By Heather Greaves
Reiki Teacher, Yoga Instructor and Holistic Counsellor
Why we need stress in our lives
I know that statement may cause your nose to wrinkle and eyes to squint to be sure you are reading it correctly…but yes, stress is not only good, but very necessary in our lives. Here’s why…
Just by waking up every morning, you begin to operate under stress…waking up the body, stretching it and exercising it. Any movement from the body creates a kind of stress in order to perform the function of forward motion.
Then add our minds. ‘I’ve got to get the kids up, pack their lunches, get them dressed and out the door for school.’ Or it may be ‘I have to get up, do my work out, meditate, shower, drop the kids off and get to work.’ The list goes on and on in our daily schedule we call life. THIS is the stress that becomes unhelpful and overwhelming even in the best of times.
When we are not running madly from one thing to the other, we are day- dreaming of a holiday; wishing things weren’t so crazy; and wondering if life will ever slow down and give us a break!
The thing is, we need the stress in order to accomplish everything we have deemed important to do. The issue is in how we MANAGE the stress that tends to gets us into trouble.
For many of us, day after day we find ourselves in a routine that although ‘gets the job done’, leaves us feeling unfulfilled and with lackluster lives. We reminisce of times past where we were happy, relaxed and carefree. What happened?
Well, we grew up! We realised that we wanted more from life than to just exist. And with this realisation came the potentially evil words ‘RESPONSIBILITY’ and ‘EXPECTATION’.
We were told that one day when we grew up we would go to school, get a job, find a partner, get a mortgage, have 2.3 kids and live happily ever after. Newsflash! That expectation and notion of your life has created a sense of responsibility and is the root of your dis-ease with your life. At some point we created an expectation in our child brains of how life was going to be if we just ‘worked hard’ and ‘be good’. Well, unfortunately, these themes don’t generally bring the fantasy into a reality.
In the school of hard knocks, life has taught me to let go of any expectations, keep my eye on the prize and let life bring ‘it’ to me; to work smarter, not harder and enjoy every moment, good or bad as a realisation that life is just working out how to get me closer to what I desire.
I have learnt to appreciate that I couldn’t possibly work hard enough or be smarter than the universe to make it all happen in the way my tiny mind has made it out to be: TRUST is the key!
I still feel stress, but if I let go of my expectation of outcome and realise it is not my responsibility to do anything but just be me, then I am able-to-respond (response-able) to life’s’ happenings more clearly and calmly. It is up to me to take each moment and choose to make it a drama or use it as a learning tool, a gift. It is totally up to me.
So stop stressing yourself out by being stressed! It is natural and normal…and start using the stress to bringing you closer to the balanced life you deserve.