If I were to ask you how stressed out you are right now, what would you say?
Are you a relatively calm person with a laidback demeanor and only a handful of things in life truly stress you out?
Or, are you more anxious, more on alert, always in the middle of a fire drill while you valiantly attempt to put out fires like a Whack-A-Mole game?
It’s the latter that I find a very fascinating type of client to work with.
Often I hear from these types of people: I just can’t seem to catch a break.
And because they’re waiting for some type of reprieve from their high-stress life, they spin their wheels rarely making progress towards their goals.
So, my question is this: What if that break doesn’t come? What if the best you can ask is a very small reduction in stress and for only a short window of time; a gap that only comes sporadically and with little advance notice?
In other words, are you waiting for a circumstance that may never arrive?
It’s not fair of me to compare one person’s stress against another. Much like trauma, it’s difficult if not impossible to say: my trauma was more severe than yours, therefore my suffering is greater. No one wins in contests like that.
I have clients with relatively lower stress lifestyles who struggle to reach their goals and clients who seem to carry all the world’s weight on their shoulders who struggle as well.
Simply having less stress in life doesn’t guarantee success with your health. Quite the opposite, it could promote complacency.
What I would encourage anyone to do is to work within the parameters of their life as it’s been dealt to them.
If you can’t change the stress of your life, how can you improve your life within that stress?
-Can you get better quality sleep?
-Can you raise your step count?
-Can you reduce the abundance of less nutritious foods in the home?
-Can you drink more water?
-Can you start lifting weights?
-Can you start scheduling periods of self-care in bouts of 10-15-30 minute intervals in a day?
-Do you have a list of activities you find to be relaxing or rejuvenating when stress is high?
-Do you have a gratitude journal?
-Do you pray/meditate to find some grounding and a sense of calm?
-Can you fully accept that for as far as your mind and eye can see that progress towards your goals must happen within your stressful life?
Rather than waiting for life to become less stressful for you, how can you foster an environment for success?
I have no blueprint for you.
I have no blueprint because there is no blueprint.
There is your life and there is how you react to it.
And if you’ve been waiting for months or years to reach your goals because you can’t “catch a break” then maybe the most advantageous position to be in is to assume that you won’t get a break.
So, you have a choice to make:
Stay stuck because you see no hope for success OR succeed in spite of it.