The other week I found myself challenged.
You see, I’m one of those people who is easily lead by their emotions. Yep, be it a sad, scary or stressful experience, I’m not shy of getting worked up should the moment dictate it.
Fortunately as I’ve aged I’ve mastered the rawness that can come from a challenging or upsetting situation – just don’t put on The Notebook, alright?!
This said, stress isn’t something I can always easily shake.
I often worry about doing the wrong thing, about managing situations correctly and generating the best results, to putting the right foods in my body and keeping others happy (the list goes on) – even though I know all it usually takes to be successful is a vote of self-confidence.
On occasion this stress is detrimental to my wellbeing.
When things are really busy I frequently have ‘excel’ themed dreams, which are as much of a sleep-disturbing nightmare as they sound. Likewise, if I watch a horror movie or documentary that encourages me to contemplate a serious topic or situation right before bed, well I’m likely to think about it all night long.
I once spent the night dreaming about rental applications. It was exhausting!
It’s only once I started my wellness journey and invested in self-care that I’ve realised that stress isn’t something we should let rule our lives; particularly pointless stress.
Sometimes I have to ask my self, does this moment truly affect my wellbeing? Does it change my relationship with my religion? What about my relationship with my fiance, family and friends? Or my job security? Does it affect where I live, or the health and wellbeing of those I hold dear?
The answer is almost always an overwhelming no.
Perhaps this is an incredibly selfish way to manage stress, but I’ve learnt that we need to learn to focus on what’s important, not the nuances of everyday, as the list of things that could go wrong is endless.
I’m not saying don’t invest your time in helping others – in fact, I’m arguing quite the opposite. This is something we should all be doing more often and events of the world should concern us all deeply.
What I am saying is that carrying stress from a moment in your day when you can’t fix the situation or for no good reason is useless.
It also means that you can’t give your best to others when you’re in a position to actually do something about it.
How do I manage it?
Firstly, I take steps to acknowledge when stress is happening. I then take a moment to release that stress by breathing deeply.
I once read that the only way the body can relax is to breathe deeply. Think about it, you can’t breathe deeply when in danger. Breathing deeply activates the body’s natural relaxation response. We do it when we meditate and sleep. It also decreases our metabolisms, heart beats and blood pressure.
Secondly, I call out peeps when they’re creating stressful situations for absolutely no reason at all – ain’t nobody got time for that! Myself included.
Most importantly to me, I also know that with God and Aaron by my side that everything will be OK. It’s with this reassurance that I face everyday with total confidence and courage.
Whether you believe in fate, the stars, the universe, religion or something else entirely, purpose should be at the heart of your thinking. Putting your trust and confidence in that purpose brings the greatest serenity possible. It also helps cut out pointless stress.
Of course, regardless of where you find direction, I encourage that your meaning be built on one foundation – love. It is the only thing that can sustain us and I believe, the only reason why we are here.
With it, nothing is impossible, without it – well that’s just too sad of a world to contemplate. Once we realise this, emotion becomes a lot easier to tame and stress becomes much more a hurdle of yesterday.