Stress. Deadlines. Projects. Tests. Bills. Global Economy.
The only thing all of these have in common is they are a very important part of my life (whether I want them or not). Based on the theme of my previous blogs, I felt that another blog on stressing would serve its purpose well. After all, as Americans we can’t have much to worry about when people in Libya and Egypt are going through much harder times…
Here’s a few lessons I’ve learned about stressing:
- Don’t sweat the little stuff – as a someone who appreciates being in control, this is one of the hardest things for me to do. It’s all too easy to let something small ruin my day, and in the big picture it seems kind of ridiculous. A splotch of ketchup on a new tie, a broken start sensor solenoid that costs me $300 to fix on my birthday, or having to walk my bike 2.4 miles to the shop because I didn’t bring my pump with me (although I had the extra tube). It’s how we react to these incidents that can make or break our week, and in retrospect it’s always easier to take the more lighthearted approach. Stuff happens!
- Don’t waste energy on stuff you can’t control – as bad as I am about letting little stuff bother me I am worse about stressing about stuff I have NO CONTROL OVER! Sitting at home on Friday wondering if someone is going to call with social plans, stressing if that gift arrived yet for a special someone, or torturing yourself about the GMAT (which apparently I ended up passing…barely). Once you have done everything that you can do, it is time to move on and relax. I have found that a good swim can almost always cure my anxious worrying. Just be sure to get the chlorine out of your hair before hanging out with your friends. :-D
- Take time to be thankful – sitting through my International Business midterm last night really got me thinking about how good we as Americans have it, especially in comparison with the rest of the world. Sure, we like to complain that gas is spiking towards $4/gallon all too quickly, or that we couldn’t get tickets to see U2 in June, but really all of those problems pale in comparison to how good we have it. I can confidently say that 99% of us have adequate food, clothing, and shelter, awesome friends, a solid education, jobs (or dreams of jobs if we’re in the middle of changing), and goals for our lives. Taking time to dwell on the good can alleviate any knots in the back you’ve acquired from freaking out.
- Is it really that bad?! – in the midst of the many events in Africa, the fact that we would have the gall to even whine about gas prices hurting our economy is frankly pathetic. I think now is a great time for all of us to get outside ourselves and open our eyes to the world around us (surprisingly it doesn’t center around Obama’s horrendous budget, the cost of a new TV, or how expensive bread is getting). Between my Personal Branding and International Organization classes, I have found a new appreciation for the world around me and have made an effort to read articles about other areas of the world that have a direct impact on us as Americans. Also, working in Higher Education has certainly served to increase my awareness as well.
As Americans, we tend to overreact and be incredibly self-centered. How do you feel about the recent changes across the ocean and their impact on us at home? Do you think we’re doing our part of being involved since it affects us all?
Picture credit – P.S. It really annoys me that pictures of globes always show North America front and center so I used one that doesn’t … :-)