Is it difficult to watch the news today without experiencing fear? The media clearly capitalizes on our fears and desire for information. There are many events occurring in our nation and globally that would produce fear in anyone. The economy, healthcare, unemployment, war, and the latest national disaster, the oil spill. How many of those issues can we truly control? None, right. Yet these issues consume much of our thought, worry, fear and anxiety. We can vote for candidates that we feel will make a positive difference in the nation and do our part to stimulate the economy, but our impact on those events are hard to measure. So how can we experience more joy in life? Start by focusing on areas of life where we do have more control, like our actions, thoughts, and feelings. Our focus can shift to what we have, who we have in our lives, and what we are grateful for. One of the best and simplest ways to manage our stress is through exercise. Studies support both the physical end emotional benefits of exercise. Better yet, exercise with a friend and experience social connections too. Enjoy time with friends and family, maybe playing cards or a board game. Create one afternoon a week to turn off all electronics and read, talk, rest, or write. Being still is something we hardly do, but has great benefit. Life is so short, don’t miss out on the love, laughter, and peace that it offers.