Three Ways to Reduce Stress and Enlighten Up
When all is said and done, everyone wants the same thing: to be happy. The demands of work and life often make it difficult to reach that ultimate goal. Here are three simple but powerful ways to reduce the stress in your life and enlighten up.
1. Plan for Joy.
Begin to make a list of all the things that bring you joy, from the simple "reading a juicy novel" to the sublime "practicing yoga." Go deeper and remember what made you most happy as a child, like ice skating, playing Monopoly and coloring. (Did you know there are now more than 100 crayon colors?) Start with 20 or 30 ideas and keep adding to that list. Whenever possible, add these activities to your daily schedule and treat them with the same respect and urgency as a client meeting or an important project. Pretty soon, all the joy planning will begin to happen spontaneously. The bottom-line benefits of more joy in your life is there's less room for stress. Joy increases creativity, leads to positive problem solving and is highly contagious. Make joy a top priority.
2. Start a Gratitude Ritual.
At the end of each week, take fifteen minutes to send three hand-written, genuine, thank you notes to those you appreciate. Emails don't count. (Sending it on Friday means they are most likely to start their week on Monday with your thoughtful message.) It may be a customer or client, a colleague, coworker or employee. Track down the address of a beloved teacher, childhood friend or special relative you've lost touched with. Remember to include your spouse and children and other close family members. By following this gratitude ritual, you honor others and remind yourself of how many people support and appreciate you. What better way to build authentic relationships?
3. Set Your Intentions.
Most of us will have goals or resolutions for each new year. Intentions are different. As I write in “Divine Wisdom at Work,” an intention is the broad, bright light that leads the way for the more specific goals you set. It is the sacred promise made between your soul and the universe to take responsibility and assure the quality of what you will manifest. Choose one word that most resonates with you to be the theme for the year. It might be Joy, Peace, Harmony, Fun, Friendship, Growth, Prosperity, Simplicity, Dream, Trust, Balance, Wisdom or Innovation. My intention is Light. To me, Light signifies hope, awareness, wonder and whimsy. I intend to shine the light through my Working with Wisdom programs so that others can recognize and fulfill their true potential. And so it is.