post written by: Marc Chernoff

10 Good Reminders for Stressful Times

10 Helpful Reminders for Stressful Times

“Fall seven times, stand up eight!”

Just a few things to think about when life delivers a dose of difficulty and stress…

  1. Happiness is never constant, and it’s not supposed to be. – You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life.  To believe that you can reach a state of happiness and stay there forever, is like the tide believing she can reach for the shoreline and remain there forever; or like a fruit tree believing that if she only holds on tighter, she can keep her fruit from dropping to the ground.  Happiness is simply a series of moments that come and go and add sweetness to our lives.  Learn to accept this, and the more happy moments you will have.  Read The Happiness Project.
  2. Failures are temporary situations that teach us necessary lessons. – Life’s best lessons are usually learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes.  So yes, you will fail sometimes.  The faster you accept this, the faster you can get on with being brilliant. You’ll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work.  Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.  So get out there and try!  Either you succeed or you learn a vital lesson.  Win – Win.
  3. Even if you can’t see it now, you are making progress. – You may not be where you want to be yet, but if you think about it, you’re no longer where you once were either.  You have good reason to believe that you can trust yourself going forward.  Not because you’ve always made the right choices, but because you survived the bad ones, and taken small steps in the right direction.  So cry for a moment if you have to, and get it out of your system.  Crying doesn’t indicate that you’re weak; since birth, it has always been a sign that you’re alive and full of potential.  Once you’re done, keep going!  You’re undoubtedly getting closer to where you want to be.
  4. How you feel when you’re stressed is not a true measure of reality. – Just because you’re afraid, doesn’t mean you’re in danger.  Just because you feel alone, doesn’t mean nobody loves you.  Just because you think you might fail, doesn’t mean you will.  Look beyond your doubts and keep searching for the truth.  Be aware of your mental self-talk.  We all talk silently to ourselves in our heads, but we aren’t always conscious of what we’re saying or how it’s affecting us.  The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful.  Listen to your self-talk and replace negative thoughts with positive ones.  The sun is always shining on some part of your life.  Sometimes you just have to forget how you feel, remember what you deserve, and keep pushing forward.
  5. You cannot change what you refuse to confront. – You can learn great things from your failures and mistakes when you aren’t busy denying them.  If you’ve been asking the same questions for months or even years, yet are still stuck, it’s probably not that you haven’t been given the answers, but that you don’t like the answers you were given.  It takes a lot of courage to admit that something needs to change, and a lot more courage still, to accept the responsibility for actually changing it.  The most important step forward is taking the first step.  The simple act of getting started and doing something will give you the momentum you need, and soon you’ll find yourself in a positive spiral of positive changes – one building on the other.
  6. You are not what happened to you in the past. – No matter how chaotic the past has been, the future is a clean, fresh, wide open slate. You are not your past habits. You are not your past failures. You are not how others have at one time treated you. You are only who you think you are right now in this moment. You are only what you do right now in this moment.  Read The Power of Now.
  7. Not getting what you want can be a blessing. – Not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of good luck, because it forces you reevaluate things, opening new doors to opportunities and information you would have otherwise overlooked.  Remember, some things in life fall apart so that better things can fall together.
  8. Being a ‘work in progress’ is a great state to be in. – Stop berating yourself for being a work in progress.  Start embracing it!  Because being a work in progress doesn’t mean you’re not good enough today; it means you want a better tomorrow, and you wish to love yourself completely, so you can live your life fully.  It means you’re determined to heal your heart, expand your mind and cultivate the gifts you know you’re meant to share.  May we all be works in progress forever, and celebrate the fact that we are!
  9. Nobody else can do it for you. – Keep doing what you know in your heart is right for YOU.  Let your dreams be bigger than your fears and your actions louder than your words.  Live by choice, not by chance.  Make changes, not excuses.  Be motivated, not manipulated.  Work to excel, not compete.  Choose to listen to your inner voice, not the jumbled opinions of everyone else.  It’s your road, and yours alone.  Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.
  10. Life is not easy, but it’s worth it. – If you expect it to be, you will perpetually disappoint yourself.  Achieving anything worthwhile in life takes effort.  So start every morning ready to run farther than you did yesterday and fight harder than you ever have before.  Above all, make sure you properly align your efforts with your goals.  It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it in the end.

Photo by: BraveLittleBird

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  • You are seriously helping me through the hardest time in my life. Thank you!

  • Thanks. I really needed the boost of positivity this article gave me today.

  • Just what I needed to hear in my life right now. Thanks!
    PS: I’ve already shared it with a few friends on Facebook.

  • Thank you!!! Perfect timing!

  • Makes sense. Yet, sometimes it gets to the point that I am afraid to be happy, because whenever I think I can achieve my accomplishments and am happy for awhile, I get hit with life saying, “Oh, look! Here’s a reminder of why you need to be meek.”

  • @Lisa: As I pointed out in bullet #1, happiness is cyclical. It’s totally natural to be happy for awhile, and then hit a patch of feeing meek. The important thing to remember is that happiness in many situations is a choice. It is often found when and where you decide to seek it. If you look for happiness within the opportunities you have, you will eventually find it. But if you constantly look for something else, unfortunately, you’ll find that too. Bottom line: The way you feel is totally natural. PS: Read Stumbling on Happiness for more insight on this.

    @All: Thanks for the early kudos! Your comments never cease to make us smile. :)

  • Thank you! I needed this advice. :)

  • What lovely advice you give! I wish you were my friend in real life, we’d have so much to chat about! Great job on these positive articles! I love your honest, non preachy perspective. Everything you say is very simple and rings so true. Thank you.

  • Everyday, I find myself devouring your blog posts like oatmeal in the morning. I cannot stress enough how good for the heart your articles are.

    Thank you for your dedication to make the small things count in life.

  • Your articles are the bread and butter of keeping oneself properly motivated and positive! A great way to get a different perspective!

  • I find something surprising and wonderful every time I stop here.

    I especially like this post because I am going through a struggle right now. (Who isn’t?)

    I have a quote on my journal that keeps me going, especially in tough times. It says “Just keep going. Those who win are those who never stopped trying.”

  • I love your blog, it always makes me so happy :)

  • Awesome read, as always! Your articles really help me through my toughest times.

  • During a time where I wonder if I will ever crawl out of this bottomless hole I am in, I come across this site. Thank you for reminding me that there is always hope and people that care.

  • Thank you! Made my heavy heart a lot lighter. :)

  • Awesome! Thanks for such a wonderful blog!

  • This is a great post. Accepting life on life’s term while pushing forward is the answer. So very true.

  • Thanks for the post. I love your lists and gentle reminders on how to keep things in perspective. :)

  • Another piece of morning magic! Thanks! :)

  • I don’t have the right words to thank you enough; you generate amazing life energy!

    Thanks for meeting me online in this lifetime. I will be sharing this on my hrudayam group on FB and G+ with your blog link.

    A heartfelt Namaskaar.


  • Perfect timing, thanks for helping me see things more clearly.

  • Love getting your RSS emails… They help me put things back into proper perspective! Thanks so much! K

  • i get all giddy with excitement when there is a new post by you. THANK YOU for making such a wonderful, positive contribution in my life. It is appreciated and valued.

  • I have been reading your articles now for some time now, Marc and Angel, and I cannot thank you enough for how much your writing has helped me. Please keep up the good work.
    Thanks again,


  • SUPER - all ten points! :)

  • Hey, thanks for the positive reminders, as I have a big, stressful exam tomorrow! Wish me good luck guys :)

  • Your blog is the only one that I regularly share to my Facebook page. Thank you for this timeless reminder of how to ‘BE’.

  • Thank you so much for your articles. I find them extremely helpful and share them with others.

  • I really liked #3 because I find that no matter what I end up accomplishing in life, it never feels like I’m going anywhere. For whatever reason, it’s really easy for us to downplay our progress. I think it’s important to recognize this bias, step back, and appreciate where we’ve been, where we are, and where we are going.

  • You never fail to lift my spirits with your messages. Thank you for keeping it real in world fraught with hurdles and narrow curves. You are therapy for my soul.

  • Whoa! This one is chock full of so much of what I needed to read today. I’m drowning in a couple realities that I’ve been afraid to face, and feel I’ve buried myself way too deeply. But there’s enough here to read and re-read, as many times as needed, to assure myself that I can overcome them. Thank you.

  • I had a bad day today, so thanks for the encouragement. Very motivating stuff.

  • Wow! You always present the best advice and always timely. Seems you know exactly what I need, when I need it and then you deliver.

    Thank you, thank you!

  • Thank you! I connect with everything you’ve said here.

  • This is very encouraging… especially during the hard times in life. Thank you.

  • I love this advice! Thank you! I am going through a difficult period and my gf Dori sent this to me. I hope you will add me to your email list.

  • A friend of mine sent me the url of this blog. What I liked about the post is that it is simply written but at the same time it challenges the reader to make honest and positive changes for better living. Great work! While reading this blog post; it reminded me of an earlier post in my public speaking blog which I would like to share with you (linked to my name). It is regarding what slow-moving phases of life teach us.

  • I am reading exactly what I feel, but I must say, reading is easier than actually going through it. But everything you’ve said gives me a lot of strength to know that someone understands my feelings and that my situation is not as abnormal as i think, it is. I really get a lot of guidance from your articles. Thanks a lot. I really appreciate it.

  • Awesome read! Thanks a lot.

  • Great article. Thank you so much.

  • Thank you for everything you are doing to help me out. Your blog has really helped me. Thank you.

  • Fantastic!!! Simply superb!!! How do you do it so consistently, Marc?

  • I really needed these inspiring and motivating words today. Thank You!!!

  • Your “work in progress” point really helped me see thing clearly.


  • What a beautiful motto “Let your dreams be bigger than your fears and your actions louder than your words.” Powerful. Thanks.

  • Just stumbled across this blog - I particularly agree with “we can’t change what we don’t admit and confront.” Once I stopped refusing the fact that I was stressed, and had sunk into depression, I started to get better because I could find ways to deal with it. Thanks for the reminder.

  • I’m a work in progress recovering from a devastating break up in Dec. Your blog has inspired me almost daily since then. Blessings on you for consistently working to make this blog a pleasure to read and an ever present reminder that life is worth living. I owe you a debt of gratitude which I cannot repay, but must ask that you continue to keep posting the love that you do. Thank you so so much.


  • Thank you so much Marc, this really helped. It reminds me if a good book you should read: “The Secret” by Rhonda Brynne.

  • Thank you so much for this. You posted this at the right time. It’s amazing how every status, post, speaks to the mood I’m in. I’m thankful for being introduced to your blog. So much positive energy here. :-)

  • Absolutely perfect timing. This is going to be printed and put on my fridge to remind me to keep going.

  • Filing this one away for the 100,000 times I’m going to need it in the future! Thanks!

  • Very nice thoughts. Thank you.

  • Ah, the stuff life’s is truly made of! Know that this is worthwhile to absorb at any age. I’m 59 and still on the exploring journeys. Wish I’d been aware of these life lessons years ago, but so glad I can be part of it now. We just don’t know what we’ll be handed, but the ability to take the experience for what it is, an experience, will make your lives so much better. You’re not what you drive or live in, but just who you are. And that’s wonderful. Embrace it.

  • Hey Marc and Angel,

    I am sure you know what a wonderful job you guys do each time you write something.

    But I wanted to say that your blogs are a lovely reminder that HOPE still lives in our hearts… always.

    Thanks for such beautiful thoughts!

  • Admiring the strength here. I’m happy I came across this site today!

    BTW, I think my favorite is, “How old would you be if you didn’t know?” (on another post you did)

    Thank you Marc and Angel.

  • This is an amazing article. Thank you Marc and Angel. You’ve been a good friend to me just by writing this.

  • I love, love , love u guys! Keep up the good work! Plz

  • I like the inspirational message you share of “If you don’t see it now, you are making progress.” Many times we are in that space aren’t’ we? We then look up and see how far along we have come! Wonderful post.

  • Great post! I loved number nine… my heart missed a beat at that. :-)

  • Thank you for this perceptive and supportive post. It reminds us of several aspects of life that we forget are so interconnected…life is not a Disney movie, avoiding difficult emotions does not work. Sitting or walking with them or talking about them or drawing or writing them does, and enables them to be digested over time. The past is actually not happening now. When we are acutely miserable or afraid, it will pass. Thanks for putting this together in such a compassionate clear way.

  • This is definitely what I needed to hear today. Thank you.

  • Thank you Marc ! I always look forward to reading your blogs and I wish you could be my friend… you have a way of motivating and encouraging your Readers !

  • I always read this post everyday before I start to work. It keeps me in a light mood and creates a kind of peace that somehow encourages me to face the day positively. This truly helps a lot in getting me back on track whenever stressful situations pull me down. Thanks a lot. :)

  • This article was very helpful to me, appreciated.

  • Really nice and pleasant… Thank you so much.

  • hi marc and angel,

    thanks for making me live again…
    a heartfelt thanks for the inspiration

    =) mitch

  • This article by far is the BEST one I have read. I mean, all your articles are great, but this one I found to give me that “ah ha”. Thanks!!

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