“Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness”
One way to deal with stress is to try to eliminate the causes, such as leaving things until last minute, over-committing, letting clutter and to do lists get out of control. The problem with this approach is twofold. First, no matter how much you try to control things there will always be (potentially) stressful situations that arise. Secondly, it may cause you to back away from challenges and you may consequently end up stuck in a very small comfort zone.
Although I want to use this month to work on some of the bad habits that have caused stressful situations in the past...It is more important to me to realize that stress is internal, and when I manage to be present/mindful being stressed (or rather not being stressed) becomes a choice.
It feels a bit careless not to stress about the still unprepared lecture that I'll need to give in a couple of days....but getting stressed out really has NO benefits that I can think of. It is unhealthy for mind and body. It makes me really cranky, and it actually makes me unproductive-because when I am stressed I can't focus and constantly move from one thing to the next.
My challenge now is to take a deep breath every time I feel stress bubbling up - and ask myself: What is it that I am stressed about? What needs to be done? If I can, I'll do what needs to be done. If I can't, I'll just let go of the stress and anxiety that I am feeling. Focus on being relaxed, present and mindful. Less stress, more zen.