Written by Sally Machin, ND
This week I spoke at Bloomfield Fit Body Boot Camp about the importance of dealing with your stress and how to effectively manage stress. I wanted to talk about one of the things we got into – life view. How you view the world has a huge impact on how stressed you feel. After all, stress comes from within; it is our response to perceived threats. Many people have things going on in their lives that are real and understandably cause them to feel stressed. However, we do have control over how we respond to the things in our lives over which we do not have control. Some of you might be thinking that how you see the world is what it is and it’s not changing. I used to fall into this camp, but now, I would challenge that idea – why not? what real reason is there that you can’t be in control of your response to the world around you? You may still have thoughts that are based on self-doubt, or a negative view, but you have the power to dismiss those thoughts. You are the only one that has that power so you need to find a way to use it (how often does someone else telling you to cheer up actually make you cheer up?).
I’m not saying this is an overnight change, but you can start simply with one aspect of your day. I’ll use a personal example here. Four days a week, I drive 80 to 90 minutes to work (and back home of course). When other people find out about this, their reaction is usually somewhat awkward and they invariably feel like I’m in this bad situation. I’m not going to lie, I was bummed out about it, but for me it was worth it to be able to live in the same place as my fiancé and be able to have this job that I am so happy about. Still, starting off my day in a way that I was expected to dislike was kind of a drag. So I changed my perspective about that drive. I found some NPR stations that I enjoyed, got a library card to take out audio books, and starting drinking my coffee slowly over the course of my drive instead of all at once. My morning still looks basically the same from the outside, but it feels totally different. That changes how I approach the rest of the day and how I feel going to bed at night knowing another drive is coming up. It also unexpectedly makes me feel more confident. When it would come up before that I had a long commute, I always somehow felt embarrassed. I don’t know why, maybe it’s embarrassing to be putting yourself out there for something you care about? (it shouldn’t be by the way). I’m allowed to love my work, and I’m allowed to enjoy my hour and a half commute. If I could make my drive shorter, of course I would, but for now I’m happy to just change my attitude. And you can too, because you deserve to feel good about your day.
PS. That’s me in the photo loving the scenery – I may not always get the same view, but I feel better when I’m able to embrace the view I do have