Is Social Media Making You Sick?

You know, Victory Chicks, and you guys, ever since our presidential election last November, there has been so much acrimony. I’ve never seen anything like it in my whole life. Have you?
It seems like our country is more divided than ever before. And, with the popularity of social media, everyone has a lot of space to vent their negative feelings without censoring for hate.
All that negativity has me thinking about my health. And yours. What affect will all the rancor you read online have on your body and your mind? If every time you look at Facebook or Twitter and read something that pushes the anger button inside of you, are you damaging your physical and mental health? The experts say you very well could be!
Studies show that positive thinking can do things like increase your life span, lower rates of depression, help you body heal and even boost your resistance to the common cold. However, just as positive thinking can create a placebo effect and help you heal, negative thinking can make you sick. One researcher calls it the “nocebo effect.”

More and more I’m remembering the words of several past guests from my Friday Happy Hour radio Show. They talked about the power of positive and negative thinking. Several guests cited different research that indicates that it takes at least seven positive thoughts to counteract one negative one.
If that’s true – or even half-true – cheezLouise, after reading some of those Facebook posts, you would have to spend the rest of the day in meditation to undo all that negativity!
Are you experiencing “nocebo?”
Have you noticed It? It’s probably something like this: You’re having a good day and feeling good. Then you read some FB post that reminds you that you aren’t happy with what’s going on politically. Or you read something that is contrary to your particular political ideology. You get ticked off. You join in. Maybe you just hit “like” or maybe you add your two cents to the comments. Then you go about your day.
The problem is, whether you realize it or not, that anger you felt when you read that post will stay with you for the rest of the day. That can’t be good, can it? Where’s the victory in that??
If you doubt the “nocebo effect” consider how many people got sick this past winter. People didn’t just get the typical two or three day cold or flu. So many people got colds they couldn’t shake. How many times did you hear someone say it was the worst cold they ever remember having? Could all the negativity and acrimony in cyberspace and on the air waves have anything to do with it? The people at the Mayo Clinic think so. Check this out: Mayo Clinic Stress
So now it’s spring. We’re surrounded by all of nature’s beautiful new beginnings. Maybe it’s a good time to take a few minutes to stop and soak in all the joy of it. And then ask, “are my thoughts and words making me healthy or sick?”
Listen, politicians come and go. Policies change. But you? You have just one life to live. Are you loving it? If you aren’t, do something about it.
If it’s social media, unplug for a while. I recently had lunch with a woman who did exactly that. She’s surprised that (1) she hasn’t missed it and (2) she feels better and more at peace.
Maybe it’s not all your social media. Maybe it’s someone in particular. You can unfriend that person.
If it isn’t politics, what is it?
A couple years ago, my friend, MJ Hitz, was diagnosed with Lymphedema. It shows up in her legs. She wears compression garments all the time and has to wear different size shoes on each foot. There’s nothing she can do about her physical condition – it’ll be like that for the rest of her life.
Instead of letting the horribleness of what is happening to her body destroy her, she went on offense. She got involved in getting the Lymphedema Treatment Act passed through Congress. Passing that will be a huge financial help to those with Lymphedema and their families.
In the process of becoming an advocate, MJ went to DC and talked to members of Congress. She’s connected with others who share the same illness. They’re finding solutions that help make a very bad situation more tolerable.
MJ wouldn’t wish Lymphedema on anyone, but she decided she wasn’t going to become of victim of it. That’s the kind of thing you need to do too.
Twenty years from now, you won’t remember who said what…but your body and mind will still be experiencing the effects of all that negativity. Is it worth it? If you don’t think so, and you probably don’t either.
Here are three things to do right now:

  • Be proactive about your thinking. Pay attention to what words come out of your mouth. In my SKillBuilder and Victorious Woman Workshops, I suggest putting a rubber band on your wrist and, each time something negative pops into your thoughts or out of your mouth, snap the band. If you’re wrist gets red and sore, you’ll know you’re carping way over the healthy limit.
  • Step away from the negativity. Recently, five people have told me that they got off Facebook because of all the toxicity. Unfriending is really easy to do. DO it!
  • If you are feeling like a victim, figure out what you can do to get in control. If it’s politics, stop griping and go to a meeting of your political party. Then volunteer to do something…make phone calls, knock on doors, talk to Congress, get somebody coffee. Doing something allows you to get back into the driver’s seat of your life.

Remember: Nobody can steal your joy without your permission. Don’t give it to them!

And don’t miss the Friday Happy Hour with Annmarie Kelly. Her guests always have something victoriously positive and upbeat to share.

  • In West Chester PA: turn your radio dial to 1520AM
  • Anywhere in the world: listen online from at www.WCHE1520.com (click the microphone that says “listen live” – uses Windows Media Player).
  • On your mobile devices at Tune-In Radio.Call-in: 610-701-9243

10.28.16 RadioWrapUp: Halloween

malcolmjohnstone-carrol

Just in time for Halloween – It was a Spooky Happy Hour and Annmarie was talking ghosts – historical and present day.

This Friday’s Happy Hour started with ghosttour14ciMalcolm Johnstone talking about West Chester’s rich history of Revolutionary War ghosts and more. Malcolm joined the West Chester Business Improvement District (BID) as executive director in June 2001. His new hobby is historical West Chester, and he shared how he came to doing that in a very spooky way. Malcolm sent me a couple pictures and I thought this one was the spookiest. That’s Malcolm in front, but in the background…who and what was she?

Then paranormal researcher Carol Star joined Annmarie to talk about some of the ghostly sightings she and her paranormal crew at the Chester County Institute of Paranormal Research have been finding in Chester County. hauntedgettysburgHow she does what she does is fascinating. What she finds when she does it is just plain scary!

What she learned and shared in book, Haunted Gettysburg, is really something!

Carol is the co-founder of the Chester County Institute for Paranormal Research (CCIPR). You might have seen Carol on the Travel Channel show, Ghost Adventures with Zak Bagans. If you have an interest in Carol’s work, check her out.

Other Halloween-y stuff I talked about:halloween2015

When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam,

may luck be yours this Halloween.

And that’s my all-the-time wish for you…luck…and also a full and happy heart!

Tune into the Friday Happy Hour at 3pm on West Chester PA local AM radio 1520, online at WCHE-AM  and on your mobile devices at Tune-In Radio.
Call-in: 610-701-9243
 

RadioWrap-Up: Dawn Wells

AnnmarieKelly.WCBM..web Dawn Wells on Gilligan’s Island, life and love

Ginger or Mary Ann. That’s the age-old trivia question, isn’t it?
Do you know that every person I talked to this holiday season picked Mary Ann? Well, after today, you probably know why. Dawn Wells, who breathed life into the Mary Ann character, is charming and really down to earth. And funny.
And, you Victory Chicks, get out those false eyelashes!
If you are looking for any of the fun and Christmas-y things to do that I talked about, here are links to all the places:

If you know any other great places to see Christmas lights, post it at Victorious Woman Project on FB…and I’d love to hang out with you there:  Victorious Woman Project  While you are there, please “LIKE” me! Thanks!
My quote today is from Dawn Wells:

If are first you don’t succeed, fail, fail again!

Next Week, 1/2/14: We’re talking about those New Year’s Resolutions!

Happy New Year!!

Tip#7: Breathe!

Woman DrivingDo You Forget to Breathe?

Yes! You don’t realize it, but when you are stressed, you take breathes that are shallow. That means you don’t get enough oxygen to your brain and things in your body aren’t circulating right. So you get light-headed, forget things and even more stressed.
Take just a couple minutes to focus on breathing – and breathe deeply. You can make it part of a meditation, or a couple minutes while you are drinking a cup of coffee, or while you are driving down the street.
And, while you are breathing, focus on your breath. It doesn’t have to be a big production…just tell yourself to breathe.
Do it…and notice how much better you feel after just a minute or two.
You are back in control – and that’s where you want to be!
More tips for Happier Holidays

If you liked this Holiday tip, then you’ll love Victory by Design!

It’s is FULL of helpful tips & simple step by step instructions to jump start your life for the New Year!

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RadioWrap-Up: HOLIDAY STRESS!

AnnmarieKelly.WCBM..web ‘Tis the Season…for HOLIDAY STRESS

Thanks to Michele Dunleavy for her tips to get more fun out of the holidays with less stress and be ready to hit the ground running (motivationally-speaking) in January. Here is Michele’s website: https://simplifyyourstress.wordpress.com

If you know any other great places to see Christmas lights, post it at Victorious Woman Project on FB…and I’d love to hang out with you there:  Victorious Woman Project  While you are there, please “LIKE” me! Thanks!
My quote today is from Mary Ann Radmacher:

“May your walls know joy,

May every room hold laughter, and

May every window open to great possibility.”

and I’ll add another one…

May you enjoy the blessings of the Christ child

during this holiday season and into the new year!

Thanks for listening!
Next Week: Dawn Wells (Mary Ann on Gilligan’s Island)

Tip#6: Laugh!!

Toddler With Arms OutstretchedTake a five minute laugh break every day

Whether it’s laughing at a TV show, a book, your kids or some silly memory, find something to laugh about and take the time to do it. Here’s why those FIVE MINUTES are important:
Physical Benefits:

  • Bumped up endorphins (the happy hormones)
  • Increased dopamine (the chemical that affects your emotion and sense of pleasure and pain – the more you have the better you feel)
  • Increased Relaxation

Emotional/Cognitive Benefits:

  • Improved ability to deal with stress
  • Increased creativity
  • Improved ability to solve problems
  • Enhanced memory (you won’t forget to get that thing you need for dinner)

That’s not all…but isn’t that enough? Five minutes is all you need right now – and you get a lot of bang for those five minutes.
Yes, I know you are busy. And, YES, you DO have FIVE MINUTES. You can find five minutes, even if it’s in your car and before you get out to go shopping or after you get in after shopping.
And, because you’ll forget, write “5 minutes” on a sticky and put it where you will see it.
Don’t forget…!
See more tips for Happier Holidays

If you liked this Holiday tip, then you’ll love Victory by Design!

It’s is FULL of helpful tips & simple step by step instructions to jump start your life for the New Year!

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Tip#5: It's OK to Say No

Longwood2013Yes, You CAN Just Say No!

It’s one thing when you “make” your kids do things they don’t like. It’s part of your job to teach them that have obligations and commitments. And good for you for doing it. Kids are one thing, midlife another.
This year, if you don’t want to do the Christmas Lights tour, then don’t. If you’re feeling stressed running around the stores, in traffic and with crowds, stop it. If you really don’t like visiting that relative, don’t. OK, if it’s a relative that stresses you but you just have to visit, you can make an exception and go. I know there are still some people and things that are “must do” things. Maybe it’s seeing an in-law that you don’t like or who always gives you a hard time. Yes, you could say ‘no’ but then your spouse/partner would be upset. So you grit your teeth and go (that’s when you practice tip#2 and mentally live in your happy place).
However even with that kind of obligation, you can modify the visit to make it a better fit. For example, you can shorten your time with that person or ask other people (the funny friend, the sister-in-law who agrees with you) to join you (and lessen the stress).
Here are five ways to say ‘no’ with class:
  1. My schedule is up in the air. Let me think about it and I’ll get back to you
  2. Thanks for asking, but I’ll pass this time
  3. I promised my [sweetie/children/friend/neighbor] some quality time then
  4. I made other plans for that day/time (and that other plan can be taking a relaxing bath)
  5. It’s not in my plan for this holiday but I’ll let you know if something changes

Feeling guilty about saying ‘no’? Just in case you need “permission”: I’m giving you the “Victorious Woman Dispensation” to say ‘no’ to the things you really don’t want to do (and that also means the people you don’t want to see).
See more tips for Happier Holidays
 
 

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It’s is FULL of helpful tips & simple step by step instructions to jump start your life for the New Year!

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Tip#4: Who Makes the Holiday Special?

Sisterhood
Sisterhood

Want To Make This Holiday Special?
Carve out Time for the People you Really Want to See

How many times have you said “yes” to some obligation and then didn’t get to see or talk to the special people in your life? I’ll bet it’s happened more than you’d like to admit. This year make it different.
When you think about the holidays, you think about love and about how good it feels to share some time and energy with someone you care about and about whom you care. Who is it? A partner, a sibling, one of your kids or a friend. In this picture, it’s my cousins.
The older I get, the more of those love feelings I want in my life. And the more I’m willing to do something – and go out of my way – to connect with those people. Like my cousins or my friends.
At the same time, I’m less and less willing to do something – and go out of my way – to be with people who don’t make me feel that way. I have them in my life and you have them in yours. This season, let them go. Instead, focus on making time for the people who really count.
I have a friend who lives in California. We met when she lived in Delaware and, at the holidays and for our birthdays, we would meet for a special lunch. together. It’s been five years since she moved a coast away. Between both of us working on our own businesses and the time difference, it’s hard to get together. But we both make the effort.
About every 6-8 weeks, she and I make a date to talk. Usually, it’s her breakfast and my lunch. I mark our time on my calendar and block it off the same way I would if we were meeting for lunch.  On the appointed day, I’ll stop work a few minutes before the time. I make myself a cup of tea and, if I’m going to eat, I make some lunch.
If you want these holidays to be happier, try this:
  • Make a list of the people you most want to spend time with this holiday season
  • Schedule your time with them – even if it’s a phone call or you’re visiting using skype or facetime
  • Make a list of the things you most want to do
    Schedule your time with them
  • Once you schedule in the good stuff, keep those appointments

Something interesting will happen. Not only will you be feeling all kinds of happy, but you’ll be booked. So when someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do, you’ll have a legitimate reason to say ‘no’ without guilt.
See more tips for Happier Holidays
 
Read more: Ten Tips for Happier Holidays.

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It’s is FULL of helpful tips & simple step by step instructions to jump start your life for the New Year!

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Tip#3: Are Your Traditions Outdated?

Annmarie atop Cadillac
Annmarie atop Cadillac

Do You Love Your Traditions?

Some things we do just because we’ve always done it – even when they no longer serve their purpose.
I realized that on my last trip to Maine while hiking Cadillac Mountain.
Cadillac is the tallest mountain in Acadia National Park – 1532 feet – the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard. It takes about five hours up and down. I hike it with my sweetie, Joseph. We bring a sandwich and, at the top, enjoy lunch feeling totally at one with God and nature.
Hiking Cadillac is a tradition, not every year but every few years.
This year I noticed something different. I don’t know why. Maybe there was more vegetation, which obstructed some of the beautiful views. Or maybe it was because I hiked both up and down instead of hiking up the mountain but walking down around the mountain on the road (where every step shows some beautiful scene). Whatever it was, I realized in hour four that I wasn’t enjoying the hike.
That’s when I decided that there are plenty more hikes in Acadia. They are equally challenging with great scenery. Why use my vacation time doing a hike I didn’t love?
Here’s the kicker: the view at the top of Cadillac is outstanding. It’s one of the prettiest in the world. And I can get there by car.
It’s the same with holiday traditions. Some of them were great fun at other times, like your childhood or when you lived in another place. But now they are just plain outdated. You still love the memory of them, but you just don’t have fun doing them anymore. You still bake the cookies, but it’s a hassle. Or you have everyone over but, when they leave, instead of saying “it was a lot of work, but worth it,” you’re not feeling the good vibes or afterglow.
So, this year, challenge every tradition…

  • If the tradition has run its course, let it go
  • Some traditions are ready for the next generation to take over – Let them.
  • Keep the traditions that you most want to do and that make you happy
  • Make new traditions – ones that fill you with joy

BTW: Just because you ditch a tradition now doesn’t mean you can’t bring it back in years to come. Just make it your choice.
Read more: Ten Tips for Happier Holidays.

If you liked this Holiday tip, then you’ll love Victory by Design!

It’s is FULL of helpful tips & simple step by step instructions to jump start your life for the New Year!

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Tip#2: Your Holiday Happy Place

December 2013Finding Your Holiday Happy Place:
Your Three Favorite Holiday Memories

You know how sometimes you feel so good that nothing can aggravate you? That’s the idea behind this tip about Holiday Happy Places.
You know you want to be happy and peaceful this holiday season. But what can you do? That guy keeps beeping his horn in the intersection, the kids won’t stop screaming or your boss just asked you to add one more thing to your already packed to-do list. You just want to scream.
In spite of your best intentions, sometime this holiday season you’re going to be in crowds or in a traffic jam and thrown in with people who the epitome are of bah humbug. So get ready for it now. Here’s how:

  • Write down three memories that always put a smile on your face.
  • Write them down.
  • When you are in that bad situation, intentionally move your mind to one of those memories.
    • When you do, really get into it. Paint a picture. Remember…
    • where you were
    • who was with you
    • what you were wearing
    • how it felt (this one is especially important!) and
    • any other thing you can…and stay there until either the event is over or your mind has shifted.
  • Keep the list in your wallet…just in case you could be standing in a line behind somebody who can’t find their happy place!

Your mind can only entertain one set of thoughts at a time. You can’t be miserable with a smile on your face (a sincere smile, that is). Go ahead…try it and be amazed!
Read more: Ten Tips for Happier Holidays.
 
 

If you liked this Holiday tip, then you’ll love Victory by Design!

Victorious Woman: Victory by Design Victory by Design gets you out of your boring comfort zone and skyrockets you though your personal glass ceiling so you can experience the personal power that is that greater, even more fabulous expression of the real you.
checkmark-green1 Easy step-by-step instructions to start changing your life RIGHT NOW!
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