How to handle stress and live a long time

It's Going to Be All Right
It’s Going to Be All Right

A young friend of mine is experiencing ulcer symptoms. She makes little money, her old car is breaking down and she wants to go back to college. She needs $600 to go back to college and though she works two jobs, saving up that much money is taking a long time.

Now the brakes pads on her car need replacing, something is going clackety-clack, etc, etc. No car, no job, no life is how she sees it.

I just gave her my talk on how to deal with stress and it’s so important I want to share it with you, too. It is time-tested and effective, and will prolong your life.

First remember Buddha’s First Noble Truth:

  1. S**t happens.

He says it more elegantly than that, but that’s what it means. S**t happens, count on it. If you’re not a fan of Buddha, try this from the Bible: “Many of the afflictions of the righteous.” The righteous? Yes. There’s a “precious promise” you won’t see posted up on many fridges.

What to do when s**t happens? Refuse to worry. Refuse to project the whole scenario into the future where everything is dust and ashes. How many things have you catastrophized about that actually happened? Very few and worrying just made you feel them as if they had happened-a waste of stress hormones and very bad for your health.  For the few that did happen, guess what? Worrying didn’t prevent them, did it? Something else did.

Instead of worrying, get busy contingency planning. If A happens I will do B. If C happens I will do E. Don’t know what to do? Ask your tribe. Someone in your tribe has the answer. No one expects you to know everything.

My young friend bought some brake pads and her dad will put them on for her. But she has to work two jobs tomorrow, so I offered to take the car to her dad after dropping her at work. I can’t do everything, I can’t fix all her problems, but I can do that.

And that’s my last bit of advice. You can’t fix everything; trying to fix everything will kill you.

But that little thing you CAN do-do that.

Update: The brakes are fixed and her dad is going to do the other repairs, though he works very long hours himself. She is happy. I told her to tell her dad that he is the hero of this story, because it’s these little acts of heroism and sacrifice that are REALLY impressive in this world. 🙂

Dad the hero, fixing breaks after getting off the night shift
Dad the hero, fixing brakes after getting off the night shift

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