Have you had days [or weeks or months] where things just feel like too much? You're overwhelmed. Everything seems to come at you at once. What used to make sense no longer does. And you can't figure out how to keep afloat in the midst of things you feel you can't control?
It's in these moment of chaos that gratitude is especially important. It can ground us and provide context and perspective, allowing us to live presently when things seem insurmountable.
When your anxiety is non-specific, which is to say it is constant and seemingly unattached to any one thing, it can feel even more daunting to try to tackle. Where do you start? How do you find that centeredness?
Start with gratitude.
It will help to quell that feeling of detachment from elements of your world that are going well: after all, it's sometimes hard to see those great things through the fog of anxiety.
When we feel mired in stressful events and try to attack them without an attachment to the bigger picture, the details, the time, the doubt can become too much. Why start a business? Why try to lose ten pounds? Why hunt for the best private school for your kids? Why try to buy a home or make any big change, for that matter? Or, or, or. The list of stressors can go on forever.
Without context, these are all exciting things that shouldn't cause so much unease. They should invigorate and excite us! But if they're not attached to the already- amazing things in our world (at least according to our frazzled minds), they're amply more frustrating and terrifying.
Taking the time to consider WHY these stressful things are necessary to supporting the things we're already grateful for is a good way to contextualize and reframe how and why to accomplish them. When we consider that all of our reasons are attached to things we're presently grateful for (and will be grateful for), it can make much more sense.
Gratitude gives perspective. Reminding ourselves that we are indeed so lucky to even have the opportunity to consider doing these things is a way to persevere through. Give yourself a clear purpose and know you that will overcome whatever obstacle you face.
With frequent and genuine acknowledgment of the people I am lucky to know and things I am lucky to have, I surround myself with a supportive framework to succeed. Allowing myself to love and appreciate what's around me makes the mayhem a little more bearable. This week, I am battling work-stress by reveling in a truly fabulous relationship and the gift of living in this fine city. I took a stroll from Hell's Kitchen to Grand Central and decided to snap some photos to capture some little pieces of inspiration. I feel so lucky, and as I'm discovering, gratefulness = less stress.
What are you grateful for? What can you do to revel in your gratitude today? How can it inform how you tackle stress in the coming week?
Be calm. Be calm. Be calm.