So often, we talk about stress as something that comes to us from without. Traffic, work, a new diagnosis, disappointment over how a loved one reacts to our illness, or other factors happen outside of us and can stir up a mound of stress that has all sorts of ill effects for us and our lives.
But, there’s also stress that is generated within us, and it, too can have a negative impact – if we allow it to. How we react to external stresses, how we set our expectations, how we view our lives with illness, and even the “food,” spiritual and physical that we feed ourselves with can bring on stress. Why, it can even be stressful to think we are stressing ourselves!
Self-awareness is a huge key to understanding what stresses we cultivate internally, and how we can ease them or even eradicate them. If we listen to ourselves and truly hear the negative thoughts and language we use, we can begin to stop the flow of stress-inducing words and replace them with more positive ones.
If we recognize negative things that we do that work against our emotional, physical and spiritual health, we can put the brakes on them, too, and move into a more nurturing and health-filled way of life.
Worry is a huge stressor in anyone’s life, and as people with serious health conditions, we probably worry more than most. When I catch myself worrying, I try to turn it over to God in prayer immediately. Sometimes, I feel as if we play a game of catch, God and I, where I lift up my worries to Him, and then moments later they’re back in my proverbial baseball glove only to be tossed back up to Him. But after a few moments of “catch,” I realize what I’m doing and heave those worries heavenward and don’t take ’em back. It’s very freeing – and de-stressing!
We cannot do without stress (unfortunately). But the more aware we are, the more we’ll be able to take control of some of the stress that builds up within, and be all the stronger to withstand the stress without.
Blessings for the day,