We don’t realise the impact stress is having on us at times. I certainly didn’t when I was living with a family member who had a drinking problem. It had impacted my confidence, my health and wellbeing. Therefore I felt compelled to fix her because I thought it was the only way I could feel better. In hindsight, I was putting the responsibility for my health and wellbeing into her hands. I had no understanding that it was possible for me to function well ,and have a good life, despite what was happening at home. It was only when I joined Al-Anon that I learned that this was possible, if I followed some simple guidelines.
If you are currently living under pressure and stress, don’t despair. You may not be able to solve your problems immediately, but by practising some simple steps you can improve your confidence in managing adversity. Here are a few thing that helped me.
KEEP THE FOCUS ON YOURSELF
This feels counter – intuitive but trust me it does work.
When stress impacts us, we are inclined to focus all our attention on the problem. Believing that if we put all our energy into fixing the person, or the situation then that will remove the stress within us.
The problem with this strategy is that it could be a lengthy process. You may not be able to change, fix or find a solution to the problem immediately. It may be beyond your control.
Thankfully, our wellbeing is not solely dependent on the absence of adversity. We can still function and manage to have good days, even when things aren’t that good. However, it can only be experienced by having the confidence to prioritise your self-care.
When we are stressed it is easy to forget about our basic needs for healthy food, exercise, rest and connecting with others. Therefore it is essential that we make these a priority.
During stressful times, look on self-care as preparing yourself for a battle. You need to be in the best shape, mentally and physically to withstand the pressures you may face. This is not wasted time. This is useful time . Remember, you will be more resilient to withstand those pressures when you are strengthened internally – in your mind and body.
KEEP YOUR MIND OPEN
When a stressful situation does occur, it can instil panic in us. Our mind will conjure up plenty of worst case scenarios, offering no hope of possibility or positivity. Unfortunately, this type of negative thinking can escalate quickly.
This is how I used to think. Until I began to listen to other people share about situations that were much worse than mine. Yet, they were smiling and confident about the future.
Situations that they had deemed hopeless didn’t turn out as they had expected. In fact, for some, the awful scenario had turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
So it is helpful to force yourself to keep an open mind to possibility. Life is always changing. Nothing stays the same. So don’t limit your thinking to worst case scenarios. Circumstances can change in ways that we could never have thought possible for ourselves or the people we love and care about.
ADOPT AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
When things are tough, we are inclined to focus on what is going wrong. This again can add to our sense of despair and darkness. A simple practise that can help and improve confidence in ourselves is to have an attitude of gratitude.
Instead of focusing on what is contributing to your stress, make time each day to find 4 or 5 things to be grateful for. This can be as simple as being grateful that you are awake, that you have a place to sleep, or can write, read etc. Make this an everyday habit as it can take your mind of what is missing and keep you focused on staying hopeful and grateful.
” a grateful heart is a magnet for miracles”
You may also find this blog helpfulhttps://helenmckillen.com/facing-your-fears/