Thursday, August 30, 2012

Think first and save yourself some grief

I almost hit a little dog this morning. The dog's "mom" was down the street clapping her hands-- wishing him back, I suppose, while he ran cowering down the street in the opposite direction. Other cars had to stop as well to keep from ending this small dog's life. I have often seen two or three children playing with this cute little yorkie as he ran UNLEASHED across their front yard.

I was annoyed by this woman. This isn't the first time I've seen it galloping toward the street while they frantically call its name. If someone had hit their dog, she would be crying, the kids would be devastated, and probably, judging by most pet owners (I don't have a pet), they would have to mourn a family member's death. It certainly would have ruined my day had I run it down in dawn's first light! IF it had happened, it would have been avoidable by simply putting a leash on the dog. Traffic goes through continually, and a dog is not a person. Dogs chase squirrels and cats and whatever motivates their little doggie minds. Hopefully she has learned her lesson, because the little dog's days may be numbered otherwise.

So my stress busting tip is this: Do the simple, everyday thinking that will save you some grief in the long run.

Don't let this happen to your little furry friend!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Remembering how strong we really are

Lately I've been thinking about how strong we are. Sometimes we forget-- especially if  facing an illness, unemployment, horrible bosses, unruly children, overdue bills, crumbling relationships, a busted boiler, leaky plumbing or whatever the challenge of the moment might be. Sometimes we feel like our heads will explode from the stress.

But I recently thought about our ancestors. Our inner strength runs so much wider and deeper than we remember. This is no warm fuzzy blanket I'm offering, but I want to point out that most of our problems can/must be handled calmly, one step at a time, and with a clear mind. Many of our ancestors survived the Middle Passage, the Holocaust, wars, lived in harsh and often hostile environments filled with violence, poverty and sickness. Many ran away from horrendous conditions not knowing where they were headed. Individuals lost their entire families. Children have fed and clothed their siblings. And there are so many stories of such survivors-- in the far and recent past, who not only survived, but thrived.

Post Apocalyptic Woman WarriorsSo my stress relieving tip is to put whatever you are dealing with into a broader perspective. Yes, things aren't necessarily the way you want them to be, but most times, they aren't nearly as horrible as they could be. So keep your cool, and breathe-- breathe deep and slow. Do it enough times to calm yourself down. Don't let your mind fool you into thinking that you don't have what it takes to get through the problem of the moment. Remember how strong you actually are-- inside. Then plot a course-- step by tiny step toward a solution.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Anxiety as a positive.....

I have always dreaded the feeling of anxiety. I hate the tension, the shallow breathing, the sweat beading on the tip of my nose, etc. That feeling crops up when I have to do things that push me out of my comfort zone. Anxiety makes me want to avoid certain situations.  

In any culture, we will meet with rejection and various biases: sexism, racism, gender bias, age-ism, etc. When we go out into the world or engage in different interactions, we often anticipate what we are up against, and we feel anxious. But creating a life that we want requires moving ahead in spite of .......

This week I've been reading Thomas Hora's Beyond the Dream (one of my favorite books in the world This is what Dr. Hora writes about anxiety:

"[Anxiety] is actually just a heightened state of alertness, connected with an anxious desire to succeed in some project. Therefore it is actually healthy to be anxious. We can say, it is all right to be anxious as long as we are not timid. Timidity is a fear of appearing anxious, and it gives rise to a desire to stifle and cover up the anxiety. Anxiety can be accepted as something positive, and timidity can be refused as something cowardly, unproductive, and self-indulgent. Timid people often blame anxiety for their suffering, but if they realize that the [enemy] is timidity hiding behind anxiety, then they can simply refuse to be timid and the whole problem disappears. Therefore, we can say that it is all right to be anxious as long as we are willing not to be timid."

I love a choice! I now choose courage and productivity, and I release timidity.

That may be easier said than done, but I believe hard things are doable when we have the right mindset. Refuse to be timid because who else can represent you in this world?

TIMID: easily frightened; lacking self-confidence, shy