A Fresh Perspective Peace of Mind Post T he start of a new year is a great time to reflect on your overall well-being. During this time, many people choose to focus on their physical and mental health in particular. However, the JANUARY 2020 STARTING 2020 WITH A POSITIVE MINDSET
way we perceive difficult circumstances and situations is a massive factor in our health. So, to reduce your stress levels and start your resolutions strong, adopt and practice a positive mindset. It sounds corny, but I always think about the glass-half full analogy. It’s that notion of gratitude that helps us look at all of our options when we’re feeling stressed. One cold, snowy March morning a few years ago, my father and I were heading to the airport. It was my father’s Christmas present to see old friends in Arizona, so I knew how important it was to him. I quickly rushed to feed the horses before we left the farm. However, when I opened the barn door, I saw the skylight had blown off! There was snow everywhere, and I couldn’t leave the horses in the freezing temperatures. I climbed up on the roof, trying to find it, but in the snow and darkness, I didn’t see the skylight right in front of me, and I slipped right on it! I was irritated and soaked from head to toe. I kept the positives in mind: I had the skylight, it was a quick repair job, and we still had plenty of time. As I took all these into account, I calmed myself and repaired the skylight. We need to be happy we even have a glass, regardless of how full it is. If you feel your concerns getting the better of you, give them the 20-year test. Ask yourself, “Am I going to remember this 20 years from now? If not, why worry about it now?” When those concerns fail the 20-year test, break them down into actionable tasks, then write them down and put those tasks on your calendar to ensure they get done. When I ran for fun, I had a written
training plan. First, I would run 3 miles, then I would add a few more miles to my run every week, working up to my goal distance. Being outside was and still is another way I maintain a positive mindset. I like to jump on one of my horses for a quick ride over the farm, but during the chilly weather, even a brisk walk helps me collect my thoughts. It’s all about perspective. Remember, as Desmond Tutu once wisely reminded us, “There is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.” I have a colleague, Dennis Toman, who says, “It’s only a struggle if you think it is.” I have that written on my whiteboard calendar now, so when I write a task, I look at the quote to keep everything in perspective. Do you have any unique ways to say positive? Let me know next time you’re in the office! I’m always looking for new ways to keep a positive attitude and relieve stress.
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