  Solutions or options available for you may appear unexpectedly.

A fear that is faced is often not as scary as you once thought.  Fear, like a bully, will retreat when faced directly and action is taken.

It helps to identify exactly what the issue is that is causing you stress.  It’s hard to win a battle against an unknown opponent.

There may be some things that you may not be able to say out loud to the person involved (such as a boss or family member), and some things you may not be able to take the action on right away.  But understanding the situation and your feelings will help with your stress.  If you can’t change the situation, you can change your attitude about it.

OK, I did it.  Now what do I do with it?

You did this for yourself, so do what you want with it.  If it was on paper, you may enjoy ripping it up, shredding, or burning it.  If it was electronically, you can delete it or erase it word by word, letter by letter.  It may help you to see what you have written about your stress disappear.

You can also save what you have written.  Looking back on them later, you can see how you have grown and the methods you used to overcome the obstacles you faced.  You can remember how you faced down your fear and that you are stronger now, which can give you confidence to take on other fears or issues.

Decide not to let stress take your happiness or peace of mind from you.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com

Muscles and rubber bands

Muscles have the wonderful quality of elasticity.  They can lengthen, shorten, and return to their original state which allows us the variety of movement we have.  Without movement, we would be stuck in the same position watching everything around us change the way trees, rocks, and Congressional committees do.

Have you wondered why your muscles don’t feel better even though you are stretching them?  It could be that they need relaxing, not more stretching.

Let’s consider that rubber bands also are elastic.  Past a certain point, they do not get stronger and more effective the more you pull on them.  They get tighter when more pressure is added by stretching.  If they are pulled too much, they snap and become useless.

Muscles need their elastic quality to function at their best.  When trying to lift an object, it is easier if the whole length of the muscle is available instead of starting with the muscle already partly contracted or in use.  A longer muscle  provides more strength than a shorter muscle.  You can feel the difference if you kick something with your leg drawn only partly back and when you extend it fully, or if you pull a rope or something heavy with your arm partially bent compared to using your whole arm.

Continually trying to stretch a stretched out muscle doesn’t make it stronger or less painful.  A tightly stretched muscle needs to be relaxed back to its natural state.   Muscles attach to bones and pull on them to provide the movement we want.  However, other muscles are attached to and pull on the same bone, so those other muscles can be pulled out of their position and lose some of their effectiveness by one muscle being too tight.

If you have muscle tightness and stretching is not helping, then it may be time to give massage a try.  Fortunately muscles rarely break, but they will become painful to get your attention to do something  before the situation gets worse.

Put a little snap back in your step!

Want to know how muscles are like shoestrings?  Click this link to find out.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com

How chair massage can help your business

Every year businesses big and small lose valuable productive work time to pain and stress.  This lost time can be sick days (from headaches, pain, or “mental health” days), or simply decreased productivity while at work.  Chair massage offers many benefits for your business.

With chair massage, I come to you.  Your employees don’t need to travel or take a day off work.  They can schedule a time during their work day, get their massage, and get back to work without leaving.  They can return to work feeling refreshed and energized, ready to meet the next challenge.  Employees remain fully clothed and no oil or lotion is needed.

Healthy habits are promoted.  Small adjustments to posture or equipment use can significantly reduce pain from repetitive action, and possibly lower the risk of injury.  Employees can learn to manage their daily stress, which increases company morale.

Chair massage is inexpensive.  The cost can be paid completely by the company, or by each employee, or can be split between them.  The typical session is ten minutes and concentrates on the neck and upper back.  Most people are glad to pay a small amount to get relief from a headache, nagging neck pain, or turn down the stress a few notches.

Your business can enjoy multiple benefits with chair massage.  How does a healthier and more enthusiastic work force sound?  Imagine what your company can accomplish with more productive and happier employees – who are at work more often since they may need fewer sick days.  Creativity is often boosted when stress is reduced.

Are you ready to get started or learn more?  Leave a comment and we can connect.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com

A no worry challenge

Take a minute to read my London-based pal Paola’s 30 day no worry challenge .  It’s short and worth it.  I wish I could take credit for her idea because it’s so simple and brilliant.

Don’t just read it though.  Try it.

Pick one thing, whether big or small, that worries you.  First, if there is something you can do about it, look at your options and take action on it.  Once action is taken, that issue usually doesn’t need to be worried about.  Often the action of simply making a decision helps us feel more in control.  Second, as she suggests, accept that you will be able to handle whatever situation comes your way.

I usually find that when I face what I’m worried about it’s not as big of a deal as it had become in my mind.  The worst case outcomes rarely come to pass.

The beautiful benefit that results is that your mind now has some space to think of creative solutions and create a wonderful vision of future possibilities.  One that is based on peace of mind instead of worry.

Don’t let the 30 day challenge intimidate you.  Do it one day.  Whenever that topic tries to get back in, remind yourself that today you are not worrying about that.  Once you make some progress, it will become easier to control your worries instead of letting them control you.

This works for me.  Give it a shot and let me know your results.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com

Deal with it and be done with it – Part 2

Part 1 discussed primarily the actions of others that disturb our peace of mind.  I hope you have been able to practice that and it has helped you move forward.

There is somebody else who does things that bother you.  You may wonder why that person does what they do, and when they are going to learn. You can remember loads of mistakes that they made.

It’s you.

Since nobody is perfect, you are going to make mistakes.  It’s all right; it usually means you are attempting something.

The person you need to forgive the most usually is you.

Honestly, the person most people think about the most is themselves. I want a cookie.  I’m thirsty.  I’m tired.  I feel great.  I still want a cookie.

Unless you did something memorably wrong, you are probably the only one who remembers or cares about the event.  We put up with and overlook the mistakes and quirks of our family and friends, and they do the same for you.  If it’s not somebody who cares about you, they have probably already forgotten about whatever happened.

Now, if you need to make something right, do so, and the sooner the better.  If you treated somebody poorly or didn’t do what you should have, talk to them.  Offer an apology for it.  Chances are that the other party will be glad you came to them and your relationship in the future will be better now that it free of the weight of the past.

I have made so many mistakes and done so many dumb things, but I have found that the people who care about me still accept me.  If I’m good enough for those whom I care about I should be good enough for me also.

There is much, much more that can be said about this topic, but let’s keep it to the main point.  Deal with yourself and be done with it.  Learn and grow from your past and look forward to a future with more joy.  It  is definitely worth the time and effort.

Learn to forgive yourself and feel your stress level begin to drop, and your happiness start to rise.

“Holding on to anger, resentment and hurt only gives you tense muscles, a headache and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth.

Forgiveness gives you back the laughter and the lightness in your life.”

– Joan Lunden

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”

– Lewis B. Smedes

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com

More gratitude, less stress

An excellent way to lower your stress is by having gratitude.

How can having gratitude help?  Mainly because it makes us think positively, about what is good in our lives, and sparks a bit of hope for the future.  If we only think negatively, problems begin to look insurmountable and the future looks dreary.

One easy idea is a gratitude journal.  Write something in it every day that you are grateful for.  At the end of the day, or anytime you need it, read just a little.

Another idea is a gratitude jar.  On a slip of paper, write something that you are grateful for.  When you need a boost, reach in and read a few you choose randomly.

What you write should be simple, even a single word.  It’s just for you, so don’t let the idea of writing stop you.  There are no spelling or grammar tests.  It’s stirring that once you begin looking, the more you find to be grateful for.

These serve as wonderful reminders that some things do go right for us in our lives.  Something may be rough at the moment, but when we look back at it months later we find that we overcame it and maybe even grew from it.

Of course be sure to express your gratitude to the people around you.  Tell them in person or use one of the many communication options we have today.  You will brighten their day, which makes them grateful and wanting to pass their gratitude along.

Finally, here are some interesting gratitude quotes:

“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life.  And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.”

— Sarah Ban Breathnach

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”

— William Arthur Ward

I’ll be working on this myself and will likely return to this topic.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com

Dreaming of a good night’s sleep

Some people look at the cost of massage and hesitate to try it.  Some get massages, but only get one for special events, like a birthday treat.

A problem for many in our society is that they don’t sleep well.  Physical pain prevents them from being comfortable.  They sleep for a while but the pain wakes them up through the night.  For some, the stress in their lives either keeps them up or disrupts their sleep.  They start the day feeling it is another day to try to get through instead of feeling rested and refreshed in the morning.

Massage can help with both physical pain and stress relief.  Many of my clients describe to me how much better they sleep after a massage.  Some come in very tense and fall asleep in minutes on the table.

How long has it been since you had a good night’s sleep?

How much better do you feel in the morning after a good night’s sleep?  How much more do you get done during the day?  How much better do you get along with other people?  What would your day be like if you didn’t wake up with a headache?  Since people feel better, are less tense, are more rested, get more done, and get along better with the world, they continue to sleep well.

For your convenience, I offer evening appointments.  You can come in after work or whatever has kept you busy during your day.  After your massage, you can head home, relax a bit, and get a good, peaceful, restful sleep.

It’s your choice which cost you want to pay: the price of a massage (which comes with benefits for to you enjoy) or the price you pay (what you are missing out on) by not sleeping well.

How much longer are you going to wait for your massage? 

If massage has helped you sleep better, let me know with a comment.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com

Side effects

I’ve been noticing the ads on television and in print about various medicines.  They discuss their benefits and tell you why you should use them.  Then they zip through quite a few possible side effects.  It can make you think that you would rather deal with the problem you have than to add some new problem (which can be helped with another drug, which has other side effects, and … you get the picture).

Massage can’t fix everything, but it can help a number of things.  It’s a great way to prevent minor problems from growing into major ones.  Stress takes a major toll on your mind and body.  It prevents your body from operating the way it should and sucks the joy from your life.  Pain can cause you to compensate for it and adjust your activities, leading to problems in other muscles.  The tight neck you get can lead to headaches, shoulder pain and back pain.

Massage is all natural.  It’s been done for thousands of years.  I’ll just use some lotion (unscented) to prevent too much friction on your skin.  By reducing the stress and pain, your body can begin healing itself.

Massage does have side effects, but they are all positive.  Among them you will experience pain relief, stress relief, a good night’s sleep, and a boost to your immune system.

It feels so much better than swallowing a pill, getting a shot, or having an avoidable procedure performed.  You may find yourself a happier person, which is a great side effect.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com