MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “stress”

Admitting to the problem

https://img.fotocommunity.com/sehnsucht-nach-meer-e5071e7c-1c5a-4ce7-88e1-8e87a1f6e2ce.jpg?height=400They say that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. In fact, it is true that more people would learn from them mistakes if they weren’t so busy denying them. In the same light, in order to begin to find some peace of mind, we need to acknowledge that we have none.

In our modern age, being (too) busy is a problem. But the thing is, we think that it is a privilege, an asset, or even something to be proud of – we actually boast of being busy. Of not having time for anything, not even of living.

We have lost touch of the things that matter. Instead of talking to each other and trying to help one another, to learn from each other and mutually improve, we have become so competitive that what dominates our relationships is hypocrisy and shallowness.

What is more, we don’t know how to relax anymore. We have become so obsessed about constantly having something on our minds and in our hands that we turn into inexplicably nervous freaks when we are faced with “doing nothing”. Keeping calm is not a concept the modern world understands. Yet, we so love to cant about it everywhere, we have drawn numerous gifs and images and posters and anything you can imagine, that begin with “keep calm and…”.

Let’s face it. We have become a troublesome kind. We are so afraid of being left out of pretty much anything that we create trouble where there is none, do things we don’t really want to do, and adopt styles that don’t fit us simply because they are the current trend. In the process, we choose to follow the crowd than stand out in our own unique way. And, like everyone else, we criticise or adore whoever and whatever is ‘in fashion’ at the time.

We don’t think anymore. And that is perhaps the most pitiful and severe problem of us all.

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The lure of a bookstore

https://s26162.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/bookstore-slide-2MCD-superJumbo.jpgFor Martia, walking into a bookstore was like walking into a magic realm. In the words of Jen Campbell, “you see, bookshops are dreams built of wood and paper. They are time travel and escape and knowledge and power. They are simply put, the best of places”. In fact, she could hardly ever walk into a bookstore and not leave without buying something.

Martia’s life revolved around books. She loved reading, wrote a blog about books and worked as an editor in a publishing company. She lived and breathed books.

Yet, ironically, she could not find the words to describe how much she adored these tomes of paper. As environmentally-unfriendly they were, there was nothing like the smell that transpired when flicking the pages of a new book. Used books also held their secrets gripped within their pages. Because no one could read a book and remain the same person.

Martia had learned to appreciate even more people who read. Not on an electronic device, but the actual paper copy. Books, she said, made our minds sharper, life more exciting, they lift your spirits, lower your stress levels and make your heart more compassionate. Books always had something new to say. And there is a book on almost anything by almost anyone. What you should be careful to do is pick out the right copy – find the book that says something, in language worthy of the paper it is printed on, that makes you think and makes you want to change things.

“A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking” – Jerry Seinfeld

Counting life

http://aleurerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/shades-of-life-Aleurer-Blog.jpgWe wake up looking at the clock. By the time we open our eyes, we’re already stressed that we might be late for something. Before we even realise what day it is or even where we are, we begin counting to see if we have time.

We spend most of our day like this. Calculating. Looking at the clock. Stressing.

Our heads are filled with perceptions about what needs to be done at what time. The fact that we might be late as per our age for some things adds more stress. The same if we are early. It seems that either going too slow or too fast in life is always frowned upon. Everyone will always have something to say. That’s just the way human nature is.

But we all have our own rhythms. And that is the pace we should live by.

Like Einstein said “not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that is counted truly counts”.

Powerfully stated by Jay Shetty in this short video to watch when pressure is mounting, you need “to be able to create meaningful, purposeful, fulfilling lives for yourselves and learn how to use that to make an impact and a difference on the lives of others. That would be true success”.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what other people say or think. All that matters is how you are.

The wisdom of an organised life

https://steemit-production-imageproxy-upload.s3.amazonaws.com/DQmWXQaaicHc9eMbdSjyn1GpVZu6stEWPEHAtxT1Rnz7ouPSophie and Lisa were twins. But they could not be more different. Sophie was the person who liked to have things in order. To make a plan or a list and try to stick to each as much as possible. She set priorities, ambitions, targets, goals and was thrilled with always trying something new. She was the person who was bored at doing nothing. Lisa, on the other hand, was the exact opposite. If she could, she would sit doing nothing all day. Her motto was to go with the flow. She was completely disorganised, often forgetting things that needed to be done and leaving everything for the last minute.

The problem with the latter type of people is that they don’t have any stress. Actually, they are the ones who cause the former ones all sort of anxiety problems.

It usually works like this: when Sophie can’t organise her schedule because Lisa never knows what her programme is until the very last minute, it is Sophie who gets stressed, irritated, angered and who rushes to change things to accommodate the other’s recklessness.

But no matter how much Sophie complained and lectured over how organisation and planning is needed, Lisa never paid attention. She preferred to do it her way because it always worked out in the end. She never cared to acknowledge, however, that the reason things worked out was because Sophie made the necessary effort to make everything right.

It is a shame that it is the organised people who are the ones that keep the world spinning, yet the disorganised-laid-back ones are always getting all the credit.

“Science is organised knowledge. Wisdom is organised life” – Immanuel Kant

The de-stressing office objects

claire-sheldon

©Claire Sheldon

She had left it on his desk, next to a cup of pens and the small stuffed penguin he had won for her at the fair. It was a plastic cup overfilled with paperclips, which he found was useless. Simply a few would suffice, he kept telling her.

But she wouldn’t throw any away.

When she became too stressed or entered her over-thinking period, she would pour them out of the cup and lay them on the table, playing around with shapes and forms. It would de-stress her and time would pass, distracting her and calming her down. Simple. Vital.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

The maze reshuffle

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RqdbxMGkQpI/UDhAenCh6dI/AAAAAAAAAtM/-arzm8l6Ty4/s1600/P1200633.JPGAndreas was trapped in a maze. He didn’t know how he got in there. Ever since he could remember, he was trying to find his way out. He was surrounded by high walls; by turns that led to dead-ends; by paths that kept closing in on him.

Every time he thought he saw some light at the end of a corridor, at a turn, something strange would happen, as if the entire maze would reshuffle itself.

And the way out changed location. Again.

Andreas grew tired. Nothing seemed to work. He would never get out.

He took a few moments to calm himself down. He looked around and saw the high green plant-covered walls stare imposingly down at him.

Suddenly a rainbow-coloured bird flew over his head.

Andreas stood up. That was his ticket out.

He raced behind the bird, eager not to let it out of his sight.

It seemed like hours he was running after his winged ally, when finally he felt the sun’s rays penetrating through the maze walls. And just before another rearrangement occurred, he was out.

He couldn’t believe it at first. He looked around and saw a large green field, hills on the background and fresh air breezing around him.

Then he heard a voice calling, “are you alright? Are you OK?

His girlfriend was gently shaking his shoulders as Andreas revived from the hallucination. He had fallen from the ladder he had climbed as they were renovating their home. An intense disagreement they had made him slip off a step after she left the room.

The maze dream made him realise that things in life are always going to be complicated. And the more we search for answers, the more life will change the questions. So what we can do is try to worry less, argue less, stress less and laugh a bit more. When we calm down, we will find the way out of any situation.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Maze

Intruder alert

http://7-themes.com/6872314-cloudy-sky-landscape.htmlThey creep in at night, under your sheets, through the barred or open windows, in the silence just when you think everything is fine. They disrupt your serenity and upset you without you ever truly comprehending why. And your mood changes indefinitely, depriving you from the ability to control even that.

Intruders are sneaky. They invade your mind when you least expect it.

They cause you to lose sleep and ruffle the sheets, tossing and turning in bed, waking up even more tired than the night before and much more depressed. But the worst part is, you can’t explain why.

Intruders plant thoughts in your head and make you anxious, jealous, skeptical, suspicious.

They cause you to draw scenarios that to an outsider may seem insane but to you, at the moment, may seem perfectly rational.

They result in you becoming a little more bitter, more cynical, more irritable.

And all you really need is some reassurance that you are not as crazy as you believe; that everything is and will continue to be fine.

You need that strong, warm embrace that will carry you into a peaceful sleep, forgetting everything else and enabling you to wake up and face another day stronger.

You want to get rid of those intruders. But sometimes you can’t do it alone.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Bitter

The talk we don’t need to hear

https://img.clipartfest.com/375b05ec1c968abc0180db030fb44d40_-i-should-calm-down-calm-down-clip-art_433-284.jpegThere is a very well-known fact that no-one ever calmed down by being told to calm down. On the contrary, this only causes further irritation.

Because when you’re stressed, angry, or upset about something – anything, whatever that may be – the last thing you need is people telling you to do the one thing you know you need to do.

You’d much rather have someone say something optimistic, positive, reassuring, caring. Someone who maybe would offer some food – chocolate, to be more precise. Someone who would wrap you in a tight hug that would transmit the feeling that everything will be all right. Maybe not at that very instant, but eventually. You just need to be patient. And believe that things will turn out in the end.

It is true that we need to find ways to eliminate stress from our lives. We already know that. We don’t need to hear the obvious. We’d much rather be shown some tender, love and care instead.

Cursed to feel

https://secure.static.tumblr.com/5332aa58d90d1b62cdcfb76b42e2fc3a/uhqpxjc/kAgn1552y/tumblr_static_dark_rose_by_darkblade221-d3fa2xy.jpgIt may be a sign of determination; of decisiveness; sometimes even stubbornness. But it may also be one of insecurity; often even fear. When we set our minds on something and stick to it; when we ponder too much over it; when we refuse to simply let it go. It’s what adds to the stress of our daily lives and disrupts our pleasant mood for no apparent reason.

As difficult as it may be, we need to train ourselves to let some things slide. Especially those we most fear. Because it is true that the greatest things will happen when we distance ourselves from negativity. It’s not about pretending that you don’t care; it’s about getting over it and paying more attention to the things that really matter.

We are cursed to feel. As much as we may love and laugh and live, feeling is the most profound of all experiences we have. And the deeper you feel, the more you overthink, you overanalyze, you stress, and you worry.

It was Oprah Winfrey who said “if you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough”.

Everything is a matter of perspective, of focus and what you (choose to) hold onto.

The opposite limits

opposite arrowsHer name was Patience, which was ironic because she had none. She was the type of person who wanted things done in a specific way, quite swiftly too. It was the consequence of being a perfectionist with a high dose of OCD. And the very fact that she was so meticulous and thorough with whatever she did, meant that she would be irritated by anything of lesser quality. But what was worse of all, was how she reacted to unjustified pressure.

Because often, people work harder when under pressure, as they feel the knife’s edge closing in. But Patience disliked being forced to do something she was going to see to either way. In her mind, it was a useless paradox that was simply unproductive.

So whenever her grandmother forced her to “eat all her peas”, Patience would not touch a single one. The same happened when her parents asked her to “clean up her room”. Or when her supervisor “demanded” a draft copy on his desk “by no later than midday”. She was the person who would eat her peas, clean up her room and get the report done on time, regardless. For this reason, she saw it as demeaning to be pressured so strongly to perform these actions.

As such, her family and colleagues soon realized that just like her name implied, Patience required that very trait, and in fact, the opposite treatment. So, they would tell her she didn’t have to eat all her peas if she didn’t want to. Or that her room seemed clean enough as it was. Or that the report could be handed in as soon as it was done. Left on her own terms, Patience was happy to prove that she could be better than what anyone expected. She gained a sense of satisfaction in that. In proving how disciplined and productive she could be, even without the added pressure. Because she believed that sometimes, that is all we really need. To be allowed to demonstrate your true capabilities without feeling that you are constantly being judged. Sure, it is good and necessary to have some kind of timeline and order in life, but just like everything, there needs to be a limit to it all.

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