“The components of anxiety, stress, fear, and anger do not exist independently of you in the world. They simply do not exist in the physical world, even though we talk about them as if they do.”
Times are interesting for sure.
Is there any more fuel for stress today than there was last year, last decade, or last century?
Who knows? We don’t compile that data. Not here anyway.
One thing for sure, the more stress that gets expressed, expanded and elevated, the more seems to show up.
For example, putting aside the incidences of terrorist attacks that seem to have become a part of living in our modern world, the amount of random acts of violence for the most innocuous reasons—a relationship breakup, being cut off in traffic, a layoff—have seemed to rise. Or, is there simply more tension in the general air that have those events just catch our attention more?
Either way, left unchecked, tense times appear to bring about more tense times…for each of us individually and the world as a whole.
I recently noticed that the political climate has had my “guard up” for the last several months. Even though I believe in my mind that I can separate the mood brought about by this climate from my work, my relationships, and my being and interacting in the world, I realized that I’m fooling myself. The general mood I find myself in in one area can’t help but put a pale or cloud over another area.
We’ve all heard that “Wherever you go, that’s where you are.” So, realizing that bracketing or separating out the moods in one area from others won’t just happen on its own, I’ve become more vigilant about stemming the tide of tension.
We are living in times of high-potential stress. It’s what we each do with that potential that makes a difference. The potential either gets expressed, or it gets transmuted by our individual efforts.
Given that muscles are only built from resistance, perhaps this is a perfect time to build muscles around stress…because the world’s resistance to being at peace is all around us.
We can either add to the escalation in our responses and reactions, or peacefulize events and environments through intentional workouts.
Simon Sinek says “We live in times of high stress. Messages that are simple, messages that are inspiring, messages that are life-affirming, are a welcome break from our real lives.”
We seek to do that each week here, in our Back Forty messages and efforts.
What messages can you send out today, whether initiated or in response, to turn the tide toward peace?
Here’s a few ideas to help you Peacefulize in a Stress Test.
First, it’s important to just notice the resident vibe in which you’re operating. I say “resident” because it kind of lives in us. It may be an unwelcomed visitor, but if it’s a negative vibration that snuck in and is living in your basement, it’s smelling up the whole house.
So, first, begin to notice what’s lurking in the unseen. Are you irritable? Are you punchy? Are you easily rattled or thrown into concern or argument? Notice how you respond to the natural flow of life each day and see if you can be an observer to yourself.
Is that person happy and content, from an observer’s point of view, or might they have something going on behind the scenes or under the hood?
Get good at noticing your resident mood…and what might be going on that has you in that mood.
Have some empathy for yourself, realizing that you’re not wrong for any reason you may be punchy or irritable, and understand that most people would be operating the same way you are.
You’re only human, and stuff happens that throws the majority of humanity into fear, concern and stress.
Realize that you have a choice, each and every moment, as to how you’ll be. Will you side with the majority, and be the average person handling stressful times in an average way, being just as argumentative and committed to being right as the next person…or will you be different?
Look, you’re not “right” for choosing to be different, for choosing to find a different way to operate than the majority, but just realize that you do have a choice.
If you do happen to be one of the minority who choose to take the road less travelled, find ways to bring peace instead of more dissension and tension into every event or environment in which you find yourself.
General tension in the air means that most people will be at a heightened level of blowing off steam. See, in every situation, how you might be someone who cools down the steam so that, as water, it can flow easily down the path of least resistance, which water tends to do.
Sure, “count to 10” if you need to resort to basics…but, beyond that, how might you serve yourself and others by bringing out the possibility or perfection of every situation vs. buying into the problem that everyone else will be focused on? Be inventive. Be creative. Be different.
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”
In The Back Forty, we say you have yet to do what you came here to do.
If you’re here to play a yet bigger game – no matter what you’ve accomplished thus far – it will take you being different than the rest of the crowd and bringing out ALL of you in a NEW way.
We created The Back Forty Re-NEW-ALL Program for just this reason: to support you to go against the grain of how the majority would view challenges and potential stresses and actually have them serve you to be who you came to be and do what you came to do. Those “stress tests” are really your best friend, helping you get there, if you approach them powerfully.
Check out A Back Forty Re-NEW-ALL Program here, to ReNEW the ALL of YOU.