I Hereby Dub You “Queen (or King) of Denial”

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happy-placeThe Kid and I enjoyed a wonderful week off and we got a ton of fun stuff accomplished along with a bunch of laying around doing nothing. That’s the best kind of week off. Now that we are back to reality, I’m very glad to be faced with another task for the Happiness Project. Today is a day I could use a little more happiness when I really would rather stay with The Kid than head into work. How about you?

It was interesting last week with the chore task to Use Good Manners. My patience was tested for sure when we went to the local mall which was packed to the hilt. I hate large crowds of people wandering aimlessly. Get with the program, people. Make a plan of attack ahead of time and walk with a purpose. Just kidding… sort of. OK, not really. I would be much much happier if everyone at the mall had an ordered plan. I did manage to not have a meltdown though but I’m not sure that qualifies as using good manners. Does not using bad manners count towards good manners? 😉

I was definitely glad when I read that this week’s idea is to Find a Place of Refuge. Phew! I need this! Stress is a bad thing. We’ve all got it in varying levels but we should strive to manage it as much as possible. Stress can cause hormones like cortisol to be elevated which affects things like your stomach fat, blood pressure, headaches, and much more. So what do we do about it? We can’t always eliminate it. Let’s be real. We can’t ever eliminate it. BUT we can change the way we react to it.

I’m not saying to enter the Land of Denial and crown yourself King or Queen. Maybe we can find our happy place though – our place of refuge. What do you typically do when faced with a stressful situation? Do you eat? Not eat? Yell, freak out, become silent, cry? I tend to take the silent route until I reach the boiling point and either yell or cry depending on the moment.

The first step is to figure out how you usually react. Be honest with yourself here. Sometimes it’s not pretty and that’s OK. Once you figure out what you do, then you can plan to do something different. Stop doubting the process. It might just be that simple. You just need to break the pattern and try something different. Your plan is to find your place of refuge when stress hits.

It can be literal like a bath, sitting alone for 5 minutes in your car, taking a walk. It can also be symbolic like imagining yourself on a beach somewhere drinking something out of a coconut. The important thing is to figure out your happy place now before the stress hits. The next time you’re faced with a situation, make a conscious effort to not react in your usual way. Tell yourself you can eat, yell, or freak out later. For now, you’re going to your happy place. Just for a bit.

Take a moment, break the pattern, and you might find that you’re better able to face the situation and figure things out. I think I’ll really like this idea. I’m even hoping it will become one of my favorites in the Happiness Project. What does your happy place look like? Mine is a warm beach someplace tropical. It smells like coconuts and hibiscus. Ahhhhhh.

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