Stressed TF out!
It’s a story that too many of us are familiar with. Our bodies are tense to the point of pain, but it’s not because we don’t know how the bills will be paid or two seconds from being evicted…but it fairly ummmm let’s say unnecessary. Mind going 200mph over situations where we feel that we are hopeless but we actually have the control.
I use to always operate from this place of chaos. But it wasn’t until recently that I have felt a load lifted off my shoulders. Being at peace was no longer an imaginary phrase, only felt when watching Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday; but it had become a way of life.
I sensed it, others sensed it, even my FitBit sleep tracker noticed the peace that resided in my life (no more blue lines baby).
Folks questioned me with their curiosity “Jas, you seem so peaceful now a days; how did you do it?”
Here are the three things that aided me on my journey to live a stress free life…
1. It’s all about ME
As I took inventory of my behaviors, I came across something. I had become an YES woman. Though it is natural for us women to put others needs before our own; it is sometimes necessary for us to be a little selfish. It was as if I became allergic to saying no!
“Girl you want to go to the club tonight?”
In my head I would be saying.........
"No! I rather sit at the house and watch episodes of Good Times.”
But what would come out of my mouth “Yeah girl, what time do I need to be ready.” This resulted in me stressed out trying to get out of the situation…..
Though we continue to make other people feel good, it often leaves us depleted.
I was walking past the library at work one day, and was intrigued by a book in the window entitled “The Happiness Project.” In short, it was about feeling happier without creating drastic changes within your life. As a result, I made my own makeshift happiness project.
Though the formula in the book (considering feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth) I noticed that being a “YES” woman was placing this dark burden on me (totally the opposite of feeling happy).
If I didn’t genuinely want to do something, I would say….NO
Oh man, never knew the feeling that two letter would bring me! It gave me my first experience of being free; I no longer had to stress about getting out of situations that I cowardly agreed to. Don’t become so consumed with taking care of everyone else that you have neglected the most important person….YOU.
2.Don’t take it personal
Every response, comment, sigh, deep breath, neck roll, eye roll, sub tweet, or any other negative action, is NOT an attack on your life. We have the tendency to get all work up, when the other person’s response has NOTHING to do with us. Then we place their burden on our backs and wonder why our load is so heavy.
Has a co-worker ever walked passed your desk without saying good morning back to you?
Instead of being productive, you then spend the entire morning thinking of how that rude heffa just walked passed you and didn’t say anything. (Didn’t even realize she had her headphone in and didn’t even hear you).
Before you know it, you not only filled the morning with negativity but planted a seed to harvest a garden of a bad day. The day of negativity could’ve been prevented by not taking it personal. It’s not always about you; free yourself of unnecessary negativity, it clears your mental space.
3. Dig DEEP to grow
As a youngin' my uncle kept a garden in our back yard. Filled with every vegetable that you could imagine, and of course we were always summoned to help him throughout the process. I would grab the shovel, dig a deep hole, drop the seed in, and cover up. VIOLA! Of course, my uncle would watch my every move to make sure that I wasn’t messing up his garden.
“Jas Ma Taz (everyone in my family feels the need to remix my name), you have to dig your holes a little deeper, so the seed can take good root and sprout.”
Though my uncle is a pastor, I don’t think he met to preach this word to me as a young kid working in his garden.
In order to grow, you have to go DEEP!
For a long time I ran from going deep. See, going deep meant that I would have to face the daddy issues, lack of self-love, and a terribly failed situationship; you know all of the topics that we claim don’t bother any more, the things that we have “moved on from.”
But to really lighten my load, I no longer could run from the issues that had me burden. So yes, I made phone calls, forgave people for their actions, apologized as well, and dealt with all that I would usually run from. In addition to mending broken relationships, I freed up all of the hurt and the pain those situations had taken up space in my head.
Here are a couple ways that you can begin to dig and go deep?
- When writing things down, you have the ability to notice certain patterns versus thinking about it in your head. Over time you will be able to see the reoccurring events that take place. Write down what your goals, aspirations, frustrations, struggles, victories; put it all down on paper. I have been able to see my transformation over the years, things that use to have me turnt up, I no longer give a second glance.
o As if you didn’t see this one coming. Reading has the ability to give you an alternative perspective on issues that before you never would have thought of. Check out “10 Books Every Young Black Woman Needs to Read in Order to SLAY” or the “Read with me” section of the site, are great places to start.
- Keep it A Hunnid
o You can’t develop, what you don’t find a problem. After I started to become honest with myself, I was able to learn why my relationships tanked, or my STRONG urge to always be right (arguing with me was a never ending battle….). But I was able to face issues and move on from them. When I lived in denial I was dumbfounded I couldn’t find out why I kept getting the same results.
Stress is so much of an unnecessary factor that we give a leading role to within our life. Chillax and see how relaxing life can be when you’re at peace. It gives you the mental space to focus on what is really important instead of having a drama filled life like an episode of Love and Hip Hop. The freedom is there, only if you decide to work at it.