I’m going to tell you something that hit me upside the head today: Life is not what I make it.
WAIT WAIT HOLD ON. 93% of you just started to continue to scroll down your Insta feed thinking, “Psh Mac I don’t have time for this Eeyore mentality. There’s @liketoknowit outfits to screenshot and cozy sweaters to covet.”
I agree with you, 110%. There’s too much beauty in this world to be stuck in the quagmire of our own anxious thoughts.
That’s why I’m standing today by the statement, “Life is not what I make it.”
A couple of nights ago, I texted friend just before going to sleep with a message that said something like, “Every cell of my body feels stressed.” Have you ever been there? Had those times when your mind has your heart in a vice grip and it feels impossible to feel the sweet release of relaxation? Nope, it’s just me? Ha, okay 😉
I hated that feeling so much that I decided to conduct an experiment the next day. Every time I felt stressed or anxious, took a quick mental note and asked myself a quick series of questions:
- “Beyond prayer, is there anything I am personally capable of doing to fix the situation?”
If no, then I lifted it up to God and shut the stressor down right there.
If yes, then I continued:
2. “What are the steps I need to take immediately to fix the problem?”
Think about how many of your daily anxieties can be fixed with one text, call, or Google search. Minimum: 73%. So, don’t put it off – do it right then. Then, be FREE (until you get a response – then start back at question 1).
I’m also the queen of spending hours wording the perfect text or email. But remember – perfect is often the friend of the procrastinator, and the enemy of productivity. Identify what’s required, say “Good enough.” and send it. You have my permission. You’re welcome.
If you need to take steps that you can’t take immediately – say, when you get off the airplane or wake up tomorrow – write them down. A to-do list tames the abstract beast of anxiety looming in your brain. Think–turning a tiger into a purring kitten. Write the step. Then leave the stress.
3. “Will my stress in and of itself—elevated heart rate, tension, etc.—fix the problem?”
That answer is always NO. Actually, it only makes everything worse because you’re thinking clearly. And, if it makes it worse, then that’s something else for you to stress about…END THE CYCLE.
With those three questions, the situation goes from mountain to molehill because THE THINGS WE CANNOT IMMEDIATELY FIX ARE NOT WORTH OUR IMMEDIATE WORRY. And, I gave myself the ability to do the following:
- Realize and release what I can’t control.
- Develop a game plan to attack what I can.
- Diffuse my physical reaction to the stressful stimulus.
Is there a lot happening in my life right now? Sure. But, I was allowing my stress to color my perception of reality and was becoming weight down with things that were / are beyond my control.
So I realized today that my life is not what I make it. Stress is like sunglasses – remove them to see the real colors around you. Life is usually better than stress makes it seem – and, you’re doing better than you think you are 🙂