It seems that everyone is talking about the harmful effect of stress in life. High blood pressure, lack of sleep, heart disease, overload of adrenaline, fast pace, anger, overwhelm, too much work, no down time. You have heard it as well.
Too much stress is not healthy. But I have an interesting question. Is the alternative to stress no stress at all? The only state that has zero stress is………..death! Life IS stress. The principle of entropy states that all is decaying and breaking down. Personal growth and achievement by its very nature requires resistance to the natural downward progression of everything. Living requires the exertion of effort, which is a form of stress. No stress = no life.
Here is my concern. If I make comfort and the reduction of stress my ultimate goal, the law of entropy takes over. Decay sets in. Deterioration accelerates. It all begins to fall apart. The waistline expands. The muscles sag. The bank account dwindles. The spending goes out of control. The children go wild. The lawn turns to weeds. The dishes grow moldy in the sink. The house turns into a dumpster. You get the picture. You can smell the decay. Confusion and disorder reign.
Relaxation and comfort make for great rest and a periodic break, but how many people “retire” from work and in a very short timeframe get sick and die? There is joy in purpose and challenge. Work is not the enemy but rather a privilege and satisfaction. We were born to produce, to grow, to strive and win. And that, my friend, is not usually comfortable and at times painful. No pain, no gain, is true.
Stress is not the enemy. The enemy is lack of clarity, purpose, ownership, and intention. When I have passion and a clear purpose, I willingly accept and even create the stress to achieve it. I make my plans, then persevere and overcome in the face of resistance. I strive to learn and grow and improve. This is life! This is satisfaction! This is fun! Winning and mastering the game. If I will lighten up, and embrace my challenge, and be ok with my mistakes, then stress is just a tool to help me live a challenging day.
Stress is not the enemy. It is your lack of clarity and activity that is bringing you down. It is your procrastination and avoidance of embracing your challenges that is making you feel bad. I challenge you to wake up and see the true problem. It is not your circumstances and your environment; it is your current response. Slow down and pause, think, get clarity, plan, and then take action. Taking focused action is the cure for unhealthy worry and stress. Get a friend or a coach to help you sort things out and get back in the game!