Life Skills

Huh? Not working? Still have all that stress? Now what?

So you have done all the suggestions, started eating healthy, exercised, journalled, yadda, yadda, yadda… but are still fretting, worrying, stressing? Bought out all the Bach Rescue Formula in town?  Perhaps, just perhaps, it is some core issue you haven’t dealt with… Maybe by doing all of the above, you only “bandaid” the injury… you can cover up and heal over the top the reason why you react to stress the way you do, but never quite get to the “cause”…

I will share my story… you might be really quite tired of hearing my stories, but since you are already here, you may as well “buckle up” and read on…  It may not appear at first to be a stress/anxiety/worry type story… but it really is.

My ‘break through” came when I was trying to figure out what my stressors were… you know the “journaling”, “keeping track of”, “paying attention to” type of activities we’ve been discussing for the past few days…   Not only what my stressors were, but what how it caused me to react.  The stressors are easy… they are what many people are facing… too much to do, too many things scheduled, too little finances, on and on and on.. But I realized that my reaction was to eat… or not eat… I am not a compulsive eater…  I don’t particularly love to eat nor do I covet eating… I eat or not eat (this is something that seems quite opposite, but bear with me, it really isn’t)… because the more overwhelmed I am, the more my brain hurts from extreme “overload” is when I am most out of control…  I have NO control of anything external in my life.  Since quitting breathing isn’t an option (you pass out and your breathing starts automatically)…I can control my eating.  I have done this my whole life…  As a young child… who really had no control over anything external… I learned to how to have control by what I ate…  this was w-a-y before eating disorders… I spent many years eating only at suppertime (dinner)… my weight has fluxuated hundreds of pounds… I can diet, lose weight, gain it … lose it, gain it, etc… I can go 30 days without eating – drinking only water… (and have many, many times)… good for me?  Of course not… this wasn’t the issue… the issue is CONTROL… the more stress I have the more I did really weird things with my eating, with my diet… –   Then I was in control, right?  It has taken me many, many years to discover that the eating wasn’t my problem.. I could fix that… what I couldn’t fix was that “feeling”, that “core belief” of not being in control.

One thing I tried was to emulate people who are naturally resistant to stress.  Some people weather devastating experiences with uncanny serenity.  By studying them, I observed that these folks tend to focus on immediate issues rather than global ones; the stress-resistant people also tend to share an optimistic “explanatory style”.  They assume their troubles are temporary (I’m tired today” rather than permanent (I’m washed up)… and they tend to be specific (“I have a bad habit”) rather than the universal (“I am a bad person”).  They credit themselves when things go right, while externalizing their failures (“That was a tough audience”, not “I gave a wretched speech”).

 I also observed that folks who concentrated on their breathing tended to quiet their minds and not go into overloads of worry and stress.  Also, folks who got regular massage and acupuncture tended to get rid of the stresses in their lives.  Actually all the above works to relieve stress… but it never got rid of the core problem… my core problem was my extreme feeling of being out of control… that I have no control.  I needed to change this core belief into something that is actually true…

So, perhaps you have a core belief that is holding you back…  holding onto your stress… causing you to react to stress no matter what you do….  I am working on this… as I said… I am an individual progressing along my path…  I am changing that OLD CRAPPY UNTRUE belief into something that is true…. Yep, I am progressing…. How are you doing?

See you tomorrow.  Topic will be procrastination……, but for now.. no procrastination,  coffee time.

5 thoughts on “Huh? Not working? Still have all that stress? Now what?”

  1. Sometimes I feel like when I am most in control I am the most out of contro. I don’t like roller coasters. I hate not being in control. By imposing some form of control on my chaotic environment I can feel less lost and tossed around. But when I try and control the way things go, I don’t flow.
    But I need a better way of handling stress myself.
    It’s time to go belief hunting again.

  2. Yep–mine is core issue related too. I too am making progress–slow but steady and I am feeling a lot better about myself in general and I’m finding that as I feel better about myself and about my immediate world life in general looks more positive. It is hard to figure out what I can control and what I can’t and I had a very eye opening experience the other night where I found out something I thought I was in control of I’m not–and that I had to accept that and move on. And surprisingly I did move on instead of staying stuck and trying to control something there was no way I could control–or waste time being angry because I couldn’t control it. It may be gray and icky outside and my daughter seems to be trying to drive me nuts but life is good :). Happy Day everyone!

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