Forget Your Troubles – Enjoy Your Life Today

By Evelyn R. Brooks in Book Reviews on October 13th, 2009 / No Comments

Have you noticed that when you are totally stressed, you snap easily? You yell something without thinking… and then realize to your horror that you gave the perfect imitation of one of your parents.

If you grew up in a family that didn’t know how to cope with stress, then your gut reaction is to act the same way they did. When stress builds up, your best thinking takes a back seat. Childhood memory grabs the wheel.

It doesn’t matter that you vowed to be completely different from your parents when you grew up. When you are under duress, the old voices take over. You might even wince as you hear yourself using the exact phrase and tone that you hated as a child or teen.

The Bottom Line
The longer you wait to enjoy your life, the more you lose in the long run. No one is going to give you a bonus that extends your life, just because you worked hard and stressed out over every dilemma. You’ve only got Today, and it’s up to you what you do with it.

Excess stress brings your life to a halt and keeps you from moving forward. But you can release the brake handle and set course on an exciting and wonderful life. The power is in your hands.

You don’t have to work harder and do more. Make a seismic shift in your outlook. You can learn how to tap into the incredible power you have inside, and be contented with the life you already have.

Stress is a Reaction
But what is “stress,” and why does it seem like we have so much more of it now? Growing numbers, even schoolkids and pre-schoolers, are being treated for depression and stress-related disease. More and more people take anti-depressants and search for ways to feel better in a pill or a bottle, or with anything that distracts them from emotional pain. Substance abuse often starts with self-medicating for emotional or spiritual pain and then gets out of control.

Simply stated, stress is your body’s reaction to any outside source that threatens to harm you or make your immediate future worse….

A wasp buzzes toward you. A car speeds headlong on the wrong side of the road. The doctor frowns at your lab test results. You open a bill with the words “past due” stamped on top. Real or imagined, the threat of something bad happening is enough to get your pulse racing. Your body gears up, ready to react to danger. It’s commonly called the “fight or flight” response, from cave man days. When you don’t release that pent-up stress, anger or anxiety, it stays in your system and causes illness.

The Surefire Way to Feel Better
Want to know the secret to feeling better about your own life, even if you don’t change anything else? Being of service to others is the key to a richly satisfying and contented life. There are so many ways to help people in your family, community, country and other areas of the world, even with minimal time and money commitments.

Take a moment or two to investigate the work being done by charitable organizations and sign up to be a member. Find ways to participate, and make a difference in the lives of others. You will find that the biggest difference is how you feel about yourself.

Working in your community rewards you with seeing the results in your own backyard. It’s harder to see the results of long-term or distant help, but planting a community garden, visiting the homebound, or working with scouts can make you smile all day.

Find Energy for What You Enjoy
Picture this: you get up in the morning and look forward to the day ahead, knowing you will cope with whatever comes your way. You’ll do it with energy to spare, and at the end of the day you’ll relax with the sense of a job well done and a life well-lived.

Sound like a fantasy? Too good to be true? A fairy tale existence? Actually, it’s the way life is meant to be! I don’t believe life is supposed to be one huge struggle every day, staggering uphill with a load so heavy to carry that you can barely do more than watch your feet shuffle forward and dread the next day because it will be more of the same.

Life should be an adventure with lessons to be learned and friends to be made, with loves to cherish and memories to keep. Then why do so many of us barely get through the day without feeling exhausted? You’re overwhelmed by all the paperwork and things on your never-ending “To Do” list. It’s not just a matter of physical fatigue and a sense of not getting enough sleep. It’s a feeling of being burdened, with so little chance of relief in sight, that you trudge through life… and then wonder with dismay how you got to that many candles on the birthday cake with so little satisfaction to show for it.

Busy, Busy, Busy
Do you feel lazy if you’re not busy every minute of the day? Does worrying make you feel responsible? Do you feel a twinge of guilt if someone catches you glancing out the window when you “should” be working? Do you feel like running away from it all?

How many “yes” answers will it take for you to recognize that you need to change your life around? You must act in ways different than what you are doing now. If you’re not convinced, think about things you enjoy… and ask how long it’s been since you did them.

Or maybe your story is one of hiding from problems by going overboard in the other direction– taking trips you can’t afford, shopping for clothes you don’t need, gambling money you can’t spare, partying and bar-hopping– to dull your mind and give an impression of being “busy”… so you don’t have to think seriously about where you are and what you’ve made of your life thus far.

This is a call to action. It’s YOUR life: what do you want it to look like, at the end of the day? Maybe it’s time to get your life in better shape.

For more information visit: Forget Your Troubles Book

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