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Posts Tagged ‘stress’

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One way I learned to create a happier life was to try to find more reasons to smile, and create more reasons to laugh. Even when I was feeling pretty low, the mere act of smiling and laughing helped me train myself to feel better as a default feeling.

Now, when I see people, I try to remember to smile at them, even if I’m deep in my own thoughts. When things get tough and stressful, I try to think of something to bring up that will help people laugh and ease the tension in an appropriate way. Sometimes it’s just the smiling and tone of voice that helps move the mood upward.

I’ve had a long day trying to beat a flu or something, and tomorrow is going to be a day with more than the usual amount of pressure and stress. I’m going to go find something funny to watch before resting, to remind myself to continually find the laughter.

Tomorrow, I’m going to keep on the lookout for reasons to smile. May you find many reasons also!

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I have been quite aware of how strong an influence is  our baseline state of mind. I’ve noticed myself feeling tense and weary, then checked to find I was carrying a sense of being drained and overwhelmed.

I have been practicing taking a deep nourishing breath, and releasing that baseline mental pattern of stress. I recognized the beauty and generosity of Life, and remembered what at gift it is to have this experience. This lifted off much of the weight that I felt, and allowed me to begin to feel more energized and relaxed.

Soon after I realized this as a conscious practice, I came across this quote. May it help you learn how to frame your own mindset into who you would prefer to be!

You become that which you think you are. Or, it is not that you become it, but that the idea gets very deeply rooted – and that’s what all conditioning is.

– Osho

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A friend of mine mentioned this week that it’s been seeming very hard to keep up with communications for the past little while. I’ve felt it too, as you could see from the fact I’ve decided that I needn’t force a post every single day if I’m just not feeling one.

Things have also been going needlessly haywire, generally in small ways, and not always in bad ways. No matter how humble and organized my plans for the day, they’ve just been usurped by little emergencies or issues that needed more immediate attention.

I know, I know, this past year has had a lot of times like this. But if it’s been feeling just a little amped-up this week, it’s not just you!

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Today, I practiced more at keeping up the discipline of a relaxed and aware mindset. I was feeling a downturn again, and was struggling with things that were keeping me from even starting what I’d planned to have completed first thing in the morning. I kept reminding myself to not think like someone who’s overwhelmed, but like someone who is mindful of the limitations of the day and staying on pace to overcome them.

I had help in this by a story I heard last night.

The Shopkeeper

In feudal Japan, life wasn’t so good to a simple shopkeeper. He struggled to make ends meet, a struggle made harder by taxes, bandits, or even samurai taking some or all of what he and his customers needed to get through the month. The life of a peasant wasn’t worth much, and the life of a shopkeeper wasn’t any different.

Finally, this shopkeeper decided he didn’t want to be such easy prey, particularly for the bandits. So he began training with a master in the martial arts. Without neglecting his shop, he dedicated the remainder of his time to becoming a worthy, and then the finest student of this master. Eventually, he had learned all his master could teach him, leaving only life to test his skill.

His test came when he was walking home with his wife, and they were beset by bandits. Soon they were surrounded, being pushed around and berated for being so helpless and worthless. His wife then cried out, “Stop thinking like a shopkeeper before they kill us both!”

This snapped him out of it. His decades-long training to cower for his life was replaced by his years-long training to protect lives. Soon the bandits lay on the ground, and he walked his wife to their peaceful home.

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It occurred to me today that I’m doing it again. I’ve hit a very busy and taxing time at work and at home, which means more stress and less energy. These are exactly the times I need to make sure to pull back for a bit at key points during the day, to stretch and relax and regroup.

Do you know what I tend to forget to make time for when I’m busy trying to keep up with a very taxing and stressful time…?

I’ve resolved to get back to my schedule starting tomorrow. It’s the only way I’ll be able to maintain the flexibility I need to get through this current time-tunnel and make it out fantastic on the other side.

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I’ve just a few moments, so I wanted to drop a quick self-reminder about the importance of keeping perspective on stressful situations:

When not currently in a stressful situation, don’t carry the stress around with you. There’s a time and place for everything important. Remember the importance of the time and place you are presently in.

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