Stress and anxiety are prevalent problems in the daily life of human beings.
Being “only human” is something with which I have a great deal of experience.
I’ve met some rather adverse hurdles in my life; some have led to triumph while others have led to me falling on my face. Stress from job loss, divorce, heartaches, loss of friends and family members, and substantial medical diagnoses for my daughter and own self have all, at one point or another, led to some serious stress and anxiety!
That isn’t even counting the day-to-day stressors that creep up on us all, which are just as important to manage as the major life issues. Managing it has been a process for me, and will continue to be a life-long process. Sharing the mantras that help me cope is part of that process, as I feel that going through something has new meaning when we might use it to help one another. I believe that each of us has the depth, the bravery, the strength and the intelligence to make strides toward the inner peace we seek within ourselves.
While good stress will help us meet our deadlines and drive us toward goals and dreams, negative stress is distracting, exhausting and a proven health risk. There are many ways to deal with stress, but when we find ourselves in the middle of a situation that is causing great anxiety, there may not be time to head to a yoga class or take a hot bath. Therefore, perspective remains essential even during our busiest days. There are mantras for us in those moments; these are simple words we may use as a daily reminder to return to calm.
Being brave does not mean that I will never be afraid. Being brave means being afraid of something and doing it anyway.
In cases where social anxiety, stage fright, a big presentation or some other upcoming situation makes us doubt ourselves, we may feel particularly anxious. This is absolutely normal and we needn’t be hard on ourselves for being afraid. Unfortunately, feelings of stress and fear can lead us to give ourselves unnecessary negative reinforcement. We may unnecessarily deepen our own self-doubt by regarding ourselves as cowardly for being so stressed out.
The truth is: bravery is not defined by the ability to suppress feelings when a circumstance is bothersome. If we are well within our comfort zone when it comes to public speaking, for example, getting up in front of people isn’t an act of courage. It is an act of courage if we are terrified, yet get up there, give our best, and rise above anxiety.
Being strong does not mean that I will never fall down. Being strong means that once I have fallen, I will find a way to get back up.
Humans make mistakes. Sometimes we make small mistakes; sometimes we make rather big mistakes. Life throws curve balls that are not even of our own design, but are circumstance beyond personal control. In either event, we will occasionally be knocked down no matter how tough we are. The stress of losing a job, grief over a loved one, or other large life change can be devastating to the toughest of the tough.
When at our weakest moments, we may be angry at ourselves for allowing life to knock us down. The mantra above is to help us remember that the true test of mettle is not the ability to remain standing through the worst. The ability to get back up and try again is the true measure of strength.
Being smart does not mean that I know everything. Being smart means I know there is always so much more to learn.
When we question our own sanity or intelligence in the midst of a stressful incident, this mantra is particularly comforting. The truth is that no one has all the answers. Sometimes, when answers are presented to us they only serve to create more questions. There is satisfaction in being able to take a stressful situation created inadvertently by our own ignorance or mistake and turn it into a learning experience. Learning, while sometimes painful, can be a triumph and should be viewed as a step in the right direction.
We are only human and cannot know everything. Even the most intelligent people do not ever achieve perfection. Stress due to not knowing all the answers, making a mistake, or misunderstanding a concept is best regarded as a simple reminder that there is always more to know and explore in life.
Stress and anxiety are so common in this hustle and hurry world. While we would like to be able to make time to unwind, there are days when time simply isn’t in the cards. Having words to repeat in our minds on those busy, stressful days can increase our confidence and center our focus.
Coping with common sense and mantras such as these may serve as a reminder of our own aptitude to be braver, stronger, and smarter every day.
Author: Nancy Jobes
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Movie Still