Wednesday, July 8, 2009

From Frustrated to Flourishing

I have been doing a lot of reading on staying positive and living a flourishing life. This week as my life is filled with some challenges, that, individually do not seem so important, but together seem to compound each other, I am trying to find ways to calm down, clear my head, reduce stress and enjoy the day.
Today I am : waiting for my car in the shop for the 3rd time after a “check engine” light came on, and waiting for A T and T to come out for the second time this week after our internet is intermittently failing. In the background of my mind, I am worrying about whether I will have to rent a car if my car takes too long to repair, the related cost of that, helping my daughter find a new place to live away at school, and the financial implications of that! and just generally worrying about financial issues as tutoring, my second job, is a bit intermittent in the summer.
None of these issues are life shattering, and in the grand scheme of things, they are really quite minor. But, for some reason I find myself teetering on the edge of crying, yelling or throwing what I would compare to a two year old’s temper tantrum. PMS? Perhaps, but nothing that a little chocolate couldn't counteract!
In a book I continue to refer to, especially in times like these, Positivity, Dr. Barbara Fredrickson discusses using healthy distractions as a way to avoid ruminating or dwelling on negative thoughts that leads us into downward spirals. Here are some ideas that I have come up with to help me “snap out of it!”

• Read a book
• Jump on my Elliptical and listen to music ( 2 positive activities together surely will help me regain my positivity!)
• Do my new Billy Blanks Advanced Tae Bo Dvd: Surely the challenge of this new workout will consume my mind and body, while also stimulating my endorphins.
• Meditate: I really need to begin this practice!
• Connect with an old friend: email and make plans for a get-together
• Allow myself to become mindful of the moment: what is going right today? As I write this I am reminded of so many parts of my life that are going so well. My kids are both strong and flourishing in their young adult college years, my husband is wonderful, loving and supportive, and I am in a career that is a calling and a source of profound meaning.
* Write: writing always seems to help me gain perspective.

Now that I have written all these “healthy distractions” and taken the time to stop and ponder their value, I suddenly feel like I can take on the day! So.. what are some of the healthy distractions that get you back on track when the stress of life becomes a bit overwhelming?

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