Are you stressed because you feel like you have no control over your life?
Most people want to be in the driver’s seat of their lives. Yet many of us feel that we somehow have little control over what happens in our lives and over our time and schedules in meeting all of the necessary demands of work and family life.
Things happen in life that we can’t control such as a serious illness, death of a loved one, or having a job down-sized. However, there are many things in life that we can control. We can decide whether or not to take on additional change of our choosing. For example if you recently lost a loved one or went through a divorce and moved into a new home, you may want to choose to wait to change jobs. Taking on too many big changes at once causes a lot of stress and can result in health problems. Use this Stress Scale to determine if you should consider waiting to take on additional change in your life.
We can also choose our attitude about what happens to us in our lives. We can focus on the negative and choose to feel bad about our situation and what we don’t have, or we can focus on the positive and be grateful for all of the blessings in our lives. Personally being in the midst of a divorce from a 17-year marriage, I can speak from my own experience. Although I am experiencing a life-changing loss, I am choosing to be grateful for all of things that I do have in my life right now: support and closer relationships with my family and friends, my growing business, personal growth, new experiences, and more. What we focus on expands in our lives, so we must choose to focus on the positive. Attitude really is everything.
Lastly, we can choose how we spend our time. Sure, there are things that we must do every day to meet our responsibilities and obligations, but we can also choose to make taking care of ourselves a priority. This means not only eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep, but also taking time to rejuvenate and renew ourselves mentally and spiritually. We can do this in many different ways such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, reading, listening to motivational audio books, getting support from others, community affiliation, fun and laughter, and so on.
I talk to many people on a daily basis who make taking care of themselves their last priority. We need to make taking care of ourselves our top priority. If we don’t take care of ourselves, who will? Our family members and our jobs that we are placing ahead of ourselves are counting on us to be there. There’s a reason they say on every airplane flight to put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others. We must first help ourselves before we can truly help others.
“Heroism is the triumph of spirit over circumstance.” – Neil A. Stroul, Ph.D.