Managing Stress.. Comparisons

Another fantastic way to manage you stress is to make…..


For example..Compare yourself to people coping the same as you or less well than you. Compare yourself to those less fortunate than you. Watch soap operas; read about disasters, others suffering etc. (Handout 1 DT)

I use this one all the time and it really does work. As a matter of fact my recent post that featured “Invictus” is a tribute to comparisons..but this time comparing yourself to yourself. I tell myself…”If I can get through that I can get through this”. This is a way to encourage, uplift and validate yourself.

This type of attitude invites gratitude which is deep and healing. So comparison invites gratitude, gratitude brings healing, with healing comes the strength to endure..which ultimately creates a peace.

Remember you are not in this alone…use comparisons and find more relief and peace from your stress.

~Thank you for listening,

The Mindful Gatekeeper


Types of Stress..Distress

Our world (especially here in the US) seems to be based on multi-tasking, hard deadlines, comparisons, perfectionism and one of using emotion cautiously. Everybody wants to make a difference and find their niche in life and that is all good and well until it interferes with your peace. The media many times will even “play” on people’s sell the next big item, make an appeal for an important cause or try to connect with your heartstrings on a favorite series. We encounter people who know all to well how to negatively manipulate others ~while we take a toll emotionally. Then the burden of all burdens sometimes happens when Life decides to intervene with some sort of personal crisis.

Here are the definitions of distress..from

1. great pain, anxiety, or sorrow; acute physical or mental suffering; affliction; trouble.

2. a state of extreme necessity or misfortune.

3. that which causes pain, suffering, trouble, danger, etc.

4. liability or exposure to pain, suffering, trouble, etc.

Lucky for us we have Distress Tolerance Skills we can use for a more peaceful life while under strain.

We can use the Mindfulness Skill of Observe to recognize what may be stressing us individually. Not everyone likes to look at painful stressors but it is the most effective way to get through your hardship.

Again I want to state that if your hardship is too much for you..that is okay. You can get help if you need it just ask by calling your local mental health facility or community service center. Someone can guide you to where you need to be. Just know that when you ask for help and receive is a true strength of character. We have been “brainwashed” a little to think that asking for help is a shame. That is downright untrue. You have to live your life not someone else’s opinion.

So anyways Distress Tolerance is quite a list of wonderful activities you can do in place of perhaps old not so healthy habits in order to usher in more peace. For instance drinking is not a healthy activity for handling stress. People who use drinking socially while in a healthy and normal state of mind in moderation are fine here. I am talking about those who drink when they are sad or upset in any way. First of all it’s okay if you have done that but why not try some new ways to handle your stress that won’t cause addiction or be unsafe. (No shame just effectiveness here..I myself abused alcohol when self -medicating due to my illness which really hurt me emotionally). We are looking to replace our old unhealthy skills with new and safe EFFECTIVE skills.

The first few skills we learn are from Distress Tolerance Handout (1) and my own brainstorming:

Again Observe your pain first. Look at it Reserving Judgement. It is what it is.

Then distract your mind with:


Do something you enjoy doing. Like gardening, walking, fishing, yard work, cleaning and restoring, crafting, make a meal, go out for a meal, go have coffee or tea (preferably decaf), play some games at home or online, play a sport, fix something up, pick wildflowers, collect shells, go out and make some photographs, exercise..etc!

Be Mindful In The Moment while doing these activities. Practice Mindfulness and let each thought pass by like a train rolling down the track and go back to being in the moment you are in doing what you are doing. Remember to breathe and refresh yourself.

Press here to refresh all those concepts.

Wishing you well this day

The Mindful Gatekeeper


Peace Lives Within

Becoming A Writer

Everyday Gurus

Here at the Gatekeeper of the Mind you know by now that this blog is all about finding a more peaceful life by learning to love your mind. Here is an inspiring post for anyone who would like to join a fabulous cause. Please click on the Bloggers For Peace image on the sidebar. Peace is an action my friends.
~The Mindful Gatekeeper

everyday gurus


“Peace is not something you wish for, it something you make, something you do, something you are, something you give away.”–Robert Fulghum

In an effort to actively do something to create more peace in the world in 2013, I am dedicating a number of my posts specifically to peace. I invite you to join me. We can call ourselves “Bloggers for Peace.” Everyone is invited to join. The requirements are simple and flexible.

  • Devote at least one post a month to/for/about peace. If you write poems or fiction, write a piece about peace. If you take photos, post a photo or gallery that reflects, symbolizes, defines, or creates peace. If you write rants, rant at something that disturbs the peace or rant about something that promotes peace. If you are into zen, post a blank white page. If you are an artist…you get the idea. Feel free to…

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The Very Inspiring Blogger Award and New Nominees

Just wanted to thank Vironika Tugaleva for the nomination of Very Inspiring Blogger Award! I am honored. Mindfulness and skills that pertain to mindfulness have changed my life. My goal is to share the love on this blog with anyone who seeks more peace.

According to the rules of the award I am to share 7 interesting things about myself.

1. I love mystery. I have always been a seeker.

2. The Spring and Fall are my favorite times of year.

3. I am fond of poetry. Sometimes I write my own.

4. I am a creative spirit. I believe in allowing my creations to take their own shape.

5. I love big billowy grey clouds on a windy rain-swept Fall day.

6. Beauty is much more about balance than perfection.

7. Have a sweet tooth!!

Here are the 7 bloggers I admire and want to nominate. These blogs deal with a variety of issues but what they have in common is that they come from the heart. Every blog I follow inspires me one day or the next in a very real sense…but I just can’t list you all.

1. The Boulder Psychic

2. Press “M” for Menopause

3. Living Luminously

4. The Witch at Howling Creek

5. She’s a Maineac

6. Tracie Louise Photography

7. The Better Man Project

For the nominees, if you choose to accept the nomination, please follow these simple rules:

  1.  Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them in your post.
  2. Share 7 interesting things about yourself.
  3. Nominate 7 bloggers you admire.
  4. Leave a comment somewhere on the seven blogs to make them aware of their nomination.

Thanks again Vironika for the nomination. It was a great surprise 🙂 Please scroll down one post and read Vironika’s wonderful testimony on Mindfulness.

~Take care everyone and wishing you well this day

The Mindful Gatekeeper

A Few Words…

Now my friends we will continuing on with general Mindfulness skills…but first a few words.

I want to wrap up our conversation on cognitive thinking errors. Every person is different. Some people may have milder forms of these distortions and can learn how to deal with them on their own. But for those who feel plagued by them I highly encourage you to get support from a professional. Believe me your life changes for the better. Like I have said before getting support is a form a strength. Burdens are much lighter and it changes how you think of yourself. Life becomes easier to  manage and quite frankly more joyful. It helps to live realistically. Learning to accept reality for what it is and being okay with that reality just encourages peace.

No one is saying that you have to like your reality. The way we change our life is by accepting where we are in life first. It is what it is and now I can what I say. Then you go from there. Then you make change. Sometimes we don’t know how to accept because life is very painful and we can’t look at the truth without serious distress. If you are in an abusive setting causing you distress the best thing to do is to get out as soon as possible..don’t stay in that kind of situation. Otherwise if you are in pain due to life’s events or a possibly substance abuse or chemical imbalance then admitting you need some help is accepting the truth and very healthy. It’s not so scary. The people are there to help while becoming safe and trusted sources that you can share your thoughts with…even if your thoughts seem overwhelming or uncomfortable. If your willing to help yourself you will find more peace.

~Wishing you well today

The Mindful Gatekeeper