Living Your Best Life

Almost everyone feels overwhelmed on occasion, but how do you know if your life is chronically out of balance?

Evaluate the state of your life with the following quiz.

True or false:
1. I have more than enough time to do what I want to do.
2. I am on a health regimen that helps me feel energized.
3. I look forward to every day.
4. There are no people in my life (at home or at work) who drain me.
5. I love my home (location, contents, the feel, the style).
6. I have no clutter in my home and/or office.
7. I live a life pursuing what I want instead of what I should do.
8. My work is satisfying and rewarding.
9. I take at least two weeklong vacations a year.
10. I do not work on weekends.
11. I get plenty of sleep.
12. I have plenty of quality time with my children and/or the people who matter to me.
13. I have at least one hobby or pastime outside of my work and family activities.
14. I eat foods that make me feel energized instead of sluggish.
15. I have the space to take at least 15 minutes of silence a day.
16. I have friends that are easy to be with and a joy to spend time with.
17. I carry no heavy emotional burdens or addictive behaviors.

10 Secrets to a Stress-Free Life

Upgrade your outlook and keep your day from unraveling with these mental strategies

Start Small

Don’t overwhelm yourself with big changes. Alter one small thing—a morning habit, a food choice. Over time, these will add up to the intentional life you crave.

Put love and friendship first in your life, scheduling dates with others as you would doctors' appointments. Connection may help improve heart health, prompt the release of the stress-relieving hormone oxytocin, and allow you to sidestep the health risks.

Live Consciously! Be Present...
Rather than disperse your energy with multitasking, take one job, one person at a time. The more mindful you are, the quicker you can stop stress and turn yourself around.

Journal it

Release stress by getting negative feelings out of your body. Pick up a pen and write down your thoughts.

Own the News
Change the way you approach the bleak information you get from the media. Don’t shy away from knowing the facts—apathy can prove as damaging to your spirit as stress or depression. But use what you learn to become part of the solution. Send light, positive energy and prayers to those suffering, while finding tangible ways to get involved. You’re in a position of power and control. Embrace the media—look at it and use it as your classroom.

Walk softly
When we’re stressed, we tend to hit the floor hard with every step. Imagine you’re walking on a lotus flower—tenderly, gently. Unplug through your feet, and you’ll calm down to a more tranquil mental place.

Try a Mini-Meditation
Memorize a three-to-five-word phrase, a mantra, that will bring you back to center when things get rough, such as “I am strong” or “Spirit will guide me.” Also, keep a peaceful image mentally on hand (a beach scene, a quiet forest) to call up in stressful moments.

Love your commute

See your travel time as a chance to cultivate patience and compassion. If you can use calming breaths to stay relaxed and unruffled in traffic, you can handle anything.

Practice gratitude

It’s hard to feel gratitude and stress at the same time. Devote five minutes a day to giving thanks for all the gifts in your life—starting with your breath, the source of everything.

Take inventory
Make a list of things that bring you joy—and another list of things that drain your energy. Do this 10 minutes daily for a week, and then review your lists and see how your own life matches up.

Getting your priorities clear is the first and most essential step toward achieving a well-balanced life. The important point here is to figure out what you want your priorities to be, not what you think they should be.


raquel roysdon said...

Practicing gratitude that I come read your blog daily. awh!

April 10, 2008 at 9:38 PM
jen x said...

This was a sobering quiz -- yet also somehow quite calming. It was likeall the chaos falling away, leaving a peaceful core of areas to be addressed. Delighted to find your blog (The Fearless Blog had kind words; she never steers us wrong!)

April 13, 2008 at 11:19 AM
Anonymous said...

Honey I took your quiz and nearly fell off the chart...LOL babycakes, you are doing us all a favor by sharing your precious information. Thank you Christine! You are so loved!

Juicy Jenn

April 17, 2008 at 7:47 PM
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