Happy People Do Happy Things

Posted by on Oct 18, 2010 in Personal | No Comments

Originally posted on www.oldhamfamily.info

“If you are breathing, you have problems.” I forget who said this, but it’s true. The only people who don’t have any problems in their life are dead already.

My church, on a monthly basis, has an additional meeting typically held on a Sunday evening called a “fireside”. This is a meeting in a less formal setting where members can come and learn about all types of topics that relate to spirituality, faith and life. Last night we had a very good discussion about dealing with stress and how to stay happy when things don’t go as planned.

In one exercise, we were given a list of potential stressors and told to circle the ones which we had experienced in the last 12-24 months. Each item was given a value based on it’s stress contribution level and we were then asked to total the numbers to see what level of stress inputs did we have in our lives. The expert explained that anything over 200 and you should probably have a good support system in place to help you deal with your stresses. My total? 310. My wife’s? 350 Yikes!

What’s interesting about this list is that all of the items we had to choose from were things that were outside our control (mostly). Wow…that was an eye opener. No wonder I have headaches lately!

It’s a good thing the fireside didn’t end there. I would have just gone home and curled up in the fetal position for a few days!

No, the expert gave us some really good ideas about how to deal with stress. Here are some of the things he suggested:

  • Exercise regularly (I can attest to this one! It makes a huge difference)
  • Adopt a hobby (Guys, this is permission to go fishing…I think)
  • Stop smoking (I’m ok on this one)
  • Eliminate Caffeine (This was a little bit of a surprise)
  • Eat Healthily (Too bad it’s expensive to do this and my main stressor is money)
  • Learn Relaxation techniques
  • Get enough sleep

Then he gave us some specific things that will help (I love that because I sometime need very clear instructions). The list is 75 items long, so here are just a few.

  • Before stressing about something, ask yourself “will this matter in a year?”
  • Give up the need to always be right!
  • Smile at others. Humor is good for you and people around you.
  • Check your ego at the door.
  • Avoid behaviors and situations where you are pressured to be untruthful.
  • When machines don’t work, get them fixed or get a new one.
  • Learn to be flexible.
  • Learn to say no without apologies.
  • Keep a journal.
  • Hang out with healthy people in healthy places.
  • Make duplicates of all your keys and position them to avoid being locked out.
  • Disconnect from technology and connect with happy people around you.

The final word – Happy people do Happy things!