Friday, January 8, 2010

Staying Sane

I truly believe today more than ever before the pressures of the world are back breaking. The cost of living is expensive, the cost of your future is expensive, and your past has more ways than ever to come back to haunt you. So in the midst of all the little things that tug on you, ways to stay sane are pertinent to know and to utilize. Here are some things that work for me.
1) Let Go: If you feel yourself getting stressed out or your plate is simply too full, let something or SOMEONE go. It is okay to admit that you are not feeling being superman/woman at the time. Cut back on some of your responsibilities in your clubs or activities. They'll always be there when you have more time to function. On the people end: some people are just stressful. I'm not saying they are trying to be or that it is malicious in any way.
A good indicator is if you feel anxious every time you end a conversation with them. It may be time to back away slightly. It was explained to me that your true friends will understand and even promote your overall new health. People that don't seem to understand or are always negative toward your change for the positive will probably not be lifelong friends anyway. Remember you are not helpful to anyone or anything if you have a mental breakdown.
2) Organization: Though it may sound cheesy, organization really is the key to your overall sanity. Not being organized gives the illusion that your life is entirely more complicated than it really is. My personal favorite is making lists. I make lists for everything and I check them off as I go. It reminds me that though I have many things to accomplish, I have already conquered alot. Not only do I make lists but I also label importance. It places everything in perspective. So even if you don't get everything you need to accomplished, and you probably won't, you will feel comforted that at least the big tasks were accomplished.
3) Reward Yourself: I've mentioned this before but it is so important. I am about to embark on a very challenging few months with my studies but the one thing that keep me sane are my birthday plans. Yes, my birthday is a few months away but as I begin to buckle down, that is a reward I know I will give myself. Knowing a reward is coming is surprisingly comforting and gives you a treat to work towards instead of the feeling that you will be working , indefinitely.
4) Find Your Calm: This is so important. Find things AND people that instantly calm you down. So when you feel your emotions attacked by the pressures you're facing, you already know where to turn. Think of them as knowing your emergency exits. When the fire hits, you don't want to be just trying to find door knobs so have these things in place when you know you are or about to go through a stressful time. Sip your tea, run a mile, whatever it is that you find. Also, have those people that are always inspirational on speed dial. Let them know in advance "You are so good at calming me down, I'm feeling really stressed. Can you just talk to me?" No Shame in that. I'm sure theyll be glad and even honored to have that place in your life. There is no way to totally prevent stress so know and have your backups ready.
5) Find Something to Believe In: Alot of negative press is given to faith but faith is a concept that I have found to help, not hinder your mental functioning. I have a strong faith in the Lord and it places my entire life on a big scale into something that makes sense to me. Therefore as I work and as trials arise, I have one big picture I can always lean back on. That keeps me sane. This isn't a religious blog so there are other big pictures you can put faith in: your drive to become successful, humanity in general, etc. Faith and Belief are cornerstones to not getting overwhelmed. So find something to wrap yourself around mentally and when things don't go the way they should, you will always still have that big concept.
6) Lastly to go with Belief is Perspective: Remember to always keep things in perspective. Alot of our gripping, complaining, and worrying comes from lack of perspective. Yeah, you probably could be doing better. Bill Gates could be doing better. However you could always be doing worse. Sometimes you have to stop and place your life in its approximate place in the world and move on from there. Proper perspective fixes a multitude of bad attitudes (narcissism, selfishness, Self esteem, ect.) and promotes WISDOM. So when you feel yourself going a little crazy, Count to three, drink some tea,whatever calms you and ask yourself "Is my life really so terrible that I feel so hopeless?" The answer is no. If it helps, read your religious text or just inspirational stories of people who still conquered it all and you will see your perseverance renewed.

Remember, to conquer the world, you must first conquer your thoughts. Your mind is one of the gateways to your entire life. Staying sane is a key to staying on top of the world. Hope this helps.


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