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We all have our “if only’s.” I’m sure you and I could fill in this blank several times over. For example, “I would be happy if I was thinner.”

Happiness is a state of mind, not in the conditional future, but in every present moment.  The mind only tries to trick us into the idea that happiness and peace are somewhere in the future if we just “do this” or “do that” first.

Happiness is a state of mind, not in the conditional future, but in every present moment.

I often hear this about the stress management practices we recommend in the Ornish Program. “If I could just clean out that old room, I would have a place to practice.” “If only I could finish this project, then I could find time to practice.” “When things calm down, I will find some time to take care of myself.”

Somehow that time never seems to come.

When you try to “fit” the stress management practice into your busy life, it’s hard to become established in a daily routine. There is always something that seems more important in the moment than being still or going inward; something that always gets in the way.

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For that reason, we often remind and encourage our participants to put stress management (peace) first. Let your life organize around your daily practice. Pick a time for practice and honor it daily. Then your life will take shape around that.

This says to the universe, I matter. My health and well- being come first.

Sitting quietly in meditation, breathing, moving the body with attention and awareness are all practices that deliver us back to what’s most vital within ourselves. When we find peace inside of ourselves, everything else falls into place.

How have you put your own peace first this week?


Contributed by

Susi Amendola
Stress Management Specialist

What have you done to remind yourself of the things that have meaning for you?

Better Health Begins With You...

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