Managing stress in a constantly spinning world is challenging. Stress creates anxiety, worry, and a sense of loss. Life isn’t about how much you do, but the quality of what you do. It’s about quality of life, not quantity. It’s about quality of work, not quantity. It’s about quality of relationships, not quantity. Stress is an unnecessary drain that says you need more, diluting your ability to understand what you really need.
What do you do to relieve stress? Are you aware of how much pressures you? Do you feel like you never have time to catch up? Being busy has become the natural norm in our American culture. Describing your kids busy sports schedule and social calendar to your friends and family is the new norm. What isn’t normal is saying that you’ve taken time to yourself to rest, meditate, relax, spend quiet time with loved ones, or yourself. People are walking around with an enormous amount of anxiety as compared to years ago. The pressure to be constantly busy and active is the new norm. It is almost taboo, these days, to say that you are not busy, taking a break, or don’t like being busy.
Stress is a dangerous and slow killer of many things. Firstly, your health. Stress wreaks havoc on the body in terms of blood pressure, insomnia, fouled up digestive system, quite simply, over functioning body systems for the brain to worry. The adrenal glands and other hormones are involved in ramping you up to fight for what you are worried about, so the body goes into a sort of flight or flight mentality every time you stress. This is an exhausting experience, because we are not designed to feel this way day in and day out. Yet, people continue to experience worry to the point of stress for years, until their physical health begins to take a toll.
Secondly, a person’s ability to connect and maintain healthy relationships is also affected and compromised. Anxiety is a thief that steals a person’s ability to be present in the moment, to appreciate what is and let go of what cannot be. After years of living this way, it’s no wonder marriages and families suffer. When stress leads to being overly anxious, the people in your life can no longer just be, but they become a necessary means to an end. Meaning, your neediness to feel more stable overflows to other people in your life. This is an unhealthy projection of needs and only spreads more stress to others. Recognizing stressors in your life and understanding how stress affects you is the first step to decrease the anxiety in your life.
Lastly, people are not a means to an end. People ARE the end. What does that mean? It means that when you are dealing with people, or even yourself, appreciating the gift of life you are or the one you are with is the purpose. Life is NOT about what someone else can do for you, make you feel, or manage your expectations for you. Ask yourself, “Do I know that AM, just because I am and not because of what I do?”