Sunday, January 8, 2012

OMG! The stress!!!!

From Write It Sideways
Big changes are overwhelming. Hell, sometimes they are terrifying beyond all reasonable comprehension. The Apocalypse, regardless of the form it takes, will be a big change.

An awfully big change.

Just thinking about how the world will change is a bucket of stress. Unfortunately, since it isn't the good kind of stress, it doesn't do anything other than wig you out. How in the name of Fluffy Bunnies can a girl combat that?

Easy: use small changes you can control and positive stress to prepare yourself for the End of Times. Well, at least to learn how to handle change well. Preparing for the End of Times will take a little more than what I've got in mind here.

Small Change #1: Organization
Very few people are completely organized. I think complete organization is a fallacy: like Perfection, it can never be achieved. However, that does not mean we cannot take steps towards Organization.

Take a look at your room, apartment, flat, or what have you. Are there books out of place? Dishes that need washing? Photos that should be arranged and displayed? Maybe the bedsheets are rumpled. Take stock of your living arrangements and how organized the area is.

Focus on one room or section of the room every day or week and organize it. Throw out trash. Recycle recycle-ables. Donate unused items to Goodwill. Pare down the clutter and re-arrange the rest so that your living space is as organized as possible.

Either concurrently or when you have finished at home, follow suit at the office. Take small steps every day and eventually you will have made a big change in your life and reduced some stress. Clutter and disorganization cause stress: having to search high and low every time you want something is wicked annoying.

Small Change #2: Breaking Bad
The heading for this small change is pretty vague, but pretty much everyone has at least one bad habit. Were I a betting girl, I'd be willing to wager that we all have more than just the one.

Pick one and work on changing it. However, only work on ONE at a time. For some reason, difficult changes (which always seem to be the positive changes) are almost impossible to make if you try your hand at more than one.

From Vinnies Blog
Breaking Bad Habits tends to be incredibly difficult because they are the security blankets of action. Most Bad Habits are things we do to either help relieve stress or avoid something we find stressful. Looking at them this way seems to make them look like Good Habits, right? But look at some of those actions like nail biting or procrastinating. Biting ones nails doesn't actually solve anything, but lots of people do it when they are nervous or anxious.

Procrastination is a Bad Habit in which I excel. No lie. During the course of writing this article, I have written quite a few words. However, I have also looked for a picture of a fluffy bunny and then read the article on the blog where I found the picture, played many turns in Words with Friends, checked my e-mail repeatedly, and checked my Facebook page at least half a dozen times. Like I said: I excel.

I'm trying to combat this Bad Habit by removing the ways in which I can procrastinate. If I find myself checking my e-mail or Facebook a little too often, I shut off my Internet connection. I also put my phone on Airplane Mode or shut it off completely.

Obviously not every Bad Habit can be dispatched this way. Pick yours, do some research and get to it. No dillydallying now!

Small Change #3: Better Oneself
There are loads of ways to Better Oneself and while they often go hand-in-hand with Breaking Bad Habits, this should be a distinct goal. Perhaps you would like to be more well read, or a better rock climber, get healthier, or know how to tie flies. The only way to achieve any goal of this sort is to look at your schedule and re-arrange it so that it will accommodate the new activity. You may have to cut something out, but it will be worth the scheduling change.

The Rub
Before you can start taking charge of what is going to change in your life, you need to take a look at what comprises your life and what you might like to change. This can be a daunting task in itself: not everyone is comfortable examining her life.

Take a few deep breaths then grab a pen and paper, open up a word processor or text program, or use a handy web app. It's time to make a list. What is good and should be expanded upon? What is bad and needs to go? How can you improve your current situation? How will you learn to deal with major stress via little steps? Tell us in the comments!

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