We have bastardized the word stress to where it’s been minimized to just meaning being annoyed at a person, place, or thing.
“Stop with the dumb jokes! You stressing me out right now.”
“Trying to find the right color pair of shoes for this dress is stressing me!”
Stress defined is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.
Stress has gotten a bad rap. It’s been negatively connotated and relegated to the back of the file cabinet of things not to talk about.
Yet stress can be an accelerant to change. Be it good stress or bad. There’s nothing that gets you off your laurels quicker than an event that sets you on edge. Wife threatening to leave you. That’s stress. Grieving the loss of a loved one. That’s stress. Boss dancing on your last nerve. That’s stress. Children making poor choices. That’s stress. Working on your doctorates. That’s stress. Losing your home to a hurricane. That’s stress. Bringing home a new baby. That’s stress. Getting engaged. That’s stress.
The response to the strain or tension that you are facing is what makes or breaks the deal for your sanity and well being. What tools do you have in place to help you plow through the muck?
Prayer (defined as conversations with God) and reading works for me; coupled with the occasional “let me run this by you” convos I have with trusted friends. For some it’s life coaching from a total stranger. For others it’s a circle of friends they can trust. Journaling, working out, blogging, baking, mountain climbing whatever it takes to return to your centered self–do it.
Stress will remain a given in human existence. It is a reminder of our frailty and humanness. A reminder that we are not alone in our journey. That others have been down this or similar roads before and have come out on the other side better for it.
It is the placing of one foot in front of the other that will move us from fear to fortitude.