Stress is one of those funny you can’t live with it, you can’t live without it things. You have to have some stress in your life. Stress gets you out of bed in the morning, it gets the laundry done and gets you out the door to do a job to put food on the table and keep a roof over your head. Those are good stressors. They are part of a human’s hierarchy of needs. Food, a roof over our head, fulfilling work to do and people to love in all meanings of the word make us feel safe.
And then there are the stressors, things like fear and anxiety that are counterproductive. Fear of the future, fear of doing new things, fear of being an inconvenience, not being good enough, or being hurt and rejected and social interactions are all rational fears. Too many of them, hell, one of them at the wrong time can be paralyzing. Thus, you can get locked in your fear. Nothing happens, things get put off, it becomes difficult to get out of bed because everything is so overwhelming. And the causes of those fear don’t go away and quite possibly get worse.
Stress and the emotions that cause can turn around and effect our physical and mental well being. (Continued exposure to fear and anxiety can effect your adrenal system which controls just about every hormone in your body. Insomnia is really the least of it. And as you feel fear, your muscles contract, causing tension.)
It becomes hard to think positively. And thinking positively is often what we need the most at that time. Thinking positively, replacing the fear with optimism and hope and learning ways to cope with the anxiety can have a positive effect on our health. Sometimes, it’s accepting that you have to work with what you have and take things one day and one step at a time. Some days it really is all about just getting out of bed in the morning or having a day that is free of pain.
There is a lot of stress in my life right now. But on Saturday morning, when I got up to pay my bills, I stopped. I opened up a notebook and I wrote down a list of positive things about myself. The skills I have. The things I’ve done. And as I did, I felt hope that yes, out there, somewhere, is a place where I can work. I felt some of the tension on my body relax. (My jaw popped and yeesh, I think I’ve clenched or ground my teeth way too much in my life.)
There is light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t know what is there yet. I have to take it one day at a time. But I will get there eventually.