Today's society seems to have many resources and methods for handling stress such as cognitive therapy, natural remedies, support groups, books, tapes and the list goes on. While all of these tools are invaluable maybe handling stress is not always as complicated as we would make it out to be.
Let's say for example that you are upset because you are not making as much progress losing weight as you would like, and as a result you are very angry with yourself. Try taking a simpler approach by "learning to love yourself just as you are". And realize that not every day has to be a victory. This sounds simple, but is it? We need to learn to love ourselves in each stage of development even with the setbacks or else we will find ourselves suffering needlessly in life. Now let’s go back to the example of being upset at yourself for not losing as much weight as you would like. Instead of being angry at yourself be gentle to yourself and say something like “losing weight takes some time and persistence but getting all frustrated today is only going to make matters worse. It may also dampen the atmosphere around me and hurt others”. And then treat yourself to a nice relaxing cup of green tea and a movie that you really enjoy. The point here is that being harsh to yourself is not discipline it’s just simply being mean. And isn’t it true that you wouldn’t treat anyone else like that, so why treat yourself like it? Life is too short! Smile more “laughter is good medicine”.
Being positive is not just ignoring your problems rather it is choosing to lighten up and see the whole picture instead of one mistake. Maybe you did eat that muffin or ice cream but does that take away the previous disciplined weeks. You need to learn to forgive yourself and get back up again! Let’s illustrate this point with a small story. There was a young powerful soldier that boasted to the king about all of his victories in battle. He demanded to be given more authority because he wanted to be a great leader. But the wise old king gently smiled and said to him “no my son for you are too vain! A great leader knows what it is to lose sometimes. And that is what makes him great, he feels the pain of his losses and still goes on”! The young soldier was dealt a real blow and walked away in anger. Years later he realized that the wise old king was right and he wished that he could thank him but he had passed on. But he held those words in his heart dearly and they made him strong.
Are you getting the point? Einstein said “only those who never try anything cease to fail”. If you fail sometimes you are trying new things! God loves you so much! He sees your heart and he knows your desires. Learn to talk to him daily and share your frustrations but also spend some time listening to him. He is wise and all knowing!
Now maybe your battle is not with weight maybe it’s a bad temper or overwhelming addictions. The point is that God loves you and he will help you but you must love yourself each day and forgive yourself along the way. God bless you!
By Gordon E. Dawe