5 Simple life rules

Have you ever wished that life came with a user’s guide or manual with a chapter called Life Rules?  Well, I have.  I have often wished I could pick up the Idiot’s Guide to Me and look up whatever answer I needed for how to handle whatever challenge I was dealing with in the moment.  It would make life so much easier.   No more stupid mistakes or regrets.  No more back tracking or doing it wrong, then figuring out the right way… Ahhh if only.  

Instead, life tends to take us down twists and turns, unexpected highs and lows that we don’t feel prepared for.  So, we make up our own rules.  Our own guide that we have developed over the years through trial and error.  Of course, some of the material might be outdated or even flat out wrong, but at least it’s something right? So what if we’ve named a whole chapter, “….I hope I never have to do this…”  or  “… things I promise never to do again….”    

Of course, life is super complicated because we’re complicated right?  Life has so much technology, terminology, labels, expectations and rules that creates all types of confusion… Our lives become full of rules, regulations and there’s no way to change that right?  Not necessarily. Sometimes we forget that we have created all that confusion.  After all, we wrote the book, right?  We’ve added steps and levels to our lives that can simply take the fun out of living.  If only there was a way to make it easier.  

Hey, wait a minute! There is!  You probably already know a few of them, but they’re just so far back in the manual that you forgot.  So, here’s a replay of a few basic Simple Life Rules that apply to everyone, which can be applied regardless of the situation.  A cheat sheet, or Cliff’s notes if you will…   

1.     Think Positively: Our thoughts control so much.  Our emotions, our mood, our actions.  It seems so simple, but it’s actually easier to jump to a negative thought than a positive one.  So make it a point to turn one negative thought into a positive one daily.  Thinking positively can give you the opportunity to bring light into your day, making it much easier to get through the day to day routine.  

2.     Breathe Deeply: Many times, we forget to do this.  Take a minute and just take a deep breath.  Cleanse your lungs and watch your mind calm down.  Breathing deeply not only allows you to inhale, but also to let go of pent up frustration, anxiety, worry and anger.  It gives your mind a break and opens you up to consider alternatives.  And, it feels good too. 

3.     Laugh Loudly: Ever hear the old saying, “Laughter is the best medicine” well they weren’t making that up.  Laughing is actually a healing activity.  It increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain, decreases stress, increases positive immune system response, improves relaxation and sleep.  So come on… laugh til you cry… You’ll feel better!

4.     Speak Kindly: Words are the most powerful tool that we have.  They can build people up or tear them down in an instant.  They last longer than anything else we might leave behind.  Sometimes, a kind word, at the right time, can make the difference if someone’s life.  Simply remembering to say “thank you” or “you’re welcome” can brighten another’s day.  Encouraging someone can seem tedious and even ridiculous, but we all love to be praised and complimented.  Think about how many fights, arguments and wars could have been avoided just by speaking kindly and respectfully.  Bring joy to yourself and others.  Use your words for good today. 

5.     Get a good night’s sleep:  Simple right?  Everyone knows we need to sleep.  But sometimes, life gets in the way.  We work later, catch up on reading or Facebook, surf Pinterest, clean up after the kids go to bed, get a jump on tomorrow’s work, or watch our favorite shows on the DVR. All of these things interrupt our natural sleep schedule.  The average person needs at least 8 hours of sleep nightly, but many only get between 4-6.  This increases anxiety, irritability and stress.  Sleep is NECESSARY for us.  A good night’s sleep helps your brain function better, decreases risks for obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.  It also boosts your immune system and helps you fight infections.  Our bodies were designed to regenerate at night.  So, curl up with your favorite pillow and get some REST!!  Your body and mind will thank you for it…. So will everyone else. 

It takes a lot of effort to engage in some of these Simple Life Rules in today’s society.  Now that everyone is about being busy, it’s hard to slow down, but give it a try.  Pick one a day to start with and see the difference for yourself.  Even if you think you do these already, purposely stop and do them.  Take notice of others’ reactions and your own.  Enjoy the moment.  You won’t regret it. 

Want more information? Contact me for Your 15 minute consultation is free and confidential, so just pick up the phone and call at (760) 490- 0109 or send me an email at HDChristiancounseling@gmail.com.

Nyshia Johnson

HD Christian Family Counseling, 14420 Civic Drive, Victorville, CA, 92392