Great Ways to Stop Summer Stress
Remember when you were a kid and you couldn’t wait for summer vacation to start? Now that you’re an adult, vacations often mean standing in line, sitting in traffic, and dealing with economic stress. Instead of letting stress get you down, remember that it’s not the situation that causes stress but how you interpret the situation.
In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey writes about being on a crowded subway with a man whose children were out of control. Covey was getting irritated, until he learned that they were returning from the hospital where the man’s wife had just died. Covey’s attitude instantly shifted from stress to sympathy.
Avoiding stress can be as simple as changing your beliefs. Suppose someone steals your cell phone while you’re on a trip. You could rant about the inconvenience, or you could choose to believe that your phone was taken by a struggling waiter with five starving kids. When you don’t know the real story, why not choose one that makes you feel good? Wouldn’t you rather think your phone helped to feed five hungry children?
In Be Nice (Or Else!) I wrote about circles of influence. You have an influence on everyone you come in contact with. You can be waiting in line with perfect strangers, and your attitude and behavior can make or ruin their day. If you want to stop summer stress, start with your circle of influence. Go out of your way to say hello to hotel clerks, cleaning people, flight attendants, restaurant staff, and all the other wonderful, humble, talented individuals who make your life easier through their service. When you’re traveling, keep your eyes open for elderly people and parents traveling with kids. Hold the door, help with the stroller, and offer to help with their bags.
Think of how you feel when a charming stranger pays you a compliment or smiles and sincerely wishes you a wonderful day. Those chance meetings can be amazing gifts, and those simple gestures can make someone’s day.
Thanks for helping me live my fantasy of spreading this BE NICE message and giving nice people a voice.
A BE NICE Story
Do you have a BE NICE story to share? Send it to stories@BeNiceOrElse.com. If it appears in the newsletter, you’ll receive a BE NICE T-shirt and CD!
At a Washington, DC, metro station on a cold January morning in 2007, a man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After three minutes, a middle-aged man noticed the violinist, stopped for a few seconds, then hurried to meet his schedule. Four minutes later, a woman threw a dollar in the hat and continued to walk. After six minutes, a young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.
After ten minutes, a three-year-old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.
When the musician finished playing, silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition. Only seven people had stopped to listen for a short while. The musician collected a total of $32.17, contributed by a mere 27 of the passing travelers.
No one knew it, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin valued at $3.5 million. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the price of seats averaged $100.
This true story was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and people’s priorities. The questions raised: In a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?
One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made, what else are we missing?
BE NICE News
NEW! Winn Claybaugh Interview on DailyBreathe.com
Expert Wisdom is a monthly audio program featuring interviews, success secrets, and inspiring stories from courageous people doing extraordinary things. This month, Higher Mind Breath Institute Director Christian Gurgone interviews renowned speaker, author, and entrepreneur Winn Claybaugh. Join Winn and Christian for a powerful and thought-provoking discussion on success, life, and living within a beautiful mind.
CLICK HERE to listen to Winn Claybaugh on DailyBreathe.com.
High Praise for Be Nice (Or Else!)
In a recent edition, Shape.com online magazine recognized John Paul Mitchell Systems Chairman and CEO John Paul DeJoria as one of four Natural Leaders. “Whether they’re trying to improve the world by contributing less to overburdened landfills or by spreading knowledge about how torespectfullytap the planet’s riches to look beautiful, these pioneers from different sectors of the beauty business all serve Mother Nature,” the article said.
Asked for his top tips for happiness, DeJoria listed three things:
- Get your hair cut, styled or blown out at a salon. “Self-esteem starts at the top,” says DeJoria.
- Smile. Starting your day off with a smile makes all the difference, says DeJoria, who adds: “Happiness should come first, health second, and wealth third.”
- Read Be Nice (Or Else!) by Winn Claybaugh, a book about making kindness a part of your daily life. “This book makes you feel good instantly,” says DeJoria.
Monthly Audio Message
Michael Day, DC, BS
A debilitating bout with chronic fatigue syndrome led Michael Day to become a wellness advocate, speaker, and holistic chiropractic physician at the Advanced Wellness Center in Long Beach, California. Using chiropractic, muscle care, nutrition, rehabilitation, lifestyle, and yoga to access the deep healing capabilities in each patient he sees, Michael inspires his patients to reach within and find answers to their health goals. He believes that all people have their own paths to healing and he takes great joy in assisting his clients on their individual journeys.
An avid surfer, Michael loves all forms of exercise and water activities. He has worked at such professional events as the Boost Mobile Pro (part of the Association of Surfing Professionals’ world tour), the U.S. Open of Surfing, the Los Angeles Derby Dolls, and the Oceanside Ironman Triathlon. With a heart for service, he has volunteered in Africa, Jamaica, and Mexico, as well as local events with organizations such as the Life Rolls On Foundation, Rock Harbor Church, Justin Rudd Community Action Team, and the Surfrider Foundation.
In this month’s MASTERS interview, Michael joins Winn Claybaugh to talk about the dos and don’ts for unleashing a life filled with increased energy, health, and prosperity. There’s no holding back when Michael strikes out against unhealthy substances like cigarettes, colas, sugar, and caffeine. He also delivers a long list of powerful habits that will lead to a healthier you.
CLICK HERE to join Michael Day and take your first steps on the path to health and wellness.
Visit Michael Day’s popular health blog at http://daywellness.wordpress.com and his Web site at www.daywellness.com for more information and cutting-edge health tips.
If you enjoyed this month’s audio message, CLICK HERE to join the thousands of subscribers all over the world and receive MASTERS Audio Club for just $12.95 each month.
An Unforgettable Flight
By Beverly Blass (as told by Denny Kukich)
This story appeared in Renewed and Ready: Adventist Living for Today in July 2008 and quickly spread through the Internet. Whether it’s true or a work of inspirational fiction, the hero teaches a wonderful way to be nice while traveling. (The following version has been shortened from the original.)
Just before takeoff, ten soldiers came down the airplane’s aisle and took the seats surrounding me. ”Where are you headed?” I asked the nearest one. “Chicago, to Great Lakes Base,” he said, “and then we’re being deployed to Iraq.”
After about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for $5. As I reached for my wallet, I overheard a soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch. “No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. I’ll wait till we get to Chicago.” His friend agreed.
None of the solders were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a $50 bill. “Take a lunch to all those soldiers.” Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. “My son was a soldier in Iraq; it’s almost like you are doing it for him.”
After we finished eating, I headed for the rest room. A man stopped me. “I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.” He handed me $25. Soon after I returned to my seat, the flight captain came down the aisle and shook my hand. “I was a soldier and a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.” I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.
Later I walked to the front of the plane to stretch my legs. A man about six rows ahead reached out his hand to shake mine, leaving another $25 in my palm. When we started to deplane, a man stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, and walked away without saying a word. Another $25!
Upon entering the terminal, I walked over to the soldiers and handed them the $75. “It will take you some time to reach the base. It will be about time for a sandwich. God bless you.”
Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers. These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only give them a sandwich. It seemed so little.
Ditch the Negative Drama
Years ago, a lovely woman who works for me made it almost a daily ritual to tell me all the negative drama and complaints from people at my business. She truly believed she was doing me a favor, and I think she thought it was a compliment that people brought her their problems and complaints.
One day I asked her, “Why are you so available for this information? Why do so many people want to dump their negative drama onto you?” After a long conversation and a reminder about our company’s very effective and positive system for expressing grievances, she finally realized she was not helping the individuals work out their problems, she was not bringing me information I could use, and she was instead bringing stress and bitterness upon herself and her coworkers. This lovely woman is now no longer available for negative gossip and drama.
To eliminate stress from your workplace, try these four ideas for replacing stress-producing drama with fun, positive activities.
- Create a “Caught Ya” board. Whenever a staff member sees a coworker doing something wonderful, they’re encouraged to “write them up.” A Caught Ya! message could read something like, “To Derrick: Thanks for surprising me by cleaning up the stockroom.” Keep preprinted “Caught Ya” cards near your board and display it in the lunch area or break room where the “spoons” usually hang outpeople who are back there stirring things up.
- What’s on your bulletin board? Take down anything negative and post stories of hope and inspiration for everyone to see.
- Devote time to a favorite charity. Doing something good for someone else brings your company together as a team and helps individuals step outside their own drama.
- Give people something to laugh about! It’s a medical fact that stress can lead to ulcers and other unfavorable physical calamities. When people laugh and have fun, their bodies release endorphinsthe ultimate “natural high.” Give your team a daily dose of healthfulness by making your workplace fun.
As a leader, you have choices in life. You can spend your day looking for problems, and guess what you’ll find? Or you can spend your day looking for reasons to celebrate your fellow team members. At the end of the day, you can go home feeling drained, exhausted, and bitter because of all the problems you discovered, or you can go home feeling energized and grateful because you spent your day focusing on things that empower both yourself and your team. The second choice makes you a visionary leader. Which type would you rather be?
CLICK HERE to download our Visionary Leadership poster in a printable PDF format.
Try Mental Feng Shui
For centuries, the ancient art of feng shui has taught people about placing and arranging their environment in ways to bring about harmony. A fun new version of “mental feng shui” offers a new twist on the old idea. I wish I knew who wrote this, but like many wonderful things circulating on the Internet, the author is unknown.
- Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
- Marry a man or woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
- Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have, or sleep all you want.
- When you say, “I love you,” mean it.
- When you say, “I’m sorry,” look the person in the eye.
- Be engaged for at least six months before you get married.
- Believe in love at first sight.
- Never laugh at anyone’s dreams. People who don’t have dreams don’t have much.
- Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it’s the only way to live life completely.
- In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
- Don’t judge people by their relatives.
- Talk slowly but think quickly.
- When someone asks you a question that you don’t want to answer, smile and ask, “Why do you want to know?”
- Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
- Say “bless you” when you hear someone sneeze.
- When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
- Remember the three Rs: Respect for self, respect for others, and responsibility for your actions.
- Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
- When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
- Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
- Spend some time alone.
Try “mental feng shui” to relieve stress and bring more peace and harmony into your mind and into your life.
Quotes of the Month
“When you feel dog-tired at night, it may be because you’ve growled all day long.”
“A happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.”
Winn Claybaugh’s Be Nice (Or Else!) The Newsletter!
Copyright © 2009 by Winn Claybaugh. All rights reserved.
Editor: Gail Fink