I don’t really feel “stressed” all that often. I usually have a lot on my plate, and sometimes get to a point where I’m overwhelmed, but for the past few years, I just haven’t allowed stress to be a major part of my life.
Understanding that I have a choice in that was a big key for me. I believed for so long that things had to be hard, and they had to be bad, because that’s just the way life is.
A couple of nights ago, I was getting ready for bed and realized that I just felt extremely heavy and tense all over–that I was feeling a lot of stress. And I didn’t like it. So I let go of those feelings and allowed myself to feel grateful and relaxed.
I’m not always as tolerant as I’d like to be, and I’m particularly not tolerant of whining. I have someone in my life (whom I can’t easily sever ties with) who loves to whine, and who loves to complain about how “stressful” her life is. She expects that since I work more hours and have more going on than she does, I must always be stressed. I’m not. I’m happy, and I don’t (as a rule) do very much that I don’t want to do, or at least feel willing to do.
I was thinking today about a time when this person called me and was all stressed out about something that was affecting both of us. She asked me, “How stressed are you about this?” I just said, “I’m okay,” because I didn’t think discussing stress was productive. But the fact was, I was actually working an online jigsaw puzzle and eating ice cream when she called. I wasn’t stressed at all.
Sometimes I allow myself to forget that I can choose. Then I feel stress, but I can always make the choice not to feel stress. I think that’s one of the most important things I’ve ever learned–that my feelings are my own choice.
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