Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Soul Sustenance: Managing Stress and Turning a Bad Day Around

As parents, there are a lot of things that can be stressing. Barb Schmidt, author and speaker, has some tips to help you reduce your stress level.

3 Tips for managing stress and feeling confident and calm
  1. 1Meditation- The first tip I always suggest is meditation. Starting your day in stillness and peace is setting the tone for your whole day. In a five minute meditation you are training your mind by placing your attention on your breath, not engaging the thoughts, practicing being patient, and spending time with yourself, connecting with that deep place of calmness and strength. This time in the morning grounds you as you go into your day with the knowing you are carrying this peace with you. You’ve taken this precious time to be present with your breath; with yourself.
  2. Breathe. Give yourself permission to Stop! Even in the most stressful or chaotic situations, I find that if I just take a small step back, close my eyes and focus on my breath, for just a minute, I find peace and relief. Many times we get caught up with the whirlwind of life and forget to breathe! Having this one small tip in your back pocket can bring so much clarity to your life.
  3. Stay in the present moment. Do not allow your mind to wander back to what has already transpired or forward to the “what ifs” of the future. Gently bring your mind back to the present, with your breath, an affirmation or your sacred mantra, to what is right now, and tackle any problem you may be experiencing from there. You are in control of your own mind, produce thoughts that are beneficial for your life in this very moment.

To make a bad day into a good one
  1. When things aren't going your way, stop and breathe and remember to let go of expectations on what you think should happen.
  2. Stop and take a deep breath, trusting that everything will work out as it should; trust that the energy and power in the universe is here to support your highest and greatest good, you don't need to know the outcomes.
  3. Remember to breathe and continue to stay in the present moment--don't dwell in the past or future- the speed of our thoughts, when we go to the past or future, will turn a day bad and keep it that way.
  4. Everything that happens in our lives is for a reason, even when those things are stressful and not what we like, so find the silver lining in the events that you’re not happy with; really changing a negative in to a positive in the moment.
  5. Simply remembering to breathe when things are not going your way changes your day instantly!
  6. Take time to reach out for help; find support in trusted confidants. Friends are always ready and willing to help, sometimes all we need to do is ask.
  7. Be proactive--do activities to get you out of a funk. In the first instant you become aware that your day is turning sour, stop the thoughts and find a way to re-start; go for a short walk aligning your breathing with you footsteps- this works wonders for "nipping the bad day in the bud."
  8. Get your endorphins up and go for a brisk walk. Exercise is a quick way to change any mood especially when you focus on your breath and you keep your mind from dwelling on the bad.
  9. When you're feeling down, negative, or in a bad mood, stop, take a few deep breaths and put things into perspective. When we put things into perspective we are bringing ourselves back to the present moment and out of the past or future where negative thoughts live. Things might not be going well but in the present we have the gift of choice and can feel the control necessary to take appropriate actions. 
  10. The quickest way to change a bad day into a good one is do something nice for someone else. We instantly get ourselves out of the way, stop dwelling on us, and we shift our care and attention to helping someone else; even with something as simple as a smile in the direction to someone else in need.
Barb is founder of Peaceful Mind Peaceful World, a community outreach program through Florida Atlantic University (FAU) designed to promote dialogue in the greater community on the topic of inner peace by incorporating workshops and weekly teachings with Barb and many of her esteemed mentors, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dr. Jane Goodall, Dr. Andrew Weil, and many others.Barb is also the founder of Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life, a non-profit organization through which she teaches The Practice, a three-part guide to practical spirituality in the modern world and her tool for spreading her belief that “outer peace begins with inner peace.” Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life has rapidly expanded to include an online community via Facebook (with posts reaching over 10 million people), through their daily inspirational emails and weekly blogs. She is on the board of the Schmidt Family Foundation doing incredible philanthropic work.

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