Most people easily agree they have a lot going on. Too much to do in too little time without enough time for eating, sleeping, and exercise. The basics of “MY Life” outside of work; not to mention, my family, bills, household chores and having a little fun. But we keep our heads down, we battle the stress, we struggle with the overwhelm and keep chipping away. What else are we going to do? It is our life that we’ve created and it’s certainly not a wise option to give up.
Here are a few ways to help you keep your cool so you can gain a little perspective and regain control.
Find a Change of Scenery
A change of scenery can be a good reset. Take a road trip, go camping, do something you’ve been dreaming about for a while. Whatever it takes…back away from the desk. Give yourself the time and space to do something you really love, hug a tree, kiss your kid’s goodnight or sit down with your goals that are in that journal gathering dust. Consider what you want to change and empower yourself to make a few small changes. Say no a little more often to the extra project and yes to more of the things that feed your soul. You and your experience of your life and work will be better for it. If you find yourself saying there is nothing you can do, have someone help you take another look. Otherwise, figure out what you are getting out of the stress you are feeling and enjoy it. You have the ability to change if you want.
Use Empowering Language
Negative thoughts run rampant and awry. Usually when we are feeling overwhelmed we spend a lot of time telling ourselves what we can’t do vs. what we can. A big part of taking control of our situation is changing the way we talk to ourselves. Language is our most powerful tool. Turn “I can’t handle this,” into “What can I do to handle this?” or “I feel so overwhelmed,” into “Let me take a step back and consider my next best move”. If you can regain control of the way you respond to your emotionally driven thoughts in a more empowering way, you’ll be able to make better decisions to work through stressful situations with more grace.
Think About the Person You Want to Be.
Here the phrase, “Life is a Journey” comes into play. Thinking about the type of person you want to be under pressure. How do you want to respond to your co-workers, your friends, or family when things get tough. Do you want to be the person people can count on because you’ve really considered a vision of your best self? Know where you’re going on your journey. It’s not just about what you do, or what you have, but it’s about who you become. I want to be really proud of myself whenever I take those moments to reflect. When I’m clear about the character of my personhood it’s easier to uphold myself when the going gets tough
Sometimes we just need a little help along the way. Call the friend who you admire and ask them about how they stay calm. Finding out that you are not the only one challenged by the pace of life is sometimes comfort in and of itself. To know we’re not alone and that it is possible to handle the difficult times and come out stronger. Working through things on our own has its place and appropriateness, however, when we are feeling so challenged that we lose our perspective reaching out can be the lifeline we need. Closing yourself to others input can limit your ability to make the necessary moves.
Keeping your cool in tough situations is one of the keys to living a happy, healthy life. Life will always bring us challenges. Avoiding problems and stress, doesn’t make it go away. Challenges are a part of being engaged in a well-lived life. Learning how to take what life presents us in stride will help us to get better at it rolling over the bumps in the road when they come, and celebrating the rest. Life is our gift. How joyfully can we receive it?