Stress is anxiety. Anxiety is worry. Worry is a waste of time. Worrying about something you have no control over does not change it, in fact it only takes time and energy away from positive action, actions that could make a difference to the problems. And if nothing else, allow you to feel a little more in control of your situation. Action is how we feel more alive.
Stress is also fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of an unknown future. But while you are worrying about that unknown and uncontrollable future you are wasting this moment. Living in the moment is how we can appreciate what we have right here, right now. Gratitude makes for happier moments. Moments make up days. Days make up our life.
So, how do you calm the nerves, stop the nagging worries and enjoy what you have now? One way is to write about it. Studies have shown that the very act of writing calms nerves, alleviates stress and promotes healing. Writing in a private journal – for your eyes only – allows you to get out all the fears that are bumping around in your head and give them a real voice. A funny thing happens though: when they are allowed to speak often they look very foolish! In your head they are strong and intimidating but on paper they are small and squashable. Also by putting them down on paper you are separating them from yourself and making it easier to let them go.
Also by writing your worries and to-dos you can begin distinguish between the real concerns and the “smoke,” to prioritize and get organized. Organization promotes action. Action reduces stress.
So, take a deep breath and write away your worries!
*(excerpt from Therapist, Healer, Friend by Joanna Tebbs Young, originally published in Rutland Herald, 2010)
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