“Its not the load that breaks you down. It’s the way you carry it.” – Lou Holtz
Each and every one of us is very well-acquainted with the phenomenon called ‘Stress’ which either is a perpetual companion or pokes its nose periodically, making sure you go mentally haywire.
You could find ways to deal with stress anywhere, right from the internet to the sound advice of a friend. They are all the same- exercise, meditation, getting enough sleep, reduce caffeine intake, giving up alcohol, quitting smoking, healthy diet and the list goes on. Do they work? Of course, they do! But, how about we do something different this time, like trying to change our mindsets a bit so that we bid farewell to this nasty part of our life trying to bite our minds off?
The first step to a chilled out and stress-free life is to stop caring what other people think about you. No, this does not mean that you turn up really late to an important meeting and be all relaxed about it when you are reprimanded. It simply means “do your best and ignore the rest”. If you know that you have worked to the best of your capability, the job is well done. People – at the workplace or at home – will almost always find something to criticize, in spite of you putting your heart and soul into the job getting done. If they scoff, let them. If they demean, let them. All you have to do is IGNORE. Let your actions do the talking. Never waste your energy in pointless counter arguments. You gave your best and that is all that matters. Always remember, you are answerable to yourself, to your own conscience. Nobody else has a right to bring you down.
But what if you are NOT doing your best? What if you fail even after trying so hard? That stuff also stresses you out, doesn’t it? This brings us to the second principle- “Meet your failures with a grin and your mistakes with a grimace”. Think about it – the outcome of your efforts is beyond your control, unless you possess some kind of a luck potion, which I’m sure you don’t. In this case, there is no point in brooding over what has passed. What you need to work on and what you can work on is your drawbacks, which presumably hindered your success. Ponder not over the failed mission, but over that which led to the failure. It is, of course, alright to feel a little disappointed. But it is definitely not alright if this one thing is getting a complete hold over your mind and sucking your mental energy like a leech. No, you do not need that sort of negativity in your life. Move on from your failures. Like a Boss.
I’m sure there are a lot of nerve-wracking people hanging around you, like your boss, or your colleagues or even your ma-in-law and other unavoidable relatives. But do you know what hurts the most? Your own expectations. Although glorified as rational beings, humans are downright weird creatures- they make mistakes, are selfish, hurt and demean others. You need to accept the fact that perfection is a myth. Roses come with thorns, people come with flaws and unfortunately, you can’t cut those flaws and chuck them away. The moment you cease expecting too much from people around you, no matter how close they are to you, and start accepting the way they are, is the moment you start leading a peaceful and stress-free life. Imagine not expecting the husband to remember your birthday only to realize he has a huge surprise for you. Lovely! In case he forgets, well, you predicted that!
The human mind has a knack for two things- worrying about the future and brooding over the past. Not that it is disadvantageous, but it becomes pointless after a certain point. Learn to let go. Forgive others as well as your own self for any past errors. Made a major blunder while working on a project? Apologize to the concerned person and forgive yourself. You are human after all, and as is mentioned earlier, humans are a bit weird, and that is perfectly fine. The future is another monster trying to deprive you of your sleep. Yes, you need to be prepared for what may come. But that doesn’t mean it should overrule your current peace. Worrying about how you are going to manage both home and the new job? Well, you can plan it in advance, with a calm mind, without allowing the thing to constantly bug you.
The key to live a stress-free life lies little in trying to avoid a stressful situation, more in being prepared for the situation and the most in not letting the situation get to your nerves. It is going take a lot of mental effort on your part to mould your thinking. But it is worth a try.
About the author:
Radhika completed her B.A. and M.A (Gold medal) in Sanskrit from the Mumbai University. She has a passion for languages especially English, Sanskrit, and German and has written articles on Upanishads. She provides content development services. She likes teaching and writing. Her hobbies include reading and listening to music.
(The author is a guest blogger at Her Second Innings. The opinions expressed are those of the author.)
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