If you’re anything like me, you might be getting alarmed at our new emotional normal these days. You know how everyone worries, talks about stress, and is anxious in one way or another? Now, we know that stress has always existed for humans – after all, it’s the very stress hormone (adrenaline) we are blessed with that has enabled us to fight or flight throughout thousands of years to get to where we are today.
Unfortunately, we are overusing this stress response that was supposed to be used for survival purposes only as our everyday life experiences, such as traffic jams or frustrations at work spark a cascade of thoughts, emotions and chemical reactions that tell us we should tense up, breathe shallowly, have racing thoughts, and lose concentration. And even though we all know being stressed is a routine experience in our demanding lives, I’ve noticed that somehow being worried and anxious have also become part of the new and accepted normal as well.
In my psychotherapy, life coaching, and energy healing practice, I specialize (in part) in treating stress, worry, and anxiety so naturally I expect to spend my days teaching people the tools and making the shifts necessary to eradicate this unnecessary condition. In fact, it is a true blessing to witness the freedom they experience as they align with who they truly and end the suffering that stress, worry, and anxiety has caused in their lives.
But I’ve noticed the baseline of everyday anxiety has increased for the masses. If I think of the 15 closest people to me in life, I can easily give examples of how each one stresses, worries, or has anxiety that interferes with their happiness in life. Their levels of stress, worry, or anxiety (or what I call S.W.A) may not meet clinical proportions, but their lives would be greatly improved if they didn’t have to waste their precious life energy on the act of worrying, fretting, racing, pushing, ruminating, or generally feeling pressured or negative.
In other words, you no longer need to have a clinical diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder to lay awake at night with worry, think of the worst things that could happen, have inner dialogues battling your own ruminations and self doubt, race around like a chicken without a head, assume the worst about others or yourself, become overwhelmed by paperwork and to-do lists, not sit still until 10 pm, or avoid taking risks or feeling feelings because it could make you anxious. Or maybe the new normal is that many more people actually do meet the criteria for a diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Either one is not okay.
Stress, worry, and anxiety are SO normal that the word “stress” in an article headlines actually get’s a big yawn from readers because it’s not new or sexy enough. “Stress” as a topic is pretty boring because lots of people simply endure it as if it is an expected bi-product of life, i.e. that it’s a price one has to pay to get other good things they want, is a badge of honor about how busy or successful they are, or is just a cultural norm that gets modeled and repeated over and over.
So I’m thinking we need a big, ol’ revolution! Today I am inviting- even inciting- you to put your foot down about the stress, worry, and anxiety in your life and say no to the new norm. Become a cultural revolutionary on the leading edge and take these steps to be…not normal!
Here’s How To Just Say No To The New Normal:
1) Get mad about stress, worry, and anxiety and declare that you will not live this precious life in a state of stress and fear-based emotions. What a waste! Then replace the mad feeling with love for yourself and commit to living in a more harmonious way with yourself and your world.
2) Get busy learning new ways to shift your current habits to new ones. S.W.A. is very treatable and curable. There are tools and shifts that truly work. This means get a therapist, coach, self-help book, or group that is committed to helping you reduce your stress response behaviors and increase your joy quotient.
3) Learn to meditate. Seriously, it’s time. You’ve wanted to learn for years or people have told you to, so wait no longer. Meditation isn’t just for new-agers anymore. Everybody who feels happier is doing it and it’s more accessible than ever:
CLICK HERE to get these free guided meditations.
4) Slow and steady wins the race. Make changes, like writing in a gratitude journal everyday or grounding yourself with a daily walk, with commitment, consistency, and patience, Over time, it will make a measurable difference.
5) Shoot for 90%- You are probably not going to eliminate all of your S.W.A. and some of it has VERY useful benefits, so let’s aim for only being in a state of stress only 10% of everyday. The rest of the day will be met with a different way of life and heart.
6) Remember two important messages: This is YOUR LIFE and LOVE IS THE ANSWER. Everything else is just filler.