Stress and anxiety can cause us to miss out on so much in our lives. One dwells in the past while the other makes us fearful of the future. It appears like a never-ending battle attacking us from both sides. Both are overwhelming, both slowly destroy our physical body, both cause our mental body to distort fiction and nonfiction and both are capable of being lessened by focusing on something. The something is …
NOW! 🙂 Okay, that was a little too enthusiastic for 6:50am … but it is exciting! The Now provides us an opportunity to ask a question. Why are we here? This isn’t a call to discuss our reasons for humanity on Earth, but rather an opportunity for us to look at our lives as they are … now. Here asks us to look at the present moment and not stray back into the past or too far into the future. The focus on the past can bring stress (even from positive memories) and the future can bring anxiety (again, even from pleasurable thoughts). Both of which have negative effects on us. Living for the moment and consistently asking ourselves, “why am I here?”
It could be as simple as … “I’m here to do the best dang job of cleaning this dishes in the history of now.” Yeah, a bit of a stretch, but think about it. No comparison to the past and no thinking about doing the dishes for the millionth time. Alleviate stress. Alleviate anxiety.
It could be as complicated as … “I’m here because I am making a difference in the lives of others right now.” The difference could be as a parent, as a friend, as a concerned stranger … the possibilities are limitless.
So … why are you here? 🙂
When Life Turns Up the Heat
Stress and anxiety are not the same, although they are close companions and often trigger each other.
1. Stress comes from the feeling that a certain set of circumstances should not be happening.
When we believe something in our life shouldn’t be the way it is, we go into a mindset of resistance. We mentally oppose what’s happening. This is the feeling we identify as stress. Something has come up, and we want to get it over with, get past it, get it out of the way. In other words, we are in flight from the way our life is right now.
2. Anxiety stems from from the feeling that something should be happening that clearly isn’t.
When we believe something ought to be happening, we yearn for it, ache for it, often to the point that our longing eclipses our ability to enjoy what’s presently happening in our lives. Longing for something that isn’t happening causes us to be dissatisfied with our life as it is right now. The effect upon our mental wellbeing and our health is the same as that of stress.
In both stress and anxiety, our inner experience is that we want to be somewhere other than where we are.
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