We Do it to Ourselves

destress

Lately, I have been working on changing my thoughts around the stressors in my life and that got me thinking.  I mentally went down the list of a number of things in our lives that cause us the most stress and I came to the conclusion that we do most of it to ourselves.  We invite the stress into our lives by our actions or inaction, not the other way around.  Stress does not happen to us…we allow it to thrive in our lives by the choices we make.

Think about it…we buy into what society tells us is good for us, right, true, what will make us happy, and how to live.  We go along believing it is as it should be.  But is it?

  • Do you really need to own that home that is a huge financial burden and stopping you from enjoying the things in life that mean the most?  What’s wrong with renting?  Is it because society says you should go to college, get married and buy a home?
  • Do you really need to marry that person who happens to be “Mr. Right Now” instead of “Mr. Right” just because all of your friends are getting married and having babies?   Or do you really need to stay in that relationship one more year even though your gut is telling you to move on?
  • Do you really need to work on that project that you keep avoiding or is there another way to go about it?
  • Do you really need all those lattes that the money could instead actually go toward getting a house keeper so you can spend more time doing what you love?
  • Do you really need to eat all the junk food that makes you feel like crap and will eventually make you sick?  How is that working out for you?
  • Do you really need that flashy car that is only a vehicle to get you  from point a to point b?  Is it really worth the debt and the pressure you have to pay it?
  • Are you really enjoying the time you are spending with your girlfriend if you are stressed because you keep putting off doing your taxes?

I could go on forever but I think you get the picture.  I hope you do.  I really, really hope you do.  This is hugely important because STRESS KILLS and we can significantly reduce our stress by tweaking just a few thoughts in our beautiful minds.  Thoughts become things… truly.  I promise.   We worry over things we can not change and believe what people say about us that have nothing to do with us.  Stop it right now…this day.  Choose to be in control of something you can control: YOU.  Choose to be in control of your mind, body and spirit.

Let me give you a few examples from my own life so you can really grasp what I am trying to get at.  I am currently a photographer in my day job as I am transitioning into being a blogger/writer/health coach.  I no longer want to HAVE to do photography but I still need to pay the bills. So recently, I realized that instead of letting it stress me out and get me down, I can change how I look at it.  I can tell myself that I am a creative being that is blessed to be able to provide lasting memories for my clients.  I can tell myself that I am so lucky that I don’t have to work in the corporate world and I get to play with nursery school kids and be silly.  All the lugging of heavy equipment is my exercise,  not a drag.

Here is another simple example.  Stress can come at you from all angles.  Even the tiniest nuisance is a stressor.  How many times have you gone to retrieve a file, that you use daily on your computer, five folders deep?  Wouldn’t it serve you better to have it right on your desktop?  (I learned this one the hard way one day when I suddenly said to myself “duh!”).  Here’s another A-Ha: I am not a morning person and it takes me a while to wake up in the morning.  I would end up getting up after the kids and get thrown right into the thick of it before I had my tea.  Now I go to bed a bit earlier so I can get up earlier and have some time to myself to enjoy my tea and the sunrise before the kids are up.  That small tweak makes our mornings go so much more smoothly and starts the day off right.  The key here is to look at the irritants in your life (no, not your mother-in-law) and start turning them around.  You know what you need to do.  It is a matter of doing it.

This is where I want you to open your mind wide to the new possibilities of the way life could be for you if you let go of your routine way of thinking and really look outside of yourself to the life you could have.  Really try to conquer this idea because if you make this one change, it could drastically alter the course of your life.  I want you to make a list of the biggest stresses in your life and then get really honest.  How are you allowing this to exist?  How can you release what is keeping you away from being your best self?  I know you can do this.  Please tell me how it goes and share anything that might help someone else. xoxox

“Show up, tune in, be real, enjoy the ride”

Photo Credit Jennifer Troyer

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