Often, it appears that life is running us. It feels like our circumstances are beyond our control.

This may, in fact, be true to some extent, but you don’t have to become the Victim. You don’t have to eliminate any circumstances of your life in order to feel better about them–but you must change your relationship and your mental dynamic toward them.

You can learn to differentiate between stress that is simply a part of life (that we can’t do anything about) versus the stress that is self-created due to the mental dynamic that’s going on in our heads. (Much of our stress is truly in this self-created category!)

It may be true that at this time in your life, your circumstances are difficult. Perhaps you feel unsupported as you have the added responsibility of caring for your aging mom or dad… and you have your own family to care for… and you work a more-than-full-time job. And, to top it off, there’s limited resources, and you are the only one to manage those as well. Yes, it would be a lot for any one person to manage and would appear to create a lot of stress. Eventually, you begin to feel tired and worn out. But you are in charge of you.

Here’s your fork in the road and your inquiry: What, if anything, in my life is negotiable, and how can I keep my attitude in a good place so that I feel happier and not defeated in this busy time?

The first thing is to understand that when you are low, your thoughts are going to be low. Stop engaging with those thoughts in a conversation in your head that will keep bringing you lower.

Secondly, we can learn to not let the small things bother us and chip away at our energy reserves that we need for managing our busy lives. This means learning to recognize that we have the capacity to change the way we think and react to the events around us.

Know with full confidence that you are in charge. Know that you ultimately decide whether or not you are going to allow something or someone to bother you.

It’s imperative to be aware that you are in charge of you and your attitude no matter how busy life appears—no matter what new stuff is thrown at you.

There will always be twenty-four hours in a day. Every moment will be filled with something.

The way to live vibrantly–no matter what–is to stay present and not engage in negative thinking when you’re low. Do your best to carve out some times of joy in your day. Be in the conversations you have. Be present in the simple act of driving or grocery shopping, on your lunch breaks, early in the morning, or at night as your head hits the pillow. Notice those small moments to breathe deeply and be grateful for the small things. Do your best to get plenty of rest and take care of your own physical health in the ways you can.

Please know that you are doing the best you can do with the circumstances at hand, and you are in charge of how you think about those circumstances. Remember, this too shall pass—all things are temporary.

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