What do you usually do when you’re super stressed? When something goes really wrong in your life, how do you react? Some people reach for a pack of cigarettes, pound a beer, watch porn, sleep, or maybe all of the above. Unfortunately the ways most people cope with high stress are very unhealthy. Let’s consider some reasons why this is.
When bad shit goes down in your life you instantly want to feel better, right?! For me, I remember a severe car accident I was in at 24 years old. Three of my ribs were broken and while in the hospital I was pumped full of morphine. This made me feel better then and there. But when I got home and the morphine wore off…I was in agonizing pain.
Okay I realize that is an extreme example. Most of us don’t deal with situations like that often. Hopefully you never have that type of scenario in your life. But many let small problems shoot their stress levels to the extremes of being in a life threatening car wreck. And why is it we tend to let little problems in our lives take our stress levels through the roof?
Well, first off, most people don’t realize they can learn to control their emotions. With practice this allows them to notice big problems but only have low levels of stress. How do you get to that point? A big way, is by noticing your emotions and thoughts. Meditating is a great way to get in touch with your emotions and thoughts.
For example, when I get stressed now, the first thing I want to do is get to a quiet place and meditate for ten minutes. When my go-to used to be to grab a bottle and get drunk as quickly as possible. But I know that me meditating will not only make me feel better but there are no negative repercussions to deal with later on. But you may be thinking…isn’t it easier to eat an entire cake, smoke a bowl, grab some fast food?
You can go that route but it just ends up being like the morphine after the car wreck. When it wares off, you still are left with your same issues and you still feel shitty. This relates to the difference between numbing your feelings and coping with them.
Brene Brown talks about this. And she goes into the fact that when you numb your negative feelings…you also numb your ability to connect with true positive feelings. Like feeling real happiness, love, peace or joy. Don’t you want to experience those beautiful feelings on big levels? And how about on a regular basis?
You totally can if you begin to lean toward more healthy coping habits. Maybe you start going to the gym when you’re stressed or anxious. Maybe you call your best friend and discuss ways to learn from your current situation. There are tons of ways to cope in healthy and productive ways.
Otherwise, you’ll just continue on like most people who end up justifying how they cope. I know I did this for most of my life. I’d say to myself, “Damn my day was really hard and I deserve a few beers to unwind.” But this is like sticking a band-aid over a gunshot wound. You may stop the bleeding temporarily, but you never find or remove the bullet from your belly.
Wouldn’t you like to remove the ‘bullet’ that’s causing you all that stress and anxiety? Cause then you’ll be on your way to living a life where you won’t feel you even have much to cope with and just tolerate. And don’t we all want that? A life where we increasingly evolve and able to handle whatever life throws at us? A life where we are able to impact not just our own lives but the lives of those around us as well?! We all can have that if we work toward it.
I appreciate you reading this post. If you enjoyed it…