Don't Sweat the Small Stuff Under Health and Stress

Don’t Sweat the Small
Fall Conference 2006
November 6-9, 2006
Asheville, NC
Practice Makes Perfect
• Remember that you become what you
practice most
• Shine the flashlight on What’s Right
– New theory called “Appreciative Inquiry”
Some people are always grumbling because
roses have thorns; I am thankful that
thorns have roses.
--Alphouse Karr
Your Possessions
• Think of what you have
instead of what you want
– A guarantee you will remain dissatisfied
• “I’ll be happy when…”
– Change the emphasis from what we want
to what we have
“In our daily lives, we must see that it is
not happiness that makes us grateful, but
gratefulness that makes us happy.” –
Living with Yourself
Most people would rather be certain
they’re miserable, than risk being happy.
-Robert Anthony
• Understand the statement:
“Wherever you go, there you are!”
• “What are people like in California?”
• “What are people like at home?”
• Carry a sense of inner peace
Broken Glass
“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he
shall never be disappointed.”
Alexander Pope
• See the glass as already broken
All of life is a constant state of change
You should not be surprised or disappointed
Feel grateful for the time you had it
Make peace with the way things are—
“Ah, there it goes—good while it lasted”
Narrow-sighted View
• Agree with your limitations and
they are yours!
– “I can’t do it,”
– “I can’t help it,”
– “I’ve always been that way!”
• You’ll look for ways to prove your
When one door of happiness closes, another one
opens, but often we look so long at the closed door
that we do not see the one that has been opened
to us.
--Helen Keller
This Time Next Year
• Ask yourself the question, “Will this
matter a year from now?”
• Play time warp
• Gives you needed perspective
I would die happy if I knew that on my tombstone
could be written these words, “This man was an
absolute fool. None of the disastrous things that he
reluctantly predicted ever came to pass.”
--Lewis Mumford
Life Isn’t Fair
• Do you expect life to be fair?
• Surrender to the fact that life isn’t
• We know it is not “life’s job” to make
everything perfect. It’s our challenge.
“If all our happiness is bound up entirely
in our personal circumstances, it is
difficult not to demand of life mare than
it has to give.”
Repeat to Yourself,
“Life Isn’t an Emergency”
“Don’t believe everything you think”
-- bumper sticker
• Who is telling you IT is an emergency?
• Don’t beat yourself up when you can’t
meet your own self-created deadlines
• Admit that, in most cases, you’re
creating the emergency
Practice Random
Acts of Kindness
• It is an effective way to get in touch
with the joy of giving without
expecting anything in return.
• It comes from the heart.
• It brings you more happiness than the
receiver of the gift.
Lock your house, go across the railroad
tracks and find someone in need and do
something for him.
--Karl Menninger’s
advise to a man who said he was going to have a nervous
Remember, You Always
have Choices
• We all go around thinking we don’t
have any choice
• Either we don’t want it badly enough
to pay the price, or
• We haven’t thought creatively enough
about how to get it.
If you choose not to decide—you still
have made a choice.
Neil Peart
When faced with an Obstacle,
Change, Leave, or Allow—with
• Decide which of the three obstacles
is most preferable and doable with
• These are really the only options.
• Practice for being happy, not being
Every day give yourself a good mental shampoo.
--Sara Jordan
Set Aside Quiet Time,
Every Day
• People who are considered to be
inwardly peaceful carve out at least a
little quiet time for themselves
– It helps to balance the noise
• Establish a ritual for yourself
In every part and corner of life to lose
oneself is to be a gainer, to forget oneself is
to be happy.
--Robert Louis Stevenson
• Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by
Richard Carlson, Ph.D.
• The Happiness Makeover: How to
Teach Yourself to Be Happy and
Enjoy Every Day by M.J. Ryan
• Trusting Yourself by M. J. Ryan
Don’t believe everything you think-- bumper sticker
The decision to be happy is actually the decision to stop being unhappy. -Barry Neil Kaufman
One always thinks others are happy– Yiddish saying
Most people are not willing to let go (of grudges) until they have something
more important to move on to. Jerry M. Ruhl
It is only possible to live happily-ever-after on a day-to-day basis.—
Margaret Bonnano
The truth is there is no better time to be happy than right now.