“I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.” ~ Steve Maraboli
Most of us tend to lose our peace of mind due to a variety of reasons such as economic worries, relationship problems, and health issues, to mention only a few. We live under the constant fear of an uncertain future and do not know how to cope with it.
Here are some tips to change the way you deal with stress:
1. Re-asses what you have set your heart upon
You may have set your heart on things that are out of your reach for whatever reason. Sometimes you can knock your head off trying to realize your heart’s desire, but you won’t be able to fulfill it. It is, therefore, no use holding on to an unrealistic goal you cannot achieve.
You must understand that everything is not under your control. Just try to digest this reality sincerely without any ego and let me assure you would start feeling light and easy immediately.
2. Look at life like drama unfolding before you
There are generally two reactions when you are watching a movie (of life, in this case).
First, you get involved with the storyline and start hoping or wishing the way the things should turn up.
Second, you remain detached or perhaps relaxed. You continue to eagerly watch wondering how the story is going to unfold.
Which of these two situations is better?
In the first situation, you feel sad and of course, sometimes happy (temporarily) as well at the turn of events in the story. But in the second situation of wonderment and pure curiosity, you just enjoy the story without being emotionally involved. You utter: How interesting! I wonder what would happen next!
A state of curiosity is obviously much more enjoyable than a state of expectation and hope.
3. Understand that only a calm mind is capable of clear thinking and action
Start affirming to yourself: I am going to stay calm whatever happens. Or, the awareness of the need to stay calm –a practical necessity in such cases–by itself can be very helpful in facing the situation that is going out of your control. Once you allow yourself to be overwhelmed by the events, you may become myopic, take wrong decisions and regret later on. If you stay calm you will be able to handle the situation in a much better way.
4. Develop control over self rather than the circumstances
Sometimes, your response to a bad situation—generally of fear, confusion, and stress- can be worse than the consequences of the situation itself.
The external world is, of course, out of your control, but you can control the world within you. Whenever you are torn by ifs and buts or any negativity in your thoughts, keep affirming: I will handle any situation that may emerge. Gradually you will develop faith on your strengths and a time will come when all doubts and uncertainties will disappear. Then you will have nothing to fear even in fearful situations.
5. You are not the only one to stumble and fall
Don’t feel guilty. In fact, you are only one of the countless thousands who is stumbling and falling on a daily basis. Life is like that. What is important is that you should retain the awareness that you are not going to be held down by your fall and that you need to get up and be on your feet again. Keep moving on even stumblingly. You will still be moving forward.
6. Remember the heroes who valiantly cope up with life
Remember Stephan Hawking who contracted motor neuron disease when he was just 21 and was given only 2 years to live. He went to Cambridge and held the post of Lucasian Professor at Cambridge, the chair held by Isaac Newton in 1663. His A Brief History of Time became the best seller. Do you think your condition is even worse than that of Professor Hawking and countless others?
7. Focus on the silver linings in the black clouds
Have you ever lost your way in the darkest night when the skies are overcast with thundering clouds made worse by frightening bursts of lightning? But then did you not feel relieved that the sizzling, quivering, serpentine maze of light lasting not even a second, so to say, brightened the landscape and also showed you the way to your home? What matters is that you should try to focus on what can be helpful in difficult situations and make the best of it.
Here is an inspiring quote by Peter Marshall:
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“When we long for life without difficulties, let’s remember that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.”