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Compartmentalizing my Stress

Whoa this past week has been a doozie.  I have been hit from every angle with some sort of stress.  Some bigger areas than others, but still, with each moment, I felt like a victim on the other side of Muhammed Ali, punched over and over again.

I realized just this week how much stress can shut your body down.

That said, I’m thankful that I am tuned into my body, because I know way too many who ignore the signs and keep pushing forward.  It’s so bad for you, trust me!  It’s worth the effort to stop for a second and check in with yourself.

Over the years I have learned how to manage pretty well.  We are all faced with stress at one time or another, but what I have realized over the years of my anxiety, is so much of what I was going through was actually PERCEIVED Stress and not ACTUAL stress.

We ALL do this at one time or another, and I can’t help but beg to question WHY?

A few years ago my kids were at a dance studio.  Wherever you put children (and their parents) drama is bound to rear its ugly head…  There were some issues at the studio and  I was getting stressed by it all, wondering what to do.  Then I started questioning if this was the right place for my kids.  My mind wandered here and there, I wondered about their emotional well being and if the fall out was going to be a permanent scar in their world and on and on and on…. Then I stopped myself in my tracks and took a serious look around at everything and turned and looked at my kids and asked, “Are you happy at the studio?”  To which they BOTH answered (with a little confusion) “YES”.

DAMMIT…. I did it again…. I took my world and my thoughts and forgot to ask those affected.  I completely stressed myself out over NOTHING….and that wasn’t the first time. From that day on, I realized I needed to stand outside that which is stressing me and dissect it a bit and not give it more power than it needs.  My perceived stress was eating away at my body and I can’t let this continue to happen!

This week, the stressors have been a little closer to home, not as easy to dodge.  But I find that I have a clearer perspective, the older I get.  And I’m so thankful.

I have been sucked in, and I have cried.  I have withdrawn and I have gone on many walks.  As I was walking today, I kind of giggled at the fact that when you are stressed, it really does help your body to get your heart rate up and run that stress out!  But at the same time, you are stressing your body by pushing it to an exasperated pace.  That said, when I am walking or jogging, I literally picture the stress leaving my body with each breath I exhale.  But aside from that, I’m able to get into my head and out of my head at the same time.  THIS helps me to keep perspective.

What I have learned over the years is to realize what I have ACTUAL control over.

I have also learned what I don’t have control over….I cannot control what other people do.  We are all human and we all have our belief systems that are unique to us.  As much as I want to grab some people by the shoulders and shake them silly, it won’t change who they are and I have found that hoping it to change is futile and a complete waste of my time.  I have learned to agree to disagree for the most part.  I wouldn’t want anyone changing who I am so why would I be content to change who someone else is.

I can control what I commit to and what I can decline.  I never say yes right away, because I have found that gets me in trouble.  I have to evaluate if things are a good fit for me and then I will commit (or decline).

I have learned that there are times I have to withdraw from the public and collect myself.  And when I get to that point, I really need to be left alone for a bit, otherwise I will say or do things I will later regret.  #foxinahole

I can’t say that I always manage stress well, but I’m much better at seeing the big picture than I used to be.  And I’m much better and realizing my limitations. I have spent too many years beating my head up against a wall hoping for something different than I received.

I have learned to embrace the saying, “Let Go, Let God”.  It almost makes me feel like I’m throwing it all up to be taken care of, and that brings me peace.

This week still weighs heavy on my heart.  I’m still working through the process of letting go and trusting in faith.  But I’m thankful to all the friends and family who stand by my side, encouraging me and checking in on me and realizing that I’m just another human, trying to get through my day the best I can.

Stress isn’t worth the toll it takes on your body… Sit back…take a breath…find some perspective…and “Let Go, Let God!”