Women, life, happiness
  • “I’m so stressed out! I feel like I’m on the verge of a nervous breakdown!”

    May 13th, 2010Keryl PesceLife in general, Stress and Guilt

    Sounds like the song of today's modern woman, doesn't it? We hear "I'm so stressed out." with as much frequency as we apply another coat of  lip gloss on girls' night out.

    It's been said life is a dance, but I don't think they ever meant today's frantically choreographed tap dance of reacting to one crisis after the next, putting everyone else's demands above our own and the brain-dead notion that we were ever meant to multi-task. It's almost like a badge of honor these days. WTF?

    "The faster I do this and the more I get done, the sooner I'll be able to relax."  Oh, so that's how it goes. Really?

    News flash:It's not working. Let's be honest. What's really happening?

    We're living for the future at the expense of the present moment. Our lives have turned into a bull ride with sling-backs for cowboy boots in front of an imaginary arena of spectators anxious to see just how long we can hang on. And with one final ass-whooping, we're face-down in the dirt, bruised and embarrassed because we were one of the weak ones who couldn't handle the ride.

    Maybe we're clinging to the wrong beast.

    The wild bucking bull is the demands of life we've allowed to lead us around by our noses, the crowd is our own self-imposed desire to measure up or live up to some ridiculous set of standards and that pile of dirt we're face down in? Well, that's the bed we can't seem to pull ourselves out of when our body pays us back with a migraine because we're too stupid to pay attention to the signs we need to slow down.

    We're placing unnecessary demands and out of whack expectations on ourselves. We're sacrificing the preciousness and beauty of the present moment for some imaginary time in the future when today's stress will pay off. It's the biggest mis-step in the dance of life. If we were on Dancing With the Stars, our asses would be the first ones voted off. How so?

    The level of enjoyment or stress you experience in the present moment perpetuates more of the same. The means and ends are inseparable. The anxiety you experience today is a result of the hurried and stressed thought and energy you put in yesterday.

    If you're tired, suffer from headaches or unexplained aches and pains, that's your body talking. You're stressed out and need to start making adjustments.

    Here's where I suggest you start.

    Make the decision today that your peace of mind moves a couple notches up the priority pole. For me, it sits right smack at the top. While I'd love for it to be the same for you, I recognize you might need to take it in stages.

    Next time you are faced with the decision of what to do or not to do, pause and ask yourself which direction would bring you more peace and happiness. Let that become your new guide.

    There are those who believe happiness is overrated. I say it's grossly underrated. Animals were meant survival. Not us. We were designed for happiness. Everything about us intellectually, emotionally and physically functions better when we are happy. Hmm, do you think that should tell us something?

    Second suggestion I have for you is to start paying attention to your internal dialogue – those mini incessant streams of thought going through your mind. Begin with an awareness and then practice doing two things: slowing down the pace of your thoughts and bringing your attention to the present moment.

    Why? We stress at the speed of thought. Next time you are talking with someone who is stressed out, pay attention to how quickly she is speaking. The two go hand and hand. Make it a habit to slow your thoughts down. It's an instantaneous stress reducer.

    As far as bringing your attention to the present moment, watch out for your thoughts drifting (sometimes racing) to the future or past or anywhere other than right with you focused on the now. Otherwise, you create gaps allowing anxiety to creep in. That separation between the task at hand or present moment experience and our thoughts are like little leaks and if we do it for too long or too often, we end up drowning in your own worry.

    Close the gaps. Make it a habit of keeping your thoughts with you and creating the highest quality present moment you can. It will translate into quality living. That's a promise.





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  • I am having one of those days for absolutely no reason. Everything is kind of under control. My gardens are almost planted but lots of weeds. umm! I could be weeding. Gardening is my love but as I age it takes me a whole lot longer to get them done. I have lots of them and would like more. My business is growing but feels like it always needs attention. Kids are basically okay but they each have stuff happening that I hear about. I am here for that right? Even if they are grown.

    So hear I sit feeling hot and tired and listless. Is it the heat? Is it ‘mental”pause? Is it, that when it is quiet I don’t know how to get anything done?

    Yes, as women we have been brain washed by that commercial on TV from years ago of a woman all dressed up in heels with a frying pan in her hands saying, “I bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan and still make my man feel like a man!” I am afraid that I am a product of that generation. And it is time to just pick the flowers and let the weeds grow and pick them too!

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