|Gratitude to Overcome Boredom, Difficulties, Complaining, & Feeling Overwhelmed
By Leo Babauta
As many give thanks for what’s in their lives this week, we might look at how to go deeper with gratitude.
“Gratitude” seems like a trite and even perhaps boring topic to many — we all know we should be grateful.
And yet, there are ways that we aren’t cultivating gratitude … and our lives could be much easier, even richer, if we did use gratitude in these deeper ways.
Let’s take a few examples.
I was talking to a friend recently about how she doesn’t like to stay in stillness and quiet, because it feels boring. She realizes this probably isn’t good for her, as she often feels the need to move, to keep busy. And she’d like to learn to be more present, slow down at times.
The answer to boredom is gratitude.
Let’s think about a situation: you turn off your phone, get away from the computer, and go sit outside with no book, no device, no one to talk to, nothing to do.
You just sit there.
How useful is that? How interesting? How productive? You might answer “not at all” to these questions, and it might seem boring. But I believe that’s because we’re not 1) paying close enough attention, and 2) appreciating the gift of that moment.
If I’m sitting alone with nothing to do, I might have the urge to get up and go do something, or reach for my phone. But what if, instead, I could pay attention to how my body feels, the texture of my breath, the light all around me, the nature sitting right in front of my face, the sounds of the world busy in activity. The vibrant colors, the life that’s struggling to survive and thrive. The feeling of just being alive.
The closer I pay attention, the more I might realize what a gift this is. The more I might appreciate the preciousness of it all.
Gratitude trumps boredom, if we let it.
We usually think of difficulties as something we don’t like, and they cause us unhappiness: a difficult person we’re dealing with, the loss of a job, struggling with a health issue, losing a loved one.
And it’s true, these are not things we normally think of as “good.” I’m not claiming we should rejoice at having these problems.
But is there a way we can find gratitude for them, nonetheless? Is there a way to see them as a gift?
Gratitude can be found even in our struggles:
Difficulties are not easy to find gratitude for … but they can become incredible paths of growth and learning, if we see the lesson in them. If we start to see everything as our teacher, especially the pain and struggle.
Many of us have the mental habit of complaining — about a situation, about another person. We might not even realize we’re doing it, but everytime we feel a bit of resentment, this is a form of complaining. And it’s a good way to waste our lives.
Gratitude is the antidote for resentment, irritation, frustration and complaining.
Each time you notice yourself feeling resentment, or complaining, notice that you have a story in your head that’s causing the feeling of resentment. Notice that you’re letting this storyline fill your head. And then find a way to be grateful.
Drop the habit of resentment and complaining each time you notice it. Choose the gratitude habit instead. See what a difference it can make.
Many days we can feel stressed and overwhelmed, especially in the holiday season when we add social events, shopping, family gatherings, cooking and decorating to our already busy lives.
How can we deal with this feeling of overwhelm?
By being grateful for everything in our lives that’s overwhelming us. By cherishing each thing in our to-do list, each person making a request by text or email, each event that’s stressing us out. Each of these is an absolute gift, and to be overwhelmed is to complain about these gifts. To find appreciation for each one of the gifts is to let go of the stress and to find the love in the chaos instead.
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
A special thanks to Dr. Michelle Robin, Your Wellness Connection as she featured me in her August Blog. LINK
Like many, I have fond memories of being active in my childhood. There was always something to do, explore, or be involved in and most, if not all of it, didn’t cost anything. Good times consisted of two elements: being active and having fun. Fast forward to today, times have changed with the introduction of cell phones, computers and other advances in technology. Being active and playing outside has become secondary to computer time and schedules with limited physical exercise. What message is this giving our children? Are we teaching our children TCOY?
Today, people of all ages are suffering physically, psychologically and financially due to lack of being active. Chronic disease has reached epidemic rates. If nothing changes, it’s not a matter of if you’ll be sick, but when.
In 1999, I enlarged my coaching arena from racquetball to include wellness. TCOY Wellness provides the guidelines and coaching necessary to empower the wellness mindset and lifestyle. TCOY = Take Care of You. The same disciplines and mindset I used to become a world-class professional athlete are provided in my TCOY Wellness Experience Training Program.
The first thing the program addresses in starting a life-changing wellness journey is to know your why. Why do you want to be healthy? It’s essential to understand your priorities and put emotion to it.
My initial “why” to be healthy was so I could be a professional athlete. My “why” changed when I became a divorced mother. Everything in my world was centered around being the best parent possible and meant I needed to take care of myself so I could take care of my daughter. Shortly after, TCOY Wellness was launched so I could also help others improve their quality of life.
Wellness is easy to do, but it’s also easy not to do. Most people fail because they feel over-whelmed and quit, or never even try. TCOY Wellness empowers and encourages. “What if” is seen as a positive visualization of the life you want to live, full of joy and vitality.
At the foundation of the program is simple movement, gratitude and laughter. Whatever activity you choose, make it fun and sustainable. Learn to be kind to yourself and others. Laughter puts everything in perspective and is an instant vacation.
Racquetball is my lifetime sport. It gives me great joy physically, mentally and socially. What’s yours? Explore and find an activity that you will look forward to doing and then immerse yourself in scheduling time to do it. This new perspective will change how you view fitness fun; it can be called a “fun-out” instead of a “workout.”
Take time to improve your physical well-being and it will positively impact all areas of your life. If you want more vitality, something needs to change. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Whatever your age, the body needs movement. A workout is a reboot for the mind, body and spirit. TCOY is more than a mantra, it’s a way of life!
In 2015, I became the Health & Wellness coach for TVH Americas. TVH is a global parts and manufacturing company with 900 employees. My focus has been to create and develop a healthy workplace that also empowers employees. The wellness mindset and lifestyle I share impacts not only the employees, but their family and friends; thereby creating a rippling effect into the community and beyond.
Being able to help others improve their quality of life is my calling in life. So often, it’s simply a matter of putting things in perspective and encouraging people along the journey. Former US President John Quincy Adams said it well,
“The influence of each human being on others in this life is a kind of immortality.”
Life is as complicated as we make. Daily choices matter and a healthier lifestyle starts when you are ready to make your health a priority. I recall a client telling me,
“I think you care more about my health than I do.” My response, “A coach sees your potential before you do.”
Another client with Parkinson’s who suffers with a lot of pain and tremors now plays racquetball ten hours a week and has told me, “When I play, it’s the only time I’m not in pain. The workouts have dramatically improved my quality of life.”
A group of ladies participated in a racquetball clinic on a Saturday morning. When I saw them on Monday, I asked what they thought and if they’d be back. They replied, “Oh, our sides hurt so bad afterwards.” I looked at them a little confused and she added,
“Our sides hurt from laughing so much…that was so much fun!!”
Once again, it was not a workout but a “fun-out.”
The TCOY Wellness program approaches wellness from a completely unique perspective. With over 30 years of coaching experience and walking the talk, my real life approach of building layers upon layers of simple, fun and sustainable actions has transformed hundreds of lives. The complete program consists of 40 weeks of 30-minute weekly class sessions. Think of it in these terms. A full term pregnancy is 40 weeks. Retraining habits, creating the right mindset, and learning how to live the wellness lifestyle will take 40 weeks as well.
The gift of wellness is a gift that you give yourself. It begins and ends with you.
TCOY… for the health of it. Action Required!
With over three decades as a professional racquetball player and coach, Lucy DelSarto has what it takes to demonstrate and teach wellness like no one else. She lives and breathes wellness and determination on and off the court; and has done so throughout her life making her a key mentor and role model for all who come in contact with her. Lucy’s combination of captivating public speaking skills, practical and comprehensive knowledge of health and wellness, unique style in motivating others and keeping them motivated, all entwined with quick wit and humor makes Lucy the total package you don’t want to miss!
Summer is in full swing! Be sure and be mindful of being HYDRATED and know the signs of heat exhaustion.
Below is helpful information with Hyper-Links for more details.
Heat cramp symptoms can include:
- Severe, sometimes disabling, crampsthat typically begin suddenly in the hands, calves, or feet
- Hard, tense muscles
Heat exhaustion symptoms can include:
- Excessive thirst
- Muscle aches and cramps
- Confusion or anxiety
- Drenching sweats, often accompanied by cold, clammy skin
- Slowed or weakened heartbeat
Heat exhaustion requires immediate attention.
Heat stroke symptoms can include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Hot, flushed, dry skin
- Rapid heart rate
- Decreased sweating
- Shortness of breath
- Decreased urination
- Blood in urineor stool
- Increased body temperature(104 degrees to 106 degrees F)
- Confusion, delirium, or loss of consciousness
Heat stroke can occur suddenly, without any symptoms of heat exhaustion. If a person is experiencing any symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, GET MEDICAL CARE IMMEDIATELY. Any delay could be fatal. Seek emergency medical care for anyone who has been in the heat and who has the following symptoms:
- Confusion, anxiety, or loss of consciousness
- Very rapid or dramatically slowed heartbeat
- Rapid rise in body temperature that reaches 104 degrees to 106 degrees F
- Either drenching sweats accompanied by cold, clammy skin (which may indicate heat exhaustion) or a marked decrease in sweating accompanied by hot, flushed, dry skin(which may indicate heat stroke)
- Any other heat-related symptom that is not alleviated by moving to a shady or air-conditioned area and administering fluids and salts
A professor stood before his philosophy class with some items in front of him. When the class began, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar, and began to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full, and they agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous, yes.
The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
His point from everything he did was that the jar represents your life. The Golf balls are the important things – family, partner, health, children – things that if everything else will be lost, they are the only once who will remains and still your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like – job, house and car. While the sand is everything else meaning all the small stuff.
If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles and Golf balls. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important. Always pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Know your priorities because this will only result everything that will happen in your life. Take care of the Golf balls first – the rest are just pebbles and sand.
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled.
“I’m glad you asked,” he said. “It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple cups of coffee with a friend.”
When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day is not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the two cups of coffee.
Everything that we do in life always end up in choosing which should we prioritize first and which we should treat as an option. We might not end up as successful or just living plainly, but we should know who will be there when everything goes down in your life and who will be there to stand up for you when life is a bit hard. Don’t ignore the important things, because these important things are the only one who can help you stand up and make everything go up.
The Science of Why We Sleep
“Something nameless hums us into sleep,” the poet Mark Strand wrote in his beautiful ode to dreams. But what is that nameless something, exactly? By now, scientists know that sleep obeys our complex internal clocks, affects our every waking moment, and even tames our negative emotions. But even as they’re beginning to shed light on what happens while we sleep, they don’t yet know why we evolved to sleep in the first place.
In this fascinating short video, PBS’s Joe Hanson explores the mysteries of sleep, synthesizing science from David Randall’s excellent Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep (public library) and other scientific curiosities, from how tiny ocean-dwelling worms explain our brains’ response to daylight and darkness to Edison’s power-napping strategy for success.
Complement with the chronobiology of why you’re so tired, the science of sleep and the teenage brain, andthe relationship between dreaming and depression, then revisit this visualization of famous writers’ sleep habits vs. creative output.
EXCELLENT VIDEO – Take a few minutes and be enlightened with the information!
Sleep might be the single most important behavior that humans and other animals experience.
|Fear Is Why We Have Too Much Stuff
Posted: 01 Apr 2016 11:58 AM PDT
By Leo Babauta
While we might want to get out from under the mountain of possessions we have, and have all the best intentions of simplifying our lives … the truth is that we continue to have too much stuff.
Part of that is laziness, an attitude of “I’ll get to it later” … but the real driving force behind our too-much-stuffitis is fear.
Fear is what causes us to buy things we don’t really need. Fear keeps us holding onto stuff we don’t need.
I could go on, but nearly all our possessions that aren’t absolute necessities (shelter, a bed, very minimal clothing, food, personal hygiene stuff, etc.) are bought and kept because of fears.
We want these items to comfort us, to help us cope with fears and anxieties, to help us feel prepared and more secure, to help us feel that we’ll be OK, to help us feel more certain about the future.
And of course, these items don’t actually do any of these things. We hope they will, but they never do. We never have more certainty about the future, and we continue to want more things to cope with fears that we’re not good enough, that things won’t turn out OK, and so on. The cycle doesn’t end.
So what’s the solution?
A Better Way to Cope With Fears
If we could find a different way of coping with these fears and anxieties, we wouldn’t need the stuff. We could pause before buying something out of fear, and decide not to buy it. We could finally get rid of much of the stuff we have lying around taking up space and mental energy. We could downsize, and live a more minimalist life.
So what’s another way to cope with these fears? Try this:
Friends with this fear, you can now decide how to act, unencumbered by the need to alleviate the fear with possessions. You can close the tab with your favorite online shopping site, you can put it on a 30-day list to look at later, when the urge has faded and the fear is no longer with you. You can let go of the possessions you do have, finally freeing yourself of this burden.
And in the end, you’ll find that you’re perfectly OK as you are, without needing to change, without needing anything to “express” who you are or improve you. And that’s worth more than all the possessions in the world.