"For each of us there is some mission in life if we but find it. All have some definite thing to do, something for which they have been created; and only the doing of this thing will justify their existence here on earth. If we come into the world and occupy space and time without giving back for this privilege, we have not justified ourselves, and our lives in the end are barren." ~ Hay

Friday, October 14, 2011

Why Worry? Three Simple Ideas for Chasing the Blues Away

“No man is free who is not master of himself” ~ Epicitetus
Health is a condition of the mind as well as the body.  Health consists of not only the right diet and exercise program but also a feeling of well-being and a positive state of mind.  I frequently write about the mind and the body, which may appear to be a separate unit.  However, they are merely aspects of the same thing.  Here’s the reason why:  all emotion, whether pleasant or unpleasant, affects the heartbeat, the respiration, the secretion of digestive juices, the flow of blood through the body, and the chemical reactions in the blood and tissues. In other words, our emotions can have a profound effect on our body and its organs.   Just as we are constantly striving toward a healthy body, we need to put equal efforts into improvement of our mental health. 
Worry is one of our most damaging negative emotions.  It is usually based on some type of fear.  What do people fear?  How about health, jobs, growing old, children…sound familiar?  First, let me start off by saying it’s usually the case that the problems we fret about the most never occur.   I recently read a story about someone who was really “stressed out” about a few things happening in his life.  He wrote all three things he was worried about down on a piece of paper and put it in his drawer.  He forgot about the piece of paper until six months later.   When he found it, he was amazed to see the things that were eating him up never happened or they managed to work their way out….even to the better!  Why don’t you try this and see what happens to your current worries over a six month period?  Secondly, most of the time all the worrying in the world will not prevent something from taking place.  That’s a hard statement to grasp because we usually try to maintain control over situations.  This is sometimes not feasible or possible.  It’s especially the high stress situations where we need to calm ourselves down the most.  While most people cannot automatically switch their emotions on and off, there are things we can do to minimize a troublesome period.
 What can you to do erase worry from your mind or lesson the severity of current stress?  Try these three simple exercises!  These will help keep worry at bay and lessen your overall body tension. 
1.       Get Busy! -  The busier you are, the less worried you will be.  Your mind can only focus on one thing at a time!  For instance, I want you think of the color orange.  Now, I want you to think of the color green.  Did you forget about the color orange?  I bet you did!  If you are worried, try doing an activity that requires concentration, like putting together a puzzle or reading a book.  If you are tired of cleaning the house, don’t do it!  It will make you more stressed because while you’re body is occupied doing household tasks, your mind is still free to think.  It must be a MIND ACTIVITY.  Try it!

2.      Sing a Song! – Yes…I wrote Sing a Song!  Put on your favorite music and just sing.  Do this for 15 minutes and you will feel less worried.  Please choose an upbeat song that you like, no sad or depressing songs.  Did you know that there is karaoke on YouTube?  Do the karaoke version of your favorite song.  It’s pretty funny!  Try it!

3.      Positive Affirmations – Keep a notebook or journal and write in it your favorite affirmations and read it when you are worried or stressed.  Please include quotes on gratitude.  When all else fails, this will definitely work.  How can you be worried when you read quotes such as these:

~  A smile is a curve that sets everything straight – Anonymous
~ Every day is a new life to a wise man – Anonymous
~ Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful - Buddha

Aaahhh…Don’t you feel better already!
Carnegie, Dale, “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living,” Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York N.Y.: 1984 (originally published 1944)

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