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Coping with Stress

With courtesy of – January 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major effect on our lives. Many of us are facing challenges that can be stressful, overwhelming, and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Public health actions, such as social distancing, are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but they can make us feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety.

Learning to cope with stress in a healthy way will make you, the people you care about, and those around you become more resilient.

Stress can cause the following:

  • Feelings of fear, anger, sadness, worry, numbness, or frustration
  • Changes in appetite, energy, desires, and interests
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping or nightmares
  • Physical reactions, such as headaches, body pains, stomach problems, and skin rashes
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Worsening of mental health conditions
  • Increased use of tobaccoalcohol, and other substances

It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are ways that you can help yourself, others, and your community manage stress.

Healthy Ways to Cope with Stress

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including those on social media. It’s good to be informed, but hearing about the pandemic constantly can be upsetting. Consider limiting news to just a couple times a day and disconnecting from phone, tv, and computer screens for a while.
  • Take care of your body.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with othersTalk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
  • Connect with your community- or faith-based organizations. While social distancing measures are in place, try connecting online, through social media, or by phone or mail.

Helping Others Cope

Taking care of yourself can better equip you to take care of others. During times of social distancing, it is especially important to stay connected with your friends and family. Helping others cope with stress through phone calls or video chats can help you and your loved ones feel less lonely or isolated.

Mental Health and Crisis

  • If you are struggling to cope, there are many ways to get help. Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
  • During times of extreme stress, people may have thoughts of suicide. Suicide is preventable and help is available. More about the risk of suicide, signs to watch for, and how to respond if you notice these signs in yourself or a friend or a loved one, can be found here.
  • Free and confidential crisis resources can also help you or a loved one connect with a skilled, trained counselor in your area.

If you are in crisis, get immediate help:

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8 Yoga Chair Poses Anyone Can Do

Dr Oz

By Courtesy of: Dr Oz – A Maven Channel

Dr Oz recommends these 8 yoga poses that anyone can do. All you need is a chair!

If you’ve been feeling distracted lately, are in need of low-impact exercise ideas, or are looking to try yoga out for the first time, chair yoga poses might be the answer you’ve been looking for. While chair yoga was originally created as a modified version of yoga for those who are elderly, have mobility issues, or struggle with balance, anyone can do chair yoga (and it’s especially great for beginners). All you need to perform this workout is a chair and all of the moves can be done easily at home. spoke with registered yoga teacher Barbara Bell (500 hour RYT) to walk through a manageable chair yoga class. If you’re older or have mobility issues, Bell recommends performing these poses while someone else is at home for safety reasons. “Chair yoga is beneficial because you can improve your flexibility, balance, and help focus your mind,” says Bell. Make a point to silence your cell phone beforehand so you can fully focus on the moves. Here is Bell’s step-by-step guide for beginners:

What Type of Chair Should I Use?

While you may think any type of chair can be used for chair yoga, this is not the case. “You can’t do chair yoga in a La-Z-Boy,” advises Bell. Use a more structured chair like a kitchen or dining room chair. While the chair can be padded, you don’t want it to be too soft. If possible, use a chair without arms so you can have more free range of motion.

When practicing chair yoga, there is a right way to sit: with the soles of your feet flat on the floor and not resting your back on the chair. Good, upright posture is important to maintain throughout all the exercises.

Start With Seated Breath Practice & a Warm Up

The first thing you’ll want to do is sit up straight in your chair and do breath practice for about a minute. “The reason we start with seated breath practice is to get you to focus on being present and ready to practice yoga,” says Bell. “It releases tension and stress and gets your nervous system and brain ready to cooperate.” When you are ready to begin, use this guided video to engage in three-part breath.

You’ll want to refer back to the idea of breath practice throughout your chair yoga experience. “If your mind starts to wander during poses, take a minute to become conscious of your breathing and do some breath practice to refocus,” says Bell.

After breath practice, move into a warm up. Bell recommends a seated sun salutation for an easy, low-impact way to get your body ready for yoga.

5 Seated Poses to Try

You’ll want to begin chair yoga with seated poses. While sitting up straight, you can perform a series of these moves:

3 Standing Poses to Try

If you are feeling up to it, you can continue on with standing poses. These poses will use your chair as a prop for balance support:

Finish With a 1-Minute Meditation or Savasana

Once you have performed all of your poses, wind down your body with a quick meditation. Bell says to continue to sit up straight, as slouching and relaxing in your chair will block your energy channels. “A lot of people think meditation is challenging because they can’t empty their minds. Instead of emptying your mind, approach meditation by focusing on one thing to calm your mind and body,” says Bell. She recommends to close your eyes half way and gaze through your eyelashes to look a few feet in front of you, focusing on the floor. “As you inhale, imagine the energy going up the soles to your feet into your thighs, your belly, your heart, and the crown of your head.” As you exhale, imagine the reverse energy flow. Try meditating for six to eight breaths.

Savasana is defined as a pose of complete relaxation. “You will empty everything out of your body and relax.” For this, you can sit comfortably in your chair or, if you’re feeling up to it, you can lay on the floor (as long as you can get up without assistance). “Take in a deep breath, make fists with your hands and cross your arms, drop your chin to your chest and curl your toes, then exahale and let everything go [relax and breathe normally],” says Bell. You can stay in this position as long as you like, but one to two minutes is sufficient. “[When in savasana], your eyes should be closed. The darkness will indicate to your body that you can relax,” explains Bell.

You can do both meditation and savasana (in that order) if you have the time. But if not, just pick one to help your body unwind and help you feel rejuvenated to continue on with your day.

Revenge of the Pangolin

Revenge of the Pangolin

What on earth is a Pangolin?

I had never heard of one, until my dear cousin, Jeff Salz, sent me this article that he has recently published.
Jeff is a guy with a colorful and interesting past, having experienced a wide array of many ‘near death’ situations in his time. Here’s the article which I hope you will enjoy reading.

Do let me know what you think about it. To me, it sheds yet another light to ponder on with regard to the coronavirus COVID 19 pandemic that we’re all, globally, part of today.

Stay Safe
Stay in Place
Cover your Face
This too will Pass


Dr Jeff Salz Across Worlds

Dr Jeff Salz Across Worlds

Revenge of the Pangolin

Corona Time with the ‘World’s Most Unusual Mammal

It’s only a tragedy if nothing changes.


While ultimate blame has not been assigned for the source of our current pandemic, one unusual animal remains the primary suspect.  If found guilty, there will never have been a perpetrator more innocent.

The pangolin is so non-aggressive that it doesn’t even have teeth. Instead, it picks up insects with a sticky tongue longer than its entire body – including its elongated, snouty head.  It’s only mammal covered from head to toes in scales, the scales that are the gentle pangolin’s only defense. Feeling threatened it curls itself into a spiny ball – until it resembles something like a giant artichoke – emits a stinky fluid from its posterior and hopes for the best (don’t try this at home).

Timid loners, pangolin’s social life consists of a handful of meet-ups over course of a lifetime to mate and produce a litter which they raise as a couple for about two years. Sleeping by day in a cozy underground burrow, heading out at night to feast on ants and termites – a pangolin’s existence is solitary and largely uneventful.

Until now.

Newborn Pangolin at the Taipei Zoo

Newborn Pangolin at the Taipei Zoo

In recent years, an onslaught of loggers and farmers has led to extensive deforestation and habitat destruction. The new roadways bring hunters in search of exotic species to harvest for local and international consumption. The money is too good to resist. Pangolin flesh, valued up to $600 a kilogram, is a popular delicacy in the upscale restaurants of China and Vietnam.

Dried and powdered, Pangolin scales are a prized ingredient for Chinese folk remedies prescribed for a wide variety of issues including anxiety, poor circulation, acne, hysterical crying in children, women thought to be possessed by devils or ogres and male impotence. In China, ‘decoctions and infused liquids made from pangolins’ remained eligible for reimbursement by government-funded health insurance as recently as last year.

The Pangolin Men of the Tiki Hywood Trust insure the safety of their charges

        In Zimbabwe, the Pangolin Men of the Tiki Hywood Trust insure the safety of their charges

To meet the almost limitless demand, hunters from Saharan Africa to southeast Asia, beat and boil alive hundreds of pangolins every day.“While they may look like dinosaurs, with their unique scales and claws, pangolins are very docile animals. They aren’t aggressive at all,” says zoologist Scott Wilson, Head of Field Programs at the Chester Zoo.  “When traffickers approach using dogs to track down the nocturnal mammals or others choking them out from their nests with smokers, the terrified pangolins will not fight back. Frightened by the hunters they just curl up into a ball to try and protect themselves. Wilson adds: “It would be a very scary experience for them.”

Smuggled across international borders by the many thousands every year has thrust the shy pangolins into the celebrity limelight – winner of the world’s most dubious distinction: ‘most trafficked animals on planet Earth’.

Rescued Pangolins Require Specialized One-on-one Care to be Re-habilitated and Returned to the Wild

        Rescued Pangolins Require Specialized One-on-one Care to be Re-habilitated and Returned to the Wild

 Zoonosis A Word You’ll Need to Know

So what’s the plight of a pangolin got to do with the pandemic that is killing hundreds of thousands of humans, bringing sickness and suffering to millions more?

Maybe everything.

It’s called zoonosis – the transmission of disease from animals to humans.

According to the United States Agency for International Development, about 75% of all emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic – meaning they come from animals. These include, among others, SARS, H5N1 avian flu, and the H1N1 influenza virus and now we welcome to the list… Covid-19.

Peter Daszak – aka The Virus Hunter – knows a lot about zoonosis.  As president of EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit that works globally to identify and study our vulnerabilities to emerging infectious diseases, he was among a team of experts who warned the World Health Organization in early 2018 that a disease bearing Covid-19’s characteristics could cause the next pandemic. Says Daszak: “The idea that this virus escaped from a lab is just pure baloney. These pandemic viruses originate in wildlife.”

“We’ve been working on this for 20 years. We tracked every known emerging disease to its origin, from the scientific literature. Then we tested, with mathematical models, what’s driving that, what are the causes that could underlie the emergence of these new diseases. And what we found is they emerge in places where human populations are very dense and growingThey emerge in the tropics mainly, because that’s where the wildlife diversity is, and that the viruses that become pandemic come from wildlife.

“And the other key factor is land-use change, people moving into new areas, encroachment into wildlife habitat, building roads into a forest for a mine or for a logging camp. There are many, many examples of diseases, like Ebola, SARS and others, HIV itself, from this. And that’s a global trend that will drive the rise of future pandemics.”

Bats Comprise One Fifth of Mammals on the Planet

Bats Comprise One Fifth of Mammals on the Planet

Since January 2020, the consensus among the scientific community has been that  the novel corona virus had originated in horseshoe bats; however, based on what was known about transmission of earlier zoonotic diseases, it was unlikely that bats directly gave the virus to humans . Instead, scientists suspected that the bat coronavirus infected another animal, an “intermediate host,” which subsequently transmitted the virus to humans.  Analyzing DNA samples, researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas traced the disease back to the pangolins.

Dr Joseph F. Petrosino, Baylor Chair in the Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology and head of the research team explains: “It appears a pangolin virus and bat virus found themselves in the same animal, which led to a devastating recombination event, creating the pandemic strain. This may have happened in the wild, or where these animals were brought together in unnaturally close proximity.”  Bats and pangolins were among the tightly packed tenants of stacked cages in the open markets of Wuhan where waste and fluids of all kinds flowed freely from one species to another.

Most Trafficked Animal in the World Eight Species of Pangolin Range from Vulnerable to Critically Endangered

Most Trafficked Animal in the World
Eight Species of Pangolin Range from Vulnerable to Critically Endangered

It’s also possible that the DNA mash-up could have occurred in the wild. Ray Jansen of Tswane University in Pretoria who heads the African Pangolin Working Group notes that pangolins “forage pretty much blindly. Their long tongue waves around in the nest randomly and collects ants and termites on its sticky surface. This creates a very high likelihood of infection from bat feces. Of course, the cross-contamination could also very well have taken place in the market itself where the meat of both species was prepared on the same chopping board … However, the mutated virus was very likely in the pangolin already.”Kate Jones, Chair of Ecology and Biodiversity at University College London sees the challenge as an ongoing and systemic.

“The disruption of pristine forests driven by logging, mining, and rapid urbanization is bringing people into closer contact with animal species they may never have been near before. We invade tropical forests and other wild landscapes, which harbor so many species of animals and plants — and within those creatures, so many unknown viruses. We cut the trees; we kill the animals or cage them and send them to markets. We disrupt ecosystems, and we shake viruses loose from their natural hosts. When that happens, they need a new host. Often, we are it.

Scenic photo

As a freshman studying ecology at Prescott College in the ‘60’s, I learned that disease is the pruning shears wielded by Mother Nature to trim back any species that grows so large it threatens the survival of other species or the delicate balance of the ecosystem itself. You don’t have to be a believer in the Gaia hypothesis to observe that humans are out of control, running amok on the planet, pulling everything out by its roots.  Here she comes… to the rescue. Running with scissors.The current pandemic is not something that just happened. Nor is this is something we did. This is something we are doing… and, if we keep doing, will likely get worse. A lot worse. It’s quite possible this may be a training exercise, that the next iteration of virus will be even meaner.  Maybe it won’t be so nice to babies. Or be content culling such a small percentage of our herd.

But please, let’s be clear: Mother Nature is not the antagonist here.

If there is a villain in this viral kabuki gone global – it appears to be us.   However, as we all know, the seemingly dastardly evildoer is himself a victim, trapped in a darkness to which even he is blind. It’s not intention but circumstance that has caused us to become ‘bad actors’.  In the words of Jessica Rabbit:  “I’m not bad… I’m just drawn that way.”  Will we awaken in time to realize that we’re both protagonists and authors of this ‘graphic novel covid-19’ event. The final scene is yet to be penned. Will our potential for making good choices finally overcome our propensity for making bad ones? It’s only a tragedy if nothing changes.

Virus Hunter, Peter Daszak concludes: “We are making ourselves sick by making the planet sick. That’s really the message that needs to come through from this. Because if we just treat this as another disease, wait for a vaccine and then think, ‘Great, it’s all over,’ well, I’ve got news. There are 1.7 million more viruses out there that will be emerging in the future. We can either wait for them to emerge and get sick and have another global recession, or we can get out there and readdress our relationship with wildlife and make the planet a little bit healthier.”

Pangolins are the most trafficked animals on Earth. As we mourn the affect this trade has on the individuals that suffer it, we must also see that this global demand and tragedy created the circumstances that have likely resulted in the current pandemic. The risk it poses to humans is certainly another reason to stand up against this behavior.

– Jane Goodall –

Grandfather pangolinI had a waking dream the other afternoon. I saw a grandfather pangolin – graying and shambling Yoda-like from his burrow, shading his eyes from the sun with one great curved claw as he looked up at me with dark black eyes along his impossibly long snout.

“Hrrrumph,” he snorted. “What are you doing in my dream?”

“This is my dream,” I replied.

“Hrrumph”, he repeated. “Who was here first?”

“I suppose you were. You pangolins, I mean.”

“Correct,” he announced, seemingly pleased. ‘Would that not make this my dream?”

“I suppose so,” I admitted. “Then I must ask what does this dream of yours consist of?”

With surprising agility he reached into the ample gray hair of his furry tummy – the only place on his body not covered in scales – emerging with a pair spectacles that he ceremoniously placed upon the base of his nose causing him to appear most studious.

“Hrrrrrumph,” he said. “It was about you. You and all your brothers and sisters.  Suddenly you all stopped being in such a hurry. You stayed in your houses so all the rest of us could come out again. You played with each other and took time to remember how fun it is just to be alive… to explore and climb trees and discover things… to marvel… maybe just snack some ants now and then and relax. And little by little your hearts opened again to each other and to all the rest of us, your brothers and sisters in nature.”

“And then what happened?” I asked.

“That’s all,” he turned and shuffled back toward his hole. “Then we just had fun.”

  What to Do? 
Helpful Hints from a ‘Pangolian Perspective’

Man with Pangolin

In Wildness is the Preservation of World –  Henry David Thoreau.

Trees have standing. Pangolins pursue their own purposes. The planet has a plan of its own. It does not belong to us; we belong to it. Curb your reproductive enthusiasm. Let’s stop screwing around  and concern ourselves primarily with insuring that we leave enough for everyone else.

Voluntary simplicity… not involuntary complicity

Buying into mass consumerism undermines every form of life, including our own.  It’s supremely important to – as EF Schumacher wrote “Live simply so others may simply live.” One gift of the pandemic is to remind us that we become immensely rich the instant we realize there is so very little we actually need.

Exercise your right to exercise!

Get out there… and go! Whether it’s the back lot or the back of beyond, adventure is not about risking death; it’s about daring to truly live. Step out past your comfort zone, your pre-conceived self-limitations, interact with the world in a way that expands your ‘circle of compassion’ (thank you Albert E.)  until it includes life in all its forms so deeply and personally that any  affront to nature – be it a person a pangolin – is felt by you so profoundly that you cannot help but ‘stand’.

 · Adopt a Pangolin ·

adopt a pangolinSupport World Wildlife’s Fund’s global efforts to protect wild animals and their habitats by adopting a plush pangolin for yourself or a friend. Included are formal adoption certificate,  full-color photo and species spotlight card full of fascinating information about your new pangolin pal.
When you donate through WWFGifts, you help create a safer world for wildlife, protect amazing places, and build a future where people live in harmony with nature. Your donation will support WWF’s conservation work around the globe and makes you a WWF member.


Learn more here about:
The Pangolin Men : Tiki Hywood Trust and How You Can Help:

Dr Jeff Salz Acclaimed “America’s leading anthropologist/adventurer” by the Discovery Network and the History Channel, Dr. Jeff is equally at home sharing stories with gauchos around a campfire in Patagonia… leading C-Suite executives around a boardroom table in Silicon Valley … or collaborating with Quichua shamans in his home town of Cuenca, Ecuador.

In 2013, after over 20 years as a full-time keynote presenter for hundreds of audiences all over the world, he was awarded the greatest honor of the speaking profession – induction in the National Speakers Association “Speakers Hall of Fame”.

When it comes to building effective leadership teams and connecting individuals through their highest values, Dr. Jeff Salz is unsurpassed!
– Kevin Turner, Chief Operating Officer
Microsoft Corporation
  Become a Shamanic
Is your group of friends or team interested in sharing the transformative journey of a lifetime?
Jeff Salz and Lisa Jaffe offer week-long experiential, adventure-based programs on shamanic leadership for groups in the mountains of Ecuador.Interested in story creation, presentation magic and heart-centered speaking? Perhaps you’re an experienced or beginning speaker wanting to go from good to great?  A leader looking to hone your effectiveness as communicator? Jeff is currently accepting students for individual, online speaker coaching. Experience a fun and uniquely effective approach. Satisfaction (and excitement) guaranteed!

Share the story with your friends!

For more information on keynotes, training, treks and speaker coaching for individuals and teams please go to or contact Dr Jeff at:  [email protected]

Are you Ready to Refuse to be Miserable

Are you Ready to Refuse to be Miserable?

Michael R Mantell​Michael Mantell is a sought-after speaker on behavior science. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a retired psychologist, best-selling author, international speaker, and a highly sought after cognitive behavioral coach whose actionable, valuable and practical work has been featured on Fox News, ABC-TV, NBC-TV, CBS-TV, The New York Times, and The Huffington Post. He writes:

Michael Mantell asks, “Are you ready to refuse to be miserable?”  Are you prepared to make yourself happy at every chance you can despite sheltering-at-home?  While it may be silly and unreasonable to think that a brief article here can lead your feelings of happiness to become stronger while the world is filled with worry, anger, apprehension, I believe it isn’t that silly or unreasonable if you will stop doing one simple thing, demanding your way through COVID-19, and indeed, life.

Michael Mantell refers to Albert Ellis, Ph.D., the founder and creator of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy who is his teacher, mentor and guide, who said, “Life is not necessarily pleasant, but it is never awful, and it is nearly always bearable.”  This opens the gateway to an “I prefer” rather than a “I demand” mindset towards life’s many circumstances.

When people live by a rigid, extreme, absolute and unrealistic collection of demands, requirements, and rules thatAlbert Ellis PhD govern the way they think about themselves, others and the world, they generate injurious, damaging and frustrating feelings about themselves. Setting up standards that they cannot meet, that others don’t have to meet, and that life often won’t meet, is unhealthy to one’s emotional, and physical, well-being. At a time when our confidence is already wilting, demanding, insisting and expecting (D.I.E.) will completely consume it.

Background points on how to Refuse to be Miserable:

  1. If you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings regardless of how unfairly and unpleasurably the world may be treating you—it’s not WHAT happens but rather what you THINK about what happens that creates to upset feelings. Remember that we don’t “GET” upset, we upset ourselves by holding these inflexible beliefs. Words like “must, never, need to, have to, ought, shouldn’t” are the give-a-ways that there’s some serious demanding going on.
  2. Demands and exaggerations are significant obstacles to happiness and well-being
  3. Deep, persistent happiness requires non-wishy-washy practice, practice, and more practice, work, work and more work. It’s the only way to get better.

Demanding sounds like this:

  1. I MUST do well or else I’m no good (leading to conditional self-acceptance)
  2. Others MUST treat me the way I demand they do (leading to anger towards others when they don’t treat you as you demand)
  3. I MUST get what I demand from the world and not what I don’t demand (leading to general unhappiness towards the world around you)


Albert Ellis PhD says:

In Ellis’s own words from his famed 1975 book, A New Guide to Rational Living, “Your statement, ‘I must not get rejected by my mate, and therefore I find it awful that s/he has left me,’ actually means, ‘Because I want very much to have my mate love me, s/he must.’” Substitute the conflict that couples are having today cooped up at home and you can see how this applies today.

Demanders erroneously and irrationally, and I might add, illogically, believe that if they aren’t perfect; if others don’t treat them the way they demand; and if the world is not fair (as they unreasonably demand), then they think it is “terrible, awful, horrible and catastrophic” and further add, “I can’t stand it.” No matter the origin of our upsetting ourselves, we maintain our upset by clinging to these irrational, inaccurate, harsh beliefs.

From thinking
a) that you “MUST” be working out more during COVID-19 because you read or heard that it’s good for your immunity,
b) that you’re a lazy, good for nothing, who ought to be doing more around the house,
c) to believing that your friends are rotten because they aren’t checking in on you while you’re home isolated alone, and
d) your boss is a no good SOB because she didn’t notice the good job you did from home, and on to thinking
e) that life is unfair to bring this CORONA-19 to you on your birthday, all examples of demanding, this type of thinking will sap your energy and serve as a hindrance to you achieving the life you want – or demand.

Can you begin to see how demanding can be a genuine obstacle to happiness? Can you see that it will help you to refuse to be miserable?

Demanders exaggerate in their thinking just how bad a situation or event is, and then demand that the circumstance MUST/SHOULD/OUGHT not to exist in the way it, in all reality, does exist.   Then of course, they nonsensically convince themselves that they can’t possibly stand this awful situation.

By senselessly convincing themselves they cannot stand an event or circumstance, they needlessly impair their ability to deal well with their reality.  And surely by foolishly talking oneself into believing that something is “awful” or “horrible” or “terrible”. Truly meaningless words that make no sense since nothing can be more than 100% “bad”. (There is not 127% “bad” just like there is not 134% pregnant). They are acting on evaluations of events that are highly dramatic, overly exaggerated and far from the reality of being simply “unpleasant” or “inconvenient” or just “bad.”


Demanders, acting like kings and queens that they aren’t, attempt to create new universal laws that others MUST follow and are thereby “reality ignorers.”  Believing that you MUST, others MUST and the world MUST follow your rules and satisfy your wishes directly leads to self-defeating, hyper-negative, angry/depressed/anxious feelings and behaviors, instead of simple disappointment, annoyance, or frustration.

Want to stop demanding? Ask yourself for the proof or evidence behind your exaggerated, absolutistic demand.

Do you have any shred of evidence that you can’t stand your current situation?
Do you have even the slightest proof that your circumstance is “awful” not merely “unfortunate?”
Do you have one iota of data that your world is actually ending?
Do you have any degree of certainty that what IS happening MUST not be happening?
Where is it written that you MUST have what you want?

Said in another way:

  1. Do you really believe that nothing could be worse?
  2. Do you really believe that the situation you are facing is worse than 100% bad?
  3. Do you really believe that NO GOOD WHATSOEVER can possibly come from this (just) bad situation?

Try this INSTEAD:

  1. “I want to succeed but there truly is no reason I MUST succeed.”
  2. “I want my boss to treat me well but there is no reason he/she MUST. I can stand it if he/she doesn’t”
  3. “I’d like to get the promotion but it’s not really horrible if I don’t. It’s truly just simply inconvenient to me and my family if I don’t.”
  4. “I really don’t know if what I am thinking is true or not. So what am I getting out of believing it is other than upset?”
  5. “Would I ever tell a close friend the same thing? No? Then why tell myself I must be a certain way and I’m a complete failure if I’m not that way?”

In other words, life doesn’t always work out the way you want it to.  And there is no reason it must, though you’d like it to, prefer it to, and want it to.  But there’s no reason it must.


To summarize, situations that we don’t like (and don’t HAVE to like) exist. But we can choose to either be unmiserable or unhappy.  If we are ready to be unmiserable, we would be wise to

a) avoid insisting that a circumstance that does exist MUST not exist and
b) avoid “awfulizing” “horriblizing” “terribilizing” and “castastrophizing” about it.

Then, engaging in purposeful enjoyable physical activity increases the likelihood of creating enduring happiness.

Article submitted by courtesy of  San Diego Jewish World published on August 27th, 2020.

Coping with Fear & COVID 19

coping with fear there is light

Where there is light, darkness cannot be, and where there is love, fear cannot be.”

Coping with Fear

To date, the jobless rate during the USA nation wide lockdown is nearing 18 percent. Fear creeps in and surrounds us, ever changing on a daily basis. Today, our fears are numerous. Which bills can I not pay? What about the protests? Am I safe? What’s more important ‘economy and individual freedom’ versus ‘the pandemic and remaining at home’? What do we do with all this fear? Some are finding solace in prayer and spiritual practice. Others are writing …blogging, creating art..singing.

Marianne Williamson on Coping with Fear

Marianne WilliamsonSandi Dolbee, writer for San Diego Union Tribune interviewed Marianne Williamson, best-selling, self-help author. She says the first step to making peace with our fear is acceptance. She says. “It is appropriate to be depressed when a situation is this depressing. It is appropriate to be heartbroken when a situation is this heartbreaking. And it is appropriate to be horrified when a situation is this horrifying.”

She continues,
“We also need to realize we’re in this together, and third: “to realize that love is to fear, what light is to the darkness.

Where there is light, darkness cannot be, and where there is love, fear cannot be.”

Marianne cautions us about going back to what we’re referring to as “normal.” To her, before this pandemic, we put short-term gain over long-term equity and our irreverence — toward the planet, animals and each other — was epidemic. “Normal is what got us here,” she says.

She continues to express her philosophy, saying, “There are a lot of women who have been acting like little girls, who aren’t going to be acting like little girls anymore. There are also a lot of men who have been acting like little boys, who aren’t going to be acting like little boys anymore. This is going to mature a generation of Americans.”

“It’s painful. It’s horrifying. It’s tragic. It’s heartbreaking. But ultimately, I think it will make us better people and it will make us a better country. And I think in that sense, our work will be to make sure that those who died will not have died in vain.”

Control Stress and Fear with Covid19

Niladri Sekhar Dash COVID19 Fear StressDr. Niladri Sekhar Dash is Professor at Linguistic Research Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta, India. He is an expert in Corpus Linguistics. He has some very good advice to give everyone on how to control stress and fear caused by Covid19 Pandemic.

It’s interesting to note that all the methods that are part of Stress Help Center’s program are  included in his list of suggestions to control stress and fear. You receive a variety of choices over a period of 8 weeks. You can have it now for only $2.99


He writes:

Dear Friends,

I share here my last three days’ effort in compiling data from the Internet. I shall be happy if you practice some of these tasks to manage your stress, anxiety, tension, and fear.  My best wishes and regards.

How to kill Stress, Anxiety, and Tension (SAT)
Control Stress and Fear

1. Meditate, Meditate, and Meditate

Chilling out has a direct impact on stress. Research out of Georgetown University Medical Center finds that after an eight-week course in mindful meditation, people with anxiety disorders lowered inflammatory markers and stress hormones in their blood by 15 per cent. Meditation brings short-term stress relief as well as lasting stress management benefits. There are many different forms of meditation to try — each one is unique and brings its own appeal. You might develop a mantra that you repeat in your mind as you take slow deep breaths. Or, you might take a few minutes to practice mindfulness, which involves being in the moment. Simply pay attention to what you see, hear, taste, touch, and smell.

2. Sit Up Straight

Research published in the Journal Health Psychology finds that — compared to a hunched over position — sitting upright in the face of stress can boost self-esteem, fending off further angst. The idea boils down to something called embodied cognition, an idea that our bodies impact our emotions (and vice versa). And it could be that simply feeling taller boosts confidence, shooing stress away, researchers say.

3. Breathe the Right Way

There are reasons doctors sometimes prescribe breathing exercises to people struggling with truly stressful times. Deep breathing — which encourages the full exchange of oxygen in the body — activates your body’s calming parasympathetic response, lowering levels of inflammatory compounds linked to stress.

4. Seek Out Nature (and Sunshine)

A 60-minute walk in the park can calm the mind, lowering activity in a brain region linked to depression, finds Stanford University research. It is not just the walking either: People strolling urban settings filled with traffic instead of trees did not reap the benefits. Our bodies were designed to be in and near green spaces, forests, or the ocean, researchers say. Thus, studies confirm that these spaces are inherently relaxing.

5. Say Thank You

Scientists are no strangers to the powers of gratitude. In fact, gratitude is linked to 23 per cent lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Even more: A study out of the University of California San Diego’s School of Medicine found that grateful folks were happier, slept better, had more energy, and had lower levels of inflammatory biomarkers — some of which correlated with heart health.

6. Sleep It Off

While you snooze, your brain processes all of the emotions and happenings from the day — helping your mind remain even-keeled and keeping stress levels from boiling up. That’s why a lack of shuteye can impair your ability to control your emotions, including anxiety and stress.

7. Phone a Friend

The healthiest (and calmest) among us tend to have something in common: a huge social life. Because friends and family can help us talk through and manage life’s stressors, a strong support system is often linked with being more resilient in the face of stress itself. Making a phone call and releasing your pent-up emotions to the person of your heart can provide you with tremendous relief from stress and tension. Whether listening to you vent your frustrations or offering words of encouragement, friends can provide needed social support. If your friend can make you laugh, all the better, since laughter has been shown to reduce stress and tension.

8. Stop the Snowball Effect

Dwelling or ruminating over things that have happened or things that may happen is very dangerous. Research published in the Journal PLOS one finds that brooding over negative events is the №1 biggest predictor of issues like depression and anxiety and plays a huge role in how much stress you experience. Keeping yourself away from past events and future fears are rubrics that can make you cool and serene.

9. Get a Hug from a Loved One

Physical touch can do a lot to relieve your stress. Hugging a loved one can be especially beneficial. When you hug someone, oxytocin (also known as the “cuddle hormone”) is released. Oxytocin is associated with higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress. Oxytocin also causes a reduction in blood pressure. It reduces the stress hormone norepinephrine and can produce a sense of relaxation. So don’t be afraid to ask a loved one for a hug if you need it. It’s good for both of you and it can be one of the simplest forms of stress relief available.

10. Express Gratitude

Gratitude helps you recognize all the things you have to be thankful for. Whether you’re grateful for a sunny day or thankful you arrived at work safely, think about all the good things you have in life. Gratitude also reminds you of all of the resources you have to cope with stress, which can be quite empowering. Studies also show grateful people enjoy better mental health, lower stress, and a better quality of life. So whether you decide to make it a habit to identify what you’re grateful for as you sit around the dinner table or you decide to write down three things you’re grateful for in a gratitude journal every day, make gratitude a regular habit.

11. Eat Green Vegetables

Comfort foods aren’t so comforting. It’s the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in healthy eat that lower your stress levels. Take a study from the University of Otago — it found that students who ate more fruits and vegetables also tended to feel calmer and happier.

12. Enjoy Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy has real benefits for stress relief — it can help you to feel energized, more relaxed, or more present in the moment. Emerging research suggests certain scents can alter brain wave activity and decrease stress hormones in the body. So whether you enjoy candles, diffusers, or body products, consider incorporating some aromatherapy into your day.

13. Create Artwork

Getting in touch with your creative side may have been easy for you during childhood, but if you’ve lost touch with your penchant for artwork, it’s not too late to pick it up again. If you aren’t into drawing or painting, consider colouring in a colouring book. Adult colouring books have risen in popularity and for good reason — colouring can be a great stress reliever. Research consistently shows that colouring can have a meditative effect. One study found that anxiety levels decline in people who were colouring complex geometric patterns, making it a perfect outlet for stress reduction.

14. Make Time for Leisure Activities

Leisure activities can be a wonderful way to relieve stress. Yet, many people feel as though their lives are too busy for hobbies, games, or extra fun. But building time for leisure into your schedule could be key to helping you feel your best. And when you feel better, you’ll perform better, which means leisure time may make your work time more efficient. Whether you find joy in caring for a garden or you like making quilts, hobbies and leisure are key to living your best life.

15. Develop a Positive Self-Talk Habit

The way you talk to yourself matters. Harsh self-criticism, self-doubt, and catastrophic predictions aren’t helpful. If you’re constantly thinking things like, “I don’t have time for this,” and “I can’t stand this,” you’ll stress yourself out. It’s important to learn to talk to yourself in a more realistic, compassionate and positive manner. When you call yourself names or doubt your ability to succeed, reply with a kinder inner dialogue. Positive self-talk helps you develop a healthier outlook. And an optimistic and compassionate conversation can help you manage your emotions and take positive action.

16. Be Positive in Attitude

Look for the positives in life and things for which you’re grateful. “People don’t always appreciate what they have,” says Professor Cooper. “Try to be a glass half full instead of glass half empty,” he says. Try writing down 3 things that went well, or for which you’re grateful, at the end of every day. Attitude counts! Be positive in attitude, many of our problems will be diminished and are easily solved.

17. Practice Yoga

Yoga combines physical movement, meditation, light exercise, and controlled breathing — all of which provide excellent stress relief. And while you’re likely to reap immediate benefits from a single yoga session, you’re likely to receive long-term benefits if you incorporate it into your life in a consistent way. Yoga offers a variety of physical, psychological, and spiritual benefits.

18. Try Guided Imagery

Guided imagery is like taking a short vacation in your mind. At the individual level, it can involve imaging yourself being in your ‘happy place’ — maybe picturing yourself sitting on a beach, listening to the waves, smelling the ocean, and feeling the warm sand underneath you. At the partner level, you can imagine yourself being in the embrace of your loved one at your ‘favourite place’ — imagining yourself sitting at a lonely seashore, catching the hands of your partner, feeling the breathing of your partner, and feeling the joy and harmony of togetherness.

Guided imagery can be done with a recording where you listen to someone walk you through a peaceful scene. Or, once you know how to do it yourself, you can practice guided imagery on your own. Simply close your eyes for a minute and walk yourself through a peaceful scene. Think about all the sensory experiences you’d engage in and allow yourself to feel as though you’re really there. After a few minutes, open your eyes and return to the present moment.

19. Take Control

There’s a solution to any problem. “If you remain passive, thinking, ‘I can’t do anything about my problem’, your stress will get worse,” says Professor Cooper. “That feeling of loss of control is one of the main causes of stress and lack of wellbeing.” The act of taking control is in itself empowering, and it’s a crucial part of finding a solution that satisfies you and not someone else.

20. Have Sex

Sex often comes with a chemical cocktail of hormones like ‘feel good’ oxytocin as well as a release of endorphins. When running through the bloodstream these molecules can help us chill out. Also, it creates lasting bondage between the partners to sail through the turbulent waters. The strong and scintillating memories of stimulant sex acts that are preserved in our brain also act as a catalyst to get relief from stress and anxiety.

21. Have some ‘me time’

People work the longest hours in Europe, meaning they often don’t spend enough time doing things they really enjoy. They all need to take some time for socializing, relaxation or exercise, says Prof. Cooper. He recommends setting aside a couple of nights a week for some quality ‘me time” away from work. By earmarking those 2 days, it means they are not to be tempted to work overtime. Evidence shows that people who help others, through activities such as volunteering or community work, become more resilient. The more you give, the more resilient and happy you feel. If you don’t have time to volunteer, try to do someone a favour every day. It can be something as small as helping someone cross the road or going on a coffee run for colleagues.

22. Smile As You Mean It

Stop stressing and smile! There’s something to the old adage, “Grin and bear it.” Smiling when you feel stressed creates a little tension in facial muscles that helps reduce stress. Smiles are particularly stress-busting when they’re genuine, using muscles around the mouth and eyes. Smiling can also help an elevated heart rate recover faster once a stressful situation has passed.

23. Tune In

If you have to give a talk at work or you’re facing a similar stressful event, music can help keep you calm. Participants in one study had lower levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) when listening to Latin choral music (Miserere by Gregorio Allegri) than when they just listened to the sound of rippling water. Listening to soothing music is one of the easiest ways to stop stress.

24. Catching it Early

Signs and symptoms such as headache, gut discomfort, tense muscles, and fidgety sleep may be early indicators of too much stress. When you feel stress coming on, take a breath and put your stress management techniques into practice. A short walk can improve mood and reduce feelings of stress.

25. Setting limits

Say ‘NO’ to those tasks that can make you less productive and successful. Accept or do those tasks that you choose to take on and that you love to do. It can make you less stressful.

A good book or a movie can help redirect your thoughts from unproductive worry. True relaxation involves a feeling of peace of mind. You may find a hobby or certain exercises particularly relaxing. Meditation, prayer or deep, slow breathing are other ways of feeling calm.


Throughout the day, stop and evaluate the endless stream of thoughts that run through your mind. If they are negative, try to reframe those thoughts in a positive way. If stress is affecting your ability to work or find pleasure in life, seek help from your doctor or mental health provider. Getting outside help is not a sign of weakness. It takes strength to admit that you may need help — — and getting help shows good judgment.

20th April 2020


Tips to Learn at Home with Google Earth

Emily Henderson, the Program Manager of Google Earth Education has tips on how to learn at home with Google Earth. She writes ….. I’m an aunt to eight nieces and nephews, who over the past few weeks transitioned to distance learning. I also have a sister who works in Special Education. She now spends half of her time meeting directly with parents, creating strategies to modify coursework and ensuring that families have the tech to support academic progress.

It hasn’t been an easy adjustment, but my family is one of the many using different tools to connect with their classrooms and stay busy.

With millions of students out of school due to COVID-19, educators are rising to the challenge of teaching remotely at an unprecedented scale. Parents are putting in extra time to support their kids with productive learning sessions. Adults, too, are looking to learn new things and explore the world around them from home.

While there are many resources for distance learning for both kids and adults—such as Google’s new information hub Teach from Home and the Learn@Home YouTube channel—sometimes all you need is a quick activity that doesn’t require much prep. And one place you’re sure to find that is Google Earth.

Here are four easy ways anyone can use Google Earth as a learning tool or even simply to experience new places and adventures while staying safe at home.

1. Take a spin around the globe with the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button

Google Earth’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” feature recreates the feeling of spinning a globe and dropping your finger down somewhere unexpected. With a click of the “dice” button, you can learn about the world and travel to unexpected destinations.

Google Earth's I'm Feeling Lucky feature

Uncover hidden gems the world over with “I’m Feeling lucky,” a feature that takes you somewhere unexpected with the click of a button.

2. Measure the world

If you’ve ever wondered how far your home is from Machu Picchu or what the nautical miles between Easter Island and Hawaii are, you’re in luck. With Google Earth’s measure tool, you can easily discover the distance between locations, along paths and the area of places. Challenge yourself by changing the unit of measurement, perhaps to a smoot, and figure out how long it would take for you to walk, boogie, swim, paddle or fly to a place you love.

Google Earth's Measure Tool

Use lines and shapes to check distances and estimate sizes of different features on Earth

3 Explore Google Earth Voyager games and imagery

How well do you know the world’s national parks? What about the sound a penguin makes? With a few clicks, you can test your knowledge  on national parksanimal sounds or space exploration. You can even travel the world with Carmen Sandiego.

Join Carmen Sandiego in a globe-trotting game and learn about new places, cultures and customs

Students can also try a round of Earth Bingo or discover the ABCs using satellite imagery. Also, think about using Street View to put a digital spin on the game “I spy with my little eye” and look for objects in the online version of students’ streets and neighborhoods, or take the classic game for an artistic spin inside of a museum.

4 Visit Google’s education partner websites

Many of the authors of our Voyager stories have free online resources and activities that use Google Earth. Students can hone their geo-literacy skills and gain inspiration with National Geographic. A click of the “Share to Google Classroom” button will bring PBS Learning Media’s collection of World Explorers videos and lesson plans to an entire classroom.

Media4Math has developed a collection of resources that give mathematical principles real world context, such as the geometry of castles and circular structures.

Media4Math Triangular Structures Google Earth Voyager story

Learn how triangles are incorporated into famous buildings

Once you’ve learned about shapes, move onto sound, with the Global Oneness Project curriculum. It explores the linguistic diversity and vitality of indigenous languages from speakers around the world. The curriculum is a companion to the Google Earth audio collection, Celebrating Indigenous Languages.

You can find more Google Earth resources and classroom activities on the Google Earth Education website. As well as TES, a resource hub with plenty of home learning essentials. Educators looking to connect with other teachers to share ideas on using Google Earth and mapping tools in the classroom can check out the new Google Earth Education Community Forum, and continue to follow Google Earth on Twitter and Facebook.

Google Earth education resources

Saliva Test Help COVID19

New Saliva Test to Help Diagnose COVID19

A Saliva Test to help diagnose COVID19 is on the horizon. This stands to be an extremely helpful and safe method for coronavirus COVID19 testing in the future. This is happening at Rutgers University in New Jersey.  The most encouraging news is that the researchers have received US Government clearance for the first saliva test to help diagnose covid-19.

Consequently, this new and unique approach could help expand possible options for testing. Not only that but it will also reduce the risk of infection for healthcare workers. Rutgers’ RUCDR Infinite Biologics and its collaborators are responsible for this new collection approach.

Current COVID19 Testing

Up until now, the way that screening for covid19 is conducted, it requires healthcare workers to take a swab from a patient’s nose or throat. Because of this imminent danger and to try and lessen infection risks, many hospitals and clinics have been instructed to discard their gloves and masks after every test contact. This applies to anyone who may have the virus.

New Saliva Test Procedure

Saliva Test COVID 19 Dr Andrew BrookRight now many of institutions are struggling with shortages of basic medical supplies. This includes gowns and masks. The new saliva-based tests uses a completely different procedure. They give each patient a plastic tube. The patient spits into the tube several times. After that, they hand the tube back to the health care worker.

This method prevents the healthcare professionals from having to actually be in the face of someone who may be symptomatic, says Andrew Brooks, who directed the Rutgers research that developed the test.

It’s noteworthy to find out that Rutgers tested this method for accuracy by taking both saliva and swab samples from sixty different patients.  The results show, without a doubt, that the patients’ saliva samples are a 100% match with the results from the swabs.



Suggestions on how to Cope with Coronavirus COVID19 Pandemic