I like catchphrases. I don’t use many, but the ones I use I use a lot.
In Six Simple Rules for a Better Life, I wrote about a few. Two examples:
Mind Over Mattress, which helped me to get out of bed when I was getting into the routine of early morning exercise.
Eat the Big Frog First, which helps me tackle difficult and undesirable tasks right away rather than putting them off.
Today I want to talk just a bit about one I started using more recently. I would estimate it to have been around 2011, a couple of years into the financial crisis known as the great recession. My company was hurting and, though we all knew things would eventually improve, it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The very old proverb, This Too Shall Pass came to mind and became super helpful to me at particularly challenging moments. For example, on a day filled with an overwhelming amount of work, telling myself This Too Shall Pass reminded me that while the day would be stressful, the day would eventually end.
Or with longer term things, like a situation in October that wouldn’t be resolved until December, I would say to myself, “January will get here whether I deal with it the “anxiety way” or the ‘This Too Shall Pass’ way. I might as choose do the latter.”
That doesn’t mean the stress would disappear. There is always going to be some sort of stress. Life is full of it. The secret is handling it, managing it, and dealing with it. For me, the keys are exercise, eating well, sleep, and what I say to myself, like “This Too Shall Pass“.
My daughter spent a college semester in Australia last year. She was recently telling me what she learned about “This Too Shall Pass“.
“Before I went to Australia, I hadn’t taken classes requiring research papers. In Australia that’s all we did! At first, it stressed me out in a big way because I didn’t have a lot of confidence due to my lack of experience. But then I realized how due dates, whether if I hand something in or not, come and go, and when they pass, so too does the stress. Obviously not all problems that cause stress have a deadline.”
Her experience reminded me of something I read in an interview with NBA superstar Kobe Bryant. He said his daughter, at 11, told him she no longer was nervous about math tests. Her hands would formerly get clammy, but she got over it because she started thinking “once you take a math test, it’s done.”
What catchphrases do you use to help you to be happier, to be healthier, or to manage stress? Please join the conversation with your comments…