[Podcast] When Things Do Not Go According to Plan

2500 2300 Dr. Rozina

Do you ever feel frustrated when things don’t go according to your plan?

Most people do from time to time.

In my podcast interview debut, you can learn:

  • How I got frustrated at the airport when I was stuck in the big security line and missed my flight.
  • How I had to use The Stress to Joy steps of ACR (Acknowledge, Calm Down, Reflect and focus on what was and wasn’t in my control)
  • How my friend Sam learned to control her stress reaction with mindful driving
  • How you can decrease your stress symptoms by balancing your emotional coping account

Click here to listen to the podcast.

I am grateful to Joanne Victoria for being such a gracious host. She made me feel comfortable while interviewing. I am sure our friendly conversation will help you and many other listeners.

If you like podcasts, I recommend The San.IT Project. She interviews experts in the areas of personal and professional development and brings a lot of value to her listeners.

Let me know how these tips and tools help you and if you have any suggestions or questions.


Dr. Rozina

#1 Best Selling Author, Speaker, and Psychiatrist


Join me on FacebookTwitter, LinkedIn, or sign up for my newsletter

The Stress to Joy® program is available in

Print Book 

Audio Book

Online Course

Guided Gratitude Journal





Names have been changed for privacy.

This content is for educational purposes only.

Please consult licensed medical or health professionals for personalized treatment recommendations.

how to stay positive

How to Stay Positive and in the “Present” When the Present is Not Pleasant

5616 3159 Dr. Rozina

How to Stay Positive and in the “Present” When the Present is Not Pleasant

Do you ever find that you can stay mindful in the present moment and enjoy it if it is pleasant, but it is harder when it is not or when things are not going according to your desire?

Let me share a technique to stay mindful in the present moment even when things are not going your way in this story.

The other day, Kelly and I were driving to a meeting. It was raining a lot. The traffic was moving so slow that we were at risk of being late for the meeting and my friend was getting frustrated. She said; “I hate this rain.” I asked her; “How does this thought  help you?” She replied; “It doesn’t. It makes me feel pretty bad.” When I reminded her of mindfulness, she said sarcastically; “This is what I exactly wanted. I love being stuck in traffic due to the rain.”

Is that mindfulness?


So what can she do? How can she shift her thinking so she can become mindful in the moment even if she doesn’t like it?

She and I tried to apply the three steps of Stress to Joy system which are:

ACR: Acknowledge, Calm and Reflect.

  1. Acknowledge: We noticed and acknowledged our circumstances ( rain, traffic and running late) and our reactions.
  2. Calm: We calmed down by bringing attention to the moment. We became aware of what we saw ( the rain, the traffic, the sky and slowly changing perspective). We noticed what we heard (the sound of rain and car and our breathing and talking). We observed how it felt on our skins (the temperature) and the kinesthetic feeling of the car moving. In essence, we became mindful by bringing attention to each moment intentionally as it was unfolding without judgment (whether we liked the experience or not). Even when we felt a strong judgment, we observed it.
  3. Reflect: We reflected what was in our control and what was not. Rain or traffic was not in our control but driving carefully and making the most of the experience was. We could not change the weather to our desire, but we could adjust our desire to the weather. I shared with her one of the poems I had made in the past for my son to replace the poem he had learned in the school;

“Rain, Rain go away, come again another day.”

(a bad attitude to teach the kids especially when they live in a place like Seattle).


We replaced it with :

“When it rains, I want rain,

When it shines, I want shine,

When it’s cold, I want cold,

When it’s hot, I want hot,

I want whatever the weather is,

and, therefore,

I am always happy, as I always have, what I want.”


So my friend and I decided to focus on what we could do. We tried to stay aware, moment by moment, both what was outside of us and how we were reacting and adapted our thoughts. My friend did not say I love rain ( she does when she is playing in it) but she changed her thinking from “I hate this rain” to “I notice that I am getting frustrated at this time as I am running late. Rain is outside my circle. I have done what I could; I left in time, I am driving carefully, and I have informed my contact that I may run late. Now, there is no sense in continuously worrying about it. So I am going to enjoy this moment. We talked, listened to music and noticed the beauty and greenery made possible by the rain. We enjoyed the changing scenes and my friend commented; “I was so occupied and worried that I was not noticing all the beauty around me. I could have missed all this if I had not changed my thoughts.”

My friend had a choice. She could have continued to ruminate on what was not in her control or change her thoughts and perspective.

You also have a choice.

When you don’t choose to change, you are choosing to continue your pattern.

If you don’t notice how your words, thoughts, and attitudes are affecting you like my friend, you may continue to feel frustrated and irritated with daily stressors and may say or do things that do not help. If you do adapt your perspective by acknowledging, calming and reflecting, you may be able to decrease your stress feelings and increase your health and happiness despite your circumstances. You will be able to stay positive and mindful in the present even when the present is not pleasant. What are you going to choose?

Please share with me your choice. If you liked this article and felt it can help others, please share.

You can learn more about this approach in my upcoming book; “Stress to Joy; Your toolkit to Restore Peace of Mind in Minutes.”

Check out more blogs like this and sign up for the updates at www.DrRozina.com.  You will get immediate access to free 5-minute audio: “Relaxation for busy people-Feet to Floor” that you can easily adapt in your busy life.


Dedicated to your health and happiness.


Dr. Rozina




suicide prevention

Suicide and Stress; How to Cope with a Suicide in the Community.

2736 1824 Dr. Rozina

How to Cope with a Suicide in the Community.

Has your heart ever ached when you heard about somebody committing suicide? How do you cope with such a loss, especially when it is a youth in the community? The chances of getting affected by such news are increasing as there are approximately 123 suicides per day in the US. According to CDC data, suicide is currently one of the 10 leading causes of death overall and within each age group 10–64. Hearing stats is hard but hearing about someone you know committing suicide is harder. Let me share with you my recent experience and, hopefully, some of the tools that helped me may help you too.

Recently, I went to my daughter’s parent-teacher conference, and the teacher told me a young high schooler, one of her student’s brother, had committed suicide. She told me how hard it was for her to keep herself together. This boy was a ninth grader, a soccer player, a choir member and overall a very good student. He was also her student a few years back. She was feeling grief herself and was trying to figure out how to share the news with her students that their classmate had lost her brother.

As I was seeing patients that day, it was hard to keep my feelings under control. But I just focused on my patient’s needs and that helped me get through my day. I just wanted to go home and hug my kids as soon as possible. When I picked the phone to send a condolence text to the mother of this boy, I saw her last message about taking her son to a soccer game. I felt miserable and could not stop my tears. If I was feeling this way, I couldn’t imagine how that mother must be feeling.

I needed to use some of the tools I teach in the Stress to Joy program.

I acknowledged that; “I am feeling grief. I am a human being, and it is ok to feel sad upon hearing such news. I am a mother and felt for this mother.”

Gradually, I calmed down by letting my emotions flow, and bringing attention to what I was doing. I was driving home, so I started driving mindfully, bringing my attention to the moment. I became aware of my experience of both external and internal environment. I observed the sights, the sounds, and the smells. I noticed how I felt in my body as my hands were maneuvered the steering wheel, and my feet were automatically shifted pressure between the accelerator and brakes.

Once I calmed down, I started reflecting, initially in my head, then calling a friend and later in my journal. My friend said that when she heard about a suicide like that, she felt horrified. She started appreciating what she had in her life and stopped complaining about small day to day issues with her kids. I also started appreciating.

As I reflected, I realized that in our individualistic society, people might think that their life is their own, and their actions don’t affect others. In fact, we are social beings and our actions affect many people, even those that we may not know.

I wondered, what could have been the stressors that surpassed this boy’s capacity to cope that he reverted to such a drastic action? How can we prevent things like this from happening?

I know that there is a misconception that only people with a diagnosed mental illness will commit suicide. Although the rate of suicide is higher in people with mental illness, there are many people who are superficially doing fine in their day-to-day is life, but, when the stressors increase more than their capacity to cope, they break.


So what can we do?

Like in case of an infection, it is important to get antibiotics when infection occurs, and at the same time, it is also important to develop healthy habits like hand-washing to prevent more infections.

As in the case of a heart attack, it is critical that the person gets immediate care, and at the same time, it is very important to develop heart-healthy habits to prevent another heart attack.

Similarly, in case of suicide, it is critical to get treatment for someone having suicidal thoughts, and at the same time, it is also very important to think about developing mind healthy habits to prevent the suicidal thoughts from occurring.

But, do you have to wait till you develop an infection in order to start building healthy habits like hand washing? Or do you have to wait for a heart attack to happen in order to start developing heart-healthy habits? Similarly, you don’t have to wait for suicidal thoughts to occur before strengthening mind healthy habits.

When you develop mind healthy habits and get early treatment if necessary, you increase your resilience and joy which helps you cope with stress without breaking down and taking such drastic actions. The stress that leads up to suicide is temporary, but suicide is permanent. When a person takes his/her own life, in their mind, they think it is a solution; they don’t think that it could be a bigger problem. Who knows what happens after death?  What if there is more pain or what if you have to come back and relive all the pain and still complete your life cycle?

I asked myself, what can I do to prevent suicides in the community?

I recognized that stopping that boy from killing himself was not in my control, but I can help some people from doing something like that in future. it is in my circle of influence to teach the mind training tools to as many people as possible so they can manage their stress before it manages them and prevent unnecessary suffering and possibly suicide.

Therefore, I have been working on prevention education wherever and whenever possible in form of individual teaching, group, and writing. I have collected many mind training tools from my life and practice as a psychiatrist for the last 17 years in form of the Stress to Joy program. My mission is to help at least a million people minimize their stress and prevent unnecessary suffering while maximizing their joy.

Many people who have done a lot of work in this area and this is my contribution to that work. What can you do?

Train your mind. Learn to dance with your stress instead of fighting with it. Adapt to your life challenges and see them as opportunities for growth and develop happiness and resilience to be able to face stress in your life.

Join me and share these tools with other people in your circle of influence.

Contribute your skills, knowledge and time in improving the society as a whole so we decrease the overall stress we create for everyone including our youth.

Please, join me in spreading these mind training tools and resources. Who knows how many lives you would be able to save. Remember, you may not know who is suffering because people can hide their distress until it is too late. I have also attached info about the suicide prevention line below.

SAVE; Suicide Awareness and Voices of Education: https://save.org/

After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools: https://afsp.org/our-work/education/after-a-suicide-a-toolkit-for-schools/

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

Use the online Lifeline Crisis Chat.

Both are free and confidential.  You’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor in your area.


If you like to learn more mind training tools, I share many in my blogs, book, and course that you can access at www.drrozina.com. If you haven’t already signed up to receive my updates, you can still do that and get a free audio download “Relaxation for busy people” at www.stresstojoy.com

Dedicated to your health and happiness,


Dr. Rozina

Psychiatrist, Author, and Public Speaker



All comments will appear after moderator review. The tools and techniques I teach have proven to be highly successful for improving emotional, mental, and physical balance, but they are not intended to replace treatments prescribed by licensed medical or mental health professional.

Stress Relief for New Parents

4961 3307 Dr. Rozina

Enhance Your Joy of Parenting Despite the Stress of Other Demands in Life.

Are you a busy parent struggling to balance between the needs of your kids and responsibilities of your adult life? Are you a parent trying to manage life, while adjusting to your new routine? Are you a new mom who is trying to breastfeed while balancing housework, outside work, and other demands?

Most parents, especially new mothers, go through a lot of stress, fear, pain, sleep disturbance, and other issues that go with being a new parent and learning new parenting skills. How do you manage that stress so you could enjoy your baby and the beautiful experience of being a parent?

In this article you will learn one of the powerful ways to enhance your joy of parenting despite all the pressures of the adult life. 

I remember my experience of learning the power of this technique many years back when I was a first time, stressed out, mother trying to balance the needs of my baby, my work, and other responsibilities. I was working full time at the hospital in those days and trying to exclusively breastfeed my baby as he had a severe allergy to baby formula and cow milk. It was my routine to pump during work hours and breastfeed when I was home. One particular day, I came home tired from work and was trying to feed him fast so I could do my other work. Although my body was there, my mind was going in hundreds of other directions, including paying some bills online before the deadline. As I was trying to get done feeding him, my baby was getting more clingy. The more I tried to rush him and move on to the next task, the more he held me. As I realized that I was feeling frustrated, the million dollar question popped into my head;

“Why? What is more important at this moment?”

“Why am I trying to rush him? Why do I want him to stop holding me and let me go?” He was away from me the whole day.  He just wants my attention. I was worried about missing the deadline for my bills. I asked; “What is the worst thing that would happen if I miss that deadline?” Well, the bills would be late, and I would be charged the late fee of 5 dollars. “Is that 5 dollars more important than my baby?” The answer was evident. I just needed to ask that question. Without realizing, I forgot what was more important. I resolved internally to deal with the late fees if it happens and when it happens. There was even a chance that it may not happen but my mind was just focusing on the worst possible scenario.

I took a deep breath and looked at my baby mindfully. I was looking at the baby before, but my mind was somewhere else. I was not enjoying the experience. After my internal decision, I saw my baby with the full presence of mind. I noticed his little fingers holding my finger. I heard the sound of his breathing and suckling. I felt the touch of his body, and it all brought a smile on my face. I realized how beautiful, pure and innocent this baby is. I actually connected with him. The joy that I felt in my heart at that moment is indescribable. I could still feel that joy in my heart as I write this some 16 years later. I had such a beautiful gift, and I was losing it because I was worried about something so small as paying a bill?

As I became more mindful of the experience of being with the baby, my body also relaxed in addition to my mind. My baby felt it and became less clingy. He started playing and happily went into his rocking chair after a few minutes. After all, I was able to do my bills on time, and there were no late fees. I realized that I was worried for no reason. (Later I called this technique of coping with worrying, “Cross Road Technique” that you can learn further in my upcoming book; Stress to Joy).

Although I learned this technique when I was breastfeeding, you can use it in many other parenting situations. I don’t claim that I am always this mindful, but whenever I can ask myself the million dollar question, shift my focus and become mindful, it decreases my stress and increases my joy. Your mind may object that all the stress will not disappear with this simple perspective shift, but wouldn’t you still like it if your stress decreases even a little bit and your joy increases a little bit?

So weather you are a new parent or experienced, breastfeeding or not, next time you find yourself getting frustrated with conflicting demands between being with your child and other demands of adulthood, ask yourself the million dollar question, ”Why? What is more important at this moment?” Become aware of the experience of what you are doing at the time with all your senses and enjoy the process with full presence of mind. When other thoughts come, park them on the side and focus on where you are at the moment. See your child as if you are seeing him/her for the first time. Hear him/her, feel the touch as you hug or cuddle or feed him/her. Bring a smile on your face and let go of the tension in your shoulders. Breath deeper and observe your posture. Enjoy the beautiful gift you have in front of you. As you will relax, you will notice that you feel a little less stressed and are able to enjoy the process of parenting a little more. As a bonus, you will be able to do other important things with better focus and presence of mind also as you will develop your mindfulness.  

If you continue to have your mind go all over the place while you’re trying to connect with your children, you may lose out on the beautiful gift that you have, and the worries will build your stress level, robbing you of your joy. If you do keep bringing your focus to what you are doing at the moment that is important, you will feel happy and will be able to enjoy each experience fully.

If you find this technique helpful, remember to click like and leave a comment to help others. You can learn more tips and techniques like this in my blogs, book, and courses. Sign Up, and I will send you a one-minute mindfulness exercise for busy people that you can do anywhere, anytime while doing anything or going between any activities. You can also download it for free when you sign up.

Dedicated to your health and happiness.

Dr. Rozina


All comments will appear after moderator review. The tools and techniques I teach have proven to be highly successful for improving emotional, mental and physical balance, but they are not intended to replace treatments prescribed by licensed medical or health professionals.


You don’t want to miss any tips for health and happiness, sign up for our newsletter today and get a bonus free audio download of”Relaxation for Busy People”


10333 19th Ave SE
Everett, WA 98012
Ph: 425-742-4600
[email protected]