Stress. Upon reading the word, often a negative connotation is understood, but all that the body is doing in a state of stress is releasing adrenaline to allow us to push through an evanescent time in such a away to be successful. It is when we perpetually place our body in this state that stress takes a negative toll – breaking down our immune system and leaving our bodies more susceptible to aches, pains, and sickness prematurely or unnecessarily.
So why do we do it to ourselves? Why do we stress ourselves out unnecessarily? Depending upon your lifestyle, it could be a variety of things – but at the heart of much of our unnecessary stress is trying to gain control of everything. And even when as rational human beings, we realize some things will always be out of our control, we can push too hard for too long and ultimately create more problems than solutions for our everyday lives.
I wholeheartedly believe that upon deciding to do anything, doing our best will not only reap the best benefits but also leave us more satisfied when we are complete, but it is when we put too much on our plate that everything suffers. We end up tying ourselves in knots and tripping over our own best laid plans.
So, I’d like to take a look at a few things that each of us can let go of rather than stressing over unnecessarily that will hopefully leave our lives better balanced and more enjoyable.
Things to let go:
The idea of perfect while, helping us to reach our full potential, when not put into perspective, can have a devastating effect on our self-esteem and overall contentment. Currently, I have found myself as I am trying to sell my house, thinking that every pillow, crevice and counter must be perfectly adorned, styled and polished, but in reality, so long as I do my best, leave my home as neat as possible, when the right buyer comes along, the sale will occur. It can be terribly easy to work oneself into a frenzy examining all of the possible reasons why something doesn’t happen when we so badly want it to, but the truth is, at some point we have to let go and live our lives. If we don’t, we ruin the present moment.
2. Creating an Ideal Social Life
Magazines have always and will always create lists of what an ideal social life looks like, but the important ingredient that they are not considering when they write their article is the person who the social life is being created for. Perhaps you are more introverted, perhaps you are extremely extroverted. Whatever your predilections are when it comes to enjoying the company of others, nobody can know that but you. So stop creating a social circle based on checking off a list that a magazine contributor created to meet a deadline and just live the life that brings you the most joy sans outside approval.
3. Your Past
The gift of youth is naiveté, and just about any mistake or journey you underwent was an opportunity to learn something about yourself. If others hold your past against you, it says far more about them than you. Each of us has the opportunity to learn from the lessons of our past. We can evolve and grow or we can continue to repeat them; however, if you are reading this, I have no doubt your are of the former category. And so rather than beating yourself up over past blunders, poor judgment calls and decisions that in the light of day would have been best to forgo, be thankful for the youthful years that you had and begin striving toward more appropriate journeys that will leave you far more fulfilled. After all, now you know better, and thus you can confidently do better.
4. Making Enough Money
As we grow, the comparison of paychecks with our peers can begin to be a regular activity. And while this may be a fun endeavor if our monthly income is significant, it is by no means productive. So long as you have money to live, eat and sleep comfortably, you should count yourself fortunate, and if you are able to enjoy the means by which you make your money, you can count yourself rich. It is when we enjoy the work we do that allows us to live the life we enjoy that actually defines our wealth. For when we sit online counting our pennies, we waste valuable time to dream, to act, to create and enjoy each others’ company. Practice instead sound basic money management and saving practices and you’ll soon discover there is no need to compare your income with anyone.
5. Being a Success in Other People’s Opinion
So the crowd hasn’t recognized your accomplishments or hard work. Maybe your friends and family don’t consider the work you do to be relevant. However, in your heart, you know you’re giving your best and are loving what you do in your life. True success is when we are able to live according to our values, tying in our abilities and at the same time feel a sense of contributing positively to society. If nobody else recognizes it, so what? When we seek approval from others, what we’re really seeking is love and recognition that what we are doing matters. But when we recklessly seek approval from people who don’t understand or respect our intentions, hard work, or objectives, we can feel defeated unnecessarily. So always keep in mind Teddy Roosevelt’s quote referring to “The Man in the Arena”.
Things to value as priorities:
Each of the following habits and ways of going about your everyday routine will help to eliminate unnecessary stress, keep you healthy and primed to perform your best.
1. Quality Sleep
Read the 9 benefits of getting quality Zzzzs here.
2. A Healthy Diet
Feeding our bodies is a practice in science, and when we know how to care for our bodies properly it can do amazing things. Click here to see a detailed list of quality food to feed your body.
3. Time to do Nothing
When I have a goal at the forefront of my mind, it can be very hard to sit still for a couple of hours in my home or on vacation. However, it has been my experience that if I don’t find regular downtime, I am irritable and have a greater tendency to make bad decisions. Taking it easy from time to time is a very healthy and necessary thing to do especially if we want quality results.
4. A Means to Feel Productive
Recently I was speaking with one of my colleagues as we were heading into our summer school holiday, and the point was made that they would enjoy working year round. Why, you might be wondering? Well, I completely understood and as someone who works through the summers herself on the blog, it is the feeling of being productive that is absolutely satisfying at the end of the day. Granted weekends and occasional vacation getaways are great, but knowing you are able to produce something of value each day is a very rewarding feeling that often is forgotten when we trudge off to a job we don’t enjoy. The gift of working at a place you love is this feeling that my colleague speaks of, and when managed well, can be a very good stress to incorporate into your life.
5. Regular Exercise
Ah, the regular appointment we can make with ourselves that actually increases our energy and our longevity. Exercise is a prime example of how placing temporary stress on our bodies can be a very positive practice. Click here for a list of ideas on how to incorporate everyday activities into your routine.
While it may seem our lives aren’t on the schedule we’d prefer, allowing certain unnecessary stressors into our lives isn’t going to make the day run any smoother, and actually will have the opposite effect. Realizing what we do and don’t have control over is crucial to finding a healthy balance of growth and progress alongside rest and rejuvenation. It will take a daily conscious effort, but I am confident we can all be successful.
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