Stress, the ghoulish shadow that latches onto us for eternity. It’s a goddamn soul-sucker, and it causes us a great deal of pain.
We aspire for a life free of stress. And for the 143rd time let me make it clear,
“Pain is inevitable.”
The sooner you accept this the better are your odds of improving your life. But does that mean,
Are we doomed in this world of eternal pain forever?
No! Various philosophers, theorists and several other chaps have tried to make life easier by providing different strategies, and philosophies to live the lives we desire. First let’s look at the two main ways of handling it.
- Worrying your life away with whatever pain you are dealing with and numbing yourself with all pleasurable activities to avoid the pain. This is what most of us do. And the other is,
- Look stress straight right through its eyes and scream “I am ready m*therfucker. Give your best shot…”
And I think the latter one sounds cooler and is a more efficient way to handle it. Let me present to you three ideas that could make your lives much easier.
1. The Stoic badass
Raj has an interview tomorrow, and it scares him to death. He hasn’t prepared yet, and a lot is at stake. His aspirations of becoming a graphic designer rests on this interview.
He starts his prep but fear gets the best of him. He worries about his performance in his interview. And before he realizes worry turns into an eternal down spiralling loop of self-loathing, worry and misery. And he finds it difficult to get his head right. Sounds familiar?
“Some things are in our control, while others are not…”-Epictetus
There are two types of things. The things we could control and the ones we can’t. The stoics always persist on focusing on what you can control (Your mind) and protecting it. It’s absurd to worry about what you cannot control but that’s what we do all the time.
Adopt this mindset. Getting selected in the interview is out of your hands. They may or may not choose you, but you can influence how you prepare.
Better the preparation, the better are your odds of getting selected. So, it’s time to realize that stress is a tranquility sucking parasite. Get your head right and do what needs to be done.
All this starts with a shift in mindset and always remember your brain is your biggest asset. Protect it.
And let go of your need to control everything. Stress follows it every single time.
2. Don’t be a walking grave
We stretch ourselves too thin with work. Even deciding your dinner becomes a daunting task. We reduce our animated bodies to mere deceased containers that our brain lives in. We wear sleepless nights as a badge of honor. The sooner we exhaust our physical selves the sooner would we would become walking graves. Walking grave generates a crappy mindset which produces shitty work.
The author of the best-selling book “The Atomic Habits” tweeted
“It’s crazy how often I feel like I need to resolve some big problem in my life when all I really need is one of the following:”
1. A glass of water
2. A 10-minute walk outside
3. A good night of sleep-James clear
When you are worrying next time, try doing any of the things above. You are more likely to realize that the stress meant nothing, and you were the one who was making a big fuss out of it.
Big stresses don’t mean they need big solutions. A glass of water could do the job.
3. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional
Close your eyes and imagine this situation… No wait don’t close them yet until you read the following paragraph..
A thief is threatening to kill you with a knife and you have in your pocket a gun. You threaten him but he doesn’t seem to back off. He gets closer and closer. What are you most likely to do? Will you shoot him to protect yourself or will you blow your own brains off out of fear?
What would you do?
It’s no wonder that we are most likely to shoot him down. Then why in the world we give up our most powerful gift (Our brain) to the subjugation of circumstances and environment?
Our brain, (The Gun) provides us with the ability to reason, the ability to make rational choices, view things in a better perspective and help us navigate through life (The Thief).
You can never control what happens to you. But you have the power of how you see things and how you react to them.
Don’t you understand? Let me spit it out for you.
Got fired? Self-loathing or complaining doesn’t get you anywhere. But trying to analyze and find out why they fired you do. Got divorced? Maybe you suck. Try to build your relationship skills and stop being more of a jackass.
If you perceive being fired as doomed for death, then you are doomed. The same applies when you think of it as an opportunity to grow.
Divorces, unemployment, wrong career choice these are painful things and there’s no argument about them. But what’s the point of just self-loathing and complaining for a few days, getting a new job or be in a new relationship only to be kicked out once again? Why waste your chance of improvement on useless worry?
Better perceptions lead to better actions.
Are we addicted to being stressed?
Dan Harris the famous “ABC News correspondent” and the best-selling author of the book “10% Happier” once asked a Buddhist monk after missing his flight
“You guys always tell thoughts are just thoughts. Now I missed my flight, and I am screwed up.”
To which the monk replied
“Yes! You are unquestionably right. But there is no point in worrying about your missed flight for the 33rd time.”
And that opened up his mind.
Many of us have found us in a similar situation just like Dan. We often worry about things to where they consume big chunks of our time, even days. Why? Why has it become so hard not to stress out?
We are addicted to it. It’s that simple.
Why bother trying to sort out things and improve your life when you could get stressed out, worry and keep living as a sadistic complaining piece of shit?
It’s a sickening addiction, start realizing it.
This doesn’t mean that we can fly on cute pink unicorns happily all the time. You will have shitty moments, awful breakups and even unfathomable losses. But all that matters is that how you perceive, react and recover out of it?
Certain amount of worry and stress are essential in our life, but don’t let it consume you.
You have at your doorstep three powerful ideas that could just instantly make your life much better. It’s up to you — how you use them.
There is one more thing. We are not even a tiny speck and our problems mean nothing. Before you go screaming about how big your problems are, watch the video below. I wonder how tiny our problems are in this vast universe?
And the most important question of the day
What am I stressed out about? Is it under my control? If yes, then what could I do about it? If not, what can I do about it?