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Joseph Bonner - Joseph Magazine Cover

Staying Sane In An Insane World - Expert Life Coach Joseph Bonner

Staying Sane In An Insane World

It certainly is undeniable that we are living in very difficult times. Stress is high and income is low. Family, business and community morals and values globally are at an all time low. Mass shootings, terrorism and war casualties are on the rise. If that were not enough, the real threat of nuclear war has taken a front seat in the minds are hearts of humanity internationally. So the question is, how does one stay sane in a world that seems to be spiraling out of control.

Thankfully, there are daily practical steps everyone can take so as not be overly anxious about world conditions. Our list is not designed to be a solution to world problems. Our list is simply a means of coping with the increasing problems facing the world today.

De-stressing Morning

Staying Sane In An Insane World - Expert Life Coach Joseph Bonner

Our morning routine can set our entire day up for joy or stress depending on how we approach it. With a checklist of things to do, many of us wake up running through or morning shower, breakfast, news updates, goodbye kisses etc. Before we know it, we’re out the door with a high level of stress and a list of things to accomplish throughout the day. It’s important that we change that stressful routine if we are have a sense of tranquility throughout the day.

If you find yourself in that stressful routine the first thing in order is to wake up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than you normally do. This will afford you the opportunity to slow down your mornings a bit and distress.

Take your time through your morning shower and breakfast. Enjoy them!

While your are going through your morning routine, instead of thinking about what you need to do throughout the day, replace those thoughts with happy memories. (Note: You can use the night before to write out a list of things you need to accomplish the next day. See step 10 De-stressing Nights.) Think back to times when you enjoyed good company, good friendships and good memories. This positive meditation will put a smile on your face and get your morning started off right. You can also write down positive thoughts on note paper the night before and review them when you wake up in the morning.

Instead watching news in the morning or reading the newspaper, listen to relaxing music or a perhaps watch something positive that makes you laugh. This will set your morning mood to one of extreme positivity and relaxation. (You can listen to news updates in the car on your way to work or simply check the weather by looking out your window in the morning.)

Checklist Do’s and Don’ts : Destress Morning

  1. Wake up 30 min early.

  2. Meditate on happy memories in the morning.

  3. Listen to relaxing music and or watch something positive to make you laugh.

  4. Don’t watch the news in the morning, save that for your morning commute.

  5. Don't think about all the things you have to do throughout the day. Remember, you wrote your to-do list the night before and you can review it in the car before you start your morning drive.

Tranquil Commute

Staying Sane In An Insane World - Expert Life Coach Joseph Bonner

Driving in any city in any part of the world can be a very stressful experience. Stress can impact our level of concentration and can make our morning commute very dangerous. Modern technology and road rage antagonist can also increase the stress of our commute. A tranquil commute requires that we stay on the offense.

There are many ways that we can stay on the offense while driving. For example, we may have people trying to reach us in the morning by phone. Many people use their Bluetooth to connect their cell phone to their car or to an earpiece. However, we recommend that you wait until after your community to carry on lengthy conversations that require high levels of concentration. A quick call to the office letting them know your in traffic is quite different from having a business conference while you drive. Save the conference for a time that you will be able to give it your undivided attention.

Do not text while driving. Your life is more valuable than a text message. You can also place your phone in the trunk of your car so as to avoid the needless distraction.

Also, if you come across a driver who is rude, obnoxious and makes you want to scream there is a very simple antidote. Put on your favorite musical jam and shake it off. Literally, you can shake off negative emotions and thoughts by redirecting your mental concentration on something you enjoy. Also, tell yourself audibly or in your mind that the individual is not worth it. Avoid eye contact with aggravated drivers as this will only intensify the likelihood of an unwanted confrontation.

Checklist Do’s and Don’ts : Tranquil Commute

  1. Listen to music that will relax you during your morning commute.

  2. Place your phone in the trunk of your car so that you are not tempted to text and drive.

  3. Don’t take calls in the car that will require a great amount of concentration.

  4. Avoid eye contact with aggravated drivers.

Easy On The News Updates

Staying Sane In An Insane World - Expert Life Coach Joseph Bonner

While we pride ourselves in the ability to stay informed via the news, too much information can prove to be highly stressful and counterproductive. A good rule of thumb would be to stay informed enough to make good daily decisions. That being case, it may not be necessary watch the news every day.

Also, keep in mind that children have very impressionable minds. That being the case, it is not advisable for them to watch the news daily. When you do allow them to watch the news, be sure to have open conversations with them about how they feel about what they are seeing happening on the world scene. Allowing them to express themselves openly and honestly is fundamental in helping them relieve mental and emotional stress associated with watching the news.

Checklist Do’s and Don’ts : Easy On The News Updates

  1. Watch enough news to stay informed.

  2. Allow children to express their feelings on what they have watched on the news

  3. May not be necessary to watch the news everyday as adults.

  4. Do not allow children to watch the news every day.

Live Simply

Staying Sane In An Insane World - Expert Life Coach Joseph Bonner

The cost of living is on the rise while wages stay at record lows. It’s virtually impossible for many families to survive on one income so both partners and even the children work together to cover the high cost of living.

It’s important to live a simple life by keeping bills low and learning to be satisfied on having your basic needs met. You may be able to simplify your life by cutting cost or altogether eliminating non-essentials.

For example, you may be able to downgrade your cell phone service to a more basic plan. Also, you may be able to eliminate having a home internet provider by using your cell phone hot spot when you need to hop online and work on your computer. You also may be able to find a cheaper place of dwelling by moving locally or nationally. Think outside the box and make a list of ways you can cut cost and simplify your life to deal with the high cost of living.

It’s important to keep in mind that you also need to avoid making needless purchases. While it may be a no brainer that you should avoid making expensive purchases, we may discover that our funds begin to depleted mostly from making small needless purchases. For example, that cup of Starbucks coffee every week will start to add up. So find ways to eliminate needless purchases. This will help you properly allocate funds towards personal and household needs.

Simplifying your life will definitely require a little bit of ingenuity but the rewards in the end are well worth it.

Checklist Do’s and Don’ts : Live Simply

1. Make a list of ways you can cut cost from daily living expenses and implement them.

2. Avoid making small needless purchases

Take The High Road

Staying Sane In An Insane World - Expert Life Coach Joseph Bonner

It is all too easy to become provoked in today's high stressed world. From corporate favoritism, and racism to pride and envy, there are countless situations that we face daily that require a display of great self-control.

Taking the “High Road” requires that we always respond with kindness and tact despite the intensity of a provocation. This does not mean that we simply become pushovers. On the contrary, kindness can be coupled with firmness and strength. This will ensure that our daily interactions with negative people will be peaceable as far as it depends on us. At the same time, it will be a protective wall around our person. How so?

Well, anger truly begets anger. If we respond with anger and hostility toward a volatile situation, we may indeed make matters worse. As the daily news often shows, minor squabbles can quickly turn deadly with the absence of self-control on the part of one or two parties. And although we may not be able to have control over somonelses actions, we certainly do have control over our actions and responses to any given situation.

Yes, taking the High Road will not only help you avoid escalating tense situations, it will also assist you in building a fine reputation in the community while fostering love and peace in the family.

Checklist Do’s and Don’ts : Take The High Road

1. Always respond with kindness and tact.

2. Exercise self-control over your actions and reactions.

3. Avoid adding fuel to the fire with thoughtless comments and remarks.

Daily Caution

Staying Sane In An Insane World - Expert Life Coach Joseph Bonner

Daily caution is prudent considering the fact that violence, dishonesty and crime are daily global problems. Interestingly enough, it’s in environments that we typically let our guard down in that we need to keep one up. For example, when we go home we typically are more relaxed. That is the way our home should be. However, if we let our guard down completely we may carelessly leave doors and windows unlocked or allow dangerous people to enter our home. Some people have become victims of murders, sexual assaults and burglary after they let their guard down in their home. This does not mean that the victim is to blame for what happened. The victim is never to blame. However, when we keep our guard up we take away a bad person chance to hurt us.

Another environment when we tend to let our guard down is at school. High schools, colleges and universities are places where we need to keep our guard up. School violence, shooting, on campus sexual assaults and burglaries have become a growing concern for students throughout the world. Keeping one's guard up means daily staying alert to potential threats to our health and wellbeing. It does not mean that we walk around afraid it simply means we walk around watchful and caution, prepared for the worst at every moment.

Exercising caution should be a way of life reflected in our daily activities.

Prepare for Disaster

Staying Sane In An Insane World - Expert Life Coach Joseph Bonner - NASA

One thing worse than losing your home in fire is not being prepared for such an event. If you don’t have a family emergency plan or home insurance, recovery after such a devastating event may seem impossible.

What types of disasters are common in your city? Are you prepared if a disaster hits? Do you have a family emergency plan? Do you have an emergency kit in the event of a disaster? Do you have a place to go in the event of a disaster?

The time to get prepared is now!

Prepare for Trouble

Staying Sane In An Insane World - Expert Life Coach Joseph Bonner

None of us like thinking about bad things happening but the reality of life teaches us that preparation for the worst can prove valuable. So instead of figuring out how you will respond in a bad situation when it happens it is best to prepare your response in advance.

For example, you can prepare in advance how you will respond in the event that you are threatened with a gun, a knife or even sexual assault. Preparing your response in advance may very well save your life like it did in the case of one young women who was carjacked. She remembered that her mother told her to never let a person get her isolated from people or it could cost her life. So when the man who carjacked her told her to drive to an isolated place, the young girl jumped out of the car while she was still driving and ran away. That brave move saved her life. She was prepared and she acted when threatened.

So how will you respond if someone threatens you. Prepare now. If something bad still happens to you remember that it is not your fault. Do you best to prepare and find comfort in that.

Heed Warning Signs

Staying Sane In An Insane World - Expert Life Coach Joseph Bonner

Heeding warning signs is imperative if you are to cope successfully with the daily stresses of life. These include literal, physical and emotional warning signs. A literal warning sign includes traffic laws designed to keep one safe on the road. Countless casualties have resulted from individuals who fail to heed the warning to not text while driving. Everyone thinks “it won’t happen to me.” That mistaken view has lead to an early grave for more than a few individuals. Heeding literal signs saves lives.

Physical signs involve your physical makeup. A physical warnings sign may include fatigue, rapid heart beating, headaches etc. It is wise to consult a physician when physical warning signs may indicate serious health issues. For example, numbness of the face and arms may be a sign of extreme stress or of a stroke. Consulting a licensed physician will help make a wise medical decision. Don’t be like the man who ignored physical warning signs for years only to respond when he was in stage four of cancer. By then doctors noted that it was too late to save his life.

Emotional sings involve things related to your emotional health. Have you been depressed for days? Are you experiencing stress that is affecting your mood and disposition? These emotional signs may indicate that you need a change in tempo or scenery. If daily activities are putting emotional stress on you it is wise to change your routine for a week or two. You may not be able to get off work for a week or two when emotional stress hits but can you incorporate things throughout your week to help you cope with the emotional stress that don’t involve the use of drugs or alcohol? (Drugs in this article refers to recreational drugs and not to medically prescribed drugs.) For example, maybe you play an instrument or you like to workout at the gym. Find daily positive legal activities that de-stress you emotionally. This can safeguard your mental health. (If depression and anxiety persist for more than three week it is wise to speak to you regular physician as these may be signs of a more serious mental/emotional condition.

De-stressing Nights

Staying Sane In An Insane World - Expert Life Coach Joseph Bonner

One of the best ways to de-stress from the day and to setup your next day for success is to make a list of tomorrows goals. Why? Well, we often keep thinking about things that weigh heavy on our mind and that means that although we may be at home trying to relax, our mind is still in overdrive thinking about what we need to do the next day.

A simple solution is to make a list of all the things you have to get done the next day or during the week. This will not only help you organize your weekly schedule but it will also help put your mind at ease because you know that you have planned what needs to get done for the next day.

Now that you mind is at rest, you are in a better position to de-stress from the day.

Also, before going to sleep try to avoid activities that stimulate your mind. For example, staying connected to your cell phone with all of it’s distracting apps at night can add needless stress to your night. In addition, it may also impede your ability to get a good night's rest. So instead of using your cell phone as an alarm clock, invest in an alarm clock and power your phone off at least 2 hours before you go to bed.

Your relaxing nights will contribute to your overall peace of mind and will assist you in coping with the next days activities and stresses.

We are definitely living in some difficult times. You and the entire world are experiencing unprecedented pressures, stresses and difficulties the likes that this world has never seen before. Take courage in knowing that you are not alone and that with some practical adjustments you will be better able to cope with the increasing amount of stress.

Yes, you will be able to stay sane as this world goes insane.

4 Ways To Be Happy During Hard Times - Joseph Bonner

Happiness is a lifelong pursuit that in a very special way unites people from all over the world How so? Well, no matter what the age, color or ethnic background is, most people want to be happy.

Some people spend their whole life searching for happiness and never really finding it because they are unwilling to step outside their comfort zone or are unwilling to change their perception of what happiness really is. For example, they are the ones who regret past decisions never made or past experiences never had.

Finding happiness requires knowing and understanding fundamental emotions and experiences that result in true happiness.

Finding happiness in giving

4 Ways To Be Happy During Hard Times - Joseph Bonner

Have you ever given someone a gift? Do you remember the way it made you feel when the person responded with appreciation to your kind gesture? Perhaps you gave a deep and satisfied smile as you noted the expression of gratitude on the receivers face. If you have ever had that experience then you have discovered the path to happiness.

The amazing thing about giving is that the joy that comes from it is constant, unchanging and reliable. Even if the receiver does not have appreciation for the gift, the giver still finds joy and satisfaction in knowing that they did the right thing.

What if you are a person of little means and feel that you don’t have much to offer in the way of material things?

Well, giving of your time and energy to help others is just as effective. Yes, taking time out of your day to help someone in need will produce in you a deep sense of satisfaction and will increase joy and meaning in your life while adding something of worth and value to the community.

If you want to experience the joy of giving more often then you must give more often. This type of happiness is available to everyone daily regardless of age or social status.

Finding happiness in knowledge and wisdom

4 Ways To Be Happy During Hard Times - Joseph Bonner

Most people go through their entire lives having people tell them what to do, what to think and what to believe. Challenging the accepted norms of society may not be popular but it may lead to greater personal happiness. How so?

People find joy in true understanding. Such understanding is only followed by knowledge and the application of that knowledge in ones life. For example, your teacher may have told you that 1+1 = 2. However, it was only when you tested out that information in class (the pursuit of Knowledge), and applied that knowledge on the test (application of knowledge / wisdom), that you experienced the joy that comes from knowledge.

Remember when Disney told you the story of Pocahontas? How valid is that story? When you do research you will discover that not only was Pocahontas a prisoner but that she was more than likely murdered for political reasons.

Remember when your religious teachers told you that Jesus was born on December 25? When you do research you will discover that December 25 was actually the date of a pagan celebration dedicated to the Roman Sun God and that birthday celebrations were considered pagan customs by Jesus and his followers.

Do you see how the pursuit of knowledge and the application of that information can change your entire life?

Pursuing knowledge and applying that knowledge in life can result in true happiness.

Finding happiness in forgiveness

4 Ways To Be Happy During Hard Times - Joseph Bonner

Resentment can rob a person of inner peace and happiness. Our minds and hearts reflect on past things we’ve experiences and something that happened years ago may still produce in our hearts a measure of stress, anger, sadness and pain. Have you ever experienced that before?

Forgiveness is fundamental in pursuing happiness because it relieves you of the burden associated with holding on to negative feelings and emotions. It allows you the opportunity to mentally and emotionally move forward with your life and it gives the offender an opportunity to do the same.

This does not mean that you are gullible or that you approve of the way you were treated.

Forgiveness simply means that you are no longer holding it against the person who has hurt you.

Note: While some experts say that people should forgive everyone that has hurt them even if the person has no remorse for what they did, we disagree when this involves serious offences like murder, sexual assault, slander and things like these. However, in the case of serious offences, one can still find happiness in acknowledging that what happened was not their fault and that their future is not controlled by the actions of others. It is important to not take the blame for the bad actions of other people. Keep the blame where it belongs.

Finding happiness in balance

4 Ways To Be Happy During Hard Times - Joseph Bonner

Imagine sitting at the dinner table enjoying your favorite meal? I mean stop reading right now and imagine it.........

Ahh, you probably have a big smile on your face and for good reason. Taking the time to enjoy things we like can produce a measure of happiness. But have you ever on occasion eaten too much? Do you remember the bloated feeling and the discomfort that followed? The point is that while it is enjoyable to have a meal, eating too much can turn that good experience in to a bad one. This well illustrates the need to have balance in our life.

Too much time doing even good things can have a negative impact on one's life and relationships with others. For example, it may be good to give back to the community through some volunteer work but if we were to engage in that work at the expense of getting enough sleep at night it would have a negative impact on our health. Also, if were were to work so as to provide for the needs of our family but our work schedule did not allow us to have daily quality time with our family, we may very well lose the family that we’re working so hard to provide for.

This is why having balance is key. It will help you to put everything in its proper place so as to ensure the mental, emotional and financial well being of yourself and your family.

It takes a considerable amount of work and effort to attain and then maintain balance but your family and friends will surely appreciate your efforts to do your best in these regards.

Giving up in not an option!

How Can You Turn Failures into Opportunities

We will all face failure from time to time and it can be a little daunting to pick ourselves up after suffering from a serious setback. However their are piratical steps we can take to regain control and turn a failure into a success!

Remember to breath

Life is not about knowing what tomorrow will bring. It's about not knowing and facing the bad days with same courage we face good days.

Simply put, the best way to recover from a setback in life is our attitude. Life is much harder when we beat ourselves up about things we have no control over.

Believe You Can

If you believe you are going to fail then chances are that you will soon enough find a way to do it. That being the case, you must truly believe you can succeed even after a serious setback We are not talking about disillusionment, we're talking about faith in your abilities talents. While it is true that not everyone will appreciate what you bring to the table, there are still many out there that will! Your job is to find those types of people in your network, family and community. Those who truly support you are the ones you must surround yourself with to learn from your past mistakes and try something new in your pursuit of success!

Work Harder

I'm a survivor! I did not come this far to give up now!

Remember that you did not come this far in life to give up now! There are many counting on your, including yourself, to succeed. You owe it to yourself to succeed. That being the case, you now how to reevaluate your strategy and adjust based on present circumstances. Doing so will allow you to use the present situation as a learning experience instead of seeing it as a nail in the coffin.

Get Inspired

Inspiration can come from the simplest places. At times, I find inspiration by simply enjoying a day out in nature. The calm and quiet are great times for me to reflect on where my life is going and how I can make adjustments to make better decisions to better reach my goals.

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