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When we commit to action, to actually doing something rather than feeling trapped by events, the stress in our life becomes manageable. – Greg Anderson
Stress is one of those dreaded things in life that, when it bites, feels as if it has a billion and one teeth. We find ourselves at its mercy, searching for ways to forcibly remove its teeth from our backside. We listen to Classical music, practice our favorite yoga poses, chant every relaxing affirmation we can remember, drink green tea, pet the cat, spray the room with lavender, take deep breaths, rub smooth stones… sometimes all at once. It can be done. Trust me, I raised three daughters – who were all in their teens at once.
Ohm… Ohm… Ohm…..
In addition to the raising of the three, I also work from home full-time in our web publishing business. You know the drill. When you’re in business for yourself, it’s all on you. Your success, your failure, your outcome, your bottom line – they’re all in your hands. And the hands they’re in only add up to two, even though the work is more suited for about 8 hands. Throw being a wife and mother on top of working from home – and then sprinkle it with an ecomony that’s hell bent on making paupers of us all and, you guessed it…
Ohm…. Ohm… Ohm…. where’s the lavender?…. I need more green tea… Bach or Beethoven?…. Somebody bring me the cat!!!
Throughout my life, however – yes, even when the three were in their teens – I’ve learned that the best way to really handle stress when it shows up on your doorstep isn’t to hide in another room. The smartest thing isn’t to pull the drapes and try to hide, as though it’s with Jehovah’s Witness. You can’t see me, I must not be home. Hop on your bike and ride away.
The funny thing about stress is this: It doesn’t hop on its bike and ride away. It also doesn’t fall for your “I’m not home” trick. Stress knows you’re there and it’s not leaving until it sinks its teeth in.
As odd as it may seem, when stress steps onto your doorstep, the wisest thing to do is open the door before it even has a chance to knock. Get the jump on him and catch him off guard. Like all bullies, stress wants to feel as though it has the upper hand and the last say. These are its life sources, so to speak, and if you keep giving them to it, stress will see no reason to leave.
Meet Stress Head On!
One of my favorite ways to relax and unwind is to take my coffee or tea into the front yard, sit in a favorite lawn chair, and watch butterflies in our flower bed and birds at our bird feeders. I sit with our outside cats as our inside cat sits at the window, glaring out. The cats apparently think it’s relaxing to watch birds, too, they never take their eyes off of them.
A few days ago, I was having a crazy bad day – one in which everything didn’t just go wrong, it went bizarrely wrong. Needless to say, I practically ran to the front yard. Unfortunately, the stress was right on my heels and sat in a chair adjacent to mine. It occurred to me that I couldn’t outrun the stressors and there was no where to hide. As I watched a couple of gorgeous white doves (and wondered how dove hunters could live with themselves), I realized that the only way to DITCH the stressors was to DEFEAT the stressors. So I said adieu to the doves, cardinals, cats, butterflies, and squirrels, grabbed my iced tea, and came back to the computer.
Within an hour I had all the things that were looming over me “knocked out” and returned to the front yard. This time I came alone and the only thing in the adjacent chair was my cat Hannah.
Ask yourself what things cause you the most stress. Money? Work? Feeling overwhelmed? Chores? Make no mistake about it, your stressor will come to you as soon as you ask for it. It’s waiting just around the corner. Always is. Now, summon up all of the common sense and intellect you have at your disposal and come up with ways to prevent the situations in which these particular stressors present themselves.
When you do so, you will have met stress at the door, stopped it in its steps, and slammed the door in its face. Read the quote at the top again… never mind, I’ll bring it to you – When we commit to action, to actually doing something rather than feeling trapped by events, the stress in our life becomes manageable. – Greg Anderson
Now put that in your green tea and sip it!
Make each moment count double,
The adorable comic strip at the top of the post is the Holy Mole strip by Rick Hotton. To see more of this entertaining, inspirational, and one-of-a-kind comic strip see Holy Mole on Self Help Daily.