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Today the stress was almost at 0%! And also we had a good news, turns out (my dad went at the garage with a tow) what was broken on our car was a pipe and it costed less than 100$.

52 days left!

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Nancy -

I think your healthy stress levels are all kudos to your building strength and being able to take a longer view of what is going on. Stress all comes down to how we react to life. Every day is going to have "things" happen - and whether we think of them as good things or not-good things is all within our brain.

Good for you for creating a positive goal, and focusing on it!


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mine stress level is also 0 today

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My stress level today is about 5%, because of an impending death in my family.

To help myself I'll be sitting in a meditation for our cyber group in about 3 hours. Here is an article I wrote to help get the most out of a meditation session:

Basic Preparations for Meditation

The link at the foot of the article takes you to a list of free lessons on how to meditate.

Susan smile

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Lisa,

I sometimes have several days in a row where I can completely cut off the bad things but then my negativity always come back. I know that by always staying inside the house I'm not helping myself. Hopefully when Summer will be gone I'll start walking again (i hate summers and also have a phobia of spiders and here theres a lot of them plus theres like a million flies so when you dont bathe in antibugs stuff you are in trouble)!

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Susan,

I'm sorry about the impending death!

I find meditation helpful but I can always just do it for a few seconds. I always have things on my mind and cannot clear my mind for longer than a few seconds. When I'm able to clear my mind it is very helpful and peaceful.

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Susan -

I'm so sorry to hear about the upcoming loss. That must be quite challenging to work with. I suppose it does give you time to say goodbye, which some people don't have. So it's a balance of things.

If I can help in any way, let me know.

Thank you for sharing the article on meditation!! Meditation is SO key for all of us, to help us build coping skills.


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Nancy -

So much of how we see the universe is colored by the words we assign to them. I know it's easy to fall into habits, but it is so worth it to get free of our own virtual prisons!

For example, you say you "hate" summer - but there's no reason to hate an entire season! Surely there are some good things about summer. Rather than cause yourself stress by feeling unhappy about three straight months, find ways to focus on the good parts. It's not that you hate summer - I bet there's some things you like about it. What are those? Maybe there are sports or shows you enjoy in the summer?

Give thought to the things you *love* about summer. Sure, there are flies. There's always something to "deal with" in each season, and that's OK. But flies are just one tiny part of what summer is all about.

Our brains fall into ruts based on where we let them go. It's like someone driving the same way to work every day. It becomes second nature. They don't even think about it. That's how the brain works. It builds in traditions. We don't think about how we brush our teeth - we just do it. The brain is built for that.

So if you build in a tradition of looking for the bad things, you'll always find them. There will always be something bad to see. But that causes all sorts of bodily stress and damage. So it's a good habit to get out of.

Try this. The next time you start to think about something unhappy or bad, bring up the vision of a giant red stop sign. And think to yourself, STOP. The visual helps smile. Then think about something you LOVE. It can be a food or a sports team or a place. Whatever it is, focus on that. Let the other negative thing go. Whatever it is, it's not that important.

Try that just for one day. Just for one day, STOP your mind when it goes down its well worn ruts.

I'll do it too, with you!


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Nancy -

On meditation, read the article that Susan posted. It is awesome. Yes, it is natural and normal that your mind will jump around! That is "monkey mind" and that is a normal way that all human minds work. That is a part of meditation. It is fine to have a monkey mind in meditation. A key part of meditation is learning to work gently with your monkey mind.

So don't be sad or worry if your mind jumps around! That's what it does. It would be like being upset at a baby for wiggling. Babies wiggle! That is a good thing. We'd be quite sad if a baby stopped wiggling. Wiggling is a sign of life. So embrace your monkey mind. Know that it is normal. And, with your monkey mind, sit somewhere and breathe deeply, just like Susan explains.

Try just ten minutes each day. You'll find that, each new day, you see some changes in what happens to you during those ten minutes. And you'll also see that it changes how the rest of your day goes.

Do you have ten minutes today that you could sit quietly somewhere?


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Lisa,

I hate Summer because when it is hot I have no energy. Sun does not do that to me but the heat does. Thankfully here it rarely gets that hot but because of all these insects I don't go outside until September comes. There are still lots of insects in September but it is much colder so I have the energy to walk. I used to be able to ride a bicycle, rollerblade and go to the park during Summers when I was young despite the heat but then my bicycle broke and so did the rollerblades and they never got replaced so I let the heat turn to hate, I've been staying inside during Summers for many years now.

Summers seems to be like my laziness and depression, I let those things come into my life and take a big place so I just have to find a way to get rid of these things.

As for quiet time to meditate I cannot try until my mom is in bed. My dad stays up later than her but he stays in his room upstairs and goes downstairs only to get food when he is hungry. Like right now my mom is in the other living room doing her best to annoy me, hard to meditate like that.

I will try to remember to visualize that stop sign the next time I get angry or stressed. For me what works is to think of Shumi, the next best thing is to play a favorite song of mine. For a few years I could always go back to my happy times (theres not a lot but theres some) but years ago these happy memories have started to only make me sad so that does not work.

You know the saying is the glass half full of half empty, well I'm the half empty type. I always go to the negative instead of the positive. I was able to stay away from this for many years despite my depression but the years of being let down, rejections, plans that did not go anywhere and dreams smashed just about killed me. Everytime I went down I got back up but the problem with doing that everytime I had to get up the climb up was longer than it was before so it just got too far so I gave up. I want to change that too.

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