One of my friends said, “Everyone hands me shit.  It’s my choice whether to smell it or step in it!”

I thought her wisdom should be shared with you, my reader.  It seems everyone I see these days is stressed.  Many feel like my friend, buried in excrement; yet most don’t realize that how you deal with stress is your choice.  She has decided not to step in other’s “shit” and I suggest you do the same.

I have written many articles on stress and stress management.  In “Blessing List,” I suggested looking at your half empty glass as if it were half full.

  • Your husband is out of work; you are blessed to have a husband.
  • You have too much on your plate; you have a table to put your plate on and food to put on that plate.
  • You have a full time job during the day and mom at night; you are lucky to have a job and blessed with children.
  • Your parents are getting old; your parents are alive.
  • Your house needs work; you have a roof over your head.
  • You have too many bills; I can spend less and live with less as long as I have a roof over my head, food on the table to feed the children and husband I love.
  • My children are too needy; they will learn the difference between wants and needs and learn to be appreciative of what they have.
  • Whiny kids are healthy enough to whine and they will grow up eventually.

In “Jugglers,” I described juggling your stressors as if they were brass and glass balls.  I pointed out the fact that brass balls (everyday stressors), when dropped could be recovered relatively undamaged but that glass balls (family, friends, health) often shatter upon hitting the floor causing irreparable damage.

In “Stress,” I wrote “Stress can actually make you sick.”  In an earlier article, “Worried Sick” on December 21st, 2010, I described a patient who literally made herself sick worrying about an illness she did not have.  Pure stress can lead to ulcers, phobias, palpitations, high blood pressure, stroke and more.  I also reminded my readers that stress is a fact of life.  My patients have taught that the best stress managers are often the most successful and happiest individuals.

In “Laughter Is Good Medicine,” I reviewed the positive effects of laughter.  When I heard “Everyone hands me shit.  It’s my choice whether to smell it or step in it,” I laughed out loud.  I needed a good laugh! It was a very stressful day and my friend provided a dose of the medicine I needed.

The world seems to be more stressful than ever. This New Year, strive to laugh a little more, smile a lot more, and refuse to step in other’s shit! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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