Posts tagged ‘Relax’

April 29, 2012

Responding to Life Events

One of the most influential equations that I have learned in my life has been:
E + R = O
For this equation;

  • E = Events
  • R = Your chosen response to an Event
  • O = The overall outcome

In the model, the “Event” is neutral. It is not “good” or “bad”, it is just a life circumstance. It is our Response to an event that will shape how we label or perceive the event in our minds. How we choose to respond to an event directly affects the overall outcome.

For example, imagine you are a school-aged kid being called a name by one of your classmates. You choose to respond by calling the other kid a worse name. The outcome is that the other kid hits you.

Imagine this scenario with a different response. You are a school-aged kid being called a name by one of your classmates. You ignore the other kid and move to the other side of the playground to be with a group of your friends. The outcome is that you have moved on with your day without conflict.

Let us look at this equation from an “Influence versus Control” perspective

  • E = Events – These are things that you typically can’t control. You may be able to influence factors leading up to events, but the event would have happened without you. Life events can be the small events such as being cut off in traffic or misplacing your house keys to major life events such as your house burning down or losing a family member.
  • R = Response – This is where you have some control. You can choose your response. When a life event happens, you can remember that there are multiple ways to respond to any situation and you can practice taking the time needed to evaluate your response. Since your response has a strong influence on the outcome, it is important to take personal responsibility for your responses to all life events.
  • O = Outcomes- This is an areas where we have influence. If we react “positively” to a situation, we are more likely to experience a “positive” outcome.

One Saturday, I experienced an opportunity to reflect on my responses to a common life situation. While playing with my children at the beach, I noticed that I no longer had my car keys. I could not use my phone to call my wife since my phone was locked in my car. My kids had just come out of the water and they were cold. There was a storm coming and rain was just minutes away.

In the past, this situation would have freaked me out. I would have become extremely frustrated and my blood pressure would have risen. Most likely, I would have started using expletives at an increasingly frequent level.

When I reflected on the fact that the only thing that I could control in this situation was my response to this situation, I was in a much better place for problem solving. I knew that there were just a limited amount of possible actions. First I unpacked all of our stuff to look for the key. Then I backtracked everywhere that we had been at the beach that day. Once I felt that I had just about exhausted all my options. I asked a fellow beach goer to barrow their cell phone. I called my wife to see if she could come pick us up. My wife’s phone went straight to voicemail, so the option of being “rescued” appeared off the table. While the kids played on a play structure, I went back to an area of the play area  that we had been playing before the key was lost and I started a grid search of the sand area looking for the key. After a while of searching,I found the key.

In this scenario, if had chosen to respond with anger, I could have “ruined” the day for my children and myself. By remaining calm, our family fun day continued on without incident. The next time “life happens”, remember you have the ability evaluate your response before you take action. When we chose to remain calm in a problematic situation, we are more likely to consider all of our options and problem solve effectively.

April 13, 2012

Finding your Rhythm

When changing a habit or when adding a new activity to your lifestyle, it is helpful to find a time for this new habit/routine.  If we do not know where to place this new habit/routine into our schedule, it is very easy to forget to perform this activity. Once you habit becomes a part of your daily rhythm, it is a lot easier to maintain.

For my own “habit change challenge”, I found that that only way that I could be consistent with implementing my target habits was to find a regular place for them in my daily schedule. Since I have two young children, I found it was best to add my new activities during times of the day when my children are asleep. In the morning, I exercise, meditated and listen to positive meditation podcasts. At night, I blog, journal my successes and list the things for which I am grateful.  Having this structure in place has helped immensely. I have been waking up early and exercising for over a year. After exercising, I have just enough time to shower, get dressed, make lunch, eat breakfast, kiss the family goodbye and leave for work. I have found that I needed to meditate and perform my affirmations before my workout since it was better to have a slightly shorter workout than to miss the opportunity to perform these activities all together.

What works for you! Please share your ideas of ensuring that you have time for some positive time for yourself.

April 12, 2012

Success may come….

… when you least expect it

Sometimes progress or goal completion come to fruition in due time. There have been many moments in my life when things appear to “happen” without much effort.

For example, I will a bunch of items on my “To-Do” list and then forget to look at that specific list for a couple of weeks. The next time I look at the list, I notice that about 90% of the items have been completed. In this case, the items written on the initial list were likely incorporated into my unconscious processing. Therefore, I kept on working towards this list without much conscious thought. The thought behind the practice of looking at your goals / vision board/ mission statement / affirmations on a daily basis is that the more that we consider where we want to go, it is more likely that our unconscious thought processes will problem solve the way to our envisioned destination.

Other times, things just happen when the right conditions are in place. You may wait for years for a project or an idea to be approved. Once there has been a change of management, you find that your idea now has a lot of support.

Honestly, all I really wanted to say is that my son started riding his bike without training wheels yesterday. I am very appreciative for this accomplishment. We had been trying to get him to ride his bike a few times without training wheels with limited success. He would let the bike fall over or he would be completely resistant to the idea of riding his bike. Since he was not showing any interest in riding his bike, I did not think of asking him to ride his bike since last November. In the last few months, he has had more fun riding his kick-scooter. Yesterday, I thought we would just bring the bike to the park. At our local park, there is about a 100-yard path from the parking lot to the play structure. I thought practicing biking on the way to the play structure would be a worth attempt for the day. The first time my son started pedaling, he required some support on his seat. The 2nd through 5th attempts, he tried to pedal on his own. On his 6th attempt, he was up and running. For the rest of the day he did not need any help. He started pedaling the bike on his own and he demonstrated great balance. As we were packing up at the end of the trip, he asked to bike some more. Some things just need time.

The next time you “hit a wall” or roadblock, it may be helpful to place the project aside for a while to give yourself some breathing room. You may just find that when you come back to it, a solution to the roadblock will become apparent or the roadblock will no longer be there.

Good luck with all your endeavors.

March 6, 2012

Being Sick

Although we are all in control of healthy habits such as washing our hands regularly, eating the right foods, taking our vitamins, drinking orange juice, getting enough sleep, managing stress and exercising regularly, we can still get sick. Don’t get me wrong. I strongly suggest maintaining the healthy habits listed above since these habits greatly reduce our chances of acquiring an illness. We still cannot control interacting with someone who is virulent and does not know it.

Whatever the case, I am sick.

I wish I could say that I am not prone to getting frustrated when I am sick. There are so many things on my “To-Do list” that I would like to attend to. As I have stated before, I am a recovering cynic and there are plenty of life triggers that can facilitate a “cynical event”.  As I sit pathetically motionless in my bed, I feel a tinge of guilt as my wife attends to the needs of our children and the household.

Stop! Wait! This is just another learning experience.

When we are sick, our life goals should change. Instead of focusing on that morning workout you missed since you did not have the energy to get out of bed, focus on getting better.

1)   Delegate – As soon as possible, inform people that you work with or who you live with your energy status. If other people know your health status and there is truly an important task that needs to be completed, other people can help you out.

2)   Take care of yourself   – Your body is tired for a reason. Your immune system is fighting overtime to attack whatever virus has invaded your body. The more your rest, the more your body’s resources can prioritize fighting the unwanted invaders. Now is the time to watch guilt free TV. It is time drink lots of water, drink hot tea or drink orange juice. Sleep is a priority. If you are very sick or sick for a long time, please call your doctor!

3)   Forgive yourself  – Forgive yourself for your current status of not getting things done. Wellness does not arise out of stress. Forgiving yourself can eliminate your “but I should” and “but I want to” thoughts.

4)   Be Grateful – Even when your throat is hurting, your head is pounding, your stomach is turning and your intestines are rioting, you can find something to be grateful about. Currently, I am grateful for a soft bed and the love and support given to me by my wife and kids. In other times when I am horrifically sick, I have been grateful for the cool tile on the bathroom floor. Like forgiveness, gratitude can help re-frame your outlook.

5)   Be Here, NOW! – In this moment you are sick with no energy. Please accept the situation for what it is. Thinking about that report that is due Friday is not going to be very helpful here and now.

6)   Ease back into your routines – If we rush ourselves in resuming our daily routines and responsibilities, we can prolong the illness. Start things slowly. Try giving yourself 5 minutes of light housework and then give yourself a rest. Instead of jumping into your hardcore cardio workout or performing an insane amount of pull- ups, use your typical workout time to stretch your muscles.

I hope that you stay well this cold and flu season. May your healthy routines keep the pathogens at bay. If you do get sick, remember that “this too shall pass”.

Be well!

January 15, 2012

Getting into the groove!

Yesterday, we discussed Meditation a method of getting into the right mind. We also discussed that Meditation is not for everyone.

 

Today, while I was out surfing, I remembered that there are many other ways to get “in the groove” or in a meditative state. When you engage in an activity that you truly love, you may experience being in a “flow state”. When you are “in the flow”, you typically are so absorbed in the activity that you may not experience the passage of time. You will also be deeply routed in the NOW. Your focus will be so intense on the activity that you will be detached from your stream of conscious thoughts.

 

People can get into a flow state through a variety of ways. Playing music, running, biking, surfing, quilting, hiking can all be all lead to a flow experience.

 

I hope that you find that activity that helps you go with the flow.