Thankful for the Stress

keep_calm_and_carry_onI consider myself a fairly easy-going individual, and I am often able to roll with the punches and remain positive through situations. However, lately my “bounce-back” has been greatly challenged.

So what do you do when stress seems to hit you at all sides?

Well, as corny as it may sound, I am being reminded of the importance of practicing thankfulness. Hear me out on this one. I’m not talking about sitting around in a circle, expressing our feelings and saying what we’re each thankful for because quite frankly, I would excuse myself in that situation.

Practicing thankfulness is much easier said than done because, really, when new issues keep arising mid-solution, who feels like taking the time to self-reflect, least of all when your emotions are ready to boil over?

It’s easy to think, “Wow, I’m really ____” lucky, grateful, fortunate, blessed–whatever you choose. But can you do that when you’re unlucky, dissatisfied, and struggling? That’s the one that takes practice and intentionality.

The reality is, in order to become content and grateful for what I do have, I need to stop, take a breath and change my thinking. For example:

  • Assignment and exam stress in school = Education to pursue what I’m passionate about.
  • Continuous home repairs = A roof and 4 walls to shelter from the weather.
  • Furniture problems = Fortunate to have the option of sleeping off of the ground with warm bedding.
  • Application stress and details = I have options for my future and can choose where I want to direct it.

The thing is, as strained as I might feel with the particulars that pounce all at once, in the grand scheme of things, they are quite minor. My primary needs are taken care of, and I have much to be thankful for.

Practicing thankfulness isn’t always easy or fun; sometimes it requires digging deep and being quite practical. But just like a muscle, the more you work it, the stronger it becomes. With practice, contentment settles in and helps when juggling life stresses.

… Also the UVic Student Ambassador promotes de-stress week with puppy playtime so I totally get in on that. Puppies always make life better.

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