Stress is an interesting phenomenon to me. What's the big deal? It's pretty much everywhere, I've even had a 6-year-old tell me he was stressed one day. It's found in our professions, households, finances, health, and relationships. So based on this evidence couldn't one conclude that stress as "normal" and keep going about our day? But what is being "normal" costing us?
The physical costs may be neck/shoulder/back pain, fatigue, burnout, digestive problems, weight gain, and sleeplessness. The emotional costs may be anxiety, moodiness, anger, overwhelm, crying, helplessness, and depression. Who wants to live this way??? Unfortunately, many people do live this way and accept it as their life. I remember how my stress compounded into a downward spiral of more stress, more fatigue, and more crankiness, until finally I burnt out and couldn't get out of bed for several days. I took days off from work because I felt awful when I'd rather have been out having fun.
Fun? What's that? That possibility seems pretty non-existent to those feeling physically and emotionally depleted. That's when external stimulants such as alcohol start being a distraction from the unfulfillment one's feeling. But as we all know, it's only temporary and when we wake the next morning feeling lousy and reminded of our life we reach for the coffee and pastries and plow through another day. We struggle everyday to keep a smile on our face and pretend life is okay but this denial is costing us.
How much longer can this facade continue? For it becomes more and more challenging to hide it as time passes. What can we do? We're all alone. We can't tell anyone. It would appear weak or incompetent.
Well, the typical response is to keep it all inside, don't let anyone know, and pretend you have everything under control. Because if you didn't control everything, most likely you'd explode.
Unfortunately, you can't contain that kind of energy inside forever and it finds a way to get out either by affecting your health, emotions, and/or thoughts. Another response is to complain about everything to anyone who will listen. Unfortunately, this may help you feel better in the short-term but in the long-run you end up alienating friends and loved ones because they get tired of hearing you complain all the time.
We learned throughout life that "managing" stress is something to be dealt with by yourself quietly until it gets to be so overwhelming that we quit everything and run away thinking that a change of job, town, relationship, home, or whatever is the fix. So do you see that the cost of handing stress on our own is our relationships to others and ourselves? The change feels good in the beginning, something fresh and new, but over time what happens? The cycle continues again and we start down that same ol' path. What can we do? How do we break the pattern?
What would your life be like if you were living your life without stress? What does that even look like? Is it possible? I say yes and it can be done naturally without slacking on your responsibilities. I've learned how to help myself and others transform stress and overwhelm into solutions and positive results. If you knew you could do something about your stress and feel better would you do it?