Monday, November 15, 2021

Convert Anxiety into Relaxation with a Colorful Cloud Visualization

 Stress Reduction Visualization

Mental health experts agree it’s common to experience anxiety in response to fearful or stressful situations and occasional anxiety is a normal part of life.

Information from the American Psychological Association indicates that “Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure.

Since the pandemic, moderate to severe anxiety has risen to 37.3 percent of the adult population, up from 6.9 percent in 2019. 

We are living in atypical times. I believe we need an extra-large dose of Tender Loving Care (TLC) and a huge portion of self-compassion when we are exploring ways to convert anxiety into relaxation.

A recent anxiety reduction study conducted by the National Institute of Health(NIH) indicates just as spending time in nature can reduce anxiety, Nature-based Guided Imagery (GI) such as visualizing walking at the beach, hiking in the mountains, kayaking on a river, or having a picnic in a green field has special healing power. 

Nature-based GI works by signaling our bodies to reduce cortisol level (the stress hormone), breathe deeper, lower blood pressure, and connect with the revitalizing energy found in natural surroundings. 

Moreover, nature-based GI helps us overcome the limitation of access to nature and simulates the impact of nature-based anxiety relief interventions.

Look below and discover a fun way to

Convert Anxiety into

 Relaxation with a Colorful 

Cloud Visualization

Settle yourself into a comfortable place where you won't be disturbed. Select a position that is good for you like lying on the floor, sitting on the floor, or sitting upright in a chair with your feet on the floor and hands in your lap.

Pick a location that allows you to experience the moment, rather than one that helps you drift off and fall asleep.

Begin by closing your eyes or gazing softly. Then take three deep, cleansing breathes.  

You can count each breath in your mind, but don't worry if you forget to count, or forget your place in the counting.

Deep breathing is a great way to start any visualization exercise, as it grounds you and helps you focus on mind, body, and spirit. More about deep breathing in the post How to Conquer Stress Quickly and Effectively.

Selfcare tips breathing exercise

Think of your breath as a path to calm, gentle energy. Imagine the exhale as a place to let go of worry, fear, and urgency to fix the future. Recognize the inhale as space to restore equilibrium and ease.

Imagine yourself exhaling a cloud of anxiety. If you can't easily imagine a cloud, you may want to put your hand on your chest as you breathe and sense your lungs, heart, and gut getting lighter or more open.

Now imagine yourself stepping into a fluffy white cloud that has fallen to the ground. If you find this challenging, recall the cloud image pictured at the top of this post.

Envision reaching out to feel the white clouds' airiness as well as sensing the clouds' ability to enfold and support your body.

White is an expansive color, one that is made of all the colors in the spectrum. White reflects all light and makes spaces appear larger. See Ways to Welcome and Embrace White Space for more.

In Western traditions white is often used as a symbol or purity and new beginnings. Let the color white help you turn over a new leaf. 

Picture yourself sitting on a puffy white cloud. Use this time to acknowledge and reflect on ways you tried to cope with anxiety by using outmoded patterns, worn out ideas, and unhealthy methods to deal with stress. 

If any anxiety producing or judgmental  thoughts come into your consciousness, acknowledge their presence. Then wish them goodbye as you allow 

The idea of this step is to see mistakes you've made in the past and release them without critical thoughts about yourself. 😍 

Feel the surface below you becoming softer and more cloud-like. Imagine the cloud rising, surrounding you in its protective support. You become light as a white dove, and soon are floating on your special cloud without a care in the world.

See your cloud rising a little further, taking you with it. It appears that the walls and ceiling around you are disappearing as you float into the sky, drifting on the cloud.

Look around from this vantage point and imagine what else you can see. 

Perhaps you envision a forest filled with beautiful autumn hued trees, their leaves whispering in the gentle breeze. 

Maybe you prefer to see housetops, country roads, hills, or even the ocean at sunset.

From this awesome vantage point, you can see around you 360 degrees. The horizon stretches out in a complete circle around you.

Feel contentment, harmony, and well-being as you use parts of the natural world and your imagination to help you absorb healing earth energy.

Sense softness in your arms, legs, and torso. Sense peacefulness in mind and spirit.

Envision a wave of relaxation flowing from your head, down through your neck, chest, back, arms, legs, and feet. Notice how freeing and loving it feels to be in this cloud.

Allow warmth and relaxation to take over. As you do this, focus your awareness on your feet. Feel the floor beneath them, and then move your awareness up through your body, feeling it spreading right up to the top of your head.

Move your focus back to your imagination as you take a large handful of the cloud and imagine what it would feel like to be immersed inside of it. Relax and enjoy these comforting feelings, and let your mind drift wherever it wants to go.

If you sense any anxiety, bring it to the surface. Let all that you feel float to the surface, acknowledge them, but don’t get caught up in them. 

Keep acknowledging your emotions, by identifying the feelings and then gently releasing them, as if they are on their own clouds, being blown away by a gentle breeze.

Keep doing this until your mind is free and clear of any anxious or stressful thoughts. The cloud keeps you safe and protected as you watch your worries and anxieties drift away. 

When you feel complete, start to come back from this journey by yawning, moving your shoulders up and down, or sighing. Let your cloud take you back to where you need to go. 

Notice your cloud is lowering you down, back toward the ground. Float back to where you were when you started this visualization. 

Give your cloud time to rest on the bed, chair, or whatever surface you are on. Feel the cloud slowly disappear as the real surface becomes more solid beneath you.

Get in touch with your surroundings, and slowly come back to the present. Feel a real surface beneath you. Hear the sounds around you. Become more and more aware and alert. Continue to rest for a few moments longer, but open your eyes and look around. See your surroundings.

This cloud visualization is an effective self-care tool, because it allows you to take advantage of the healing power of being in nature, without having to leave your environment. 

It is provided for information and entertainment purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.

Next time you feel on edge, take a short break to convert anxiety into relaxation with this colorful cloud visualization.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Please share comments in the section below. 

Have you used guided imagery to help you reduce stress or anxiety?

Are you willing to give it a try? Please explain in the comments section below.

Just a word of caution. If you share a link in your comment, I won't be able to publish it that way.

Please visit my Website as well. It's the go-to place to learn ways I can help you with content creation, editing, and guest blogs to boost your business and help your organization thrive.

Writing Services from Nancy Andres

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Monday, November 1, 2021

Positive Quotes to Motivate Us to Focus on Self-Empowerment


Self-empowerment means claiming our personal power by making positive choices about how we expend our energy, what we believe about ourselves, and the attitudes and behaviors we choose to adopt each day.  

We empower ourselves whenever we reserve time to pursue those things we want to attract and incorporate into daily living. 

When we empower ourselves it increases our sense of self-sufficiency, authenticity, accomplishment, resilience, and raises self-esteem. See 7 Tips for Achieving Self-Empowerment for ideas.

Relying on personal characteristics that make us unique and allows our spirit to shine, helps us accept and love ourselves unconditionally. See 9 Practices to Help You See You are Enough for empowering self-care tips.

For Inspiration, Motivation,

 and Support See Quotes for


From time to time, we all need extra support, encouragement, and motivation to persevere

One powerful way to change negative self-talk into positive messages is to take advantage of amazing affirmations and tips for self-validation.

In addition, I suggest we recite the quotes that follow aloud as an affirmation, use them as a meditation or mantra, or set the intention to think of them as we ace the day!

Motivational Quote for Self-Empowerment

"Every Thought You Produce, Anything You Say, Any Action You Do, It is Your Signature." ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Motivational Quote for Self-Empowerment

"I am larger, better than I thought; I did not know I held so much goodness.

All seems beautiful to me.

Whoever denies me, it shall not trouble me.

Whoever accepts me, he or she shall be blessed and bless me." ~ Walt Whitman

Motivational Quote for Self-Empowerment

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." ~Winston Churchill

Motivational Quote for Self-Empowerment

"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions." ~ Dalai Lama

Motivational Quote for Self-Empowerment

"Love is what you are born with. Fear is what we have learned here. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and the acceptance of love back into our hearts." ~ Marianne Williamson

Motivational Quotes for Self-Empowerment

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

~ Maya Angelou


Which quotes resonate with you? 

Ponder each and allow those you like to inspire, motivate, and support you as you act with a positive mindset and behaviors that help you fulfill your wildest dreams.

Please visit my Website as well. It's the go-to place for the latest news about ways my writing services can boost your business and help your organization thrive.

Before you go, please leave a comment below. πŸ’—

Did the wise words in these quotes help you get a better understanding about self-empowerment? 

I read and appreciate every comment, but will not publish those that contain links. Thanks for understanding. 

This post is intended for entertainment and information only. If you need mental health advice, consult with your health care provider.

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Friday, October 15, 2021

Savvy Food Tips to Reduce Salt Intake

Low Salt Food Shopping, Prep, and Meal Ideas


According to the National Kidney Foundation too much sodium is bad for your health, and can increase your blood pressure and make your kidneys work harder. It can also increase the risk for a heart attack or stroke.”

The FDA Dietary Guidelines for Sodium consumption for adults is no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day, and the American Heart Association states an "ideal" amount of sodium intake is no more than 1,500 mg per day. 

Keep in mind these amounts are top limits, especially if you're sensitive to the effects of sodium or have high blood pressure. 

If you aren't sure how much salt is healthy to ingest, listen to your body and talk to your health care provider for guidance. This post is offered for entertainment and educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice.

Low Salt Food Shopping, Prep, and Meal Ideas

If you need or want to reduce salt intake, you don’t have to make lots of changes at once. 

This post is chock full of tips about how to season foods with flavorful herbs and spices, eat less salt, and improve wellness. There are links to delicious low salt recipes, and food prep ideas too.

Savvy Food Tips to Reduce Sodium Intake          

  • Ask your grocer if they have a low sodium shopping list available or a special section in the supermarket for low sodium items. This is one way to be a more savvy shopper.
  • Read the nutrition facts label on those foods that have them. Check the amount of sodium in foods per serving and compare different options.
  • Choose products with a sodium score of a 5% Daily Value (DV) or less. A sodium content of 20% DV or more is very unhealthy.
  • Despite what many people think, most dietary sodium (over 70%) comes from eating packaged and prepared foods—not from table salt added to food when cooking or eating.
  • Processed meats, poultry, and seafood – like deli meats, sausages, sardines, and tuna are high sodium items. Substitute low salt plant-based proteins including legumes, peas, beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, and dark leafy greens instead.
  • Want to give recipes a Latin American twist? Make  homemade salt-free adobo seasoning  from Desiree, the creator of Rican Vegan. I use this seasoning to sprinkle on entrΓ©es before cooking. This is one fun way to spice up your food without having to use salt.
  • For a salt-free homemade Italian seasoning blend experiment making this recipe from Brandi at the Vegan 8.
  • Sprinkle on hot red pepper flakes or use Tabasco or other low salt hot pepper sauce to give your food a spicy kick. 
  • Ready-made salad dressings usually contain an unhealthy amount of sodium. One of my favorite salt free salad dressings is Creamy, Vegan White Bean, Garlic, and Ginger Salad Dressing. It's delicious, easy to make, and so nutritious.

  • If you decide to buy a premade salad dressing, only get one that is labeled low sodium, salt free, or no salt added.
  • Instant foods like flavored rice or noodles, and ready-made pasta, pizza, canned soup, and canned chili are high sodium products. 
  • To save time, make Instant Pot Acorn Squash and Apple Soup for Fall. Yummy recipe and photo comes from food blogger Judee Algazi.

  • Want a nourishing, inexpensive, protein rich dish that is full of flavor? My recipe for Hearty Red Lentil Dal incorporates tasty Indian style spices, and the only added salt comes from low sodium vegetable broth. The recipe is so adaptable; it can be made as a stew or soup.
Tips, Ideas Recipes for Lentils

  • Bake, steam, and roast foods from scratch. Add a drop or two of olive oil after cooking, blend in freshly ground black pepper, and finish it off with a few drops of lemon or orange juice to perk up the taste. 
  • Eat unsalted nuts and unsalted trail mix instead of salted ones.
  • Store bought pretzels, popcorn, pre-packaged breads and rolls, and chips are loaded with salt. Say no to them and make your own, or at the very least, get low salt varieties.
  • Be creative with snack foods. Make baked sweet potato fries, and select crunchy unsweetened cereal, homemade bread, carrot sticks, peas, or a crisp apple smeared with almond butter.
  • Buy vegetables that are fresh, frozen, or fresh from your home garden. Choose to serve frozen vegetables that are made without added salt or sauce.  
  • Canned foods like veggies or beans may have high sodium, so find those with the least amount of sodium. The same goes for olives, pickles, and the like. Rinse canned or bottled foods before cooking. This will wash away some of the salt.
  • Use condiments including ketchup that is unsalted or lower in sodium.
  • Take the salt shaker off your table and in its place use a shaker of oregano.
  • Refrain from adding salt to water when you cook pasta, rice, corn on the cob, or potatoes.
  • Substitute tasty herbs and spices to flavor your food instead of reaching for salt. Favorite spices of mine are ginger, turmeric, garlic, and no-salt Italian seasoning blend. 
  • When you are eating in a restaurant, ask for nutrition information before you order. Only then, select a verified low sodium meal or "no salt added meal." Split a meal with a friend, family member, or take home half for a second meal.
  • When you're ordering takeout food to eat at the office or home, request unsalted main courses and vegetables. If veggies are already premade, get fruit as a side item instead.
  • Keep takeout, restaurant meals, and fast food as an occasional treat. πŸ’—

No matter how much sodium you have eaten in the past, it's possible to make healthier choices in the present and future. 

Please let me know your personal tips and ideas about reducing salt intake in the comments section below.

In what ways have you measured and regulated the amount of salt you use? Has your method been successful? Please explain.

What new ideas appeal to you? Share that too.

Please don't put links in comments, as they won't be published that way.

I post on the first and fifteenth of the month, and wish you'll visit again.

Discover fresh plant-based recipe and prep ideas, wellness information, and colorful self-care tips at the place where colors and a healthy lifestyle intersect.

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Friday, October 1, 2021

Job Board Specialty Diversity and Employment Inclusion Joyce Trinder

Native American Jobs at Colors 4 Health

Diverse and inclusive workplaces have the potential to be innovative, efficient, productive, and successful. 

Diversity in the workplace refers to those companies and businesses that intentionally employ people with a range of characteristics, such as gender, religion, race, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, education, and other attributes.

With that in mind, I had the pleasure of interviewing Joyce Trinder, one of the founders and CEO of Native American Jobs (NAJ)

This family owned business was the first job board of its kind online. It remains the most accessible one for jobs today. lives up to its mission to help employers and career minded individuals from diverse, indigenous, and minority cultures find jobs in places where a multi-faceted workforce is important to all. 

Read more below to discover why NAJ and its leader, Joyce Trinder are special.

Joyce Trinder Native American Jobs CEO

Editor's note: Although Nancy Andres has known Joyce Trinder for several years, Nancy did not realize the fascinating back story of Joyce's company or reasons why her operation runs so well. 

The interview questions are Nancy's and answers are quotes from Joyce Trinder, with minimal editing for clarity.   πŸ‘Œ

Interview: Joyce Trinder

Nancy Andres: When and where did you start Native America Jobs and what was your motivation?

Joyce Trinder: Native American Jobs was started in 2000 in Klamath Falls Oregon. My husband, who is Native American, and I couldn’t get jobs. We decided there had to be a better way to find work. So we started NAJ. 

NAJ was the first Native American online job board in the U.S.A. I did all the postings myself for the first 6 years. 

We went from 2 pages of job listings to a redesigned site with jobs from all the states on it. 

Today, companies have the option of getting a simple listing or  becoming a featured employer with their company profile, and links for all open positions. 

Adds start for as little as $75 for 15 days for employers, with no fee for those who are seeking employment.

Nancy: Does your organization serve a broad range of people who are looking for and posting jobs?

Logo Native American Jobs
Logo for Native American Jobs

Joyce: Yes. Our job board started out with listings for Tribal entities. I learned very quickly that lots of companies find it beneficial to include diverse employees. There is greater job satisfaction and productivity at companies were employees are valued. 

That’s why we market to Colleges, Tribal Entities, Non-Profits, Food Banks, and a lot of Blue collar companies as well. 

For example, Stanford University, Puyallup Tribal Health Authority, and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute list their job openings with us.

Nancy: How did you get into this industry?

Joyce: I used to work for Boeing Airplane Company in Washington State in Human Resources or Personnel, a name that department used to called. 

I have always enjoyed helping others. I think is my calling, and I'm grateful this September starts our 21st year in business.

Nancy: What problem  does NAJ solve for customers?

Joyce: We help employers reach out to diverse job seekers for their open positions, as well as help job seekers find the job of their dreams.

Nancy: Do you think you bring a special skill, a knack for detail, customer care, reliability, and ease of interacting that is unique or distinctive?

Joyce: Yes I do. NAJ is all about Customer Service. We consider our Employers and Job Seekers as family. We aim to serve, treat others with respect and dignity… and go the extra mile to help them. We do our best to answer each call. Should we not have an answer, we will get one, and get back to the person who asked that question as quickly as possible.

Nancy: Is the NAJ website, job board, and customer service department user friendly? Is help readily available when needed?

Joyce: Yes it is. I made sure our website is easy to navigate, especially so those who search for work after hours can find what they are looking for. 

Native American Jobs has a Customer Service Department open from 8-5 PM EST. Please call 888-491-8833 ex 1389 for help.

Our agents are kind, caring, and receptive to peoples’ needs and questions. If you need to speak to me, please call 253-350-4114.

Nancy: In what ways has the company evolved since you started it?

Joyce: I did all the website maintenance until 2006. After much research I chose a reliable company to do the data management in the background. We have been working with them for 15 years now.  

They keep technology for NAJ up to date, and offer new tools to the Job Board on a regular basis.

Nancy: What are the big issues in the employment industry, and what’s your opinion on them?

Joyce: A lot of competition, other companies over-charging for posting jobs, traffic to the job board by Job Seekers fluctuates a lot. 

When COVID hit, our traffic dropped way off, and we took a terrible hit. Fortunately, in the recent months of 2021, we have rebounded with more traffic from Job Seekers and many  listings from Businesses seeking applicants for their open positions.

Nancy: What does the company plan to do next?

Joyce: We are rolling out new tools on the job board to make it easier for Employers to advertise. We are gearing up to offer free tools for Job Seekers to utilize as well. My IT team is on the lookout for ways to improve what we offer, and help people who use our site.

Nancy: What motivates you to give your best?

Joyce: I had a very rough life growing up and learned early on I had to depend on myself to take care of me and my children. My aunt taught me how to survive mentally as well as financially, how to save money for emergencies, and to be able to take care of us under any circumstance.

As an adult, I had been unemployed at times. When the kids were small I was on Public Assistance. I needed help as a single mom to pay my bills, buy groceries, and put gas in the car. I worked 3 jobs to take care of us the best I could. 

I like to help people to be the best they can be, and find that Dream Job they are working so hard to get.

I feel blessed to be able to provide resources to Job Seekers and Employers that will help them be successful and move forward in their lives.

Do you have comments or questions for Joyce or me? 

Please share ideas, comments, and questions below in the comments section. 

See my Website as well. Click on the link to Services to discover ways my health & lifestyle writing, editing, and online content development creation can help you.

Your feedback and social media support is greatly appreciated. Just remember to put no links in your comments. They will not be published that way.

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