Back to Basics
Reach Out and Touch Someone
Try to connect each day with a friend, relative or someone important to you and have some meaningful interaction. Research shows that social supports helps people live longer, feel better, and cope with life easier, says Dr. Selhub, whose clinic teaches mind-body wellness to patients with a variety of illnesses.
"Have some kind of meaningful conversation or interaction, not just "Hi, how are you, what's new," but "Let me tell you something wonderful I'm doing with myself" or "I've been concerned about you because you've been worrying about such and such," says Issokson. "It's an acknowledgement of our connection with other humans on this planet."
Remember the Important Things
Louden says she starts her day on a reflective note, either lying in bed for a few moments or writing in her journal, and asks herself "a mindful question...something to tap into the greater wisdom...like what do I most need to do today or what does my spirit need."
"So much of that process is about trusting myself and then acting on what I hear," says Louden. "Then everything else falls into place for the rest of the day. It's a huge difference from days when I'm jumping from one thing to another and worrying and giving everything equal importance."
Michael Kibler, an executive consultant and president and founder of Corporate Balance Concepts in Chicago, suggests creating anchors — photos of your loved ones, a starfish from a vacation, or possibly a meaningful voice mail — to remind yourself of "the big picture" and keep from being rattled by the day's details and frustrations.
"If you can regularly get in touch with what's important to you — what you cherish, what you enjoy, what you feel responsible for — then it makes it easier to suffer the indignations and challenges in life." He has telephone messages from his 4- and 8-year-olds dating as far back as when they were 2. "It's an instant refresher of what's important."
Say, "Thank you."
Take time each day to think about what you're grateful for. "It doesn't have to be a huge thing," says Issokson. "It can be, "I'm grateful the sun was shining today, and I noticed," or "I'm grateful to have been able to make a living today." It's about taking time and being in the moment."
"It's not to gloss over what's bad, but to take a moment to put things in perspective," says Issokson. "Particularly for those who are prone to being pessimistic, it helps people kind of check in and say, "All these things aren't going right, but I'm here today, I'm healthy, I supported myself today, I had a meaningful conversation today...my life's not so bad."