As we talked about in Part I, the Personal Responsibility Organization and the Identity course is all about one thing: you. Specifically, helping you appreciate yourself as a unique individual, with a specific purpose to fulfill here on Earth. We’re all here for a reason!
But stress interferes with that, and our enjoyment of life. Chronic worry, anxiety, being trapped in a cycle of “what ifs” mean we are not at our best. Feeling cranky, easily irritated and angry all the time is not normal, and typical of being stuck in a stress cycle. This is the second part of a blog based on Dr. Thomas Pratt’s series of talks about stress, what it is, how it affects us, and what we can do to deal with it so it doesn’t make us sick.
The sixteenth-century French writer Michel de Montaigne said: “My life has been filled with terrible misfortunes; most of which never happened.” Centuries later, a scientific study proves him right! According to Don Joseph Goewey, author of The End of Stress, researchers had subjects record their worries over a length of time and then identify which of them materialized. Or didn’t, as it turned out. A whopping 85% of what chronic worriers feared never came to pass! With the 15% of fears that were fulfilled, almost 80% of the fearful folks came to realize that they could deal with the situation, or that it was a learning lesson for them. [He mentions this in 1 of his blogs but never cites the study. I have emailed him to get details & will let you know as soon as I hear from him. If I don’t by the end of this week, I’ll re-work this paragraph.]
“I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” –Mark Twain
‘Life doesn’t have to suck’
The good news, says Dr. Pratt, is that “Life doesn’t have to suck.” Here are 10 strategies to lift you up out of that stress abyss, and have you feeling more like your best self again. Remember, when you’re at your best—radiating positive energy, trusting yourself and feeling great—you’ll attract like-minded people and energy to you.
- Realize that you’re in control.
- Tap into your spiritual side or higher self.
- Reframe your thinking: that is, change your expectations to intentions.
- Stay away from toxic people. Life’s too short! Set boundaries that honor yourself.
- Be grateful and appreciative. Keep a gratitude journal and read it on those blue days.
- Look for the good in every situation. It’s always there!
- See every challenge as an opportunity to grow or a learning lesson.
- Stay in the present. Or, as Identity says, “Be where your feet are.”
- Forgive everyone, including yourself.
- Focus on what you can change.
Easier said than done, right? Not really. Every one of these strategies is totally up to you. You choose how you react to any situation/person. No excuses—you’re a grown-up now and have the right to decide what’s right/tolerable/pleasurable for you.
Feel like you can’t do it alone? Ask for help, and look inside to your higher self. That’s what number 2 is about, and that’s why people gather in churches, temples, on yoga mats, in book or running clubs, or 12-step and support groups.
In his book, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water (Health Communications, Inc.), Brian Luke Seward writes:
“Once thought to be a symptom of illness, stress is now best defined as a disconnection from our divine source. Times of stress may bring feelings of panic and mayhem, but when we call upon our inner resources, stress also provides the opportunity for spiritual growth. Ageless wisdom suggests that achieving spiritual growth requires balance; to stand secure and grounded like a mountain, but to flow like water.”
Want to discover more about dealing with stress? Each month Dr. Thomas Pratt gives a talk at Chiropractic Associates in Manchester, New Hampshire on how to be your best self by giving stress the boot.
Thomas Pratt, DC is an award-winning chiropractor who practices with Dr. Robin Bruck at Chiropractic Associates in Manchester, New Hampshire.
By Dr. Thomas Pratt with Mary Ellen Hettinger