Serenity as a Cushion For Less Stress and Greater Joy

February 27, 2013

How would you like to achieve a state of greater joy and happiness in balance with less stress in your life?  You might wonder: “Can I really reduce stress and increase my joy?”  “Can I effectively and permanently increase joy, happiness, and the feeling of really loving life, while decreasing stress at the same time?”  Apply the techniques I describe below, and the answer is a resounding ‘yes’.  It is possible to lessen stress and increase joy, when you use Serenity as a Cushion.

As you decrease stress in your life, what ultimately happens is an increase in greater joy.  Since many people tend to have so much stress going on in their lives and minds, they need a practical way to learn how to decrease it.  First, people can shift their perceptions, attitudes and focus toward increasing joy, happiness and serenity – or thoughts of peacefulness.  One emotional state replaces the other.  Decrease stress and automatically joy, happiness and serenity increase.  It is a natural occurrence.  People do not actually have to try harder to be happy or joyful.  What they can learn to do is decrease their stress.

For years, people have looked outside of themselves at things that agitate them, as the focus for how to decrease their stress.  They think that if they could only change outside events, change their spouse, their boss, their children, their neighbors, or maybe even the house they live in, their stress will decrease.  Possibly traveling more or increasing the amount of money in their bank account, buying a different wardrobe, more jewelry or a different set of golf clubs, are all things that people have come to believe could make them happier or more joyful.   People believe they need those things to feel better.

Reality is that those external things will only bring temporary satisfaction or increased joy.  Yes, a new set of golf clubs might make you may feel pretty darn great for a while, but how long will that last?  If you got the new house or a certain amount of money in the bank, or if you did succeed at noticing your spouse has changed, you might feel a temporary lift in your joy.   But I can almost give you a 100% guarantee that your misery, sadness or stress will be there the next time your neighbor does something you do not like, your bank account drops below an amount you want to maintain, or your golf clubs do not pull through for you on the course the way you had hoped.  So what can you do?

I want to give you the opportunity to consistently decrease stress by shifting your thought pattern in a way that steadily increases your joy, and I will illustrate how to do that through the use of a quote.  Although the quote is actually a prayer, I will say up front that it does not matter what religion you are or if you are even religious.  I refer to praying as a way of silencing your analytical mind and controlling your ego, so you can focus your thoughts, let go, and invite powers greater than yourself into your life; however you perceive those powers to be.

Here’s a quote, I pray for quietness to help me cure my own emotional instability.  Let me use serenity to cushion the impact of whatever happens outside of me.”

“Pray for quietness”.  How often do you actually ‘pray for quietness’?  Again, like my examples above, a lot of people pray or hope for outside events to change; they would like their spouse to be a certain way, life, children, work, etc.  What happens instead, if you pray for quietness to help you cure your own emotional instability?  Have you considered that maybe emotional instability can come from your own mind not being quiet, and not just outside factors that are out of our control?  I strongly believe it does, and have found much success as I have applied the quote to my own life.  You can too.

Your own emotional instability can come from the constant chatterbox of your analytical mind that continues to think things should be a certain way, based on your perception and ego.  This is quite common among most people, including myself.  How often do you attempt to quiet your analytical mind that says; “the neighbor should not do that”, “the dog should not bark that much”, “I should be further along in my career”, “my boss should not treat me this way”, and so much more?  All that chatter in your analytical mind is largely responsible for your stress and feelings of instability, or the emotional roller coaster ride up and down that you may experience.  As you start to pray for quietness, you take control of what you actually can control, which will begin to reduce stress and increase joy in your life.

So take a moment each day to pray, for …”quietness to help me cure my emotional instability…”.  That is a great place for you to start.  Begin to take a look at what is really causing upset or emotional instability from within, even though your first tendency is to look at outside people or events.  If you pause long enough and consider what I am saying, you will find that it is your own analytical, judgmental, chattering mind that controls your stress and joy.  Starting to quiet your mind is truly an amazing thing. Your mind plays a big part in the emotional upset and stress you suffer, but you can control your own mind.

Next; …”Let me use serenity to cushion the impact of whatever happens outside of me.”  That part of the quote acknowledges that there are external events, situations and people that may also upset you, and they are likely outside of your ability to control.  I do not mean to ignore outside factors completely, nor am I saying that instability is only caused by your own mind or emotions.  There are outside events or triggers such as divorce, job-loss, victimization, financial difficulties, war, and others that obviously exist.  But you can learn to use serenity to cushion the impact of whatever happens outside of yourself, on those things that are outside your power to control.

Ultimately, absolutely, I can control myself.  You can control yourself.  That means each one of us can control our thoughts, emotions, personal stability, instability or reactions to outside events.  I have control over myself alone, just as you have sole control over yourself.  However, I have limited control over anything outside of me, if any control at all.  Same is true for you.

There are varying degrees of what you can impact and what you cannot, depending on whether or not you insert yourself into a given situation.  You will also find that the more you try to change something or someone, based on your own ego or preferences, the more you might cause it to have the opposite effect you desire.  Meaning, if you want your husband to act a certain way and you keep nagging him, getting angry with him or even trying to manipulate him to be more like the way want him to be, the actual likelihood of him changing decreases significantly.  His defenses and protective mechanisms come up, and he is then more likely to maintain or increase the behaviors that frustrate and upset you or increase your stress.  You cannot change someone else to suit your preferences, you need to let that go in order to reduce your stress and increase your joy.

By letting go, tapping into your own quietness and serenity, you will find that you can calmly make requests or suggestions about someone or something you would like to see changed.  However, you have to be prepared to let go of the outcome since you are not in 100% control of what happens outside of you.  If you allow external events to continually stir you up you put yourself on an emotional roller coaster ride; and you are not being fair to the one thing you do have control over; yourself.  You are capable of quieting your mind and seeking serenity as a cushion, which will help you reduce stress and increase joy.

Please, digest some of these statements and see how they resonate with you.  Seek evidence of areas in your own life where your mind and thoughts have increased your stress and decreased your joy, but are out of your control.  Do not just take my word for it.  See if you can find evidence of this being true for you personally.  Then go out and attempt to experience a more ‘quiet mind’; one with less judgment or analysis, and begin to cure your own emotional instability.  You will start a positive journey towards a less stressful, more joyful future.

I am available to help you get started on your journey anytime.  Reducing stress and increasing joy requires diligence, being mindful and aware of your thoughts, and constantly working towards knowledge of things out of your control.  As you practice serenity, acceptance, and trust in things you cannot change, and you work on changing the things you can, use serenity to cushion the impact of whatever external events do happen.  With a quiet mind and serenity as your cushion, you can reduce stress and increase joy with great success!  Have an amazing day!

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