Sunday, April 12, 2015

Are U Stressed ???

-- Quote of the Day -- 

"It is with words as with sunbeams. 
The more they are condensed, the deeper they burn." 

~ Robert Southey

 -- My Stressful Story -- 

Some 20 years ago I made some big changes in my life. Up to that time my life was fairly unstable, unpredictable, heavy schedule, lots of responsibility, etc. - my childhood was painful alongside a dysfunctional family. I speak of that briefly only to say that the stress was pretty high before the straw landed on the pile - a car accident. At that time I hit a real new low - suicidal low - and was diagnosed with chronic depression.

The first thing the experts told me about PTSD and depression was that I was not alone, my symptoms were common, that I wasn't "tainted" and there was a lot of help out there. 

The next thing they commented on was that they always recommended getting outdoors, and they were thrilled to hear I did a lot of outdoor stuff prior to the accident. So they had me go outside several times per day and get fresh air and sun even if I had to get help to get out there. So I did that, and continue to do this. There is just something about nature that has always been there for me, and continues to be my therapist and soul mate. To garden, to walk, to just sit in the grass with the dogs and be... whatever it is.

And the very next thing they recommended - avoid the media news programs, magazines, newspapers, online news sites, etc. They recommended feeding the mind with positive movies and TV programs, avoiding those that highlight the destruction of the earth or mankind or violence, etc. So I've done that ever since.

In the years that followed I also learned to watch the thought pattern - gradually sweeping negative and judgmental thoughts aside and saying to myself "oops! I don't want to think that." This slowly evolves to also watching how we speak - that we are saying more positive things. 

"Experts" that had appeared on the radio show I used to host/produce also suggested expressing gratitude for at least 5 things each day. Whether you speak it out loud in the shower or to the wall,  tell someone, write it down, or just take the time each night to overview all the things that you appreciated that day in your mind.

I find it so interesting that first meeting with the "experts" so many years ago is the very same advice I see celebrated and shared on social networking sites nearly every day now... which is pretty exciting. The difference these few changes has made in my life is absolutely huge. So if you are feeling stressed, depressed, tired, overworked... try these. They work - even the "experts" recommend them.

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