Posts Tagged ‘less stress’

7 Things to Do When You Retire

February 28, 2012

1. Travel: Job and family responsibilities keep people rooted in one community. Familiar sights and habit often lead to stagnation and boredom. To really feel alive we must experience new sights and new traditions. There is a whole world out there of folks doing things differently and still being successful. We are often surprised and gain a whole new perspective on what’s possible. New avenues and possibilities suddenly appear before our eyes. Magical moments that send us off on an entirely new course of discovery. Travel is a great way to recharge your batteries after doing the same-old, same-old for so long. Pledge to travel. Pick out someplace you’d like to visit. You don’t have to go all exotic. A trip to a state park you’ve never seen is a very inexpensive way to get started. Or maybe to your state capitol if you’re not a big nature fan. Or, just hop in the car once a week and drive off to destinations unknown. Many of my best discoveries came from just such unplanned adventures. Drive until you come to something interesting, then, hop out and take a better look. Travel is a great way to begin your retirement years. Later, I’ll tell you about one simple new technology that makes travel exponentially more fun, even if you have to travel by yourself.

2. Get a Job: Of course I don’t mean go to work for someone else. This is your chance to finally do what you love to do. This is your chance to turn your hobby into a source of additional income. Making money doing what you love is the dream. Sharing your crafts or hobbies or interests with the world has never been easier thanks to the internet. In the not too distant past, retirement came awfully close to the end of our life expectancy. But not anymore. At age 65 most of us can look forward to another 10, 15, 20, 25 or more years of living. What will we do with all that time. Earl Nightingale, famous radio personality and co-founder of the Nightingale-Conant corporation that built their success on audio education programs once said, “The people who live the longest are the people with something to do.” We need something to do. We need some plan or structure in our life. Like it or not, a plan for the future, some expectation or excitement for what’s to come is a driving force in our life that pulls us forward.
When you tie your hobby or interests to a source of income generation, you insure that you’ll always have the financial freedom to enjoy what you love and you’ll get even more enjoyment from it knowing that others are interested in your work too. What joy is the most beautiful flower in the garden, or the best recipe, or the fine wooden craft if there’s no one else to share it with. Sharing has never been easier with the internet and a simple new digital tool.

3. Meet New People: One of the greatest joys in life are friends. People to share our interests and activities with. Meeting new friends was easy when we were in school. Classes would change, kids would come and go. We’d meet new people through sports or clubs or parties. Once we get into the workforce though, we find ourselves a bit more limited. Maybe we’d get to know a coworker. Or someone at church. Or someone from our kid’s school. By the time we retire we can often feel a bit lonely. Kid’s are grown. Sadly, some of our friends have gone off to their great reward or moved into retirement homes or places like Florida or Arizona. Meeting new people can sometimes be a real challenge. Luckily, there are hobbies that make it easy to meet new people.

4. Stay Active: The human body was not designed to be stationary. We we’re meant to move. Activity keeps our muscles in tone. It keeps our fluids moving. It lubricates our joints and aids our digestion. The trick is to find an activity that is low-stress but still addresses all of our physical necessities. Fortunately, walking is an activity that most of us can do. In fact, walking is the activity most often prescribed by doctors for people of all ages. It’s great for our posture, it stimulates our cardiovascular system and its low stress. The only problem is people often get bored with it. Fortunately, when you combine walking with another popular activity you can overcome that boredom and get even greater benefits. Benefits like triple calorie burn, instant gratification, and an excitement to get up and out the very next day. In fact, adding one simple activity can increase your interest in walking from 15 minute to one hour easily, thus quadrupling your benefit.

5. Leave a Legacy: Let’s face it, one day, we’ll be gone. Our time here on this planet will come to an end and we’ll take all of our memories and experience with us. How great if we could leave just a portion of that knowledge, talent and experience behind. What can you do to share? Rich folks leave large sums of money to benefit their favorite charities and institutions. Many other folks volunteer their time and talents. What organizations could use your help? What do you like to do? Could you volunteer your time? Could you write a book? Technology like computers and online retailers like Amazon.com make it very easy now to write and publish your knowledge. Perhaps you like to make things? Furniture and wood crafts. Decorative items for the home. How about art? Do you like to draw or paint? Perhaps you’re one of those frustrated artists who can never get their hand to do as the brain says? Fortunately there are digital arts now that leave your traitor hand out of the equation and let your wild imagination do all the work with a keyboard and mouse.

6. Teach: What better way to leave a part of you behind than to teach? When you share your knowledge you give the next generation all the benefit of your experience. You give them a head start, a leg up, a shortcut to success. There are many community education opportunities where you can even earn money sharing your knowledge. How about SCORE, the service corps of retired executives? Perhaps you could share your knowledge to help other businesses grow?
Starting your own class is easier than you think. It can provide great satisfaction, purpose, and is a great way to meet people with the same interests as you.

7. Buy a Camera: One of the best ways to get maximum enjoyment from your retirement years is to get a camera and learn a bit about photography. Photography is a great way to unify and magnify the benefits from all your activities.

A recent survey, conducted offers some interesting health benefits not normally associated with photography.
• 3 out of 4 people in the survey indicated that photography made them more active each week.
• All of the survey’s participants said that photography stimulates their mind. Half stated that it made them feel more focused, alive and creative.
• 82% found the ability to sustain high levels of concentrate while taking photos. (not an easy task in today’s hurry up era of infinite distractions)
• Fun – Most study participants were involved just for fun, deriving no income from their photos.
• 93 people out of 100 reported that photography made them feel good about themselves.
• 8 out of 10 said it lifts their mental state daily… it makes them feel good.
• More than half the people surveyed felt more connected to the local community and the world.
• 8 out of 10 reported that their involvement in photography had increased their contact with other people.

Surprise – The quality of the photos taken did not influence results. Even though half the people found others showed little or no interest in their photos, they still reported feeling all of photography’s positive benefits!

When asked to reveal, in their own words, the benefits they enjoyed from photography here’s a snapshot of the replies:

Connecting with nice people, relaxation, reduced stress, creativity, extra income, greater appreciation of the world, help people preserve memories, make people happy, get out of the house, meet new people, nostalgia, makes me feel better, relieves pain.

Photography can make your current hobbies more fun by allowing you greater opportunities to share. It can be a great motivational force to keep you active each day. Digital Photography has become much more a communication medium than an art. Technology has made it easier for anyone to take a great photo with just a bit of training.

A recent report indicates that now 10,000 people will retire each day in the country. That’s a lot of people who need something to do. They’d better get busy. Life moves pretty fast and they just might miss it.

Learning a bit of photography can open a great many doors to making retirement one of the best times of your life.

by Robert Schwarztrauber

“Change Your Life in a Flash” is a great introduction to all the benefits of photography. Improve your picture taking skills and find out exactly how to apply these skills to improve your health, wealth and happiness. This 90 minute audio CD program will open your eyes to a whole new world of opportunities. Opportunities available only to the digital camera user. You can get more details on this program at http://FitnessPhotoCourse.com

Advertisements

Mothers Love This Gift Most

May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers Day Gift from TotalfinessPhotography.com

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

None of us would be here today without you!

And we’re grateful for every day you’re here to share your love, your kindness, and your wisdom.

Here’s some great news for you – and a great gift idea for those looking for something truly special to give.

I read a report today by Evangeline Lausier, MD, director of clinical services at Duke Integrative Medicine and assistant professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, both in Durham, North Carolina. She is an internist specializing in women’s health and complex multi-system illnesses, with an emphasis on preventive lifestyle.

In the Bottom Line Report, she listed several ways to boost your energy in 8 minutes or less:

“Take 800 steps. A moderately brisk walk — at a pace of about 100 steps per minute — is an excellent way to get blood flowing to your heart and brain. Exercise also triggers the release of endorphins, brain chemicals that make you feel alert and energetic. If possible, walk outdoors — the sun’s rays activate the synthesis of mood-enhancing vitamin D.”

And what better way to get motivated and actually DO IT than to take your camera along to record some special sights along the way.

Here’s what else Dr. Lausier recommended:

“Express yourself to lower stress. Play the piano, pen a poem, paint a picture or just doodle. The purpose: Creative self-expression is stimulating — it alleviates energy-draining stress by helping you reconnect with your deep inner well of emotional well-being.”

While she didn’t expressly mention digital photography, we know that it is a great creative outlet. And it has one distinct advantage over those she did mention…we do it while in motion! We stand, we walk, we climb hills and we get fresh air and sunshine!

So if you’re looking for a perfect Mother’s Day gift to get your mom…get her a digital camera! That way she can have fun and get the exercise that will keep her healthy and with us for a long, long time.

If you’re a mom and didn’t get a camera (and you need one) go out and give yourself the best Mother’s Day gift ever!

Give the gift that moms love most…the one that just might help them be with us longer…give them a camera!

Happy Day Moms!

Robert Schwarztrauber

For more photography relate fun, check out my other sites at:

http://CreativePhotographyTricks.com

http://PhotoshopHouseOfCards.blogspot.com

http://photoshoptipcards.com

Feel 10 Years Younger Too!

April 26, 2011

Feel 10 years Younger at http://totalfitnessphotography.com

Yes…that really is me!

Here, for the second day in a row, because we got more great news from the scientific community.

More evidence that what we’re doing is the absolute best thing we could be doing.

We know it’s good for our physical health and fitness, and now Dr. Nose from Japan says (in a New York Times article)  it could make us feel up to 10 years younger!

“Dr. Hiroshi Nose, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of sports medical sciences at Shinshu University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan, who has enrolled thousands of older Japanese citizens in an innovative, five-month-long program of brisk, interval-style walking (three minutes of fast walking, followed by three minutes of slower walking, repeated 10 times). The results have been striking. “Physical fitness — maximal aerobic power and thigh muscle strength — increased by about 20 percent,” Dr. Nose wrote in an e-mail, “which is sure to make you feel about 10 years younger than before training.” The walkers’ “symptoms of lifestyle-related diseases (hypertension, hyperglycemia and obesity) decreased by about 20 percent,” he added, while their depression scores dropped by half.”

I know I feel 10 years younger!

While we’re not as wrapped in the formality and regimen, essentially we’re doing the same thing. We walk quickly in between photo locations, we walk slowly as we plot our best angles, we do a few leg squats to get the best view.  We shoot our photo… then away we go again.

We get big points for the interest that photography brings to the game too.

While those older Japanese subject had the program for motivation, we’re on our own. We have to motivate ourselves. Luckily, there’s a whole big, beautiful world out there begging to pose for our photograph!

The article also said,

“…the one indisputable aspect of the single best exercise is that it be sustainable. From there, though, the debate grows heated.”

That’s the great thing about photography as our motivator. It takes our mind off the “exercise” part and instead keeps our focus on the fun. On the hunt for great new photos! That motivation sustains us.

Additionally,in the NYT article  Michael Joyner, M.D., a professor of anesthesiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and a leading researcher in the field of endurance exercise said, “I personally think that brisk walking is far and away the single best exercise.”

The article also said we get the most benefits… in just the first 30 minutes!

Grab your camera folks!

The medical community is on board.

What a great way to start the week.

Robert Schwarztrauber

You ca read the entire NYT article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17exercise-t.html?

Killer Chairs: Fall Solution

September 14, 2010

Autumn Leaves Save LivesHere’s a shocker…Could your chair be killing you?

There is a ton of research to support the idea that inactivity can lead to an early death. Our bodies are a dynamic machine and long periods of idle sitting just aren’t good for us.

Studies have shown that Americans, on average, spend more than half their waking hours sitting.

Dr. James A. Levine, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and director of the Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) Laboratory at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and co-author of the book “Move a Little, Lose a Lot” thinks our simple sitting habit might just be killing us.

Doctors all over are becoming aware of the serious health consequences associated with prolonged sitting and inactivity. It’s not just the obvious obesity, but also high cholesterol, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer.

As Dr. Levine states, “prolonged sitting stalls the metabolic machinery”. “Serious consequences result when the muscular body sits idle”.

The good news is, even just a little activity can accomplish a lot to raise your health levels.

What better way to get up and get moving than to grab your camera and catch a new view of this magnificent world we live in?

Here in WNY, there is a hint of Autumn in the air. Soon, the leaves will be putting on a show of fantastic color. Why not plan to
get out and see first hand the changing of the season? Choose a few favorite spots, or explore new ones. Take a drive out to the country or simply explore your local parks.

Whether you capture the beauty of a simple leaf up close or the cornucopia of color in the tree tops, each day bring a new view.
Get up. Get out. Move it or lose it.

Why sit idly by when there is so much beauty to capture with your camera?

Such a simple activity, packed with powerful result! One study even showed that just fidgeting while you sit increased energy expenditure by 10%.

One can see how photography can multiply our energy gains exponentially. You get up and move to take the photos then sit down and “fidget” with Photoshop to perfect them or create custom art. What a brilliant way to stay active, energized and ALIVE!

Photography might just be the perfect, all-around, every-age fitness solution!

Robert Schwarztrauber

The Formula for Regret

March 4, 2010

Formular for RegretWoulda. Shouda. Coulda.

While not grammatically correct, I think these three words correctly describe the feelings experienced, at one time or another, by every human being. All three can be summed up by one word. Regret.

For many it becomes a ritual. A habit. A way of life.  Sadly, these folks often find the success they desire elusive

But when they come to understand how the universe works, and align their actions with the forces at play, they can quickly join their more successful counterparts.

Understanding how things work not only makes it easier to succeed, but faster too.

If you are experiencing regret in any area, the root cause is most often described by  something I call the “Formula for Regret“.

Simply stated and shown by the “photo” graph above, Your Intentions Quickly Fade over Time.

If you think about the successful accomplishments in your life, times when you got done the things you wanted to do, even the small things, you will always find that you dug right in. You had a thought, jumped right in to do what you had to do, and in short time the thing was done. You experienced success.

Conversely, if you examine your regrets in life, you will find a pattern of delay. There was something you thought you wanted, an intention, but maybe weren’t exactly sure how to get it so you procrastinated. After a time you found yourself justifying not getting it (your regret) by saying that you probably didn’t want or need that thing after all.  But still, a tiny smidgen of regret stayed with you. Maybe for years and years.

The “Formula for Regret” can work for or against you. If you understand that your intentions fade, lose power quickly over time, you can use the formula to begin at once taking action to move closer to the thing you want. Even if you don’t know exactly how to get it, take some action, any action. Even just finding out who to ask  helps you make progress and keeps your intention alive.

A motivational speaker, Joe Vitale, has a famous mantra based on this formula, he says, “Money Loves Speed”. Many successful stories in business are tied to those who did something first, not necessarily best. Ray Kroc opened the first fast-food hamburger chain. Notice the word FAST in there. Not “THE BEST” just fast. Here we have “The Original Pancake House”. Thousands of restaurants sell pancakes, but without even knowing if they were good, if I were looking to eat pancakes and knew nothing about the other restaurants in town, I’d want to got to the “Original” pancake house. They were first, still here –  must be good.

Most folks go to their graves with more regret for the things they DIDN’T DO than for the things they did do. So if you’re tired of regrets and wish to enjoy a great deal more success in your life, TAKE ACTION ON YOUR INTENTIONS QUICKLY!

Stop second guessing (our human intuition is remarkable accurate when working for the good), stop procrastinating, and start taking action immediately on the thing that is most troubling you today.

These days, many folks who got layed off regret not starting and owning their own business. Many of my readers (you?) may have considered starting a photography business. If that’s you, TODAY is the best day to put your intentions to work. If you don’t, I guarantee they will fade over time and in 5 or 10 years, you’ll still be where you are right now. Only you’ll be weary from carrying regret.

Look to the right hand column for proven solutions that banish the “Formula for Regret” from your life, replacing it with happiness and prosperity.

Robert Schwarztrauber

Click To Change Your Life

January 25, 2010
Deer Tracks

Changing Perspectives

Nothing ever changes.

Did you ever have a day where you felt that way? Maybe you’ve had several days in a row, or weeks, maybe even years where it seemed like nothing ever changes for you.

Have you ever felt like you were like a train on the tracks, unable to break free to go your own way?

.

Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. You simply need a change of perspective.

Luckily, photography offers many opportunities that change your perspective instantly!

When you begin to explore this world through the camera lens you begin to see things you’ve never seen before. Changes in light, changes in angles, colors, and mood.

Even better, you begin to discover that you can control those events. Through your camera settings and body position relative to your subject you begin to see things differently. You begin to discover that things aren’t as “black and white” as you once imagined.

You begin to experience a sense of control returning to your life, as if your train had just jumped the tracks. You’re the driver now and you can control what the world will see. You will take the photograph “your way”.

Just this past weekend I had temporarily forgotten this. I was driving a bit hesitantly to one of my favorite photo spots. Hesitant because I had been shooting at that same spot for over a year now.  “Surely I must have seen everything by now,” I thought. But once I got out of my car and began to walk around, I was reminded that the world is constantly changing. I saw trees, statues, stained glass windows, and squirrels perching and playing as never before. And of course when you’re shooting outdoors the sky’s light is always changing.

Once again I had set out with my camera and gained a new perspective. And some great photos to share too.

Feeling down?

Feeling out of control?

Pick up your camera and just start clicking that shutter. Yes, even if you don’t want to.

When you’re finished you will have discovered, as I did, that changing your mood is as simple as changing your perspective. Happiness is just a click away.

Robert Schwarztrauber

Camera Cures aka Pictures of Health

June 1, 2009
Snow Geese Family

Snow Geese Family

It is widely accepted in psychological circles that colors can effect the mood of the people who view them. Blue is often described as a calming color while red is said to excite. Yellow is cheerful and black depressing.

A persons mood can also be effected by the subject portrayed in the scene. Certain landscape scenes have a calming effect while certain city-scapes tend to increase tension.

Hundreds of studies can be found that document a viewers reaction to pictures (paintings and photographs).  What surprised me however, was how little  documentation (almost none) could be found that gave evidence of the therapeutic effects of TAKING photographs.

I came across one clinical observation in my searching that really gave credible evidence to the benefits of taking photographs.

It was described in the book, “The Strengths Model” by Charles A. Rapp. In the section titled, “Talents and Skills” the author told of a hospitalized man with mental and physical abnormalities (pg.95). He descibed how when this man was directed to pursue his passion for photography (even though his photos never sold anywhere) he was released within 2 months from the hospital with a clean bill of health. Even more compelling was the fact that he never again returned to the hospital in the subsequent 20 years until his death from pneumonia.

Merely pursuing a hobby that interested him, photography in particular, was enough to set this man on a course to a long and healthy life.

Anyone interested in photography can tell you that there is a calming effect of searching for and always finding the beauty in this world. Any photographer will tell you of the zen-like focus of attention one comes to when consumed with creating an image. You block out all others problems and concerns in your life, you cannot consciously hear the sounds around you, you cannot see disrtactions beyond the viewfinder. You are at once consumed by the scene you hope to capture to the exclusion of all else.

So I am surprised not to find more accounts online which tell of the wonderful effects of photography on the human mind and body. I know it has effected me by increasing my fitness through walking to find great shots to share, it has increased my mental sharpness and focus, and it has increased my economic condition through the sale of photos.

Please share your stories with our readers in the comments below.

How has photography improved your mental or physical health?

How has it improved your economic standing during these difficult times?

I know informally from conversations with other photographers, but lets see if we can help more folks by sharing our results here in writing.

Your comments are welcomed below!

I Have a Dream…Like Susan Boyle

May 1, 2009
tA Brighter Dawn

A Brighter Dawn

Today I want to share an inspirational video with you.

It’s a very moving story of someone who pressed on despite her obvious “handicaps”.

Someone who pressed on, determined to follow her dream, though from all outward appearances she was ill suited for the lofty dream she held in her heart.

But she had two things going for her that would not allow her to fail. Her persistance and her talent.

Most of us have talent, at one thing or another. Most of us lack persistence.

One of my talents and passions happens to be photography. But I let that talent lie dormant for a great many years. Only recently did I decide that I must share my skills and abilities so that others might discover the many great benefits of photography – better health, greater wealth, and wisdom.

Take a look at this inspirational video of Susan Boyle (below) . If after watching it you DECIDE that your dream involves taking up a camera to create wonderfully stunning images of the magnificent world in which we live, or if you want to capture the innocent smiles of children as they play, or pets as they always amuse us, come on back here and read through the posts.

Check out the helpful resources in the sidebar. Everything here is built and tested for helping you to pursue your dream. Photography can inspire your life in ways you could never imagine.

Let the sun rise on your dreams today, just as it did for Susan.

To borrow the words of a great American, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,

” I have a dream!”

And I’m living it, and sharing it with you. Let’s all be inspired by Susan. Let’s dust of our dreams, pick up our cameras (if that’s your passion too) and share our gifts with the world. If you won’t do it for yourself, please do it for us! Please, please  surprise us (or someone!) today with your special, secret talent.

Watch Susan share her gift here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY

Robert Schwarztrauber

Concentrated Focus

September 15, 2008
You Toucan Relax

You Toucan Relax

Is it any wonder so many folks walk around totally stressed-out these days?

Between all the advertisements that beg for our attention, bosses who question our actions daily and family responsibilities, we’re forced to make thousands of mini decisions each and every day. Exhausting work.

We’re constantly pulled this way and that to answer a zillion unrelated questions. Rare are the times when we can give our undivided attention to just one task.

And that’s the problem.

Ever notice how when you’re working quietly (uninterrupted) on JUST ONE thing, be it a favorite hobby, or intricate task at work, or even just reading a book – my how the time flies? And you leave that period of concentrated thought feeling more relaxed rather than more stressed?

Ah-hah! Yes. Concentrated thought, concentration leads to less stress. Feeling good.

And that is exactly my point when I say that photography (your camera) can be the ultimate tool for achieving better health – better mental health in this case.

You see, our eyes are constantly scanning the world to receive input. 140 degrees of peripheral vision being scanned 50 times/second puts a massive load on our brains.

Now imaging that instead of looking at 140 degrees of wide vision we narrow that down and only let you see 20 degrees looking through a camera’s telephoto lens. Now you’ve got 120 degrees less to look at.

Instantly the input to the brain is decreased. Less input, less stress.

Try this experiment for yourself:

Use the longest lens you have for your camera, maybe 200mm for your DSLR folks. If your camera of choice right now is a zoom point-and-shoot camera, zoom to the maximum setting and see how much less you see cluttering up your view.

Practice photographing animals or something else from far away. Remember to hold your camera very still (better yet brace it against a building wall or other solid structure to prevent the blur that magnifies itself at these longer lens settings…or best is to use a tripod if you have one.)

Notice that as you concentrate on just getting a good picture of your subject, you are conscious of fewer sounds around you, of people movements nearby and literally all of your senses have been hijacked to work on capturing the image you are focused on.

Yes…you have entered “The Zone”.

Now your only trick will be chiseling enough time out of each day to grab your camera and get in “The Zone”.

But rest assured the more you get there, the better you’ll feel.

The bonus to your more relaxed body (as if we need anything more than that!) is while all this mental body repair was going on, you actually did take some cool pictures to share with your friends or family.

Ah…sweet recognition.

When you think about it…everything in this world that’s really great is here because someone concentrated on one single thing. Tom Monaghan -Dominoes Pizza, Donald Trump -real estate, “The Colonel” -Fried Chicken and every great professional sports player. Does Tiger squander his focus? Bet not.

While we don’t all aspire to be focused at that level, we could all use just a bit more. And photography is one great, easy way to get your RDA of all the benefits it brings. Grab your camera and start today!

Keep watching this post. Later on I’ll post my 10 best tips on how to get, “In the Zone” using ordinary stuff in and around your house that you might sell for cash. Because getting cash automatically makes me feel better! How about you?

Now go relax!

Robert Schwarztrauber

NEXT: Where to share your pics for maximum recognition and prizes…Picture Posts Online