This stressed-out world
I am not sure if you have noticed, but the world seems to be an increasingly fraught place – filled with overworked, time-poor people. There never seems to be enough time each day to get everything done and the list of things that need to be completed never seems to shorten.
How have we let life get this way? Nowadays, when I want to see a girlfriend for lunch, we usually have to book 2-3 weeks in advance as we both tend to have such busy schedules and finding time that coincides is becoming more of a challenge. Our brains are on constant alert from the constant bombardment of information just to add to the complicated equation.
So what can we do to counteract stress and strain and not end up in straitjackets?
It’s easier said than done but try not to get caught up in the mind frame of constantly having to be ‘doing’ something. Learn to get comfortable with silence and quiet time. Learn to relax and feel at ease doing nothing. Fight the urge to keep on doing.
We are driven to achieve and want more and to feel we are progressing, so we work hard to get a house and a car and a good job, we find relationships and we self soothe by going shopping, gambling and drinking (drugs too). All of these quick fixes fix us in the short term but they don’t keep stress away indefinitely.
How to step off the stress-mill
Learn to do nothing for at least half an hour a day without any guilt
Learn to feel comfortable without a to-do list. You don’t need it as much as you think you do
Stop watching the news for a few days
Spend time with friends and don’t allow yourself to be distracted by your phone – put it away or turn it off.
Spend time alone
Pamper yourself – go for a regular massage, pedicure, manicure etc
Engage in at least one enjoyable activity per week – ice skating, knitting, photography, playing chess, reading..whatever you enjoy
Set yourself clear SMART goals S = specific M=measurable A = achievable R = realistic t = time bound
When you have goals you have a sense of purpose and this can help you get through the immediate stress and frustration, knowing you are working towards something important and worthwhile.
Don;t take life too seriously – keep a sense of humour as much as possible.
I have never seen so many clients who are stressed out, having panic attacks as well as suffering from constant anxiety and/or depression. Unsettled sleeping patterns and health issues are common side effects of too much stress.
Get your balance back and don;t let stress rule your life – there are ways to reduce stress. Take stock of your life and make necessary changes. Long term consequences of stress can be very damaging. Here’s to a new care free you.