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4 Life Lessons To Take Away From Girl Scouts

4 Life Lessons To Take Away From Girl Scouts

Most girls join the Girl Scout for the friendship or for the cool uniforms. I was never hooked on the green vests with lots of badges, but my sister could never get enough of them. She was mesmerized by the squad goals, the badges and the cookies.

At 10 years, she joined the Girl Scouts for the first time and she managed to stick to them way longer than any of her friends, much to our parents and friends astonishment. Now, as an adult, she always seems to be more prepared for certain situations than I am.

Apparently, her years in the Girl Scouts taught her more than how to tie a knot.

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1. Women can do everything they set their minds on

Women are incredible! This is one of the lessons my sis seems to be taking away from the Girl Scout. Her leaders were never those boring, crazy old ladies who took them to the woods. In fact, my sister’s bunch never camped in the woods. They did camp in the backyard of their leader, who took this as an opportunity to teach the little ladies about managing a budget, getting help when they have an unwanted pregnancy and how to act when you have an eating disorder.

Those women, the scout leaders, managed to take their time to teach a group of girls about real life, while they were leading their own busy lives. One of the leaders had two small kids she was raising alone and a full-time job. And she was a leader for the Girl Scouts!

Over time, my sister saw that women are not the “weaker sex”, they are the “stronger” ones. They are able to manage everything, from a career to parenthood and still look sexy. By the way, one of the leaders always wore high heels and red lipstick! Always!

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2. Value the person, not her bank account or her race

This one is big and it kinda makes me regret not being a Girl Scout. In my sister’s group, there were girls from all types of families and with different backgrounds. While their leaders were teaching them how to use a badge holder and take pride in wearing badges – pretty useful for a future corporate worker – the girls were crafting lanyards and sharing personal stories.

Rich and poor, Caucasian, Latina or African American girls were having fun and learning how to join their forces to be a strong group. They also learned how to cut racism from the root and how to act when someone bullies a person. Even now, in adulthood, my sister and most of her fellow scouts are still friends. They still help each other during tough times and they gather for no reason to party together.

3. Work hard for your dreams

Girl Scouts are taught to be resourceful and this is very important in adult life. The scout leaders always push the girls to work hard for their own dreams.

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If one door is being closed, work on opening another one. Always have a backup plan. Being a Girl Scout also teaches the little ladies to persevere: they are often bullied for their silly songs and events, but this teaches them to fight for what they love and the ideas they believe in. Again, a great asset in adult life.

4. Life is meant to be enjoyed

When all your other friends are dating and drinking, being a scout is not going to make you popular. But it’s going to teach you that life is meant to be enjoyed and that drinking and boys are not the only ways to have fun.

Yes, scouts are goofy, but they do know how to party without alcohol. They know how to make someone smile and they know a good laugh can make a person feel better about life.

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Featured photo credit: Peter and Joyce Grace via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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