Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Simple Plan to Laugh

"A day without laughter is a day wasted."
-Charlie Chaplin

Laughter is the best medicine. Seriously.

When I get migraines, I dive straight for the prescriptions. Then I get sleepy. Then cranky. Then stressed. Then I get another headache. Maybe I need to consider a new routine.

After some research, it turns out that humor is a fantastic way to relieve Stress. Laughter releases endorphins, which are natural substances that help you feel better and maintain a positive attitude. Like any good researcher, I put this to the test. With less than three weeks remaining until I receive my masters, one can imagine how much Stress presents itself. My source of humor? My husband.

I can't think of a day that has gone by when he hasn't made me laugh. Intentionally, he's a funny guy. Unintentionally, he's hilarious. His heart is so warm and open, that even when he's angry it's hard not to laugh a little. If you're lucky, you have someone in your life to laugh with. When you find this person...don't let him or her go. They'll save you a lot of money on medical bills.

So what was the conclusion to this experiment? Hypothesis confirmed. Here I sit with three deadlines tonight and (what feels like a million) errands to run. In a cafe sipping herbal tea (see earlier post), listening to some relaxing music (see even earlier post), with a view of a beautiful lake (see future post) and sitting in front of a man who makes my heart smile and has the ability to make me laugh uncontrollably (see current post)...there is "simply" no sign of an otherwise expected headache.

"Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live."

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Simple Plan To Be Simple

Simplify your life.

I write everyday to welcome and encourage simplicity, but I still don't think it can ever be stressed enough. I am programmed everyday to wake-up each morning at the mercy of my 'to do' list. While I have finally found a way to keep my list(s) organized and manageable (check out Remember The's my favorite website of 2012), there's a whole other mindset that should be considered. Rather than looking for ways to squeeze more activities to do, errands to run, or chores to complain about, we need to leave some things out. Ask yourself what really needs to get done, what can wait to be done, and what can be dropped completely. We need to remember that it is okay to say no.

Many of us have heard the loaded questions, "What is our purpose in life?" or "Why are we here?". In our pursuit for a greater purpose we often get lost in the clutter of trivialities. It's like the book said: "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (and it's all small stuff)". Be careful where you focus your energy. It's not procrastinating if your prioritizing. Do what matters and lose what doesn't. This is no easy task. We tend to take ownership of so many things...maybe as part of our identity. Instead, we should take solace in the fact that there are other identifiers. If we are lucky, we have family, friends, pets, or even hobbies. These are important identifiers. Do what is important, and what is important to you will become your purpose. But remember, one can find their purpose when they take control of their environment.

So take control of your 'to do' list. Take control of your life. Simplify.

"The simplest things are often the truest."
-Richard Bach

"As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude 
will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness."
-Henry David Thoreau 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Simple Plan

"Stress is not what happens to us. It's our response TO what 
happens. And RESPONSE is something we can choose."
-Maureen Killoran

After a significant injury to my left foot and ankle, I've been seemingly out of order for the better part of a year. Although I'm still healing, I'm back on my feet (figuratively speaking) and ready for action. 

While coping with trauma, one might find themselves at the mercy of their demons. For me, and most, those demons can be stress. Everywhere we look we are warned of the consequences of stress. Whether emotional and physical, the impact of stress is never good. After one too many migraines, I recently researched the topic and decided there was no better time to continue my pursuit for simplicity. 

Just as a garage can be too cluttered with all the items we're too scared to throw out, so can our minds. Things to do, people to see, places to go...the clutter of life can be mentally exhausting. All the excess baggage overcrowds our minds and leads to the inevitable headache. Solution? Avoid the stress. 

Who are we kidding? It is near impossible to avoid stress altogether. However, a few simple steps can help keep the stress under control and minimize headaches. Over the next few days, I'll delve into the details of a plan to help manage stress. I can promise that there will be no surprises, it's all been heard before...but they are tried and true....and "simple". 

Ready? Set? Relax. 

"Material blessings, when they pay beyond the category of need, are weirdly fruitful of headache."
-Philip Wylie