In this time that finds us all in anxious moments the following are suggestions to try that will lead to a more calmer life. Try them. They work!! Have them at your disposal so you can pick one or two that will calm things down.
• Be upbeat and practice precautionary maintenance. Your car, appliances, home, and relationships will be less likely to break down/fall apart “at the worst possible moment.” • Get up fifteen minutes earlier in the morning. The predictable morning misfortunes will be less traumatic. • Prepare for the morning the evening before. Set the breakfast table, prepare lunches, put out the clothes you plan to wear, etc. • Do nothing which, after you’re done, leads you to tell a lie. • Make copies of all keys. Bury a house key in a clandestine spot in the garden and carry a duplicate car key in your wallet, apart from your key ring. • Be prepared to wait, a good book can make a wait in a post office line, or doctor’s office almost pleasant. • Don’t rely on your memory. Write down appointment times, when to pick up the wash, when oil is to be changed in your car , etc. • Procrastination is stressful. Whatever you want to do tomorrow, do today; whatever you want to do today, do it IMMEDIATELY. • Plan ahead. Don’t let the gas tank get below one-quarter full, keep a well-stocked “emergency shelf” of home provisions, don’t wait until you’re down to your last dollar, or roll of toilet paper to buy more, etc. • Don’t put up with something that doesn’t work right. If your alarm clock, wallet, shoe laces, windshield wipers, are a constant aggravation, get them repaired or get new ones. • Allow 15 minutes of extra time to get to appointments. Plan to arrive at an airport one hour before domestic departures. • Eradicate (or limit) the amount of caffeine in your diet. • Relax your standards. The world will not end if the grass doesn’t get cut this weekend. • Count your Blessings! For every one thing that goes wrong, there are perhaps 10 or 50 or 100 blessings. Count them! • Ask questions. Taking a few moments to repeat back directions, what someone expects of you, etc. can save HOURS. • Say “No!” Saying no to extra projects, social events, and invites you know you don’t have time or energy for takes repetition, self-respect, and a belief that everyone, everyday needs quiet time to relax and to be alone. • Unplug your phone. Want to take a long bath, meditate, sleep, or read without disruption? Drum up the nerve to momentarily disconnect. (The possibility of there being a terrible emergency in the-next hour or so is almost zero.) • Turn “needs” into PREFERENCES. Our basic physical needs translate into food, water, and keeping warm. Everything else is a preference. Don’t get too attached to preferences. • Make friends with non-worriers. Nothing can get you into the habit of worrying faster than associating with habitual complainers. • Get enough sleep. If necessary, use an alarm clock to remind you to go to bed. • Create order out of chaos. Organize your home and workstation so that you always know exactly where things are. Put things away where they belong and you won’t have to go through the stress of losing things. • When feeling stressed, most people tend to breathe in short, shallow breaths. When you breathe like this, stale air is not expelled, oxidation of the tissues is incomplete, and muscle tension frequently results. • Check your breathing throughout the day, and BEFORE, DURING and AFTER high pressure conditions. If you find your stomach muscles are knotted and your breathing is narrow, relax all your muscles and take several deep, slow breaths. • Inoculate yourself against a feared event. Example: before speaking in public, take time to GO over EVERY part of the experience in your mind. Imagine what you’ll wear, what the audience will look like, how you will present your talk, what the questions will be and how you will answer them, etc. Imagine the experience the way you would have it be. • When the stress of having to get a job done gets in the way of getting the job done, use diversion • Talk it out. Discussing your problems with a trusted friend can help clear your mind of a misunderstanding so you can concentrate on problem solving. • One of the most obvious ways to avoid unnecessary stress is to select an environment (work, home, leisure) which is in line with your personal needs and desires. If you hate desk jobs, don’t accept a job which requires that you sit at a desk all day. If you hate to talk politics, don’t associate with people who love to talk politics, etc. • Do something for somebody else. • Focus on understanding rather than on being understood, on loving rather than being loved. • Do something that will improve your appearance. Looking better can help you feel better. • Schedule a realistic day. Avoid the propensity to schedule back-to-back appointments; allow time between activities for a breathing spell. • Be more flexible. Some things are worth NOT doing flawlessly and some issues can be negotiated. • Use your weekend time for a change of pace. If your work week is slow and patterned, make sure there is action and time for spontaneity built into your weekends. If your work week is fast-paced and full of people and deadlines, seek peace and solitude during your days off. Feel as if you aren’t accomplishing anything tangible at work? Tackle a job on the weekend which you can finish to your satisfaction. • Do one thing at a time. When you are with someone, be with that person and no one else. When you are busy with a project, focus on doing THAT project and forget about everything else you have to do. • Allow yourself time every day for solitude, noiselessness, and self-examination. • If an especially “unpleasant” task faces you, do it early in the day and get it over with. Then the rest of your day will be free of anxiety. • Learn to delegate responsibility. • Don’t forget to take a lunch break. Try to get away from your desk or work area in body AND mind, even if it’s just for 15 or 20 minutes. • Have a forgiving view of events and people. Accept the fact that we live in an flawed world. PEACE Ernie R. 954-213-3923