Thursday, April 30, 2009

We give the little word 'stress' too much power

I have had a fun filled weekend, involving much fun and alcohol as my brother came down to Cornwall to celebrate his 40th birthday. I was so pleased he chose to come down here to share the celebrations with his family. It was an honour. However when Monday came as I hadn’t done any household chores or writing at the weekend, there seemed to be so much to do, and not enough time slots to do it all in. I wondered how I was going to manage to fit every thing in, even though some of what I was trying to fit it was fun stuff, such as a visit from a friend and going to the cinema. One of my main worries was that I wouldn’t find any time to research and write an article to post on Wednesday. Monday morning I felt very overwhelmed, and started to feel panicked, my body tensed up, I rushed around but didn’t get anything done any quicker, and I was even hyperventilating. Then I thought to myself this is silly, if I can’t do everything this week, Is it life threatening? Is it really important in the big scheme of things? I was feeling stressed about doing fun things which took the fun out of them completely? I was allowing myself to be stressed, and knew I had to do something about it or I wouldn’t manage the week.

I think sometimes we use the word ‘stress’ as a cop out. We give this little word too much power. By saying we are stressed we are using an excuse, placing the blame on something/one else for the way we are feeling, and then we make ourselves the victim. However playing the victim doesn’t help us feel any better; by concentrating on negatives we are just creating more negativity. Stress could be considered to be a fearful reaction to life’s constant changes.

The only life I have control over is mine and only I control my life. So I decided to take control, examine what I was fearful of, and examine what I could do to release the fear. I realised that I would let my mind race onto all the tasks ahead of me which was using energy I didn’t have to spare, instead of concentrating in the here and now. Concentrating and doing one thing at a time, and not letting my mind race ahead of me, was enough to make me feel so much calmer. I also had a CD with one minute meditations which I was able to do (after all if I couldn’t spare one minute I really was in trouble). By taking the time to think through, examine why I was panicking, and being proactive in making changes to ensure I felt calmer and capable, my week ended up flowing quite nicely. Everything fell into place, and I even ended up with spare time, and was able to find time to do enough research and writing to produce an article I was happy with.

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