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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Let It Go: How to Accept Stress as Normal and Move On

What's Bothering You?
Do you sometimes feel you are a victim of circumstance as you face one daily stress after another? Can't seem to catch a break? When you look around does it feel like other people are having a better life than you? 

Then now's the time to change your mindset and let go of playing the victim in your own life. When you let go of the mindset working against you, you'll discover your most robust self takes the lead. 

Daily life is a continuous cycle of stress and relaxation. Moment by moment we all face challenges that require us to respond. This is the essence of the stress response--and of life.

The tension created by our challenges isn't a bad thing. The daily stressors simply create a heightened awareness in us that we must decide how we want to proceed with life. Once we make a decision--and take action--our stress resolves or lessens and we return to a more relaxed state.

To let go of the stress 'putting you over the edge' or 'getting on your last nerve' in a timely manner you must identify what it is. If you just ignore or deny what's really going on you leave those things eating away at you in the back of your head to boil and fester until they spew out and splatter everyone around you while you remain stuck--playing the victim in your own life.

When we use words like 'it' and 'stuff' to talk about what's bothering us, it allows us to gently tip-toe around naming what's bothering us. 'It's bothering me' or 'all this stuff is getting to me' are lovely non-specific descriptions allowing us to remain socially polite and seemingly still in-control as we voice our tension to others.

To successfully get on with living the life we want we must move beyond these diffuse terms keeping us mired in a cesspool of fear and anxiety--and specifically identify what's got our attention.

Come Clean: Name What's Holding You Back Today
·                     What's happening in your life at this moment? 
·                     What's making you feel tense?
·                     What do you feel you should be doing you're not?
·                     How are you failing to live up to someone else's expectations or your own?

 Looking over the last three days, what's stressing you out? Pick one situation to describe in uncensored detail in your head--and let it rip!

As you focus on your recent stress-inducing incident notice any changes in your body as you merely think about it. What happens to your heart beat and breathing? Do you notice any discomfort in your head or stomach? Are you aware of clenching your teeth or tightening your jaw; tension in your neck, back or other muscles? Do you feel tearful or angry?

Our stress-inducing experience has the ability to cause tension as we merely think about it. We don't even need to experience it to bring the stress-response on. That's why it is so important to specifically name the stuff that's bothering you--so you can stop stuffing it and move on faster.

Get Back to Your Healthy, Robust Self 
'Tension is who you think you should be; Relaxation is who you are.'  Chinese Proverb
Why not accept your daily life consists of a continuous cycle of stress and relaxation--and choose to face the discomfort and step into action sooner?

It is the living in a 'world of shoulds' without taking action that creates the tension and discomfort in us and throws us into a mental fog, leaving us feeling overwhelmed for longer periods of time.

If you care about being your healthiest, most robust self, give up playing the victim in your life. Choose to consciously identify what's causing your tension and bringing out the full stress-response. Name it then choose to engage in actions that puts you back living in the state of relaxation of who you really are—pursuing a life with purpose and meaning.

Trust yourself to hold the key to being your best self. Act on what you know to be right for you. Take the steps that will help you feel fully alive, fully productive, and fully engaged. Be brave.

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Susan J Meyerott loves helping people become more fully themselves, particularly those working through anxiety, life and career transitions, relationships, and self-esteem issues. She provides a nonjudgmental, growth-oriented environment for you to become the person you’re meant to be—while appreciating the richness of who you already are. Learn more at Lightarted Living Blog

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