Yesterday I covered rethinking “it”(stressful situations). Stress is a huge problem for all of us and is the reason for this 3 part blog. Wouldn’t want to stress you out with 9 pages covering stress. Here’s another little bite on stress reduction….
I try not to watch the news every day. If you watch mindfully, you will notice that 99% of the content is negative, horrible, and just depressing. This kind of input will give no one a reason to put on a happy face. Unless you are the Secretary of the Treasury Department, you probably don’t need to know how bad the stock market is at 5:00 pm, 6:00 pm, and 10:00pm and again at those same hours in the morning. I personally don’t need to know who did what to whom, what burned down where, and which celebrity is in rehab again. Don’t worry. The world will still be turning even though you aren’t tuning in to see how screwy it is.
Laughter is the best medicine. Everyone has a favorite comedy show. I have a few favorites that can give me a few chuckles and, on occasion, a good milk-through-the-nose belly laugh. If you are lucky, you have a buddy or a group of buddies that shares your sense of humor. They quote the same movies you do. They’ve been there for all those embarrassing moments and never pass up a chance to relive them. Dancing with my family, watching “The Office” and girls’ night out are my laugh factories. Make time to have a good laugh. It’s just as important as the other things you do for your health. Just anticipating a happy or funny event can be good for you. It increases serotonin (“feel good” chemical) and decreases stress hormones. Sounds like a good deal to me.
I try to keep my head filled with positive thoughts. On any given night you will find at least 4 different kinds of reading material on my bedside table. One on health and wellness (big surprise), another on food (I love food!), something about the positive thinking, and my guilty pleasure of a mindless, easy read. Your collection might include something more intellectual, but try to make sure it’s something that feeds your mind in a positive way. It should leave you in your happy place. A gift you can give yourself is ending your day with only good thoughts in your mind.
Think about who is around you. Who do you choose to spend your precious time with? Everyone knows at least one “Negative Nellie”. She is also known as “Debbie Downer”. Who are you thinking of? This is the type of person that exhausts you just about every time you talk to him/her. According to this person, everything is horrible, everyone is awful, nothing works, everything hurts, and blah blah blah. This person wants to suck you into this thinking and wants you to agree that indeed the sky is falling. Evaluate how you feel after talking to someone. Are you smiling? Are you laughing? Are you crying or wanting to cry? Are you fed up? Do you want to crawl in a hole and die? I figure life is way too short and my socializing time is way too limited to be spending time listening to the same woes all the time. If you can turn the tide of the conversation then go ahead and do it. If you can’t, then become “busy” and turn on your heel and walk away. I am not saying you can’t be a good friend and listen when someone is in need. You know the difference. Be realistic and cut people some slack. Anyone can have a bad day and wear the name tag that says Negative Nellie from time to time. But, keep a look out for those chronic folks that seem to have it tattooed on their forehead. These are those people who would complain, “The sun’s too bright, the sand is too hot, and oh yeah- I should be working “when they are on a vacation of a lifetime. Avoid these people like the plague! If you recognize yourself as one of these people, we have work to do. True, you can’t always choose who you work with or who is drawn to you. You can choose not to get sucked into the negative vortex. The pull is strong, but resist the urge to fall into the pit of despair uttering the words “You’re right, that is awful.” Instead, seek out those people who put a spring in your step. Find that positive person that smiles and compliments others. Listen for the laughter and I bet you’ll find that “Suzy Sunshine” that is choosing to have a good day. THAT is who you want to spend your precious time with. “Sunshine” is contagious. Don’t think I’m saying you need to find a manic person who is not grounded in reality. I’m just pointing out that there are positive minded people out there. You really do become who you surround yourself with. Remember how your mom didn’t want you running with the wrong crowd? There is much wisdom in that thinking. You don’t want to be running with the wrong crowd. It’s just plain miserable and THAT is stressful.
Still not done yet…got a few more ways to battle stress. Come back one more time for the last little bit. Come back after that because I’m sure I’ll have yet another story from my crazy life as you are coming to know it 🙂
Til tomorrow…Live Well! – Toni Kuhel