86,400

As many of you have already guessed, I’m referring to the number of seconds in a day.

Afternoon check. How many have you spent in mindsets of joy, peace, love today; and how many in stress and anger?

You don’t get a grade on this test or a kudos on this report? You don’t have to share your answer with anyone but you.

Your reward for getting it right? More joy and peace and live in your day. As Jeff Probst would ask, “Worth playing for?”

I hope you won reward!

Ray

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Releasing Stress on National Stress Day

Today’s Affirmation:

“I become aware of the little things that are stressing me out and develop strategies to deal with them effectively.”

Overworked business man.Today is National Stress Way – a perfect opportunity to discuss ways to destress.

We often attribute the stress in our daily lives to what is happening on the outside. “My schedule is so busy” or “Work is a bear right now” are common reasons we give others and ourselves to explain the stress we feel.

No doubt, these things contribute to our stress. However, some of the extra “weight” we carry around is mental. It’s all the little unresolved problems and distractions flittering, as they do, at the edges of our awareness that create stress in our lives disproportionate to their actual importance.

Collectively, these little stressors create murky, undefined sense of dis-ease that can permeate our days and lessen our enjoyment of life.

Awareness

How do we deal with these minor hindrances? Well, the first we have to do is to become aware of them. Can we identify them and name them? It’s almost impossible to address them unless we know what they are.

One effective way for surfacing these issues is to spend a little quiet time alone at some point in the day. Just allow your thoughts to flow freely without evaluation and take note of the concerns, worries, or issues that arise.

These small issues are like children clamoring for attention. They will usually make themselves known when you listen.

Action

Once you identify an issue, you can:

  • Estimate its importance.
  • Take steps to resolve it.
  • Recognize its relative insignificance and let it go.

Perspective 

These pesky stressors are the puff fish in our lives. You may be familiar with this kind of fish. It has the ability to blow itself up to appear much larger than its actual size to intimidate would-be predators.

Especially when we have an emotional investment, these little issues can cast a longer shadow in our lives than is warranted by their actual importance.

The key to breaking their hold is perspective. Here are three strategies for getting that perspective.

  1. Deja-Vu – we have probably faced situations similar to the one we are stressing about now and it probably came out OK. Most of the things we stress ourselves about never happen or are not as bad as we imagined them to be. Think of two or three examples of times when similar things worked out fine and your worrying did not alter the outcome. Then let go.
  2. The 30-Day Test – ask yourself whether this issue will still have the significance you are giving it now in 30 days? In six months? A year? If not, it probably is not really as important as it seems right now. Do what you can about it and then let it go.
  3. The Quasar Comparison – this is the “big scheme of things” approach to releasing the issue. Our problems, as big as they seem to us sometimes, are mostly insignificant in the big picture. Quasars are very powerful and distant objects at the edge of the visible universe. They are billions of light years away and a reminder of our universe’s sheer scale. A picture of a quasar can easily be found online. I keep one nearby to remind me how small my problems really are compared to the vastness of space and time. When realize this may not be as life and death as we are making it out to be we can let it go.

In closing, I am certainly not advocating avoidance of real problems in our lives. What I am saying is that our quality of life can improve when we find ways to jettison those annoying little stressors that hold us back.

I’d love to hear from some of you about strategies you use to reduce stress.  Leave a comment.

Have a peaceful and prosperous day!

Ray

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Author Graham Hancock said, “We are a species with amnesia.” This book begins the awakening. Is it fact? Is it fiction? You decide!

Mondays of Love – The Affirmation Spot for Monday May 10, 2010

In our five-day work week world, Mondays have a very bad reputation. It’s the day many of us have to leave the love, support, and fun of home life and march back out into the big world. This phenomenon has real health effects. Monday morning has been shown in studies to create a 20% spike in heart attacks, as compared to the rest of the week.

There is nothing different in the water, the air, or our food on Monday. There is, however, a huge difference in the way we think about Monday morning. Stressful thoughts lead to stressful biology. We’ve even developed a whole cultural mindset about Mondays. Listen to the TV or the radio and you’ll here phrases like “back to the grind.”

Monday is one-seventh of your life. Why would you spend the other six dreading it and all day on Monday hating it? Many people do. I have in the past. This something I have really tried to work on in myself.

It’s not Mondays that we hate. It’s the stress of doing things we don’t love. It’s the belief that following our bliss cannot pay the bills. Instead, we conclude, we must do jobs that stress us out and fail to fulfill us.

Join me today in honoring Monday as a significant part of your life. Let’s all pledge to begin taking steps to do the things we love instead of things we have to do. I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m just saying let’s remember we have a choice.

By changing our thoughts about Monday and making changes in what we get to do on Monday, we can truly restore this important day back to our lives.

There is a fantastic song from the musical Rent called “Seasons of Love”. It’s a great pick-me-up on this Monday and I hope it reminds you that every moment – even Monday moments – are important.

Stay inspired this Monday and always!

Ray

Cognitive Therapy for Stress Relief – The Affirmation Spot for Friday June 12, 2009

Today’s affirmation is:

“Life is good. Things are going my way. The people around me are noticing a difference in me and I am noticing a difference in myself.” (click the affirmation to hear the mp3 version)

About.com’s stress management expert Elizabeth Scott M.S. recently focused her blog on the mind’s power to deal with stress. She reposted three of her previous articles on how our thinking creates and can help us deal effectively with stress in a blog post titled “Mind Tricks for Stress Relief”

Great stuff!

Stay inspired!

Ray

2009 Affirmation

“This year I am absolutely committed to being the person I came here to be!”

Tony Robbins Discusses Surviving Tough Times – The Affirmation Spot for Thursday April 23, 2009


Today’s affirmation is:

“My thoughts, my words, my actions really do create my world. That is why I think great thoughts, I say great words, and I take great actions.” (click the affirmation to listen to it)

Success expert and motivational coach Tony Robbins discusses thriving in tough times in this interview with Matt Lauer on Today. In every situation, there is opportunity. Where is your opportunity today?

Stay inspired!

Ray
The Affirmation Spot – Your source for MP3 affirmations