I’ve have had many troubles in my life but the worst of them never came.
James A. Garfield
There sure seems to be a whole lot of stress going around these days. We live in a society that seems to becoming more polarized each day. Far too many of the folks I know are struggling to make ends meet and more and more young people have taken on staggering student loans only to find upon graduating that the jobs that jobs they would need to live on while paying off their debt just are not that easy to find.
Many of the worst cases find that there are huge holes in the safety net because there are too many problems for cash stressed not-for-profits to alleviate. The rest of us may be doing OK but most of us don’t have the wherewithal to do more than provide minimal help to others as our disposable income shrinks because of inflation along with record high food and energy prices. Fortunately almost all of us and I hope all of you can adjust and survive. Some of us have even made positive lifestyle changes that have turned out to be a godsend. However it is not always easy as stress often builds and sometimes even turns into chronic depression.
Fortunately we don’t have to let things take us down. If you have been reading the Daily for any length of time you know I am a big believe in appreciating what we do have while not placing too much importance on what we don’t have. I know that is not always easy so today I would like to offer the following for your consideration.
Eight Tips for Stress-Free Living
By Jim Estill
The following are eight ways I deal with stress:
1. I figure out what I can control. Stress for me is caused by situations that are out of my control. Even if this is the case, there is always something that I can do that is within my control. For example, I cannot control currency fluctuations but I can take actions that cause them to have less financial impact on me.
2. Stress is related to problem solving skills. I work on my problem solving by writing the problem down. Just the simple act of writing it down tends to help with the solution and also helps reduce the stress.
3. Look at what is really happening. Much stress is created in our imagination. We tend to think the problem is worse than what it is.
4. Exercise. Exercise keeps me centered. The times stress bothers me the most is when I have not balanced myself. Plain and simple – exercise reduces stress and the negative reactions to stress. Even a five minute walk can make me feel calmer.
5. Take a few slow, deep breaths. It is amazing how this reduces my stress reaction.
6. Help someone less fortunate. Nothing puts things into perspective better.
7. Acceptance. If there is truly nothing I can do, then worrying only creates stress. This is easy to say but I work hard at trying to accept what I cannot control; however, not until I have done a lot of brainstorming to make sure I cannot do anything about the problem.
8. Stress tends to be closely tied to time management and most of you know I am a student of this. If I am well organized and using my time effectively, I can handle stress better.
Managing stress is a bit like white water canoeing. The water will win if you try to control it – instead, work with it. Simply help guide a bit, but let the river do the work.
I told a friend today who has had to deal with overwhelming challenges in her life that I often have to stop and tell myself that as bad as it might seem to be today the world did not end, life goes on and I have another day to play tomorrow.
“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”
-Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
I was self-conscious about going to the gym, because I thought the pounds I had put on would make me stand out among the spandex-clad regulars. I chose a treadmill in the corner so I’d be inconspicuous.
However, as I exercised, my worst fears came true. At least a dozen people turned to stare at me periodically. I thought it might be my imagination, but then one woman even squinted to get a better look. Mortified, I stepped off the machine to leave. When I turned around, I realized that the gym’s only wall clock had been hanging just inches above my head.
We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are.”
He said: Tiring of the same old buzz cut from the base barber at Fort Dix, New Jersey, I went into town to get my haircut. The hairdresser noticed my accent and asked where I was from. “Trinidad,” I said.
“Is that in Arabia?”
She laughed, “Sorry, I never was very good at geometry.”
“One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged.
Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.”
A story concerns itself with a wholesaler in New York who sent a letter to the postmaster of a small mid-western town. He asked for the name of a honest lawyer who would take a collection case against a local debtor who had refused to pay for a shipment of the wholesaler’s goods. He got this reply:
I am the postmaster of this village and received your letter. I am also an honest lawyer and ordinarily would be pleased to accept a case against a local debtor. In this case, however, I also happen to be the person you sold those crummy goods to. I received your demand to pay and refused to honor it. I am also the banker you sent the draft to draw on the merchant, and I sent that back with a note stating that the merchant had refused to pay. And if I were not, for the time being, substituting for the pastor of our local church, I would tell you just what I thought of your claim.”
Ever notice that people who spend money on beer, cigarettes, and lottery tickets are always complaining about being broke and not feeling well?
He said: When I worked for the security department of a large retail store, my duties included responding to fire and burglar alarms. A side door of the building was wired with a security alarm, because it was not supposed to be used by customers. Nevertheless they found the convenience of the exit tempting. Even a sign with large red letters, warning “Alarm will sound if opened,” failed to deter people from using it.
One day, after attending to a number of shrieking alarms, I placed a small handmade sign on the door that totally eliminated the problem: “Wet paint.”
What happens is not as important as how you react to what happens.
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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