To say that I have been stressed to the brink of insanity over the course of the last week would be an understatement.
I haven’t been able to relax, I haven’t been able to breathe, and it feels as though I am carrying this invisible weight that it making it physically challenging to move.
A lot is changing right now in life. Not just for me, but for the world. On top of all that is going on in the world around me, there is also a lot going on in my life.
I am the type of person who has a difficult time adapting to change. There’s no shame in me admitting that. It’s who I am. So when something gets thrown off and things start to change, I tend to have a more difficult time adapting. Not only that but the pressures caused by this stress and anxiety begins to feel unbearable.
Whenever this happens, I get super reminiscent of the past. I get this weird feeling in my stomach as though there’s something missing. Part of me just wishes that I could sometimes go back to being a child again; where the biggest stressor I faced was making sure my homework was done on time. Where life was a whole heck of a lot easier and I wasn’t always worried.
Then the more I reminisce about my childhood, the more I begin snapping back to the reality of what is today.
As much as I wish I could say that my childhood was stress-free, that would be a bunch of bullshit. My family is really the only thing I liked about my childhood. I was incredibly blessed as a child thanks to the love and support I received from my family, but didn’t really excel at anything. I was picked on, teased a lot, and saw myself as somewhat of a failure. I also stressed a ton as a child as well. Granted it wasn’t the same level of stress, I also wasn’t as prepared to face that stress as I am today.
What I have started to realize is that we tend to idealize the past. We wish we could go back to the days of living stress-free, the days of having everything done for us and never having to take responsibility, the days of being young.
But when you think about the “good ole days,” you will see that stress and anxiety lived there as well. Again, it was to a different degree, but you didn’t know that at the time. At the time, a break-up seemed like the world was going to fall on top of you.
I hate to say it, but there is going to be a day in the future where the pressures you are experiencing today caused by stress and anxiety are going to seem miniscule. You might even find yourself wishing you could go back in time to today because life today is going to be a lot easier than life in the future.
When it comes to stress and anxiety, it’s all made up. It is nothing more than a mental creation. An unnecessary torture we inflicted on ourselves while knowing all too well that the likelihood of our fears becoming our reality are slim to none.
We are the source and the sufferer to our own anxiety. We do it to ourselves. Yes, stress and anxiety can be incredibly challenging to manage, but they can also be good. They can provide us with the motivation we need to achieve the life we desire. They can give us a sense of direction. They can even tell us whether or not we are actually living life to our utmost potential.
This doesn’t mean that we need to let it suck all of the fun and joy out of life. During stressful situations, focusing on anything good seems like a daunting challenge. That’s kind of where I am at right now, so I really do get it.
But as challenging as it may be to focus on anything good, try to see the stress you are experiencing as a growth opportunity. That’s what I am trying to do.
Sure, times may be challenging right now, and the stress you are experiencing may be weighing you down, but instead of seeing it as all bad, ask yourself how the stress and anxiety you are experiencing today will better you for the future ahead. What can you learn from the challenges of today and carry over to the challenges in the future? How are the experiences of today going to strengthen you for the life that lies ahead? Who knows, today’s stress may even make your life easier in the future.
As we go through life, we continue to learn, adapt, and to grow into stronger individuals. Each day is not only a blessing, but it also acts as a lesson that is helping to prepare us for the life that lies ahead. Without experiencing the stress and anxiety we are experiencing today, how can we expect to grow and become stronger?
I guess what I am trying to say (and something that I need to do a better job of) is that we shouldn’t run from stress and anxiety. We also shouldn’t allow it to eat at us and suck all of the good out of life. Instead, we should embrace it with a smile on our faces and see it as a tool that is helping us grow from who we are today into who we want to be tomorrow. The better we can do this, the easier the stress and anxiety will be to deal with.
At least I hope…