“Life is stressful these days.” Most of us say some variation of that when talking about our schedules, or our career, or our personal time.
It is not my intention to take away from the very real stresses and pressures that so many of us experience. There are losses, traumas, financial concerns, relationship challenges – these can all be genuinely stressful things.
But the experience of stress – especially general, ongoing stress – can also be a habit. Almost like an emotional addiction that we allow ourselves to fall victim to.
I had a conversation with an acquaintance of mine, and she relayed to me that she was stressed all the time, and that her life was filled with stress:
“What makes your life stressful?” I asked.
“I am so busy with the kids. I have lots of work meetings. I feel like I am always doing something every weekend.”
“Okay. Are your kids challenging?”
“No, they’re wonderful. Other than the diapers. They just require a lot of work.”
“Okay, do you like your job?”
“Most of the time, yeah.”
“Okay, what are you doing every weekend?”
“We’ve been gathering with friends and family. I have been visiting my mother, who has been lonely since COVID.”
“Okay, and are you having fun with your friends?”
Her life was busy, to be sure. It had some challenges, of course. But was her life truly stressful? Or, when faced with a variety of emotions about all of these experiences, did she accept the emotion of stress – throwing aside all the positive experiences and joy that she felt in favor of a negative feeling that she had that she allowed herself to feel.
No one is saying that stress does not exist.
But is your LIFE truly stressful?
Or are you allowing stress to take over your life?