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  • Writer's pictureDr. Tim Ridley

A New Beginning

The meaning of a new beginning will vary from person to person. Some think of a new beginning as a fresh start with a new company. Others think of new beginnings as lifestyle changes like stressing less and enjoying life more.

Whatever your new beginning is, the first step is committing to starting. Most of us know people who stress over the smallest things and can’t seem to let things go. They worry, or allow others to worry them. They have drama in their life, or allow others to bring drama to them.

As a chaplain, I’ve met people who wanted to change their ways and live a drama free, less stressful life but have lived a stressed life for so many years, they didn’t know where to start. A great start is to let go of the things you can’t control.  Think of it like this: Most things are only a part of your life because you allow them to be or keep thinking about them. Maybe you allow people to bring drama into your life, even unknowingly.  Remember that positive things happen in your life when you emotionally distance yourself from the negative things. So stop holding on to things that causes you stress and make room for things that makes you happy. Create a “drama free” home and a “drama free” life. Refuse to allow people to bring drama to you. Don’t let what is out of your control interfere with the things you can control.  

Another step toward positive change is to change your outlook on life. Prepare your mind for positive things to happen. Expect and allow the unknown to take you to fresh and unforeseen areas in your life instead of allowing it to cause you to stress. Sometimes all you need to do is look at things from a different perspective. It’s like looking at the glass half full instead of half empty.

Also, remember that rest is good. Sometimes, we get carried away with “chasing the dollar” and forget that we need mental and physical rest as well. Constant work without a break, slowly breaks us down mentally and physically. When this happens, it’s easy to let the smallest issue get to you. It’s easy to become stressed out and frustrated. When we stress, we’re opening the door to stress-related illnesses and our body begins to break down. And we all know that when our health fails, we can’t make a living--and it’s easy to spend your life savings trying to regain your health.

Did you know that stress can permeate your entire being, and can show on your face? Let's smile more! Smiling not only helps to prevent us from looking tired, worn down, and overwhelmed; it can actually help reduce stress. Smiling even reduces stress when you don’t know you’re smiling.

Scientific studies have confirmed that a genuine smile is generally considered attractive to others around us and can also elevate your mood and the mood of those around you. Experts have found a strong link between good health, longevity, and smiling.

Whether we know it or not, we are naturally drawn to people who smile. What’s not surprising is that more severe or negative facial expressions like frowns, scowls, and grimaces actually work in the opposite manner, effectively pushing people away. Instead, use the attraction power of your smile to draw people in while reducing your stress level and helping you to be more healthy.

To summarize--stress less, smile more, don’t sweat the small stuff, enjoy life, rest, and don’t allow drama in your life as you travel through this new year and this new decade!!


Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash


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