WHAT IS STRESS?
We are all very quick to say "I'm just stressed at the moment". It seems like there are more people though that live in a 'stessed' state nearly all the time. I did an assignment for dog training, where I researched what stress was and how to minimise it in kennelled dogs. Now years later I am thinking about that assignment and the information I learnt and realised again how many similarities there are!
There is an amount of stress that is actually productive, it makes you get out of bed to go to work and will give you motivation to complete tasks (this is referred to as eustress) and is needed. What is worrying though, is prolonged stress with no hope of it easing or improving. This is known to create ongoing health problems, heart related conditions, chronic illnesses, bad skin and can be linked to anxiety / depression.
But I'm not writing a fact sheet. What I really wanted to write about was how frequently you hear someone say "I'm stressed out" or "I wish there were more hours in the day" or the fact that we put so much pressure on ourselves to be more or do more that we end up living in a crazy stress-filled state. My accident gave me a 'shake up' in regards what is important and the fact that I was living in a state of high stress, which was leading to anxiety and associated health problems.
When I start to get in that heightened anxious or stressed state now, I stop and have a breath, maybe meditate or sing along to a song. Reflecting about the accident and the fact I may not even been here had things gone differently and by looking at the future holds. What do I want? Where do I want to be? Because I am lucky to be here. Does what I'm anxious or stressed about really matter? And is it a good productive stress? Or is it unproductive?
By identifying with my stressors I am able to sit with it and then most of the time continue less stressed in the day. Generally stress comes from being overwhelmed, having a giant to do list and not knowing where to start and feeling like you are being pulled in many directions. I have a habit of starting something, getting distracted and starting something else, then getting stressed about not finishing anything. So it seems to be an easy fix doesn't it? Focus on one thing at a time, complete it before moving on…
"I'VE HAD A LOT OF WORRIES IN MY LIFE, MOST OF WHICH NEVER HAPPENED" Mark Twain
My new habit is just this. To focus on something until it is completed before moving on. It may be breaking it down into steps…if my aim for the day is to complete a handout on 'stay' for my dog training business, tasks may look like: research, rough draft, final draft. So I may do some research go away and do something else, come back right a rough draft etc. Seems so simple but continuing to have the discipline to do so is the challenge.
If you are stressed, have a practice at identifying what it is, and then see if you can break it down. You will be able to accomplish more because you're giving each task your full attention.
…Until Tomorrow xox