My friend, Rosemarie, said to me today at work, “You are in such a good mood.” I realized she was right. I have been in the best mood for the last two days. I was trying to figure out why when it hit me – I chose to be happy. How strange that I decided to be happy and it really worked.
On August 12, just eleven days ago, I was a stressed-out mess. I felt situations in my life spinning out of control and I was responding badly. I gave myself some advice by writing a post called 4 Steps To Overcome Stress. I was such a wreck at that point that the post actually contained five steps, although I didn’t notice until long after it was posted. Three days later, my stress was transitioning into anger and I wrote another post, One Small Step. In that post, I admitted my anger and related my idea to volunteer through a program to help women with their finances. Several of my best blog friends wrote to me, expressing their concern about me. I knew that I had their support and it felt good. Then, just a few days ago, I made a decision to stop worrying and turn my focus to working on making my dreams come true. I spent an hour Saturday focusing on coming up with some baby steps that I can take on the journey toward closing the gap between my dreams and reality. That hour filled me with hope and positive energy that has not left me since.
Today, when Rosemarie pointed out that I was in a good mood, I realized that my own advice had actually worked. I used my five steps to overcome stress and took a step to help someone else and worked on my dreams and I feel GREAT! I’m not saying that we can always control our situations, but i do know that I feel so much better now that I have made some positive choices.
I have been relying on my family and friends to listen to me and pray for me so that my stresses don’t overwhelm me. It is so good to know that I am not alone. I have been much more consistent about exercising. In fact, tonight John and I went to the Y mostly because it was scheduled on the calendar. The decision had already been made. Since we had already made the commitment to go at a specific time, it seemed easier to follow through than to cancel. We have been making choices to have some fun – walks in the park or a trip for a (small) ice cream or gelato and laughing at jokes have all been good for my spirit. My prayer life seems more fruitful and I feel a lot more connected to God now that I am making a conscious effort to see the beauty all around me. Counting my blessings is so important for me. When I focus on all the wonderful people and opportunities and grace in my life, it puts me in a much better frame of mind than when I allow myself to have a self-pitying attitude.
Even though I know what it takes to turn myself from grumpy and stressed into happy and joyful, I somehow let myself go down the slippery slope into negative thinking. I am so thankful for everyone who loved me enough to help me turn my attitude around and find the joy in life again. I now feel strong enough to deal with the stressful situations in my life without being overwhelmed by worries and fears.