Yesterday, I found out some terrible news about the health of a dear family member. It was stressful and I cried. I wanted to reach for the chocolate cake and the French fries to settle my nerves. But, I did not. I calmed myself with thoughts of love; I remembered how strong our family is as a whole; I drank some soothing tea; I went outside for some fresh air and deep breathing; and I felt better.
I have been accused before of being too optimistic. I would like to correct that. Yes, life is supposed to be joyous. There will be times, however, when things are not so rosy. We will have a choice to make. Should we handle difficult situations in a way that is going to harm us, or should we cope in a way that is going to benefit our mind, body and soul. I choose the latter because I know in the long run, the negative coping mechanisms only cause harm.
The fact remains that my family will have something difficult to deal with. As a whole, we choose to handle situations with love, laughter and positive thoughts. Here are some positive ways to deal with stressful situations:
- Remain as calm as you can. Freaking out will not help you deal with the situation easily.
- Focus on all the love you have in your life, the people who love you, and the love you have for others.
- Remember your breath. Breath work, or pranayama, activates the parasympathetic nervous system, or the rest and digest nervous system. Deep, slow breathing will calm your mind and your body.
- Experience gratitude for the wonderful aspects of your life. Gratitude will fill you with a deep sense of love. Clinical psychologist Susan K. Whitbourne, Ph.D. is quoted as saying: “researchers found that habitually focusing on and appreciating the positive aspects of life is related to a generally higher level of psychological well-being and a lower risk of certain forms of psychopathology.”
- Drink soothing, caffeine-free tea.
- Play music that calms you.
- Reach out to positive people who can console you.
- If you have a talent that makes you feel better, use it. Yesterday, after I taught my yoga class, I felt a 100% better. Some people are artists. Art therapy is a wonderful way to calm the mind and the body, and focus your positive energy to make yourself feel better.
These are just a few of the tricks that I used yesterday to cope with some very dramatic news. For even more tips on living positively on a day-to-day basis, try read my blog post entitled “You Rock!”.
I choose a positive life over a negative one. You, too, have that ability. You posses the power to make your life as wonderful as you can handle. When the going gets tough, the tough get going! It can be done, and you can make it happen!