Man -life is unpredictable, right?
First the entire world shut down, with almost no warning I might add. Small businesses, and really all businesses started failing and closing doors at a harrowing rate. COVID deaths devastated families and communities around the world. And the economy, under the weight of such widespread and fast change, began buckling under the pressure. Now, if you turn on the news, we are facing down another potential for war and just putting this into words was difficult, so imagine what the weight of the world is doing to each one of us, every single day.
We are tired. We are scared. And we aren’t sure how to deal with it. We are besieged by stress, as a recent NBC article put it. The article outlining a report from the American Psychological Association, went on to point out that concerns over nuclear war and inflation, following two years of the pandemic, have Americans more stressed than ever. Each day that we slip further from the idyllic world we’ve built in our minds, the more panic sets in.
According to the poll, aptly titled “Stress in America”, 87% of the U.S. adults polled cited rising costs of everyday items, such as groceries and gas, as a very significant source of stress. Inflation puts us in a box, because we need these items and we have no choice but to pay the higher prices.
With this constant stream of crisis after crisis, we’re beyond the stage of becoming numb to the chaos – we are feeling every ounce of it. Which is why we need resilience now more than ever.
Take A Step Back
Resilience is like the extra backbone we need when we feel defeated. It comes in, stands us up tall, and makes us whole. Yes, it is a skill that we can develop but it is also a foundational characteristic in how we deal with stress, chaos and change. And I’m convinced that resilience is the only way we can truly thrive in our new reality of constant change and crisis, and perhaps the only way we can see through the chaos to discover solutions.
As is true in love and war – and stress – the resilient ones are the ones who come out better on the other side.
There are simple ways we can begin building more resilience into our everyday lives. To take back control of our emotions and our stress levels, from the chaos-creating thieves who’ve attempted to loot it. And I would rather focus on that.
Decision making is a huge element of how our lives go, day in and day out. When we are panicked and stressed, it becomes very difficult to make solid decisions. Our brains are in flight or fight mode, which happens to shut down innovation, creativity and critical thinking. There is a system we can apply to our decision making that we can build into a habit, the more we practice, allowing us to make good decisions even when things around us are not so great.
Pause. It’s counter-intuitive but you have to pause. You have to know at that moment that the first thing to do is stop what you’re doing. It’s difficult to take that pause, because the risk of taking a time out feels so great. It goes against millions of years of human evolution. That voice telling you that survival is the only option is wrong and the sooner you learn to ignore it, the better.
Ask. The next step, asking, is where we frame the meaning of what you’re experiencing. You’re creating a space to ask the questions you need to ask about what is happening and what you’re going to do about it.
Choose. Once you’ve stopped struggling against the current, and created space to look at your options, you get to choose how you proceed. Taking back control of your life and the change that is inevitable.
Americans are having a hard time bouncing back from fears of war, illness and economic decline, and you can change that, starting with yourself. This method is one example of many ways you can build more resilience into your life, to become more Change Proof, and step off the hamster wheel of stress and panic.