[Podcast] When Things Do Not Go According to Plan

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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


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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.

stress management

Even Good Things Can Lead to…

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The beginning of the year is also a time when people have gone through increased demands of activities, socializing and sometimes vacations. Many times they feel drained and exhausted afterwards.


Because too many of even good things can be stressful for the body and mind.

We call it positive stress. The stress due to too many positive things.

Stress, even when positive, can cause some adverse effects.

Therefore, let me share here how to minimize the negative effects of positive stress by using my personal example.

I had a stimulating end of the year with a vacation planning for a family wedding and release of my Stress to Joy Guided Gratitude Journal, on top of all the year-end stuff a business owner has to do.

I was thrilled and enjoyed all the socializing and excitement. I did not feel any stress although my body was experiencing some negative effects of positive stress.

Few weeks later, I was found to have high blood pressure. Now if you are a healthcare professional, or know someone who is, you may know that doctors make terrible patients because they know all the possible consequences of an illness.

Like many doctors, my mind started going over all the possible worse case scenarios, I could go thru with an underlying high blood pressure; strokes, heart attacks, dementia, etc.

Consequently, I started feeling stressed and worried.

[Yes, stress doctors can also feel stressed].

The next day, I caught myself worrying and decided to apply the basic formula I teach others in the Stress to Joy® program.

Once I went through the exercise I felt relief from stress. I stopped worrying and started feeling empowered to take action. I started feeling calmer again even though my external situation hadn’t changed yet.

What helped me?

My journaling practice.

I usually start my mornings with my gratitude journal and follow up with my reflections. So that day as I began to reflect, I applied the basic Stress to Joy® formula ACR.

A –  I acknowledged that I am going through the positive stress of publishing as well as vacation planning and business management. Although it makes me happy and excited, it is causing some adverse effects on my health. I noticed the body tension and jumpy thoughts.

C – I calmed down intentionally with the feet to floor exercise and mindfulness.

R – I started reflecting using 3Rs:

Recognize: I recognized that certain things are in my control and certain things are not. The number on the blood pressure machine is not in my control.

It is in my circle of concern but not in my circle of control.

Although I cannot control it, I can still influence it by taking specific actions; e.g., watching my diet, doing my exercises, making my doctor’s appointment, and taking medications if needed.

Circle of Concern and Circle of Influence

Realize: I realized that I was reacting by focusing on the worst-case scenarios and that it is not helping me.

Response: So I told myself to use the mantra for letting go of worries;

“I choose not to suffer before suffering.
I will deal with the problem if it happens when it happens. ( There is a chance it may never happen, or it may occur after a long time. )
I choose to focus on and take steps to get the results I want rather than the results I don’t want.

I added my intention and choice statement to my daily to-do list for my daily reminders:

I choose to walk 10 min three times a day.

I choose to drink water, eat healthily, and take my meds and vitamins regularly.

I choose to give priority to self-care.

I choose to focus on My “I can” circle.

Do I even need to tell you how it shifted my mindset?

If you can relate to my story, then try this technique regularly and see how it helps you shift your mindset gradually and transform your suffering and stress to health and happiness.

You can learn more detail of this technique and many other techniques like this in the book Stress to Joy. (Specifically this technique is on page 113). www.stresstojoy.com

Let me know if you can relate to my story and how this technique helps you.

In my next blog, I will share “Five Easy Fixes for Tiredness and Irritability” so watch out for that.

Dedicated to your health and happiness,

Dr. Rozina

# 1 Bestselling Author, Transformational Speaker and


The Stress to Joy® program is available in  
Print Book 
Audio Book
Online Course
Guided Gratitude Journal

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All names have been changed to protect identity. Any similarity is a coincidence. Advise is for educational purpose and should not be taken as treatment. No liability.


First Graders List of Gratitude

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When I ask adults what they are grateful, sometimes they struggle. To help them, I usually give examples of simple things that we take for granted. Once a man said, “but they have been there all my life.”  He didn’t see the reason to count them as blessings. Many times we don’t realize extraordinariness of the ordinary experiences in our lives and feel the emptiness.

On the other hand, kids have an easier time. They are so cute and see the significance of simple blessings that surround us. I recently had the privilege of being with few first graders for 15 minutes.  I asked them; “let’s make a list of all the things we are grateful for until your teacher comes. She would be impressed.” I checked if they knew the meaning of the word grateful and they said it means thankful. Here’s the list they came up with the prompt:

TYAF {Thank you, Allah (God) For}.
  1. God
  2. dad – parents
  3. family
  4. Christmas presents
  5. Xbox
  6. Wii ( game)
  7. Legoland
  8. bowling alley
  9. eyes
  10. my little brother (brothers and sisters)
  11. brain
  12. prayers
  13. dog (pets)
  14. world
  15. food
  16. drinks (water and juice)
  17. legs
  18. arms/hands
  19. cars/trucks/buses
  20. teachers
  21. close
  22. shoes
  23. jackets
  24. bed
  25. house
  26. electricity
  27. blankets
  28. Ink/marker/board
  29. table/chairs
  30. forks/spoons/napkins/plates

Then they added their names to the list as they were thankful for themselves.


Can you come up with at least three things you are grateful for every morning?

If you do, it will enhance your contentment in life. If you don’t practice some positive routine like this, you will be at risk of feeling stress and emptiness.

I have practiced gratitude journal myself for the last 14 years and seen it’s a positive impact on my life. I have witnessed its a powerful impact on the level of health and happiness of many clients who have adopted the practice. Now I am on a mission to help you enjoy its benefit too.

I encourage you to start your gratitude practice today.

If you don’t like to write in a journal, open the notes section on your phone and make an entry of 3 words you appreciate in life. It may take less than a minute but can make your whole day feel much more positive. If you like to write in a journal, my upcoming Stress to Joy Guided Gratitude Journal may help you. I have packed it with prompts, inspiring quotes, and provoking ideas to help you immediately shift into a place of gratitude. Pre-order copies for yourself, friends and family today. What could be a better gift this year than the ultimate tool for joy, peace, and contentment?

If you missed getting the gift of a sample from the journal, you could still get it by clicking here.


Dedicated to your health and happiness.


Dr. Rozina Lakhani
Psychiatrist, Transformational Speaker, and Author of # 1 Bestselling book; “Stress to Joy.”

Was this article helpful? Check out all of Dr. Rozina’s Blogs and programs

Services: www.shifahealth.org

Contact: 425-742-4600

how to manage stress    


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. 

I am grateful

Easiest and Cheapest Way to Enhance Your Contentment in Life

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Easiest and Cheapest Way to Enhance Your Contentment in Life

“I am grateful for having an address.”  Answered a patient when I asked what she was grateful for that day. It is my habit to ask that question while I am writing their prescriptions at the end of their session. I looked at her inquisitively.

She told me that as she was homeless for two months, she did not have an address to get her mail. Further, she explained to me that as soon as she settled in the housing she found, she went to the post office to update her address. She still had a daunting task of calling all her creditors. They may have charged her penalties for not paying in time because she did not get her mail for those months.

Have you ever thought about that?

Are you grateful for having an address?

A place where you can get your mail. A place where you can go to bed when you want to. ( She told me that when you are sleeping on other people’s coaches, you can’t go to bed when you want. You have to fit your host’s schedule. ) A home where you feel relatively safe. (She shared that when you are sleeping in a car, you are always on alert because anybody can come and rob you, hurt you, or ask you to move).

I realized how many things we take for granted.

Therefore I write my gratitude journal every day and have done it for 14 years. I have seen its benefit, and therefore I am on a mission to educate, motivate and spread happiness.

When you write a gratitude journal every day, you can bring attention to simple things in life that you may have taken for granted. Once you bring those to your awareness your focus shifts from what is missing in life to what is there in life. You can feel more content. When something is wrong, you are hurting, or things are not going to your desire, your mind keeps focusing on that. If you have a practice of writing a gratitude journal, you can shift your mood from the negative to positive every day. I think this is the easiest and cheapest way to enhance contentment in life.

Do you practice gratitude journaling? If yes, please share your success story on how it helps you.

If not, start today. Begin with the primary prompt of “I am grateful for” ( IGF in short), and list all the things for which you are thankful.

Once you get used to doing that, you can add other prompts.

In order to guide people to start, resume or take their practice to the next level, I have been working on a Stress to Joy™ Gratitude Journal.

I am happy and grateful in advance that it will help many people nurture their attitude of gratitude and enhance their feelings of contentment and happiness.  Would you do me a favor and share your opinion on the preliminary cover design?

grattitudeWhat do you think of this cover for a gratitude journal?

Would you be attracted to pick it up, start your gratitude practice and give it as a gift to the people you care about?

I would appreciate your feedback.






Dedicated to your health and happiness,

Dr. Rozina

#1 Best Selling Author, Speaker, and Psychiatrist

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.


I share many mind training tools on my blogs, book, and course at www.drrozina.com. The book, Stress To Joy, is also available on Amazon. If you would like to get the guided audio for a one-minute relaxation exercise that you can use to break your stress cycle in your busy life at https://stresstojoy.com/feet-to-floor

how to stay positive

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

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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




remain calm

How to remain calm when things don’t go as anticipated

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Stress to Joy Book Update

Have you been reading the excerpts from the book that I have been sending and waiting to get the actual book in your hand? Due to some technical delays, it’s release is getting slightly delayed and it will be available in the next few days.

How do you feel when something doesn’t go as expected or anticipated? When the book was not released as expected, I felt the same way as when I missed my flight the other day. I was flying from Atlanta and the security and wait at the airport was so long that it kept going on and on. As the time to my flight was approaching and chances of my missing the flight rose, so did my anxiety and blood pressure. How can I remain calm during times like this? I had to use several of the techniques from the book to manage that stress.

How to remain calm when things don’t go as anticipated.

I acknowledged that I am getting worked up. (first step). I calmed my mind and body by doing the feet to floor exercise. (second step). Then I was able to reflect on my issue and possible solutions (third step). I tried to bring my focus to my circle of influence. Making that security line move faster was my in my circle of concern but not in my circle of influence. What was in my control was how I was reacting to that situation. Physically all I could do was to stand ready with my documents and keep my composure in that line which was moving at a snail’s pace. Mentally, I had all the “what if” worry thoughts. I knew I could break that cycle if I used the crossroad technique, so I used the mantra “I am doing what I can. There is no sense in suffering before suffering. I will deal with the problem if and when it happens.” There was a chance that I could still make it. I had to repeat the mantra often as it is hard to break the cycle in the pressure of the moment. By the time, I was through the line and ran to the gate, the plane had left. Again, standing in line to talk to the customer service, I was having hard time keeping calm thoughts. I explored the options but, again, used the mantra to calm my thoughts.

I got standby tickets for the next flight. Again, there was a chance that I wouldn’t be able to board the plain and may have to wait the whole day until the night flight. I had only a few hours of sleep the night before and my blood glucose was going down. So I repeated the steps again, I acknowledged, calmed down, and reflected. I got some food and water, tried to help reduce my family’s worried thoughts, and said an advanced gratitude for reaching home safely. When our name was called to get on the flight, I stood with a grace in my heart and safely boarded the plane.


Excerpt from the book Stress to Joy- Chapter 1:  

“……Resilience can give you freedom from stress. Freedom doesn’t mean a total absence of stress. Although, when you are tired of the stress, it is natural to wish for it all to disappear.

But that is not practical. Freedom from stress doesn’t mean that there are no stressors; it means that despite the stressors, you don’t experience feeling stressed.

You are not a prisoner of stress. Stress no longer burdens you. You are not fighting it, but dancing with it. You can happily coexist with all the stressors. You are managing your stress before it manages you.

You are transforming it into an opportunity for growth.”


I will continue to share more content and keep you informed.  

Soon the whole book will be available at https://stresstojoy.com. Meanwhile, you can read more mind training tools by visiting my blogs at https://drrozina.com


Please share how any of these tips and tools help you so I can serve you better.

Share with people you think may benefit from these training tools so together we can decrease suffering and increase happiness in the world.

If you haven’t already, sign up to get my newsletter and you will get a free audio “Relaxation for Busy People.”


To your health and happiness,


Dr. Rozina

Psychiatrist, Public Speaker, Author of the upcoming book “Stress to Joy”



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. 


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