As we go through life, with many things that has filled every single minutes and moments… We are always accompanied by all the good and bad things that has ever happened to us. They lived in us, in our memories, and always overshadowing us as we go along life.
Moving on would be an understatement — Though it might be the simplest way to describe anything we have survived in the past. However, did we really survived them? The thing is, if we simply forgot the unfortunate events and not forgiving them, that might be a burden to our mind, and scar us in a way that it can mature into bitterness.
"Bitterness is unforgiveness fermented"
Now, what are the major events that can greatly impact someone’s life?
- Marital matter (getting married, separation, reconciliation, divorce, change in number of arguments with spouse, trouble with in laws)
- Family conditions (gain new family member, son/daughter leaving home, change in residence and/or living condition)
- Work related problem (dismissal from work, retirement, change in responsibilities at work, change in work hours or conditions, trouble with boss)
- Death of loved ones — parent, spouse, child, sibling, close family member, close friend
- Change in financial state, like business readjustment, mortgage or loan, foreclosure of mortgage
- Revisions of personal habits, changes in sleeping and eating habits, as well as recreational, social, and/or religious activities
As you can see, some of those things on the list might not be “stressful”... But, those events may very well change someone’s life in every way possible, if they are not handled or adapted properly. Eventually, those events might define some essential part of who we are and we’ll end up becoming victims — not so much of anyone else but, principally, of ourselves.
Regardless of what most people think, the potential risks or outcome from stressful events in our lives are not just depression and anxiety, or any form of mental illness. However, it may also lead to chronic pain (such as lower back and neck pain), obesity, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, and even accelerate the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Scary.
So, what can we do? Seeing that we can’t really dodge the bullet or stop the unfortunate events from happening, there’s only one thing that we can do… control the outcome. Meaning, we can try to not let those events define us by acknowledging the stress and accepting them. Now, here are a few tips that can help on dealing with stressful situation:
1. Don’t Do Anything
Sometimes the best thing to do is… nothing, especially at the beginning, as it may be the best way to understand and handle the top stressors. On a side note, try to dedicate some time to meditate, to help reduce the perceived severity of stress and pain.
2. Practice Self-Care
As stressful life events can consume our lives and daily routines, we tend to ignore them and chose to unwind by collapsing on the couch in front of the TV. Well, how about try to have a relaxing bath or going for a massage instead? Or, engage in a favourite hobby like gardening, painting, or in my case it’s writing.
3. Get Support
More often than not, when we go through difficult times in life we tend to isolate ourselves from others, in fear of being judged or not wanting to worry our loved ones. However, support can be a lot of different things, like support groups and online forums, or even consult to a therapist. One thing to keep in mind, even though withdrawing seems to be an easier choice, reaching out can actually help to cope with stress better.
It may seem cliche, but one of the best ways to manage the most stressful life events is with exercise. Physical activity can help with chronic pain while also help to reset mental and emotional state. Just take 10 minutes out of your day to do a simple and soothing exercise to stretch our mind and body.
5. Eat Well
Far too often, stressful life events sends people to the kitchen for a snack. However, quality of the snack might add to the stress and pain if not chosen wisely. Make sure to look for foods that are anti-inflammatory and help lower stress, or make yourself a cup of tea as it has been known to be an effective stress reliever.