I’ve added an additional feature to the site. I realize that not everybody has time to sit down and read a full article. If this sounds like you, give this little play button a click. In that moment you will be whisked away by a calm and near heavenly voice for a few minutes.
Can I tell you something? I really hate the news. I mean, look at this. Tell me what you see.
I’ll tell you what I see.
- Who cares?
- Fear mongering
- Political nonsense
- Fear mongering
- Really? Who cares?
- Fear mongering
- And? Who cares?
It’s no wonder that the world that you and I live in is in desperate need of some positive energy. Just look at the garbage that inundates you every waking moment. In such a world I ask, do you radiate positive energy? I do. Positive energy flows through me like the Nile through Egypt.
You’ve heard the Rocky quote before:
“Life’s not about how hard of a hit you can give… it’s about how many you can take, and still keep moving forward.”
If I was Rocky Balboa, the news would be my Apollo Creed. It hits me and hits me and hits me. Yet, through all that, I keep moving forward. Do you keep moving forward when your Apollo Creed hits you?
If only life were a Hollywood movie, it would all be so easy. Alas, it isn’t, or at least mine isn’t. What happens when the Apollo Creed of life has struck you with a blow so devastating that you lie motionless on the mat waiting for the referee to count to ten. What then?
Well, first and foremost, get up. You don’t belong there. After you have gotten up, I want you to imagine yourself in the same moment you dread every day. As evident by the opening of this post, the news is my dreaded moment. From its useless “reporting” of gossip to its biased opinion of how bad the world is, nothing takes away my positive energy quite like it.
Imagine your moment. What is it? Is it the realization that you hate your job? Have you suddenly realized that the laughable expectations you put on yourself are holding you back from reaching your potential? You wish you were in a relationship but you can’t hold one any longer than you can hold a spoon? Do you work with people you detest but are too afraid to do something about it?
With a semblance of an idea as to what drains your positive energy, I want you to step outside your body and look at your life as a spectator. Literally step outside of yourself and look on like the stalker who looks through your window. Has the view as an onlooker changed the perception in which you see your life? It should and it should be interesting. Looking on as an outsider allows you to escape from the trap of your own thoughts and enables you to be objective with what you see and not subjective with what you want to see.
I remember the first time I did this exercise. It immediately brought to my attention that I was feeling drained because I was looking at life through the visage of a limited mindset and not a growth mindset. The question I had was, why? Although looking back I realize that the answer was not surprising, at the time I pinpointed it on 3 things.
When each of these needs was not being met, I felt a whirlwind of stress overtake my body. Yes, I said it…stress. What you may not know is that stress is the body’s natural defense against things that may harm you. Sadly, through all its protective efforts, stress has a laundry list of negative effects on your body:
- Memory problems
- Inability to concentrate
- Seeing only negative outcomes
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Sleeping too much or too little
And these are only a few.
Reading this, you might think I have the long list of its effects confused with Viagara or Cialis but I assure you, these are all stress related. No prolonged erections here.
I remember being younger and each time there was news to tell, I was offered the choice of good or bad news first. Because I can’t exactly ask you that in the spur of the moment, I’ll tell you the bad news first. Even though it may seem obvious, stress is shitty. It is the cause of numerous plagues on your body (as indicated above) and it can be awful to overcome. The good news is that it can be overcome.
The question remains, how?
You and I are different so there is no one size fits all solution here. In my case, I looked at the root issues that cause my stress and addressed them.
- Not enough exercise – I went to the gym
- Not enough alone time – I rearranged my schedule
- Being pulled in too many directions – I began to say “No” more often than normal
Sometimes it isn’t that simple and on occasion, it means more than just doing the opposite of your stressors. In case you fall into that category, I have amassed a list of things that you can try. I can’t promise you that they will all work because, well, they may not. What I can tell you is that after doing them you will know of three simple ways that may work for someone else you know. I encourage you to share it with them.
Connect with someone, anyone
This doesn’t mean picking up your phone and text messaging them. Get out there and go meet someone. Not only will talking to someone in person create a deeper bond with said person, it can initiate the release of stress-relieving hormones. While you’re out, send a passerby a friendly gaze. Watch them reciprocate the gaze and send it back to you. That is unless your gaze is borderline creepy. Don’t do that.
Something as simple as a gaze has the ability to relax your nervous system.
What happens when the people you associate with are the source of your stress?
Pay attention to that. If your relationships are the root of your stress, disassociate yourself from those people. They are toxic and have no place in your life. With them out of your life, find new relationships and build them to be stronger and more gratifying.
Go to your happy place
Remember that scene in Happy Gilmore where Happy has grown frustrated and he is reminded that all his Grandma wants is for him to be happy?
You need to do the same. It doesn’t matter if it is listening to your favorite music, reading your favorite book, watching your favorite show (not highly recommended) or smelling your favorite smell, take some time to do it. Each of these and others have the knack for instantly making you feel better.
Oh, and if Shooter McGavin pops into your “happy place” remind yourself that he…
Cut the fat
What do your eating habits look like? Do you prefer a salad or a hamburger and fries? If it is the latter, I’d consider changing it. Not only will it eventually make you look like this,
but it serves you no purpose.
Aside from the obvious waist line benefits, food, good healthy food can reduce your stress.
Digest this (see what I did there?):
- Green leaf vegetables – These contains folate which aids in the production of dopamine or the pleasure chemical
- Oatmeal – Oatmeal can help produce serotonin or the anti-depressant chemical
- Blueberries – Blueberries contains a plethora of antioxidants that rid your body of stress causing free radicals
- Seeds – These are an excellent source of magnesium, which regulates your emotions
- Cashews – My favorite nut houses large amounts of zinc, which may reduce anxiety
If you want to learn a little more, check out this article over at health.com.
If after all of these you still are feeling stressed and drained, repeat the above exercise. Step outside of your body and look down on your life. Take note of the changes. Write down what it is you notice to every last detail. Determine what is and isn’t working, make the necessary adjustments and continue on.
Positive energy, your positive energy is a key cog in the wheel of your life.
Remember what Rocky said,
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
Cheers to your success,