Stress is no secret. We all have some mess we can trace back to stress. But the secret to your success of overcoming stress doesn’t have to be a secret. How do you get rid of stress then? That’s the secret, you don’t. That may not sound like much of a secret but once you realize stress isn’t going anywhere you can stop becoming a victim and start learning to be a victor. Stress is going to happen no matter how great your life is. Stress is no respecter of status, stock portfolio, family, or friends. Stress seems to be the social stigma of our times. We cringe at the slightest hint of its presence. I’m not saying we have to be best friends with stress and invite it over for dinner, but we each need to realize it’s a necessary part of life, but it doesn’t have to ruin life. When we feel ‘stressed’ we compound the problem because we don’t know how to handle it, or fear that we won’t be able to handle it. It’s our fear of failure, or the precious moments stress will steal, that makes it seem so haunting and daunting. It’s our perception of it that does the damage. We feel overwhelmed and unable to cope with it and then the trauma and drama starts and we begin frantically looking for the oxygen masks, or the EXIT signs, hoping that running away or escaping will solve the problem.
This is completely understandable. No one likes to feel uncomfortable or, stressed. We will do anything to restore balance to our lives when we are uncomfortable. Some people will choose good ways; others will turn to quick, but not necessarily kosher comforts. However, once we put our stresses in the proper perspective; shed some light on our shadows so to speak, we will not only be able to overcome stress, but use it to help us learn how to live a better life, to prevent future failings by learning from our past faux pas and becoming better travelers not in spite of our trials, but because of them.
To put things in a proper perspective we need to get them out our heads and hearts and see them differently. Writing them down is a powerful way to get a different perspective. Last week we spoke of writing things down that bring you stress and that bring you joy. This may have seemed simple, but sometimes the simple things are the best way to solve complicated problems. When you look at your list of stressors, how do you feel? Do you feel overwhelmed, discouraged, and ashamed? Does it make you not even want to look at the list of things that bring you joy because you feel undeserving, unworthy, or that those joys are so few and far between that they don’t even give you hope anymore? I wish we could each talk individually. I would want to know why you feel deserving of being stressed and depressed, but not deserving of the great things life has to offer you. You are more than your problems and no matter who you are and where you’ve been you deserve to have a good life. You were meant for more than defeat.
Therefore, this week, even if stress makes you feel week, I want you to think of how you would change your ten negatives into positives. If you don’t know how, send me an e-mail, I will help you. Most importantly, focus on the list of ten joys. Even if they’re just ideas, or wishes, keep that list in sight and don’t hesitate to add to it. In fact, try to add to it! Look for more positives than pot-holes this week. Look for the things that will give you oxygen. Notice the things that try to suffocate you and steal your breath, but focus on those that take your breath away. Enjoy your journey a little bit more this week! You deserve it.