Today I read an interesting article about how winners stay calm and positive throughout their days. I really love how so many different sites offer articles and blogs about self improvement that get sent to your inbox every day. When I have the time, I read them, when I don’t I figure the universe didn’t have that particular lesson in store for me that day. This one had some interesting statistics about stress, and what it does to our mindsets and our ability to cope with situations. You can read it here.
See, some amount of stress is necessary to achieve anything – we need incentives, we need drivers to do anything. You reach for food when you are hungry, you go for a walk because you are driven to be healthier, to reach a desired body weight, or maybe because you are just plain restless. People all over the globe start businesses, quit jobs, get new jobs, join clubs, churches or join an organization because of a want. Sometimes, it’s simply the want to fit in and feel loved. Sometimes it’s because they want something more and different in life.
Stress in itself is not bad. Too much stress, however can paralyze you, cause numerous health issues, weight gain, depression….read the article….it’s bad. When I was still in retail, I had a lot of stress. I lived in stress. I was stress. I was worried all the time about what if, and how, and I hope this doesn’t happen….I was worried about money, I was unhappy about time, I didn’t appreciate where I was, and I was always fearful that I would never get what I wanted. To sum it all up – my entire outlook was based upon what I feared might be in the future. And there’s this handy little acronym about fear: F.E.A.R. is simply False Expectations Appearing Real.
Once you learn to live in the Now (and I’ll be honest, it’s a battle for me, a constant struggle, but I’m improving every day), life is less stressful. The first few things in this article screamed at me that people who maintain their calm and composure live in the NOW. They don’t worry about the future, and don’t hang on to the past. They have gratitude, they don’t ask the question “what if” and they think positive thoughts.
Being grateful MUST be a feeling of gratitude in the present moment, it’s thankfulness for something/someone/a situation that you currently have or are in. Yes, you can look back and be grateful for things in the past, but a comparison of what you have now, vs what you had then doesn’t really lead to positive thoughts.
Asking “what if” opens the flood gates of fear and worry. Flat out just stop doing it. Just ask yourself, what can I do now, in this present moment to enhance or improve my situation? How much power do you have over the circumstances, what can you do about it? Don’t even worry about what you can’t do. There’s a quote that I keep in mind all the time (basically to remind myself not to worry). It’s from the Bhagavad Gita:
Let not the fruit of action be your motive to action. Your business is with action alone, not with the fruit of the action.
Short version – you can’t predict the future, so just focus on what you are doing right now.
And again, what you think about comes about. If you’re constantly focusing on the negative, you will see and receive the negative. No one opens a Where’s Waldo book and looks for the person in a purple t-shirt. No, we’re looking for Red and White Stripes Guy with the Funny Glasses. That’s why we find Waldo….because we are looking for him. So change your focus…if you find you are feeling negative, like I was this afternoon, STOP and redirect. What are you looking for, what’s the positive thing you could pull out of this situation?
If you appreciate what I shared today, do me a favor and comment and/or share with a friend.