Managing the stresses of day-to-day life is like going on a diet.
When we decide to lose weight, the only way to achieve long lasting results is to change the way we eat. Otherwise, when the fad diet ends and we go back to our normal eating patterns, the weight returns and we're right back where we started.
The same process applies to the stresses of everyday life. When a client tells me they've read my entire workbook in one sitting and think it's great, I know they're not going to see lasting improvement.
Why is that? Because simply having some knowledge or strategies is not the same as changing the way we perceive the world and changing our attitudes. Instead of using little tips and tricks - putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound - we have to decide to make a sacrifice of time, effort, and existing perceptions to create a new way of thinking.
New habits need to be practiced, just like when we learn to drive a car or play an instrument. Start with just one thing, keep practicing, and pick yourself up, dust off, and begin again when you fail. Add another skill, doing the same thing over and over. I encourage my workbook readers to start with Living in the Moment - since that's the most important skill of the entire program - and work on that for at least a week before moving on to the next skill. Changing our perceptions - and therefore our lives - requires effort.
Something wonderful happens when we make that life-changing decision and start to practice new life skills. Suddenly things that used to bother us aren't so important. We begin to recognize things we never appreciated before. Old injuries and prejudices drop away.
How committed to making a positive change are you? Only you can decide. Take ownership. Take control. Make the effort.