Are you taking yourself too serious?

Are you taking yourself too serious?
Learn how to relax...
by Jennifer Leese
j.leese@picketnews.com
Staff Writer

"We can change our circumstances by a mere change of our attitude." - William James, 19th Century American psychologist and philosopher

We've all done it. Some more than others. Every now and again I've noticed my taking something way too seriously. Whether it be myself, my work, or my life...I sometimes blow things out of proportion. When it comes to myself, I want the change to happen immediately. This isn't realistic. The older I get I have realized this and working on taking things too seriously takes time and great effort on my part.
I used to agonize over small decisions, bigger decisions were worse. Still today I have a hard time falling asleep. The day's events tumble through my mind over and over, worrying about how I could have done something differently or how I can make that change the next day. When I feel that is sorted enough for me to stop thinking about it, it's time to think about what's going to happen tomorrow. It's tough to escape scrutiny when my mind strays like that - when I'm taking life too serious.
When this happens I tend to lose myself. I must tell myself that there's nothing I can do about what happened yesterday - I can only control what is happening right now. The future is a little easier to control, but it doesn't always work out so easily. When my mind accepts this concept, it shifts me back to reality. I can breathe again. I'm okay.
Work on controlling you stress levels - here's a few ideas:
: Acknowledge it. Sometimes it just takes the simple movement of acknowledging the issue or problem. Bring your awareness back to the present moment. Regain a sense or perspective.
: Control you. Take a moment to breathe. Smile, and just be.
: Friends. If you feel you need someone to help you throw the issue around, call a friend or close family member. Soon you'll find yourself laughing and your stress levels just float away.
: Read. I enjoy a good book. There's nothing like escaping into someone else's life for a few hours. Granted this doesn't help you with your issue, but it will help get your mind off it for a while so that when you go back to solving it, you are, hopefully, in a better frame of mind.
: Listen to music. Music has many cures. It can tell a story or simply entertain. Sing a few songs, dance, be carefree.
: See the neighborhood. Sometimes I just go for a walk. Heading out into the fresh air always helps clear my mind. Listening to the birds sing, watching the clouds, and feeling the wind against my skin makes me feel good.
: Spend quality time. This is an important one. When I say 'spend quality time', I mean for yourself AND with your loved ones. We all need time alone to get to know ourselves, but spending time with our family members is important for our well-being and theirs.
: Share. Volunteer your time to something you love or a cause you believe in.
: Avoid denial. You can't help what you feel. Just feel it. Don't suppress the feelings, instead, find a suitable outlet and vent away!
: Learn. Every problem carries new possibilities and we must learn to discover and deal with them.
Armed with the right outlets, you can start controlling your life. The trick is to lighten up! Smile more often. Laugh a lot. Live and love. And for Pete's sake, stop taking yourself so seriously!