By Juan Santos, M.S., CRC, LPCA
Do you remember back in grade school when you, like so many other students, had a calendar or some sort of syllabus that you lived by? Teachers have always trained us to stick to some sort of schedule. There is a reason behind that! Schedules help create balance as they provide a tool that allows you to dictate where to invest your time and energy.
Create a Healthy Balance
Below are a few recommendations that can help reduce stress in your life and in turn, create happiness, which invites you to smile and laugh more!
- Add a schedule to your phone with reminders that vibrate or ring.
- Each morning review and edit your schedule.
- Reward yourself for small and large changes.
- Sync your schedule with your partner or a friend that can help you stay motivated.
After using these recommendations for a while, reflect on the changes. How has your stress, anger, or happiness changed as a result of you sticking to a schedule? Are you pleased with the changes? If so, keep moving forward.
Create Healthy Thoughts
Learn to let go of the negative gossip or hurtful thoughts that you have/hold towards others. Give yourself about ten to fifteen minutes each day to reflect on your thoughts. Is there a person (maybe more than one) who you spend time gossiping about? Think about a moment when you experienced happiness. I guarantee that if you thought about that memory now, you would in turn smile and experience joy. On the flip side, the negative gossip or hurtful thoughts will provide a similar outcome.
Change Your Thoughts to Healthy Ones
- Step 1: Think about who the people are that you are holding in a negative manner.
- Step 2: Consider the common thoughts/gossip aimed at the individual(s).
- Step 3: How do the thoughts/gossip help you in reducing your personal stress, experiencing more happiness, and having an overall healthy mindset? (Hint: It does not help you!)
- Step 4: Practice letting go what you cannot control. Practice self-control. This step is great if you have someone to help you in order to provide accountability. If not – engage in self-reflection by spending 10 to 20 minutes prior to meeting the person and after meeting the person. This time should be used to evaluate your ability to engage in self-control and let go of what you cannot control.
Remember old habits die hard. Give it time & invest plenty of energy into the change as the reward is well worth reaping. Remember to focus on reducing stress. You now have many tools that can truly make you smile and laugh more. After implementing “healthy thoughts” & “healthy balance” you should experience improvements that directly impact:
- Daily stress
- Family problems
- Anger – Anger management
- Relationship problems – time for your spouse/partner/lover/husband/wife
Just to name a few!