I am thankful for all of the experiences in my life. Whether I view them as positive or negative, each one offers opportunities for learning.
Whatever today brings, I am confident that my resourcefulness and resilience can see me through it.
In challenging situations, I am reminded of my own strengths. I bring so much to the table. Whatever is asked of me, I can find a way to accomplish. And if I discover that I have challenges achieving my goals, I stand back and get a clearer picture of who I am and what I can do. I am thankful for all of these opportunities to grow.
My focus on learning enables me to be enormously resilient. I know that I can make it through any situation that comes my way. After all, I am a survivor of every circumstance in my life so far and I learn from each of them. So today also, I trust that I am resilient.
Often, what I gain from challenging circumstances is a bigger picture of the resources available to me. I always have the support I need to accomplish whatever I desire. These resources can abound in the most unlikely-seeming places. But I can find them, no matter what.
Today, I trust that I have the means necessary to get through and grow from any situation. I am thankful for each learning opportunity that comes my way. And I intentionally cultivate my resourcefulness and resilience by consciously engaging with challenges in my life.
1. What sorts of resources might I use in addressing the most challenging situation in my life today?
2. Can I name three major situations in the past year or two in which I demonstrated resilience?
3. Did these situations strengthen my resilience even more?
“The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and their destination.” – John Schaar
Life is full of surprises. In an average day, we all encounter a seemingly endless number of unexpected events can occur that might create stress, worry, and frustration.
But instead of letting these negative emotions take over, what if you were to make a conscious decision to have a great day?
Try these techniques to bring joy to each day:
Use self-suggestion.First thing in the morning, make a conscious decision to have a great day. As you’re brushing your teeth, look yourself in the eye. Tell yourself, “I’m going to have a great day,” and mean it. This is your chance to set yourself up for a fantastic day, whether you’ll be with your family, at work, or hanging out with friends.
Empower yourself. You’re taking controlof what might have turned into a negative situation when you decide to allow events to just roll on by and not affect you adversely. Take the bull by the horns and state to yourself what you will and won’t do in a challenging situation.
Own your mood. Refuse to allow someone or something other than yourself to ruin your day.When you do this, you’re saying “no” to negativity. You’re taking a stand. When you’re resolved in this way, your healthy stubbornness will ensure you have a great day.
Recognize what really matters. When you encounter a challenging situation, prompt yourself to see the bigger picture. If one part of a project isn’t going well, identify that you’ve been in similar circumstances before and will most likely be in them again someday. Know, however, that such situations don’t last, and easy times will come again, too.
Remind yourself of the positive.Remember that you still have other things to do today and the trying situation isn’t the only event you’ll encounter. Before the day is out, you might win the lottery or get that promotion you’ve wanted. Or maybe all the traffic lights will be green on your way home. Whether big or small, positive things are likely to happen today.
Consider a challenging event as an adventure. When you look back, you’ll find that many prior situations that you were initially disappointed in turned out to be great opportunities for you. Shift your paradigm from “Oh, this is bad” to “This could be interesting.”
Discover the silver lining. What are the positives about a trying situation? You may feel challenged at first to find something positive about a difficult occurrence. However, with some practice, this will become easier. You’ll eventually be able to identify what the real beauty of the tough event is.
When life gets you down,you always have a choice. You can either let yourself be completely overtaken with the weight of your challenge or decide to have a great day.
Turn negative situations into adventures and seek the silver lining in every challenging event. You have all the power you need within you to make your life as enjoyable as you want it to be!
Have you ever found yourself unfocused, distracted…essentially spinning your wheels at work?
Even if you are passionate about your chosen career path, are there days during which you accomplish next to nothing?
You know the kind I mean–you start the day with high expectations and a solid plan to accomplish your goals, but come day’s end, you’ve got very little to show for your efforts. And worse, you feel like you’ve been working hard all day.
Many of us experience these days (or weeks.) Here’s the thing: even if you absolutely love what you do for a living, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed or stressed at work.
And, especially if you’re passionate about your work, you may not even realize it’s happening until you’re deep in the throes of the apathy and “brain fog” that comes along with workplace stress.
Left unchecked, workplace stress can have significant effects on your health, both mental and physical. And, when you don’t feel good, your perception on life can become corroded with that negative energy–effectively drawing more negativity into your life.
Is workplace stress a problem for you? Ask yourself the following questions:
Are you consistently anxious, irritable or depressed?
Have you experienced a loss of interest in your work?
Are you having problems with sleeping? Fatigue?
Do you have trouble concentrating?
Do you have physical symptoms like muscle tension, headaches or stomach problems?
Do you find yourself withdrawing socially from friends and family?
Have you experienced a lower sex drive than usual?
Are you using alcohol or drugs to cope?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to make some proactive changes to promote positivity in your workplace and in your life. Doing so can reduce stress levels and ultimately eliminate many of these issues.
So what can you do?
Take Care of Your Body
An imbalanced diet can significantly contribute to “burn out.” And, ironically, in an effort to make their lives easier, busy people tend to make the unhealthiest choices. Many “convenience” foods are laden with fat, sodium and sugar, the effects of which will only make you feel more stressed. Eat healthy, whole foods as often as possible. Reduce or eliminate intake of alcohol and nicotine. Get at least a half hour of exercise, most days of the week, and get enough sleep. It won’t kill you to pull an all-nighter on occasion, but in general, keep to a regular sleep schedule.
Take Care of Your Soul
When you love your work, it’s easy to over-commit and over-schedule yourself. This can lead to feeling overwhelmed, and eventually to apathy and loss of interest. Be sure to schedule down-time, especially if you’re a perfectionist who can’t stop until the job’s done. Sometimes, you just have to step back and regenerate. Otherwise, you may end up getting nothing done.
Sometimes, taking a couple of hours to do a little deep cleaning at your house can help you to release your stress. If you’ve got an office or cubicle at work, clean that too (or have it cleaned.) Many people believe that the condition of your home represents the condition of your mind. So, if it’s dusty and cluttered, you might be feeling a little blocked yourself. Do yourself a favor and spend a little time cleaning up around the house, and you may just find that your focus snaps back into place. You’d be surprised at how therapeutic a little cleaning can be.
Priorities and Planning
Sometimes, feeling overwhelmed is just the result of not having a plan. Especially when we love our work, many of us take on too many projects and before we know it–we’re spinning our wheels, getting nothing done. The best way to create a daily plan is to have a basic daily routine, but one that’s flexible enough to allow you to focus on the most pressing issues of the day.
So, for example, let’s say you’re a customer service rep who lives in a cubicle 40 hours a week. You arrive at work to find three voice mails–one from an angry client, one from someone who needs information (a potential client) and one from your boss inviting you to lunch to discuss what you suspect is a promotion. And, on top of that, you’ve got two co-workers waiting to ask you questions about their own customers.
When you develop a basic schedule, you can prioritize these types of things in advance–so, in the case of our customer service rep, she might have a morning routine like this:
1. Deal with any co-workers waiting for me.
2. Return phone calls in order of urgency.
3. Check email.
4. Start taking calls from customers.
The point is that whatever your job, simply putting an outline of your day together can help you to reduce your stress levels at work by helping you to prioritize your tasks. Of course, there will be times when an urgent situation throws all of it out the window–and this is where you need to allow for flexibility.
Change Your Mind
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–it’s all in your head. Life is what you make it. So, if you’re feeling stressed at work, change your mind–change your perception of the situation. Instead of feeling angry and frustrated that you have to deal with so much, feel grateful that you have a job (and that you love what you do–if that’s the case.) It’s easy to forget why we chose our career paths when we feel overwhelmed by our day-to-day lives.
Don’t hate your job. Love it, even if it’s not ideal. Be grateful for it, and do it to the best of your ability. If the job you’re currently in isn’t right for you, start imagining yourself in one that is. Feel what it feels like, and then focus on having it. Always focus on the positives and the things for which you are grateful–and you’ll attract more of it into your life. Spend time hating your job and wishing away your time–and you can be sure to expect more things to hate in your life. Remember that like attracts like–so feel positive and happy and more good things and situations will be attracted into your life.
What do you think? Have you experienced workplace stress? How did you handle it?
We’ve all got our challenges, and I guess one of mine is that I don’t always get enough sleep–which is unhealthy and can also affect my personal level of happiness in a big way.
And, since I know that I’m profoundly normal in this particular aspect of my life, I have put together the following list of tips from the experts on getting more sleep.
1. Quit drinking caffeine after 7 pm in the evening (or three hours before bedtime.) It sounds obvious for most, I’m sure, but I had to include this one because I’m guilty of sipping coffee in the evening hours on a pretty regular basis.
2. Get your exercise. Getting out and moving is not only a great way to increase your happiness in general, but it can significantly improve the quality and quantity of sleep. You’ll feel more like sleeping when you exercise–and you’ll sleep better.
3. Try EFT tapping. EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique or Emotional Freedom Therapy (depending on who you ask.) The technique involves a series of acupressure, wherein you tap certain points on your body to create specific effects–including improved sleep, among other things.
4. Try not to eat three hours before bedtime, and especially snacks that involve grains or sugars. Why? Because grains and sugars will raise your blood sugar, giving you lower quality sleep. And, doctors say, when the blood sugar drops later, you could wake up and have trouble falling back asleep.
5. Sleep in darkness. Ok, I admit it, I’m guilty of sleeping with the bathroom light on and the TV tuned to a random sit-com. I could go into the reasons I do this and why it works for me, but that wouldn’t be helping either of us get more sleep. According to researchers, even a small amount of light in your bedroom can disrupt your circadian rhythms, as well as your body’s production of melatonin and serotonin, which help to naturally induce and enhance restorative sleep. So, they recommend, sleep without lights or television (which also stimulates the brain and can reduce your chances of a good night’s sleep.)
So how about you? Do you find yourself giving up sleep to accommodate your busy schedule? What are your top tips for getting more or better sleep? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below!
“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” ~Theodore Roosevelt
I get along with most everyone I meet, but every now and again, I run across people I just can’t seem to “click” with. We’ve all been there–awkward silences, uncomfortable conversations, forced politeness.
It can get worse if you have to see one of these people in your day to day life, too. Say you work with or live next door to someone with whom you don’t seem to have any chemistry. Inevitably, you begin to avoid him or her, even if it means taking the long way back to your desk at work or sneaking in the back door at home.
Why People Don’t Click
There’s no single answer to why you have chemistry with some people but not with others. It can be something as simple as a difference in opinions to something as complicated as an instant, unexplainable dislike–but it’s happened to all of us at one time or another.
Uncommon Knowledge blogger Mark Tyrrell says that people need to have certain basic emotional needs met, and when we can’t satisfy those at least some of those in our interactions, we don’t get along well. Tyrrell says that in order to be happy, we need to have our emotional needs met at least some of the time.
He says our emotional needs include things such as the need to feel safe and secure, giving and receiving attention, a sense of control and status and the need for connection, among others.
We offend people when we “step on” their emotional needs.
“One common way this occurs is by mistakenly assuming that communicating the problem ‘as you see it’ is the only thing to be considered when ‘giving feedback,’” Tyrrell writes. “Anyone can say the words, but it takes thought, practice and skill to deliver unpalatable messages without causing undue hurt.”
So what’s the solution?
While avoiding that person as often as possible can seem like the least painful solution, what happens when you have to deal with that person again, or when the next one comes along?
More awkwardness, discomfort, forced toleration for both parties. More desire to get the heck out of there as quickly as possible every time you are near that person.
I don’t know about you, this doesn’t seem like much of a solution to me. So what’s the answer?
It sounds more complicated than it really is–just learn to get along with (almost) everyone you meet. Try these five tips to get you started.
Ask Questions and Listen to the Answers
One way to make almost anyone more comfortable around you is to ask questions about him, and truly listen and respond to the answers. Depending on how well you know the person, you can ask about family, friends, hobbies, the person’s home or work, pets, children–nearly anything will do.
When we talk about ourselves to someone who seems genuinely interested in what we have to say, we are more likely to feel warmer toward that person.
Accept People for Who They Are
Keep in mind that everyone has her own path to follow. If you focus on the mistakes you think a person makes or the parts of a person’s personality that don’t sit well with you, you’re bound to feel negatively toward her. (On a more selfish note, you’ll also draw more negativity into your own life.)
Next time you find yourself judging someone who is different than you, try changing your perspective a little. Instead of focusing on the things you don’t love about someone, find qualities in her that you do like.
Dole Out Compliments Liberally
Now that you’ve noticed something nice about the person, try telling him about it. Find something, anything to compliment a person on, and you’ve just begun to change his mind about you.
Humans are wired to feel warmth toward people who tell us nice things about ourselves, so use this to your advantage when you’re trying to get along with someone. Compliment him on his clothing or his car or his family values–anything will do. Just be sure it’s a sincerely-delivered, genuine compliment.
Sometimes awkwardness can happen just because a person is shy or nervous around others, and this can sometimes come off like arrogance or even rudeness.
A friend of mine recently told me that after living in her neighborhood for a few years, she noticed that she was never invited to neighborhood parties. Being an extremely shy person, she didn’t mind–until she heard from her next-door neighbor that people thought she was “stuck up” and that they thought she acted like she was “too good” for the other people in the neighborhood.
She considered it a real wake-up call, and started making more of an effort to be friendly and polite to her neighbors. Before long, she found herself being embraced by several of them.
If you’re a little shy, even the smallest gesture can go a long way. Try smiling at someone and meeting their eyes, waving and saying hello or even prepare a few remarks and start up a light conversation using some of the tips mentioned above.
If you’re dealing with a shy person, you can make them more comfortable by being genuinely friendly, but not too pushy. Avoid personal questions and controversial topics–keep the conversation light whenever possible.
Empathy Goes a Long Way
Being empathetic doesn’t just mean feeling sorry for someone when they’re having a bad time–it means understanding and sometimes reflecting back the emotions of the person you’re dealing with.
Actors sometimes use a technique called mirroring, which involves responding to a person’s questions and statements in the same tone of voice and with the same type of emotion they express. While directly mirroring a person’s mannerisms and emotions can seem a little stalker-ish in real life, most of us find ourselves doing it on some level when we’re dealing with someone with whom we’re comfortable.
Think about it–you behave differently with people you work with than you do your closest friends, right? And there’s a difference in how you deal with your children or spouse than there is with your neighbor or the checkout person at the supermarket.
Reaching out to someone this way, even when you don’t click, can make a big difference in how she perceives you. Acknowledging and demonstrating that you understand how she feels is the other side of that coin, and it can be the quickest way to a person’s good side.
So how about you? What are your favorite ways to get along with those people you just don’t click with? Tell me in the comments!