Personal Stress

Change your mind, Change your LIFE!

Buddhist focus

image courtesy of H.Koppdelaney


Your mindset controls everything that happens in your life. Your mindset is your attitude about whatever IS.  Things happen; for some people their attitude is: It’s BAD. For others the exact same event could be GREAT!!  You to choose your attitude about anything that happens in your life. When you chose to view things negatively, the event BECOMES stressful.

Do you have a  predetermined “MADitude”, BADitude, SADitude, GLADitude, or GRATitude“?  You make these decisions- and can change them at will. Of course, it’s not easy at first. But the first step is awareness of your attitude, and accepting personal responsibility for your judgments. No one “makes you” angry, sad, or happy without your permission. You do it to yourself.

You mindset or attitude will also effect the things to which you pay attention. You are defining and creating your life by the things upon which you focus your attention.

You must choose the focus of your attention

You have a choice in every minute how to focus your thoughts. You can see the negative (there’s so much to choose from), or you can turn off that negative channel and choose happiness.

So many people are on medication for depression and anxiety. Other people are self-medicating with illegal drugs and alcohol (and TV, imo). But these medications are not addressing the causation for the condition. You DO have a choice about what to think about. People who are depressed are wishing for the past. People who are suffering from anxiety are worried about the future. Neither of those times exist right now.

Worrying is like pre-paying a toll for a bridge you may never cross!
(this is my quote)

Do you want a more stress-free life? So what can you do to bring a more peaceful, productive, healthy and HAPPY focus into your life? You must learn to prioritize what is important in your life, and then make choices about how to spend your time. The one thing that we all share equally is 24 hours a day and the choice of how to spend that time.

The things to which you pay attention define who you, and what you value. AND your choice about where you put your focus defines the type of life you will have. If you are going down a road and see a big pot hole there is a way to avoid it. It’s by focusing on the clear part of the road, NOT the hole! Research shows that you will drive right into the hole if you are looking at it!

People who are chronically stressed think differently. You can spend your time focused on what is bad; what isn’t working, what you DON’T have; or you can focus on the things that you CAN do, the things that are joyful and give you pleasure. When you look for the good, that’s what you will see, the negative recedes into the background, and you become happier with your life. And the more you focus on the good, the more good WILL happen in your life. That is the law of attraction at work.

“The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention”
Julia Cameron

People who are depressed or anxious are focusing on the “bad things” in their lives. I had a client who could find something negative to say about anything! I used to think that if she stepped into gold, she’d complain her shoe got dirty! If you choose to be friends with someone like this, they can suck the joy out of your life if you let them. Yes, it is YOUR CHOICE. You can choose with whom to spend your time. You can leave behind people who do not fit with your needs for joy and calm. But you cannot blame them for “making you sad, angry, or upset”.

The fact is, when you take personal responsibility- and even if you CHOOSE to remain friends with, or stay married to someone who has a negative approach to life, just realizing that YOU are making a choice, it is empowering. You are no longer a victim, “I have to, I should….” but someone who is choosing to deal with the situation, and taking the responsibility of their choice.

When you react emotionally to things that people say to you, you are making a choice to give power to their statements instead of telling yourself: “this is only their opinion, and it is not necessarily mine”. YOu are allowing their words to stress you! Realize that anything anyone says is simply a statement about THEIR values. There is no reason for you to have to defend your position. You can instead listen to their words and use the opportunity to learn more about their opinion. In fact, doing so gives you the ability to learn more about a person and their values. So many of our relationships are based upon assumptions we have about others. Only by asking questions and LISTENING to answers from people, will you truly learn about another person. When you change your usual habitual communication style, you will find something very interesting. The people you interact with will also change. It may be slow at first, but pay attention look for an improvement in your overall communication.

The first step to any change in your life is awareness. Tell yourself “I am choosing to focus on positive thoughts instead of negative”.  This goes for the way you respond to the inner voice in your head as well. Be mindful of your thoughts, and the words you say to and about yourself. If you catch yourself silently criticizing yourself for mistakes, telling yourself you’re not good enough, not deserving: any negative self talk, you must stop that habitual self defeating conversation right away!

Make certain that use only kind and affirmative observations about yourself. If you find that you are using negative self-talk, stop immediately. As soon as you realize what you are saying something negative about yourself, substitute a positive “I Am” statement instead.

If you find yourself constantly finding the negative in any situation, refocus on the positive. Look for the break in the clouds. When I coach people with HeartMath® stress reduction, the focus of our work is finding appreciation and love in your heart. Make every day a day where you are looking for the simple joy of living. Unless you look for these happy and small events, they will go by unnoticed, and unappreciated. Focus on the happiness, beauty, joy in your life, and you will see more and more every day and your life will become more joyful, peaceful and healthier.

As a HeartMath® coach, I help people to deal effectively and quickly with stress and it’s negative effects on our lives. Living a life based upon your values and purpose will move you in the direction of your heartfelt choice. Make sure you choose happiness. You deserve to be happy!  It’s your birthright!