I spent this day dealing with some important issues that were causing anxiety in my life. If I believe in living life to the fullest and teach that, I must conform to my teachings. I initiated vocational rehabilitation for a family member that was not thriving, investigated the job market and addressed another family member’s diet. Tonight I am blogging and lifting the Iron. Life is good.
The biggest mistake that we make when we are faced with anxiety producing situations in our lives is to avoid the problem and live in misery. I’ve got to tell you, I lived most of my life that way, never again. Because we dread dealing with difficult tasks, we tend to back away from situations that create stress. Instead, we choose to live with perpetual stress which takes all of the color and joy out of our lives. Quite often well-meaning friends and family will support avoidance because they believe that change is just too hard on everyone concerned. For a moment, they are right, but only for a moment. While there are some things that can be easily avoided such as air travel or swimming, there are other things that cannot be easily avoided and can turn into chronic stress. Those are the things that we have to fix.
A Taste of Poison
When we are terrified of change, we can go slowly. Make small changes over time and eventually make the leap to a complete metamorphosis. If changing jobs is too stressful yet you are miserable in your current job, slowly research the market. Don’t plunge. Research, study, think about what you want to live with. Research until you are actually wanting to make the change. If there is a family issue that needs work, again, do your research. That way you will be prepared to initiate and culminate the difficult task. After much research you will have confidence that you know what you are doing and the transition will be much smoother. There are times when these types of changes occur abruptly and in those times, stay ahead of the curve with ongoing study. Never be caught without an answer. You know what is causing you anxiety. Get prepared now to deal with that and when the time comes, you will be confident.
My secret weapon for dealing with these types of changes is to have great role models. Sometimes we want to be like people that are not handling their lives well. Now, I ask you, does that make sense? If they are not happy or successfully navigating their lives why on Earth would you want to emulate them? It makes no sense. Fine tune your life by choosing someone who is good at handling stress and manages their health well and ask questions and listen to what they tell you. It won’t do you any good to ask questions unless you do what they say. If you choose your role model(s) well, you will be able to trust them. If you don’t trust them, you have chosen poorly. Choose again. Emulating others who have handled your type of stress well will reduce your anxiety when you have to face the feared situation. When I jumped off of that 250 foot tower ziplining, I just did what the ones in front of me did. I didn’t even have to think about it. I put my brain on hold, listened to my guide and imitated what I had seen. It was amazing!
Don’t Play Ignorant
So much of what we perceive as depression is the refusal to deal with issues that make us miserable. Whether the refusal is because of fear or laziness, the result is the same. We wallow in the misery of a life that we are not suited to or rather a life that is not suited to us. We fear the hard work that it will take to rectify the miserable situation. This even applies to our body image. We can hate the level of fitness that we live with but unless we dig in and do the hard work to change that body, we will live, and die in it. Sometimes much sooner than necessary. Ignorance is not bliss. Sometimes ignorance is death, sometimes just misery. Either way, it’s our decision.
For so many years, I felt like the Earth right after it’s initial creation, void and without form. The color was gone from my life because I lived with a situation that sucked all life and energy right out of me. Change seemed like the wrong thing to do. I should have known better by my level of misery. I deceived myself into thinking that my actions were noble, a sacrifice for someone else, when I was dead wrong. The truth is, we would both have been so much better off if I had just followed my heart and ended my suffering by changing my life. When I finally did that, I also eased the suffering of the one person for whom I was sacrificing. Misery is a good indication that something needs to be fixed. Analyze the situation and move forward. Since I have begun to fine tune my life, color has returned and life once again has meaning. Sometimes the problem is someone else but if that’s true then remove them from your life. If the problem is you, discipline yourself in the area that needs work and create the life that you want and need.
Unresolved conflict and dysfunction are known causes of depression and anxiety which are known to take years off of your life. So, do you want a short miserable life or a longer more relaxed and contented one? Is it more difficult to change or to live in an emotional Hell? While some changes are extremely stressful nothing is as stressful as hopelessness. Hopelessness is believed to play a role in ischemic heart , or the heart not getting adequate blood and oxygen supply. (1) Don’t starve your heart. Fine tune your life today.