Outlets

Let me paint you a picture. The sun is overhead. You have a sandwich in one hand, the steering wheel in the other, you’re driving down Interstate 85, to an unknown work location. SiRI is coaching you through the process but in the top right hand corner of the GPS screen is . . .Low Battery. 

You have a plugin that fits into a wall, but that doesn’t help you in the car.

Your  meeting is in 45 minutes. If you increase your speed by 15 mph, you can cut 5 minutes off the trip and find a what?  I’ll give you a hint, check the title.

An outlet.

Are you feeling stressed out? I am, and I know how this blog goes.

I’ve been in this situation way to many times to count. I should have added this to the last blog:

5 Needless Anxiety Causes

When our phone is dead, we frantically search for ways to make it to an outlet, even if it’s just for 5 minutes. We all know a measly 5 minute charging session might just buy you 2 more hours of battery life.

We understand the importance for our phones being recharged. Then why do we neglect ourselves? Your need for an outlet is, *gasp* more important than your phone’s.

We might be human, but we still run on batteries.

Your battery is the size of a silver dollar  located on the back of your head called will power.

I’ve been in weekly therapy for the past year with my counselor Kim. She said will power is strongest at the beginning of the day and must be recharged. The longer the day goes, the less you have willpower.

I’ve used  guilty pleasures as outlets and  viewed outlets as a threat,

Binge eating, shopping, TV, (etc) are not outlets at all but escapes. Choosing an outlet will leave you energized and in clear thought when you walk away.

Part of discovering a fearless life is learning what your outlet is, and using it to your advantage. Recognizing when your battery is low and searching for the outlet, even if it is for just 5 minutes.

Here are my outlets. Do you have any ideas? Share them with the group.

Love,

Meagan Elizabeth

 

 

 

 

Feeling Like BahHumbug?!

Can’t pull yourself into the Christmas spirit?

The double doors unfolded to Walgreens and a squeal caught my attention. A toddler boy was jumping up and down at the remote control car. He looked to be at least 3 or 4 years old, every time the car jumped whenever he pushed a button he would dance around matching the squeal from before. Then his Grandma made the mistake of saying,

“Not today, maybe for Christmas”

No joke the little guy grabbed the remote and “toddler-sprinted” through the store. He was not leaving without the remote control car.

No one taught us to want things for ourselves, and there is nothing wrong with it. We just have to make sure we don’t become like Scrooge.

So here are a few tips to help you get in the Christmas Spirit:

1. Do not compare.

Whether it’s the gifts or the holiday traditions, I’ve found the highway to the dumps is through comparing my circumstances to others. Make your own traditions and invite some friends to join you.

2. Make a plan to love others.

One year I baked cookies and gave the Christmas story to my neighbors. Little things like this make a huge impact on your community.

3. Host a Party.

My husband is a trip. We are not at the season in our life where we can throw elaborate parties so we hosted. . . ready for this? A leaf maze. Yes, we invited a group of good sports who went along with our game. We had a bonfire and had leaf maze party–making up games like freeze tag, or glorified chase. It was awesome. We all left with some good laughs.

The moral of this blog is just like A Christmas Carol — have fun and think of others. Doing these two things will get you in the Christmas Spirit.

Merry Christmas 🙂

Meagan Elizabeth

 

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Also checkout:

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5 Needless Anxiety Causes

What if I told you there are 5 things you can do that will eliminate anxiety and stress in your life? On my drive to work this week, there were three things hanging over me like a traveling storm cloud. The sad thing is, the cause of the anxiety was needless stress. Here are five needless stressors that we can avoid with a little preparations.  

 A messy bed. 

A tidy bed can transform your entire bedroom and the clean lines give you a since of accomplishment within the first 5 minutes of your day. If someone is still asleep in the bed, make up your side anyway. You may think I’m being ridiculous, but I have a reason for even being a stickler for making up half of the bed because of point # 2.

“I can’t find it!” 

 If I had a quarter for every time I frantically searched the house for my phone, or  (fill in the blank) at 9:15AM–I need to be backing out of the driveway at 9:15. Usually, the object I’m looking for is wrapped tight in the covers of my messy bed. Before you go to sleep each night, make sure everything you need to take with you is in one place. It’s needless stress. Let’s get rid of it!

An Empty Tank of Gas

After I found the lost objects, I stumbled out the door with 2 bags on each arm, and coffee in one hand. I threw the load in the passenger seat, jammed the keys into the car, turned over the engine, only to hear a cheery *ding*– Low Fuel. The car was a mess, so the situation was stressful and the environment looked stressful. Everything screamed stress, so now I’m angry, and . . .

Late.

Always leave 15 minutes early. This has been the most helpful tip for me.

No Plan for the Day. 

Attention Deficit Disorder has been something newly added to my list of diagnosis. 🙂 I’ve found having a written hourly schedule helps me plan better. Can you see how these little stressors can build on each other and leave you a frantic mess? The solutions are so simple. These 5 applications will make your life much less stressful.

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Being Calm, Cool & Collected: Social Anxiety

Tell me to sing in front of a crowd, I can do it.  Ask me to walk into a room and make small talk at a party  I’ll freeze up. I stumble over my words, and say statements that don’t make sense. The good news is people usually forget the gibberish within minutes.  Social events can be scary. Let me give you a few tips that have helped me survive and even enjoy social gatherings. 

  1. Arrive exactly on time, or a few minutes early.  Stepping onto the social scene to an empty room is much easier than arriving late, to a room full of strangers. Do not arrive 30 minutes early. A host is usually busy at work, but arriving 3-5 minutes early shows you are a punctual person.
  2. As you walk into an almost empty room, make your way to the host and thank them for the invitation. If you are close to your host, ask if you can help them with final preparations. When given a task, social gatherings are easier to deal with. If the host rejects your offer, go serve yourself a drink.   
  3. Find something to carry. Even if you aren’t thirsty, holding a drink keeps your hands busy. If the conversation lags or gets awkward, take a sip or excuse yourself to refresh your drink. My sister-in-law knows that I get really nervous in crowds, so she gladly lends me a niece or nephew to help me with conversation. 
  4. Play a game. Games are the best way to break the ice with a crowd of people. Sometimes a host will leave boardgames stacked to the side of the room. Break it open and invite someone to play with you. 
  5. Be a Self-Less Listener.  Listen to the person you are talking to and care about what is going on in their life. Ask questions and look for things you have in common to develop deeper conversations. 
  6. Accept your shyness. Writing allows me to process thoughts, but speaking is a little more difficult because I’m just an awkward person. Once you embrace that quality about yourself, you can take the pressure off. Being a quiet person is nothing to apologize for. Just be you, love people, and social situations will be okay. 

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Where Feet May Fail

I stand on the side of the bank, just a little girl. “I want to walk on water.”

“Come out on the waves.”

“But I might sink . . .”

“Come out on the waves.”

“But the waves are too big.”

“Come out on the waves.”

“I thought You told me to stay on the shore.”

“Come out on the waves.”

I tip my toes in, walk five steps and notice the water touch my ankle. I turn back to the shore, still wanting to walk on the waves.

We banter back and forth, You and I in a mental debate. You tell me impossible things, and I long for them while rooted on the shore.

I tip my toes in again but feel droplets splash the back of my knee. Afraid, I run back to the shore.

The longer I stand there, the more angry I become. I’m withering in the heat.

“Come walk on the waves.”

After so long I can’t take it anymore and face the ocean. One step after another, I walk on the waves. I see creatures of all kinds swimming below my feet. The water feels like putty, cradling my steps. I walk to You. We are out on the waves together. You stand next to a little boat with four fishing poles laid side by side across a bench.

“Fish.”

I cast to the left. Plop, in the water.

“Fish.” 

I cast to the right. Gulp, in the water.

“Fish.”

I muster all the strength I have and cast as far as I can, splish— the echo of water.

“Fish.” 

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I take the final reel and drop it beside the boat.

“Wait.” 

A tug here, a small catch there. The furthest cork bobs in the distance, and sometimes the waves play tricks on my eyes.

In all of this time, You’ve called me out upon the water, into the great unknown where feet may fail.

Now You and I sit together. I’m fishing and waiting. I’m in a great unknown, but I know that I’m not alone.

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If I could describe my life in a narrative this feels true. 

The pole to the left is writing, The pole to the right is nonprofit. The far out cast is Meagan Elizabeth. The one near to me is design in jewelry and decor. I can’t help but think maybe I’m unfocused and God isn’t proud. Or what if God made me so interdisciplinary focused for a reason? Has God called you to do something that scares you? Satan will use our fear and insecurity to keep us from doing the very thing God may have created you to do. Don’t be afraid to walk out into the great unknown where feet my fail. 

  

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When You Just Don’t Know

If you are in a state of “figuring it out,” then you probably feel like the life is being sucked out of you.

The process of trying to problem solve is mentally and physically draining. You rationalize with non-existent, potential scenarios.  These times happen most in transition periods. Many of us are in this season now.

School bells ring and the scent of sunscreen is replaced with crayons,  paper agendas, coffee and soon to be Pumpkin spice. Yep. I’m one of those pumpkin-aholics.

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The time of routine is back, and the number one conversation starter is centered around figuring out these new transitions.

You might be figuring out: homework assignments, a new job, being a mom, how to have a relationship with God, or even how to get yourself out of bed in the mornings.

Some things I’ve been trying to figure out:

How to get my health under control.

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Starting a new part-time job. 

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Launching a new idea and ministry. 

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You know the words the only way out, is through?

In all these times of uncertainty and personal stress, God taught me a lesson I would like to share with you.

God uses the “figuring it out” stage to grow us up in different ways. 

When everything in you wants to speed up, God wants you to slow you down. We are on training ground.

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God is so wise. He’s smart and He knows best. Don’t fight Him whenever things aren’t going as planned.

Go to Jesus and say, “Okay, only you know how to handle this,” and then step away. Content with answering all questions with,“I don’t know.”

Coming to a place of complete surrender to Jesus stretches our faith. I’ve seen Him do some really cool things and know nothing is too complicated for Him to handle.

Admitting we cannot figure it out is a humble place to be, but you’ll feel so much peace in the middle of what can seem like madness.

So as a friend to you going through her journey of discovering a fearless life, be at peace in uncertain times and know that there is a God who loves you very much. 

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Doctors Confirm, Coffee and Caffeine Worsen Anxiety – Michele Smarty

Coffee worsens your anxiety symptoms.

I was an anxiety patient. After investigating about my anxiety cause, I found that coffee is the major reason for the increasing rate of my anxiety and stress. That’s why I removed it from my daily routine.

In this article, you will find how coffee affects your anxiety or makes you a patient with a high-stress level.

These are the following coffee effects:

 

1. Triggers stress hormones

 

The research indicates that when you drink coffee, cortisol and adrenaline (stress hormones) gets stimulated in your body, which reflexes in an increased heart rate and rapid breathing indicating hypertension. This reflex doesn’t increase the anxiety—rather it works to sustain it there.

 

 2. Decreases insulin sensitivity

 

It’s true. Caffeine increases the blood sugar that leads to arterial collapse resulting in death due to cardiovascular disease.

 

3. Increases digestive discomfort

 

Coffee acidity increases digestive discomfort which results in indigestion, heartburn and imbalances in your gut flora.

 

 4. Non-reliance on the body’s natural source of energy

 

Caffeine is addictive. This chemical addiction makes it very difficult for coffee/caffeinated drinkers to rely on the body’s natural source of energy.

5. Increases triglycerides

 

Undoubtedly, unfiltered coffee is a big source for antioxidants, but it leaks the diterpenes which then increases the triglycerides.

 

6. Drains important minerals from the body

 

Elevated urinary excretions of important minerals like magnesium, calcium and potassium have been noted in coffee drinkers. An imbalance in electrolytes can lead to serious system complications.

 

7. Interrupts regular liver function

 

Coffee ingredients may restrict normal drug metabolism and detoxification in the liver. Due to this, it becomes difficult for the liver to perform the process effectively.

 

Now what? If you think you can’t cut the coffee out, think again. I did it, and now I want you to feel the same level of restoration and renewal I have experienced.

How can you avoid the withdrawal symptoms?

 

Usually, after three or four days, symptoms of withdrawal disappear, which is the best time to reduce your caffeine intake slowly.

 

•       Drink water in abundance

 

Drink six to eight glasses of filtered water daily. Take some warm water with freshly squeezed lemon juice instead of coffee prepared with one of the best espresso machines, in the morning,.

 

•       Sleep more

 

If you are tired and normally drink caffeine to eliminate the fatigue, allow more time for sleep instead. It will make you more fresh and energetic.

 

•       Exercise daily

 

Make sure you exercise daily to help fight off fatigue. Even simple walking is good for at least 30 minutes a day.

 

•       Eat healthy food

 

Replace your coffee at breakfast, lunch, and snack time with healthy food and avoid letting your blood sugar get low.

 

•       Drink green tea

 

Drink 1-3 cups of green tea. This provides a small amount of caffeine and is an excellent source of antioxidants.

 

•       Do meditation and other mind-related activities

 

It is true that caffeine withdrawal can be stressful. According to research, meditation and other mind-related activities can help you stay calm and cool.

References :

  1. http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20568290,00.html
  2. http://www.medicinenet.com/liver_disease/article.htm
  3. https://blog.bufferapp.com/how-meditation-affects-your-brain

My Good Morning, Reset Button

I love mornings. Not because I love to jump out of my warm, perfectly smushed pillows, but because it’s like a reset button.

God says, His mercies are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23) Let me give some context. Because, some take this verse and believe they can live however they want yesterday and get a reset for the next day. God is very smart. He can look deep into the heart of our motivations.

If you messed up and woke up with a heavy heart, calling out for forgiveness and repentance, then He sees this too.

My definition for a reset button comes from an overwhelmed heart. I told my husband, Caleb, that I could almost see the tornado of thoughts whirling in my head yesterday. Before I could write down a reminder, my attention wavered. The thoughts disappeared into the cyclone, jumbling together with three more thoughts I forgot to write down.

This mental chaos began to escape into my words, and my actions until Caleb splashed me out of it.

Literally.

He listened to his wife (me) speak the muddle out as truth, and saw Satan getting a foothold by discouraging me.

“Those thoughts aren’t welcome here. Rebuke that junk.” He said with a flick of dishwater to my face.

I love mornings because I feel the reset button today.

Thank you Jesus for giving us new days, and fresh starts- Amen.

Foundation of Thanksgiving — by Lauren McCauley

In the book “One Thousand Gifts,” Ann Voskamp declares: “as long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible.”

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How would our days and attitudes change if even in the midst of a day plagued by anxiety, doubt, and fear we would choose to be thankful?

Jesus displays this difficult thankfulness in Luke 22:19: “And he took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them…” (NIV). Hours before his arrest, as he is explaining his death to come, Jesus gives thanks. This thankfulness is not one of excitement, or happy anticipation, but one of recognizing the goodness of God in the midst of his last night.

As we are all on our own journeys to become more like Jesus, may we begin to put this perspective over our own lives. If we truly believe that our God is good and what He does is good, that in turn means that everything that He allows us to go through is also good in some way. By recognizing that even our most painful days, anxiety ridden moments, and seemingly hopeless hours are all part of the goodness of our good Father, we will begin to be able to truly “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV).

 

 

Penny for Your Thoughts — NEW and REVISED

Harmful thoughts cost a lot more than a penny! God has intended to give us a joyful life and the nature of our thoughts can destroy His intentions.

Did you know eliminating anxiety from your life is as easy as learning to capture your thoughts.

 2 Cor 10:5 “…take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.”

 My unconscious is wild. I’m one of those people whose mind moves so fast I’ll forget to finish my sentences. We need to break the habits of the unconscious mind, by filtering each thought through the obedience of Christ.

 How do we do this?

By knowing the Bible. A healthy perspective capable of seeing through the fog is developed by spending time with God. Journal your prayers. Learn what the Bible has to say about life and apply it.

Having the truth of God rather than the lies of the world as your foundation helps you make your thoughts obedient to Christ.

 A healthy perspective will also be given to us if we ask for it. Wisdom is the healthy perspective given to us when we are bogged down in the mess of life.

 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5

 Ask Him now, to help you recognize harmful thoughts and help you capture them.