Three things you can do to decrease stress in your life.
I’ll try to break it to you easy — most of the stress in your life is invited by none other than you. We don’t randomly run into stress, like we might stumble into a night stand. We invite it. We turn on this huge neon sign that says DRAMA ACCEPTED HERE, please come in — no need to wipe your feet.
The good thing about this news — as much as you invite it, you can un-invite it.
No stress is required to equal worth, or gain status, or offer meaning. You can do great things and have great things without stress. We have this idea that if things are easy then they must not be worthwhile. No pain no gain, right? WRONG. Like, fuck-that-shit wrong.
There isn’t a metric that says I am more worthy or capable just because I have more stress in my life. Stress does not make us important. Yet, we believe it does — that’s why we invite it in. We buy into this belief that if it’s not stressful then it is not worth doing. So even when things come easily to us (as so many things actually do)we will complicate the situation in order to make it and us seem more important. That’s kinda nuts.
And, it doesn’t work that way. Your DOING does not indicate your worth. You don’t have to do anything to be worthy. You don’t have to earn your place in humanity by doing all of the things. We have created this social construct that says, ‘my worth is based on what I do’ — I say that’s bullshit. Your worth is based only on the fact that you are here. Living and breathing, survivor of evolution, keeper of spirit — your very existence makes you worthy.
Here are three things that you can do right now that affirm you are worthy, just because. Three things that will decrease the amount of stress you have in your life and will minimize your willingness to invite more in.
SAY NO OFTEN
Much of what you are doing doesn’t need to be done — by you. The world won’t stop revolving if you stop taking care of everything. I’ll repeat that — the world won’t stop revolving if you stop taking care of everything.It is not your job to take care of ALL the things. By saying no, and allowing others to take care of some things, doesn’t mean you are apathetic or uncaring. You can care about things AND say no.
We tend to keep ourselves busy as a way to avoid problems and we create more problems by keeping ourselves unnecessarily busy.
“But, I just can’t say no!”
STOP MAKING EXCUSES
You have to do the work if you want shit to change.
“My life is so hard” “You don’t even know” “How can I reduce my stress?? Have you seen my life?” Every one of these statements is an excuse, it’s an excuse that will keep you stuck where you are.
When you tell yourself and the world that your life is hard, you will create a hard life. You will invite chaos and drama in order to prove how hard your life is. What. Is. Even. Happening. Here.
This isn’t about some mamby-pamby positive thinking exercise. Sometimes circumstances are hard and it’s healthy to acknowledge that it is hard. To pretend that hard things are not hard is delusional. But stay focused here. Circumstances are not your life — they are not you. And they will change. Feel what you feel, but don’t get stuck there. When you get stuck there you will not allow the circumstance to change. Are you seeing the pattern here?
You have to stop making excuses. Excuses will keep you stuck — will keep the circumstance stuck.
I’m too tired, I’m too fat, I’m too old, I’m too young, I don’t have enough money, I don’t have enough time.
Say instead, “I wonder how this is going to happen?”This shifts your brain from “Can’t happen EVER” (insert all the excuses why) to “I need to find out how this can happen”. This shift provokes a different set of problem solving abilities by our brain, allowing for more opportunities to show up.
When you say “But, my life is sooo stressful” your brain says “Okay, make life stressful — check” and will find all the ways to bring hardship into your life. (Remember the neon sign?) When you say “I’m open” your brain shifts into a problem solving seeking mission. “Oh life doesn’t have to be hard? I had better find the ways that can happen.”
CLEAR OUT THE CLUTTER
Piles of unopened mail, stacks of dirty dishes, mounds of clothes on the floor, fast food wrappers in the car.
Take care of it. Don’t even start on the excuses as to why you can’t — if needed, refer above.
Pick one area, set a timer for thirty minutes and sort two piles 1.) keep 2.) get rid of.
You don’t even have to decide what to do with what you keep for now. You just have to get rid of all the shit you’re not keeping. Our external environment reflects our internal state and visa versa. We can influence either by shifting one. If I clean off my desk, my ability to focus increases. When I clean up my bedroom, I sleep better.
Take care of it.
All three of these actions are about setting boundaries — setting boundaries with others by saying no, setting boundaries with yourself by not making excuses, and setting boundaries with your space by cleaning it up.
The boundaries you set help to create the life you experience. Say no often, stop making excuses, and clear the clutter. See you on the flip-side.
Sarah offers a humorous, down to earth approach to radical self discovery. Mentor, author, and leading innovator in her field, she eases the learning curve of this thing called life. Click here to set up a personal consultation, check out her book, Mindful Energy : A Journey of Transformation and hang out with Sarah on Facebook.