Top of the Morning to you. This post has to do with health and all aspects of it. We all know that stress kills in more ways than one and that there are endless amounts of data showing the results of it. Cancer, hypothyroidism, ulcers, IBS, (irritable bowel syndrome) deaths and so on. Because of stress, people’s lives have changed, and their health has suffered.
In a ton of my posts, I have given you ideas on how to alleviate stress and or how to reduce it in your life. This post, although you may not see the connection at first, will be one more adding to the helpful tips on how to reduce stress by living in the here and now. I’m not talking about instant gratification but something on a deeper level.
Every one of us goes through stages in life starting as children not having a care in the world, to teens who feel awkward but still want to be loved, to getting a job, to hitting that adult mark where life just got a little more serious. None of these stages are bad, just a cycle of life. I can’t help but think how this cycle could be changed a little with a different mindset. Meaning, when we hit the teen mark and beyond why can’t we be excited and keep that love for life?
Look at the retired, with their kids all grown, out of the house and just getting around to enjoying some things in life they’ve always wanted too. My aunt and uncle, who live in the country, are a perfect example. They have five children and for years had plans to build an addition to their farmhouse to make a larger kitchen, add a mudroom and fix the one bathroom so it was functional. Did it happen while the kids were home or when they themselves were younger to enjoy it longer? The answer is no. Why? When going to their house and telling my uncle how excited I was for them his response made me really think. He said, “Ya, we finally have a nice entry and kitchen, but the kids are all gone and can’t enjoy it.” You could see the regret written all over his face from putting it off and waiting. It wasn’t because of money, but because there was always something that needed to be done. It wasn’t until my aunt got really sick that they decided they weren’t going to wait any longer.
It’s amazing how health issues will give you a wake-up call. I keep questioning why it takes such extremes for people to wake up? Life should be lived in the here and now. Not one of us can predict what will happen to us tomorrow or if there will even be one. That’s not being depressing just being a realist. Opportunities come along every day that we pass up because we’re going to wait until we retire or have more time or when the kids are older. Again, I ask why? How much more exciting and stress-free would life be if we just took each day and made it the best, not waiting for tomorrow?
Now, I’m a realist as I said and understand people have to work to make money and afford a house, rent, food and so on. However, I still believe a person can balance work and living. How many times over the years have you told your kids, “Not now, maybe later” or “I don’t have time for that there’s work to be done” or “Maybe tomorrow,” when knowing the whole time, you won’t do it then either? It doesn’t even have to be about kids. How many times have you told that to yourself?
I think a lot of retired people have regret because of these things. Now that they’re older they have come to realize time goes by way too fast. They wish they would’ve embraced life when they were younger and when their kids could have been with them. Not everyone has thee regrets but I believe that many people do. Again, even the ones that don’t have kids.
The stress of daily life compounds itself until people get into a rut and miss opportunities to enjoy what’s all around them. From building an addition, traveling and your kids. Sometimes you just have to do the unexpected and take a leap of faith. Anything that will give you a new perspective on life and the time to enjoy it. This will not only impact you and your stress levels but your entire family who will now see there is a different way besides the daily grind. You open their eyes to new possibilities getting them to think outside of the box. As they grow they will not only have memories, a happy childhood and a close relationship with you, their parents but most importantly they will have a love for life.
How many teens are committing suicide? A sad, sad amount. At such an early age they feel like life doesn’t want them, they have nothing to offer and they don’t know how to escape except to take their own life. I truly think if we can teach them at an early age how to embrace their life we would have fewer suicides.
I’m not a doctor or a psychiatrist, but I am a mother and know my children better than anyone. If I can’t take the time before they’re out of the house to enjoy life and show them how to embrace each day, who will? I want to do this for myself just as much as I do for them. Just because you’re a parent doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy your life.
Living in the here and now is the best thing you can do for your health and it doesn’t always cost money. Just being present, smiling, being thankful for something, laughing or just enjoying where you work are all ways of living in the here and now.
If you are single or married without children, do you enjoy what you do? Has life already swallowed you up making you feel stressed when you get home at night or do you enjoy each day? If you are retired do you sit alone in a house or do you wake up saying, “I have another day to live, what am I going to do to enjoy it?” Life shouldn’t stop at any age. It should be lived to the very end.
No matter your circumstances or how you grew up it’s never too late to change your mindset. Life is to be enjoyed and is there for anyone. You are the only one that can change your attitude or circumstances and you are the only one regardless of your age that can choose to be thankful. Life’s not always a bouquet but I truly believe there’s at least one flower a person is always holding. It may be your positive attitude alone or simply a smile, but you hold something worth living for every day of your life.
Stress will starve on a happy soul. Remember that and you will flourish.
In closing I truly hope you won’t just read this and forget, but that you will cut it out, keep it as a reminder that you are loved, and life is worth living in the here and now.
Cheers- Heather Earles