According to a recent Gallup poll the most important problems in the world were: the economy, primarily unemployment, followed by dissatisfaction with government, healthcare, family decline, illegal aliens, education, fear of war, poverty, Social Security, welfare, terrorism and a host of others. That’s a lot to worry about. Each of us has our own personal worries to add to the overall mess the world is in. I have friends faced with cancer, with family members in Afghanistan, divorce, financial stress, recent death of a loved one and care of the aging, to mention a few. I have a much loved daughter who is recovering from shingles of the eye. If you think you have problems……………the morale of that story is, “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”
When you think about the biggest percent of the world’s population, even here in the United States, still struggling with childhood traumas of one kind or another (we have 60 million survivors of child sexual abuse alone) one wonders how we are surviving. Just one of the previously mentioned personal problems would make a person weak kneed. When faced with more than one it is difficult to function and handle even the most minor of responsibilities. Tipping the scales is the sleep deprivation problem in this country which by itself is enormous.
Now, you have some of the bad news. How about some solutions? How can we maintain balance in the midst of all these problems? One of the first steps is to make healthy choices. Every morning I have a little exercise I do. I repeat to myself what I need to do to make healthy choices in what I call the Six Dimensions: Mental, Emotional, Physical, Spiritual, Social and Financial. It may sound like a difficult task but it’s relatively easy if you stick to some discipline. For example: in the mental dimension I tell myself I will remain centered, stable, purposeful, I will use my head before I use my words, I will develop rock solid confidence, I will remember that life is too short to be little and I will utilize all the properties of awareness (sensibility, prudence, knowledge, visualization and foresight). It doesn’t mean that I’ll hit 100% success each day. I have days when I’m petty, discouraged, and angry. The great part about being human is I get to forgive myself when I’m less than perfect. Not only that, I can start all over tomorrow.
It also helps to watch HALT which stands for hungry, angry, lonely and tired. If you are feeling depressed, discouraged, out of sorts or even suicidal, check those four. If even one needs attention, take care of it. If all four are a problem, no wonder you’re not feeling at your optimum level. Hungry? Fix yourself a great meal, one you’ll enjoy. See how you feel after that. Still out of sorts? Let’s check Angry. What an ugly face anger wears. It causes wrinkles, makes you look sour and if you indulge yourself in it you’re not going to be a popular person and you may wind up regretting it. Go for a long walk, hit a punching bag, write in a journal about why you are angry. If someone has treated you unfairly it is a statement about them, not about you. Now let’s check Lonely. Call a friend, write someone a letter, visit a neighbor. Connect with loved ones in some way. If you don’t have many loved ones maybe it’s time you started to find some. It’s easy. Be gracious to someone who is in the same space you are whether you’re at work or on a committee. Take an interest in them. Ask them how their life is going. It is so easy to have a friend; just be a friend. The last one is the easiest to remedy, Tired. Take a nap, get a good night’s sleep.
So much of life is attitude. That’s something totally in your control. But there are a lot of things that aren’t. If you’re not happy about the political landscape, get involved; work to change the rules; work to get someone you want in a political position. There are solutions for world poverty but for the most part they require money. You can’t eradicate terrorism. You’ll never have any control over the type of movies that are released unless you choose to not see them. If, eventually no one comes to a certain kind of movie they won’t produce them anymore. Detach yourself from worries about anything that are beyond your control. PRAYER helps a lot. If you don’t believe in God, call him something else. You weren’t brought into existence out of nothing. And I sincerely doubt if you or any of your relatives created the mountains, the oceans, the trees or the smile on a child’s face when they look at the candle on their second birthday cake.
That’s my grandson, Jake and he has NO worries. I call this photo “Enchanted”. Judging by the several dozen others I have of him he’s pretty much like this the majority of the time.
And you can be as well. If something in your life is broken, REPAIR it. I’m problem resolution oriented and love to figure out how to make something better. But I stick to things in my realm. I’m fortunate enough to know how to do Transcendental Meditation. Once a day, for 20 or 30 minutes I close the door to the world and slip into a peaceful place. I come out of it revitalized. I eat healthy (don’t count Christmas). If you spent one week eating junk food and another week eating healthy you’d see the difference it makes in your outlook on life. I have downtime just like everyone else. I move through it. I get over it. If someone appears to be angry at me or not LIKE me (Good Lord how we hate to have someone not LIKE us) I take a few minutes to decide if I have done something to deserve it. Then I apologize and make peace. If I can’t think of what it could be I do something to get my mind off it, call a friend, read a good book, watch a movie or play with my Golden Retriever. See below. She’s the big one on the bottom.
Life is meant to be enjoyed. If you haven’t reached that goal yet, get to work. REPAIR yourself.
(If you want a great suggestion on how to make healthy choices order a copy of It’s Your Choice! How To Make Healthy Choices.)