First published on www.huffingtonpost.com on 01/11/2016
Being stressed is simply a fact of everyday life – right?
Everyday living demands that we absorb stress and power on. From a very young age we’re taught that we must be resilient and strong for us to survive – and indeed thrive in the world.
We live in a dog-eats-dog world, where morphing into something we’re not is the safest pathway to success. We become whoever we need to be to get ahead. We compromise on the things that are important to us – often without any conscious understanding that we’re doing so.
We dabble in the parts of the spiritual world that are deemed acceptable and we espouse beliefs such as ‘Karma will look after us – what we give out, we’ll get back’ but we condescend the ‘hippy’ beliefs of those who embrace the spiritual life as a whole.
In reality, we’re stressed, exhausted and totally overwhelmed. We’re lost and we don’t know which way to turn to steer our lives back on the right track. We feel like we’re so far down the path we’ve travelled that it’s too late to turn back now.
We get away with living our lives like this because we’ve become adept at hiding the full impact that stress has on our lives.
But what if the full impact of your stress was visible for everyone to see?
What if those things hidden on the inside where suddenly fully observable by everyone around us? What if the façade that protects the truth of our lives was suddenly see-through and everyone could look inside?
For most of us, the mere thought of this happening has us running to find a dark, hidden space where we can hide. The terror of thinking that others could see the truth about our lives is what drives us to keep the façade in place.
We’re so busy projecting a version of our lives to the outside world that we operate on auto-pilot – making sure we do the ‘right’ things, at the ‘right’ time and for the ‘right’ people.
Very rarely do we stop to consider the impact on us of living this way. Not only are we hiding the truth of our lives from everyone around us, most of us are hiding the truth from ourselves as well.
Stress is a modern day silent killer.
The impact on our bodies ranges from weight gain, to toxicity build up, to long-term mental health issues. What we don’t realise is that not only are we reducing our quality of life now, but we’re also significantly reducing the quality of our life in later years as well as most likely reducing the longevity of our lives as well.
Popping pills – whether they’re pharmaceutical, prescribed by medical experts or self-medication (of both legal and illegal nature!) – is not the solution it’s cracked up to be. When we’re ill, it is our bodies way of telling us that something is out of balance and we need to stop and rest to recover. Our conditioning however, tells us that when we’re ill it’s time to mask our symptoms and ‘soldier on’.
The increase in stress related illness – whether it be mental or physical health related – tells us that the way we are currently living clearly isn’t working for us.
So instead of reaching for an immediate fix that gives us a false sense of our ability to keep going, maybe we should take the time to consider that if we’re that terrified of what people will think if they see us stop, that it might be time to make some changes that allow us to consciously make better choices about how we live.
There’s only so long that we can continue to live in the way that we do before we’re given a life event that forces us to stop. Despite our social conditioning, living life in a very different way doesn’t have to be any more complicated than learning to think a little bit differently. Isn’t it time you questioned why you continue to allow your stress level to rule your life?
Want more info? There are loads of tips and tricks on living and thinking differently in my book ‘Keep It Super Simple’ – you can buy a copy from www.sheiqlife.com/shop.
Want to chat? Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on +61 438 624 868 and we’ll set up a time!
Bronwen Sciortino is a Simplicity Expert and Professional Speaker, and is the author of ‘Keep It Super Simple – Tips from a Recovering Perfectionist’. Join the conversation by subscribing to the tribe at www.sheiqlife.com; Facebook; Instagram or LinkedIn.