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Quiet the noise!

Have you ever wished you were in a cartoon, and when all the noise got to be too much you could scream “QUIET!” and silence would prevail?

Jim & I were reading in bed on a recent cool summer night, with the windows open. He must have thought I was nuts when I turned and asked him this question. He didn’t notice the refrigerator running, the crickets chirping, or the frogs croaking. I wondered why he didn’t seem to notice it and for me, it was just too much noise.

I think, perhaps I noticed it, just slightly at first, but then I started to concentrate on the noise, instead of my book, The General and Mrs. Washington. Sort of like when you have an ache of some sort and you start concentrating on the ache, it seems to hurt more. I’m sure you’ve heard someone say, I can stomp on your foot and then your (whatever) won’t hurt anymore, right? Same thing. We tend to be more aware of the things we concentrate on.

So, how do we quiet the noise, or ease the pain? One simple thing would be to quit thinking about it so much.

After I got up to investigate the constant annoying noise, that turned out to be the refrigerator, I was able to get my mind back into my book. Soon, the frogs and crickets seemed to disappear while George was on his way to his inauguration in New York.

What annoying, or painful, things are you concentrating on these days? Could a simple shift in your concentration be a help?
Here are some ideas to get your mind off your woes…
• Read a book
• Listen to music
• Play a game with someone
• Call a friend
• Do a puzzle
• Take a hike and have a picnic
• Go on an exciting adventure
• Dance like no one is watching
• Give it up to God
• Insert your favorite distraction – grin

Sometimes, of course, the things we are concentrating on need to be addressed. Do not ignore the big stuff, but don’t sweat the small stuff. Find a fun, relaxing way to change your mind set.

*Pam Horton is a Certified Stress Management Coach.*

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