Friday, October 17, 2008

The 'S' Word

I'm conducting a little experiment/survey over the next week: how many times in a day to I hear people say they are stressed and how much of the time are the sources of that stress trivial or self-inflicted (or self-perpetuated), totally NOT meriting the 'S' word. I am guilty of subscribing to the stress epidemic all too often but I am sick and tired of it. I know that there are some situations in life that really and truly are stressful: a loved one being hospitalized for a life threatening illness, losing your job and not knowing how you will pay your bills. But I have found that for the most part, we stress over small "disasters", overloaded schedules, unhealthy relationships, body image issues... I may be stepping on a lot of toes by saying this, but I think a lot of stress could be alleviated if we would just learn better ways of dealing with the alleged causes of stress/distress.

Somewhere along the way we forgot how to relax. We forgot the importance of not taking everything personally. We also fail to set boundaries and end up getting our feelings stomped all over, our schedules overloaded and being outright overwhelmed. READ: There is nothing wrong with having time for air out, clear your mind, be still, quiet and alone.....pray, meditate or whatever you choose, sans the guilt-trips and smack-talk from others who seek to control your life because their misery is lonely.

It's almost like it suddenly became chic to be stressed. In many instances, we are socialized to believe that unless we have loaded our schedules to full capacity, virtually eliminate all boundaries and have been extended in multiple ways, we are not being as productive or responsible as we could or should be. I just don't agree. What's wrong with saying no when deep down inside you know that you're not comfortable with something or that it will be a strain on your time and hinder your other commitments? The word 'no' can be a simple, first line of defense in warding off the 'S' word. Say it with

This week I have eliminated some things in my life that were causing me way too much heartache and not benefiting my journey. I feel free, calmer...peaceful. I'm learning to look deeper inside to examine my motivations for my choices, so that I don't end up in these situations from the start. Life is full of ups and downs. Why add our own homemade stress when life is already going to serve us up a hearty helping of that which we can't control?

Oh yeah, T.G.I.F....woo-hoo!

Ciao for now...