Archives for improving mood
So I've been on this old childhood movie kick lately and last night I watched the Wizard of Oz. I can't tell you how many times I've watched this movie, but this time I decided to watch it from a "grown-up" perspective. As the storyline goes, four strangers meet and set out on an adventure with a dog to be granted things they were wishing for, but already possessed. The Scarecrow wanted brains, but throught the movie used common sense and ingenuity to get everyone out of various situations. The Tin Man wanted a heart but displayed sincere care and compassion to all. The Cowardly Lion put himself in harms way when Dorothy was captured by the Wicked Witch. And Dorothy? Well, she just wanted to go home and she was home the entire time - she just didn't know because of a little bump on the head.
My life is pretty chaotic. It's the good kind of chaos, but chaotic nonetheless. A few monts ago I noticed that I'd been a little more stressed than usual and sharted this with a colleague. She suggested that I try meditating. MEDITATE? I almost laughed out loud. Let's be honest, I think my brain suffers from what I like to call "I can't shut down syndrome". I'd tried meditation before and it was an epic fail. I found myself picturing peaceful scenes only to be interrupted by my own random thoughts. I moved on to mantras that turned into thoughts ranging from what i was going to make for dinner to is it possible to count my eyelashes! Meditation was not for me, or so I believed
I am back from a small hiatus. It wasn't a planned hiatus - life just happened. Trust me, when it happened it happened up, down, around, and all over me. Have you ever had one those days, weeks, or months when those "life happens" moments just keep coming - one after another, after another, after another? Within a few weeks I had some health issues, some frustrations, computer issues, some disappointments, along with some genuine "are you serious?" moments. I have to admit, I temporarily lost my focus. All of those postive things I live by and write about went right out the window. Then I remembered that when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
I was convinced I was dying. As a matter of fact, there was no way you could convince me otherwise. Oddly I accepted my fate and whispered to my husband "call 911, I'm dying". I was sweating profusely, I could feel my heartbeat in my neck and my pulse echoed in my ears. I couldn't breathe, my face felt weird, my hands were numb, and I was shaking like a leaf. EMS arrived and tried with all their might to convince me I wasn't dying, but I was convinced they just wanted me to die peacefully without a fight. After some deep breathing and close monitoring I realized I wasn't dying and was told I had an anxiety attack.
A few months ago a very good friend of mine said to me, "the majority of your frustrations are due to your unrealistic expectations." I didn't know how to feel about her statement. There I sat venting to her about the frustrations of my life, waiting for her to co-sign on my misery, and that's what she gave me. I have to admit that it stung a little, but I slowly began to realize it was the truth. My parents taught me to follow the Golden Rule - to do unto others as I would have them do unto me. This is something that followed me into my adult life. The funny thing is that I missed a very important piece. The rule is do unto others AS you would have them to do unto you. The reality is that you don't always get what you give.
We have all experienced a moment where we have been approached by a friend, co-worker, or maybe even a spouse and asked to do something we really didn't feel like doing. We've also had those moments where instead of saying no, we've smiled and responded with the dreaded "yes". So why do we have difficulties telling others no when we don't feel like doing something? The Golden Rule Effect Many of us were instructed at a very young age to "do unto others as you would have them to do unto you". Sometimes we may avoid telling someone no because we would want them to tell us yes. Fear of a Missed Opportunity
Earlier this week I challenged you all (and myself) to the 7 Days of Not Complaining. Well, the first day was an epic fail. I guess I shouldn't call it epic, but it was not so great. I have to be honest though, I believe I've gotten a little better every day since then, and I believe this is something I can get used to. For those of you who regularly check out my blogs, you know how I feel about the Serenity Prayer. For those of you who are new, let me tell you, I try to apply it to everything. This 7 day challenge has been no exception.
In the last week I've noticed something about myself that was a little concerning. Life has been happening, and it's been a little more chaotic than usual. Instead of taking it in stride, I've been complaining... a lot! I am not a chronic complainer. As a matter of fact, I usually find myself not only finding my silver lining, but finding it for others as well. This week, I've just been frustrated. When I get into a "funk," I usually remind myself that my gratitude determines my attitude. However, in all honesty, there are those moments that I'm truly grateful, but still discontent. I've decided I'd give myself a 7-day challenge. I'm appropriately naming it "Seven Days of Not Complaining." It will be really interesting to see how this goes.
My daughter truly fascinates me. Over the last few days I have been watching her and learning a lot. It's amazing what you can learn from a one-year-old. She celebrates everything. When she throws something away she smiles, when she finishes her food she claps and even when she managed to put a cookie in the XBox, she did a little dance. She celebrates every accomplishment whether it's big or small, and why shouldn't she? Why shouldn't we? How often do you take the time to celebrate your accomplishments? When is the last time you gave yourself a pat on the back for finishing a task? When is the last time you finished dinner or a load of laundry and applauded yourself? I thought about this and couldn't remember the last time I had. So I started.
What would you do if you absolutely had to make lemonade with no sugar? I thought about this earlier this week. Personally, I’d start by making sure I had some lemons. Then I’d consider all things sweet that could mimic the taste of sugar. I’m pretty sure I’d come up with something close, even if it wasn’t “lemonade.” I know this is a random thought and a random way to start a blog, but let me fill you in on where it originated. I remembered a conversation I had with my dad. Frustrated and irritated, I called him one day to vent, and he asked me the age-old question: “Well Donna, what do you do when life gives you lemons?” As I took a breath between crying I managed to respond, “I don’t have any sugar.” He laughed, I cried some more, and eventually laughed with him.