Question: I prefer stability and routine to big changes and drama, but the latter seem inevitable. That’s unsettling. How can I learn to handle changing circumstances so they don’t rock my world so much?
Answer: You’re right; change is inevitable. In fact, life is a never-ending series of twists and turns. Growing up takes about 20 years; growing into the person God wants takes a lifetime. Helping our children through their growing pains changes us nearly as much as it does them. When those dearest to us go through upheavals, it affects us too. Relationships at every level evolve continually. Big-picture issues—the economy, politics, the environment—affect us. We can’t escape changes, but we can learn to make the most of them. Here’s how:
One of the most important aspects of maintaining good health is exercise. This can include sports, resistance training, walking, stair climbing, and anything else that gets the heart pumping, blood circulating, and muscles working. Here are a few of the benefits of an active lifestyle.
Increased energy. Feeling tired after a hard day? A brisk walk, jog, or bicycle ride around the block will get oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood flowing to all parts of your body, and you’ll feel refreshed.
If you’re looking for ways to make those you love feel special and appreciated, here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Put it into words. Those three little words—“I love you”—are still the best way to make sure those you love know it. Say them often.
The 19th-century British preacher Charles Spurgeon said something that to me defines the role of a Christian in regard to prayer. “As artists give themselves to their models, and poets to their classical pursuits, so must we addict ourselves to prayer.”
I must admit, though, that at times I have had a hard time maintaining a strong prayer life. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to pray—to the contrary—I just had a hard time sticking to my good intentions. It seemed that whenever I’d try to pray, thoughts would flood my mind and I would quickly find myself embroiled in other things.
Variety is the spice of life. This certainly has proven true in my prayer life. Here are a few things that have worked for me at different times.
Prayer list. When I began taking a few minutes every day to pray for others, I simply prayed for whoever came to mind. I soon found, however, that there was almost no end to people and situations that needed divine intervention. To make the most of my prayer time, I needed to get organized, so I started keeping a written list. I don’t have time to pray for every item on my list every day, so I keep track by checking off each item as I pray for it. When I get to the bottom, I start over with another series of checkmarks. I also add new items as new needs arise, and mark items “Done!” when God answers.
Question: I realize that prayer is important, and I want to use it to connect with God, but it never seems like I have the time. How can I fit it into an already busy day?
Answer: It takes time to communicate with anyone, including God. There’s no way around it. It’s a mistake, though, to think of time spent in prayer as time that could have been better used to get other things done, because if you take time to pray, you’ll be able to get a lot more done than you would otherwise. It’s an investment, but once you start reaping the benefits, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it. Here are a few tips to help get you started:
In the last few years, psychologists and researchers have been digging up hard data on a question previously left to philosophers: What makes us happy? Researchers like the father-son team Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener, Stanford psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, and ethicist Stephen Post have studied people all over the world to find out how things like money, attitude, culture, memory, health, altruism, and our day-to-day habits affect our well-being. The emerging field of positive psychology is bursting with new findings that suggest your actions can have a significant effect on your happiness and satisfaction with life. Here are 10 scientifically proven strategies for getting happy.
The advantages of learning to live by the less-is-more tenet are many. Contemporary lifestyles and habits have a way of blinding us to those benefits, in part by keeping us so busy that we seldom stop long enough to carefully consider what we’re doing. We “move with the groove,” but that groove may be depleting us of precious funds, health, and happiness. A few ways to “move your groove” are:
One of the best things to keep in mind when organizing your work is to not give yourself more to do than you can manage. Set priorities and work through your to-do list at a sustainable pace, starting with the most important or urgent items and doing what you can each day. Then you will have the satisfaction of knowing you used your time and energy wisely, and you will be that much closer to your goals when you start work the next day.
Most people, it seems, fall into one of three broad groups when it comes to their level of dedication and initiative, their work ethic, and how much they’re able to accomplish.
These three groups are the minimizers, the maintainers, and the maximizers. Minimizers do as little as they can get away with, and maintainers do only what is needed to maintain the status quo, but maximizers are ready and willing to go the distance; they are focused on moving closer to their goal, even though they know it will cost them in time and energy.