4 Philosophies to Eliminate Stress
In a previous post, I shared my stress story and explained how reading three books helped me gain a new perspective that would ultimately change my life.
One of those books was the New York Times bestseller, The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz. Don Miguel explains the source of self-limiting beliefs that steal our joy and create unnecessary suffering.
People who read and follow the Four Agreements often discover they are more compassionate and forgiving, and are “able to progress towards a healthier mental state,” according to Marilyn Mitchell, MD, in an article published in Psychology Today.
This was absolutely the case for me. By applying the principles I read about in The Four Agreements I was able to navigate with ease situations that would have previously sent me into a tailspin.
I also became a more dependable person which in turn increased the esteem I had for myself. I became my word and there is a strength in that.
I’ve listed the four agreements below – though they may seem overly simple, each one can serve as a powerful catalyst for lasting change in your life if you really implement it into everyday living.
1. Be Impeccable With Your Word.
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Keep your promises. Avoid speaking against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.
Quick tip: Integrity. There’s a lot of power packed into that nine letter word. Integrity is about honesty, honoring your values, and staying true to your word. When you lie, you lose your integrity. When you go against your values, you lose integrity. When you say you’re going to do something, then don’t do it…you lose your integrity. Use the power of your word to make a meaningful and lasting impact on those around you.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally.
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
Quick tip: The next time you feel yourself heating up over something someone said or did, take a quick breather and ask yourself, “Is this really worth my time and effort?” I’m not saying that you should just put up with anything and everything that comes your way. Just remember the old phrase, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Sometimes, you just have to let it go…
3. Don’t Make Assumptions.
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
Quick tip: Have you ever found yourself becoming defensive when confronted with a particular topic or when you’re in the presence of a person you don’t mesh well with? Don’t get defensive, because it will only trigger the same response from the other party. Being defensive focuses on the problem; shifting your focus away from retaliation gives you a better chance at reaching a solution.
4. Always Do Your Best.
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
Quick tip: In the words of Og Mandino, “Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.” This isn’t about avoiding failure at all costs. Always allow failure to be an option. You don’t have to be a superstar every moment of your life – just give it your best – and slay the dragons of self-doubt, self-hate, and self-denial. Give yourself permission to be human, and give yourself the gift of knowing you gave it your all.
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