Stress - It effects us all, sometimes more than others. What stresses you out?
This past year we've both had the revelation that things are going to go wrong and life is filled with stress, but it's how we handle that stress that is the game changer. Lets be honest, stress is never convenient. Medical bills, car repairs, your pet getting sick, or even something as simple as leaving dinner out on the counter only to wake up in the morning to realize you can't eat it now all would be enough to boil anyone's blood. Have any of you experienced any of this in the last year? If your lives are anything like ours we are sure you probably have. Did you pass the "Stress Test" or did you let a mishap ruin your day or night? We would be lying if we said we never let stress win but we've got a couple tips we've learned that have helped us conquer small life stressors like a boss.
Stress actually put me in my doctor's office about a month before my wedding. Between work, wedding planning and some personal relationships that were struggling, I began having physical symptoms from stress. I ignored this though. I continued to chalk my symptoms up to a medication issue, or anything other than stress. My mom, sister and Nathan continued to tell me I needed to come to terms with it being stress, but I refused. I was starting to use my Gaiam meditation app more, was taking time for myself and I really didn't feel all that stressed. Why was I having all these issues?
I was kidding myself. After being driven home by my coworker one afternoon from work due to the physical symptoms I was having, I knew it was time to see my doctor. I left with strict orders to focus on my stress level.
This was hard for me because some of the stress effecting my life was out of my control. One of the main points of stress for me was other people's attitudes and decisions that had a direct impact on my life. How do I work on that? I slowly started to realize that I cannot control others, but thankfully I can control myself. I can choose to distance myself from that stress. I can also choose to focus on all the good in my life. Slowly but surely I turned baby steps into big steps and my stress is at an all time low!
Like LC mentioned I never believed I was too stressed out. If someone would have asked me if I was stressed I would have said no. However, I was letting a million little things effect my attitude on the daily. Simple things, Sir being sick, running late, traffic, spilling my coffee. Little things that I now laugh at used to set me in a tail spin. I remember the day everything changed so vividly, it was early this past spring. Daniel and I were taking Sir for a walk and I had a meltdown. I was a little stress ball that had exploded. Daniel stopped me and looked at me and basically told me I needed to practice what I preached. I'm always talking on my blog about being a boss and ruling the day, I'm a member of Strong Confident Living and helping others get on the right path but I'm letting little life stressors annoy me. I looked at him and at first I was mad but I knew he was right. Luckily for me I have surrounded myself with amazing people and that night Laura, my mentor, text me asking me to go to mindset school. Coincidence? I think not. I started the next day and my life has been forever changed.
I can say for the first time in my life, I know I'm right where I'm supposed to be. I believe life is happening for me, not to me and I couldn't be happier. Read more about mindset school here.
The point is we've all been there, we've all been stressed, it's what you choose to do
with that stress that matters.
Plan on Stress ||
Gary Corzett, LC's dad, taught her this great piece of advice which she then shared with Cat when she was going through mindset school. He's always said that ever so simple quote, don't sweat the small stuff. Things are going to happen in life, that you can count on. Cars will break down. Medical bills will happen. Life happens. Plan on it happening because it happens to everyone. Why stress about it? We all know at some point it's bound to happen. Muster up the courage to move on and realize that's life! Can we say lightbulbs?! Maybe you all already know this but if you assume your car is going to break, your dog will get sick or you may forget your lunch it's not as bad when it happens. When these things happen now we just roll with it, there is no sense in letting something that you've known was a possibility ruin your day. Let us clarify, we're not saying to walk around in negativity and with a doom's day attitude, we're talking about lets get real, who's car has never broken down? That's what we thought! Small life stressors are inevitable, know they're coming and that they'll pass.
Yes, you read that right. Laugh. Honestly, sometimes situations, especially ones that involve other people are so out of our control you have two options - pout or laugh. We just say pour a glass of wine and laugh. It's honestly simple. If you feel like you can't laugh, grab a friend, have a dance party and then start laughing.
Use a Time Gauge ||
You miss your workout class and it sets you into a tailspin. Your whole day is ruined now because you have no other chance to workout. Don't worry this has never happened to us (insert crazy face emoji here). When you're facing a stressful situation stop for a moment, breathe, and ask yourself, "Will I care about this tomorrow?" "Will I care about this next week?" "Will I care about this in a month or a year?" A little perspective is always helpful. If your stress isn't something that you'll care about tomorrow it's probably not worth being upset about. If it's still going to effect you in a month or a year now that could be a different story.
"Gratitude and attitude are not challenges; they are choices." -Robert Braathe
We read this quote in our five minute journals and loved it. We're finding when we choose to focus on all the good in our life, the bad fades away. This is a huge help when dealing with stress. If you can't control the stress, focus on the good that's going right. Practice gratitude every morning. Write down three things your grateful for and focus on those things throughout the day.
Remove Negativity ||
Maybe you can't remove the stress, but you can surely remove negativity in your life. Maybe it's as simple as posting positive sticky notes all over your mirror so when you look at yourself you speak joy. Do you have a lot of negativity on your Facebook feed? Unfollow those people. Did you know you could do this? You can still remains friends, but by going to their profile page and clicking unfollow you get that negativity out of your feed. No one knows the difference but you. So go do it already! Maybe it's even bigger than that. Some of us are bogged down by negative people in our lives and you may need to reevaluate how they're impacting you. We know this is a big step, but life is too short to be unhappy and stressed.
Lastly, it's important to remember that some level of stress is ok. Stress sometimes forces us to conquer our to-do list, get our booty to the gym and take care of business at work. It's important to embrace what life throws our way without letting it control us. When you feel that nagging inside of you that's pulling you in and asking for you to surrender remember our tips - plan, laugh, use a time gauge, practice gratitude, and remove negativity and you will be sure to pass the stress test and come out on top!
We would love to hear ways you combat stress!