Having A Bad Day? Having A Good Day? It's Your Choice.
Imagine for a moment, that you are relaxing in a hammock on a crisp, cool, autumn afternoon. Your morning was busy as usual, as you ran from one task to the next. Now it is time to relax. You are cuddled up in your favorite blanket and you are feeling cozy and warm. You notice the brisk air on your cheeks and nose, and you find this refreshing as it helps you to relax even more deeply. As you sink back into the hammock, you notice the leaves on the tree above you. These leaves are the beautifully vibrant gold, red and orange colors of autumn. You begin reflecting on your day and enjoying the deeply relaxed feeling you are now experiencing. As you continue to unwind, you notice a bird in the branches of the tree and you become even more relaxed as you observe the delicate beauty of the bird. You watch as the bird takes flight above you. In the very next moment, you realize that as the delicately beautiful bird flew over, it deposited something not so delicate and beautiful on your favorite blanket! Now imagine for a moment how you would react. What would your thoughts be? What would you do? Be honest with yourself.
Every moment of our lives we are faced with a choice. We have a choice about how we are going to react to people, to situations, and to ourselves. Some people may argue that they have no choice. They live life believing that things happen to them and that those experiences make them have to react in a particular way. They may view life as a series of obstacles rather than opportunities. We all feel this way now and then. It is normal to feel this way, especially during those times when it seems that many obstacles are in your way. However, if we always approach our lives viewing everything as an obstacle and believing that we have no choice in how we react, then we will quickly become exhausted, our stress level will continue to increase, and our ability to live a fulfilling life will decrease dramatically.
Making a choice about how we react to situations is not always easy. Choosing to look at life as a series of opportunities, rather than as being full of obstacles may take some practice. In the long run however, you may discover that life is much more enjoyable and fulfilling when you choose to look at stressful situations in a different light.
Over the next few weeks, when you are experiencing situations that are stressful for you, try stopping for a moment and taking a few deep breaths. Try to notice how you commonly react to daily stressors. Ask yourself how you could react to the situations in ways that would be less stressful. Just taking the time to decide on a plan of action can help you to relax and to see the choices more clearly. Another option to help you cope with stress is to begin practicing relaxation techniques on a regular basis. Information about relaxation techniques such as meditation, self-hypnosis and breathing exercises is available at libraries, on the internet and in bookstores.
Let's go back now to the autumn afternoon on the hammock. Have you thought about how you would react? Would you choose to walk away angry and grumbling about how your day is now ruined? Would you stomp back to the house in tears? Would you throw your blanket to the ground, choosing to believe that the bird made you have a rotten day? Maybe instead, you would stop for a moment and laugh to yourself in anticipation of the silly story you will be able to tell your children! It's completely your choice.
About the Author: Dawn Cagan is a Certified Life Strategies Coach, Certified Hypnotherapist, and Certified Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner. She specializes in working with clients who are ready to work toward reducing stress, building on their strengths, creating life balance, reconnecting with self, changing old habits and attaining goals. She is the founder of Serenity Life Solutions.
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