Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Stress Relief

Some people and problems have a special way of finding their way under your skin and into your nerves. Especially if they are someone we know and love.

How can we live our lives in a way that minimizes the impact other people's problems or quirks have on us. How do we keep them from becoming bigger burdens than they should?

It's a tough habit to learn. Learning to release ourselves. To get to a place where people are accepted for who they are. To a place where we decide to focus our care and attention on things that build us up vs. the things that break us down.

Discovering ways to handle the myriad of obstacles that are thrown our way on any given day.

And there is a line between outright apathy and acceptance.  We can not lose interest in all things that happen to be out side of our immediate control. However we can determine to use our energy on life-building tasks vs. choosing to mull and stress.

These are some questions I've developed to help myself stay on track:

1. Is there something I can DO to end the stress? (i.e. Should I wake earlier to avoid running late and stressing out?)

2. Is this my problem? (i.e. Am I getting worked up about someone else's issue? Are they even interested in solving this issue?)

3. Will this stressor eventually run it's course and end? (i.e. Is this a temporary problem like an assignment due or a visiting relative?)

Honestly, sometimes the answer to all these questions seems to be "No, yes, and I don't know!" But I have found that for even the toughest irritants (like bills, homework, relationships), when I walk away and come back there is often a path to take where I didn't notice one before.

I'm still new to the idea of letting life untangle itself. My first instinct is to jump in and handle the mess myself.

But sometimes letting go is the best thing we can do.