Stressed by a litany of minor events, I’d been thinking about what I needed to do next to get myself back on track. Stress does dreadful things, not only to our minds and equilibrium, but also to our bodies. Time for a reset!
I always expected that, by the time I got to my eighties, life would be peaceful and calm. The process of ageing would, magically, reduce stress. I’m obviously cued into all those images of smiling old women in rocking chairs!
Perhaps age does work wonders for some of us but life still throws curved balls and we still react. At least, I do.
Last year, I wrote a blog about first aid for stress.
My first aid tips
- Deep breathe. The obvious first action.
- Drink some water.
- Distract myself – walk around the block
- Recite the Serenity Prayer, a long-time favourite.
First aid works well in emergencies, but there must be follow-up care. Praying for acceptance may be a good thing, but most of us want solutions and action. We want to be in control of our lives. At least, I do.
Serendipity to the rescue
Scrolling through my Facebook feed might have left me feeling even more unhappy, until I came to a graphic posted by novelist Kate Forster that really got me thinking.
You might like to check out Kate’s website, and follow her on her page for fun and for life- and writing-tips. And read her books!
Finding this graphic was such a fortunate event that I can only think of it as serendipity because I wasn’t looking on Facebook for answers, but to fill in time. And there it was!
Serendipity, according to the American Psychological Association,
is the knack of making fortunate discoveries by accident. Serendipity is often considered a characteristic of the creative scientist.
It’s also a characteristic of writers, thinkers, all creatives and people consciously seeking answers to problems.
Kate Forster’s post – things you can control
Here’s a copy of the graphic that changed how I think.
There are other things that could be added to the list. Long term, all the things we know make us healthy also help us control our reaction to stress.
A sensible diet, exercise, regular sound sleep, enjoying friends and family, belonging and something to do – all of these help.
Being grateful for what we can control leaves us feeling better about what we can’t. Working on what we can take charge of provides a sense of relief.
Did you find this helpful? Please leave your comments.