:: a pretty picture & some good advice ::

I was in the bookstore last month and a book jumped out and said, "You need me." I wasn't planning to buy another 'self-help' book, but I thought maybe this particular book would be useful as I taught the Cut the Crazy out of Christmas class...and I had that 30% off rewards coupon to use. The book is by Richard Carlson, the author of "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff." The title is "You Can Be Happy No Matter What." The book is worthwhile with lots of philosophy like, "Happiness is a state of mind not a set of circumstances." But what I especially like is his suggestions on how to handle stress. Here are a few tips:

Stress is an unpleasant feeling - it signals that we are not at our emotional and psychological best. It's interesting that when we feel ill and are not at our physical best, we pay attention to our bodies and do what we need to to feel better (rest, medicine etc.). Why not take the same care in times of emotional stress? When we are experiencing stress we need to use common sense, wisdom and be aware of our own needs.

Carlson says the solution to stress is to lower our tolerance for stress. The level of our current stress will always be exactly equal to our current tolerance. If we tolerate and can handle a lot of stress, we will always have to do just that. People with lower stress tolerance will pay attention to their stress EARLIER and will sense when it's time to slow down, regain perspective, and manage their thoughts and feelings.I find this concept so interesting. When I read it I just had to stop and think about it for awhile and ponder how it relates to me.