If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.
These sure aren’t the easy times are they? I was looking into today’s news and with the global economy again softening, an escalating crisis on the Korean peninsula, the plummeting Euro and the disastrous Gulf oil spill it would be easy to let events take us down. And for some a long period of unemployment requires all their strength just to stay upbeat. Yep, it is tough to stay optimistic but the alternative only makes things worse. There has seldom been a better time for us to learn how to rise above our problems than right now. If you don’t know how you might do that you can start by reading this article by Dr. Bernie Kastner a psychotherapist who helps individuals (including college students) take charge of their life so they can achieve more of their goals. Here is an excerpt from what he wrote.
How to Reduce Stress & Keep Balance in Your Life by Warding Off the Things You Hate to Do
* Are you stressed out right now about doing something you hate to do?
* Does your life feel off balance?
* Are you using procrastination as a defense mechanism?
A former professor of mine told me that if you have something unpleasant to do, don’t put it off – it will only get worse. Many of us have "to do" lists that we create for ourselves on any particular day. It is not uncommon for this list to consist of ten or more items. Some of us even prioritize the list either in their order of importance, or in the logistical order in which they would get checked off most efficiently. Rarely are we brave enough to put the unpleasant tasks first. Upon further reflection, why should anyone begin one’s day with something unpleasant? Why not first do something you like, and then do the dirty work? This way you already have something positive under your belt for the day.
The First Way to Ward Off the Things You Hate to Do
The concept of first doing something nice is well-documented. Some refer to it as a "spiritual reservoir". This means that every day you build up your spiritual bank account with "feel-good" types of things like giving charity, volunteering, going out of your way to do a favor for a stranger, getting your endorphin levels up by exercising or by just enjoying a good book.
Each time you do anything that either promotes a good feeling inside you or builds up your confidence in some way, it gets added to your account. As these kinds of points build up on the positive side of the ledger, over time it can accumulate to quite an impressive number.
Now imagine you are having a bad day, or better yet, you know in advance that you will be facing a tougher day than usual. As long as you know you have a positive balance in your "well-being" account, you simply withdraw a certain point value that you ascribe to the challenge you will be facing, and at the end of the day you still remain with a positive balance on your ledger.
For example, let’s say you did 25 acts of kindness in the last week and you determined that you now have 100 points in your bank account. You have a crucial presentation to make in a couple of days and you are getting very nervous. It is taking something out of you, but it is hard to quantify. Tell yourself that the presentation is not the end of the world, and that this nervous energy is worth 30 points. In your overall perspective, it will cost you 30, but you still have 70 left in the bank.
Initial feelings of despair and disproportion suddenly fall away. When you see your account getting low, then you know you need to build it up once again. You can understand that if you allow the "state" of your account to go into overdraft, you are starting out from a point of distress and any additional challenges that come along your way will only add to that minus. Think about this reservoir as a protective seal that coats you with a thick layer of positive energy whenever you need it. The account is open 24 hours a day and deposits and withdrawals can be made accordingly.
Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.
"What Doctors Say, And What They’re Really Thinking"
"This should be taken care of right away." I’d planned a trip to Hawaii next month but this is so easy and profitable that I want to fix it before it cures itself.
"Welllllll, what have we here…?" He has no idea and is hoping you’ll give him a clue.
"Let me check your medical history." I want to see if you’ve paid your last bill before spending any more time with you.
"I’d like to prescribe a new drug." I’m writing a paper and would like to use you for a guinea pig.
"If it doesn’t clear up in a week, give me a call." I don’t know what it is. Maybe it will go away by itself.
Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, "Where have I gone wrong?"
Then a voice says to me, "This is going to take more than one night."
After spending 3-1/2 hours enduring the long lines, surly clerks and insane regulations at the department of motor vehicles, a lady stopped at a toy store to pick up a gift for her son. She brought her selection – a baseball bat to the cash register.
"Cash or charge," the clerk asked.
"Cash," she snapped. Then apologizing for her rudeness, she explained, " I’ve spent the afternoon at the motor-vehicle bureau. I am way past sane!!"
"Shall I gift -wrap the bat?" the clerk asked sweetly, "Or or you going back there?"
Anything is possible, unless it’s not.
WAYS TO STAY STRESSED (Not funny but important)
Are you worried now about how to stay stressed? You’ll have no trouble if you practice the following clinically proven methods:
NEVER EXERCISE. Exercise wastes a lot of time that could be spent worrying.
EAT ANYTHING YOU WANT. Hey, if cigarette smoke can’t cleanse your system, a balanced diet isn’t likely to.
GAIN WEIGHT. Work hard at staying at least 25 pounds over your recommended weight.
TAKE PLENTY OF STIMULANTS. The old standards of caffeine, nicotine, sugar, and cola will continue to do the job just fine.
AVOID "WOO-WOO" PRACTICES. Ignore the evidence suggesting that meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and/or mental imaging help to reduce stress.
GET RID OF YOUR SOCIAL SUPPORT SYSTEM. Let the few friends who are willing to tolerate you know that concern yourself with friendships only if you have time, and you never have time. If a few people persist in trying to be your friend, avoid them.
PERSONALIZE ALL CRITICISM. Anyone who criticizes any aspect of your work, family, dog, house, or car is mounting a personal attack. Don’t take time to listen, be offended, then return the attack!
MALES AND FEMALES ALIKE – BE MACHO. Never ever ask for help, and if you want it done right, do it yourself!
BECOME A WORKAHOLIC. Put work before everything else, and be sure to take work home evenings and weekends. Keep reminding yourself that vacations are for sissies.
DISCARD GOOD TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS. Schedule in more activities every day than you can possibly get done and then worry about it all whenever you get a chance.
PROCRASTINATE. Putting things off to the last second always produces a marvelous amount of stress.
WORRY ABOUT THINGS YOU CAN’T CONTROL. Worry about the stock market, earthquakes, the approaching Ice Age, you know, all the big issues.
BECOME NOT ONLY A PERFECTIONIST BUT SET IMPOSSIBLY HIGH STANDARDS… …and either beat yourself up, or feel guilty, depressed, discouraged, and/or inadequate when you don’t meet them."
THROW OUT YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR. Staying stressed is no laughing matter, and it shouldn’t be treated as one.
When you find yourself stressed, ask yourself one question: Will this matter in 5 years from now?
If yes, then do something about the situation. If no, then let it go.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies.
The editor is somewhat senile.
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