Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Daily Bucket List

by Gilda Evans

Lately, there have been several people I know who have lost loved ones - a friend or family member whom they cared about deeply. When this happens, it often causes one to reflect upon one's own mortality. It gives your perspective a reality check, underscoring the things that are truly important in life. And it makes you think about your own "bucket list"...all those things we want to accomplish before we leave this earthly plane.

I then realized that there are things we all could be doing each day to help us cope with the challenges we constantly face that will help us generally in life, and particularly with the ability to concentrate on the things we want to do - like our writing!

So, with that in mind, I'd like to offer a list of things that I feel everyone can utilize to achieve a happier, calmer state of mind in spite of the stress of everyday living that so many of us are going through nowadays for one reason or another. It is comprised of those things that we can all do every day, to help keep things on an even keel. And the beauty of it is, none of them requires any money or a large amount of time.

Ready? Here we go -

1. Hug someone you love at least once a day. If there's isn't anyone around who fits the bill, then give yourself a hug or a solid pat on the back - just because.

2. Take a moment to smell the flowers. I'm being literal here. Go outside, find the nearest rosebush or something similar, and take a good, long whiff. If there isn't a sweet smelling plant around, then just enjoy the fresh air and sunshine for a few moments. In other words, stop what you're doing and just be. No radio, tv, phone calls - just you and nature. Let your mind be the noisiest thing around for once.

3. Stop procrastinating about that diet you want to start or the exercise you've been meaning to do. Start taking care of your body so it can take care of you, It's never too late. Never. You don't have to belong to a gym. Even a morning walk can do wonders.

4. Enjoy the peace of surrender. By that I mean, once you've done everything you need to do, or can do regarding whatever it is that you're trying to accomplish, then let it go. Whatever happens is going to happen, and you'll deal with it. One of my new favorite sayings is, "People have trouble being happy because they see the past as better than it was, the present as worse than it is, and the future as less resolved than it will be."

5. Don't overload your brain. You know what you have to do. You've got it all written down in your calendar or task list or whatever. Concentrate on one or two things at a time. Then go on to the next thing. You will function and feel much better as a result.

6. Ask for help if you need it. Whatever kind of help it is that you require, chances are you know someone who is willing to lend a hand if you ask. Put your ego aside and ask for that loan or lift in the car or advice or whatever it is you are lacking. Learn to delegate. Learn to accept assistance. You'd be surprised how many people, even the ones you least expect, are willing to help if you give them the chance.

All of these things combined are great stress relievers and very powerful ingredients for getting your life back on track and your energy going in the right direction.

Think I'm being silly?

Then I offer you this challenge - try what I suggest for one week. Just one. And see what happens. If I'm wrong, let me know - and if I'm right, you will most definitely know! You will also find that if you keep all of these things in mind, then the other items on that bucket list of yours - the trip around the world, the skydiving, climbing Half Dome at Yosemite National Park or whatever it is that trips your trigger, will come much more easily as well.

I wish you luck and have fun checking off those items on your list!

Gilda Evans, Author/Speaker/Blogger




Heidiwriter said...

Not silly at all! We get so busy, so caught up in the minutia of our lives that we do forget to enjoy the little things and give thanks for them! Thank you for the reminder!

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Definitely useful tips to reduce stress.

Magdalena Ball said...

Though these are basics, Gilda, they're both do-able, practical, and so easy to skip. Thanks for the reminder. I'm going outside right now to smell the roses.

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