Do this or die!
You go to the doctor and s/he informs you – Stress is killing you. You need to change or you will die. Quick! What’s your gut reaction?
Find a new job? Quit hanging out with a certain friend? Move to another place in the country? Visit Argentina? Quit working 60 hours a week?
We humans are change resistant connoisseurs of comfort. I was thinking of this after re-reading the top five regrets of the dying. So often we’ll read an article on this and maybe reflect upon it for a few moments.
Then we go right back to the insanity of an unbalanced life. We work too much. We feel like we need to “give yourself permission” to relax. We aren’t happy. And there’s the life-didn’t-turn-out-the-way-I-had-hoped rage that simmers underneath the surface of it all. (That’s probably the cause of your chronic backache, btw.)
Look – I’m not beating anyone up. I’m talking to myself. Stress has impacted my physical health over the years and as I creep through my 50’s, I am more acutely aware of how I’d better heed the warning signs that show up in my body.
Because here’s another deal: Stress DOES kill. Your physical body will keep turning up the volume on the message. When will you listen?
PS For me, this means, I need to quit trying so hard. The hamsters in my head are busy 24/7 spinning on their little wheels. And this is part of the reason why Jay and I have chosen to “live small” in order to minimize distractions so we can sort through our priorities and realign ourselves.
PPS Another thought. You may not be able to quit your job today but you CAN change the story you’re telling yourself right now. And that goes for ANY difficult circumstance you find yourself in. More often than not, it's not the difficulty itself - it's how we RESPOND to the difficulty.