Let me start by saying the title Extreme Crashes That Force Change seems a little bit dramatic, huh? We are living in a time where people are carrying around extra stress like it was the latest handbag. If we take a hard look at our lives, our views, and our world, couldn’t it be described as extreme or stressful? Haven’t we witnessed some horrific crashes as well? Recessions, natural disasters, and even a pandemic. Sometimes it takes an extreme crash to make an impact. Now we are left looking for ways to cope during these stressful times.
I’m writing this blog as I lay in my bed, on a weekday afternoon. The silence is almost deafening, as my kids are in school and my spouse is hard at work. No, I’m not taking a vacation day, and I haven’t made my first million yet affording me the life of doing what I want when I want. I’m lying in the quiet because I have shingles. This is my fourth outbreak but this time the crash feels different.
Coping with the Stress of Life
The intense stabbing pains, stiff joints, and the feeling of my skin burning (possibly worse than the most extreme sunburn you’ve ever had), all feels the same. It’s the feelings of disappointment and clarity that are new.
I’m a former workaholic and perfectionist. My life was out of order because I really believed that I could be perfect at everything. Spoiler alert, it’s not possible. I unfortunately and unknowingly was not coping with the new level of stress that my life was putting on to me.
A year ago, I stopped everything cold in its tracks to find ways to create and life a balanced life. My commitment was to live a life filled with harmony and joy. I started by setting new goals, journaling for clarity, and developing routines that made me feel happy. Finally, I had to take a hard look at who I’d become and who I wanted to be. This was when things started to click for me.
Finding the Joy
In life’s long game of hide and go seek, I finally found the joy. I could see it in the faces of my kids when I was present. I could feel it in my body during yoga and especially when my heart swelled up with joy as the words spilled out of me week after week writing this blog. Knowing that my stories are helping others reminds me that I’m living my purpose.
Everyone Gets Lost Sometimes
Even when you find the balance and live a life of purpose you’ll still get lost or off track sometimes. Getting lost is a beautiful thing, if and only if you learn from it and find wisdom along the way. Your mind tells you where you want to go, your body is the vehicle, but what really fills the tank is joy.
Since deciding to go out on the edge and make the commitment to changing my life, I’ve had a few mini relapses along the way. I slid backward when I said things out of emotion instead of logic, or when I said yes to something when I really wanted to say no. I was able to take a step back and realize why I reacted the way I did, then I could quickly fix it, and go back to living my newfound balanced life of purpose.
Tensions Are High and Crashes Are Extreme
It’s a crazy world we are living in and sometimes it takes an extreme crash to force change that is needed. The expectations are heightened, tensions are high, and faith and tolerance are low. This is causing mental health challenges like anxiety and depression that is a very new thing for some. At this point, you can do one of two things, totally unravel or be at peace. I choose peace, happiness, and joy, but how?
Things That Help Me To Stress Less
- BOUNDARIES: Set some boundaries and remember that you are in control of how you let people and things make you feel. If something or someone is making you feel sad, mad, or annoyed. Even if it’s hard, build in some distance. If something of someone brings you joy, happiness, motivation, and makes you feel good invite that into your life more.
- ME TIME: Give yourself a sliver of time each day to care for yourself by doing things that are good for you or that bring you joy. I’m happy when I write, do yoga, talk to friends, watch my kids, and when I get to be creative. I feel good when I stay hydrated, exercise, and meditate, so I do.
- MINDFULNESS: Practice living a mindful life. When stress, anxiety, fear, or anger creep into your life, focus on the now. The past is over, the future hasn’t happened yet, worrying solves nothing. It’s hard but focus on your surroundings. How beautiful the sun looks as it sets on another day, or how the cool grass feels on your toes, or maybe it’s just witnessing the feeling of how effortlessly your breath goes in and then out.
Your body is in control, listen to it if your destination is peace, joy, and happiness. I promise, there will be accidents, hills you will fight to climb, and you will experience beautiful sights and exciting adventures along the way.
As life presses on, remember to stop for gas and don’t ignore the scheduled maintenance, and learn from the extreme crashes that force change.
Stay in the now, stay strong and enjoy the ride. You got this!
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