In the early 1930s, Reinhold Niebuhr was attributed to first creating the “serenity prayer” in his sermons. Winnifred Crane Wygal, a pupil of Niebuhr, included the prayer in her 1940 book, We Plan Our Own Worship Services,attributing it to Niebuhr. The prayer has been adapted and changed into what we read below today and is used in many mental health and 12-step programs.
To break down the ideas in this simple prayer:
- Don’t sweat small stuff
- Accept things you cannot control or
Let them go
- Pray more for wisdom and strength.
Stress and the Serenity prayer
This is a simple prayer or phrase to remember and remind yourself when you are feeling stressed out. It is freeing to realize that we do not have to control everything, as humans, we cannot control everything. Instead it is helpful to have a higher power to take control of the things we cannot control. Although, this statement can be adapted for people who do not recognize a higher power. The principles are still true, despite religion. You are only in control of yourself and no one else. While in life, there are many things that one cannot control, so the goal is to let those things go and not stress out about those things.
Having a counselor or life coach in your life can help you change your thinking to be more productive and positive. Counselors and Coaches hold their clients accountable for their thinking and their treatment goals.
Have you ever had an awesome idea that you wanted to get done but need help completing it? Accountability leads to success! It helps get results.
The numbers do not lie, people who have accountability in their life are a lot more likely to complete the goals they set out to accomplish. The point for today is to get help! Find a coach, counselor, mentor or friend to hold you to higher standards!
Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a common intervention that does really help people relax. This is a great, easy intervention that can be done in a chair or laying in bed. The image below shows the how-to steps. Basically, you focus your attention on one muscle group at a time by tensing/tightening the feet up for ten seconds then relaxing that same muscle group after ten seconds. Next you move to the next muscle group.
The chart above goes backwards from how most experts suggest doing this exercise. I find it is better to start with feet and then work up to the face, like the chart below shows.Another tip for this exercise is to remember to focus on breathing through-out the process. Attempt to take in deep belly breaths of oxygen. Remain as calm as possible and just relax. This exercise can put you to sleep, even after a long, stressful day at work. If you are having trouble focusing and doing this exercise alone, have someone else do it with you. Better yet, find a professionally trained counselor, social worker or life coach who can help you facilitate this intervention. This expert will help you remain calm, focus on breathing and learn to relax.
A very simple intervention to help reduce stress is to focus your thoughts and mind on the good things in life and off of the negative things in life. Take a moment to think of three things you are grateful for right now. Also list three things you like about yourself!
You may be surprised when you do start counting all the little blessings in life. They rally add up!
Especially in America, we are so blessed and have so much to be grateful for! What are you thankful for today?