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Life Esteem Blog focuses on health and lifestyle topics to help you make better decisions and learn how your choices impact your life. We take a holistic approach to address the whole person's mind, body, and spirit.

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Heart-Based Living

Posted on September 24, 2020 at 2:25 PM

What does HeartMath mean by the term, Heart-Based Living?

Heart-Based Living is only a convenient reference term which implies the practice of qualifying our thoughts, feelings and actions through our heart for more effective choices and guidance. Some people prefer the terms, Heart-Focused Living, or Heart-Centered Living. All of these terms suit the purpose – it’s just a matter of individual choice.


The important point is that many people are sharing that they are being encouraged more to "follow their heart" as a result of practicing Heart-Based living.


Without management, our mind tends to dictate our understanding, actions, reactions and decisions, based largely on old learned, handed down response patterns. In today’s fast pace collective awareness, it seems quite normal for our mind to override our heart’s advice. It is normal – but it is the old normal, which is why our personal and global stress deficit stays rapidly on the increase.


For example, stress causes many people to habitually respond to pressured situations with intense anger, resentment and emotionally harmful remarks, while knowing in their hearts that this behavior is destructive to themselves and their loved ones. This is just one example of the endless ways we over-stress and age ourselves from not using our heart’s free wisdom for navigating our lives.


A Closer Look at Following Your Heart

Increasingly, people are taking a closer look at what the age-old term "following your heart "means, and more are practicing heart-based living. The term heart-based living is a simple phrase which suggest that we are including our hearts’ intuitive feeling, along with our minds, when making choices and decisions that shape our life’s direction and happiness. Following your heart is learning to discern the wisdom of your heart feelings and then stepping into it. HeartMath’s research and tools were created to make this process easier.


Heart-based living includes practicing the qualities of the heart, such as love, compassion, kindness, patience, forgiveness, cooperation and more of these similar qualities. Being heart-based does not require being religious or belonging to any particular spiritual path. It is an intelligent way of living that would reduce most of the stress, separation and greed which drives the major problems that keep us from getting along with each other.


HeartMath founder Doc Childre explains:

"Heart-based living refers to all intentions and actions that express qualities of the heart in daily life. These heart qualities can include acts of appreciating or caring for others, expressing kindness and compassion or giving back by volunteering with others to relieve suffering in humans or animals and to help the planet. These behavioral practices unfold the higher potentials of our true self.


"Becoming our true self involves the fading of self-centeredness, judgment and separation, and through the practice of compassion, kindness and cooperation, while learning to increase the coherence between our heart, mind and emotions in our day-to-day energy expenditures. This brings about the elusive ‘peace’ humanity has searched for forever.


"Heart-based living empowers co-creation with others for the benefit of all. In these robust shifting times, I feel that increased stress will finally nudge more people to live from the heart, not because of religion or philosophy, but because it will prove out to be highly practical, common sense – the new ‘spiritual’, possibly."


You can learn more about the power and intelligence of the intuitive heart and the Science of the Heart with Dr. Cathy Chargualaf.


Source: HeartMath posted this originally in September 2012 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Reduce stress and anxiety by increasing your inner balance and self-security

Posted on September 19, 2020 at 6:20 PM

The HeartMath system empowers people to self-regulate their emotions and behaviors to reduce stress, increase resilience, and unlock their natural intuitive guidance for making more effective choices. This enables people to break through to greater levels of personal balance, creativity, insight and health.

Experience HeartMath science-based Building Personal Resilience program for taking charge of your life. Proven to help you reduce stress and anxiety by increasing your inner balance and self-security.

Building Personal Resilience improves your ability to bonce back, reduce stress, increase your energy, and master new skills to better handle the day-to-day challenges and stressors for overall well-being.

When we’re stressed, we feel poorly, and our brain function and creative thinking become impaired.

We might overlook or forget important details, overreact to small stuff, say things we regret, get overwhelmed, have trouble sleeping or feel exhausted and drained. But it doesn’t have to be this way!

Learn to:

  • access your heart’s intuition to become the best version of yourself more often
  • increase emotional awareness and mental clarity for decision-making, problem-solving and planning. Reduce feelings of stress, worry, and anxiety
  • restore emotional balance right in the moment, when you need it.
  • synchronize your heart, mind, and body to reset your composure and inner clarity, calm reactive emotions, and neutralize stress. This creates an inner state called coherence.

To learn more about building personal resilience, go to my bio for a link to my website There you will find information regarding mentoring and coaching at


Powerful Ways to Become Your Best Self

Posted on September 4, 2020 at 9:25 AM

“Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand brake on.” -- Maxwell Maltz

Powerful Ways to Become Your Best Self

  • Visualize yourself as you want to be.
  • Each morning tell yourself, "I am enough"
  • Learn something new
  • Question your inner critic.
  • Try new things.
  • Pursue your dreams.
  • Sustain your motivation.
  • Hone good habits.
  • Focus on self-care.
  • Let yourself be happy.♡

To learn more about building personal resilience, go to There you will find information regarding mentoring and coaching at


The heart sends more signals to your brain than your brain sends to your heart

Posted on August 9, 2020 at 9:15 AM

DID YOU KNOW…that your heart sends more signals to your brain than your brain sends to your heart? In other words, your heart and brain are in constant communication— and your heart is doing much of the talking!

It’s especially important, now, to important to have practical techniques to help people reset and reconnect with their own hearts and the hearts of others. The heart is not just a pump. It’s an access point to heart-based consciousness living. When you shifting to a heart focused feeling, such as appreciation, compassion, kindness, or thinking of something that makes you happy, it will help you reset from stressful feeling and creates coherence in your heart rhythms. Research shows that when you’re in a coherent heart rhythm, the mind slows down, and your thoughts become more rational and focused. This gives you more access to the part of your brain that does the “smart thinking”.

When you address the stressors that are depleting you, you are more focused, productive, and you make better decisions.

To learn more about building personal resilience, go to my bio for a link to my website There you will find information regarding mentoring and coaching at


Ask yourself if what you�??re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be?

Posted on July 11, 2020 at 6:35 PM

The HeartMath system empowers people to self-regulate their emotions and behaviors to reduce stress, increase resilience, and unlock their natural intuitive guidance for making more effective choices. This enables people to break through to greater levels of personal balance, creativity, insight and health.♡

Experience HeartMath science-based Building Personal Resilience program for taking charge of your life. Proven to help you reduce stress and anxiety by increasing your inner balance and self-security.

Building Personal Resilience improves your ability to bonce back, reduce stress, increase your energy, and master new skills to better handle the day-to-day challenges and stressors for overall well-being.

To learn more about building personal resilience, go to my bio for a link to my website There you will find information regarding mentoring and coaching at


Solution for Overcoming Anxiety

Posted on May 12, 2020 at 4:20 PM


Recognizing Anxiety


Anxiety can be described as any or a combination of feelings that all have their roots in some type of fear, including unease, worry, apprehension, dread, powerlessness or a sense of impending danger – real or imagined. Symptoms can be wide-ranging: the mind goes blank or other cognitive functions are lost, obsessive thoughts, phobias, chronic worry, ongoing unease, sweaty palms, tension headaches, trembling, difficulty breathing, dizziness, panic attacks, increased heart rate and palpitations. Anxiety disorders such as panic attacks may result from certain physiological conditions, most notably heart arrhythmias, and anyone who experiences this should seek immediate advice to make sure the cause of the attacks is not physical.


According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 40 million American adults – that’s 18% of the population – have anxiety disorders, which often begin in childhood. Social phobia alone, when people become overwhelmingly anxious and excessively self-conscious in everyday social situations, affects 15 million adults, and specific phobias, an intense fear of something that poses little or no actual danger, affects 19.2 million adults in the U.S.


“Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”Arthur Somers Roche, American journalist, writer, 1883-1935.


Anxiety is a feeling, a type of emotion. Some anxiety such as fight or flight is encoded in our genetic makeup and is a normal human response to many of life’s uncertainties. Among them nervousness over an impending test or a sought-after job, uneasiness in a relationship or concern over the health of a loved one, speaking or performing in public, or worry in the workplace for a variety of reasons (the most common being the employee performance review). It is when anxiety becomes exaggerated that this otherwise natural human emotion can threaten our well-being


“As the turbulence of anxiety churns in the subconscious and plays out in your thoughts and actions … it can cause fatigue, sleep disorders, hormone imbalances, health problems and premature aging.”“Transforming Anxiety”, Childre, Rozman 2004.


Years of research by the HeartMath Institute has shown you can achieve a healthy balance in your emotions. Learn to stop feeding anxious feelings, create new emotional patterns and behaviors and replace the negative ones that have been draining your energy and spirit. HeartMath scientific research and controlled studies have shown your own “heart intelligence” holds the key to this transformation. By achieving coherence in your heart, mind and spirit you can maintain a calm, balanced, yet alert state at home, school, work and play.


A HeartMath TIP:

You’ll be amazed at how much calmer and relaxed you feel after trying these three quick steps adapted from the HeartMath Notice and Ease® tool, which has helped so many reduce their anxiety.



  • Notice and admit what you are feeling.
  • Try to name the feeling.
  • Tell yourself to e-a-s-e—as you gently focus in your heart, breathe a little slower and deeper than usual, and e-a-s-e the stress out.


Benefits of Reducing Anxiety


  • Stress hormones decrease, energy level increases, and you feel better
  • Stronger, more satisfying relationships
  • Quality of life and feeling of empowerment increases
  • Reduce “overwhelm” – time pressure, information and stimulation overload, mentally scattered feelings and impatience.
  • Decrease projections of worst-case scenarios, negative thinking
  • Improved memory, cognitive functions


Learn the HeartMath Techniques to stop the accumulation of repetitive stressful thought patterns with Dr. Cathy Chargualaf. Schedule a session at:

Source: HeartMath, Originally published in 2010

Women and Stress

Posted on April 25, 2020 at 2:10 PM


It has often been shown that women are the worriers and often do not make time to manage their health and take care of themselves. The infographic below shows what effects stress can have on women and offers effective strategies that can help them reduce the negative effects of everyday stressors.

Stress is on the rise for women as they struggle to find a balance between their homes and careers. Read below to recognize the signs of stress, and what you can do to combat it.



The work load is rising for women. Due to the current recession, this has caused a greater need for women to work outside the home to support their families. Women who work to contribute to their family's income has increased by 9% (38% in 1988 and 47% in 2009).

Women are more stressed than men. Women report feeling higher levels of stress. Average stress levels rates on a 10-point scale showed that men scored an average score of 4.6, and women scored an average score of 5.3 (7% more than men).



Stress can lead to these health effects:

Increased Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke. Women who experience high levels of stress were 40% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.

Hair loss. Significant emotional or psychological stress can cause a physiological imbalance, leading to hair loss.

Poor Digestion. Prolonged stress can increase stomach acid, causing indigestion and discomfort and in some cases IBS and ulcers.

Depression. Women are twice as likely as men to experience depression. Extreme stress can be a trigger for depression.

Irregular Periods. Stress can alter the body’s hormone balance, which can lead to missed, late, or irregular periods.

Reduced Sex Drive. Major life changes that cause stress, or prolonged stress, can lower libido. Elevated levels of cortisol suppress the body’s natural sex hormones.

Acne Breakouts. Raised cortisol can cause excess oil production, leading to more breakouts.

Weight Gain. High levels of cortisol are linked to more weight around the belly area, and a decreased metabolism.

Insomnia. Stress is a common cause of insomnia. Tossing and turning at night can lead to many sleepless nights.



How to manage your stress:

Practice Relaxation. Relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, or listening to soothing music can help reduce stress levels.

Eat Healthy. Eat heart healthy food ands well-balanced meals. Avoid overeating processed, salty, or sugary foods.

Calm Your Mind. Excessive worrying neve helps a stressful situation. Accept the thigs you cannot change and focus on what you want instead of dwell on the past.

Enjoy Nature. Try to make time for the outdoors. A walk in the fresh air surrounded by beautiful nature can do wonders for your stress.

Quality Time. Spend time with the ones you love. Feelings of guilt can be overwhelming when you know you are not getting enough time with your children or significant other. Make it a priority.

Get Enough Sleep. It can be tough to get enough sleep with a busy schedule. Strive for at least 6-8 hours each night to keep your stress levels at bay.



Practice steps one and two together for a minute or so and see how you feel. This technique is especially useful when you start to feel stress. Practice using it as soon as you start to feel stressful emotions to keep them from escalating into something worse.

Step 1: Heart-Focused Breathing

Image you are breathing through your heart or chest area. Putting your attention here helps you center yourself and get coherent. Take slow, deep breaths.

Suggestions: Inhale for 3 seconds and exhale for 5 seconds – or whatever is comfortable for you.

Step 2: Activate a Positive Feeling

Recall how it felt when you were appreciated or when you felt appreciation for something or someone. Or you can focus on a calm, neutral feeling.


Learn the HeartMath Quick Coherence and more techniques with Dr. Cathy Chargualaf. Schedule a session at:

Source: HeartMath

Special Care Focus: Coronavirus (Technique for Reducing and Overcoming Fear)

Posted on March 17, 2020 at 2:00 PM

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic expands its footprint to over 100 countries, it is obvious that fear and anxiety, due to uncertainty, are robustly on the increase.


The Care Focus below is to compassionately help transform the intensity of personal fear into a more grounded attitude and feeling of managed concern, which, unlike fear, connects us more deeply to our heart’s intuitive discernment. This provides clearer thinking, effective discernment, and much better choices through times of uncertainty and rapid changes.


Many people have benefitted from this practice, because they are simply tired of allowing fear to repress the power and strength of who they really are. We know that fear can serve a purpose of helping us take precautionary measures, yet sustained, highly amped fear can deteriorate our two most important purposes — maintaining health and clarity in our reasoning.


Research has shown that balancing the energetic nature of our mind and emotions, while practicing compassionate care for others and ourselves enhances the immune system. However, excessive worry, anxiety or fear compromises the immune system and much more, making us increasingly susceptible to viruses and disease. Fear disempowers us, whereas the attitude of managed concern leaves us more in charge of our mental and emotional nature — and provides easier access to our intuitive guidance and highest choices. Fear disrupts this connection, especially when we need it the most, for grounded direction.


As we watch the news reports, it’s effective to practice listening from the attitude of managed concern to reduce the fear effect. Be patient with yourself; any progress when dealing with fear is a lot of progress. Managed concern is a mental and emotional state that can leave us informed, without allowing us to be infected and debilitated by the emotional virus of fear’s momentum. The Care Focus practice below can help us become progressively more empowered and confident when we find ourselves challenged by fear and intense anxiety. Don’t give up. In the beginning it can seem more challenging. Put your heart into it and you will see results. Self-compassion and patience quicken your progress in fear maintenance.


Radiating compassionate care to yourself and others helps calm the ramped up mental and emotional energy, which drives fear momentums beyond what seems manageable. We can change these behavior imprints. We can use this virus as a practice opportunity to finally regain our power by reducing our fear to managed concern, which connects us with intelligent choices and actions.


Managed concern is a health-conscious replacement for fear.


Care Focus- Replacing Fear with Managed Concern

The tool is intentionally simple but effective.

1. Breathing at a relaxed pace, pretend you are breathing through your heart or chest area and imagine that you are calming your mind and emotions with each breath. (Calm emotions help to create a space that enables intuitive access to clearer discernment and choices when evaluating situations.)


2. As you breathe, visualize mental and emotional calm and poise streaming into your mind and into all your cells. Hold a conscious intention in your heart to change feelings of anxiety or fear into feelings of managed concern. Practice will increase your capacity to maintain care and compassion for humanity’s challenges without creating burnout in your own system. Remember, any progress is a lot of progress when reducing fear. Be patient.


3. Let’s close by radiating compassionate care and calm into the global energetic field to help reduce the fear and see people making smarter, less stressful choices from a perception and attitude of managed concern. This leaves people more in charge rather than pawns of fear and mental scatter. The Coronavirus is a perfect situation for this effective practice to transform the fears and anxiety that suppress much of our life force and power to create a better life.


You can continue to practice this Special Care Focus, if convenient, for 5 minutes each day to help lift the energy field environment that surrounds you, your family and our planet.

If you would like more heart-based practices and information regarding fear reduction,  Heart Intelligence, and/or connecting with the Intuitive Guidance of the Heart, from which this Care Focus was adapted contact Dr. Cathy Chargualaf at:

Source: HeartMath

Stop the accumulation of repetitive stressful thought patterns

Posted on March 2, 2020 at 6:15 AM

How-To-Change Thought Streams That Don’t Serve Our Best Interests

We’re all streaming content these days, whether it be a movie on our computer, a podcast on our phone, or the ideas streaming through our heads. We can choose the external content we want to focus on. But what about the streaming content inside? Do we allow streaming conversations of self-doubt, worry, anger or blame to play on and own us?


Streaming negative self-talk is often a constant source of personal energy drain. Let’s take a deeper look and explore some suggestions that can help us take charge.


Most of us are conscious of the whisper thoughts and feelings constantly running through our awareness – whether at home, at work, sleeping, or riding in an Uber. Most of these thoughts move through quickly if we don’t feed them, yet occasionally a “downer” thought will snag our focus and begin to loop and grow in feeling. Downer thoughts can crash the effectiveness of a whole day or longer once they expand into anger, harsh judgments, hurt feelings, or guilt for feeling that way. Downer projections especially, can own us for hours and it’s humorous how we can be aware of this yet can’t seem to do much to manage it. (That is, until from our heart, we decide that we can.)


Renewing Heart Qualities Can Help Us Take Charge

On the positive side, some whisper thoughts and feelings renew us and support us being our best. We can benefit by creating a conscious habit of noticing and energizing renewing thoughts and feelings. It’s also helpful to take some time each day to engage in higher vibrational thoughts and actions, such as kindness, gratitude, compassion, helping others, etc. These uplifting heart qualities help to offset the stress accumulation from thought loops and feelings that drain our energy and strain our ability to reason and make comfortable choices.


So much is happening in shorter durations of time these days that our mind and emotions easily get overloaded. This often triggers anxiety, worry and fear projections. It’s helpful to practice shifting feelings of worry or fear into the attitude of managed concern. Managed concern is an emotionally balanced state of concern that connects us with a clearer view and effective reasoning. Worry and fear tend to overpower our access to effective reasoning and perception. They especially dim our heart’s intuitive suggestions and solutions, which can be critical at times. Excessive worry is one of the stealthiest ways we sabotage our well-being, and then we worry more because we can’t figure out what caused the problem.


How to Practice Managed Concern

Practice identifying some of your worries that stir fear or anxiety, then experiment with shifting them into the attitude of managed concern. The attitude of experimenting is a lighter approach which results in less self-judgment of your performance. Practice first with smaller issues to build your confidence. Before each practice, review the benefits of managed concern (intelligent concern) compared to the energy drain from excessive worry. Soon it will become an automatic reflex to make an attitude adjustment when you sense looping feelings and perceptions that destabilize your well-being.


Practicing managed concern along with engaging in renewing heart qualities, such as kindness, patience and compassion with ourselves and others can make a big difference in the vibrational quality of our day-to-day experience. We can feel under pressure at times, but eventually this presses us to finally realize that we have more power, in most cases, over how we choose to think, feel and respond to situations. We can take charge of streaming internal content once our heart’s commitment supports our mind’s intention. Positive results will follow genuine efforts. It’s up to each of us.

Learn the HeartMath Techniques to stop the accumulation of repetitive stressful thought patterns with Dr. Cathy Chargualaf.  Schedule a session at:

Source: HeartMath

How I Healed my Anxiety Naturally

Posted on January 4, 2020 at 10:50 AM

Are you living in a state of constant dissonance?

Dissonance means imbalance or disharmony. When you’re in this state, you are most likely in a state of fight or flight, so your body can’t relax. Your body is busy trying to fight off a bad guy or get the heck outta there. So as you can imagine, daily anxiety can wreak havoc on your life and you mental, physical and emotional health as well.

Are you searching for natural and holistic remedies?

HeartMath's heart-breathing technique, help you immediately feel a difference. Activate “higher feelings” such as gratitude, compassion or appreciation, which brings you energy from a state of “dissonance” into a state of “coherence” which shifts your energy into harmony and balance.

Learning this will change your life.

Make HeartMath a part of your day to day life.

Anytime you feeling anxious, find a quiet place where you can be still and focus on your breath.

1. Place your hand on your heart and tune into your heart energy.

2. Inhale in for 3 sec., exhale out for 5 sec. slowly and with deep breaths.

3. Bring in a good feeling into your heart. FEEL all the love and appreciation. THINK of all that you are GRATEFUL for. 

4. After about 5 minutes,or so, notice how you feel.  More calmer, centered, connected, and balanced.


You will love way you feel!!!

As you go deeper and deeper into a state of coherence (heart-centered), you feel better and better. But you have to remember to set aside time to practice this and be diligent about it every day, because this practice works best when you do it consistently.


Each day as you bring your energy into harmony and balance, your energy builds stronger and you gain a more powerful momentum. And eventually you transition into a new higher state of vibration. Your “baseline” shifts, from a dominant low vibration into a higher vibration and your life starts to flow better. Each day as you bring yourself into alignment, you are operating from your natural state of being.  You begin to flow with ease.

​Learn the HeartMath Techniques to reduce your anxiety naturally with Dr. Cathy Chargualaf. Schedule a session at:

Source: HeartMath

How a pause can save the day

Posted on October 19, 2019 at 10:00 AM


Pausing to feel our heart’s suggestions can deter many energy-draining standoffs with others, often with people we can about the most. We can proactively avoid these rerepeating, unconfutable situations and regrets.


From time to time, we all need to take pause, a brief stillness, a moment to review “…our initial reaction so we can move to the place where a calm, thoughtful response is born.” – L.R. Knost

Through hindsight, we often realize how much stress we could have prevented by pausing to reconsider our choices before taking action. Many of us have learned this lesson many times over: for example, sometimes our heart nudges us to take a pause before releasing an angered response to an e-mail and we don’t listen. We mechanically press send and often second-guess ourselves the minute we click the mouse.

Then we become compressed, foreseeing the predictable stress we’ll experience from the backlash, and we are usually right – sometimes its days before all is well in the building. Pausing to review our feelings could have prevented this energy depleting scenario. There are myriad situations where we sacrifice our wellbeing because we allow hurry to jam our intuitive nudges to pause before sensitive engagement.

Practicing Pause and Calm

Pausing to feel our heart’s suggestions can deter many energy-draining standoffs with others, often with people we care about the most. We can proactively avoid these repeating, uncomfortable situations and regrets. Practicing pause and calm is increasing in popularity as a respected self-care practice, especially in these sped-up times of change, uncertainty and pressurized choices.

Many of us learned the value of pause from parents and passed it on as wisdom to our children. However, as life’s demanding pace keeps increasing, the memory to pause often fades when we are under pressure for speedy choices and actions. Speed may quicken action but pausing to review can make the effective difference in where our actions land us.

This writing is not to reinvent the intelligence of pause and review; it’s to hopefully inspire a renewed connection, if needed, with this effective habit of preemptive wisdom through these chaotic, yet adventuresome times.

Suggestions Regarding Pause:

1. Breathing in the feeling of calm while practicing pause deepens our discernment capacity.

2. Calm vibrations help us preempt our toxic reaction with conscious responses.

3. Pause to create a space for smarter choices and less stressful outcomes.

4. Pause and ask what your heart would say. Feel what your heart would do. Step into it.

5. To increase your memory to pause at times, make it a big issue for a week, even if you overdo it. This will entrain your intuition to alert you when pausing would be effective.

6. Practicing pause quickly increases self-security from experiencing less mistakes, setbacks and do-overs. Self-security automatically increases our resilience.

7. Pausing and listening to others from our heart helps to keep our friends, friendly.

8. Pausing allows a more inclusive assessment of consequences before action – which is one of the biggest benefits from the practice.

9. Make an intention not to keep learning the value of pause through hindsight and hard lessons. We are already good at that.

10. Use pause and calm as a door opener for your higher reasoning capacity. That’s why we tell our children to use pause.

What Jams Your Inner Signal?

Hurry is one of the most popular reasons we miss our inner signals to pause when needed. Much stress is prevented by pausing at times to adjust our operational pace to the speed of flow. When we speed past flow – mentally, emotionally or physically – we become vulnerable to dilution of efficiency in our outcomes. Picture how trying to thread a needle too fast jams the process, creating many do-overs until we manifest the speed of flow that matches our level of skill and experience. When our mental and emotional energies jam from anxiety, frustration or overwhelm, it’s effective to pause and ask our heart’s intuition what attitude or perception would create the most flow for restoring inner balance and clear direction.

“To pause before responding to important matters and choices gives us one more chance to be in-charge, rather than be in-trouble.”- Doc Childre

Learn the HeartMath Techniques with Dr. Cathy Chargualaf. Schedule a session at:

Source: HeartMath

The Inside Job of Creating Peace

Posted on August 9, 2019 at 4:20 PM

Many people hope and pray to find peace in their lives, especially during times of stress and uncertainty. Finding peace is an inside job – something we can learn to create. Research studies have shown that individuals, groups and organizations are capable of creating peace from within. This involves easy-to-use tools that require only a tiny fraction of the time that many of us spend on stressful responses to challenges in our daily lives; tools that can prevent much mental and emotional stress and energy drain.


Inner Peace Starts with Inner-Ease

Several years ago, I created a tool called the Inner-Ease™ Technique to help people move through their day in a state of ease. At HeartMath, we have found that practicing inner-ease creates balance, alignment and cooperation between the heart, mind and emotions. Practicing inner-ease also promotes more intuitive connection for effective reasoning, discernment and choices that can prevent much dis-ease.


When we create alignment between the heart, mind and emotions, we lift our vibration above much of the stress going on and choose attitudes that create more inner peace and “flow” in our daily routines.


Here are the four quick steps and some of the benefits people experience.


Inner-Ease™ Technique

(abbreviated version)


When you are stressed, acknowledge your feelings.

Take a short time-out to do Heart-Focused Breathing.

(Focus your attention in the area of the heart. Imagine your breath is flowing in and out of your heart or chest area, breathing a little slower and deeper than usual. Find an easy rhythm that’s comfortable.)

Now imagine with each breath that you are drawing in a feeling of inner-ease.

When the stressful feelings have calmed, affirm with a heartfelt commitment that you want to anchor and maintain the state of ease throughout your projects, challenges and daily interactions.

Want to learn the full steps of the Inner-Ease Technique, contact Dr. Cathy Chargualaf to schedule a session: Dr. Cathy Chargualaf at:


Benefits of Practicing Inner-Ease

1. Attunes your mental and emotional nature to the most reasonable and effective way for responding to situations in your life.


2. Creates more inner peace and flow in your day by helping to regulate the balance and cooperation between your heart, mind and emotions.


3. Accesses the heart’s intuitive guidance for intelligent solutions to problems.


4. Prevents and eliminates much personal stress and promotes faster recovery from stressful occurrences.


5. Helpful and effective to use as a “prep” before engaging in potentially stressful situations.


6. Creates much easier navigation through challenges and resistances at their onset.


Know that you can create more inner-ease/inner peace with this technique or other methods that work for you. It is our fervent wish at HeartMath that every individual, group and organization recognize that creating peace is not escaping action — it enables more intelligent action. Activating peace and ease within is our greatest hope for collective peace in this world.


"We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves." -- Dalai Lama

Learn the HeartMath Techniques with Dr. Cathy Chargualaf. Schedule a session at:

Source: HeartMath

Change management requires both an individual and an organizational perspective

Posted on September 6, 2018 at 6:50 PM

Change management requires both an individual and an organizational perspective

Individual change management

Individual change management means understanding how one person successfully makes a change.

Organizations don't change, individuals do. No matter how large of a project you are taking on, the success of that project ultimately lies with each employee doing their work differently, multiplied across all of the employees impacted by the change. Effective change management requires an understanding for and appreciation of how one person makes a change successfully. Without an individual perspective, we are left with activities but no idea of the goal or outcome that we are trying to achieve.

Organizational change management

Organizational change management understands what tools we have to help individuals make changes successfully.

While change happens one person at a time, there are processes and tools that can help facilitate this change across groups and organizations. Without a structured approach, change management tools can be limited to only communication and training. When there is an organizational change management perspective, a process emerges for how to scale change management activities and how to use the complete set of tools available for project leaders and business managers.

Managing Stress with Exercise

Posted on September 6, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Managing Stress with Exercise

Stress can make you feel drained, anxious, even depressed. And while there are several ways to manage runaway stress, none is as enjoyable and effective as a regular exercise routine.

"Numerous studies have shown exercise provides excellent stress-relieving benefits," says Cedric Bryant, chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise (ACE). "And let's face it, we all could do with less stress in our lives."


How it works

Exercise causes the brain to release endorphins, opium-like substances that ease pain and produce a sense of comfort and euphoria. It also encourages the nerve cells in the brain to secrete other neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which improve mood.

Deficiencies of these substances, particularly serotonin, have been linked to symptoms of depression, anxiety, impulsiveness, aggression and increased appetite. According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, when depressed people exercise, they increase their levels of these natural antidepressants.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), exercise also improves people's ability to relax and sleep, promotes self-esteem and enhances energy, concentration and memory.

Exercise also provides an outlet for negative emotions, such as frustration, anger and irritability, thereby promoting a more positive mood and outlook.

Moderate exercise done regularly interrupts the cyclic thinking process associated with depression. A person who is worried about a particular problem may dwell at length on the problem, bringing on more worry. Depression deepens the worry, in a descending cycle. Exercise can break the cycle.

Finally, exercise helps you take time for yourself.

"Whether you exercise alone or with a friend, it's important to take time for yourself during stressful periods," says Mr. Bryant. "In this way, exercise functions as a positive distraction from the problems of the day that are causing your stress."


Stress-reduction moves

Almost any exercise can provide stress relief, but the following guidelines can help you find those likely to be more effective for you.

Choose an exercise you enjoy. The kinds of activities you choose depend on your physical ability as well as your preferences.

"It's important to choose activities that are accessible and feasible for you to do regularly," says Mr. Bryant. "You also need to determine if you want to play competitive sports, such as basketball or tennis, or if you'd rather do noncompetitive activities, such as walking, bicycling or taking an aerobics class."

You also should consider whether you want to do your exercise routine on your own or with others.

Exercise every day if you can. The U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health recommends 30 minutes of activity on most, if not all, days of the week.

"You'll benefit from exercising three to five times a week, but you'll see more consistent stress reduction if you can be physically active every day," says Mr. Bryant.

Consider mind/body activities. In yoga and tai chi, your mind relaxes progressively as your body increases its amount of muscular work. "If you're attracted to a spiritual component, these forms of exercise are effective for honing stress-management and relaxation skills," says Mr. Bryant.

Controlling stress ultimately comes down to making time to exercise. Physical activity provides an enjoyable and effective way to cope with life's troubles as it promotes lasting strength and empowerment.

Wellness Library Health Ink and Vitality Communications © 2016


Prosci ADKAR® Model for individual change to drive organizational transformation

Posted on August 19, 2018 at 7:25 AM

Prosci ADKAR® Model for individual change to drive organizational transformation

ADKAR is a research-based, individual change model that represents the five milestones an individual must achieve in order to change successfully. ADKAR creates a powerful internal language for change and gives leaders a framework for helping people embrace and adopt changes.

A = Awareness of the need for change

D = Desire to support the change

K = Knowledge of how to change

A = Ability to demonstrate new skills and behaviors

R = Reinforcement to make the change stick

The 5 R's of Mindfulness

Posted on August 4, 2018 at 2:35 PM

The 5 R's of Mindfulness: Incorporating mindfulness into everyday life

Studies show the practice of mindfulness can improve your health and grow your brain!

Karen Pace, Michigan State University Extension, June 23, 2014


Use the Five R’s of Mindfulness to remember and practice mindfulness in your everyday life.

Research shows the benefits of social and emotional learning for both youth and adults. According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), efforts that promote social and emotional learning improve young people’s academic success and overall health and wellbeing, while also reducing negative behaviors such as alcohol and drug use, violence and bullying. Learning to navigate stress and distressing emotions like anger, anxiety and fear is an important part of developing emotional resiliency.

One way for children, youth and adults to develop self-awareness and the ability to cope with and navigate feelings of stress is through the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness is a process of active, open, nonjudgmental awareness. It is paying attention in the present moment with openness, curiosity and flexibility. Neuroscience and psychological research suggest that the intentional practice of mindfulness improves the immune system – as well as increases gray matter in the brain involved with memory processes, emotional regulation, empathy and perspective taking.

Mindfulness educator, Chris Frasz of northern Michigan, recently presented a session for health educators at a Michigan State University Extension conference. He shared what he called The Five R’s of Mindfulness as an easy way to remember and practice mindfulness in our everyday lives:

Recognize: Be aware of yourself. Recognize your thoughts and your own internal dialogue and when you’re caught up in negative, fear-based thinking. Practice noticing your mental state.

Relax: Explore ways to slow down, connect with your breath and relax your mind and body.

Review: Gently review your options and ways that you might respond to a difficult situation. Ask yourself, “What can I control? What can I change (and not change)? Do I have a choice?”

Respond: Practice responding from your deepest, wisest self while letting go of fear and worry about the past or future outcomes.

Return: Check in with yourself and bring yourself back to mindfulness and an awareness of the present moment with openness and curiosity.

Frasz also suggested that when our minds naturally go to our “to do” list and other intrusive thoughts that take us away from our mindfulness practice, that we gently tell ourselves, “Not right now” as a way to quiet our thoughts, calm our minds and bring ourselves back to the present moment.

A growing body of research shows the benefits of mindfulness to our physical, mental and emotional lives. Whether it’s the intentional practice of meditation or Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programs (MBSR) or the practice of everyday mindfulness, you can explore ways to improve your health and wellbeing and bring more joy into your life through the practice of mindfulness.

This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit To contact an expert in your area, visit, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).


Why Change Management Matters

Posted on July 26, 2018 at 3:25 PM

Why Change Management Matters

There are numerous reasons to employ effective change management on both large- and small-scale efforts. Here are three main reasons to employ change management:

  1. Organizational change happens one person at a time
  2. Poorly managing change is costly
  3. Effective change management increases the likelihood of success

Organizational change happens one person at a time

It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking about change exclusively from an organizational perspective. When one thinks about a merger or acquisition, they can focus on financial structuring, data and system integration and physical location changes. However, organizational change of any kind actually occurs one person at a time. Success of an organization effort only occurs when Adam and Betty and Charles and Deborah (for example) do their jobs differently. Organizations don’t change; people within organizations change. It is the cumulative impact of successful individual change that results in an organizational change being successful. If individuals don’t make changes to their day-to-day work, an organizational transformation effort will not deliver results.

The cost of poorly managing change

There are countless consequences of ignoring the people side of a change:

  • Productivity declines on a larger scale for a longer duration than necessary
  • Managers are unwilling to devote the time or resources needed to support the change
  • Key stakeholders do not show up to meetings
  • Suppliers begin to feel the impact and see the disruption caused by the change
  • Customers are negatively impacted by a change that should have been invisible to them
  • Employee morale suffers and divisions between “us” and “them” begin to emerge in the organization
  • Stress, confusion and fatigue all increase
  • Valued employees leave the organization

Projects also suffer as due to missed deadlines, overrun budgets and unexpected and unnecessary rework to get the effort back on track. In some cases, the project itself is completely abandoned after large investments of capital and time. All of these consequences have tangible and real financial impact on the health of the organization and the project. And each of these consequences can be addressed and mitigated if a project includes a structured approach to the people side of change.

Effective change management increases the likelihood of success

There is a growing body of data that shows the impact that effective change management has on the probability that a project meets its objectives. Prosci’s longitudinal benchmarking studies show a strong correlation: Data from the 2013 benchmarking study showed that 96% of participants with excellent change management met or exceeded objectives, while only 16% of those with poor change management met or exceeded objectives.

change management effectiveness on project results

In other words, projects with excellent change management were six times more likely to meet objectives than those with poor change management. Regardless of the change at hand, focusing on the people side of change increases the likelihood of being successful. Additionally, Prosci’s research shows a direct correlation between effective change management and staying on schedule and on budget.

Finding the Motivation to Exercise

Posted on July 18, 2018 at 4:25 PM

Finding the motivation to exercise is really about how motivated you are about taking care of yourself. Ask yourself, “Do I take good care of myself?”, “Do I desire to feel good?” Yes!!! When we focus on our own self-care we make a commitment to sustaining our wellbeing. Exercise is just one way to take care of yourself.

Exercise does not have to be hard. You can start out slow and steady. When I made the decision to be good to myself, I decided to do low impact Qi Gong.

The Masters of Qi Gong encourage us to use the energy of Qi to connect with effortless flow rather than forcing the muscles or straining the mind. The word Qi Gong (Chi Kung) is made up of two Chinese words. Qi is pronounced chee and is usually translated to mean the life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe. The second word, Gong, pronounced gung, means accomplishment, or skill that is cultivated through steady practice. Together, Qi Gong (Chi Kung) means cultivating energy, it is a system practiced for health maintenance, healing and increasing vitality.

Doing Qi Gong in the morning helped me infuse my body with the energy that it needs for the rest of the day. Qi Gong exercise practice in the AM gives me a jolt of vitality energy, a deep inner calm to remain stress free and full of energy throughout the day. This allows me better awareness of my body and the potential to access spiritual inspiration. Qi Gong exercise practice in the PM helps me relax, clear out stress from the day, and helps me sleep easier and faster.

Check out some YouTube videos on modern Qi Gong ritual by Lee Holden:

• Qi Gong 7 Minutes of Magic (10 mins for Health):

• Morning Qi Ritual (10 mins):

• Evening Qi Ritual (20 mins):



ADKAR: an Easy-to-Use Model for Individual Change

Posted on July 12, 2018 at 6:35 PM

ADKAR: an Easy-to-Use Model for Individual Change

The first step in managing any type of organizational change is understanding how to manage change with a single individual. Prosci's model of individual change is called the Prosci ADKAR Model, an acronym for awareness, desire, knowledge, ability and reinforcement®. In essence, an individual needs:

Awareness of the need for change

Desire to participate in and support the change

Knowledge on how to change

Ability to implement required skills and behaviors

Reinforcement to sustain the change

ADKAR describes successful change at the individual level. When an organization undertakes an initiative, that change only happens when the employees who have to do their jobs differently can say with confidence, "I have the awareness, desire, knowledge, ability and reinforcement to make this change happen."

Because it outlines the goals or outcomes of successful change, ADKAR is an effective tool for:

Planning change management activities

Diagnosing gaps

Developing corrective actions

Supporting managers and supervisors

Making and Keeping Friends: Resolving Problems in Relationships

Posted on July 10, 2018 at 2:05 PM

Making and Keeping Friends: Resolving Problems in Relationships

Because each situation is different, you will have to use your resourcefulness, along with good communication skills and other strategies, to decide what to do and what action to take each time a difficult situation comes up or you become aware of a difference that is keeping your friendship from being a good one. Some things you can do include:

• talk with the other person using "I" statements that describe how you feel in a situation rather than making an assumption about how the other person feels

• work with your friend to develop a plan to resolve the situation, including the steps each of you will take and when you will take them (check in with each other often about your progress)

• do a reality check with yourself, asking yourself what is really happening, and deciding on solutions that will work for you

• be clear with yourself and with your friends about your boundaries, saying "no" when necessary

Activity: List any other ideas you might have to solve problems in relationships

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services © 2016