Your Happiness Factor:celebrating happiness, prosperity, hearth and home, good health.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Stay Positive In Your Job Search - It Is Imperative!

“It is not your aptitude, but your attitude, that determines your altitude.”
~ Zig Ziglar
Attitude is an issue in all job search.
According to a survey of 1,000 employers by recruitment group REED, 96 per cent of bosses would take on someone who displayed the perfect mindset but lacked the complete set of skills, rather than a person with the right academic qualifications but wrong attitude.
The same criteria applied to firing procedure. Two-thirds of employers surveyed said that, if push came to shove, they would keep those employees with the right attitude rather than those with a more complete skill-set.
So, in your job search, it’s about combining your transferable skills with the right mindset.  Then demonstrating that mindset in your job search and through the recruitment process.
James Reed, Chairman of REED and Paul G. Stoltz, a leading expert on measuring and strengthening human resilience, have produced a book based on the survey,Put Your Mindset to Work”!  This explains why employers are THREE TIMES more likely to hire people with the right mindset over those who are more qualified on paper. They discuss what the mindset looks like and how to develop and make the most of it.
So what is the attitude that employers are likely to value?
For Reed and Stoltz, their ’3G Mindset’ includes:
Global - the openness and big-picture perspective
Good - a positive force with an unwavering moral compass
Grit - the tenacity and resilience to thrive on adversity
If you can demonstrate that you are open minded, positive, enthusiastic, and willing to go the extra mile, you are going to be far more likely to do well in your job search.
If you can combine this attitude with those transferable skills, you are far more likely to inspire confidence in potential employers.
This is an extract of a post that appeared on our sister blog Leaving the Public Sector!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Don't let panic overwhelm you - dealing with a panic attack.

Panic attack  
 People under stress or suffering from phobias sometimes experience moments of sudden and intense anxiety.

This can leave you shaking, feeling confused or disorientated, with rapid heartbeats, a dry mouth, sweating, dizziness and, sometimes, chest pain. Chest pains should always be checked out with your doctor immediately, just to make sure it is nothing more serious.

The symptoms usually peak within 10 minutes. But they can last anything between five minutes and half an hour.

If you know something triggers a panic attack, it is best to avoid it and seek help from a physician or counsellor.  But Professor Paul Salkovskis, a psychologist at King’s College, London, says it's important not to let your fear of panic attacks control you.

“Panic attacks always pass and the symptoms are not a sign of anything harmful happening,” he says. “It’s important not to restrict your movements and daily activities.”

Confront your fear - you may need support do this.  During an attack you experience a whole range of frightening symptoms, and worrying thoughts may go through your mind.

"Many people have a sense of impending disaster, and think they're going to faint, lose control or even die," says Salkovskis."You need to tell yourself that this is not going to happen and the symptoms you're experiencing are caused by anxiety."

He says don't look for distractions. "Ride out the attack. Try to keep doing things. If possible, don't leave the situation until the anxiety has subsided." 

"Confront your fear. If you don't run away from it you're giving yourself a chance to discover that nothing's going to happen."

As the anxiety begins to pass, start to focus on your surroundings and carry on doing what you were doing before.

“If you’re having a short, sudden panic attack it can be helpful to have someone with you, reassuring you that it will pass and the symptoms are nothing to worry about,” says Salkovskis. “Then you need to try to work out what particular stress you might be under that could make your symptoms worse.

"There's no quick fix but if your attacks are happening time after time, seek medical help."

 If you have panic disorder, you may feel constantly stressed and anxious, particularly about when your next panic attack may be. So learning to relax, which isn't as easy as it sounds, can help to relieve some of this stress and tension, and may also help you to deal more effectively with your panic attacks when they occur.

Regular exercise, especially aerobic exercise, will help you to manage stress levels, release tension, improve your mood and boost confidence.

Your doctor may recommend drugs and/or counselling to help you.

Please don’t feel stigmatized by your experience; you would be surprised how many famous and successful people have suffered panic attacks in their time

Related articles

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Candle and Candles: Are you interested in fashion? Here is a great offer with up to 60% off coveted brands and $10 off Promotion has created a members-only store similar to HauteLook. The thing I love about membership-only shopping sites is that you get exclusive prices. On the sign-in page, what caught my eye was “Up to 60% off coveted brands” and “Fast, Free Shipping” with “Free Return Shipping“… that was enough for me to sign in. Now there is even more with a $10 sign up offerQ

More at the link below

Candle and Candles: Are you interested in fashion? Here is a great offer with up to 60% off coveted brands and $10 off Promotion

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Burnout? Under constant stress? Your Six Personal Burnout Prevention Tips

BurnoutImage by alforque via FlickrBurnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.

It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest or motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place.

Burnout reduces your productivity and saps your energy, leaving you feeling increasingly helpless, hopeless, cynical and resentful. Eventually, you may feel like you have nothing more to give.

The negative effects of burnout spill over into every area of life – including your home and social life. Burnout can also cause long-term changes to your body that make you vulnerable to illnesses like colds and flu. Because of its many consequences, it’s important to deal with burnout right away and take advice from your coach, counselor or medical adviser. 
But, if you can, it is best to prevent burnout in the first place

Your Personal Burnout Prevention Tips 

  1. Start the day with a short quiet space for relaxation or meditation before you go to work.
  2. Adopt healthy eating, exercising, and sleeping habits.
  3. Set boundaries – learn how to say “no” at work and at home – remember  “no” means you can say “yes” to the things that truly matter.
  4. Take a daily break from technology.   Put away your laptop, turn off your phone and stop checking email.  Go out for a walk.
  5. Nourish your creative side.  What do you really like doing?
  6. Learn how to manage stress. At this link is a simple breathing technique that may help when you feel overwhelmed by stress .

This is an extract of a post at our sister blog Wisewolf Talking 

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Mead for Mid-Summer

As the sun spirals its longest dance,
Cleanse us
As nature shows bounty and fertility
Bless us
Let all things live with loving intent
And to fulfill their truest destiny.
(A Wiccan Blessing for Mid-Summer)

The French Anthropologist, Claude Lévi-Strauss, has written of mead marking the moment when we moved from being creatures of nature to being creatures of culture.

Mead at its simplest is a fermented mixture of water and honey.  But it is, oh, so much more than that.  Apart from anything else you can drink meads with all kinds of flavours from apple to wildflowers.  In fact wildflowers flavour the recipe for Midsummer Mead that you can find at this link. You will find many other recipes for mead at the same site.
We’ve been making mead for about 7,000 years and it has run through our beliefs and our mythology in Europe, Asia and in Africa as a sacred drink. In Morse mythology it is the Mead of Poetry which turns you into a poet and that is crafted from the blood of the wise and inspirational Kvasir.
The Spanish-Roman naturalist Columella gave a recipe for mead in about AD 60 and, around AD 550, the bard Taliesin wrote the Kanu y med or the "Song of Mead".   In Beowulf, the Danish warriors drank mead.
But there is yet another quality claimed for mead beyond the poetic.  The word honeymoon didn’t have anything to do with travel originally.  In early days, the honeymoon was a fertility ritual.
A newly married couple drank only mead for one entire cycle of the moon. So as mead is made of honey, and the period lasted a lunar cycle, we get the term honey-moon. Apparently the tradition was pretty wide spread but it is believed to be a predominantly Irish one. Our ancestors believed mead to be an aphrodisiac but I make no claims.
For me, mead is a drink to be enjoyed at mid-summer and drunk with due reverence for the bees and the green things that made it. 

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

June and it is time for Elderflower Champagne

The Elder Tree is a powerful symbol of life energy and creativity.

The Elder has been honoured for a very long time and megalithic long barrows were sometimes elder leaf shaped. It is also called the "witch's tree". Certainly the village hedge-witch would have used the elder extensively, as herbally it is wonderfully rich and potent in all its parts - leaves, flowers, berries and bark. 

The presence of the Old Mother energy of the tree probably also accounts for the association with wise women. It is said in Irish folklore that it is the elder stick and not ashen ones which are used by witches for their magic horses. The earliest folk tales praise elder's ability to ward off evil or malevolent spirits and to undo evil magic.  There are very strong superstitions about not cutting down the elder. In ancient time, at Samhain, the last of the elderberries were picked with solemn rites. The wine made from these berries was considered the last sacred gift of the Earth Goddess and was valued and drunk ritually to invoke prophecy, divination and hallucinations.

The Elder has survived in cities and towns, and even manages to find its way back out of cracks in concrete. It flourishes near abandoned dwellings and in churchyards - in fact wherever the nitrogen content is high. It survives on the common lands, wastelands and along railway lines - so even if you live in the city it can still be found.

You can spot it in June with its abundance of tiny white flowers.   And it is for those flowers that I am writing.  In our family we have a tradition of making Elderflower champagne.  But sadly I never wrote down the recipe.  So I’ve had to look it up for . 

You will find it makes a refreshing and sparkling summer drink. It is only mildly alcoholic and it is easy to make.  So follow this link – thank you BBC!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Generalized anxiety - thinking, thinking, thinking!

Rough Weather  
Generalized anxiety is a relatively common problem, affecting 3-4% of the population.  It turns daily life into a state of worry, anxiety, and fear.

Over thinking and dwelling on the "what ifs" characterize generalized anxiety. As a result, you feel there’s no way out of the vicious cycle of anxiety and worry, and you can then become depressed about life and the state of anxiety you find yourself in.

Generalized anxiety usually does not cause people to avoid situations, and it isn’t having a "panic attack. It’s the thinking, thinking, thinking, dwelling, dwelling, ruminating, ruminating, and inability to shut the mind off that interferes with your ability to deal with life.

Quite often, other thoughts seem almost non-existent because the anxious feelings are so dominant. Feelings of worry, dread, lack of energy, and a loss of interest in life!

Many times there is no "trigger" or "cause" for these feelings and you realize these feelings are irrational. Nevertheless, the feelings are very real. At this point, you have no "energy" or "zest" in life and no desire to want to do much.

Being in this state leads to the normal irritations and difficulties of life becoming heightened and harder to deal with.

If a loved one is ten minutes late, a person with generalized anxiety fears the very worst; something’s dreadfully wrong, after all, they’re ten minutes late! There must have been an accident.  Feelings of fear and anxiety rush in from these thoughts, and the vicious cycle of anxiety and depression runs wild.

Some people with generalized anxiety have fluctuations in mood from hour to hour, others have "good days" and "bad days". Some do better in the morning, and others find it easier at the end of the day.

These anxiety feelings and moods feed on themselves, leading you to continue in the pattern of worry and anxiety -- unless something powerful breaks it up.

Physical symptoms may include headaches, trembling, twitching, irritability, frustration, and inability to concentrate. Sleep disturbances may also occur.

Sometimes there are elements of social phobia and/or panic attacks.  There may be heightened self-consciousness in some situations or you may fear not being able to escape from enclosed spaces.

If you are feeling like this, then you do need to do something.  It is very unlikely that you are going to feel better without help.  Please talk to your doctor.  There are both medicines and talking therapies (working with counsellor, for example) that can help.

In the meantime I hope the simple one minute meditation below will help you regain your composure when you feel overwhelmed!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Anxiety - What is it?

Panic attack  

The next few posts here are going to deal with anxiety and stress - first - anxiety! 

Anxiety is the feeling of fear we all experience when faced with a threatening or difficult situation. It helps us to avoid dangerous situations, makes us alert and motivates us to deal with problems.  It can save our lives by making us run away from danger.

We all feel anxious sometimes.  It is normal.  But for some of us – about one in ten – anxiety becomes a problem.  It gets in the way of living the life we would choose.  It can turn into panic attacks and phobias.

Some of us just seem to be born more anxious than others. Research suggests these problems can be inherited through our genes. But even someone who doesn't naturally worry can, under enough pressure, become uncomfortably  anxious.

This video introduces us to the five anxiety disorders and why they develop.

If you have any thoughts on this they will be very welcome.

Related articles

Friday, 10 June 2011

Meditation on Flowers & Colour with gentle Irish music

A gentle and lovely thing from MaireMc - An rud a lionas an tsúil lionann sé an croi (what fills the eye fills the heart)  

Relaxing meditation on colour & nature with background Irish music using some of her flower photographs with black & white to colour transitions  

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Deep Breathing For Relaxation

Changing your breathing is one of the quickest and most effective was of changing how you feel. When you are feeling tense, a simple breathing technique can help you to relax and still meet the challenges a head.  Here is simple approach for your to try.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The Philosophy of Food! My Perfect Recipe - Just for You - Ratatouille

ratatouille after  

For me the perfect recipe is simple, colourful and delicious.  Here is all I need for a perfect evening at home.  Really, it is a very easy recipe.  All you need to add is some lovely, chunky, fresh bread.

·         4 tbsp olive oil
·         2 medium onions, quartered
·         2 cloves of garlic, crushed
·         1 red pepper, sliced
·         1 yellow pepper, sliced
·         2 large aubergines, halved horizontally then sliced into 3cm pieces
·         3 medium courgettes, sliced into 3cm pieces
·         400 g canned chopped tomatoes
·         small bunch of basil, leaves torn
·         2-3 sprigs of thyme
·         Red wine or vinegar and sugar – added for a more intense taste but optional
1.     Heat oil in a large casserole dish and sweat the onions and garlic for 10 minutes on a low heat with the lid on. 
2.     Add the peppers, aubergines and courgettes and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, stir and cook for a further 20 minutes with the lid on.
3.     Pour in the chopped tomatoes and the wine or vinegar and sugar, if required, stir and check the seasoning.
4.     Cook for a further 5 minutes without the lid.
5.     Stir in the basil. 
6.       Serve with chunky slices of fresh bread.

For an even more intense Mediterranean flavour, add 1 tbsp capers, a handful of pitted black olives and a few chopped anchovies.  You can even turn left over ratatouille into a savoury pie by just adding  a crumble top of flour, butter, thyme leaves and grated cheese 

It is better served warm than hot.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Food and a New Philosophy

AFruit stall in a market in Barcelona, Spain.  
I’ve always had a problem with food!  

Most of my family have had connections with the land in the past.  

Unfortunately my physique, and my taste in food, seems very much more suited to hard physical labour in all weathers in the great outdoors, rather than the sedentary existence I lead now.

Even when I am racing around Central London going to meetings, I don’t seem to use up the energy my appetite seems to want me to consume. 

My rather gentle approach to exercise doesn’t help.  It really should be a lot more than walking to the station a few times a week.

So I’ve made a decision.

I am going to develop a philosophy of eating that treats it almost as meditation.  

In future I shall take much more time to relish what I eat.  I shall work towards having as varied as diet as possible.  And each thing I eat will be the object of my contemplation.  I shall think in detail about what it is and where it comes from.  I shall honour those who have grown or raised it and those who have prepared it.  I shall think about what it brings me and the sacrifice that has been made in the bringing. Then I shall truly relish eating it 

I shall try to make my diet as fresh and natural as possible.  

Generally, I shall avoid animal fat, salt and sugar because the harmful effects of those constituents are so well established. 

I shall look for more colourful food (natural colour of course) and new textures.  

I shall try to make eating and sharing my food with friends and family, generally a more exciting experience.  

And I shall just try to eat less of it!

I’m not guaranteeing that I shall never break out and consume the odd cream cake; but my word when I do, I make sure I enjoy the experience.

Anyway, I’ll let you know how I get on.  And if you have any tips to help me, I shall be very grateful to receive them. 

If you would like to join me that would be great.  I am sure we will feel happier for feeling fitter!