We are all familiar with NBS, CBS or ABC, but I really think they should change the call letters to NFS, never feel safe. Why not? Isn’t that the real intent of the media to make us all feel that at any minute of any day something awful is going to happen. After all how else do you get someones attention, especially in these times, since most people can’t spend more than a few minutes on any one thing. I was watching the news the other night and the meteorologist came on and started to gush over how lucky we have been, but, don’t get too complacent because a cold front was coming in and we could be in for some unreliable weather patterns. I love some of the descriptions they use. What is a cold front? How about it’s going to get cold in the next few days. Why the drama? Am I supposed to get out my sled dogs and fur parka? Then the news anchor came on and reported that the job market is increasing. But don’t get too excited, since his very next sentence was that gas prices are going up. So, I guess that means you might get a job put you won’t be able to afford getting there. Next he shared that real estate sales were up, BUT, foreclosures were up too. Encouraging to say the least. By this time I was starting to twitch, but he wasn’t done. There has to be a segment on health, but it’s never about how many people might be healthy. Oh no, we need to know that sixty three percent of the population is obese and that the morbidity rate will be higher in the younger generations. Now we go to commercial and see one for a soft drink that has at least twenty teaspoons of sugar in it. Followed by a cholesterol medication that has enough side effects to kill you, but not to worry they’re only secondary effects. They might do some damage like loss of hearing or blindness but hey your cholesterol went down. Okay, I’m not quite suicidal so let’s finish the segment with some global news, filled with murder and mayhem. The last three minutes have a report on someone or something that actually elevates the human condition. But, let’s face it, if you want a good night’s sleep don’t watch the news just before you retire for the night. In fact take a “news fast” every once in a while it will definitely reduce your stress levels.
Over the years I have found that the best way for me to enter the day is to sit quietly with my coffee and simply be with the silence. This has not always been possible due to a career that has taken me on the road for over thirty years. Some of the individuals I traveled with loved to start their day by flicking on the TV so they could be informed about the latest happenings around the globe, or they would start chatting on the phone. After all they might be missing an announcement about the end of the world. I would try desperately not to have a rise in blood pressure, but it was very difficult. I desperately needed to give myself time to get ready for the day which was often filled with lots of talking, book signing and more travel, all of which can be very stressful. Yes, I believe in different strokes for different folks, but the latest greatest research on how we can navigate our lives without feeling crazy by the end of the day, states that getting your brain in the right zone starts by how you greet the day. I know this can be very difficult when you have kids and they begin their “woodpecker drills” as soon as they open their eyes. But it is possible to set your alarm to go off a few minutes early so you can lie awake in bed and allow your thoughts to focus on how grateful you are for what you have and not what you need to do. In fact I believe this could be a great lesson to teach your children. Today’s kids are suffering from stress overload. If you allow yourself to be led by the incessant inner chatter you will leave your house feeling like a whirling dervish and your body will be in a vigilant state ready to slay a dragon. There was a time when we could put things off and get away with it. But with the advent of e-mail, texting and cell phones, you are pretty much at the mercy of ASAP. It doesn’t matter where you are, you can’t hide from the technology that demands immediacy. Your only defense is to learn to create good mental habits that allow your brain to have mini-vacations from the cacophony of daily life. The ultimate irony is that productivity increases when we take time out to refresh ourselves. Lily Tomlin said it best” The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat”.