A Day in the Life of Stress: Wrapping it Up
Life is full of daily chores and obligations, but they’re nothing to worry about. They’re simply an integral part of your life, just as you too are part of the bigger picture.
Keeping up and seeing yourself as part of society is hard work and with the glare of the media, politics and progress, it can seem like everything will just keep rolling with or without you. You may fall into a ‘survival mindset’ that you think will protect you from feelings of insignificance and you can become isolated and insular.
Your Place in the World
As Nelson Mandela said “feeling small doesn’t serve you. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking.” Everything on Earth is the product of an individual’s thoughts and actions and this includes you. It may be that day to day issues in your life cause stress, but very often these are exacerbated by something bigger. Take a moment to step back from this and ask yourself is it really worth worrying over. And then take a step forward and integrate yourself into the lives around you rather than the lifestyle.
Reviewing the Symptoms of Stress
Your work, relationships, home life and health can all trigger feelings of stress. You can learn to recognise the symptoms before you become overwhelmed with worry. If you find you relate too well to the list below, give yourself a little break. Life can be hard enough without always being tough on yourself.
- Mood swings
- Tiredness and problems sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Compulsions, like retail therapy, over-eating, smoking and drinking
- Obsession with your appearance
- Fear of silence
- Obsessive working, or conversely absenteeism
- Loss of concentration and memory
Saying Goodbye to Stress
Stress is not a necessary evil. You can live your life fully and achieve your goals without undue worry and anxiety if you know the triggers and counter them with a practical, positive outlook
- Accepting that your emotions are an integral part of your character can be one huge step towards overcoming stress. You can spend a great deal of time fighting yourself over your emotions: whether you should let them show, whether they can contribute effectively to your decision-making or whether they’re just a nuisance. Think of it this way: when you get angry you can find the motivation to finish some niggling task and when you’re happy you feel like you can take on anything. Now, there are pretty good reasons to take heed of your feelings, don’t you agree?
Worry, guilt and conscience
- Worry and guilt and not good motivators. The first fills your head with fruitless thoughts over what can’t be avoided, what ifs and might haves. Guilt is largely useless, especially when it’s a programmed reaction from your upbringing or outside influences such as religion. You can really do without this external pressure. Listening to your conscience may involve guilt, but this is of a variety that will keep you on the right track, building your inner strength.
- Accountability and blame are not the same thing. Laying blame when something goes wrong is a negative reaction and does not allow anyone to move forward. It can create stress and ill will. If you accept your role in a problem or another’s apology, you can minimise stress and move on.
Fate and what you can’t change
- What happens in your life can involve luck, fate or the stars in the sky however you control your own destiny by the choices you make. Trying to fulfil your every potential is unrealistic and you will overburden yourself with expectation, but by choosing one path after another and committing to them, you can know you tried your best and wont’ regret the options you didn’t choose.
- You need to accept the things you can’t change. If life is like a river, you can’t fight it, you can’t stop it; water can flow anywhere and it will take the path of least resistance. Try to be like water and go with the flow – consider the Taoist aphorism “gentleness prevails over hardness”.
- You need to believe in yourself to practise positive thinking. Mahatma Gandhi explained it best: “we have to be the changes we want to see in the world”. Trusting yourself and your motive will help you create self-respect and peace of mind, allowing you to move through life free from stress and worry. All you need to do is believe you can do it.