No. 351

Several years ago I had the privilege of being the speaker for the Annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. This small community in the Southwest part of our state has the distinction of being the location for the only diamond mine in North America. This diamond mine has been developed as a state park and each year thousands of visitors from all over the world come to dig for diamonds. Many have been found and some were very large with great value. This diamond mine just looks like a plowed field and you can get out there and dig to your heart’s content.
This is what I thought of this morning when I decided to share something with you titled, ‘Ten Golden Rules For Beating Stress.” I was looking through my files the other day and discovered this ‘Gem’ that is infinitely more valuable than any diamond that has ever been found and this not only includes Murfreesboro but South Africa and all the other places in the world where diamonds have been discovered. A reader had sent this to me several years ago and I had just tucked it back in my files, not really realizing what I had. Like many of the things I receive from others, this piece had no author listed so I can’t give he or she credit for it. After you read it however, see if you don’t agree that it contains more common sense as it relates to “Stress” than most things you have read on this subject.
As advertised, here are TEN GOLDEN RULES FOR BEATING STRESS. “No. 1..Take time for yourself. Do something your really enjoy and don’t feel guilty about it. It will refresh you. No. 2..Know what you can control and what you can’t do anything about. Sometimes the only thing we can do about a situation is change our attitude toward it. No. 3.. Divide responsibilities into what is really important and forget the rest. Learn to say “NO” to what is not important to you. Say “YES” when you mean “YES” and “NO” when you mean “NO.” It relieves tension.
No. 4.. Talk out things that are bothering you with a trusted friend. A listening ear can help put things in the proper prospective. No. 5.. Make the most of your mistakes, but do not expect perfection in yourself or others. We are all just human. No. 6.. Take care of your physical needs. Get enough sleep, nutritious food and exercise. Our body and mind work together. No. 7.. Pay attention to what is happening in your body. If you feel tense, stop what you are doing and calm yourself. Try to understand what is making you tense and either change your attitude or avoid the person or situation that stresses you.
No. 8.. Be your own best friend. Compliment yourself when you have done something you feel good about. Whisper nice things to yourself. No. 9.. Avoid hurry sickness. Why are we all in such a hurry? Try to slow down. Let the phone ringing remind you to relax. Every time you hear it ring, breath deeply two or three times. No. 10.. Count your blessings. Things could always be worse. We age not by years but by events and our reactions to them. Do not let insecurity, worry or tension drain precious energy.”
As I have read and reread these TEN GOLDEN RULES FOR BEATING STRESS I can see lots of things in there that can help me. I hope the same is true for you. Here I think it is also important to remind ourselves that a certain amount of tension and stress is good. It takes that for our body to react to the many challenges that we face each day. The problem comes when we let stress build up to a level that is unhealthy and don’t recognize it until it’s too late. This is one of those columns that you may want to send to friends or put on the refrigerator. As Will Rogers once said, “It’s just as important to be reminded as it is to be educated.” (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)