Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?
In these days of unnecessary stress, sometimes I wonder if we aren’t our own worst enemy. Sometimes we are so unconscious that we fail to see it, even if we think we are very aware.
Part of it is because we are human, and most humans inhabiting this planet aren’t as conscious as they think. We are pretty good at convincing ourselves that we are, but who are we kidding?
I look around and can quickly see how people sabotage themselves. Heck, I even do it myself. The little self doubt messages can get pretty annoying as we try to shush them away. The things we do and choices we make often add to the unnecessary stress of our day.
How Do You Create Unnecessary Stress?
There are so many ways that we create unnecessary stress in our lives. If you truly stopped to think about it, you would see many. Unfortunately I don’t think we stop to notice or think about them and so they continue as if autopilot is running.
The trick is getting to the point where you notice what is happening in your life. While it is assumed we know that, there’s so much of our day that goes by without us even seeing it.
Have you ever experienced moments where you are driving down the road, with many things clamoring for attention in your mind? You get to your destination and it is almost as if you don’t realize how you got there. You remember nothing of the trip you took, just that you started and then arrived at your destination.
What happened? Did you escape into another galaxy or did a zombie apocalypse happen and leave you behind? Most likely, you were on autopilot and not fully engaged with your trip. Your mind was preoccupied with a million other thoughts, so the details of the trip became a meaningless annoyance.
In many ways we do the same as we add unnecessary stress to our lives each day. We go through the motions, but we’re so preoccupied with many other things that we fail to notice so much.
If you completely took in all the input that comes your way, you’d be a basket case in the first minute of your day. There is so much input that comes our way and it isn’t healthy for the mind or the body.
Somehow we’ve got to get to the point of identifying unnecessary stress and working to become aware of its impact on our lives. Until we do that, we’ll be on autopilot going through the motions.
Forms Of Unnecessary Stress
I’m so tired of the obsession with politics these days. A little bit goes a long way and in these times, there’s lots of it. Sure, it is important to keep up with what is happening, but far too much of our everyday lives is spent obsessing about everything politics. It adds so much stress to our lives that is really unnecessary. However, each person has to decide for themselves exactly how obsessed with it they will be.
I realize that everyone probably has a differing view on how much news one should consume. If you really watch objectively you will see that opinions make up more of the news more than actual fact. We follow the news as a society as if it is the last morsel of food on this planet. It causes so much unnecessary stress in our days.
If you don’t believe me, take the 30-day challenge. We stopped watching the news and we don’t have cable TV which has reduced the stress load considerably. Yes, I still watch headlines to keep up with the most important things, but 90% of what I see is just an obsession.
3. Social Media
The other day I read about how a short time on social media each day could correlate with depression, anxiety, and suicide. For me, it has gotten so toxic on social media that I now spend little time on those places. While I miss people on there, these social media platforms easily suck you in and before you know it, too much of your day has passed.
Is all social media bad? I don’t think I would go that far, but it really needs to be limited — and therein lies the problem. If you can only spend a few minutes on the platforms each day, you’re doing much better than most of the population. Unfortunately, they are designed and programmed to keep you on the site. This is how these platforms make their money. The longer you are on there, the more pages and advertisements you see, the more potential they have to bring in revenue.
Social media can easily cause unnecessary stress and it is such an automatic pilot mode type of situation. No one realizes just how much time they spend on it unless they actively observe and notate it each day.
Yes, there is some great support and benefits on these platforms, but the toxicity almost outweighs anything positive in my view. I wish it weren’t so, but for now, I try to reduce toxicity and stress by not spending my time on social media.
4. Being Too Busy
I have seen this for many years doing massage. People are so busy that they cannot stop. The more they cannot stop, the greater the level of unnecessary stress. It really is sad in our society that we keep ourselves so busy that we fail to take in all the beautiful moments of our lives.
The old saying goes that you need to stop and smell the roses. These days this is such a true statement because few follow it. We fail to even notice the little things and those in themselves are there to be blessings of gratitude in our day.
5. Over Commitment
Do you have a problem with saying “NO” to people? If so, you might be doing yourself more harm than good with unnecessary stress. I struggle with this one because sometimes I don’t want to let another person down. However, the more I do that, the more I end up depleting myself. It isn’t giving myself the worth I deserve. While I understand this, I know I easily do it and is still something I’m working on in my life.
6. High Expectations
I’ll never forget one boss telling me that my expectations were much higher than anything they would put on me. I tend to live a life striving for perfection although I know it is impossible. My expectations are always high for just about everything, but honestly it creates so much unnecessary stress.
In these times, though, our world seems to mostly have very low expectations and it drives me nuts. I don’t like the bar being on the ground. Yes, that’s another issue I work on and I’m sure I’m not alone. In many ways I have made progress, but again my expectations are often too high.
7. Annoying Old Messages
One of the things I had to learn early on in my healing was that those old messages play without us even thinking about them. What we were taught as kids consciously or unconsciously becomes how we live our lives.
When I went through conversion disorder, I came front and center with so many of those annoying old messages. That includes the ones we tell ourselves that aren’t helpful in our overall growth. They create a lot of unnecessary stress on our lives with little in return.
How Can You Destress?
There are many ways that you can work to get rid of stress, and they all need regular practice. There is enough stress coming in from many directions throughout this world and if we don’t find ways to destress, it will slap us hard.
There are many ways to do this, but I find spending time in nature is one of my main ones. Taking a walk or just sitting out in a park allows me time to stop and rebalance.
Listening to or creating relaxing piano music, is also one of my favorites. I
Turning off the news, the cell phone, and taking a break from routines can often be helpful. These days, we don’t do this enough. Our society is too much on constant connection and not enough on disconnecting from everything.
There are so many ways to get rid of stress, but the important point is that you find something that works for you. Once you’ve found it, practice it regularly.
Sources Of Relaxation
These are some forms of relaxation that I have created to help us deal with unnecessary stress in our lives.
Relaxing Ocean Wave Sounds – Over an hour of ocean wave sounds that I recorded from a beach near where I live. I play this continuously in my house and especially at night in the bedroom. If I travel, I play this CD of ocean wave sounds in my hotel room and it really helps me sleep at night.
Relaxing Spa Music – This 50 minute CD started out as a Mother’s Day project but has now become music for a relaxing spa day. It is simple piano music that I created that will help you relax and is good for any day of the year. I think you’ll enjoy letting this help melt the stress away from your day.
Mind Body Meditation Exercises – These exercises are a companion CD to my book, Overcoming A Mysterious Condition. The goal of these exercises is to help connect the mind and body together. They focus on breathing, the enteric brain, and how to notice, sense, and feel.