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I’m Not Going to Take It Anymore

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

We live in a violent age. It’s a sad state of affairs, but it is our reality. From mass shootings at schools and movie theaters to the most recent terrorists attacks in Paris and Mali, dreadful images crowd our TV screens and accost us on social media. It is depressing, it is frightening, and for military families especially, it can magnify a feeling of uncertainty and in some cases, hopelessness.

I don’t know about you but I’m DONE.

I’m done with worry, with fear, with distrust, with argument, you name it; I’m over it. I need to and will start to take control of the things that I can control and recapture some of the joie de vivre in my life. Hopefully the tips I have gathered below will help you too.

Walk more, worry less. Exercise and I have never been great friends, but walking and I are at least mutual acquaintances. Studies show that taking a brisk walk releases endorphins that elevate our mood and reduces stress and anxiety. I’m in!

Silence is golden and good for the brain. Our day is filled with electronic engagement and stimulation. Our iPhones, iPads, computer screens, TVs—they’re constant noise and distraction. Your brain can get overloaded quickly, resulting in slower process times and dull thinking. Find some quiet time somewhere, even if it’s as simple as driving home in silence. Your brain will thank you for it.

Meditation or prayer. I know, I know, but I’m not saying we should all become Gregorian monks. It has been proven though that meditation, mindfulness, yoga, reflection, spirituality, these are some the practices that build up your resilience. And who couldn’t use a little more of that?

Pay it forward. You’ll be glad you did. There is no better feeling than helping someone in need or just plain being kind to a fellow human. We live in a world where evil deeds are the news of the day. We can’t seem to get away from it. But there are so many more good people in the world than bad. Being part of the human connection that includes compassion and generosity might be just what the doctor ordered.

Be grateful. This particular Thanksgiving holiday, take a minute to reflect on the good things. And there are good things. There is power in saying out loud, “I am grateful for …” or ending the day with a quick mental tally of the positive aspects of one’s day. We so often defeat our own happiness by comparing ourselves to others, dwelling on the negative, being cynical to the point of meanness. This Thanksgiving, give thanks for what you have and raise a glass in honor of the people we lost and the service men and women in harm’s way.