By Francesca Tomas, RPC
According to the US National Safety Council, stress contributes to as much as 80% of all diseases and illness!
In our fast paced lives, it’s difficult to identify what triggers the unrelenting stress in our lives. We often contribute to our own stress by not questioning the filters we use to see and judge everyone around us.
This is where I’d like to start.
Dr. Wayne Dyer was a prolific speaker and a writer who challenged us to adjust our filters, and to lose our kneejerk thoughts and reactions. He asserted these patterns ultimately set us up for stress and misery. Wayne passed this August 30th. His insightful lessons on how to live a happier more fulfilling life continue to inspire internationally.
Here are a few of his most frequently quoted teachings:
“You don’t attract what you want. You attract what you are.”
This is the real law of attraction.
“How people treat you is their karma. How you react is yours.”
This encourages us to drop grievances quickly, to stop telling stories; to let go of the past, and to focus on what we know is real.
“When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.”
It’s only when we stop judging that we can see, understand, and appreciate each other.
My favorite Wayne Dyer quote is:
“You’re only one thought away from changing your life.”
Wow! Many of us would love to change our lives. How do we choose that powerful one thought and change our life for the better?
I challenge you to start this journey today. Here are some simple techniques you can start now to lose stress quickly and move yourself toward a more optimistic and promising future. Choose at least five of your favorites to do every day.
- Call a close friend. – A quick conversation with someone you care about is often an instant mood booster.
- Stretch. – When you feel stressed, get up, reach toward the sky, bend down and touch your toes, then stretch from side to side.
- Go outdoors. – Get some fresh air outdoors to perk you up and clear your mind.
- Take a light exercise break – Do a few of your favorite exercises to get your blood moving, or take a walk. Even very moderate exercise reduces stress and re-energizes your mind.
- Play your favorite song – Listening to music releases endorphins and makes you happy. It’s that simple.
- Have a good laugh. – Watch a funny movie or your favorite stand-up comedian. A good laugh stimulates your mind and gives you a renewed sense of optimism.
- Take a few really deep, controlled breaths. – Deep breathing reduces stress, a source of fatigue, and increases the oxygen level in the blood. Inhale for five seconds, hold your breath for four seconds, and exhale slowly for five seconds.
- Smile more!! – Smiling, even if you’re not in a good mood, makes your brain THINK you’re in a good mood, and releases happy endorphins. Smile at strangers!
- Express gratitude. – Expressing gratitude changes your brain chemistry! When you pay attention to the good things in your life, you experience a powerful effect.
- Raise a real sweat - Exercise increases both dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain! Exercise daily to experience radical positive effects on your anxiety symptoms.
- Help someone in need. –When you help improve someone else’s life, you improve your own life too.
- Act like today is an awesome day! – If you act like it’s awesome, it will be. Research shows that we often feel the way that we act. A great attitude always leads to great experiences.
Try to integrate at least five of these stress busters into your daily life. I'd love to hear how it works for you.
Greek philosopher Epictetus said "It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters."
Most of us have experienced personal ups and downs. You can let this failure or upheaval derail you. Or you can take the healthier path, move on, and try a different more upbeat approach to accomplish your goals. I encourage you to take the upbeat path.
Remember Dr. Wayne Dyer's advice: "You are only one thought away from changing your life."
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