Stress Less: Mood And Inflammation

Stress Less: Mood And Inflammation

Stress Less: Inflammation, Mood And Way To Hack Both​

Did you know that the most significant predictor of heart disease is not smoking or diet? It’s not anything you do for that matter. Tune in to the next episode of Life Blow Up Prevention Project and find out how you can easily elevate your moods AND cut down the root of all evil – inflammation, in one delicious moment. Share, subscribe and stress less!


Hello and welcome back to the Life Blow Up Prevention Project. Today we’re going to talk about preventing drama,  preventing stress by preventing inflammation.

Everybody’s talking about how inflammation is the root of all evil. All chronic illnesses, whether it’s cancer, whether it’s diabetes or autoimmune disorders, they all have one common denominator. And that is inflammation. And there’s a lot of conversation in the media about decreasing inflammation with a diet, with exercise with decreasing environmental toxicity, but sumething we don’t talk about enough is the impact of our emotions on inflammation.

There are studies showing that the most powerful predictor of heart disease it’s not smoking, it’s not drinking, it’s not eating fatty beef. It’s helplessness. And on the flip side, experience of awe is the most powerful predictor for the lowest level of pro-inflamatory cytokine Interlukin 6. It is really really important for us to recognize how we feel and the cultivation of emotions.

It’s not just this fluffy thing that we’re supposed to do and walk around with smiles on our faces, but it actually affects  very specifically our physical body.

So in order to not just feel better, emotionally, but to also help prevent chronic illness and help prevent inflammation, experiencing and cultivating positive emotions, including, and especially the sense of awe can be very, very powerful and very helpful.

So, how do you do that? Practice gratitude. On the way to work. Look at the sunrise,  look at the city that you live in, I don’t know, look at the fact that, wow, today I’m walking and I’m not seeing potholes, I don’t know what this is, find ways to notice the good stuff experience it fully, and see your inflammation drain out of your body. If this is helpful, subscribe and share, and I will see you at  the next episode of Life Blow Up Prevention Project. 

The Team at Mastering Transitions is proud to share tips and resources which we know will serve our community. As such, we are an affiliate for products we know and love. This article may include affiliate links, which may result in us earning a commission if you purchase through our link.

Loss and redemption

Loss and redemption

Blog written by Ania Grimone

Another shift. The final separation of a family torn apart by divorce is forcing me to evaluate the part I played in its demise. Another wave of grief born of loss, but also of responsibility. It is easy to blame another and find solace in anger, rage, disappointment, and self-righteous indignation.  But the truth is that I  was an active participant in the destruction of this dream. The pain of this realization takes my breath away as I crumble in shame and guilt and regret. The only thing remaining is to salvage the lesson, so something beautiful can be born from the ashes. The commitment to love. To not ever again take it for granted…


Leaky nests and teacups by Ania 

A life of toil,

To keep myself from the edge of the cliff

Posed by the internal ghost of self-loathing.

Self-absorbed in my own survival,

Obsessed with building a fort and impenetrable armor

Against the claws of the past, and finding myself blinded by the very thing I’ve conjured.

With walls intact obstructing my view, I let the love present seep into the ground,


As the color drained from the walls of my castle, so did the joy never realized.

Departed in sadness of promises broken, stunted by my own ignorance.

Forgive me, for I didn’t know better, for squandering the gift so freely presented,

By the grace of the gods and my own imagination.

As a lay on the floor in the puddle of my own grief, I feel the stirring of the Phoenix.

Ready to rise from the ashes and become an alchemist of redemption.

Conjuring love without rules.

Without apology.

Without armor. Without explanation. Without the past and without a future.

Greedy. Open. Expansive.

Never again to let love depart without offering it tea…



Stress Less: Plug Up Energy Leaks

Stress Less: Plug Up Energy Leaks

Stress Less: Plug Up energy Leaks 

Your brain is a two million years old evolutionary marvel. It is not designed to make you happy. It is designed to help you make it to the next day. To do that it needs to notice everything that’s wrong and that’s good! But what if you give voice to all of those things you see? Join me in the next installment of Life Blow Up Prevention project and find out how a common, habitual practice can rob you of energy and make getting through the day a chore.


Hello and welcome back to Life Blow Up Prevention Project. I’m your host, and I’m on a kick.

In  the last video, we talked about how easy it is to over emphasize difficult things that are happening by using a language that’s even bigger and it’s making these things seem even more dramatic than they were. I keep observing what I do and I noticed, and  it is so insidious,  that as much as I think of myself as a very positive person, I complain a lot!

It can be anything. I’m tired. The weather sucks. The traffic was horrible. Like these little things that are so socially accepted that nobody even thinks about it,  but when I realized that what I was doing was complaining I really dove deeper into understanding why people complain.

And it’s actually for specific reasons why people complain. They complain to get attention. It could be that I really want to connect with someone and I want to talk to them but the easiest way to make this initial connection is to complain about the weather. Everybody in Chicago is talking about the weather.

It can be to remove responsibility. I may have showed up to work two minutes behind, and instead of apologizing to my patient and saying, I am a couple minutes late because I didn’t leave the house on time, I could say traffic was extra heavy today. I’m absolving myself of the responsibility for being late to work.

Sometimes people complain to inspire envy. It could be. Oh my boss is, just,  they don’t know what they’re doing well. The implication is that the person complaining knows what they’re doing. It’s just really fascinating process . Gossiping it’s such a team sport.

Sometimes people can try to gain power to complain about a company or, or a situation and, and then enlist other people’s help in their support. They complain to gain power to influence the outcome.

And sometimes to excuse poor performance you know I hear it from my son all the time. Well I didn’t do well in math because the math teacher just sucks.

So, when we complain a lot, not only do we engage in these activities that kind of let us off the hook and gives us a permission; I’m gonna speak for myself;  gives me permission to play smaller.

And there’s also like we talked about last time the associated biochemistry. So habitual complaining it’s like a slow leak of vital force of joy.

I don’t even realize how heavier and more difficult in my life becomes because complaining by default focuses on everything that’s wrong.

So, I have a challenge for you and I’m going to participate it in myself. And that is to undertake to not complain. Let’s start with a week, it is so difficult to not complain for a week. And you could do something as simple as putting a bracelet or a ring on one side and when you notice yourself complaining you switch it to the other hand and you start over.

And let me qualify what a complaint is what it isn’t. So, this is a complaint. The weather sucks. It’s not a complain. It’s snowing today I should leave early. Whenever you state something and you can see I’m tired, or I’m tired.

One is a statement of fact, one is a complaint. It is not a complaint when it’s stating something that’s not working, and you provide a solution. That is not a complaint.  I have the traffic was really difficult the traffic was really awful. I will have to start leaving home 10 minutes early. That is not a complaint that is stating the problem and stating a solution.

So, it’s, it’s a really fun exercise, enlist  your coworkers, enlist  your friends and enlist  your family, and both notice how much of your vital energy is spent on complaining, and how much of it can be harnessed by not complaining.

Let me know how it goes, share, subscribe to the channel. And I would love to see how the challenge is going, so leave your comments behind, and I look forward to hearing about your progress and join me for the next episode of Life Blod Up Prevention Project. 

The Team at Mastering Transitions is proud to share tips and resources which we know will serve our community. As such, we are an affiliate for products we know and love. This article may include affiliate links, which may result in us earning a commission if you purchase through our link.

Stress Less: Make It Smaller. Learn A Simple Language Trick to Instantly Reduce The Intensity Of The Situation

Stress Less: Make It Smaller. Learn A Simple Language Trick to Instantly Reduce The Intensity Of The Situation

Stress Less: Make It Smaller. How To Use LanguageTo Turn Down Stress On The Spot

I hate this project! My son is a slob! I am exhausted! This person really pissed me off! I am so overwhelmed! The weather is atrocious! My sleep is horrible! My diet is awful! If you are noticing a slight (or not so slight) tightening of your shoulders or a knot in your stomach in response to these exclamations, it is because the stress you are feeling is a real thing. In this new episode of Life Blow Up Prevention Project, learn how language can hypnotize you into feeling more stressed than it’s strictly necessary and how to use a simple linguistic trick to turn down the heat and deal with situations with a clear head and much more pizazz.


Hello and welcome back to Life Blow Up Prevention Project. Today I want to talk to you about something that I’ve been thinking about for last few days. It is a very intense period in my life.  Lots is happening, there’s a lot of changes that are undergoing. I’m starting businesses, I work full time, my relationships are changing, my son moved to college, there’s a lot of stuff going on. And I noticed that often,  when I talk to friends and they ask me how I’m doing I would say: I’m very tired, and I’m overwhelmed, and I’m frustrated. I noticed that, as these words escaped my mouth I feel more tired, more overwhelmed, and more frustrated.

I thought about it for a long time that language and words are hypnotic. When I say this is horrible. This is hard. It becomes horrible, it becomes hard. Because there is an associated chemistry, biochemistry that gets produced in  response to that language. The reverse is also true. When I say I am happy,  I had success, something good happened,  I noticed that my chemistry shifts,  my mood shifts. It responds to it.

Why is it that it’s so much easier to share with our family, with friends, with colleagues, all this stuff that’s wrong? So rarely will you walk, we will  walk, I will walk into a meeting with friends and they all sitting around saying: How you doing?

“I am amazing,  I’m great, I’m awesome!” Somehow that’s not as socially accepted as “I’m overwhelmed. I’m tired, life’s hard”.

So, my invitation for you is to begin to notice the habitual language that’s coming out of your mouth, and how it affects you on a regular basis. And perhaps redesign it. Whenever you feel frustrated, just soften it a little bit, use a different language.

Say instead of “I am livid” –  “I’m a little annoyed”. Instead of: “this is hard” – “I don’t know how to do that quite yet”.

It is often that we feel these negative things, these difficult things but then we use a language that even amps it up and it’s even so much harder and so much more challenging.

So, my invitation for you is to notice your language and change it, and have people close to you keep you accountable. Tell them what you’re trying to do,  pick maybe one or two or three of your go-to negative, heavy, difficult expressions that you tend to overemphasize,  then decide what you’re going to say instead, and ask people around you to hold you accountable, and to help you make this shift. 

And then observe what happens to your habitual emotional state when they’re different words coming out of your mouth. So I hope this is helpful, share it, subscribe and join me for the next episode of lifelong prevention project. Until next time.

The Team at Mastering Transitions is proud to share tips and resources which we know will serve our community. As such, we are an affiliate for products we know and love. This article may include affiliate links, which may result in us earning a commission if you purchase through our link.

Stress Less: Instant Interrupt

Stress Less: Instant Interrupt

Stress Less: Instant Interrupt And The Fool Proof Way To Undo The Panic Mode

In this installment of the Life Blowup Prevention Project, we continue to reverse engineer problems and find ways to address them at the root. Today we will explore how to prevent toxic stress by staying in the parasympathetic nervous system mode through diaphragmatic breathing and how to do it properly. You will prevent a decline in memory, creativity and problem solving, stress-induced insomnia, irritability and break down in relationships and many stress-related health problems like high blood pressure, digestive issues, weight gain, and fatigue. You will never again waste time “belly breathing” and wonder why it doesn’t work.


Hello, and welcome back to the Life Blow Up Prevention Project Today we’re going to continue our conversation about eliminating stress, and we’re going to do this by breathing. And if you’re rolling your eyes because you’ve heard so much about breathing, let me tell you something.

In the last 20 years of clinical practice I met two people who are now to breathe, and they were both opera singers and I think it’s a conversation worth continuing until we get it right. 

So, what happens when we’re stressed? When we’re stressed we stop breathing, hold the breath or breathe very shallow from up here. 

Most of the oxygen exchange actually happens in the bottom portion of the lung, so if we habitually breathe from here we become chronically oxygenated. Without food and water you can go for days,  without air, few minutes, and you’re dead. So when we are running on a deficit of oxygen, what happens is you trigger your fight or flight response. 

There are very important things that happen when you are running away from a lion, real or imaginary. Whether it’s a deadline at work or your kids or whatever is happening in your life,  the physical response is the same, your blood pressure goes up, your digestion shuts down, You can’t sleep because part of your nervous system is still looking for that lion to eat you. So, you are entering very high energy,  breakdown mode, and your digestion is impaired so you cannot repair properly, and you cannot think straight. 

There’s no time for logical thinking when your life is in danger so your logic,  your knowledge, your resources, all of that goes out the window, and you become very reactive. So it is really,  really important that we remember how to breathe and to remember that I’m not teaching you anything you don’t know. When we are born,  when babies are born, we all breathe diaphragmatically. We all breathe properly. 

But there’s a huge misconception about what diaphragmatic breath is. Most people think diaphragmatic breath is a belly breathing. It is not. You could do this for hours, and it does not work because it doesn’t get you any more oxygen that you need. 

So what diaphragmatic breath is, it’s actually sideways breathing. So what happens is, when you breathe with your diaphragm, which is that muscle that’s shaped like this, it flattens, and it pushes the ribs sideways. So diaphragmatic breath is going to look like this. 

Neither your chest, not your belly moves. When you do this, you get the most oxygen for the least expenditure of energy. 

Now you cognitively rewire, now you have access to all of your resources knowledge, experience, you have better energy, better sleep your digestion comes online,  your reproductive system comes online, and your body starts functioning the way it should and you stop burning a candle on both ends. 

So, effectively, if you master this one skill, you have a command over your nervous system, and a lot of stress associated issues, both in and outside of work, in our families, but also physical issues, just go out the window, you can do this one thing. 

So this is your tip for the day. It doesn’t happen overnight so practice before getting out of bed before going to sleep,  maybe every couple of hours take a 60-second break and check your breath. The objective is to breathe this way 24/7. 

This is going to be an ongoing homework and your stress elimination project and journey is to learn how to breathe this way all the time. 

And if you forget everything I just said, diaphragmatic breath, and a stress mode are on completely different circuits. If you’re stressed you’re not breathing,  if you can breathe properly it’s going to be much harder to push your buttons. It’s as simple as that. 

So that is your homework. Stay tuned for the next installment in our stress elimination, and we’ll see you next time.

The Team at Mastering Transitions is proud to share tips and resources which we know will serve our community. As such, we are an affiliate for products we know and love. This article may include affiliate links, which may result in us earning a commission if you purchase through our link.

Words Matter

Words Matter

Blog written by Ania Grimone

The Power Words

In the spring of this year, I think it was March, I signed up to ride in a 200 mile charity bike ride on the East Coast in October. It was somewhat of an impulsive decision, since my life was unraveling around me and I needed something to focus on that had both nothing to do with me and it was a lot bigger than my own troubles. I have never done anything like this, didn’t bike much except occasional Sunday rides of 5-10 miles and little escapades in the city on my mountain bike. This was a whole new ball game. It sounded like a good idea at the time and I didn’t think much of what it would take to prepare to do such a thing. I set out to raise some money right away, because I knew that once I receive the first check, I will be locked in. No backing out. I was really going to do this. I bought a road bike for the occasion and every week I looked at it, dangling from the hook in my garage, mocking me, daring me, nudging me. I ignored it. In the mid July I couldn’t take it any longer and took it for a spin. I felt like a 3 year old must feel on the first bike ride when they can actually keep the balance while knowing all along that it is just a matter of time till they bite the dust. It happened on the second ride. I was going too fast and reached for the breaks where they were supposed to be, but it is a different bike and they weren’t there. I bruised both my ass and my ego that day. But I didn’t break anything, so it actually gave me confidence to start riding more. From one week to the next I became better at it, stronger, more efficient. I met amazing people along the way who coached me and taught me how to ride a bike. Almost 2 months to the date of my first ride I rode my first Century, 100 miles in one day. I felt proud and accomplished and, well, ready for my big event. My friends celebrated. Nobody questioned it. My event happened last weekend and again, 2 weeks after the first century, I was able to ride another one, this one on the hills of Pennsylvania  and then keep riding long distances over the following 2 days. I felt great, no biggie.

That is until I started talking to other cyclists who expressed a surprise and amazement at my ability at 49 years old to ride so far with such a short practice. They shared with me that it can take 2-4 years to prepare to ride a century. WHAT? Why didn’t anyone tell me before? I would have never signed up for this thing!

What occurred to me at that moment was that the only reason why I was able to do this was that nobody told me I couldn’t. I was ignorant of what I “shouldn’t” have been able to do.  I had no expectations to contend with, no limitations. There was no overcoming, no struggle, no resistance, no conquering. There was simply deciding on a goal, mapping out what needs to be done and doing it.

It made me think about the hypnotizing power of the language. From the moment we are born, we hear our parents tell us “don’t do that”, “don’t touch that”, “you can’t”, “you shouldn’t”, “don’t be”, “impossible”. As we grow up, the society reinforces the hypnosis until, before we know it, it becomes the hum behind every thought and every decision we make and we stop questioning it. It becomes our truth and we begin to talk to ourselves the same way. We get duped into a box. There are some who when they become aware of it, fight it and sometimes manage to escape, creating the amazing overcoming stories that sell How To programs and create guru followings. For most of us, it translates into a life in a box, full of longing for what lies beyond and impotence to do anything about it.

But it made me wonder, what would happen if we broke the spell. If we took a full responsibility for the words that come out of our mouths. Whether they are directed at ourselves, at others or at life in general. What would happen if we would use the power of language ONLY in service of  love? If we only spoke the truth and what we really mean? If we never spoke negatively to ourselves or gossip about others? If we banished those self and other  limiting phrases out of our vocabulary? Not as a cheesy attempt at positivity or sugar coated bullshit, but as a step in our evolution, so we can wake up and then CHOSE what kind of hypnosis we want to be subject to. I’m going to do just that. Join me if you dare and we will compare notes.