Five Secrets for Peace of Mind

Happiness is a Choice

Five Secrets for Peace of Mind

Start by Lightening Up

If you've ever been awake in the middle of the night all stressed out over problems or hurt emotions, sometimes you need a little extra help. Laughter, according to Proverbs 17:22 is therapeutic. A merry heart doeth good, like a medicine. Cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore found in their study that laughter may help prevent heart disease. They found that people with heart disease were 40 percent less likely to laugh in situations compared to people of the same age without heart disease.........Hey, if I had heart disease I might not be laughing all the time either, but you get the point.

Norman Cousins, the editor of Saturday Review, was diagnosed with a debilitating and irreversible illness. He found the hospital atmosphere made matters worse and so he went on a campaign to introduce as much humor in his days as possible, even setting up a screen and showing Marx brothers movies while he and the staff laughed the illness away and wound up beating the disease.

So is this cure for anxiety, laughter? The answer is close---in my hub, How to Be Funny 101, I pose that humor is really perspective and a positive perspective is something you can choose to have in any situation.

1. Make peace with others and yourself.

Dale Carnegie, the Win Friends and Influence People guru, in his chapter entitled, “You Can’t Win an Argument” cites an article from Bits and Pieces, offering a few suggestions on how to avoid or settle disagreements.

  1. Distrust your first instinctive impression. Our first natural reaction in a disagreeable situation is to be defensive. Be careful. Keep calm and watch out for your first reaction. It may be you at your worst, not your best.
  2. Control your temper. Remember, you can measure the size of a person by what makes him or her angry.
  3. Listen first. Give your opponents a chance to talk. Let them finish. Do not resist, defend, or debate. This only raises barriers. Try to build bridges of understanding. Don’t build higher barriers of misunderstanding.
  4. Look for areas of agreement. When you have heard your opponents out, dwell first on the points and area of which you agree.
  5. Be honest. Look for area where you can admit error and say so. Apologize for your mistakes. It will help you disarm your opponents and reduce defensiveness.
  6. Promise to think over your opponents ideas and study them carefully. And mean it. Your opponents may be right. It’s a lot easier at this stage to agree to think about their points than to move rapidly ahead and find yourself in a position where your opponents can say: “We tried to tell you, but you wouldn’t listen.”
  7. Thank your opponents sincerely for their interest. Anyone who takes the time to disagree with you is interested in the same things that you are. Think of them as people who really want to help you, and you may turn your opponents into friends.
  8. Postpone action to give both sides time to think through the problem. Suggest that a new meeting be held later that day or the next day, when all the facts may be brought to bear. In preparation for this meeting, ask yourself some hard questions:

Could my opponents be right? Partly right? Is there truth or merit in their position or argument? Is my action one that will relieve the problem, or will it just relieve my frustration? Will my reaction drive my opponents away or draw them closer to me? Will my reaction elevate the estimation good people have in me? Will I win or lose? What price will I have to pay if I win? If I’m quiet about it, will the disagreement blow over? Is this difficult situation an opportunity for me?

Clearing the slate with others does more than heal relationships. Forgiving others frees the one most imprisoned by anger and resentment--yourself.

Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past. ~ Lily Tomlin

2. Forgive yourself, accept and enjoy who you are.

He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass. ~George Herbert

Many of us come with baggage. Often that baggage is guilt over what we have done or did not do. The best way to free yourself to be a positive influence for others is to let that baggage go. We are told to forgive each other in the same way as God forgave us--- before we were worthy or even sorry. That may work well for others, but what about ourselves? We may be extremely sorry, but the worthy part is the part that bothers us. We don't feel like we deserve to excuse ourselves so we hang on to the guilt as it hangs on to us and weighs us down. God didn't wait for us to deserve it, so if we are to forgive as He did, we need to forgive ourselves as we are---undeserving, rebellious, selfish and even sometimes unrepentant. Just do it. Let it go. God already gave us the standard of our worth when he exchanged His own Son's life for ours. If He considers us that worthy, who are we to argue.

After forgiveness comes acceptance. Even your most glaring shortcomings are often strengths in disguise. If you are critical, maybe you have the ability to handle details. If you give off a lot of emotional energy, maybe you can persuade or entertain. If you are quiet, maybe you can be a great listener. Take the time to look at your qualities with tenderness and creativity.

Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look whch becomes a habit. ~Peter Ustinov

Don't take yourself too seriously. Learn to laugh at yourself as you celebrate your uniqueness. Visit some of my other humor hubs to lighten your day and your attitude.

The next three secrets are actually intended to be used as a set of habits which will liberate your soul and change your attitude permanently. They comprise the simple three-part prescription: THANK---ASK---THINK---Repeat as necessary

The Phillipians 4 Prescription set starts out with the (easy for you to say) instruction: Don't be anxious about anything...

3. Pray with Thanksgiving

Out of all the treasures in God's universe, that which He prizes most is gratitude.~Winsome

When you are awake in the night with the world on your shoulder and all the things you fear or worry about have filled up your thoughts, it's time to look around for things for which you are grateful. (It might help to keep a journal by your bed and add to it as you think of them.)Thank God for them--for as many as you can think of--then it's time for the next step:

4. Ask for what you need or desire

If you need help with your finances or your relationships or your job, just ask God for it. Be as specific as you can and as much as you are able, believe you will receive it. After a while doing this, praying--talking to God as you would a close friend--you will start to develop more confidence and ask with more conviction. The more conviction you have and the more expectant you become, you will start to act on the request even before you see it happen. That's probably the easiest definition of faith I know---turning the noun into a verb.

The last step or secret is the most fun.

5. Think about the good things

Mary Poppins said whenever she was afraid or upset she would think about her favorite things.The final secret is to merely concentrate on those things that are true, and honorable, and right. Those things that are pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. In my case, those things about my situation that I am thankful for are especially helpful. Good, uplifting humor--especially seeing the humor in your own experience can transform an otherwise hopeless situation into a hilarious and positive one.

"OK I've done all that" you say "and I'm still anxious, what now?" Well I'm so glad you asked that because I have an answer for you. If we could simply ask and rest upon the fact that it would be done, we wouldn't need these secrets. Lucky for us, God expects us to keep on asking if we need long as it takes for us to believe it will be done. So, if while you are thinking about all the good stuff---the worries and forebodings and hurts start trickling back in---just go back to step 3 and do steps 3-5 until they go away.

Thank--Ask--Think (Repeat as necessary)

If you have to go back all the way to step 1, that's ok too. I promise you they will go away and as the passage in Philippians concludes: His peace will guard your hearts and minds... I can't promise you will fall right back to sleep because you might have had two or three pepperoni pizzas before you went to bed and there's a whole other hub page for that. =:)

I hope this was of help to you. Please try it out--it has worked for me and many others I have known. Leave a comment and let me know how it works for you.

I have given you a lot of humorous material in my other hubs, but I intend to create another with "Wonderful Things to Think About" ---Stories of people who are patient, kind, generous, modest, humble, polite, obliging, calm, forgiving, amiable, benevolent, good, protective, trusting, persevering, hopeful, inspirational, beautiful and courageous--to help you with step 5.

We are not Grateful Because we are Happy, We are Happy Because We are Grateful ~Winsome

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Comments 27 comments

JBeadle profile image

JBeadle 7 years ago from Midwest

A very informative hub. Especially the keeping your head parts. I kind of had a tantrum this morning and if I'd just kept my head I'd have saved myself all sorts of embarassment. I'll re-read this before I go over and deal with the whiners in my fantasy football league! Thanks Winsome. On your pic though... is the church helping with "worries" or the "killing"?

Winsome profile image

Winsome 7 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Thanks J. On the church, hopefully neither--just good fun.

Madison22 profile image

Madison22 7 years ago from NYC

This is a fantastic hub, great points. Bookmarked!

Winsome profile image

Winsome 7 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Thanks Madison22. I appreciate your visits and value your comments.

amygem14 profile image

amygem14 7 years ago

In times like these this message is one to read and re-read again! How easy it is to get sidetracked or frustrated and let anxiety take over. Thanks for the tips! Great hub!

Winsome profile image

Winsome 7 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Thank you amygem, it helps we have so much to be grateful for.

Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 7 years ago from Michigan

Great Hub. Why is it Winsome that I can do this with everyone but my husband? If I could master my defensiveness with him I know we could achieve greater intimacy and friendship. I'd like for you to visit a hub I wrote on forgiveness - appreciate any and all feedback. I'm bookmarking this and going to practice controlling my reactions toward hubby.

Winsome profile image

Winsome 7 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Thanks Mekenzie. The reason you have a hard time with the ones you love is that you expect so much more understanding from each other. You also know each's raw spots. When one of you crosses that line, the hurt and disappointment takes over. Try quicker time-outs and pay attention to the triggers and talk it over without blame when you both cool down. It gets easier as you are aware and avoid the sensitive areas. Keep talking, that's the key. W.

Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 7 years ago from Michigan

Thanks for the words of wisdom - As a result of this Hub I am already responding to a check in my spirit before I react .. That's HUGE. Thanks again. Blessings

Winsome profile image

Winsome 7 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

So happy the words help. I always appreciate yours.

Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

A well written, wise hub Winsome. I look forward to reading more!

Winsome profile image

Winsome 7 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Thank you GL, I also am looking forward to reading yours. They say that experience comes from mistakes and wisdom comes from experience. =:)

bayoulady profile image

bayoulady 6 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

Love this. A little different from the chuckles and humor, but ever so awesome!

Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hey BL, glad you liked it--this one had a lot of calories, not light like some of my hubs, but you gotta have protein sometimes, right? =:)

Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Words of wisdom, enjoyed reading this Hub. As for the pic: That Methodist church needs some help with their grammar! I doubt that was the message they had hoped for...but it is so funny!

Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Yes SN they certainly do. It reminds me of the church bulletin announcement: "Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Don't forget your husbands."

Thanks for the visit and the kind words. Try the Phil 4 method if you ever need it, it really helps. =:)

Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Thanks..."Don't be anxious about anything..." I like it and try to be upbeat most of the time...course I am human and prone to digress.

Church bulletins with errors can be hilarious...mostly because they are dead serious and end up having those great double meanings! Wonder how many husbands they got "rid" of?

Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 5 years ago from Great Britain

Great hub. Thank you. I must read more ,now that I´ve found you.

Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hey DF, so good to see you. Thank you for stopping by, I have enjoyed reading your work. You might enjoy my "Why is the Secret to How," the story of the writing of "Man's Search for Meaning" fascinated me when I read it. =:)

fucsia profile image

fucsia 5 years ago

I can learn a lot from this page. Thanks

Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Fucsia, you are very welcome. It was a lifesaver for me when I was under a lot of stress. I hope you never experience that kind of stress, but if you do I recommend it. As a wise woman once said: "first we dream and then we make it a reality for us." Thank you for visiting and for the nice comment. =:)

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago

Ok. Well, as far as #2, I must be huge lol. In fact, I've been told I'm much too easy going. It takes a great deal for me to blow my top :) I'm often asked if I ever get mad.

I do have some things that help me calm down. Those include talking to a dear friend, lighting candles and putting on soothing music. It's when I'm working that I really need things other than my lunch hour to keep me calm and focused.

Many of those things you mention I have come to put into practice with my interaction with others, especially with family. One of my qualities is that I am a good listener and I think that may be because when I was growing up, I was told to keep quiet and do not interrupt when someone is speaking. Sometimes easier said than done though lol.

These are great things to remember and to put into practice. You are right about writing in a journal. It seems though that when I'm home, I'm too busy digesting all the things that occurred during the week. In fact, I have one hub in the works which I haven't gotten back to in a few weeks. I've learned that I get writer's block quite often, so maybe I do need to do daily writing in a journal. That would probably give me a few light bulb moments that I can translate into a new hub :)

Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

You are absolutely right Trish, sometimes just getting it down will propel you in the right direction when it comes time for writing. I have not been comfortable having a "daily rant" kind of hub, but if I put my junk into a journal I can translate that into something positive. Thanks for reading, I'm glad it was helpful. =:)

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 5 years ago from Philippines

No matter how careful we are with our dealings with others, some insensitive others hurt us. I don't want to dwell in hurts so I open up to the person, mustering all the tact I can so as not to make matters worse. Most often, that person doesn't accept that he hurt me.

My problem is, how do you forgive one who treats you this way? I just let my guilt baggage die down in time. This hub offers great alternatives I'll consider the next time. Thank you.

Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Lita, I really appreciate your thoughtful and heartfelt comment. I have thought about that very thing and I was reminded that Jesus asked the Father to forgive the ones who crucified him saying: "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." If Jesus could forgive someone who didn't even know what they were doing I guess I should be able to do that too.

Even if the person knows and is just too stubborn to admit it, I think it still holds true--after all, we forgive because we have been so generously forgiven, not because the other person is repentant. The good news is that we are released immediately from the prison of our own bad feelings.

I think the only baggage we should ever carry is a pocketful of rainbows to share with those who have had more than their share of rain. =:)

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

A great hub and thanks for sharing.

I now look forward to reading more of your hubs.

Take care


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Eiddwen, it is my pleasure. Thank you for visiting and the read. May you have excellent peace. =:)

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